Graduation is the Destination meeting
• What: An information session where administrators, registrars, counselors and graduation coaches from Bradwell Institute and Liberty County High School discuss state-mandated changes to graduation requirements for the classes of 2012-2015.
• When: 6-7 p.m. Tuesday
• Where: Bradwell Institute cafeteria, 100 Pafford St., Hinesville
Parents of the county’s 2,916 public high school students may find one event this week to be especially helpful: the Graduation is the Destination meeting.
Liberty County High School and Bradwell Institute will host a joint information session about state-mandated graduation requirements from 6-7 p.m. Tuesday night in Bradwell Institute’s cafeteria.
And given recent Georgia Department of Education changes that affect many current students, the messages likely will apply to all students from freshmen to seniors.
The change? For the first time, students’ end-of-course test scores can count toward their graduation status, thereby reducing the power of the Georgia High School Graduation test within the next two years.
“What we want parents to understand is the changes are not a disadvantage to their kids,” Bradwell Principal Scott Carrier said. “In essence, it’s an advantage to them.”
Counting end-of-course tests toward graduation creates more opportunities for success, he added. Students must pass one end-of-course test each in math, science, social studies and English, but each subject offers two different end-of-course tests.
Carrier and Liberty County High School Principal Paula Scott said that the change may even increase graduation rates.
The GHSGT will be used for two more years and then will be phased out, he said. Current juniors will take the test this year, and current sophomores who advance will take the test next year.
Those who enrolled in ninth grade for the first time in 2011 will not have the option to take the test, he said.
When the state board of education voted to scrap the test in April, state Superintendent of Schools John Barge said immediate testing — and feedback — are one advantage of using EOCTs in lieu of the GHSGTs. Testing students while enrolled in the course allows a swifter response in the event students have not mastered the content, he said.
Other factors in graduation include passing the Georgia High School Writing Test, performing five hours of community service for each year of high school, and completing a selected career pathway of consecutive classes aimed to enhance students’ careers, technical or agricultural skills.
The meeting also will address mathematics requirements for the University System of Georgia and changes to HOPE scholarships as well as career pathways and dual enrollment.