GCHS graduation requirements amended for Class of 2020

The number of credits Garden City High School’s Class of 2020 students need to graduate has been lowered.

USD 457 amended the graduation credit requirements for the Class of 2020 at a school board meeting on March 26 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Steve Nordby, GCHS principal said the amendment is only for one year, for 2020 seniors.

“The changes that we would be talking about them, our current system of 24 graduation credits to the Kansas minimum of 21,” he said. “All of the history, government, math, fine arts, physical education, we are at the state requirements for that.”

There are three areas of adjustment to reduce the credits to 21, Nordby said.

They would reduce the language arts and oral communication credits by 1/2, or one class; reduce the technology credit by 1/2, or one class; and they would reduce elective credits by two credits, or four classes.

Nordby said the reason for the adjustment is because they are worried some of the seniors will not adapt well to the change from in-person schooling to continuous learning schooling.

“This is providing a safety net for those kids that this could be really difficult for, through no fault of their own then end up with eight weeks left in their high school career being in a bad spot,” he said.

Glenda LaBarbera, USD 457 assistant superintendent, said the state plan actually recommends that school districts pass a measure like this, to meet the minimum credit requirement that the state requires.

Board member Lara Bors, said other school districts are doing this as well.

“We’re not going to be the only school district in the state allowing (this),” she said.

The amendment was unanimously approved by the board.

In other business the school district has postponed the following events until further notice:

GCHS prom

GCHS Academic Lettering

GCHS Senior Awards Night

GCHS Hall of Fame

GCHS Alternate Education Center and Virtual Academy graduation

GCHS graduation

There is no guarantee the events will happen, but if allowed, new dates will be posted for the events when that information becomes available.