The Board of Education will hold hearings on St. Thomas and St. John to discuss its plans to change public school graduation requirements. The hearings will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Julius E. Sprauve School on St. John and at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Curriculum Center on St. Thomas. A hearing was held Thursday on St. Croix.
“We’re going to be asking students to pick a career path from the ninth grade,” Board Director Carol Henneman said, noting that they will do this by getting six elective credits in their field of interest.
Currently they need only get four elective credits. The total number of credits required for graduation will remain at 26.
Henneman said the board plans to add a year of math to the two now required to graduate. This change will require the Education Department to hire more math teachers, she said.
She said the board expects to have the new elective schedule in place by the start of the 2014-15 school year.
According to Henneman, currently students are unable to fit in enough elective courses in their chosen career fields before graduation so the change will allow for that.
Additionally she said that the Board of Education hasn’t changed the requirements in a long time so a change is due.
The proposals are the result of collaboration between the Board of Education and the Career and Technical Education Board with input from the Education and Labor Departments, Henneman said.