Policy 3460

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GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS   Policy Code:   3460

The board recognizes the importance of setting rigorous graduation requirements to help ensure that students are receiving an education that will prepare them to be productive members of society.

In order to graduate from high school, students must meet the following requirements:

  1. successful completion of all course unit requirements mandated by the State Board of Education (see Section A);
  2. beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, successful completion of cardiopulmonary resuscitation instruction; and
  3. successful completion of all other requirements mandated by the board, as provided in this policy.

The principal shall ensure that students and parents are aware of all graduation requirements. Guidance program staff shall assist students in selecting their high school courses to ensure that students are taking all of the required units and selecting electives consistent with their post-graduation plans. For students who have transferred to the school system during high school or who, for other reasons, have completed course work outside of the school system, the principal shall determine what course work will be applied as credit toward graduation. The principal shall consider the requirements of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (G.S. 115C-407.5) and the requirements of subsection D.3 of this policy in determining the graduation requirements for children of military families.

Contents

A. Course Units Required

Each student must meet the course unit requirements for one of the following courses of study. Students entering the ninth grade for the first time before the 2009-2010 school year must fulfill the requirements of the Career Prep, College Tech Prep, College/University Prep or Future-Ready Occupational Course of Study. Beginning with students entering the ninth grade for the first time in the 2009-2010 school year, students must fulfill the requirements of the Future-Ready Core Course of Study, unless they are approved for the Future-Ready Occupational Course of Study. Course unit requirements for the Future-Ready Core Course of Study differ depending on the year a student enters ninth grade for the first time. In accordance with policy 3101, Dual Enrollment, and State Board of Education requirements, students may earn high school credit for college courses completed. Students also have the opportunity to meet course unit requirements without completing the regular period of classroom instruction by demonstrating mastery of the course material in accordance with policy 3420, Student Promotion and Accountability, and State Board of Education requirements.

1. Future-Ready Core Course of Study Credits Required for Students Entering Ninth Grade for the First Time in 2012-2013 and After

Courses Required State Requirements Additional Local Requirements
English 4 sequential (English I, II, III and IV)* N/A
Mathematics 4 (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and a fourth math course aligned with the student’s post-high school plans OR Integrated Math I, II and III and a fourth math course aligned with the student’s post-high school plans; OR Math I, II, and III and a fourth math course aligned with the student’s post-high school plans)

(A principal may exempt a student from this math sequence. Exempt students will be required to pass either (1) Algebra I and Geometry or (2) Integrated Math I and II. Exempt students also must pass either Alternative Math I and II or two other application-based math courses.)**

N/A
Science 3 (a physical science course, Biology and earth/environmental science) N/A
Social Studies 4 (including Civics & Economics; American History Parts I and II OR AP U.S. History and one additional social studies elective; and World History) N/A
Health/P.E. 1 N/A
Electives 6 (2 electives must be any combination of Career and Technical Education, Arts Education or World Language; 4 must be from one of the following: Career and Technical Education, R.O.T.C., Arts Education or any other subject area or cross-disciplinary course. A four-course concentration is recommended.)*** 6
Total Credits 22 Total 28

*Students participating in the Career & College Promise program may earn high school credit for college courses ("dual credit") according to the Career & College Promise program guidelines established by the Department of Public Instruction.

**Students seeking to complete minimum application requirements for UNC universities must complete four mathematics courses, including a fourth math course with Algebra II or Integrated Math III as a prerequisite.

***Students seeking to complete minimum application requirements for UNC universities must complete two years of a second language. 



2. Future-Ready Core Course of Study Credits Required for Students Entering Ninth Grade for the First Time in 2009-2010, 2010-2011 or 2011-2012

Courses Required State Requirements Additional Local Requirements
English 4 sequential (English I, II, III and IV)* N/A
Mathematics 4 (either Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and a fourth math course aligned with the student’s post-high school plans OR Integrated Math I, II and III and a fourth math course aligned with the student’s post-high school plans)

(A principal may exempt a student from this math sequence. Exempt students will be required to pass either (1) Algebra I and either Algebra II or Geometry or (2) Integrated Math I and II. Exempt students also must pass either Alternative Math I and II or two other application-based math courses.)**

N/A
Science 3 (a physical science course, Biology and earth/environmental science) N/A
Social Studies 3 (Civics & Economics, U.S. History and World History) N/A
Health/P.E. 1 N/A
Electives 6 (2 electives must be any combination of Career and Technical Education, Arts Education or World Language; 4 must be from one of the following: Career and Technical Education, R.O.T.C., Arts Education or any other subject area or cross-disciplinary course. A four-course concentration is recommended.)*** 7
Total Credits 21 Total 28

* Effective with the tenth grade class of 2011-2012, Early College High School students alternatively may complete college level English courses designated by the State Board in lieu of English III and IV.

**Students seeking to complete minimum application requirements for UNC universities must complete four mathematics courses, including a fourth math course with Algebra II or Integrated Math III as a prerequisite.

***Students seeking to complete minimum application requirements for UNC universities must complete two years of a second language. 



3. Career Prep Course of Study Credits Required

Courses Required State Requirements Additional Local Requirements
English 4 (including English I, II, III and IV) N/A
Mathematics 3 (including Algebra I) N/A
Science 3 (including a physical science course, Biology and earth/environmental science) N/A
Social Studies 3 (including Civics & Economics, U.S. History and World History) N/A
Health/P.E. 1 N/A
Career/Technical 4 (courses appropriate for career pathway, including a second-level (advanced) course, or courses for an arts education pathway or R.O.T.C.***) N/A
World Language 0 N/A
Electives 2 (arts recommended but not required) 7
Other Requirements 1****
Total Credits 20 Total 28

***Four R.O.T.C. credits may be used.

**** Local requirement beginning with the Class of 2008 to complete either Computer Applications I or Digital Communications Systems.


4. College Tech Prep Course of Study Credits Required

Courses Required State Requirements Additional Local Requirements
English 4 (including English I, II, III and IV) N/A
Mathematics 3**** (including either Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II; Algebra I and Technical Math I and II; or Integrated Mathematics I, II and III) N/A
Science 3 (including a physical science course, Biology and earth/environmental science) N/A
Social Studies 3 (including Civics & Economics, U.S. History and World History) N/A
Health/P.E. 1 N/A
Career/Technical 4 (courses appropriate for career pathway including a second-level (advanced) course) N/A
World Language 0**** 0
Electives 2 (arts recommended but not required) 7
Other Requirements 1*****
Total Credits 20 Total 28

****A student pursuing this course of study may meet the requirements of a College/University Prep Course of Study by completing two courses in the same second language and one additional unit of math for which Algebra II or integrated Math III is a prerequisite.

*****Local requirement beginning with the Class of 2008 to complete either Computer Applications I or Digital Communications Systems. 


5. College/University Prep Course of Study Credits Required

Courses Required State Requirements Additional Local Requirements
English 4 (including English I, II, III and IV) N/A
Mathematics 4 (including either Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II and a higher-level course for which Algebra II is a prerequisite; or Integrated Mathematics I, II and III and one course beyond Integrated Math III) N/A
Science 3 (including a physical science course, Biology and earth/environmental science) N/A
Social Studies 3 (including Civics & Economics, U.S. History and World History) N/A
Health/P.E. 1 N/A
World Language 2 (in the same language) or proficiency in a language other than English N/A
Electives 3 (arts recommended but not required) 7
Other Requirements 1*
Total Credits 20 Total 28


*Local requirement beginning with the Class of 2008 to complete either Computer Applications I or Digital Communications Systems.


6. Future-Ready Occupational Course of Study Credits Required (only available to certain students with disabilities who have an IEP)

Courses Required State Requirements Additional Local Requirements
English 4 (including Occupational English I, II, III and IV) N/A
Mathematics 3 (including OCS Introduction to Math, OCS Algebra I (Math A), and Financial Management) N/A
Science 2 (including OCS Applied Science and OCS Biology) N/A
Social Studies 2 (including Government/U.S. History and Problem-Solving/Self-Advocacy) N/A
Health/P.E. 1 N/A
Career/Technical 4 (Vocational Education electives) N/A
World Language 0 N/A
Occupational Preparation 6 (including Occupational Preparation I, II, III and IV, which require 300 hours of school-based training, 240 hours of community-based training and 360 hours of paid employment or 360 hours of any combination of unpaid vocational training, unpaid internship experience, paid employment at community rehabilitation facilities and volunteer and/or community service hours) N/A
Electives 0 6
Other Requirements * Completion of IEP objectives
  • Career Portfolio
Total Credits 22 Total 28

High School Final Exams and End-of-Course Testing

Students must take all end-of-course (EOC) tests, NC Final Exams, and Career and Technical Education State Assessments (CTE Post-Assessments) required by the State Board of Education and pursuant to policy 3410, Testing and Assessment Program.

The results of EOC tests, NC Final Exams, and CTE Post-Assessments will count as 20 percent of a student’s final grade in each high school course for which an EOC test, NC Final Exam, or CTE Post-Assessment is available, except that this requirement does not apply to students following the Occupational Course of Study or Credit by Demonstrated Mastery.

Special Circumstances

The board adopts the following policies with regard to graduation.

  1. Honor Graduates
    Honor graduates may be designated by principals on the basis of criteria established by the superintendent. A student who completes the requirements of the North Carolina Academic Scholars Program will receive recognition, including a seal affixed to his or her diploma. Recognition of honor graduates may be included in graduation programs. 

  2. Students with Disabilities
    Graduation requirements must be applied to students with disabilities to the extent required by state and federal law and State Board policy. 

  3. Children of Military Families
    In order to facilitate the on-time graduation of children of military families, the board adopts the following policy provisions for students to whom the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children applies. 

    a. Waiver Requirements
    Specific course work required for graduation will be waived if similar course work has been satisfactorily completed in another school system. If a waiver is not granted, school administrators shall provide the student with reasonable justification for the denial. If a waiver is not granted to a student who would qualify to graduate from the sending school, the superintendent or designee shall provide the student with an alternative means of acquiring the required course work so that the student may graduate on time.
    b. Testing Requirements for Graduation
    The superintendent shall accept the following in lieu of any local testing requirements for graduation: (1) the end-of-course exams required for graduation from the sending state; (2) national norm-referenced achievement tests; or (3) alternative testing. If these alternatives are not feasible for a student who has transferred in his or her senior year, subsection c below will apply. 

    c. Transfers During Senior Year
    If a child of a military family who has transferred at the beginning of or during his or her senior year is ineligible to graduate from the school system after all of the alternatives listed above have been considered and the student meets the graduation requirements at his or her sending school, then school officials from the school system shall collaborate with the sending school system to ensure that the student will receive a diploma from the sending board of education. 

  4. Early Graduation
    Graduation prior to that of one’s class may be permitted on the basis of criteria approved by the board upon recommendation by the superintendent. 

  5. Graduation Certificates
    Graduation certificates will be awarded to eligible students in accordance with the standards set forth in State Board policy. 

  6. Diploma Endorsements
    Students have the opportunity to earn one or more of the following diploma endorsement identifying a particular area of focused study: (1) Career Endorsement, (2) College Endorsement (two options), and/or (3) North Carolina Academic Scholars Endorsement. No endorsement is required to receive a diploma.


Legal References: G.S. 115C-47, -81, -174.11, -276, -288, -407.5; State Board of Education Policies GCS-C-003, GCS-L-007, GCS-M-001, GCS-N-004, -010

Cross References: Goals and Objectives of the Educational Program (policy 3000), Testing and Assessment Program (policy 3410), Student Promotion and Accountability (policy 3420), Citizenship and Character Education (policy 3530), Children of Military Families (policy 4050)

Adopted: July 21, 2014

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