High school seniors in Ketchikan may not need to take standardized tests used by higher education admissions offices to weigh student applicants. That’s as Ketchikan’s school board is set to consider waiving some graduation requirements for the second year in a row.
Seniors are normally required to take either the ACT, SAT or an employability test known as WorkKeys. They’re also usually required to spend 100 hours either working a part-time job or performing community service.
But many colleges and universities aren’t requiring those exams this year because the pandemic makes it difficult to administer them. And school district officials say that COVID-19’s effect on the economy means jobs are hard to come by, too — not just for high-schoolers, but for the broader community.
The school board voted to temporarily suspend the testing and work requirements this spring as the pandemic set in, but that measure expired this summer. If approved again, the requirements would be suspended through the end of this school year in mid-2021.
Ketchikan’s school board is scheduled to take up that and other questions at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The full agenda is available online, and the meeting will be broadcast on local cable channels. It’ll also be live-streamed at the school district’s website. To sign up to provide public comment, call clerk Kerry Watson at 247-2142 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s another school board meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday in the Ketchikan High School library. The board is scheduled to evaluate Superintendent Beth Lougee, but it’s expected to take place largely behind closed doors.