School Board Hears New Graduation Option
At-risk students may soon have another path to graduation that takes into account personal hardship, says one Moore County school official.
Dr. Eric Porter, assistant superintendent for Secondary Education, presented information to the board on the Differentiated Diploma Pathway at a curriculum work session held Thursday. Designed to give students another option to graduate when they are at risk of dropping out, Porter said the plan is for students "whose life experiences have made school hard."
"This is for students who have issues such as chronic substance abuse, chronic behavioral problems, anger issues, or depression, along with those who may have experienced teen pregnancy or even homelessness," Porter said.
Under the program, students are allowed to graduate with 21 to 22 credits instead of the 28 credit hours required by the Moore County school system. Twenty-one or 22 credits is the state mandated requirement for high school graduation.
"This is not a case of lowering standards at all," said School Superintendent Aaron Spence. "By lowering the required credits for graduation to the state level, the student is required to take less electives. The same number of core requirements must be met as with any other student."
Students may be referred to the program by guidance counselors, teachers, parents or administrators.
"Entering the program is not the student's decision to make," Spence said. "There are clear guidelines for eligibility, and this program is all about trying to meet the needs of these students."
Read more in Sunday's edition of the Pilot.
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