DPI program places enhanced emphasis on broad-based education
Grafton High School is one of 36 schools statewide — and the first in the area — to offer students the chance to graduate with a global education certificate.
The school district received approval from the Department of Public Instruction last week to offer the certificate beginning with the 2015-16 school year.
The certificate will demonstrate a student’s focus on their studies and career path, Principal Ken McCormick said, adding there are a number of students at the high school who are close to qualifying for the certificate.
To qualify for the certificate, a student must take four credits of a foreign language as well as other classes with an international emphasis.
Grafton officials recommend that students take four credits from a list of more than 14 classes in areas that include history, world issues, international business, geography, literature, music, art and environmental science.
Students must earn at least a B in each of the courses.
They will also need to participate in four activities, such as National Honor Society, German or Spanish clubs, Future Business Leaders of America, Best Buddies and the Leo Club.
Gerhard Fischer, world language and international education consultant with the DPI, said the certification is intended to encourage students to learn more about the world.
“We recognize our kids currently aren’t learning enough about the world we live in,” he said. “It’s really an effort to say we have to educate our children, not for the next century but for this century.”
The breadth of classes required for the certificate provide a well-rounded student experience, he said, without requiring schools to add any classes.
“What’s good for schools is it doesn’t cost anything more,” he said, noting it uses the existing curriculum.
Grafton officials are unveiling the program as students prepare to register for classes beginning next week, McCormick said, adding they hope to have about a dozen students declare their interest in working toward the certification.