About the changes
In This Section

About the changes

About the changes

On Jan. 13, 2015, the school board voted to approve policy changes to MPS’ minimum graduation requirements. The changes were recommended to allow more opportunity for student choice and personalization of the high school experience. The previous graduation requirements exceeded the minimum set by the state. The new changes also exceed the minimum set by the state.

Changes will go into effect fall 2015 for the incoming freshmen (class of 2019). The classes of 2015 – 2018 will not be affected by the approved changes and will graduate under the previous graduation requirements. The approved changes are below.

  Class of 2015-2018 Class of 2019 and beyond State requirement

1 year

0.5 years 0 years
Physical Education* 1 year 0.5 years 0 years
Social Studies* 4 years 3.5 years 3.5 years

Our changes to graduation requirements allow an increase in student choice, which provides a more personalized pathway to college and career readiness.

The total number of credits required for graduation from MPS remains the same. There is a decrease in prescribed courses and an increase in required choice options for students. This allows for increased opportunities to access courses that best align with students’ postsecondary goals. Some of the classes students can explore include world languages (including like American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, Dakota, French, German, Hmong, Japanese, Latin, Ojibwe, Somali and Spanish) and elective social studies, physical education, music, science, computer science, ethnic histories, math, language arts, technical education and/or art courses.

More details about the changes:

Reduce physical education (PE) and health requirements by one semester each

  • Many students are actively involved in sports after school and may prefer to use class time to enhance their academic careers in other ways. PE and health are extremely important for students to learn lifelong skills that promote a healthy lifestyle and we are committed to ensuring that students have access to high-quality PE and health programs. These classes will still be available to interested students in the form of elective credits.

Reduce social studies requirements by one semester

  • Social studies classes help students prepare to be responsible global citizens. By offering ethnic studies courses and International Baccalaureate (IB) at most MPS high schools, MPS is firm in its commitment to this goal.

Increase elective requirements by three semesters

  • By increasing opportunities to take electives, we are giving students more access to learn languages like American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, Dakota, French, German, Hmong, Japanese, Latin, Ojibwe, Somali and Spanish. This will help them be more competitive workers in a global market. A semesterlong elective ethnic studies course will be offered at all MPS high schools, furthering our commitment to global citizenship. Providing additional opportunities for elective courses also will allow students more time in their schedules to take more rigorous courses or catch up on missed credits.

No change to world language requirement

  • MPS does not currently require students to take world language courses to graduate and there are no plans to add this requirement. However, students will have more opportunities to take world languages with the flexibility of the new graduation requirements. MPS is also exploring whether to incorporate world language instruction into elementary and middle school, so all students have this opportunity at an earlier age.