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Sycamore District 427 begin talks for new high school graduation requirements

November 18, 2018

SYCAMORE – Sycamore school officials are reconsidering high school graduation requirements in a constantly changing world.

Tim Carlson, principal of Sycamore High School, said he discussed with Sycamore District 427 Board of Education members whether any changes should be made to the current requirements, which include: four years of English classes, three years of math, two years of science, two and a half years of social studies, a semester of consumer economics, four years of physical education, and a year of electives or world language.

Carlson said the plan is to work with focus groups of students, parents and guardians, teachers, local higher education officials and area employers from February to April. He said school officials plan on going over the gathered information and research from May through the summer.

“Hopefully, in October of next year, there will be a proposal for the incoming class of 2023,” Carlson said.

Carlson said the talks might also involve consideration on whether the district will need to hire more teachers or more partnership academies need to be created in addition to the agriculture, educator, business leadership, health career and manufacturing ones that already exist in the district.

Carlson said, for example, board members discussed during their last meeting possibly making computer coding a required class to provide that learning opportunity for students, even if they can’t afford to go to college. He said that suggestion comes after the class recently became an available elective for students to take.

“It’s going to be so important in our lives,” Carlson said.

Carlson said another idea being considered is requiring students to take one online course during their high school education. Whether students choose to go to college or not, he said, students are still going to be stuck in online development environments.

“We would do kids a disservice if we don’t require them to take an online course,” Carlson said.

Carlson said he’s excited to get more input in the next few months, especially since having a high school diploma is still important for students have in today’s world.

“Hopefully we’ll fill some gaps here and make it better for the next generation of kids,” Carlson said.

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