Superintendents discuss new graduation requirements

Published 12:50 pm Friday, April 27, 2018

What does it take to graduate from high school today? The Virginia Department of Education has just revised the high school graduation requirements, so the Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce brought in two experts to elaborate. Dr. Barbara Johnson, Superintendent of Prince Edward County Public Schools and Dr. Amy Griffin, Superintendent of Cumberland County Schools, enlightened the Chamber attendees on the new requirements which the graduating class of 2022 will face. That is this year’s incoming freshman class.

While SOLs are one way to assess students, the Virginia Department of Education is broadening its scope. Virginia’s revised graduation requirements maintain high expectations for learning in English, math, science and history/social science while reducing the number of Standards of Learning (SOL) tests students must pass to earn a high school diploma. The new standards also implement the “Profile of a Virginia Graduate,” which describes the knowledge, skills, attributes and experiences identified by employers, higher education and the state Board of Education as critical for future success. Schools are now required to ensure that students develop the following competencies known as the “Five C’s”: Critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication and citizenship.

The two superintendents talked about how they are working in partnership with school systems in our immediate area to develop a plan to realize these changes. When asked how the business community leaders could best support the students and school systems, both Dr. Griffin and Dr. Johnson stressed how important this relationship will be. They asked for businesses to be open to allowing students, and school staff, to come and tour and learn what companies do. They encouraged participation in events such as the Leadership Farmville Youth Summit and any internship programs.

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