CLOVER -- An easy senior year may become a thing of the past in Clover.
School district officials are working on a new set of graduation standards for Clover High School students that would encourage them to take more and harder classes to better prepare the students for college. Superintendent Dr. Marc Sosne asked Clover High Principal Tommy Schmolze and Assistant Superintendent Ron Wright to develop a policy that will require more than the state mandated 26 credits to graduate.
"In the year and a half that I've been here I've observed we do many things well," Sosne said during Monday's School board meeting. "Raising expectations academically is one area we can improve."
Sosne said too many seniors are coasting through their senior years taking only a couple of classes. Many students earn eight credits each of their first three years in high school, which means they only need two more during their senior year to graduate. He also said many students involved in the Gifted and Talented program in elementary and middle school decide not to take the honors classes offered at high school, and he wants to change the district's policy to encourage more students to take the harder classes.
Board member Joe Gordon was surprised to learn many students only spent one period a day in school their senior year.
"There used to be a rule that you had to be in school a certain number of hours (each day)," he said. "Do we not have that anymore?"
Sosne said the state requirements of 26 credits is currently the only requirement. If the new policy is complete by the beginning of next school year he'd like to implement it with incoming freshmen.
"Why do you have to implement it with freshmen and not seniors next year," Board member Melanie Wilson asked.
"We'd like to implement it with freshmen so they have these new standards going in," Sosne said.
Schmolze added that starting with seniors next year would require as many as 17-19 new teachers to accommodate the additional class load. With four years to plan for more senior classes, the district would be able to handle the additional stresses more easily.
Board members gave their blessing to the project and member Bob Magee suggested offering more classes through the district's Applied Technology Center in addition to raising the standards.