Ten Aberdeen seniors may not graduate, 13 others said to be at risk

By Ray Van Dusen/Monroe Journal

ABERDEEN — Ten Aberdeen High School seniors will not graduate and 13 more are at risk of not being part of the May 27 graduation ceremony, according to Aberdeen School District Conservator Bob Strebeck.

The 13 students at risk must pass all subjects they are now taking in order to graduate, he said.

At the beginning of May, officials from the Mississippi Department of Education began a review of the 111 seniors’ records, checking everything from test scores to the number of credits required for graduation.

During its last school board meeting before the MDE takeover, former school board president Royce Stephens brought up the impending problem. “A bill was passed a few years ago that students could get 21 or 24 credits for either college or a career pathway. Some of the seniors have earned 21 credits for careers and now they’re being told all of a sudden they have to have 24 credits. Somehow it was changed last year in our policy to have 24 credits. I don’t know how it got changed, but we shouldn’t penalize the seniors.”

The issue was slated to be addressed at a special-called meeting scheduled for April 18, but instead Stephens and former interim superintendent Bobby Eiland were called to Jackson to meet with state officials regarding the state of the Aberdeen School District.

The district was taken over by the state on April 20, 2012, for failing 31 of the state’s 37 accreditation requirements. Bob Strebeck was appointed conservator.