Scripps Ranch Schools Committee (SRSC)

New High School Graduation Requirements Approved

Last year the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Board of Education adopted changes to high school graduation requirements for 8th graders and younger. It will cost millions of dollars to implement the new requirements. They are as follows:

  • Align requirements with University of California (UC) or Cal State Universities (CSU) A-G subjects.
  • Current 8th graders will be required to take one year of a Career and Technical Education (CTE) readiness class; 7th graders and younger will have to take two CTE courses.

At Scripps Ranch High School there are 15 CTE classes, including Food Prep, Screen Printing, Broadcast Journalism, Developmental Child Psychology, Green Technology, Video Production, and Career Life Management.

Requiring CTE classes reduces student choice and displaces classes that are highly regarded by universities. Students may need to choose between holding leadership positions in ASB, yearbook, and ROTC or participating for four years in music, art, athletics, band, cheer, or world language.

Currently, none of the CTE courses are considered advanced. Students, including GATE and Seminar-identified, will lose the flexibility to enroll in challenging courses such as college courses, AP, and Honors. This potentially lowers their grade point average and makes their college application look less rigorous and less competitive.

The CTE requirement adds a bias to the middle school level. Students who complete their language requirement in 7th and 8th grade will have an easier time scheduling the CTE courses.

The SRHS principal, SR Schools Committee, and parents have been working with the district regarding these fundament flaws. We support the delay to implement the new graduation requirements for at least one year and support adding more pathways, including:

  • Two years of Advanced/Honors/AP coursework in any content area in lieu of the CTE sequence course.
  • Two years of any elective course in the same content area, such as journalism, ASB, or Performing Arts.

On Mar. 13, the school board postponed for one month the decision to fund the new requirements and instructed staff to get school cluster input. The SR cluster gave that feedback at the Schools Committee meeting in March. At the end of April, district staff will go back to the board with new recommendations.

Shana Smith, SRHS Foundation President, 2009-current