Rockford School District Approves Tougher High School Graduation Requirements

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This school year, Dr. Dennis Thompson and the School Board worked to put a tougher set of graduation guidelines in place. Now, those requirements are approved with hopes of better preparing students for the post high school workforce and college environment.

Board members unanimously approved the new graduation requirements for a Scholars Diploma. The new standards include a third year of math aside from geometry and algebra, a third year of science, two years of fine arts, three years of social sciences, and four years of English.

Scholars Diploma students are also now required to take at least one advanced placement course. With some area manufacturers and college leaders concerned about students' readiness after high school, district leaders say the added prerequisites are important in boosting achievement.

"I think our local businesses really are interested in the kids that grow up and know the town and there's not a doubt that these students who graduate with this Scholars Diploma are going to have the prerequisites in math and science to be successful," Martha Hayes said.

Until this year, Rockford school district students were only required to take two years of math and science to receive a Scholars Diploma.