To Walk or Not to Walk

We are gearing up this week for graduation and this is a big week for our seniors and their parents. There are always a few seniors on the border regarding graduation credits. I’ve dealt with this issue many times in my career, and here at ISB, we are developing a credit recovery program. We use the University of Missouri (Mizzou Online) distance learning program. Most courses are 1 semester and consist of 12 lessons that are uploaded and graded. 

I found it works best if a period in the day is scheduled for the students to work on the course, with an instructor present to help if needed. We scheduled several students in the enrichment block to a “study skills” course to have this done. Without this support, struggling students will not complete the course. We also instituted this as policy: Any class failed needs to have a credit recovery component, even if it is not necessary for graduation, unless of course if it is in the final semester of the grade 12 year. 

Below are the results of the Association of International School Heads (AISH) survey in May of 2012 about seniors in this position that my director shared with me.  

Dear Heads:
Thanks for the many prompt replies. Within about 20 hours I have received 40 responses from around the globe, from the biggest of our schools to the smallest and from all regions of the world.
Question #1 – Does your school allow credit deficient seniors to “walk” in the graduation ceremony?
• Yes – 27 = 67.5%
• No – 13 = 32.5%
The most common comments associates with those schools that allowed the students to “walk” were… If they were within 1 credit of completion or if they had signed up for a summer course or near completion showing the effort to recover the credit, or if they had no other complicating issues, ie….discipline, outstanding fees. All schools mentioned that no diploma was given to these students until actual completion of credits, of course.
A few schools said it did not matter how credit deficient they were or not, simply “all seniors walk.”
For those that state no, they do not walk, the main comments surrounded the issue of what the credits mean for graduating and the feeling that those on the stage who have met the requirements and those that have not seemed inconsistent. They stated that the ceremony is for those that have met the requirements.
Question #2 – Has your Board ever overturned the policy?
100% No and most emphatically stated it was not their role and most reported their Boards had not dipped their toes in this water. Good news indeed.

Thanks for your responses once again and I hope you as well have a wonderful graduation ceremony with your seniors!!

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