AUBURN — Edward Little High School seniors would be able to earn credits toward graduation through remote coursework under a proposal from Principal Scott Annear.

The plan would allow seniors to take classes online for a pass or fail grade, Annear told the School Committee on Wednesday.

Classes would “take the form of whatever the teacher develops for the course, such as projects or reading and reflecting,” Annear said.

He said parents would be able to track their students’ progress.

He proposed waiving the district’s annual requirement of 24 credits and asking students to complete 16 credits of required courses, including math, English, science and social studies.

The Maine Department of Education is requiring a minimum of 11 credits, he said.

If schools reopen on May 4, the soonest it will happen, “we will stick with this plan,” Annear said, rather than trying to pick up where the school left off March 13.

Schools statewide have been closed since March 16 to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“Life totally changed March 13 for everyone in Maine,” Annear said. The state’s first case of COVID-19 was announced March 12.

Seniors already are enrolled in online classes, Annear said Thursday. And though they can earn credits under the Edward Little plan, their grade-point averages will be frozen to the end of the first semester of this school year.

Course work will be tailored for individual students to ensure equity, Annear said.

“Our kids are all over the place (with needs),” he said, including social, emotional, physical and safety.

He said parents need not worry about transcripts because every educational institution in the country is facing the same thing.

“Harvard, Yale, Columbia and MIT are all moving into pass/fail this semester,” he said. “Things are all ajar right now.”

He said universities will be more focused on individual students than on their GPA or SAT scores.

Annear said Thursday that principals in the Western Maine cohort are all examining some sort of amended/modified plan for seniors to earn credits.

We all have our own wrinkles and criteria for graduation requirements, but many similarities,” he said.

The cohort includes high schools that send students to the Lewiston Regional Technical Center: Lewiston, Edward Little in Auburn, Lisbon, Poland Regional, Leavitt in Turner and Oak Hill in Wales.

Lewiston is working on a plan that will be unveiled soon, Superintendent Todd Finn wrote in an email Thursday.

“We have some unique dynamics which call for further and deeper review of the plan,” he wrote.

Language and socioeconomic factors contribute to the uniqueness, he said, “but so do history, hopes, fears and dreams.”

The plan will be reviewed by the School Committee and will go to the community for input in a series of workshops, he said.

“Our goal is to honor the hard work that has gone into the journeys of our seniors and all of our learners, while providing maximum opportunity for those who still have a few miles to go,” Finn wrote.

Plans for alternative graduation ceremonies are underway in both districts.


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