Cape graduation requirements under reviewAdditional science, social studies credits draw debate
Cape school board members are discussing raising high school graduation requirements to keep the district competitive in the region.
"Our proposal is to add one additional science credit and one additional social studies credit for the Class of 2017, next year's freshmen. That would bring the total for Cape to 26, two above the 24 required by (state) regulation," said Michael Kelley, director of curriculum and instruction.
Seniors would have several science classes to choose from in order to obtain their fourth science credit, Kelley said. A selection of social studies classes also would be offered for the fourth social studies credit.
Most board members agreed with increasing the credits required for graduation.
"For me it's a no brainer. I can't believe we're falling behind this way, and we need to get in the game," said board member Roni Posner. "The design of the plan is to keep our kids competitive. The way we are now is not keeping up."
Board member Jen Burton agreed with requiring graduating seniors to carry more credits.
"We have to be competitive with the other schools in Sussex County," she said.
Board Vice President Spencer Brittingham, however, questioned whether all students would be able to handle additional course requirements.
"We live in a top district, but it doesn't parlay that all our students will be top students," he said.
Board President Andy Lewis said he would like to see Cape raise the bar and increase its graduation requirements, but he was unsure how it would affect staffing.
"It's a concern at a time when we have students who are doubling up or may need to take classes again," he said.
The board will continue discussing the possibility of raising graduation requirements during its regular meeting 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, in the cafeteria of Beacon Middle School.