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What is a required class?

A required class is a class that all students have to take.  The purpose of a required class is to provide a foundation for future classes and/or to fulfill a State requirement.

What is an elective class?

An elective class is one of student choice.  In a core area, these typically are classes that build off the required classes and can provide more depth of study in that core area. 

What is an elective credit?

In terms of graduation requirements, these are credits earned beyond the core disciplines that are totally driven by student choice.

If students are given a choice to choose their own credits, will they choose an easy credit? 

In truth, some will if given the choice.  Others will challenge themselves.  We believe that most students can be advised in ways that they will still challenge themselves and not choose the easy route.

Will students lose any Social Studies content by moving towards these new requirements?

Obviously, any time a class goes from being a required class, to an elective then some content would be lost.  Understanding that, it is hoped that the content could still be integrated in the other Social Studies classes.  It is further hoped that with the reduction of required credits, it would open up the options for new courses that would expand the course offerings and content of Social Studies.

What content is Pac Rim classified as?

Pac Rim is classified as Social Studies content and appears as a Social Studies credit on the transcript.  It is not counted as one of the four Social Studies credits, but in addition to those credits.  Because of the way it is listed in our graduation requirements, MEHS really has 5 required credits in Social Studies (4 + 1) and if the proposal passes, it would mean that MEHS really has 4 required credits in Social Studies (3 + 1)

Is Pac Rim going to become an elective in the new proposal?

Pac Rim was being considered to be moved from a required to an elective.  After seeing the results from the Student Council survey, it was decided to leave it as a required class.

Should students have a choice in their graduation requirements?

There are two philosophies.  One is that students don’t know enough to make these decisions and it should be prescribed for them.  Another is that once a common foundation is built, students should be allowed to direct their own education based upon their personal interests or career pathways.

Will this change lessen the rigor of MEHS?

It depends upon how you look at it.  Moving from 4 credits to 3 credits in Social Studies can be viewed as less rigorous.  On the other hand, if a student chooses to shift the credit to be earned to Math or Science, then it would have to be an advanced course.  If they chose to do the same in Social Studies, we would hope it would be an advanced Social Studies course (yet to be developed).  Therefore, it would increase the rigor.

Rather than lower the requirements of Social Studies, why not raise the requirements of Math and Science?

While some students would be able to handle the additional requirements, some students would not be able to handle the additional load and/or the additional rigor.  Also, increasing graduation credits would impact other disciplines and could actually force a reduction in options that student might have.

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