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BRIEFLY : Education: New Graduation Policy Approved

August 11, 1994|JON GARCIA

Students must finish all classes and proficiency tests before they will be allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies, the board of the Centinela Valley Union High School District has decided.

Under the new policy, exceptions would be granted only after a student files a formal petition and goes before the board for review, said Supt. Joseph M. Carrillo.

Before the policy change, graduating seniors at the district's two high schools--Leuzinger and Hawthorne--who were up to 10 units short of the district's required 215 units were allowed to participate with the condition they would make up the units in summer school, Carrillo said.

But district officials say too many students failed to make up the classes.

The schools gave students the option because it was important to parents for their children to go through graduation ceremonies with their class, said Amy E. Fujihara, associate principal at Hawthorne High.

Of the district's 1,000 graduates each year, about 200 are conditional graduates. About 30% of those conditional graduates never come back to finish their course work or proficiency tests, Carrillo said.

Officials say they hope the new policy will help motivate students to get their work done on time.

"We're starting to notify students due to graduate in 1995 to find out who needs to get in to the after-school programs" to make up failed or missing credits and tests, said Trina Dellagatta, an associate principal at Leuzinger High.

At Hawthorne, Fujihara, who has been with the district more than 30 years, said she began warning students last year when she suspected a change was coming.

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