New Graduation Requirements

The South Dakota Department of Education is in the process of changing the graduation requirements.

By Hope Paris

They have made a draft of the changes, but it has not been approved yet. They are planning on keeping 22 minimum credits for graduation, but making changes to the kind of classes kids can take as early as middle school.  With this proposed idea, students would have a lot more room to pick the classes they want.

One major change is that only a credit of biology will be required (which students will take their freshman year) and then 2 other credits of a science of your choice. Also, stating 8th grade year, students will start their required CPR classes to gain their CPR certified.

According to the RCAS board, “The most recent version of graduation requirements was passed in 2009. A lot changes in 10 years. The proposed changes gives schools flexibility to assist students in meeting their individual academic and career goals for post-high secondary.”

“It is important to know that these changes are NOT approved yet, they are just in proposal stage.” said Melissa Kincart. July 16th the board will start reading the proposal in public to allow people to provide feedback. If citizens in the state give negative feedback, the idea could still be scratched. It’s a proposal, not a done deal.

Other requirements include a two semester of writing and literature and a semester of speech. With math, the only class required is 2 semesters of Algebra 1, and then you can choose 2 other math classes (4 semesters) of your choice. Social Studies requires 1 credit of U.S. History, and half credit of U.S. Government. Then, you can choose another 3 semesters of a history class of your choice.

You will also need 1 credit of fine arts, .5 credit of physical education, and .5 credit of health/health integration. Personal finance is also still a required class. You need one credit some sort of computer class, world language or capstone experience. You need a total of 5.5 credits of electives.

Photo: Red Graduation Cap from Google