PHS grad requirements proposed

By Christina Calloway

PNT senior writer

ccalloway@pntonline.com

Portales schools officials proposed the first draft of alternatives to certain required credits to meet graduation requirements at Monday night’s school board meeting.

The alternatives, which must demonstrate competency, have to be approved by the school board.

In November, the Public Education Department issued a memo that said the department plans to clarify and amend graduation standards.

Only this year is it necessary for the local school board to pass the list of acceptable alternatives to credits because without some set guideline, about 45 seniors would be at risk of not graduating, according to Director of Instruction David Van Wettering.

“They (the PED) don’t want the alternatives to be easier,” said Superintendent Johnnie Cain.

One of the alternatives suggested would require students to pass a college-level course to show college-readiness, according to Van Wettering.

Another would be to for students to pass an end of year exam at 70 percent or better if students did not pass the state-issued Standards-Based Assessment or End of Course exams in a subject.

Board members will meet with Van Wettering and Portales High School Principal Melvin Nusser within the next few weeks to discuss the draft before passing a final copy.

Other highlights from Monday’s meeting include:

• Discussion of the school’s upcoming bond election. Cain said advertising for the election will need to be complete soon and wants to make sure that the board agrees on what will be advertised. Funding for the new Eastern New Mexico University football stadium will be included in this bond election.

• Recognition of the board for receiving the New Mexico School Board Association’s Small District School Board of the Year Award.

• Recognition of Board Secretary Mary Lou Rowley’s 24-Year Service Award.

• Recognition of board member Inez Rodriguez and Board Vice President Antonio Sanchez Jr. for receiving the Exemplary Board Member Award from the New Mexico School Board Association.

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