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Posted on Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Ypsilanti High students to face tougher graduation requirements

By Danny Shaw


Ypsilanti Board of Education members discuss the updated graduation requirements at Monday's meeting.

Danny Shaw |

Ypsilanti High School students will have to watch their grades a bit closer after a decision made at Monday’s Board of Education meeting.

The YHS graduation credit requirements for seniors after the 2012 school year will be higher than the current minimum of 22 credit hours. The class of 2013 will need a minimum of 24 credits, followed by 26 for students graduating in 2014. Today’s freshman class will need 28 credits by 2015.

“Previously students could fail up to 10 classes and still graduate,” said David Bates, YPS Board president. “Our students are better than that.

"I think it’s up to us to challenge our students and give them more opportunities and challenges to better prepare them for future endeavors.”

Bates said as the graduation rate inclines, so do the standards of students. He said the board, the school and the community have high expectations for future graduates. The action to raise the requirement passed unanimously.


Ypsilanti High School Principal Robert Belous explains the new graduation requirement to Board members.

Danny Shaw |

Also at Monday’s meeting, Board members renewed the contract with Washtenaw County Sherriff’s Department for security and police services for another three years.

According to Board members, the roughly $150,000 per year contract is the same as previous years, with the exception that the Board may terminate the contract followed by a four-month notice to the Sherriff’s Office.

Trustee Andy Fanta expressed his concerns about the contract’s annual cost, and said he would like to see other options, perhaps security firms, considered.

“I think there’s something we should explore here,” Fanta said to the Board. “I would say that I think no one in our community thinks about the cost per student, per year for security.”

Superintendent Dedrick Martin said there are other avenues the district can research for security, which is why he is satisfied with the addition of a termination clause.



Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 1:34 a.m.

I'm afraid that the esteemed Mr. Bates' comment was taken out of context when he was quoted as saying that students were allowed to fail 10 classes and still graduate. This is a simple, if unfortunate, miscommunication. Ypsilanti High School is increasing graduation requirements to match the new "block" schedule that began this year. Until this year, students were required to earn 22 credits to graduate from Ypsilanti High School, as per the Michigan Merit Curriculum. There were six class periods in a day, giving students the opportunity to earn up to twenty four credits over the course of a "normal" high school career. I am certain that Mr. Bates was referring to the fact that the high school changed to block scheduling this year, giving students the opportunity to earn eight credits per year, with a potential total of 32 credits over a four year period. Increasing the graduation requirements in this manner ensures the integrity of the academic program. At no time would it have been possible for a student to fail ten classes and graduate with only twelve credits.


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 10:29 p.m.

You should post this as a reply to every other comment. It might help! :)


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 5:55 p.m.

we don't expect you to fix every kid...and waying s/b weighing


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 5:45 p.m.

Mr. Fanta - we sure do think about security at the high school and its costs. And, frankly, many of us think we're not that well protected as neighbors. We just spent a number of months under siege from students at the high school. Organized and experienced - breaking into as many as 3 houses in a stretch DURING SCHOOL HOURS. How many? 17 students and counting. While we don'tect you to control or fix all the kids, keeping track of them while they are in the schools seems like a basic. You have students coming and going to various programs outside the school campus. Various forms of transportation and you have people walking in and out of that building all the time. Don't you think for a minute that the neighborhoods closest to the school don't have an eye on what the security situation is at the schools and please understand that the question we're waying is how best to approach this situation and pressure you to UP the security for us all.

Pixie Belle

Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 2:57 p.m.

This will not at all help students. The state requirements are hard enough to meet as it is. I would love to see the graduation rate for students since the addition of those requirements. Not everyone can pass or needs four years of math. The state effectively made high school harder to pass than college. Performing arts and foreign language is completely not necessary for college. Educators and counselling should be focusing on whether kids can read and write properly instead of just classes passed. You can pass with a D and get credit at Ypsilanti High School <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

The state requirements are a joke.

David Paris

Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 1:09 p.m.

Great move, Board of Ed. Now it's the parents move next. We all need to show the students that we care.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 1:01 p.m.

And this will help the students how???????????

Allison Camara

Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 12:12 p.m.

Why would they have allowed their student fail 10 classes in the first place, maybe that is why the schools haven't been that great maybe the teachers have been thinking who cares if this student doesn't pass they can't fail 10 classes, maybe this is why the students don't do as well they think I already have 22 hours who cares if I go to school or pass any of the rest of my classes. That is crazy I'm not that old we were only able to fail one or two classes at most if we wanted to graduate. How many credits do AA students need? How about comparing this to other better preforming schools and see where you stand.


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 10:28 p.m.

They weren't. I'm not sure how that became what was reported. Through the graduating class of 2009, students had to have at least 22 credits to graduate. With 6 possible credits per year and 4 years of high school, that means that they had to get 22 out of 24 credits to earn a diploma. Translation: they could fail TWO (2) classes and still pass, NOT ten.