District 207 changes graduation requirements

Illustration by Millie Diaz

By Jake Snyder, News Writer

District 207 has made changes to graduation requirements in 2021. The most significant changes are that Communication Arts and Driver’s Ed are no longer required by the district. In addition, a Financial Literacy class is now mandatory for all students.

“We want all students to understand what they want to do beyond high school, and we want them to know how they are going to pay for it and what long-term impact financing their education will have on them,” Mr. Shawn Messmer, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Innovation, said.

Under the changes, students no longer need to retake Physical Education if they do not receive a passing grade. Also, the new credit requirement is now 22.75, one credit lower than the previous 23.75 credits needed to graduate. 

The decision to update the requirements at this time came as a direct result of the pandemic. 

“As we seek to ensure that all seniors are on track to graduate, we felt removing certain impediments, like repeating a failed PE or Consumer Arts course, should not wait if we could make the move now,” Mr. Messmer stated.

While the changes came during the middle of the school year, students shouldn’t worry about adjusting to these requirements. 

These go into effect now, but they will not harm any student,” Mr. Messmer stated. “For example, if you took Consumer Education or a course to satisfy that requirement, you will not have to take Financial Literacy to graduate.”

While the changes are not expected to have an effect on the students, the enrollment numbers for the classes will be affected. 

From what I am seeing with the registration numbers to date, the enrollment [in Communication Arts] has drastically declined at Maine South,” Ms. Teralyn Keith, Department Chair for Fine and Performing Arts, said 

Despite the decrease in students enrolling, Ms. Keith expressed the importance of the course, now known as “Communication for Careers.” 

“We try never to close a class,” Ms. Keith said. “I really hope we have more students interested in taking Communication for Careers. It is a phenomenal course with incredible teachers teaching it.”

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