MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Board of Education approved the three local graduation seals at their meeting Monday.
These seals are a part of the new high school graduation requirements for the freshman class set out by the state this past fall. There are 12 seals in total, but only three are defined at the local level. They are the Community Service Seal, Fine and Performing Arts Seal and the Certified Student Engagement Seal. Students must obtain two seals to graduate.
Scott Will, Mount Vernon high school principal, presented the board with a brief overview of the three graduation requirements in place before defining the new seals.
“So these local seals, what we wanted to do is we want to make them something that’s meaningful to our students,” Will said. “And it’s going to promote engagement.”
For the Community Service Seal, Will explained that students will need to complete a minimum of 15 community service hours, at a minimum of three different locations. This is so the students, according to Will, will have well-rounded experiences. Students will need to log the hours and have them signed off by a supervisor.
For the Fine and Performing Arts Seals, students will need three consecutive years of participation in a school-sanctioned course such as band, choir, art or orchestra. They would also need to participate in at least one sanction competition such as solo and ensemble or the Governor’s Art Show. All activities would need to be signed off on by a teacher.
The Certified Student Engagement Seal was defined as a student participating in a school-sanctioned club, sport, or activity for three consecutive years. They must participate for the full year/season and will not receive completion if removed or if they quit attending the required participation. The student’s participation would be signed off by a coach or an advisor.
Will said that these definitions will be available to students in their sophomore year to be completed on time. The seals, according to Will, cover a larger part of the student population at the high school level.
“I would say that (Will) and the high school staff has worked collaboratively with surrounding districts,” School Superintendent Bill Seder said. “We all have the same, or very similar, local seals.
“It’s amazing when you look at just the changes legislatively relative to just graduating,” Seder said. “How it evolved over the years, I’ve never seen such (a bunch) of stuff now.”
Both Seder and Will said that the guidance counselor will be useful to the new requirements going forward.
“I think the blessing is our school counselors at the high school are very, they’re very thorough and they want to be on top of things,” Will said.
He also mentioned that they will continue to “prepare the kids and get them in the right position to be successful.” To do this, Will said they don’t want to limit the student’s options when it comes to being successful.
The board also:
•Elected Dr. Margie Bennet as president and Judy Goetzmen as vice president.
•Swore in the three board members. Goetzmen and Bennet were reelected and Tim Workman started his first term.
•Named Nicole White as the Behind the Scenes Person from Dan Emmett Elementary.
•Was presented the occupancy permit to the entrance of the stadium from the Mount Vernon Athletic Boosters.
•Passed a resolution opposing the State of Ohio EdChoice Scholarship (Voucher) Program.
•Approved the various organizational resolutions, establishing the regular meetings dates for the board.
•Approved indoor track and field as a school-sponsored sport.
•Approved various donations, free facilities requests, and personnel.
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