Raising our standards

Feature Photo By: Ruth Mesfin – The purpose statement by the main stairs reminds students why Rangeview is the place to be. It has motivated students to keep going in order to reach their goal.

By: Brooklyn Dolan and Ruth Mesfin, Review Staff

Graduation requirements have changed in the last year for the class of 2021 and beyond. This being said, while the juniors and seniors still have the same requirements, this year’s freshman and sophomore class will have to complete more in order to graduate high school.

According to the APS website, from the class of 2021 and on, students will have to complete at least one of the tasks for either English or math, to receive a high school diploma (listed below).  

This year’s seniors and juniors only have to complete the following two steps: receive enough credits, and achieve a goal that was set between the students and their counselor.  While this year’s freshman and sophomores have to complete an additional step in order to graduate.

This poster hangs on a board in front of the counseling office at Rangeview. It shows the requirements that are necessary to graduate, and how far you should be at each milestone in your high school experience (Ruth Mesfin).

 

Step one states that all high schoolers need four English credits, four math credits, three science credits, three social studies credits, seven elective credits, and one world language credit.

Step two requires all students this year to complete an Individual Career & Academic Plan  (ICAP). An ICAP is a career and academic planning process that is created personally for each student. In order to complete this, the student must meet with their high school counselor to make this plan to help achieve their goals.

Is that enough to expect from students who are aiming for college?

This year’s freshmen and sophomores must complete a step three, which states that, “students must successfully demonstrate competence in english and mathematics”. There are ten options that are available in both math and English that will allow students to complete these tasks. These options include:

  • A certain score on the Accuplacer test (62 on reading comprehension, 61 on elementary algebra)
  • A certain score on the ACT  (18 on the English section, 19 on math section)
  • A certain score on the AP tests  (2 or above on English and math)
  • A certain grade in a concurrent enrollment (A grade of C or better in 092 or 093 for English, and a grade of C or higher in 050 or 055 for math)
  • A completion certificate for the District Capstone for both English and math
  • An earned certificate for the industry based certificates for both English and math
  • A certain score for the International Baccalaureate test  (4 or above on English and math)
  • A certain score on the SAT (430 for English and 460 for math)
  • A bronze or higher for the workforce training certificates  (ACT WorkKeys) in both English and math
  • A score of 31 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery  (ASVAB) for both English and math

This system is supposed to just ensure that students are “competent” enough to survive in the outside world, in a way that many of the students should already be performing,according to the Rangeview website.

According to Mr.Fay, “This is just one more, pretty objective way of us saying can you demonstrate what you’ve learned through four years of high school in another manner other than seat time, and grades.” He says that considering how many options students will have to prove this competency, it should be no challenge to maintain our high graduation rates.

Students doing independent assignments in English class. Mrs. Weber teaches honors and regular English classes to freshmen students (Brooklyn Dolan).

According to Mr. Fay, the new requirements were changed by “ the policy of the Colorado Education Department”. He states that the new graduation requirements are, “ definitely posing challenges, where before you would have to focus on getting credits, and now you have to focus on the credentials”.

When asked what he thinks about students who are already struggling to pass classes on top of the new requirements, Mr. Emmer, a math teacher at Rangeview replied, “I don’t know if it’s gonna keep them from meeting the graduation requirements, I think it is going to make it harder for them as sophomores and juniors if they don’t handle their classwork, then they have to make those credits up when they’re older.”

Grace Solarin, a freshman attending Rangeview says, “ I didn’t know that the graduation requirements changed- I don’t think it will be more stressful, especially because that will be a normal for us”, referring to the fact that they’re incoming freshmen, not knowing any other graduation requirements.  

A Rangeview dean, Mr. Sladek says if the new requirements are, “communicated more thoroughly and it follows through, and we talk to the students’ more and actually made requirements for them that they can worry about and work on, then I think it will help us raise our graduation rates a bit.”

This display covers the window of the College and Career Center. It contains a lot of college gear, and has information about where many Rangeview teachers went to college. (Brooklyn Dolan)

A change in requirements that would seemingly make graduating a bigger challenge, many people believe that it won’t be as hard to pull off as many Rangeview students may think. As for how many people were either unaware, or how many students were already completing what is now being asked of them, the school administration doesn’t expect to see a large shift in graduation rates after the changes have been made to the graduation requirements.

 

Share