Friday, June 12, 2015

Graduation


I'm at the continuation high school quite a lot, but I haven't had reason to mention how students graduate from there. I think this needs a little explanation.

In a traditional high school, credits are earned per semester. At the end of any given semester, the students earn 5 credits per class completed. If a student earns an "F", that student did not complete the class, and that student did not earn those credits.

To graduate from high school, a student must earn 220 credits. Those credits are allocated to various subjects, so for example, the student must complete 40 of them in English, 10 per year. There's a list of the requirements that every student has access to, especially when they sign up for classes for the next year.

When a student earns a lot of F's, that student is in danger of not graduating, so that student gets transferred to the continuation high school. (There is a waiting list to get in, however, so getting that transfer isn't as easy as I just made it sound.)

To graduate from the continuation high school, a student must still earn 220 credits. But rather than earn 5 credits per semester per course, a student earns credits by the amount of classwork completed. So, a student can earn more credits faster. Or, if the student sits and stares at walls, that student earns no credits.

Because earning credits is based on amount of work completed, a student at the continuation high school can earn credit #220 at just about any time. And when that last credit is recorded, that student is finished.

The school has a little ceremony every time someone graduates. (They do have a graduation ceremony with caps and gowns and diplomas in June as well.) Over the PA system to the school at large, they ring a bell. "Pomp and Circumstance" plays. Then a teacher or other staff member (the student gets to pick who) says a few nice words and then announces the graduation of the student. The office staff applauds.

And then we go back to our day.

This happens frequently enough that I don't usually make mention of it. It happens more frequently at this time of year.

So, why am I mentioning this today?

Last Friday, the announcement was for Angel. (Remember Angel from last week's Thursday's post?)

I figured since I had just talked about her here that you all might be interested to hear of her graduation.

18 comments:

  1. Congrats to Angel!! At least she graduated!!

    I do remember how those credits worked since son did his senior year in California. It was very iffy that he graduated, but thankfully he did :)

    betty

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    1. I didn't think credits were that different. Just how you go about earning them is different at the continuation high school.

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  2. Well I am glad Angel graduated. So this is how it works now. Vastly different from when I went to school. We just needed to get a basic 60% average and had to make sure we took certain subjects.

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  3. I'm glad she graduated! I'm curious as to how many don't.

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    1. There are other paths for those that don't quite make it by the end of their traditional 12th grade year. So, if one wants to graduate, one can.

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  4. It's an interesting process, the getting grades based on course work. I wonder if that would be a more effective system.

    Good for Angel for graduating.

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  5. Very interesting. Thank you for explaining. And congrats to your student. :-)

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    1. The continuation high school is a different animal, and I don't explain the differences often enough.

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  6. Of course this was a few years ago, my youngest son’s graduation was a cliff hanger by one credit. He made it though.
    I missed Angel’s story and went back to read it. I liked the way you related the incident. The lives of the children outside of school may explain their behavior inside the classroom.

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  7. That sounds like a good program. We have adult education here for those students who drop out of high school or FA and want to get there diploma. I'm not sure how the credits are earned there, but I like the idea of earning them by doing your work. And I love that each student gets a little ceremony when they finish.

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    1. It's probably similar to the CHS. There is a program for those that don't finish, and credits are earned by work completed there too.

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  8. The little ceremony is a very nice touch. I'm not sure if Minnesota has any alternative high schools except the ones that are completely online.

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  9. I always wondered what a continuation high school was! In Indiana, there's a virtual high school that lets students earn the credits they need online. It's free to high school students. I only know because I had to write about it pretty extensively for a client of mine!

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    1. Yeah, I talk about it frequently, but I haven't really defined it. That's the problem with being a blog about subbing stories--I can spend time explaining what I do or telling stories about my day.

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  10. Congratulations to Angel! I suppose the instant recognition is as as much to encourage others that they could graduate, too, as it is to recognize the one who accomplished it. I worries me that ones that do no work are filling seats when there is a waiting list to get in. Some people just don't learn in classroom environments and then some people just can't seem to be made to care to learn. Stopping in from Life & Faith in Caneyhead.

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  11. Good for Angel! It isn't easy getting out of high school.

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  12. I love the idea of the bell and music and announcement. I'm glad to hear about Angel too :)

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    1. Yeah, the announcements are nice.

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