Blue Valley considers new high school graduation requirements

Blue Valley graduation requirements

High school students in Blue Valley may soon need to take new STEM, communications and financial literacy classes in order to earn a diploma. File photo.

The Blue Valley School District is considering new requirements for which classes high school students will need to take in order to graduate.

If approved later this year by the Blue Valley Board of Education, the new guidelines will go into effect in January, starting with the graduating class of 2028, or this year’s eighth graders.

On Monday, the district presented the Blue Valley Board of Education with proposed new guidelines for high school graduate requirements. No action was taken, but here’s what the school board is considering:

Blue Valley graduation requirements
Students at Blue Valley West High School. File photo.

The changes add new electives and “employability” courses

  • Starting next fall with incoming freshmen, students will need to complete a new half credit in communications, like broadcast, speech, debate or digital communications.
  • They’ll also need to take a STEM elective, such as marketing management, emergency medical services or carpentry.
  • Students will also need to complete two “post-secondary assets,” such as more than 40 hours of community services, two or more high school extracurriculars, or a senior project.
  • The district will also no longer require a technology credit requirement, instead requiring students complete a half credit of financial literacy.

The changes stem from state requirements

  • Last fall, the Kansas State Board of Education adjusted statewide requirements for high school students to earn their diplomas.
  • The Blue Valley School District’s proposed changes to graduation requirements generally follow these new state requirements, particularly in directing all students to complete half a unit of communications, one unit of a STEM elective and half a unit of financial literacy.
  • State requirements and Blue Valley’s remain the same for society and humanities courses (like history and fine arts).

The board will take final action later this fall

  • On Monday, officials said the district has undergone a months-long process of gathering feedback from parents, students, staff and community groups on how the district should adapt to the state’s requirements.
  • The proposal at Monday’s meeting served as a point of initial review, and no vote was taken.
  • The board will take final action on the proposed new guidelines at its November meeting.

Go deeper: Take a look at the full proposal here.