Washington County School Board approves changes to graduation requirements

ST. GEORGE — The Washington County School Board voted to modify graduation requirements for high school students in a meeting Tuesday afternoon.

A number of changes were made to the existing district policy, which was last revised in October 2018. The most noticeable amendment being the change in the required number of credits.

“We’ve had no feedback in terms of concerns or worries,” said Richard Holmes, Washington County School District assistant superintendent over secondary education. “We believe it’s going to be really beneficial for students.”

In the latest draft of district policies on graduation requirements, students will be required to meet the minimum credit requirements laid out by their individual school instead of the previous 28-credit minimum. 

Schools on each schedule have designated credit minimums starting at 27 credits for 4×4 block schedule schools, 32 credits for 5×5 block schedule schools and 24 credits for alternative schools. The board also voted to adapt requirements for the Washington County School District’s basic diploma. 

Members of the Washington County School Board meet with students and their advisors during a meeting in St. George, Utah, Aug. 13, 2019 | Photo by Ryann Richardson, St. George News

New requirements include 3 units of credit for social studies – a half-credit increase – and a more detailed breakdown for “directed coursework.” Students will be required to satisfy 1.5 units for fine arts, 1 unit of career and technical education, .5 units of digital studies and .5 units of general financial literacy. Educational technology has been removed as a requirement.

The district also empowered each school to determine the required electives.

According to Holmes, the policy was available for public viewing over 60 days starting in June. Revisions underwent an extensive process before landing on the desk of the board for approval, he said.

Board members will reconvene during a scheduled meeting Sept. 10 beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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