January 9, 2013 12:43:18 PM
The Starkville School District Board of Trustees dropped one credit from its graduation requirements in a unanimous decision during Tuesday's monthly meeting.
Previously, the Starkville School District required 27 credits to graduate, and even with the move to 26 credits, SSD requires five more credits than the state minimum.
The change was came as a result of a request from Millsaps Interim Director Ray New, who asked the board to remove the Career Technology Exploration (CTE) graduation requirement for ninth-graders.
Students in CTE are given a set of vocational skills classes to choose from, and are able to explore each one throughout the semester. Students who are interested can continue classes in whichever skill they choose.
Numbers for students who continue the program, however, have been low.
"Despite the students having this opportunity to explore career options, the number of students who have completed two years of a career program at Millsaps has declined," New said in a letter to the board. "Program completion is a major goal in CTE."
New asked for the implementation of two first-year classes that would feed into one second-year class.
The request was approved unanimously.
"The purpose of the CTE requirement was to increase enrollment, and it may have been a great idea, but it didn't work," Superintendent Lewis Holloway said. "There are so many courses we need to get lined up with that the junior colleges are teaching so these people can get real jobs, and right now we don't completely line up."
Holloway also pointed to some of the requirements to actually enroll in the courses as a possible source for limiting numbers. Some of the courses require a B in a previous class to sign up.
"Some of our most needy kids, kids that need these programs the most might not have a B," he said. "We need to look at all barriers that are keeping kids out of the program."
In other board business, an election was set for March 2 to select a representative for the section of SSD that lies outside city limits, a seat that board president Keith Coble currently holds.
Petitions are to be filed with the SSD superintendent's office and the deadline for qualification is Jan. 18.
Coble said he intends on seeking re-election for the position.