The governor’s announcement that the current distance learning order extends through the end of the school year and the latest guidance from the state on graduation requirements have raised some questions about what Riverdale Seniors need to do. There are still academic requirements for our seniors, both in terms of graduating and in retaining their university admissions status.
Moving forward, the state of Oregon has asked that schools maintain rigor, provide a clear path to graduation, and ensure that students who need to complete additional credits to graduate are given the support they need.
The guidance set forth by the state discusses the Oregon Diploma and mostly relates to students in their last semester of senior year; however, Riverdale is a unique position in that our students are on their third trimester, are already poised to earn more credits than the Oregon Diploma and are held to different standards. Because of these differences, we are willing to work with students and families on an individual basis to ensure that they graduate with a Riverdale Diploma.
The Essential Skills, Personalized Learning, and Extended Application requirements have been waived for this year’s graduating class. Senior Exhibition is the course that satisfies the Extended Application requirement for Riverdale students, which means that it is no longer a required course for graduation. The one exception is: seniors who need to complete Senior Exhibition for English credit in order to graduate. All students who require an English credit for graduation have received communication regarding the need to complete Senior Exhibition as an English class in order to earn the Oregon Diploma.
Using the recommendations from the state of Oregon as a guide, we have determined that for most Riverdale Seniors, the right course of action is to complete all of their third trimester courses and to create an appropriate plan that supports their completion with their teachers.
Regarding Senior Exhibition specifically, students who have registered, or intend to register, for Portland State University credit (Honors 103 or Writing 222) are required to complete the course as outlined in the syllabus.
All seniors who want to continue with their Senior Exhibition are welcome and encouraged to do so. Ms. Keldorf will work with students who need extra support and accommodations to develop a plan that best supports their individual needs. Students who complete this capstone project, Senior Exhibition as outlined in the course syllabus, will earn a special 2020 “capstone project completion” cord.
When students apply to a university, Riverdale is responsible for sending a course schedule to the school, which is then used when evaluating applicants. The course schedule itself ensures that seniors aren’t simply going to take the easy way out once they begin to hear back from schools. The mid-year counselor report and final counselor report instructs counselors to inform the college/university of any changes. What the colleges/universities do with that information is then up to them.
While the educational format has changed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Riverdale is still offering the classes that were scheduled and will be providing students with Pass/No Pass grades and credit for those courses. At the same time, the state of Oregon has determined that the class of 2020 has the option to withdraw from our Distance Learning program, for those who are not short credits for graduation. This creates an opportunity for families to engage in discussion about the best path forward for their student, considering the suspension of state requirements, the promises made in admissions applications, and current individual situations. We will support the decisions that families make.
Universities/colleges have acknowledged that they understand that schools will need to move to a pass/no pass model. They have not issued a statement saying that students are excused from completing their senior coursework.
Allowing seniors to significantly change their schedules jeopardizes college application acceptance. Schools know that we are providing students their final courses and that we will support them to finish the requirements that they reported in their admissions applications. We commit to assisting our students through the scheduled expectations. We also commit to adjusting requirements and providing support individually as needed; this requires engagement and collaboration with instructors.
Universities/colleges want to see that students used this time productively. Dropping one’s classes does not send this message.
If a student asks their university/colleges if they may drop trimester three senior course/s and retain their promised admissions, we will allow them to do so. This will require that the admissions coordinator of the accepting university/college notify Mr. Lovvorn via email or Naviance. Mr. Lovvorn will then provide the schedule drop directive to our registrar and the student will be removed from the teacher’s roll.
During these extreme circumstances, we are able and willing to individually modify and adjust for students the multiple requirements that are expected of them as needed. It is your responsibility to work with the teacher to determine a plan that makes your current level of achievement and effort possible.
More information to come.
More information to come.