Written by STEVE OSTERMANN
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 17:18
New policy allows juniors to get exemption from gym class to take elective course
Grafton High School student athletes will be allowed to forego one semester of physical education to take an elective course, the School Board decided Monday.
The board approved a policy providing a half-credit physical-education exemption for juniors who meet certain requirements.
Under the policy, students who have completed two full seasons in at least one WIAA-sponsored athletic program during their freshman and sophomores years can file for the exemption.
The students cannot have any co-curricular violations and must complete full sports seasons in good standing.
Injured athletes will be allowed to count a season if they participate in at least 50% of practices and athletic events.
In lieu of taking the half-credit of physical education, students can enroll in an elective course in math, science, English, social studies or health education.
Supt. Mel Lightner said the policy takes a common-sense approach and is allowed under a state law enacted in 2011.
“I believe there is strong rationale for giving students and parents the choice of an additional elective course in these curricular areas,” he said in a report to the board.
“Having the choice to take an extra elective in these areas may help to further their career goals.”
The board is also planning to update its graduation policy to conform to a state-mandated change.
Under a new law, high school students are required to complete at least three credits of math and three credits of science to graduate.
In a report to the board, Grafton High School Principal Ken McCormick said the law allows schools to count computer science and career and technical courses for math credit if the classes meet specific requirements. Likewise, some career and technical courses can be counted for science credit.
Examples of Grafton High School classes that may meet the requirements are the Principals of Engineering course, a food-science course or accounting, McCormick said.
McCormick said recommendations on policy changes to reflect graduation credit requirements and what courses qualify for math and science credits will be presented to the board early next year.