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Friday, July 31, 2015


Students Must Now Attend School until at Least Age 17

Wicomico County Public Schools wants all students to become college and career ready during their school years and to enjoy that walk across the stage to receive a diploma once they’ve met Maryland’s graduation requirements.

Before now, a small number of students chose not to continue until graduation once they reach the age of 16. But under Maryland’s new Age of Compulsory School Attendance law (Senate Bill 362, signed into law in 2012), the age for compulsory school attendance is now 17, effective July 1. Students can no longer drop out of school when they are 16 years old. In 2017, the compulsory age of attendance will rise to 18.

Students who are 14 and 15 right now (mostly rising 10th-graders) will be required to remain enrolled in school until they are at least 18, as they are likely to be 17 when the age rises to 17 during their junior year (2016-2017), and 18 in their senior year (2017-2018), when the age rises to 18.

Students who are currently 13 (mostly rising grades 8 and 9) or younger will be required to remain enrolled until age 18, graduation, or an alternative educational program or other circumstance, as detailed in SB 362.

Students who are 16 or older right now (mostly rising 11th grade and above)will not be affected by the change in Maryland’s age for compulsory public school attendance, as they will be 17 or older during the 2015-2016 school year when the age increases to 17. They are on track to graduate prior to the compulsory age of school attendance rising to 18 in 2017-2018.

Maryland’s rising age for compulsory school attendance is designed to support students in building an educational foundation that will yield benefits for a lifetime. Students who stay in school through graduation can take full advantage of classes, programs, extracurricular activities, and guidance that can help them be college and career ready.

Career and college planning occur throughout a student’s time in school, starting with classroom activities, visits by professionals, and events such as Career Day in elementary school. In middle school computer classes, students explore career tracks, view videos, and begin to write up a blueprint for their high school years using the Naviance platform for college and career readiness. Parents of middle and high school students can also access Naviance to work with the student on planning.

In high school, students can begin traveling on their chosen path to college and career from the first day as a freshman, whether they’re interested in rigorous college preparation through Advanced Placement courses, specialized training through the Department of Career and Technology Education at Parkside High School, leadership development through the JROTC program at Wicomico High School, or another track. After age 16 students can pursue dual enrollment, taking classes at a local college or university while still enrolled in high school. Some students earn a Maryland High School Diploma through studies at Evening High School or the Choices Academy.

“Every part of our school system, from the programs that serve children from birth to 5 and in prekindergarten to the schools that help students learn and grow from that first day of kindergarten until that last day as a senior, are focused on supporting success for each student,” said Dr. John Fredericksen, Superintendent of Schools. “A student can take many different roads while in school, but we want to make sure all of those roads lead to students being successful and ready for the challenges of college and career.”

Data show that dropouts in Maryland need public assistance more than high school graduates, earn less over a lifetime, and have poorer health outcomes than those who graduate high school (The Taskforce on Dropout Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery, 1998). Dropouts comprised more than 42% of those entered into the Maryland Juvenile Justice System between school years 2007-2011 and 57.2% of adult offenders entering the Department of Corrections in 2011 (The Task Force to Study High School Dropout Rates of Persons in the Criminal Justice System, 2012).


Anonymous said...

Good luck with that! Remember it is all about federal funding. They don't give a rats ass about welter or not your child attends school. It's to make them look good!

Anonymous said...

The only reason public school was created in the first place was to keep young able bodied men out of the workforce. This is just more of the same. It used to be a boy apprenticed with the local blacksmith, butcher, etc- then took over the job. Now, we force him to learn lots of useless facts and warehouse him so union thugs don't have to compete. Now we pass on the lie that everyone needs to go to college....

Anonymous said...

Will African american children get a pass on this as in everything else?

Anonymous said...

10:59 You can count on it!!!!
My son graduated this year from high and half of his class got didn't meet the requirements for pass so to save embarrassment they were in the ceremony anyway and got a blank folder. They warehouse them, and when they reach that magic age, they are done with them!

Anonymous said...

This decision is based on greed, school systems get more $ per student enrolled!! How about requiring students to enroll in college classes, get a job or join a military branch instead of wasting their time getting an education that's already irrelevant to the real world. Outdated curriculums and lack of technology are valueless and so is this new law-politicians know what's best, right?? Private schools will definitely see an influx because public education is on a downward spiral and is just another filter for tax dollars with zero return!! Maryland Department of Ed sited schools for the number of referrals written for disciplinary actions last year because it would hurt their rating which would then jeopardize funding?? No one truly cares about the kids, except for the teachers who must endure mandates and disruptive classroom behaviors!! Soak up the rest of your summer teachers and students because you're being led by blind administration that's glad they aren't you anymore & don't have enter another classroom. They don't know how to deal with what you are battling but they expect you to find a solution?? If they aren't part of a solution, they are the problem!!