Emerson Junior High School will host a meeting for parents of eighth-grade students tonight to discuss changes in Oklahoma’s graduation requirements.

All parents of students who will enter ninth grade during the 2006-07 school year will meet at 6:30 tonight at the library.

A new state law requires parents of ninth-graders to verify whether their student is on a college preparatory path or whether they are on path for a standard diploma, said Ruth Ann Erdner, Enid Public Schools assistant superintendent.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Erdner said. “Actually, we’ve been doing this anyway. We start a career profile of students in seventh grade.”

Erdner said the career profile helps educate students to try to make good decisions for the future.

The law states if parents don’t select a path, the student automatically will be enrolled in the new college preparatory curriculum.

But Enid Public Schools administrators are making the parent verification aspect of the law mandatory.

“It’s part of what they must do to enroll,” said Amber Graham Fitzgerald, school and community relations director.

Current requirements for a standard diploma include four units of language arts, and three units each of math, science and social studies. Requirements also include two units of arts and eight elective units.

Ruth Ann Erdner, Enid Public Schools assistant superintendent, said the state department developed the form for parents or legal guardians to select college preparatory classes or classes for a standard diploma.

Erdner said state lawmakers and education officials decided it was time to distinguish between high school requirements for graduation and requirements to get into college.

Erdner said students and parents can change their minds, but they must complete another form and have parental consent.

State Department of Education officials wanted to find a way to help students identify their route and help develop a pathway to achieve their goals, Erdner said.

“They want to help students get on the right track,” Erdner said. “It’s supposed to help better prepare them.”

Waller parents met last week. Any Longfellow Junior High School parent who has a question can call the office at 234-7022 for more information.

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