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4370 - Graduation Requirements

  1. PHILOSOPHY AND PURPOSE 
    Weber School District seeks to ensure all students have the opportunity to progress academically toward graduation. The purpose of this policy is to specify standards and credit requirements for graduation from Weber School District. 

  2. POLICY
    In order to graduate from a Weber School District high school, each student must successfully complete the graduation requirements. Current requirements for the State of Utah and Weber School District are updated and posted on the Weber School District website under the Student Services Departments.

  3. DEFINITIONS
    1. Comparable Courses: A course a student may take to replace a grade in a course previously taken, as part of the course grade forgiveness provision of this Policy. The course must be similar in standards, workload and rigor, and must meet all other requirements of this Policy. 
    2. Essential Elements: Specific statements and skills linked to grade-level expectations identified in college-and-career readiness standards, each with a respective learning map with linkage levels that identify based skills within the standard to set an appropriate challenge for students with significant cognitive disabilities, no matter their ability level.
    3. Individual Education Plan (IEP): An individualized student plan for achieving appropriately ambitious goals for students receiving special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA).
    4. Plan for College and Career Readiness: A four-year plan towards graduating and preparing for college and/or a career, to which a student’s course registration and class schedule throughout high school, should conform.

  4. PROCEDURES
    1. Required Courses, Elective Courses, and Career Goal: 
      1. Specific required classes and additional elective credits are required for graduation. 
      2. Each student should make plans and take courses leading toward an educational and/or career goal to assure that entrance requirements for any post-secondary programs will be met. 
      3. Graduation requirements may be modified for individual students to achieve an appropriate route to student success when such modifications:
        1. are consistent with an IEP or Plan for College and Career Readiness or both;
        2. are maintained in the student’s file and include the school principal and parent/guardian signatures; and
        3. maintain the integrity and rigor expected for high school graduation, as determined by the Utah State Board of Education.
    2. Unit of Credit:
      1. A unit of credit or portion thereof shall be given upon satisfactory completion of a course or learning experience in compliance with State course standards.
      2. Students who fail classes are able to make up credit though any accredited provider.
    3. Residency Requirement
      1. Weber School District shall award a diploma to a student moving in from outside of the District who attends school during the semester immediately preceding graduation and who also meets the District graduation requirements.
      2. A principal may not require that a student attend school for more than one semester prior to graduation.
      3. The school principal has final decision-making authority regarding graduation requirements within the guidelines of this policy.
    4. Plan for College and Career Readiness
      1. Educators collaborate with individual students and their parents to form a plan of action which serves the needs and goals of the student through the instructional process in accordance with WSD Policy 4700. The Plan for College and Career Readiness is essential as a planning process which guides students through their education and ensures that their education goals are achieved, culminating in graduation.
    5. Course Standards
      1. The State Board of Education establishes minimum course description standards and objectives for each required course. Course descriptions for required and elective courses are developed cooperatively by local school districts and the Utah State Board of Education.
      2. The description shall contain mastery criteria for the course and shall stress mastery of the criteria rather than completion of predetermined time allotments for subjects.
      3. Implementation and assessment procedures are the responsibility of local school districts.

  5. CREDIT OPTIONS
    1. Credit may be granted in the Weber School District from among the following:
      1. Courses
        1. Approved course offered by the District (including summer and early morning or after school classes).
        2. Approved course offered by an accredited institution.
      2. College courses (not remedial) from fully accredited institutions as follows:
        1. 4 University semester credits = 1.33 high school credits
        2. 3 University semester credits = 1 high school credit
        3. 2 University semester credits = .67 high school credit
        4. 1 University semester credit = .33 high school credit
      3. Ogden-Weber Technical College credit:
        1. 30 hours of progression at Ogden-Weber Technical College = .25 high school elective credit.
        2. “Pass” or “No Credit” grades issued by Ogden-Weber Technical College
        3. letter grades issued only when an Ogden-Weber Technical College pathway of courses has been completed
      4. Approved high school or college level online or correspondence courses.
      5. Other approved special programs.
      6. Demonstrated proficiency by way of a district approved test/assessment developed by the state, district, or school.
      7. Successful completion or demonstrated proficiency in an experimental program approved by the District in cooperation with school administration.
      8. Successful completion of a predetermined course or experience developed by an IEP or 504 team to meet an identified need.
      9. Home school credit will be evaluated and may be approved by the school principal if an Affidavit for Home School Instruction is provided.
      10. The school principal has final decision-making authority for the awarding of credit from non-accredited sources consistent with state law.

  6. COURSE GRADE FORGIVENESS
    1. General information
      1. A student in 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade who desires to improve a course grade received by the student may:
        1. repeat the course one or more times; or
        2. enroll in and complete a comparable course.
      2. A grade for an additional credit of a recurring course does not change a student’s original course grade.
      3. A student may not earn graduation credit for a replacement course if the student has already earned graduation credit for the original grade. 
      4. Only courses taken from a Utah public education institution are eligible for course grade forgiveness.
      5. Concurrent Enrollment courses are college courses and high school students may not repeat a college course through CE.  The course can only be repeated after applying to an institution and paying tuition. 
      6. Rules governing athletic scholarships, Regent’s scholarships and other scholarships are not governed by Weber School District. Students should work with their counselor to determine any possible impact of retaking a course or a comparable course for a course grade forgiveness.
    2. Comparable Courses
      1. Comparable courses must fill the same graduation course requirements as the original course, but need not be taught in the same format or for the same number of hours.
      2. School-based paper packet and other credit recovery options cannot be used to improve a course grade.
      3. The principal of the school, in consultation with the District Director of Curriculum, shall determine if a course is comparable based on standards, commensurate workload, comparable rigor, and if competency in the subject matter can be demonstrated. 
    3. Procedure
      1. A student seeking to replace a course grade with one from a comparable course must, prior to repeating the course or enrolling in a comparable course, first complete and submit the Course Grade Forgiveness/Replacement Form & Contract to the student’s counselor.
        1. If a student is repeating the same course, the counselor will sign the form and forward it to the school principal for signature.
        2. If a student requests enrollment in a different but comparable course;
          1. The counselor will review the form and forward it to the principal, who, in consultation with the Director of Curriculum, will determine if the course is comparable and approved for grade replacement
          2. The principal will return the form to the counselor with the principal’s decision.
          3. The counselor will communicate the decision to the student, and if approved, enroll the student in the approved course.
      2. Upon completion of the comparable course:
        1. the student will provide his/her counselor all necessary documentation required to add a course to or improve a grade on the student’s current transcript within thirty days of completing the course.
        2. The counselor will submit the information to the principal, who will then approve the adjustment of the student’s transcript and return the form to the counselor.
        3. If approved, the registrar will adjust the transcript as follows:
          1. The transcript will be adjusted to reflect the student’s highest grade and exclude the lower grade, as necessary, and adjust the student’s grade point average accordingly.
          2. If a student retakes a “comparable course” that has a different course title or course number but counts for the same graduation credit, the comparable course, title and/or course number will be added to the transcript in the reporting period in which the course was taken, and the school and entity from which the course was taken.
          3. The transcript shall exclude from the student’s permanent record the course or comparable course that is not the highest grade.
        4. The student’s transcript may not indicate the course or comparable course for which the student did not receive the highest grade on the student’s record.

  7. TRANSFER CREDITS
    1. Schools within Weber School District will accept:
      1. Credits and grades awarded to a student by a school accredited or approved by the Utah State Board of Education without alterations.
      2. Credits and grades awarded to a student by a school recognized by the Northwest Accreditation Commission as issued by the school without alterations.

  8. GRADUATION CREDITS
    1. High School Diploma
      1. A school Diploma may be awarded to a student who has
        1. been enrolled in and attended the awarding school for at least the final semester of their senior year;
        2. completed the academic requirements established by the Utah State Board of Education (State Board) in Utah Administrative Code R277-700;
        3. completed the additional academic credit requirements as determined by Weber School District Board of Education and enumerated in the Course Requirements and Criteria for Graduation in this policy; and
        4. met the attendance credit requirements.
      2. A student must complete all requirements prior to September 15 (or on the final business day preceding this date) immediately following their cohort’s graduation.
      3. A student scheduled to earn a school Diploma after their cohort’s graduation shall not be allowed to participate in their home high school graduation ceremonies.
    2. Alternative High School Diploma
      1. An alternative high school diploma may be awarded to a student who has:
        1. Completed the academic requirements established by the State Board in Utah Administrative Code R277-700, and
        2. A student must complete all requirements prior to September 15 (or on the final business day preceding this date) immediately following his/her cohort’s graduation.
    3. Weber School District Diploma
      1. A Weber School District Diploma may be awarded to a student who has:
        1. been enrolled, at least one term prior to graduation, and attended their boundary high school;
        2. completed a performance contract, approved by the school’s administrative team AND satisfy requirements in the contract as determined by the school administrative team; ad
        3. completed the academic requirements established by the State Board in Utah Administrative Code R277-700.
      2. A student earning a Weber School District Diploma shall not be allowed to participate in their home high school graduation ceremonies.
      3. A student must complete all requirements prior to September 15 (or on the final business day preceding this date) immediately following their cohort’s graduation.
    4. Alternate High School Diploma for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
      1. An alternate high school diploma may be awarded to a student who has:
        1. A significant cognitive disability as defined by R277-705-2(8);
        2. Accessed grade-level Core standards through the Essential Elements;
        3. Completed all the academic requirements established by the Utah State Board of Education in Utah Administrative Code R277-705-5 or substitutions for graduation in the same content area from a list of alternative courses approved by Utah State Board of Education in R277- 705(1)(b) (these substitutions must be made by the student’s IEP team);
        4. Met the attendance credit requirements; and
        5. Met all graduation requirements prior to exiting school at or before age 22.
    5. Career Development Credential
      1. A career development credential may be awarded to a student with an IEP or Section 504 plan who:
        1. Meets the requirements of a career focused work experience prior to leaving school; and consistent with:
          1. state and federal law; and
          2. the student's IEP or Section 504 plan.
        2. Prior to receiving a career development credential, a student shall:
          1. Earn the following credits in core content:
            1. English Language Arts (3.0);
            2. Mathematics (2.0);
            3. Science (1.0); and
            4. Social Studies (1.0);
          2. Complete 120 hours of community based work experience, to include:
            1. 40 hours of paid employment; or
            2. documentation of completion of intake with a vocal rehabilitation counselor or the Department of Workforce Services;
          3. Complete an LEA approved transition curriculum class or coursework that includes:
            1. Disability awareness;
            2. Accommodations;
            3. Self-advocacy training;
            4. Career exploration; and
            5. Workplace soft skills;
          4. Receive .50 credits in a CTE Work Based Learning internship, including accommodations or modifications as appropriate and allowed by industry standards; and
          5. Verify concentration in a CTE pathway in the student's area of interest.

  9. EARLY GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS 
    1. Early graduation is available to all students interested in graduating prior to the completion of the 12th grade year. Students must complete the following requirements:
      1. A student intending to graduate early must satisfy existing graduation requirements of Weber School District (see policy 4370).
      2. The student, a parent/guardian, administrator, and counselor will develop a Student Education Occupation Plan (SEOP). The SEOP will outline the course work needed to satisfy the early graduation goal.
    2. Graduation Ceremony Participation
      1. Students who complete the graduation requirements early may participate in the graduation ceremony of the year in which requirements are completed.

  10. GRADUATION POLICY FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS ON EDUCATIONAL VISAS (J-1 ONLY)                                                                  
    1. The following are district standards to be implemented by each high school concerning participation in graduation ceremonies and the receipt of high school diplomas, including foreign students on J-1 and visas in the Weber School District.
      1. Students on J-1 Visas may study for one school year only.
      2. Students will be placed based on available room at a given school.
      3. No J-1 Foreign Exchange student will receive a Weber School District/High School Diploma as they are only here for one school year.  This year is meant to be a cultural opportunity, not a graduation opportunity.
      4. J-1 Foreign Exchange students may receive a Certificate of Completion for credits earned. They may be allowed to participate in special graduation activities with permission from School Administration. This does not include graduation ceremonies.
      5. Agency and school district policies require foreign students on J-1 to provide transcripts or materials in English. Transcripts must include course titles, course descriptions, grades and credit issued, course length or duration, date credits were issued, grade levels completed, and credit equivalences. The Utah State Board of Education staff may act as a resource to district personnel in monitoring the adequacy of evaluations.

Approved June 2014

Graduation

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