3000 - Educational Program

3460 Graduation Requirements

3460 Graduation Requirements

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS Policy Code:  3460

The board recognizes the importance of setting rigorous graduation requirements in order 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); and
  2. successful completion of local requirements established by the Pender County Board of Education, including Graduation Project and course credits equaling the student’s maximum course potential minus four.

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 for graduation.  The principal shall consider the requirements of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children (G.S. 115C-407.5) and the requirements of subsection D.4 of this policy in determining the graduation requirements for children of military families.

A.  Course Units Required

Each student must meet the course 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.  

1.  Future-Ready Core Course of Study Credits Required for Students Entering Ninth Grade for the First Time in 2009-2010 or beyond.

Courses Required

State Requirements

Local Requirements

English

4 sequential (English I, II, III, and IV)

 

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)

 

Science

3 (a physical science course, Biology, and earth/environmental science)

 

Social Studies for those entering in 2009-10 through 2011-12

3 (Civics & Economics, U.S. History and World History)

 

Social Studies for those entering in 2012-13 and beyond

4 (World History, American History Part I:  The Founding Principles , American History Part II , and Civics & Economics )

 

Health/P.E.

1

 

Electives

6 (2 electives must be any combination of Career and Technical Education, Arts Education or Second 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 courses.)**

A four-course concentration with one second-level (advanced) course.  

Other

 

Graduation Project Paper, Product, Portfolio, and Presentation.

Total Credits

21 for those entering in 2009-10 through 2011-12

22 for those entering in 2012-13 and beyond

28

 

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

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

 

 2.  Career Prep Course of Study Credits Required (for those entering ninth grade in 2008-09 or before)

Courses Required

State Requirements

Local Requirements

English

4 (including English I, II, III, and IV)

 

Mathematics

3 (including Algebra I)

 

Science

3 (including a physical science course, Biology, and earth/environmental science)

 

Social Studies

3 (including Civics & Economics, U.S. History and World History)

 

Health/P.E.

1

 

Career/Technical

4 (courses appropriate for career pathway, including a second-level (advanced) course, or courses for an arts education pathway or for R.O.T.C.***)

 

Foreign Language

0

 

Electives

2 (arts recommended but not required)

 

Other

 

Graduation Project Paper, Product, Portfolio, and Presentation.

Total Credits

20

28

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

 

3.  College Tech Prep Course of Study Credits Required (for those entering ninth grade in 2008-09 or before)

Courses Required

State Requirement

Local Requirements

English

4 (including English I, II, III, and IV)

 

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)

 

Science

3 (including a physical science course, Biology, and earth/environmental science)

 

Social Studies

3 (including Civics & Economics, U.S. History and World History)

 

Health/P.E.

1

 

Career/Technical

4 (courses appropriate for career pathway including a second-level (advanced) course)

 

Foreign Language

0****

 

Electives

2 (arts recommended but not required)

 

Other

 

Graduation Project Paper, Product, Portfolio, and Presentation.

Total Credits

20

28

 

**** A student pursuing this course of study may meet the requirements of a College/University Prep Course of Study by completing 2 courses in the same foreign language and one additional unit of math for which Algebra II is a prerequisite.


4.  College/University Prep Course of Study Credits Required (for those entering ninth grade in 2008-09 or before)

Courses Required

State Requirements

Local Requirements

English

4 (including English I, II, III, and IV)

 

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)

 

Science

3 (including a physical science, Biology, and earth/environmental science)

 

Social Studies

3 (including Civics & Economics, U.S. History and World History)

 

Health/P.E.

1

 

Foreign Language

2 (in the same language)

 

Electives

3 (arts recommended but not required)

 

Other

 

Graduation Project Paper, Product, Portfolio, and Presentation.

Total Credits

20

28

 

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

Courses Required

State Requirements

Local Requirements

English

4 (including Occupational English I, II, III, and IV)

 

Mathematics

3 (including OCS Introduction to Mathematics, OCS Algebra I, and Financial Management)

 

Science

2 (including OCS Applied Science and OCS Biology)

 

Social Studies

2 (including Government/U.S. History and Problem-Solving/Self-Advocacy)

 

Health/P.E.

1

 

Career/Technical

4 (career/technical education electives)

 

Foreign Language

0

 

Occupational Preparation

6 (including Occupational Preparation I, II, III and IV, which requires 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 services hours for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years).

 

Electives

0

 

Other Requirements

  • Completion of IEP objectives
  • OCS Graduation Project Career Portfolio and Presentation

 

Total

22

28

 

B.  High School End-of-Course Testing

Students must take all end-of-course (EOC) tests required by the State Board of Education.  Students who do not score at Level III or above on the first administration of an EOC test must be retested in accordance with State Board policy

The EOC test results will count as 20 percent of a student’s final grade in each high school course for which an EOC test is available.  -

C.  Additional Local Requirements

Students must successfully complete a North Carolina Graduation Project (NCGP) as a condition of high school graduation from Pender County Schools.  All high schools will follow the Standards of Quality for Graduation Projects as approved by the State Board of Education.  The principal of each high school shall monitor the implementation of the NCGP and compliance with regard to the Standards of Quality.  The superintendent will certify compliance to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction of each high school as outlined by the Department.  

Requirements of the graduation project will include:

1.  A six to nine page research paper written on an approved topic of student choice;

2.  A product related to the paper that requires significant hours of work;

3.  A portfolio that reflects the graduation project process; and

4.  A presentation to a panel of community and faculty members.

Students whose projects do not meet the expected standard must be given additional opportunities to successfully complete the project and additional assistance as needed with the project. The superintendent may modify or waive the project for students in extenuating circumstances.  

D.  Special Circumstances

The board adopts the following policies with regard to graduation.

1.  Individual Graduation Plans

As an alternative to prescribed graduation requirements, Pender County Schools has the discretion to award a high school diploma based upon successful completion of minimum state requirements.  This diploma is intended to meet the diverse needs of Pender County students who experience special circumstances.  This option will serve as a catalyst for students to excel beyond high school without sacrificing the rigor and relevance of North Carolina State Board Policy.  As a result, this will decrease the student dropout rate there by increasing the likelihood of student graduation.  Eligibility for this diploma shall be determined on a case-by-case basis by the school-level Student Support Team.

2.  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.

3.  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.

4.  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 covered by the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

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 coursework so that graduation may occur 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 transferring in his or her senior year, subsection c below will apply.

c.  Transfers During Senior Year

If a child of a military family transferring 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.

5.  Early Graduation

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

6.  Graduation Certificates

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

Legal References:  G.S. 115C-47, -81, -174.11, -276, -288, -407.5; State Board of Education Policies GCS-C-003, -031

Cross References:  Goals and Objectives of the Educational Program (policy 3000), Student Promotion and Accountability (policy 3420), Children of Military Families (policy 4050)

Adopted:  June 30, 2010

Revised:  March 14, 2011; June 4, 2012; November 5, 2012; January 14, 2013; December 9, 2013

Legal References:

G.S. 115C-47, -81, -174.11, -276, -288, -407.5; State Board of Education Policies GCS-C-003, -031

Cross References: Goals and Objectives of the Educational Program (policy 3000), Student Promotion and Accountability (policy 3420), Children of Military Families (policy 4050)

Adopted:  June 30, 2010

Last Updated:  June 24, 2015 

Legal References:
G.S. 115C-47, -81, -174.11, -276, -288, -407.5; State Board of Education Policies GCS-C-003, -031
Cross References:
: Goals and Objectives of the Educational Program (policy 3000), Student Promotion and Accountability (policy 3420), Children of Military Families (policy 4050)
Adopted:
Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Last Updated:
Wednesday, 24 June 2015