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La Crosse schools ready for new math, science requirements

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- Tougher math and science requirements are on the way for Wisconsin high school students.

Last week Governor Walker signed in to law a bill requiring students to take three math and three science courses in order to graduate. That's an increase from the currently required two credits.

"I don't think there's going to be a big shock," said Troy Harcey, the associate Superintendent of Instruction for La Crosse Schools. "I think we're going to be able to implement this pretty smoothly."

That's because about 80 percent students in La Crosse High Schoolers already meet the new standards and graduate with three math and three science credits.

"Our goal right now is getting basically all our students through geometry or algebra 2 to become career and college ready and I don't think we're going to have to add any extra courses to our curriculum at this time," said Wally Gnewikow, the associate principal at Logan High School.

And the new laws allow computer science courses to count as a science credit, as well as some technical college classes.

"Just because of the flexibility that was built in to the law, we can take a look at career and technical education courses that might account for science and/or math," Harcey said.

The increased standards takes effect for the 2016-2017 school year, meaning current freshmen will need to meet the new requirements.

"Right now it's a matter of getting those counselors out there and making sure they're talking to students so they can best align themselves and be prepared for a successful graduation," Harcey said.

The next step for the district is to have a committee ensure the necessary courses and staffing are in place

"Now what we'll do, is we've got a couple of different committees that we'll run this through," Harcey said. "One of them is called a high school graduation committee, they'll help us plan how we're going to best implement and an instructional resource team, which has a lot of district supervisors involved."

Harcey says since they don't expect to add many additional classes or employees so the financial impact will be minimal.

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