Students need to display 'career readiness' to graduate

Zoe Greszler • Aug 18, 2019 at 3:00 PM

WILLARD — The Willard City Schools board discussed the upcoming graduation requirement changes that will be implanted on the current ninth-grade class — the class of 2023.

“It’s as clear as mud as far as this (requirement) is for this class and that’s for that class,” Superintendent Jeff Ritz said.

The requirements will be optional for graduating classes prior to 2023. 

The main change in requirements being required by the state after new legislation recently passed, is the need for students to demonstrate “career readiness.” Willard is already accomplishing some of the requirements with its current high school program, like with its senior project each student is required to complete. Such a senior or capstone project will now be required by all graduating Ohio students. 

Students also must attain an adequate “competency score” on end of course exams for algebra I and English language arts II, and attain at least two state diploma seals. At least one of those seals must be an existing bi-literacy seal, Ohio Means Jobs readiness seal or one of seven new seals for which the state board establishes requirements. “Competency scores” are still to be determined by the Ohio Department of Education. 

The state will set the requirements needed to attain the bi-literacy and OhioMeansJobs-readiness seals. It will also regulate the following seals: industry-recognized credential seal, military enlistment seal, science seal, technology seal, college-ready seal, citizenship seal and honors diploma seal. 

Willard, and all other local schools, will have the ability to set the requirements to receive the fine and performing art seal, community service seal and the student engagement seal.

Ritz said schools only just found out about the changes, and added his staff is working to make adjustments to meet them.

“They just came out last month so they’re just starting to research that,” he said. 

Rtiz said that the district plans to find ways to meet the new requirements after teachers have time to review them.

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