Children and Youth

New graduation requirements coming to SBHS

Starting with the Class of 2020, graduation requirements will mirror college entrance criteria

Taking college-prep courses can help students get an idea about what a college class will be like, as well as help get them noticed by many colleges. At the Jan. 28 San Benito High School District Board of Trustees meeting, the board approved new graduation requirements to begin in the fall of 2016 for the class of 2020. Taking college preparatory classes, or A-G courses, makes students work at a faster pace, raising expectations.

A-G courses are called this because each letter is assigned to a specific subject. The categories are: A is for history and social science, B is for English, C is for math, D is for science, E is for language, F is for visual and performing arts, and G is for an elective.

In order to be considered for admission to a University of California campus, such as U.C. Davis or Irvine, or a state school like CSU Monterey Bay, as well as other private universities and colleges, students must take A-G courses, which consist of at least 15, yearlong high school courses that students must pass with a grade of a C or higher. Eleven of these courses should be taken before students enter their senior year.

A-G courses are designed to be challenging and rigorous and are supposed to help students develop and use their oral skills, among others.

Junior Brianna Ventura, who has been taking A-G courses for three years, stated, “I think it’s great that future classes have to take A-G courses in order to graduate. I have learned so much by being enrolled in these courses and I know that future students will also learn a lot as well.”

On the SBHS District website, Superintendent John Perales said, “Whichever path a student may choose, the KEY is that they have options their senior year and are well prepared academically. I believe these graduation requirements will increase the learning rigor of all students and help our students reach their dreams!”

SBHS Curriculum Director Cindi Krokower said, “Commencing with the class of 2020, students will complete the A-G required coursework as part of their graduation requirements. While all students will follow the program outlined, students who can demonstrate academic or program need may qualify to opt into the “Career and College” graduation requirement pathway as an alternative.”

Officials say that taking A-G courses will help students have options when they leave high school and that they will be academically prepared. In addition to taking A-G courses, students also have the option to take Advanced Placement classes in order to earn college credit by passing a year-end exam.

Currently, a minimum of 220 units are required for graduation from the high school. Five units of credit are granted for the successful completion of a semester in each course. A “D” is considered a passing grade for meeting high school graduation requirements, but in order to complete the A-G preparation track which meets UC/CSU requirements, a final grade of C or higher is in each A-G course or validation is required. 

Monica Ocampo