De’Von Fitts spoke to the Effingham County Board of Education on Thursday night about his first meeting on the student advisory council for state school Superintendent Kathy Cox.
Fitts said the students talked about the new changes to the graduation rule that will take effect with the current eighth graders.
“She’s going to break it down for 23 units for all students,” he said. “She’s going to bring in the lower level students with the higher level students to help them learn.”
Fitts said Cox told the students tech prep students don’t need less than college prep students, they need more.
“She thinks the applied things the teachers teach at school is crap,” he said. “She said applied math and applied science is watered-down material. She said every student deserves a class that is challenging.”
Fitts said the council discussed the drop out rate in the state, and how she plans to address that.
“She’s going to give a survey to every student who has considered dropping out or has dropped out, and see what their reasoning for dropping out,” he said.
Fitts said she wanted the students to ask their local boards if they were aware of the new graduation rule, and how it will impact Effingham County schools.
Superintendent Randy Shearouse said there would be a meeting on the new graduation rule on Friday.
“We have to change our policy because the graduation rule is changing at the state level,” he said.
Fitts asked what the biggest challenge in the rule change would be, and how the information will be given to parents.
Shearouse said the largest challenge would be informing everyone of the change and what it will mean, and there will be meetings on the new rule to inform the public.
Shearouse asked Fitts how the meeting was.
“It was a great environment,” Fitts said.
He said the meetings will be held at various locations throughout the state, including the Capitol, so the students will have the opportunity to see the General Assembly.
Shearouse asked Fitts what the board could do to help students who don’t know what direction they want to go in find a path.
Fitts said the students discussed that and felt that taking middle school students to career classes during breaks would help expose them to options available, and let them see why school is important.