Alcorn board approves early graduation policy

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – A new Alcorn County School District policy will permit students to apply for early graduation with fewer than eight semesters of high school attendance.
The policy, approved by the school board this week, was prompted by special circumstances of four students in the district and needed approval before they could complete their schedules for the second semester, said Federal Programs Director Kim Hamm.
Students may request early graduation on a case-by-case basis, said Superintendent Stacy Suggs. It is not part of the pilot program for an early graduation curriculum that Tupelo and Corinth will participate in next year.
“Our board approved implementing our own policy, but we’ll start building toward that model if that’s what eventually becomes the standard,” Suggs said.
Various circumstances can prompt a student to request early graduation, Hamm said, and in this instance at least one student wanted to begin military service as soon as possible.
A high school student and his or her parents or guardian apply for early graduation to the high school principal, who arranges a meeting of the student, parents and guidance counselor.
In additional to parental-guardian and principal approval, the student must provide evidence of a five-year education plan or assurance of a job offer to begin immediately upon graduation. These will be submitted to the superintendent with the student’s transcript for school board review at a regular board meeting.
“The policy lays out a pretty strenuous process,” Suggs said.

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.