HOLCOMB, Kansas – In an effort to help students who want to graduate early, one school district is proposing fewer graduation requirements.
“Kids want to. Why not?” said Les Wilds, a Holcomb USD 363 parent.
Holcomb already exceeds the state’s graduation requirements.
The state of Kansas actually only requires a minimum of 21 credits.
Right now, Holcomb requires 25.
“There was no way that a student could finish before their final semester of their senior year,” said Holcomb Superintendent, Jean Rush.
The proposed change lowers that requirement by one to 24 credits.
Still more than what the state requires so there’s no need for state approval.
The district acknowledges several reasons students might want to graduate early.
“Many students want to get a jump start on their college career and this would allow them to not have to wait until the next fall after graduation to start,” said Holcomb High School Principal, Rob Schneeberger. “They could go out there and start full time at a college of their choice ahead of time.”
“A lot of times it’s either entering the military, the workforce, technical school or some of them enroll at the university level,” Rush said.
One issue the school may face with the proposal is making sure students still get the expected amount of English and government courses.
“Well, as long as they get the appropriate classes that they need,” Wilds said. “That’s the thing; getting the appropriate credits.”
“In the second semester of their senior year, it’s the only requirements they haven’t fulfilled,” Schneeberger said, referring to English and government.
One option to solve that would be adding additional courses so seniors can double-up on those subjects to finish out their senior year a semester early.
But even that comes with its challenges.
Having the adequate staff that we need and then within the funding that we receive, it sometimes it becomes a huge puzzle to put all of the pieces together,” Rush said.
The proposal will be discussed at the next board meeting in February.
The school surveys its students each year to find out exactly what they’re looking for.
Another proposed change that students expressed interest in is adding an AP biology course to give students more options and an extra boost before they head off to college.