On Jan. 16, the Calaveras Unified School District Board of Trustees voted to reduce and revise the required credits needed to graduate from alternative education programs.

Beginning in the 2018/2019 school year, Gold Strike High School will reduce the total number of credits required for a diploma from 220 to 200, which will eliminate 10 freshman social studies and geography credits and 10 elective credits. Sierra Hills Alternative Education Center will change the social studies requirement from five geography and five social studies credits to 10 credits in geography.

Despite the changes, the required graduation credits are still above the state requirements for graduation, which are at least 130 credits. Other alternative school graduation credits range from 180 to 220 credits, so the new requirements still fall into the average needed.

One of the reasons behind the revision of graduation credits is due to a reduction of staff at the alternative schools, and class sizes grew as enrolled students tried to fulfill required credits.

This also follows a change made at Calaveras High School, which also dropped 30 required graduation credits due to shrinking revenues at the district and declining enrollment. The change at Calaveras High meant students are required to take three fewer elective courses over the course of four years at the school in order to graduate.