Hart governing board returns to in-person meetings, set to discuss reducing credits for graduation

The William S. Hart Union High School District office
The William S. Hart Union High School District office

During their first in-person meeting of the year, William S. Hart Union High School District governing board members are planning to hear public comments under a new format Wednesday, as well as discuss a potential decrease to the number of units seniors need to graduate in light of COVID-19.  

Officials have said they will be providing the meeting in a hybrid format, with board members being physically in attendance at the district office while also streaming the public session on the district’s YouTube channel. 

Community members will have the opportunity to address the board in person. Those wishing to make public comment will be admitted to the board room one at a time. Masks and symptom checks will be required, officials said. 

In addition to announcing their return to a more traditional meeting format, board and district administrators announced last month their plans to hold in-person stadium graduations for the class of 2021, but a resolution for Wednesday’s meeting, according to the meeting agenda published publicly before every governing board meeting, says that, if passed, the number of elective units required to receive a diploma would be temporarily decreased.  

Before COVID-19 and a state of emergency was declared, 230 credits were required to graduate from a Hart district high school, 72.5 of which would come from elective courses.  

However, district staff say that due to the global pandemic and distance learning, they have been less able to employ strategies necessary to help students stay on track for graduation, and a number of students have fallen behind. By reducing the number of elective credits necessary to receive their diploma, at-risk students can focus on their core academic requirements, officials said.  

“Administrative staff believes this is a significant and necessary step to keep students on track to graduate,” reads the resolution, showing that staff and administrators are in agreement on this issue. “District staff recommends reducing the amount of required elective credits by 10 for the 2020/2021 school year, which means current seniors will be required to earn 62.5 elective credits in order to graduate.” 

In addition to discussing the altered academic requirements for students, the governing board is set to receive an update from staff on how the blended learning format has been operating since students began returning to campus March 29.  

The regular session of the governing board meeting is set to begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday and take place at the Administrative Center 21380 Centre Pointe Parkway. To virtually attend the meeting, visit https://youtu.be/AdZW2tQ7J_w.   

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