Aztec considers 95-percent attendance rate requirement

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FARMINGTON — Local school boards discussed graduation requirements during meetings this week. 
Aztec Municipal School District School Board reviewed its graduation policy at the request of Aztec High School and Vista Nueva High School administrations during a regular meeting on Thursday. 
Aztec High School Principal Warman Hall asked the School Board to include attendance requirements to participate in graduation ceremonies in the policy, according to the meeting packet. 
Hall said AHS seniors show approximately 10 percent lower daily average attendance rates than other grades. The proposal lines out a policy that would review senior attendance throughout the school year, and truancy will result in a probationary period. Any senior that doesn’t meet a 95-percent attendance rate or show improved attendance at the end of the third and fourth quarters would be excluded from graduation ceremonies. 
Aztec School Board did not take any action on Hall's proposal at its Thursday meeting, but the issue will be on the agenda for the board’s Nov. 9 meeting. 
Both Bloomfield School District and Farmington Municipal School District discussed slight changes to their graduation requirements this week. 

On Tuesday, Bloomfield School District School Board approved a half-credit increase to graduation requirements, adding a half-credit to electives requirements. Students now must have a total of 24.5 credits to graduate.
The board also approved changes to its requirements for demonstrating competency, including testing scores and attempts, as well as portfolio requirements. 
Bloomfield School District Superintendent Kim Mizell said the changes were made “to make (graduation requirements) more current.” The last time the Bloomfield School Board updated graduation requirements was in the 2013-14 school year, according to the meeting packet. 
The Farmington Municipal School District School Board Thursday discussed dropping a half-credit off its graduation requirements. 
The change would take into account a half-credit for health curriculum, according to Farmington Municipal School District Deputy Superintendent Phil Valdez. State regulations required schools have a separate half-credit for health for ninth-grade students, but recent changes absorbed that health credit into the electives category, making the half-credit requirement out-of-date.
If approved, the graduation requirements for Farmington, Rocinante and San Juan College high schools would be 24 credits, according to the meeting packet. Students at Piedra Vista High School would need 25 credits to graduate, with the extra credit coming from the school’s service learning project. 
The Farmington School Board did not act on the review, but plans to vote on the updated requirements at its Oct. 26 meeting.
Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621. 

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