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Graduation Requirements

     Code: IKF



School Administrative District No. 31


GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS


Before entering high school, students need to know the standards for attaining a high school diploma in order to plan an appropriate, sequential, educational program to meet that goal.


MSAD 31 has adopted a standards-based system of learning consistent with Maine law, which means that after January 1, 2020, the awarding of a diploma will be contingent on the demonstration of proficiency in the content areas and Guiding Principles and the Learning Results rather than the accumulation of credits.


To be awarded a high school diploma from the MSAD 31 schools, students graduating in the Class of 2020 and beyond must demonstrate proficiency in the content areas identified in Maine’s system of Learning Results, meet the cross-content performance standards set forth in the Guiding Principles of the Learning Results, and fulfill all additional graduation requirements set by the Board.


Students graduating in the Classes of 2014-2019 must meet the credit and other graduation requirements specified in this policy.

A student who would have graduated with the Class of 2019 and have been awarded a diploma at commencement but for his/her failure to earn sufficient credits or meet other requirements set by Board policy will have until December 31, 2019 to fulfill the graduation requirements applicable to the Class of 2019.


The Superintendent, through the high school principal or other designee, shall be responsible for making accurate information concerning diploma requirements available to incoming students and their parents prior to the start of their ninth grade school year. A copy of this policy will be disseminated to all incoming ninth grade students at the time of course selection. This policy will also be included in every edition of the high school student handbook.


The Board has approved the following schedule of minimum requirements for graduation, which includes minimum requirements specified by the State of Maine. The Board is aware that current law and regulations are subject to change.


The Board expects the Superintendent/designee to inform students and parents as soon as practicable of any additional State-imposed standards that must be met before students may be awarded a high school diploma.




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I. DIPLOMA REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS GRADUATING IN THE CLASSES OF 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 , 2018 or 2019


Students who anticipate graduating in the Classes of 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2019 must meet the following minimum requirements in order to be awarded a high school diploma.


A. The student must successfully complete a total of 22.5 credits. Of these credits, 12 ½ (twelve and one-half) must be those specified by the State of Maine. They are:


1. English/language arts – 4 credits;


2. Mathematics – 2 credits;


3. Social studies and history, including one year of American history and government – 2 credits;


4. Science, including at least one year of laboratory study – 2 years;


5. Fine arts, which may include art, music, forensics or drama – 1 credit;


6. Health – 1/2 credit; and


7. Physical education – 1 credit.


B. The student must demonstrate computer skills according to the school unit’s standards for computer literacy, proficiency, and performance.


C. In addition to the State requirements, the student must meet the following additional credit requirements established by the Board:


1. Math – 1 additional credit;


2. Science – 1 additional credit;


3. Social Studies – 1 additional credit;


4. Health- ½ additional credit;


5. FYI– 1 credit;


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6. Computer Application: ½ credit;


D. The remaining credits may be selected by the student based on his/her interest, satisfaction of course prerequisites, and requirements of the field that he/she plans to enter upon graduation.



ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF EARNING CREDITS


A student who is deficient in these requirements or wishes to meet these requirements through alternative means may earn and apply credits in accordance with the provisions of this section.


A student who wishes to meet a credit requirement through an alternative method must have prior written approval as specified in this section.


A student who makes up deficiencies may participate in the next regular graduation ceremony following successful completion of all graduation requirements.


A. A student may earn up to two credits through the Lincoln Adult Education Program. The student must have prior written approval from the Director of Adult Education, Guidance Counselor, Department Chair and Principal.


B. A student may obtain credits through summer school in classes that he/she completed but did not pass. The student must obtain prior written approval from the Guidance Counselor, Department Chair and Principal.

C. A student may earn up to 2 credits through distance learning/virtual courses provided 1) the course is approved in advance by the Guidance Counselor, Department Chair and Principal and 2) progress is monitored by a member of the High School’s professional staff.


D. Advanced courses or courses not available at the High School may be taken at other secondary schools or at approved postsecondary institutions with the approval of the Guidance Counselor and Principal.


E. A student may earn up to 2 credits through independent study approved by the Guidance Counselor, Department Chair and Principal and monitored by the teacher(s) of the subject(s) to which the independent study is related.



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STUDENTS RECEIVING SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES


Students who achieve proficiency in meeting the content standards of the Learning

Results as specified in the goals and objectives of their Individualized Education

Plans (IEP), will be awarded diplomas.



II. DIPLOMA REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS GRADUATING IN THE CLASS OF 2020 AND BEYOND


In accordance with Maine law and MSAD 31’s standards-based system of learning, after January 1, 2020 the awarding of a diploma from MSAD 31 schools will be contingent on the demonstration of proficiency in the content areas of Maine’s system of Learning Results and meeting the cross-content performance standards of the Guiding Principles of the Learning Results, rather than the accumulation of credits. The student must also fulfill any other requirements specified in this policy.


Students who anticipate graduating in the Classes of 2020 and beyond must meet the following requirements in order to be awarded a high school diploma.


A. Demonstrate proficiency in meeting standards in the following content areas of the Learning Results. Meeting the standards entails demonstrating proficiency for each standard within each content area.


English Language Arts


Mathematics


Science and Technology


Social Studies


Health Education and Physical Education


Visual and Performing Arts


World Languages


Career and Education Development (embedded in the other content areas)


B. Meet the cross-content performance standards set forth in the Guiding Principles of the Learning Results.

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A student graduating from MSAD 31 schools is expected to be a:


Clear and effective communicator;


Self-directed and life-long learner;


Creative and analytical problem solver;


Responsible and involved citizen; and an


Integrative and informed thinker.


MULTIPLE PATHWAYS TO THE AWARDING OF A PROFICIENCY-BASED

DIPLOMA


MSAD 31’s high school educational program is designed to enable students to

satisfy graduation requirements in four years through a sequence of

educational (learning) experiences/courses providing opportunities to gain and

demonstrate proficiency in all of the content areas of the Learning Results and in the

cross-content Guiding Principles of the Learning Results.


Students following a traditional pathway will:


A. Engage in educational experiences in the content areas of English Language

Arts, Mathematics, and Science and Technology in each year of their high school program.

B. Engage in at least three educational experiences in the content

area of social studies during their high school program.


C. Engage in at least one educational experience in each of the content areas of

visual and performing arts during their high school program.


D. Engage in at least one educational experience in world languages during their high school program

E. Engage in at least one health and one physical education experience during their high school program.


F. Engage in educational experiences that integrate career and education development into other content areas of the Learning Results.



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Students following a traditional pathway must be enrolled in the equivalent of six full year learning experiences/courses or integrated equivalents in each of their

high school years.


Students may also opt to pursue a high school diploma through multiple additional

pathways including:


Early college/dual enrollment courses


Career and technical education programming


Online/virtual learning


Apprenticeships, internships and/or field work


Community service


Exchange programs


Independent study


Alternative education/“At Risk” programming


Adult education


Each pathway must provide a quality learning experience comparable in rigor to the

school unit’s own educational experience (course) offerings.


In order to pursue one or more of the multiple/alternative pathways, a student must have a

Personal Learning Plan detailing how the pathway will provide exposure to the content

standards of the Learning Results and how the student will demonstrate proficiency in

meeting the standards. The personal learning plan must be approved by the Guidance

Counselor, Department Chair and Principal.


STUDENTS RECEIVING SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES


Students who achieve proficiency in the content standards of the Learning Results and

Guiding Principles, as specified in the goals and objectives of their Individualized

Education Plans (IEP) will be awarded diplomas. An IEP modifies the means by which a student with a disability demonstrates proficiency in meeting the standards but does not modify the standards themselves.






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III. ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS APPLICABLE TO THE AWARDING OF A DIPLOMA FROM PENOBSCOT VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL




This section applies to all students, in all graduation classes.


A. Transfer Students


For students who transfer from another state or from an educational program that is not required to be aligned with the content standards of the system of Learning Results, Principal shall determine the value of the student’s prior educational experience towards meeting graduation requirements.


B. Home-schooled Students


For home-schooled students wishing to receive a diploma, the Principal shall determine the value of the student’s prior educational experience toward meeting graduation credit requirements.


C. Delayed Awarding of Diplomas


A student who leaves to attend an accredited, degree-granting institution of higher education may upon satisfactory completion of the freshman year be awarded a high school diploma, provided that the student has notified the principal at the time of the early admission.

D. Early Awarding of Diplomas


A student who has met the State’s and the Board’s diploma requirements in fewer than four years of high school may be awarded a diploma.


E. Extended Study


Students are eligible for extended years of study to complete the requirements of a diploma if they have not reached the age of 20 at the start of the school year. Students eligible for extended years of study may be referred to adult education or other resources suitable to young learners. Extended study for students with disabilities shall be specified in the student’s Individualized Education Plan.




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F. Certificate of Completion


The Board may provide a certificate of completion to a student who leaves school having completed four years attendance as a full-time high school student and who has earned the required credits but has not met Learning Results proficiency standards that may be mandated by the State


G. Participation in Graduation Ceremony


A student must complete all Board requirements for a high school diploma or certificate of completion in order to participate in graduation exercises.


H. Honors and Awards at Graduation


In order to be eligible for honors or awards based wholly or in part on academic achievement (e.g., valedictorian, salutatorian, class speaker, “Top 10”), a student must have been enrolled full time for two years preceding graduation. Students who do not meet this enrollment requirement will not be “ranked” for the purpose of determining eligibility for graduation honors, awards, or scholarships.


Legal Reference: 20-A M.R.S.A. § 4722

Ch. 127 § 7 (Me. Dept. of Ed. Rule)



Cross Reference: IHCDA – Post-Secondary Enrollment Options

IK – Student Achievement

IKFA - Early Graduation

Adopted: 5/21/14

Reviewed: 5/20/15













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