New Graduation Guidelines Proposed for Class of 2022


Olivia Gallmeyer, Managing News Editor


According to the “Profile of a Virginia Graduate” bill passed by the General Assembly in April, freshmen entering Western in the near future may have new state-regulated graduation requirements.

Currently, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is discussing its new proposals for diplomas, which will be solidified by November 2016. Under the proposed guidelines, Standard and Advanced Diplomas will be no more; instead, all high school students in the state will be fulfilling one diploma, with four standard credits each required for English, mathematics, history and social studies. However, students are only required to obtain one verified credit for each subject, meaning fewer required SOL tests- currently, there’s no tell which tests will stay or go.

Current WAHS students won’t be affected by the state’s discussions. These new policies will come into effect during the 2018-19 school year to affect the class of 2022, current seventh-grade students. In response to these standards, ACPS is putting together a team called High School 2022 composed of teachers from all the county high schools; this group will focus on building new curriculum and instruction ideas to better promote the new requirements.

“We’re building a committee with people from the county office, plus administrators and teachers, to look at these new guidelines. Then we’re planning to expand to hear more teacher, parent, and student voices,” assistant principal Jennifer Sublette explained.

The new accreditation standards put a greater emphasis on career-based planning and education. According to a progress report from the VDOE, “to be eligible and competitive for job opportunities in tomorrow’s economy, Virginia’s public school students will need opportunities… to use personal skills during their educational years.” As such, students will be able to earn credits through both traditional classes as well as internships, work-study, and industry certifications.

“It’s too early to tell exactly how it’ll play out, but I think it’s exciting,” Sublette said. “I think it’s really good for students to have different opportunities for their learning, more than just exhausting standardized testing.”