School waives some graduation requirements

BAR HARBOR — Mount Desert Island High School will waive some of its graduation requirements for the class of 2020 because of disruptions in the academic year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Since school buildings closed March 16, remote learning has replaced in-person classes. 

“Learning is very different right now, and our expectations for students need to be different,” Principal Matt Haney told the school board Monday evening.  

He noted that the board’s policy on graduation requires seniors to make a  

Senior Exhibition presentation, to perform at least 20 hours of community service and to earn a specific number of credits in specific classes. 

“We have come to the realization that some of those things are just not going to be possible for some of our seniors this year, most obviously Senior Exhibition,” Haney said. “And we certainly can’t be sending them out for community service right now. 

“There also are going to be scenarios in which class schedules got rearranged, and there may be certain requirements that students have left of their schedule that they can’t get. 

“With all the things that these students have lost and are losing, we can’t find that it makes any shred of sense to keep someone from graduating because of this mess,” Haney said. 

The school board voted unanimously to grant Haney “flexibility in modifying graduation requirements for the class of 2020 due to complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.” 


Becky Pritchard
Former Islander reporter Becky Pritchard covered the town of Bar Harbor and was a park ranger in Acadia for six seasons.
Becky Pritchard

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