Futures unlimited; Walking at MHS graduation


photo by Matthew Snyder

Futures unlimited only serves 95 students at this time and has a total of six teachers. “I’m really glad Ms. Johnson helped me get signed up with Futures. I can keep up with school work and graduate on time with my classmates like I planned,” said current Futures student Brianna Tackett.

by Lydia Wiggins, Reporter

Many are questioning why students who attend Futures Unlimited get to receive their former high school’s diploma and walk with their class at graduation.

Mikayla Dahlkamp, a current Meridian senior, is one of the many questioning students. “The fact that their curriculum is nowhere near as complex as Meridian’s and they get the same recognition is unfair.” The only thing setting them apart from a typical Meridian graduate is a small letter T on their transcripts. “I don’t think they should receive the equivalence of our high school diploma without actually putting the same work we put in to graduate.”

Futures is an alternative high school for ‘at risk’ students that provides a personalized environment to focus on what that particular student needs to graduate. Students earn eight credits each school year, where at Meridian each grade level has a different number of credits they need to earn.

Ms. Johnson, Meridian High School guidance counselor, said “[The curriculum] is more intense because they do everything in a quarter, and they don’t take as many classes because it is much more one-on-one based learning.” Each Futures student has a specially made schedule with no electives and fewer classes to focus on what credits they need to graduate.

“The diploma they receive at graduation is actually a Meridian diploma, the only difference is that it will show up on their transcripts that they transferred.” Transferring to Futures doesn’t affect the student’s chances when wanting to apply for a college. “Just like for any college it’s based on their GPA and test scores. We just simply show that they completed high school.”

Futures graduate and former Meridian student, Braeden Foster, went to Futures for only half a semester and graduated early. “They go at a pace made for you and they definitely move faster at giving credits.” Futures does not assign homework and students rarely get tested.

“Only certain classes get finals, the ones that would normally be weighted,” said Foster who plans on walking at Meridian’s graduation. “I think to the student it’s more about walking with their class than getting a Meridian diploma.”