Slacking off senior year isnâ€™t going to be an option anymore.
The Lincoln County Board of Education curriculum committee discussed updating graduation requirements Monday night.
â€œIt will be hard on procrastinators,â€ said Elaine Jenkins, associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction.
The new graduation requirements include passing the five End Of Course assessment tests and completing a senior year project.
In October 2004 the state Board of Education approved the requirements as the standard for graduating seniors.
The senior project consists of an eight to 10-page research paper; a product related to the paper that requires significant hours of work; a portfolio that reflects the senior project process; and a presentation to a panel of community and faculty members.
This yearâ€™s seventh-graders will be the first class required to follow the new standard for graduation.
Components of the senior project will be integrated into the curriculum as an elective for high school students; however, it will not be required.
Teachers will begin incorporating the project into the curriculum much earlier than 12th grade.
â€œThe senior project starts in the ninth grade,â€ said Jenkins, â€œnot the senior year.â€
Though there are concerns about losing seniors due to stiffer requirements, students will be better prepared for life after high school.
Using a seminar-like approach, students research a topic of interest and present it to the community.
The project incorporates both service and work based learning experience.
â€œIf students can get interested and see the community interested it will boost confidence and morale,â€ said Jean Dellinger, a committee member.
Special considerations for students transferring in to North Carolina their senior year will be made, although they will still need to complete the requirements.
Exceptional children and Limited English Proficiency students will create the biggest challenge, said Jenkins.
If students do not pass the five EOC tests and their senior project, they receive extra instruction and must take the test again.
Cost of mediation will require extra money that will have to be put in the budget, said Jenkins.
Though the perquisites consist of extra instruction, Jenkins does not foresee funding changes.
Some schools have project coordinators, but officials donâ€™t anticipate needing this additional funding.
by Mary Williams