For the first time in more than 30 years, educators at the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District are working to update the district’s graduation requirements to reflect what today’s students need to know to be successful after high school. And district leaders are inviting members of the community to join the conversation during a series of forums.
For more than a year, teachers and administrators from every school have met to review research, brainstorm, and discuss what skills and knowledge students need to be successful after high school. They’ve also examined current trends in college admissions; local, regional, and national job markets; and traits employers look for in potential employees.
“School districts around the country are looking at how the nature of work is evolving and how they can align students’ educational experiences more closely with the needs of the modern workforce,” said Stephen Tomlinson, superintendent of schools. “But this effort goes beyond college and careers to look at everything students need to lead successful, fulfilling lives — which is something we all want for our children.”
Tomlinson said Broadalbin-Perth has been using national resources to guide its work, including Portrait of a Graduate and LifeReady resources from the National School Boards Association.
Broadalbin-Perth’s LifeReady community forum series begins with a college admissions panel discussion, co-hosted by the Greater Johnstown School District. Representatives from colleges throughout New York state will discuss what college admissions counselors really look for when considering applications. Community members are encouraged to RSVP for the event and submit questions to the panel through the online form. The event begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22 in the Margaret Robin Blowers Auditorium at BPHS.
One topic that will be presented during the panel discussion is the role class rank plays in student admissions. Broadalbin-Perth currently ranks members of a graduating class according to GPA and publicly recognizes the district’s top 10 students. One of the changes the district is considering, however, would replace the class ranking system with the Latin honors system that is used at many colleges and universities — i.e., cum laude (with honor), magna cum laude (with great honor), and summa cum laude (with highest honor) — in an effort to recognize the achievements of a greater number of students.
A brochure with more information about the LifeReady Community Forum Series, which includes some of the changes district leaders are considering, is being mailed to all district residents. Additional information about the forum series is available on the district website.