Graduation requirements shift

State mandate causes discussion about elective requirements

Danny Kilrea, Copy Editor

As a result of a new graduation mandate implemented by the state of Illinois, LT is requiring a new civics course for the class of 2020 and beyond. Some of the fine tuning on how the course will be incorporated into student schedules is in the works.

“The school has the flexibility on where to offer [the civics course],” Superintendent Dr. Timothy Kilrea said. “The way LT has its social studies alignment led our Global Studies Department to think sophomore year would be the best place to integrate the course.”

The current graduation requirement is completing a half credit of another social studies course. This requirement will be removed for the class of 2020 and beyond and will be replaced by the civics course.  The new course will likely cause popular social study electives, like Global Relations, to drop in enrollment, he said.

It is still not known how this requirement will be met, Kilrea said. The administration is deciding whether the class can be substituted by another course, like AP Government.

Some students are not happy with the new state mandate.

“I think they shouldn’t have made this elective change,” Caroline Trecartin ‘20 said. “Students should have the choice on which social studies elective they want to take. Electives are more or less the one class that students get to choose, and this class gives students less choice.”

The addition of the civics course for sophomores opened up discussion for how other elective requirements are met, Kilrea said. The proposal is to change the current requirement of students needing one practical and one creative art to needing just one practical and creative art combined.  With this change, the ‘other’ electives amount would go up to five and a half credits, contrary to the prior four and a half credit requirement.

The purpose of LT’s proposition to change the elective requirement allocation is to allow students to go into more depth when taking electives, he said. Instead of taking an elective just to meet the graduation requirement, the change will allow students to go past a certain surface level in different areas of interest.

“This shift would enable students more freedom to take classes during their junior and senior years in subjects that interest them that they might not have realized they were interested in early in high school,” Vincent Zona ‘17 said. “I wish this was implemented when I was a freshman.”