Only a portion of the credit flexibility program required by the Ohio Core will be introduced into Dublin high schools in the fall, assuming the state approves.

Only a portion of the credit flexibility program required by the Ohio Core will be introduced into Dublin high schools in the fall, assuming the state approves.

Dublin school board members voted unanimously June 28 to request a waiver from the Ohio Department of Education to delay implementing part of the credit flexibility program until the 2011-12 school year.

"This waiver today puts us in a good position," Superintendent David Axner said.

Eydie Schilling, the district's director of learning and teaching, told board members the district needs time to look into the test-out option offered through the credit flexibility program.

"We need time to develop consistent tests across the high schools," she said.

The credit flexibility program is part of the Ohio Core program in Senate Bill 311 that raised graduation requirements for Ohio high-schoolers.

The credit flexibility program seeks to offer more options for students to earn high school credits beyond just class time. Schilling said the program also offers the option to earn credits via other educational options, such as internships, independent study or educational travel. Students also may earn credits by demonstrating "competency" in a subject area, or testing out.

"It does open up more options for student learning," Schilling said, noting that it also "provides more ownership for students in (their) education."

The new program also will accommodate different learning styles, paces and interests, she said.

Though credit flexibility will offer some positives for students, Schilling said, some details will take time to work out, including the testing-out portion.

"There are strong details around this option we need to make sure we have in place," she said.

Testing out of a subject area will include more than multiple choice tests, Schilling said, and could include essays, research papers and more. Schilling said consistency for tests across Dublin's high schools also must be established before the test-out option could be instituted in the district.

Dublin high-schoolers will have the option to earn credits through traditional classroom time and other educational options, starting in the fall.

Schilling said the district still is looking into how the other educational options portion of credit flexibility might affect staffing. Teachers will be assigned to students who choose other educational options, such as community service or educational travel.

"It's a matter of matching the teacher and license with the (appropriate) subject and student," she said.

District spokesman Doug Baker said student scheduling currently in place for the fall would not be affected by the implementation of the credit flexibility program because other educational options would occur outside of the classroom.

Waiver requests had to be submitted to the ODE by July 1. According to information on the ODE website, districts will be notified of approval by Aug. 1.

According to Axner, the option of a one-year waiver for the credit flexibility program is recent and came about when the new program raised "so many questions."

jnoblit@thisweeknews.com