Prepare for Change


Grade requirements for current high school students.

This year the Kansas Department of Education has changed their requirements for graduating students. Starting with the class of 2028, there will be some slight changes to the classes students will be taking during their high school years. 

“The Kansas State graduation requirements had not been updated in 20 years, and an evaluation was needed to ensure that the requirements are meeting the needs of students in the world today,” Kristen Zuck, teaching and learning coordinator, said. 

0.5 credits of communications, 0.5 credits of PE, 0.5 credits of health, and an additional credit of STEM are just some of the new requirements the class of 2028 will see. The state is also requiring 4.5 credits of chosen electives. Students will also be required to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the option to opt out. 

Changes like these have sparked big questions for teachers and students alike. The student body at the high school is growing larger every year, and more classes being required can worry both students and teachers. Some teachers are concerned about how their classes will change when hundreds of students have to take them. 

“This will affect the school because we just hired a health teacher; we did it early because when everyone is looking for one it would be difficult,” Debra Woofter, counselor, said. “We are not currently looking for a full time speech/debate coach, but that is something I think we will fulfill next year,” Woofter added. 

Public speaking, debate, forensics, and journalism are the classes that will count toward that 0.5 credit of communications. Teachers and administrators are hoping that when the class of 2028 graduates students will feel confident in their decisions and the skills gained in high school. 

“I teach public speaking right now and I only have two students in there. I think it’s actually a really good change because no matter what job you have you’re going to have to talk in front of people,” Adrianna Wendel, theater teacher, said. 

Since the update happened this year, teachers and administrators are still planning on how these changes will look in the high school going forward. Change is hard to adjust to, but many are looking at these changes as an opportunity to grow and learn how to be better. 

“We will continue working with district leadership, principals, teachers, and counselors to expand our course offerings, provide professional learning as needed, and create partnerships within the community to support our students in identifying and participating in real world opportunities,” Zuck said.