Upper St. Clair School District administrators are recommending the school board adopt new graduation requirements for the current freshmen, sophomores and juniors at the high school.
The policy must be changed because Pennsylvania no longer gives PSSAs to juniors, which are part of the current graduation requirement for Upper St. Clair High School.
In the proposal, students would continue to be required to earn at least 45 credits (eight English; six math; six social studies; six science; four arts/humanities; three physical education; one health; 11 electives) and continue to complete a career-focused graduation project.
The change? A new requirement for students to demonstrate proficiency on the Keystone exam for algebra I, English literature and biology.
Because many students finish Algebra I at the end of grade eight, biology at the end of grade nine and English literature at the end of grade 10, students are worried about remembering the material from their old courses.
"They (students) were all complaining about them (the Keystone exams). Especially the biology test. Kids are worried," said student representative Megan Adamo.
The district received word in the fall from the state that the PSSAs would not be given to juniors.
"We're going to have to be flexible ... so students don't get hurt by bad public policy," said Superintendent Patrick O'Toole.
"It's really troublesome that the state is imposing requirements without any real guidance, support, funding ... it's insanity," said school Director Harry Kunselman.
Students will be given a second chance to take the Keystone exams with an online remediation program if they don't demonstrate proficiency the first time around.