TIPP CITY — The Tipp City Board of Education heard a presentation on graduation requirements for its high school students during its meeting on Monday, discussing the current graduation standards and what future classes will have accomplish in order to graduate.
“It seems like its an every moving target for our students,” Assistant Superintendent Steve Verhoff said.
Verhoff said Tipp City Schools’ local standards for graduating include that students have 21 course credits, noting that Tipp City goes “above and beyond” with this requirement. The state minimum is completing 20 credits in specific subjects.
Verhoff then went over the three options the state of Ohio currently has for graduation requirements, noting they get “more and more complicated.”
For the class of 2020, students will either have to get a combined 18 out of 35 points on the seven Ohio state end-of-course tests, earn industry-approved credentials, or earn “remediation-free” scores on the ACT or SAT. Remediation-free standards are considered a “baseline college-ready score,” according to Ohio University. Students who earn industry credentials also have to pass a WorkKeys test, or a job skills assessment exam.
Verhoff said the state is also offering alternative pathways for the class of 2020 only if there are students unable to meet the other requirements. According to the state of Ohio, some those options include earning a GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale in all courses completed during the 11th and 12th grades, completing a capstone project, completing 120 hours of work or community service experience, earning three of more College Credit Plus credits, earning credit for Advanced Placement (AP) course and earn an AP exam score of three or higher, and more. Verhoff noted that options like the AP course and testing “are just not practical” for at-risk students.
For classes of 2021 and 2022, those students can either try to earn the graduation requirements for the class of 2020 or the requirements for the class of 2023. For the class of 2023, two of the state tests go away and other options for graduating include earning industry credentials, enlisting in the military, or completing college coursework. Students will also have to earn two “readiness seals.” According to the Ohio Department of Education, these readiness seals are “a formal designation a student can earn by demonstrating the professional skills that are required for success in the workplace.” Verhoff said those seals can tie in work skills, testing, citizenship, and so on.
“I feel like this is something that the board could talk with state legislators about and put pressure on them to give control back to the local school districts and let local school districts determine how we graduate our students,” Verhoff said.
Also during its meeting, the board tabled a contract with Lean Six Sigma to provide six training sessions for teachers, moving to have the board explore this contract further at a future meeting. The contract with Lean Six Sigma would have been to attain the Yellow Belt, Green Belt, and Train-the-Trainer Certification for Tipp City Schools at a cost of $15,500 for the 2019-2020 school year; $15,500 for the 2020-2021 school year; and $3,000 every year thereafter.
The board then accepted the Lawn Care program bid from Ever-Green Lawncare, Inc. in the yearly amount of $58,500 for a two year contract, 2020 and 2021.
The board’s upcoming meetings include special meetings at 5 p.m. on March 2 and March 3 at the board’s office, 90 South Tippecanoe Drive, Tipp City. The board will also hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. March 10 at the Tippecanoe High School, 615 E. Kessler-Cowlesville Rd., Tipp City. The board’s next regular meeting will be held at 6 p.m. March 16 at the Tippecanoe High School.
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