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Covington Schools May Lower Credits Required for Graduation, Change I.B. Program

The Covington Board of Education may lower the number of credits required for high school graduation from 24 to 22.

Holmes High School principal Scott Hornblower and instructional coach Tony Magner spoke to the board at its most recent meeting, reporting that the school's site-based decision-making council recommended a six-period day for the high school next year, instead of seven.

Because of that, a lowering of the credits required to graduate may be necessary, they said.

Hornblower noted that local high schools like Beechwood, Highlands, Ryle, and Cooper require only 22 credits, which is the state requirement, too.

A change, Hornblower said, would make the new school schedule more manageable for students. The additional credits, he said, put undue pressure on the students.

Board president April Brockhoff said that the state is considering a change to its credit requirement and asked whether the district should wait to see what happens in Frankfort. Hornblower said the high school should make the change now.

Superintendent Alvin Garrison agreed, and said that if the state makes a chance, the board could then change the district's requirements.

The board is expected to vote on the issue next month.

Meanwhile, Hornblower said that he would like to open Holmes's lauded international baccalaureate (I.B.) program to all students, not just those deemed as high-achievers. Hornblower said the program sends the wrong message and that all students should have the opportunity to take the classes.

Hornblower also said he would like to see the I.B. program expanded to freshman and sophomore classes.

The I.B. program was nearly scrapped a few years ago, triggering protests by graduates of the program.

A vote on the matter could also take place at the board's next meeting.

Additionally, the board of education asked to see a proposal that would expand the district's relationship with the Carnegie, the Covington-based arts center. Currently, the district and the Carnegie team up for a four-week sampler of arts subjects such as dance and music, but it could be expanded to an 8-week program with the same teacher.

The change would cost the district $65,500.

The board asked representatives from the Carnegie to prepare a presentation on an expanded program.

Other notes:

Maricruz Orozco Hernandez officially graduated from Holmes High School while her family looked on. Superintendent Garrison presented the student with her diploma.

Eleven people formally retired from teaching Thursday night. Karen Chitwood, Betty Brefeld, William Fraizer, Charles Spivey, Sandra Huber, Ken Turner, Patricia Callaway, Diane Sketch, Blanche Avery, Clara Riley, and Debra Picard all received a gift from the board.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor