The students of Natrona County deserve a comprehensive high school program that emphasizes academic excellence in the pursuit of college and/or career readiness. The Board of Trustees has been working on revisions to graduation requirements for Natrona County students that would reflect the 21st Century skills found in
the Graduate Profile, the responsibility of the individual learner, the value of learning in varied environments, and the obligations of the citizen in our American democracy.
At the Nov. 26, 2012, Board of Trustees meeting, the board made a decision on what graduation requirements will look like for students entering high school next year (2013-14). Next year's incoming freshman will be expected to obtain two additional credits throughout their high school career as compared to current high-schoolers in order to graduate from the Natrona County School system.
After months of research, discussions, and gathering feedback from stakeholders, the board received a recommendation to increase graduation requirements. Starting with the class of 2017, students will be required to obtain a minimum of 26.5 Carnegie Unit Credits, instead of the currently required 24.5. The two additional credits will come from one elective and one civic responsibility/financial literacy credit.
The recommendation was based upon the requirements of similar sized districts, the requirements to be accepted into the University of Wyoming, and NCSD’s plans for the addition of the Center for Advanced and Professional Studies (CAPS). In addition, the board hopes setting a higher standard would encourage students to fully utilize their high school experience.
“We’ve built three year high schools. Not many students are going to set the bar on themselves,” said Dr. Joel Dvorak, superintendent. “That responsibility lies with the people who set the standards and that being this board.”
After hearing feedback from teachers, students, parents and the community through a survey, e-mail communications, and comments at board meetings, the board worked through several different motions and recommendations before coming to an agreement on changing graduation requirements.
In addition, the board commissioned the superintendent to conduct a feasibility study concerning the requirement of earning a credit in a non-traditional environment. The study would include the engagement of a committee of stakeholders. A report shall be returned to the trustees within six months.
All students are encouraged to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the Natrona County School District, including those offered beyond the requirements for graduation.