STOCK Verona Area High School March 2020

The student entrance to Verona Area High School.

Verona Area High School seniors who completed 15 credits during their time at the school are eligible to graduate this year.

The school board approved a reduction in the number of credits required to graduate from VAHS from 23.5 to 15, which is the state Department of Education’s standard. Any senior who has earned 15 credits, or is on track to do so, will be able to graduate.

VAHS administration made the request of the board because it determined 23 students were harmed by the mandated school closure resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and unable to reach the 23.5-credit benchmark for graduation.

“Many of these students are among our most vulnerable,” a district document reads. “Knowing that they may still be able to earn their diploma with the class of 2020 has the potential to significantly ease their stress and positively impact their mental health and well-being.”

Last month, the DPI granted the district waivers for instructional hours and the civics exam requirement for graduation.

The school board soon after voted to give students a choice on grading for second semester – they could either carry over their third quarter grade into a semester grade or they could elect to make a class pass/fail at the end of the semester. Any virtual learning done counts as extended learning and can only benefit a student’s grade, with no penalties for not completing the work.

Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at kimberly.wethal@wcinet.com and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.