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Morgan Hill
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May 22, 2022

School board OKs new grad requirements

It’s a guarantee now: the class of 2017 in Morgan Hill will be University of California and California State University ready. 

Starting in the 2013-14 school year, the district’s graduation requirements will directly follow the A-G requirements: the minimum coursework needed if students want to apply to the UC or CSU system. 

Approved by Morgan Hill Unified School District school board Tuesday, the new requirements will be the ‘default’ curriculum, with exceptions made in specific circumstances that would require both parent and principal signatures. 

The new changes to graduation standards will require students to take two years of foreign language, one year of visual and performing arts and one year of Career and Technical Education classes. 

Currently, students need two years of a combination of foreign language, visual and performing arts and applied arts. Current requirements also ask students to complete 60 additional credits of electives, whereas the new requirements breaks them down into one year of visual and performing arts, one year of CTE electives and 40 additional credits in A-G area credits or applied arts. 

The board held a special board study session in February to discuss the options for graduation requirements for students.  

“When you talk about high expectations, it’s two-fold, it puts us on the course,” said trustee Shelle Thomas. “Then it becomes what the students need to do to get there. It’s one piece of the building block to be successful.”  

 Survey results reveal interest in alternative schools 

The results are in: the Morgan Hill community agrees that MHUSD should look into alternative schools. 

The online and in-person survey that was given out in both English and Spanish conducted over a two-week period last month gathered 687 respondents, 80 percent of whom were parents. 

About 74 percent agreed with the notion to develop educational choices within the district. About 50 percent of respondents agreed that they would transfer schools if the right magnet school option were presented to their family. A whopping 85 percent said they would be willing to send their child to a magnet school program even if the district didn’t offer transportation. 

Assistant superintendent of educational services Socorro Shiels, who presented the information to the board, said one determining factor for community members surveyed is the quality of education; 49 percent said they were open to any school type configuration if the teaching and learning is strong. 

“We really need to determine where the possible sites are and work with those individual areas,” she said. “We need to do research on what do the best programs look like and do needs assessment at what our capacity is.” 

Shiels said staff could present information as early as the next board meeting on April 24. 

Dual-immersion program moving forward 

MHUSD is preparing itself to jump-start the dual-immersion language program, slated to begin this fall 2012 for kindergarten and first-grade students. 

The list of parents that have shown interest to enroll their children has now surpassed the initial 90 person requirement that Hilaria Bauer, director of curriculum, announced at the first informational community meeting in January. Another follow-up parent meeting held last week attracted more interest with 65 total parents. 

Those that attended the meeting were surveyed as to which school site they would prefer. About 46 of the 65 parents surveyed said if the program were at P.A. Walsh, they would ‘definitely enroll’. Other school site options are San Martin Gwinn and Los Paseos Elementary schools: 23 said yes to Los Paseos, 36 to San Martin Gwinn. 

Parents also showed even distribution in a program that would be taught in an even 50/50 split of English and Spanish, and one that would be a 90/10 split. A total of 42 parents agreed to be a part of the design workgroup to help determine the programs details. 

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