OCS now offers late graduation option

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Students in the Opp City School system who complete graduation requirements after commencement exercises will now be able to walk with the next year’s class.

In order to graduate from Opp City schools, students are required to complete all requirements established by the state department of education and the school board, as well as accumulate the required number of units for the graduation year, pass all required course work and pass the Alabama High School Graduation Exam.

At a special-called board meeting earlier this week, the OCS board amended its board policy to allow students who do no not initially meet with all graduation requirements, but come back in the summer and successfully complete them, to participate in the next year’s commencement exercises.

“There was some concern among the board about our policies regarding participation in graduation exercises if a student has not passed the AHSGE,” OCS Superintendent Michael Smithart said. “As it stood and continues to stand, a student may not participate in graduation activities unless he or she has met the requirements established by the board. This includes passing the AHSGE.”

At Wednesday’s meeting, the board entered into a nearly 45-minute closed session to discuss the policy and students who did not meet those requirements this year.

“The board wanted to discuss the pros and cons of this practice,” Smithart said. “And following that discussion, they elected to put in writing that a student is allowed to come back and participate if he or she elects to after passing the exam.”

The policy will be in effect for the next school year.