Senior Ankush Gupta stared at the computer screen, eyes wide.
He had just pulled up the JCPS graduation requirements and read the one fact that would pose a problem for the next several months: Jefferson County Public Schools requires not four credits of math, but four years.
Gupta had many more than four credits of math, but he had taken so many math classes at duPont Manual High School and the University of Louisville that there were none left for him to take during his senior year. That meant that Gupta’s ability to graduate was in question.
Gupta realized this, and then laughed in disbelief. “A rule added to promote learning math might result in my not graduating because I took too many math classes was so ironic,” he said.
But Gupta was not the only one in danger of running out of math classes. Sravya Vishnubhlata, a junior, moved from Pittsburgh, Pa. to Louisville during the summer of 2012. Her previous school district had only required 3 credits of math, but Vishnubhlata’s classes had been so advanced that by the time she arrived in Louisville, the only class left for her to take was Discrete math – putting her in the same position as Gupta for the next year.
“I was kind of annoyed,” Vishnubhlata said, “but got over it, since I can do an online course . . . [but] I really hate wasting a credit for it.”
Both Vishnubhlata and Gupta had to make plans to keep themselves on the path to graduation. Vishnubhlata planned to take an online course or a class at U of L her senior year. By November, however, Gupta was still deciding on an online course.
Still, the irony of not graduating because of too many classes left no small impression on Gupta.
“Honestly, I feel that if the state Department of Education deemed that taking enough math classes earlier that I didn’t have one left to take senior year warranted that I not get my diploma,” he said, “I didn’t want their diploma anyway.”
About student journalist Emily McConville: Emily McConville is a student at duPont Manual High School in the Communications/Media Arts magnet. She has written for several school publications and hopes one day to be a political journalist in Washington, D.C.