By Lorin Enns
Counselors welcomed students back to school at the beginning of the year, sharing with them word of a newly-passed law that makes shortened schedules no longer an option to over 160 twelfth graders lacking satisfactory ACT scores. Seniors spammed the online counselor request link during the first week in hopes of shedding light on their scheduling woes. Due to issues beyond the control of the counselors, seniors were not informed of the law prior to this year, creating a new obstacle for both students and their counselors.
“(AB117) Requires certain educational personnel to take certain actions to review the academic plan of certain pupils in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 in public high schools to ensure that the pupils are college and career ready,” Nevada Legislature says.
Assembly Bill 117 (AB117), originally introduced in the assembly on Feb. 9, 2017, did not gain Governor Brian Sandoval’s approval until May 26 of this year. The passed law became effective on July 1, an entire month before students would be back in school. Seniors who did not meet a minimum of 19 on English and 22 on math sections of the ACT had to be placed in an ACT-prep course or a number of other classes in order to fill up what was supposed to be their shortened schedule.
“Coronado built our master schedule based on some seniors having open periods,” Mrs. Diffley, counselor, said. “Based on the requirements of AB 07, Coronado had some students who were not college and career ready. Those students had to be placed in new classes that prepared them for the ACT.”
Aside from meeting or exceeding the ACT requirements, students had four possible scenarios that could grant them district-determined exemptions. For starters, those who earned a B or higher in two honors classes were exempt. Exemption was also granted to those who are providing financially for their families, supporting their families by taking responsibility of siblings while parents are at work, or caring for a handicapped family member or guardian.The counseling department placed all nonexempt seniors into other classes in hopes of boosting their GPAs.
“I originally had four classes to begin with, and those classes were Math of Personal Finance, English 12, Government, and Theatre IV,” Heaven Long, senior, said. “I already had enough credits to graduate, but they put me in these elective classes just because of my ACT score. I felt upset.”