TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Students and parents with the Class of 2018 across Ohio are figuring out the new requirements to graduate.
Earlier this year, the Ohio Department of Education made a change to the requirements for a diploma, including changing the standardized tests. After an uproar from many teachers, and parents of students in the Class of 2018, changes were made only for this class in June.
As many as two out of every five seniors enrolled in Toledo Public Schools were at risk of not graduating.
Since school has started, TPS leaders have been working to meet with students making sure they're on track to graduate.
"We've been meeting one on one with students and also doing large groups to ensure that they've identified what their pathways are so that way they have the best chance to walk across that stage in May. Our goal is 100 percent of our students graduate," said Jim Gault, Executive Transformational Leader of Curriculum and Instruction for Toledo Public Schools.
Gault, the TPS administrator in charge of curriculum, hopes the reason for the low turnout at Monday's meeting explaining the requirements at Waite High School is because parents and students understand.
"I wanted to make sure that my son was able to make the grade and everything and move on," said Dean Ramasocky, a father of a TPS student in the Class of 2018 at the meeting.
The new standardized tests required by the state are much more difficult to pass.
In Math and English, for students to graduate, they must get at least a four out of five, along with a combined six from science and social studies. They also must achieve another four from any of the other three subjects.
This year only, because the testing is so new, the Class of 2018 is getting other options to graduate.
"It's good probably for all of the kids I was hearing that most of the kids, just in the Toledo district, 40 percent of them weren't going to pass and graduate," said Ramasocky.
These two additional pathways offered are only necessary for those who do not pass the standardized tests.
One is for students in career-technical programs. They must take and pass all courses, the seven end-of-course tests and finish a career technical program with at least four classes associated with one career.
The other option has nine options, which the students in the Class of 2018 must complete at least two.
These are options include 93 percent attendance during senior year, at least a 2.5 out of 4.0 GPA, a senior capstone project or 120 hours of community service.
"Regardless of where you are in the points cycle, there is a path for you to graduate," Gault said. "And our hope is by working together with our parents, our students, will take advantage of that and take advantage of the opportunity the state has put forth."
TPS leaders do not want any student or parent looking confused before graduation about these requirements. Students and their guardians are urged to attend graduation meetings to make sure students understand what needs to be completed for graduation.
Meetings at Rogers, Scott and Woodward High Schools are from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.