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Graduation requirements change for White River High students, beginning with class of 2013

White River High School's switch from a four- to six-period schedule and changes at the state level are two factors prompting changes in graduation requirements for the classes of 2013 and beyond.

"Graduation requirements don't change very often," Principal Mike Hagadone told the White River School Board at its regular meeting June 9. "There has to be a thoughtful process in place."

The class of 2013, who will be sophomores in the fall, and those after, will need 22 credits to earn a WRHS diploma, more than the state's minimum requirement of 20. Hagadone also noted students thinking about attending a college or university after high school will need to look at more demanding course requirements.

Under terms of the new requirements, students will need to earn four credits of English, three credits of math, two credits of science and two credits in health and fitness, as well as credits in social studies, fine art and occupational education.

Meeting the requirements doesn't allow much wiggle room.

"There are 24 opportunities in a six-period day, there's not a lot of room for kids to not be successful," Hagadone said.

High school administrators will communicate the changes on the school Web site, in the student handbook and course catalog, through counselors and during parent presentations.

In other business, the board:

• recognized Wilkeson Elementary School's Shauna Perez for securing a number of computer donations to the district this year.

"Her donations have been quite timely and a huge benefit to the district," district technology supervisor Pam Jeter said. The district was unable to upgrade computers due to budget constraints, but Perez used her connections outside the classroom to find computer donations. Jeter mentioned each donation fell in the $50,000 range, plus software.

"Everyone will be singing her praises at the start of the school year," Jeter said.

Perez said she was happy she could help and is excited about being a part of an ongoing relationship between the donor and district.

• announced its next special meeting will be tonight, Wednesday, and its next regular meeting will be July 29, both at 6 p.m. in the board conference room.

• approved out-of-state travel for WRHS girls basketball coach Chris Gibson and the Hornet team to go to San Diego; WRHS teacher Dianne Campbell to attend Advanced Placement Institute in West Virginia; Nick Cochran to attend Graphic Design Training in Topeka, Kan.; board member Cassie Pearson to attend Professional Learning Communities at Work in Salem, Ore.; Greg Borgerding, Joe Sprouse, Cindy Hoover, Marji Rossman, Otto Ruediger and Bob Pruitt to attend Advancement Via Individual Determination Summer Institute in Sacramento, Calif.; and Shannon Hasiak to attend Johnson and Wales Culinary Arts, Summer Educator Program in Denver, Colo.

• Set 6 p.m. Aug. 25 for the district budget hearing.

• accepted resignations from transition specialist Ashley Barker, teacher Bethany Ellis, educational assistant Herb Entz, food services accounting assistant Alida Good, child care assistant Melissa Marlow and nurses Tanya Stottlemyre and Nancy Willner.

• hired teachers Hilary Hamlett, Kyle Hood and Leigh Ann Monroe.

• accepted a request for a leave of absence from teacher Jami Carnino.

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