LEWISTON — Students in the Class of 2021 will be allowed to graduate with three fewer credits, one each in math, science and social studies.

The School Committee voted unanimously Monday night to accept the recommendation from high school administrators.

Lewiston High School Principal Gus LeBlanc said his team went through every student transcript to identify issues created “directly” by the pandemic.

“We wanted to look at the actual data,” he said. “We wanted to identify the barriers to graduation that were not due to the pandemic. We wanted to separate those out before we made a recommendation.”

The biggest pandemic-related issue was students struggling to engage in distance learning, LeBlanc said.

He said math, science and social studies were the three subjects in which the most students had fallen behind because of the “residual effects of the pandemic on graduation.”

Earning fewer credits than the district’s policy requires will still allow seniors to meet the state’s core requirements of two credits in each of those subjects.

This would help kids who are struggling but would not allow students who haven’t done the work “to walk out of here with a diploma,” LeBlanc said.

Students graduating this year will be required to earn a total of 21 credits, including four in English.

All high school administrators supported the “emergency recommendation,” which applies only to this year’s seniors, LeBlanc said.

The School Committee last year reduced graduation requirements by six credits, including one each in math, science and social studies.

LeBlanc said the high school administrative team would study and review graduation requirements this spring to determine a long-term recommendation for the Class of 2022 and beyond.

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