DOE solicits input
on required courses

Proposed changes to graduation
standards include a reduction
in physical education

The Department of Education will hold 19 informational meetings across the state, starting next week, on proposed changes to public school graduation requirements, including a reduction in physical education.

State of Hawaii Judging from the public outcry when the plan was first floated last year, the most controversial part of the new formula is the proposal to cut the physical education requirement from one year to half a year. Several members of the Board of Education have also expressed reservations about that, given the recent rise in obesity.

The proposal would add two years of fine arts, foreign language or career and technical education, as well as a senior project, in place of one year of social studies, half a year of physical education and half a year of guidance.

"We really need to hear from people," board member Denise Matsumoto said after the Graduation Requirements Task Force presented its proposal to the board last month. "We're not taking this out like it's a done deal."

The task force, which included high school principals and college admissions staff, has been working on the issue for two years. Its recommendations are designed to improve students' creativity and better prepare them for careers.

The plan is subject to change before the board takes final action, and the meetings are to explain the proposal and solicit public comments. The new formula calls for:

>> Reducing the social studies requirement from four credits to three.
>> Reducing the physical education requirement from one year to half a year.
>> Adding two years of fine arts, foreign language or career and technical education.
>> Adding a personal academic plan in place of the half-credit guidance course.
>> Requiring a yearlong senior project.

Under the new plan, students would still be required to complete four years of English, three years of mathematics and three years of science. The number of electives would drop to five credits from six.


Meetings address grad changes

Schedule of public meetings on proposed high school graduation requirements. All meetings are from 6 to 8 p.m.:

>> Tuesday, Farrington High School, Honolulu
>> Tuesday, Kealakehe High School, Big Island
>> Nov.19, Kalani High School, Honolulu
>> Nov. 20, Radford High School, Oahu
>> Nov. 24, Hilo High School, Big Island
>> Nov. 25, Mililani High School, Central Oahu
>> Dec. 1, Lanai High and Elementary
>> Dec. 2, Kailua High School, Windward Oahu
>> Dec. 2, Hana High and Elementary, Maui
>> Dec. 3, Kapolei High School, Leeward Oahu
>> Dec. 4, Waipahu High School, Leeward Oahu
>> Dec. 5, McKinley High School, Honolulu
>> Dec. 8, Keaau High School, Big Island
>> Dec. 9, Wilcox Elementary, Kauai
>> Dec. 10, Kaunakakai Elementary, Molokai
>> Dec. 11, Kaiser High School, Honolulu
>> Dec. 12, Maui High School, Maui
>> Dec. 15, Castle High School, Windward Oahu
>> Dec. 16, Kahuku High School, Oahu


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