Ohio Department of Education Sets New Graduation Guidelines for High School This Year


The Ohio Department of Education (ODOE) on Monday new guidelines for students set to graduate this year.

Schools in Ohio have been since March 17 after Gov. Mike DeWine canceled them due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, schools remain empty as Ohio its “stay-at-home” measure until May 1.

DeWine has not decided if schools will open after May 1, but the said in March that schools could be closed for the rest of the academic year.

Last month, Ohio legislators passed House Bill 197 that allowed high school seniors to graduate early. HB 197 gave high schools this flexibility until September 30 to give out diplomas under these special circumstances.

ODOE says students’ schools must determine if individuals have met graduation curriculum requirements.

To help with this, the ODOE created a four-step process to help schools determine if students are ready to graduate.

“The state is relying on the professionalism, fairness and reasonable judgment of principals and educators in making determinations relative to the completion of curriculum for purposes of awarding diplomas,” the ODOE requirements said.

The first step the ODOE wants schools to do is review a student’s progress towards graduation. The department wants principals, counselors and teachers to ask these four questions to see if a student is ready to graduate.

What was the student’s status at end of the 11th grade year in terms of credit accumulation?

What courses was the student enrolled in during the 12th grade year? Did the student complete any courses or earn any credits by the end of the first semester?

For courses not yet completed, what progress had the student made in those courses through the time of the beginning of the ordered school-building closure?

What additional progress did the student make during the school or district’s good faith effort to provide education services during the ordered school-building closure period?

After deciding if a student is ready to graduate, ODOE wants schools to determine if students have completed each course required to graduate.

ODOE wants schools to rely heavily on teacher assessments before concluding a student has completed a course. Credit flexibility, which allows students to earn a high school credit class based on subject area competency, can still be a factor in if a student has passed a course.

Once schools determine whether students have completed the course required to graduate, the next step is to see if students have completed curriculum requirements.

This step is up to the principal to decide if a student has completed all curriculum requirements required for graduation.

Finally, the ODOE wants schools to document all decisions it makes on students eligible for graduation. The department recommends records include: decisions made and a narrative justification; student records from his or her entire high-school career; and evidence of participation in education opportunities offered during the ordered school-building closure.

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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected]





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