Board of Ed passes qualifications for posthumous diploma

Shelton’s Board of Education implemented the qualifications needed to be met in order for a deceased student to receive either a posthumous honorary or regular diploma from Shelton High School at their most recent meeting Wednesday night.

Following the tragic deaths of SHS student Edmund Conklin,17, in February of this year there was a nationally observed lengthy process carried out by the city’s Board of Education to determine the details of the diploma that would be awarded to his family.

The city’s Board of Ed received lots of criticism from residents, classmates of Conklin, and supporters of the Conklin family around the country for not immediately granting the family’s wish to receive Eddy’s diploma at the 2015-2016 SHS graduation ceremony.

In an effort to prevent a similar mishap from occurring, the board passed a set of guidelines that show what is required of a student in order to receive either type of diploma, where it will be awarded to the family and whether or not the public issuance of a posthumous honorary SHS diploma can be withheld.

In order to be eligible for a posthumous honorary SHS diploma:

  • The student attended SHS and enrolled at the time of the death;
  • Honorary posthumous diplomas will be awarded at the SHS Evening Awards Ceremony;
  • Deceased student’s name may be read as part of the roll call of graduates at the graduation ceremony, if the family desires;
  • Public issuance of a posthumous honorary diploma may be withheld at the Superintendent’s discretion.

In order to be eligible for a regular SHS diploma:

  • Completed all of the required credits for graduation.
  • Completed the mandatory Capstone project;
  • Regular diploma will be awarded at SHS Evening Awards Ceremony;
  • Deceased student’s name may be read as a part of the roll call of graduates at the graduation ceremony, if the family chooses.

Board of Ed. members Dr. Darlissa Ritter and David Gioiello disagreed with the policy as it was presented and voted for it to be amended. Both Dr. Ritter and Gioiello agreed that the policy should clearly state that any Superintendent in place at the time of an incident where the policy needs to be enforced, will consult with the board members before a decision is made.

The board approved the policy as it was presented.

Credit distribution requirements/SHS graduation policy

Board of Ed Chairman Mark Holden spoke to the Herald in May of this year and explained that a contributing factor in the decision process for Eddy Conklin’s diploma was the change in SHS’s graduation requirements. He added that it was a priority of the board to establish a precedent for handling students who were in good academic standing but died before graduation.

The Board of Education established the requirement of 23.7 credits for graduation from SHS for the class of 2014. The requirement of 24.7 credits for graduation was established for the classes of 2015 and 2016, and 25.7 credits for the class of 2017.

The students in the classes of 2015 and 2016 were required to obtain four English credits, three Mathematics credits, three Social Studies credits, three Science credits, one Physical/Health education credit, one Arts or Career & Technical Education credit, seven elective credits, and one credit for their senior capstone (℅ 2015 was the first year with a senior project requirement), a half credit for health education, a half credit for computer literacy, .1 credit if they meet the proficient level of the reading/writing component of the CAPT, .1 credit if they meet the proficient level of the mathematics component of the CAPT, .1 credit if they meet the proficient level of the science component of the CAPT, and .4 credit for satisfying the school’s community service requirement.

The class of 2017 will have the same requirements as 2015 and 2016, except they’re not required to satisfy a computer literacy requirement, they’re required four science credits rather than three, and they’re required to obtain seven and-a-half elective credits rather than just seven.

Options if graduation requirements are not met by the end of senior year

Seniors who aren’t eligible for graduation with their class due to a failure to meet the district graduation requirements in one or more subjects can select one of the following options:

  1. Return in September as a  fifth years students  and meet the graduation requirements.
  2. Enroll in approved summer school and meet the graduation requirements
  3. Make arrangements for re-testing to meet the graduation requirements

Veterans of Armed Service in WWII, Korea and Vietnam Era

The Board of Ed will award a high school diploma to ay veteran with an honorable discharge from the US arms forcers for their service in WWII, the Korean hostilities, or of the Vietnam Era, for the individuals who left high school prior to graduation and did not receive a diploma as a consequences of their service, in accordance with the following:


  1. Veteran means any person honorably discharged from or released under honorable conditions from active service in, the armed forces.
  2. Service in time of war means service of 90 or more cumulative days.
  3. WWII means the period beginning on Dec. 7 1941, and ending on Dec.  31, 1946
  4. Korean hostilities means the period beginning on June 27, 1950 and ending on Oct. 27, 1953
  5. Vietnam Era means the period beginning on Feb. 28, 1961 and ending on July 1, 1975


Any veteran serving in the armed forces services according to the above policy may request the Shelton Board of Ed to award a diploma by:

  1. Sending a letter to the board of Ed requesting a diploma; and
  2. Providing honorable service discharge papers or released under honorable conditions from active service in the armed forces in accordance with the above definitions

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