NEW VIENNA — The East Clinton High School principal is recommending that graduation credit requirements be raised from 21 to 23.
Currently, Wilmington and Clinton-Massie school districts require 23 credits, while Blanchester is like East Clinton at 21, said East Clinton Local Schools Superintendent Eric Magee.
The proposed change, expected to be voted on at next month’s board of education meeting, is not expected to affect graduation numbers, according to Magee. Last year, even without a required 23 credits, almost 84 percent of the district’s seniors had 23 credits anyway, he said.
Roughly 10 percent of East Clinton seniors last spring had the 21 credits, whereas 5 percent didn’t graduate.
The plan presently is to require one more credit in either science or social studies, subjects that students currently must obtain three credits in.
High School Principal Kerri Matheny said there are some students who attain 21 or 22 credits and are “very bright, but they don’t push themselves” and are happy to make it through with general classes.
There is a small group of students who EC educators want to try to move forward, said Matheny, and the proposal would ensure they take an extra class or two, and require them to take one more science or social studies course.
“Honestly, we have a lot of seniors who will come in a period late and leave a period early, which is fine if you need to go to work or whatever, but some of those would benefit from taking a science class, a social studies class or something else instead of going home and getting on the Xbox,” the principal said.
Magee said the change can be carried out without having to add staff.
Students already attending ECHS will be “grandfathered in” under the 21-credit rule that they had when they began high school, said the superintendent.
If approved, the new credit requirement will apply to the freshman class that will start attending high school this upcoming fall 2018.
FFA (Future Farmers of America) is not considered a science by the State of Ohio, EC administrators said in response to a question from board member Tim Starkey.
During her principal’s report at the Tuesday school board meeting, Matheny also spoke about high school students with chronic absentee rates — that is, those who have missed more than 10 percent of the school year. Currently, there are nearly 14 percent of high school students at East Clinton who fall under that category, she said.
The suspensions of three students make them qualify, said Matheny. Of the remainder, 32 students who have missed that much school have for the most part excused absences, she said.
A dozen students, however, have quite a lot of unexcused absences, said Matheny.
She said school officials have already gone through court mediation with those 12 students, and are now developing the next step — an intervention plan. If, after being on an intervention plan for 61 days, the student has not made progress in improving his or her attendance, that’s when truancy is filed, according to the principal.
At an organizational session, Linda Compton was re-elected board president, and Starkey was re-elected vice president.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.