FLOW Area August 12, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 5 Change in graduation requirements under consideration by Frank J. McMahon The Ramapo Indian Hills Board of Education has approved the first reading of a revised graduation requirement policy that would add another option for students to meet the 120 credit graduation requirement. The policy will be considered for adoption at the board’s Aug. 24 meeting, when a regulation governing the implementation of the policy will also be considered. If approved, graduation credit could be obtained through an Option II program, an alternative to traditional high school courses, which involves in-depth experiences. Option II may include, but is not limited to, interdisciplinary or theme-based programs, independent study, magnet programs, student exchange programs, distance learning, internships, community service, co-curricular or extra-curricular programs, and/or other structured learning experiences. In addition, state law permits district boards of education to recognize successful completion of programs from an accredited organization that assures achievement of the knowledge and skills delineated in the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards or includes learning that builds on and goes beyond those standards. The regulation lists the responsibilities to assess and monitor Option II programs. It requires the superintendent to ensure that all programs and assessments meet or exceed the Core Curriculum Content Standards and to delegate responsibility for the program to the high school principal and the director of curriculum. This includes the review of all Option II offerings and selection and implementation of proficiency and/or competency of assessments. The principal then assumes the primary responsibility for overseeing all aspects of the Option II program through a committee comprised of the principal, director of curriculum, and the content area teacher and guidance counselor. That committee would review a student’s programs and assessment and make its recommendation as to a student’s eligibility to graduate. The final decision would be made by the principal. According to the regulation, all costs, including fees, transportation, and materials for external programs that are approved by the principal and the committee would be the responsibility of the student’s parents/guardians. Participation in the Option II program would require an application process, presentation before the Option II Committee, documentation, and adherence to the Core Curriculum Content Standards. The existing graduation requirement policy also states that a pupil must meet both state and district proficiency standards in the core curriculum content areas and achieve or exceed passing grade on HSPA, in order to be graduated and receive a state endorsed board of education diploma. The pupil must successfully complete any course requirements stated in the state’s administrative code, unless those of the district are greater, in which case the district’s standard must be met. The proficiencies required must include the Core Curriculum Content Standards approved by the New Jersey Board of Education. In addition, the student must select and successfully complete enough elective credits to meet the district minimum of 120 credits. Successful completion means the pupil has demonstrated the degree of proficiency required by the district to indicate achievement of the district goals for the particular course, and he or she has attended the required number of course sessions. Transfer pupils must meet all state and local requirements in order to receive a Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School diploma. Special education pupils must meet all state and local high school graduation requirements in order to receive a state endorsed diploma unless exempted in his/her individual education plan with the written approval of the superintendent. A special education pupil who qualifies may take the alternate proficiency assessment if alternate requirements for graduation have been specified in his/her IEP. By June 30 of a disabled pupil’s last year in the elementary program, the pupil’s case manager, parent/guardian and teacher(s) must meet to review the instructional guide and basic plan of the pupil’s IEP in anticipation of the pupil’s transition to the secondary program. At that time, input from appropriate staff of the secondary school must be part of the review. Pupils with limited English proficiency must also fulfill the regular state and district requirements for graduation, but they must be provided with the program opportunities required by law. Pupils who have clearly demonstrated a scholastic aptitude, an unusual readiness for the world of work, a financial need, or a serious health or family concern may be considered for early graduation. Minimal graduation requirements must be completed early and the approval of the parents/ guardians and the administration must be obtained. The complete policy and the new regulation are posted, and may be viewed on and printed from the district’s website at www. rih.org. ���������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������� ���������� ������������������������� ����������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������ ������������������ ������������������������� ���������� ���������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������� Summer specials available now for a limited time only. 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