Education Leaders Weighing Options to Allow Seniors to Graduate Amid Extended School Closures

Apr 13, 2020

Education leaders in Kentucky say any high school senior who was on track to graduate in May will still do so, despite the lengthy period of school closures brought on by the coronavirus.

The Kentucky Education Department's Education Continuation Task Force has been meeting to discuss how high school graduation requirements will be met for the Class of 2020. 

Local school districts have the option of waiving any additional graduation requirements beyond the 22 credits required by the state.  School systems could also choose to eliminate elective requirements and lower the number of required credits to 15.

Chief Communications Officer Toni Tatman says the Kentucky Department of Education has tried to remedy any issues that have come up due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

"We know this is an incredibly hard time for all of our students in the state, but particularly for our seniors because they have worked incredibly hard over these last 13 years of their academic lives to get to where they are," Tatman said.

The state board of education has already suspended a requirement that high school seniors pass a civics test in order to graduate.  In-person classes in Kentucky schools have been suspended since March 16, and all 172 school districts are using non-traditional instruction based mostly online.

Beshear has told superintendents they should not plan for schools to be closed for the rest of the school year.  However, if Kentucky still hasn’t flattened the curve by May 1, he would strongly consider making that suggestion.