MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Superintendent Ronald Taylor presented the district’s Graduates and Pathways Report from the class of 2020 on Tuesday’s special meeting of the South Orange Maplewood Board of Education.

In total, 450 students graduated from Columbia in 2020. Dr. Taylor reported the breakdown of how the class met the graduation requirements. 238 students passed the English/language arts (ELA) substitute competency test and 254 who passed the math substitute competency test. 33 students qualified for graduation based on an assessment of their portfolio, 4 in ELA and 29 in mathematics. 3 students met the requirements based on their IEPs in ELA and 4 students qualified based on their IEPs in math. 36 students did not graduate in 2020.

“There are many, many circumstances that can result in a student being categorized and denied graduation,” said Dr. Taylor. 

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Dr. Taylor also addressed concerns from the board over the students who did not graduate. These are students that either dropped out, will be returning another year to complete their degree or left Columbia without being recorded as enrolled in another diploma awarding program. According to Dr. Taylor many of those dropouts are due to the latter reason. The district also routinely uses Facebook as a way to track down the students that have left without notifying the school administration.

After the presentation, the board entered executive session to discuss the Superintendent’s merit goals.


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