Archive for Wednesday, November 13, 2002

School Board considers lower graduation requirements at VCS

November 13, 2002

The Basehor-Linwood School Board will consider next month whether to lower the required credits for graduating students at the district's Virtual Charter School.

The Virtual Charter School is an online school that offers course work via the Internet.

Lowering the required number of credits for charter school students was a discussion item during the school board meeting Monday, Nov. 11.

The Kansas State Board of Education currently requires graduating seniors to have at least 21 course credits. In Basehor-Linwood and at the VCS, the requirement is 25 credits.

However, school officials said they hoped the board would approve lowering the required number to the state minimum 21 credits.

This would ensure more VCS students of graduating, school officials said.

"What we are proposing to the board is that we waive the 25- unit requirement and revert back to 21," Basehor-Linwood School District Superintendent Cal Cormack said.

"In thinking about (the VCS) student population, you would consider (some of them) an at -risk population," he added, citing that many VCS students have previously dropped out or have never been in public education.

Should the proposal be approved, VCS students would be required to have four credits of English. The previous English requirement was five credits, while the math requirement was two credits.

Course work requirements in science, social studies, physical education and health would remain the same, school officials said.

In the VCS's first year, the required level was 21 credits to graduate.

VCS director Brenda De Groot backs the proposal to lower the course work requirements.

She said the school is tougher because teachers are not readily available as with regular schools.

"I have had students that have found that the Charter School is very, very difficult," De Groot said.

"The VCS is not an easy route," she added.

The School Board could take action on the proposal during its December meeting.

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