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Schools Ease New Rules on Entering Honors Courses

May 30, 1996|MIMI KO CRUZ

Just months after making it tougher for students to enroll in high school honors courses, Brea Olinda Unified School District trustees this week eased the rules.

The new policy is more like the district's long-standing "open access" policy, in which parents could place their children in honors courses without having to meet grade requirements or get teacher consent.

The policy, however, resulted in some problems, Brea Olinda High School teachers and district officials said.

For example, some students who were placed in honors courses had no idea how difficult the classes would be and didn't realize what would be expected of them, Trustee Teresa Hampson said.

That's why the district earlier this year set up a procedure in which students would be required to get teacher approval or receive A, B or C grades in prerequisite courses before they could enroll in honors courses.

Students who did not qualify under those guidelines would not be enrolled in an honors class unless the parents signed a waiver.

But the strict new rules sparked an emotional debate, said Hampson, and demonstrated that communication was poor between parents and school officials about honors courses.

Now a pamphlet that outlines what each honors course entails will be mailed to students and their parents. The booklet will also describe what the requirements are likely to be for success in each course.

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