Beginning next year students will be required to pass an Algebra II course in order to graduate from Reynoldsburg High School.

Beginning next year students will be required to pass an Algebra II course in order to graduate from Reynoldsburg High School.

The change will align the district with state minimum math requirements needed to graduate.

The Reynoldsburg Board of Education approved the change, recommended by Superintendent Steve Dackin, at its July 20 meeting.

Dackin said the district's minimum overall requirements for graduation have been higher than the state minimum for the last 12 years.

"We're one credit above state minimum, which is 20. We're at 21 credits to graduate, and we've been there for a number of years," Dackin said.

"We've required four years of math, for example, for at least 12 years, and the state now has moved its requirement from three to four years of math, which includes a requirement for Algebra II."

Previously, RHS students could meet the math requirement by taking any course, as long as there were four years of it, district spokesperson Tricia Moore said. Now, however, a student will be required to include Algebra II in the list of math courses taken.

"That's new to us, since we didn't require that before, but now the state requires it so we're aligning to it," Dackin said. "It begins with the class of 2014, so the policy is in place now for this year's freshmen so they have four years to get these requirements met."

The state currently requires students to complete three years of English language arts, three years of math, three years of social studies and two years of science in order to graduate. The Reynoldsburg school district requirements are for four years each of English language arts, math and social studies, and three years of science.

In addition, Dackin said the district is eliminating a requirement that all students must complete a thesis course in order to graduate.

"This change is a result of staffing cuts at the high school. We are not able to accommodate every student in a thesis class," Moore said.

"RHS offers thesis of geography, thesis of law and thesis of history and all three courses require students to formulate an essential question about a topic in their field and explore that topic in depth," she said. "These classes are still offered for next year, but not all students will be required to take one for graduation."

Students in the district's Trailblazers program, which is being revamped, will also have to meet the same graduation requirements as other RHS students. Previously, Trailblazers students followed the graduation requirements at the Eastland Fairfield Career Center and Technical Schools, which usually follows the state minimum.