AIM Center Grading System and Graduation Requirements

GRADING GUIDELINES

Grading guidelines for each course will be communicated and distributed to students and their parents by the classroom teacher.  These guidelines have been reviewed by each applicable curriculum department and have been approved by the campus principal.  These guidelines establish the minimum number of assignments, projects, and examinations required for each grading period.  In addition, these guidelines establish how the student’s mastery of concepts and achievement will be communicated (i.e., letter grades, numerical averages, checklist of required skills, etc.).  Grading guidelines also outline in what circumstances a student will be allowed to redo an assignment or retake an examination for which the student originally made a failing grade.  Procedures for a student to follow after an absence will also be addressed.
Grading Scale
The grading scale for the AIM Center High School is as follows:
            A…………………….90-100
            B……………………..80-89
            C……………………..75-79
            D……………………..74-70
            F………………………Below 70  Failing
Also see Report Cards/Progress Reports and Conferences on page 56 for additional information on grading guidelines. 

GRADUATION

Requirements for a Diploma for a Student Enrolled in High School Prior to the 2014–15 School Year

To receive a high school diploma from the district, a student who was enrolled in high school prior to the 2014–15 school year must successfully:

  • Complete the required number of credits established by the state and any additional credits required by the district;
  • Complete any locally required courses in addition to the courses mandated by the state; and
  • Achieve passing scores on certain end-of-course (EOC) assessments or approved substitute assessments, unless specifically waived as permitted by state law.

Also see Standardized Testing on page 61 for more information.

Requirements for a Diploma Beginning with the 2014–15 School Year

Beginning with students who enter grade 9 in the 2014–15 school year, as well as any currently enrolled high school student who decides to graduate under the new foundation graduation program, a student must meet the following requirements to receive a high school diploma from the district:

  • Complete the required number of credits established by the state and any additional credits required by the district;
  • Complete any locally required courses in addition to the courses mandated by the state;
  • Achieve passing scores on certain end-of-course (EOC) assessments or approved substitute assessments, unless specifically waived as permitted by state law; and
  • Demonstrate proficiency, as determined by the district, in the specific communication skills required by the State Board of Education.

Testing Requirements for Graduation

Students are required, with limited exceptions and regardless of graduation program, to perform satisfactorily on the following EOC assessments:  English I, English II, Algebra I, Biology, and United States History.  A student who has not achieved sufficient scores on the EOC assessments to graduate will have opportunities to retake the assessments.  State law and state rules also provide for certain scores on norm-referenced national standardized assessments to substitute for the requirement to meet satisfactory performance on an applicable EOC assessment should a student choose this option.  See the school counselor for more information on the state testing requirements for graduation. 
If a student fails to perform satisfactorily on an EOC assessment, the district will provide remediation to the student in the content area for which the performance standard was not met.  This may require participation of the student before or after normal school hours or at times of the year outside normal school operations. 
Also see Standardized Testing on page 61 for more information.

Minimum, Recommended, and Advanced/Distinguished Achievement Graduation Programs

For students who were enrolled in high school prior to the 2014–15 school year, the district offers the graduation programs listed in this section.   Students enrolled in high school prior to the 2014–15 school year also have the option to pursue the foundation graduation program as described below.  Note that permission to enroll in the Minimum Program as described in this section will be granted only if a written agreement is reached among the student, the student’s parent or person standing in parental relation, and the school counselor or appropriate administrator.  In order for a student to take courses under the Minimum Program, the student must be at least 16 years of age; have completed at least two credits each in English language arts, math, science, and social studies courses that are required for graduation; or have failed grade 9 one or more times.  [See policy EIF(LEGAL).]
All students who were enrolled in high school prior to the 2014–15 school year must meet the following credit and course requirements for graduation under the programs listed or may choose to pursue the foundation graduation program as described on page 40:


Courses

Number of credits Minimum Program

Number of credits Recommended Program

Number of credits Advanced/ Distinguished Achievement Program

English/Language Arts

4

4

4

Mathematics

3

4

4

Science

2

4

4

Social Studies, including Economics

4

4

4

Physical Education*

1

1

1

Speech

0.5

0.5

0.5

Language other than English

 

2

3

Fine Arts

1

1

1

Locally required courses

Health 0.5
Technology 1

Health 0.5
Technology 1

Health 0.5
Technology 1

Electives**

6.5 credits

5.5 credits

4.5 credits

Miscellaneous

 

 

Completion of 4 Advanced Measures***

TOTAL

22 credits

26 credits

26 credits

* A student who is unable to participate in physical activity due to a disability or illness may be able to substitute a course in English language arts, mathematics, science, or social studies for the required credit of physical education.  This determination will be made by the student’s ARD committee, Section 504 committee, or other campus committee, as applicable.
** State rules prohibit a student from combining a half-credit of a course for which there is an EOC assessment with another half-credit of an elective credit course to satisfy an elective credit requirement.  However, the district will allow a student to satisfy a graduation requirement for which there are multiple options with one-half credit of one allowable option and one-half credit of another allowable option, if neither course has an EOC assessment. 
*** A student graduating under the Advanced/Distinguished Achievement Program must also achieve a combination of four of the following advanced measures:

  • An original research project or other project that is related to the required curriculum.  These projects must be judged by a panel of professionals or conducted under the direction of a mentor and reported to an appropriate audience.  Please note that no more than two of the four advanced measures may be received from this option.
  • Test data where a student receives:
    • A score of three or above on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam;
    • A score of four or above on an International Baccalaureate (IB) exam; or
    • A score on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) that qualifies the student for recognition as a commended scholar or higher by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation, as part of the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) of the College Board, or as part of the National Achievement Scholarship Program of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.  The PSAT/NMSQT score will count as only one advanced measure regardless of the number of honors received by the student.
  • College academic courses, including those taken for dual credit, and advanced technical courses, including locally articulated courses, provided the student scores the equivalent of a 3.0 or higher.

Foundation Graduation Program

Every student in a Texas public school who enters grade 9 in the 2014–15 school year and thereafter will graduate under a new program called the “foundation graduation program.”  Within the foundation graduation program are “endorsements,” which are paths of interest that include Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); Business and Industry; Public Services; Arts and Humanities; and Multidisciplinary Studies.  Endorsements earned by a student will be noted on the student’s transcript and diploma.  The foundation graduation program also involves the term “distinguished level of achievement,” which reflects the completion of at least one endorsement and Algebra II as one of the required advanced mathematics credits.  A personal graduation plan will be completed for each high school student, as described on page 37.  State law and rules prohibit a student from graduating solely under the foundation graduation program without an endorsement unless, after the student’s sophomore year, the student and student’s parent are advised of the specific benefits of graduating with an endorsement and submit written permission to the school counselor for the student to graduate without an endorsement.  A student who anticipates graduating under the foundation graduation program without an endorsement and who wishes to attend a four-year university or college after graduation must carefully consider whether this will satisfy the admission requirements of the student’s desired college or university. 
Graduating under the foundation graduation program will also provide opportunities to earn “performance acknowledgments” that will be acknowledged on a student’s diploma and transcript.  Performance acknowledgments are available for outstanding performance in bilingualism and biliteracy; in a dual credit course; on an AP or IB exam; on the PSAT, ACT-Plan, SAT, or ACT exam, which are national exams; or for earning a nationally or internationally recognized license or certificate.  The criteria for earning these performance acknowledgments are prescribed by state rules, and the school counselor can provide more information about these acknowledgments. 
A student enrolled in high school prior to the 2014–15 school year has the option of graduating under the foundation graduation program rather than the programs identified above that would otherwise be applicable to that student.  See the school counselor for additional information.
The foundation graduation program requires completion of the following credits:

Course Area

Number of credits Foundation Graduation Program

Number of credits Foundation Graduation Program with an Endorsement

English/Language Arts

4

4

Mathematics

3

4*

Science

3

4

Social Studies, including Economics

3

3

Physical Education**

1

1

Language other than English***

2

2

Fine Arts

1

1

Locally required courses

Health 0.5
Technology 1

Health 0.5
Technology 1

Electives

5

7

Miscellaneous

 

Available Endorsements****:
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
Business and Industry
Public Services
Arts and Humanities
Multidisciplinary

TOTAL

22 credits

26 credits

* In order to obtain the distinguished level of achievement under the foundation graduation program, which will be denoted on a student’s transcript and diploma and is a requirement to be considered for automatic admission purposes to a Texas four-year college or university, a student must complete an endorsement and take Algebra II as one of the four mathematics credits.
** A student who is unable to participate in physical activity due to a disability or illness may be able to substitute a course in English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, or another locally determined credit-bearing course for the required credit of physical education.  This determination will be made by the student’s ARD committee, Section 504 committee, or other campus committee, as applicable.
*** Students are required to earn two credits in the same language other than English to graduate.  Any student may substitute computer programming languages for these credits.  In limited circumstances, a student may be able to substitute this requirement with other courses, as determined by a district committee authorized by law to make these decisions for the student.
**** A student must specify upon entering grade 9 the endorsement he or she wishes to pursue. 

Personal Graduation Plans for Students Under The Foundation Graduation Program

A personal graduation plan will be developed for each high school student who is subject to the requirements of the foundation graduation program.  The district encourages all students to pursue a personal graduation plan that includes the completion of at least one endorsement and to graduate with the distinguished level of achievement.  Attainment of the distinguished level of achievement entitles a student to be considered for automatic admission to a public four year college or university in Texas, depending on his or her rank in class.  The school will review personal graduation plan options with each student entering grade 9 and his or her parent.  Before the end of grade 9, a student and his or her parent will be required to sign off on a personal graduation plan that includes a course of study that promotes college and workforce readiness and career placement and advancement, as well as facilitates the transition from secondary to postsecondary education.  The student’s personal graduation plan will denote an appropriate course sequence based on the student’s choice of endorsement.  
A student may, with parental permission, amend his or her personal graduation plan after the initial confirmation.

Available Course Options for all Graduation Programs

Information regarding specific courses required or offered in each curriculum area will be distributed to students each spring in order to enroll in courses for the upcoming school year.
Please be aware that not all courses are offered at every secondary campus in the district.  A student who wants to take a course not offered at his or her regular campus should contact the school counselor about a transfer or other alternatives.  If the parents of at least 22 students request a transfer for those students to take a course in the required curriculum other than fine arts or CTE, the district will offer the course for the following year either by teleconference or at the school from which the transfers were requested.

Certificates of Coursework Completion

A certificate of coursework completion will not be issued to a student who has successfully completed state and local credit requirements for graduation but has not yet demonstrated satisfactory performance on the state-mandated tests required for graduation.

Students with Disabilities

Upon the recommendation of the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee, a student with a disability who receives special education services may be permitted to graduate under the provisions of his or her IEP.
A student who receives special education services and has completed four years of high school, but has not met the requirements of his or her IEP, may participate in graduation ceremonies and receive a certificate of attendance.  Even if the student participates in graduation ceremonies to receive the certificate of attendance, he or she may remain enrolled to complete the IEP and earn his or her high school diploma; however, the student will only be allowed to participate in one graduation ceremony.
[See policy FMH(LEGAL).]
Please also be aware that if an ARD committee places a student with a disability on a modified curriculum in a subject area, the student will be automatically placed in the Minimum Program, if that program is applicable based on the school year in which the student entered high school, in accordance with state rules.
If a student receiving special education services is scheduled to graduate under the Minimum Program or in accordance with the provisions of his or her IEP, the student’s ARD committee will determine whether the general EOC assessment is an accurate measure of the student’s achievement and progress and, if so, whether successful performance is required for graduation, or whether an alternative assessment is more appropriate.  STAAR Alternate is the alternative assessment currently allowed by the state.  [See Standardized Testing for additional information page 61.] 

ARD committees for students with disabilities who receive special education services and who are subject to the foundation graduation program will make instructional and assessment decisions for these students in accordance with state law and rules. 

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