As a new state rule, all future graduating classes of Norwich Free Academy, starting with the class of 2023, will now need 25 credits to graduate, instead of 23 like the previous graduating classes.
With the new change, students will now need nine Humanities credits, nine STEM credits, and seven credits in world language, wellness, and “other electives.” Students will also have to complete a Mastery Based Diploma Assessment, which is still in the creation phase.
“It was a state rule. It wasn’t something that NFA chose. The state [has] been talking about increasing graduation requirements and increasing the rigor and things that students are doing in order to get a diploma. They’ve been talking about it for a few years, and it’s changed,” said Elliott.
The state felt the current system was too restrictive and the State Board of Education wanted to allow students more opportunities. English, history, science, and math all maintain the same credit requirement, while P.E and health received an increase from 0.25 to 1 credit.
Head of guidance Mrs Vocatura is excited for the new changes.
“I do think the change is good for the future because I think the more opportunities that students have to take more classes, the better it will be. I’m a big fan of the increase in health and gym because I think those are important classes for students to take all four years,” said Vocatura.
Some students are taking the change in stride and see it as an opportunity to take new classes in high school.
“I think it gives us the opportunity to take different classes, try new things, and find new interests to things I wouldn’t normally do, instead of just taking a study hall like I would’ve done before,” said one freshman student.
Other students do not see it the same way, but are not worried about what the future holds.
“I don’t think it will be a big deal. From what my teachers told me, it sounds like they have a plan and an easy way that keeps this change stress free and easy for us,” said another freshman student.
Although the class of 2023 is the first class required to meet the 25 credit minimum in order to graduate, the faculty and staff have been thoughtful in their planning. It should be a smooth transition.