With a new high school emerging on their campus and the studentbody growing the Pinnacle Canyon Academy board reviewed graduation requirements for those who will pass through their secondary system in the next few years.
"I have looked at many of the districts in the state for guidance on what to require and how many credits students will need to achieve a diploma in our high school," said Paula Wells, an administrator at the school. "I looked at small districts and large and think we have come up with a plan for the graduation and credit acceptance policy."
The document submitted to the schools board looks similar to those documents that are used in many other school districts in the state. Required subjects would be in the areas of mathematics, science, social studies, art, healthy lifestyles, applied technology, educational techtechnology and finanacial literacy. These core requirements would add up to 15 credits and students would also have electives counting for nine credits.
"Twenty four credits would be required to graduate," said Wells. "Carbon High School requires 27, but many other districts only require 24. When East Carbon High was open it took 24 credits to graduate from that school."
Well's also went on to explain that course mastery would be part of the program as well as the fact the students in the high school would have to pass the Utah Basic Skills Competency test (UBSCT) to graduate with a basic high school diploma. That test can be taken five times between the sophomore and senior year of high school and measures a students competency in reading, writing and math. Passing that test along with the 24 credits would allow a student to gain the full diploma.
Students who had 24 credits, but could not pass the test in at least three attempts would then be awarded the alternative completion diploma.
The board also looked at an extended part of the policy that addressed transfer credits as well. With 402 students between grades kindergarten and 10th grade this year, the school is full and enrollment has been closed for the school year. But the administration expects further growth in the school and the transfer of credits will become very important. The board looked at requirements that allowed students in the ninth grade to be admitted to the 10th grade if they have six credits. Sophomores would have to have 12 credits and juniors would need 18 credits.
The board voted to accept the recommendations.
In other business, some upper grade students at the school gathered 25 signatures on a petition to allow open toed shoes and flip flops to school. Presently Pinnacle Canyon does not allow those kinds of shoes to be worn. One of the students made the presentation of the petition and asked that the board make a decision on the issue.
At that point the board debated the situation. Some members felt the rule could be changed, particularly since the upper grades are not required to wear uniforms, unlike the elementary school, and have a policy of free dress. Others felt that the kind of footwear that the students are asking for could cause safety and health hazards.
The students also brought up the fact that all the other schools in the area are allowed to wear such footwear.
The board tabled the issue while a study is done concerning the problems with such footwear. The students are assigned to contact principals at the other schools in the area to see what their policies are and to discuss any safety problems/.
Board member Colby Guest said that he would be willing to research the health issues associated with the shoes and the board agreed to let him do that.
After that was decided one of the students also pointed out that the board should look at allowing all students to wear those kinds of shoes on "free dress" day, which is every Friday for all the grades.
Board president Jenny Nielsen responded that the kids should "look at one thing at a time," and Guest cautioned them that to get things done it often takes "baby steps."
School administrator, Robert Hardy said that she would like to see all the legalities, health and safety issues addressed before any decisions are made, in any form and the board agreed.