305R - High School Graduation Requirements

A. General Information

Beginning with the ninth grade class of 2012, the following certificates and diplomas may be earned by Frederick County Public Schools students: Standard Diploma, Advanced Studies Diploma, Special Diploma, Certificate of High School Program Completion, Certificate of Alternative Program Completion, and General Education Development (GED) credential.  The Modified Standard Diploma shall be available to those eligible students who enrolled in ninth grade prior to fall 2013. Each credential has specific requirements.  Students must meet requirements established by the Virginia Board of Education or the American Council on Education in order to be awarded credentials approved by those entities.

Except for fifth-year seniors, all students in grades nine through 12 shall be required to enroll in a minimum of seven credits each year.  Students at The Learning Center must take a minimum of six (6) credits each year.  Reduced schedules or exceptions for extenuating circumstances must be approved by the principal, in consultation with the assistant superintendent for instruction. 

The standard unit of credit for graduation shall be based on a minimum of 140 clock hours of instruction and successful completion of the requirements for the course.  When credit is awarded in less than whole units, the increment awarded must be no greater than the fractional part of the 140 hours of instruction.

High school students may repeat a course taken in grades nine through 12 only with the authorization of the school principal.  Repeating a course will be permitted when additional skill development is needed to proceed in a specific course within the content area.  Reenrollment in a class is reserved for those cases in which inadequate preparation is evident.  Requests to repeat a course will not be honored after the end of the first semester following completion of that course.  The student’s transcript will reflect that the course was repeated; however, only the higher grade will be used for computing the cumulative grade point average. Requests to repeat a course may be denied if there are insufficient student seats available.

Graduation requirements in effect when a student enters the ninth grade are the ones the student will meet in order to earn a Standard or Advanced Studies diploma.

B. Standard Diplomas

1. Students entering the ninth grade prior to fall 2011, must successfully complete the following course of study to earn a Standard Diploma:                                                                                                             

Number of
Required Units

Number of
Verified Units

English

4

2

Mathematics (Must be at or above the level of Algebra and shall include at least two different course selections from among Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, or other mathematics courses above the level of Algebra and Geometry)

3

1

Science (Must include at least two different science disciplines from among Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, or Physics)

3

1

Social Studies (Must include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and two World History/Geography courses)

4

1

Student selected SOL tests from the following areas: Math, Science, Social Studies, or approved substitute tests* and/or Career and Technical Education Tests

 

1

Health and Physical Education
(Must include both Health I and PE I and Health II and PE II)

2

 

Elective Sequence
(This may be a career and technical sequence  or fine/performing/practical arts, or academic sequence)

2

 

Fine/Performing or Career and Technical Education

Fine/Performing Arts: Art, Music, Drama, Creative Writing, Speech Communications, Debate/Public Speaking, Journalism

Career and Technical Education: Agriculture, Business, Family and Consumer Sciences, Marketing, Technology, Trade and Industrial Training, Health Occupations, Education for Employment, Publications

1

 

Open Electives

(Academic/Career and Technical Education/Fine Arts/Performing Arts/Physical Education)

3

 

TOTAL UNITS

22


 

2. Students entering the ninth grade in the fall of 2011 and thereafter, must successfully complete the following course of study to earn a Standard Diploma:

 

Number of
Required Units

Number of
Verified Units

English

4

2

Mathematics (Must be at or above the level of Algebra and shall include at least two different course selections from among Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, or other mathematics courses above the level of  Algebra and Geometry)

3

1

Laboratory Science (Must include at least two different science disciplines from among Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, or Physics)

3

1

History and Social Studies (Must include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and two World History/Geography courses)

4

1

Health and Physical Education
(Must include both Health I and PE I and Health II and PE II)

2

 

World Language, Fine Arts, or CTE

2

 

Economics and Personal Finance

1

 

Electives (Must include two sequential electives)

3

 

Student Selected SOL tests from the following areas:  Math, Science, Social Studies, or approved substitute tests* or Career and Technical Education Tests

 

1

TOTAL UNITS

22

6

 

3. Career and Technical Education Requirement

Students entering grade nine for the first time in the fall of 2013 or later shall earn a career and technical education credential that may include, but not be limited to, the successful completion of an industry certification, a state licensure examination, a national occupational competency assessment, or the Virginia workplace readiness skills assessment.

4. Virtual Course Completion

Students in grade nine for the first time in fall 2013 or later shall successfully complete one approved virtual course before earning a standard diploma. The virtual course may be a non-credit-bearing course.

5. Verified Units of Credit

a. High School students in grade nine must earn verified units of credit by passing Standards of Learning (SOL) tests or Board of Education-approved substitute tests. Students must pass six Standards of Learning tests (2 in English, 1 in math, 1 in science, 1 in social studies and 1 of their own choosing) to earn a Standard Diploma.

b. Virginia Board of Education approved nationally standardized tests may be used as substitute tests for the SOL tests in order to earn verified credit. If a student elects to not take an SOL test in order to take an approved substitute test at a later date and fails to receive and submit a passing score on the approved substitute test by his/her graduation date, his/her graduation may be delayed pending submission of a passing score on the substitute test. A list of Board of Education-approved substitute tests and additional information is available from school counselors.

        6. Locally Awarded Verified Credits

a. Student Eligibility Applicable for a Standard Diploma

To be eligible to earn locally awarded verified credits in science or history/social studies under the State Board of Education guidelines, a                        student must have:
    • Passed the high school course. 
    • Scored at least 375 -399 on the related Standard of Learning or approved substitute test, and taken the test two or more times. 
    • Not met science, history, or student selected verified credit requirements for the Standard Diploma.
b. Student Eligibility Applicable for a Standard Diploma with IEP Credit Accommodation

To be eligible to earn locally awarded verified credits in English, math, science or history/social studies under the State Board of Education guidelines, a student must have:
    • Passed the high school course 
    • Scored at least 375 -399 on the related Standard of Learning and taken the test two or more times 
    • Not met English, math, science, history, or student selected verified credit requirements for the Standard Diploma 
    • Informed written consent of the parent/guardian and the student, as appropriate, to choose credit accommodations for a Standard Diploma 
c. Local Review Panel

To determine student mastery of the SOL content in a course when students meet the eligibility requirements listed above, Frederick County Public Schools will convene review panels as needed. Each review panel will be chaired by the division director of reporting and program evaluation or designee. Each review panel will also include the division-level content supervisor, the school department chair or designee, a school counselor or case manager familiar with the student, and the school principal or designee

d. Local Review Process

When a student has passed the course, but twice failed the end of course SOL test, the counselor will submit an application to the office of the director of reporting and program evaluation and coordinate with review panel members to assemble evidence of mastery.

Step One: The student’s application form with evidence of mastery is forwarded to the panel for review. After this review, the panel has three options including awarding verified credit, denying verified credit, or requesting additional evidence of mastery.

Step Two: After review of the additional evidence, the panel will have the option of either awarding verified credit or denying verified credit. A majority of the panel members must certify their agreement to award the verified credit.

This process may not be used to award verified credits for the Advanced Studies Diploma.

C.  Advanced Studies Diplomas 

1. Students entering the ninth grade prior to fall 2011 must successfully complete the following course of study to earn an Advanced Studies Diploma:

 

Number of
Required Units

Number of
Verified Units

English

4

2

Mathematics (Must be at or above the level of Algebra and shall include at least three different course selections from among Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, or other mathematics courses above the level of Algebra II and Geometry)

4

2

Science (Must include at least three different science disciplines from among Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, or Physics)

4

2

Social Studies (Must include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and two World History/Geography courses)

4

2

Student selected SOL tests from the following areas: Math, Science, Social Studies, or approved substitute tests* or Career and Technical Education Tests

 

1

World Language (three years of one language or two years of two languages)

3

 

Health and Physical Education (Must include both Health I and PE I and Health II and PE II)

2

 

Fine/Performing or Career and Technical Education

Fine/Performing Arts: Art, Music, Drama, Creative Writing, Speech Communications, Debate/Public Speaking, Journalism

Career and Technical Education: Agriculture, Business, Family and Consumer Sciences, Marketing, Technology, Trade and Industrial Training, Health Occupations, Education for Employment, Publications

1

 

Open Electives

(Academic/Career and Technical Education/Fine Arts/Performing Arts/Physical Education)

2

 

TOTAL UNITS

24

9

 

2. Students entering the ninth grade in the fall of 2011 and thereafter must successfully complete the following course of study to earn an Advanced Studies Diploma:

 

Number of
Required Units

Number of
Verified Units

English

4

2

Mathematics (Must be at or above the level of Algebra and shall include at least three different course selections from among Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, or other mathematics courses above the level of Algebra II and Geometry)

4

2

Laboratory Science (Must include at least three different science disciplines from among Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, or Physics)

4

2

History and Social Studies (Must include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and two World History/Geography courses)

4

2

Health and Physical Education (Must include both Health I and PE I and Health II and PE II)

2

 

World Language (Three years of one language or two years of two languages)

3

 

Fine/Performing or Career and Technical Education

Fine/Performing Arts: Art, Music, Drama, Creative Writing, Speech Communications, Debate/Public Speaking, Journalism

Career and Technical Education: Agriculture, Business, Family and Consumer Sciences, Marketing, Technology, Trade and Industrial Training, Health Occupations, Education for Employment, Publications

1

 

Economics and Personal Finance

1

 

Electives (Academic/Career and Technical Education/Fine Arts/Performing Arts/Physical Education)

3

 

Student Selected SOL tests from the following areas:  Math, Science, Social Studies, or approved substitute tests* or Career and Technical Education Tests

 

1

TOTAL UNITS

26

9

          3. Virtual Course Completion

a. Students in grade 9 for the first time in the fall of 2013 or later shall successfully complete one approved virtual course before earning an advanced studies diploma. The virtual course may be a non-credit-bearing course. 

4.Verified Units of Credit

a. To earn an Advanced Studies Diploma, students must pass nine Standards of Learning tests (2 in English, 2 in math, 2 in science, 2 in social studies and 1 of their own choosing).

b. Virginia Board of Education approved nationally standardized tests may be used as substitute tests for the SOL tests in order to earn verified credit. If a student elects to not take an SOL test in order to take an approved substitute tests at a later date and fails to receive and submit a passing score on the approved substitute test by his/her graduation date, his/her graduation may be delayed pending submission of a passing score on the substitute test. A list of Board of Education approved substitute tests and additional information is available from school counselors.


D. Modified Standard Diploma (Available only to those eligible students who are enrolled in ninth grade prior to fall 2013) 

1. The Modified Standard Diploma program is intended for certain students who have a disability and are unlikely to meet the credit requirements for a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma. Eligibility and participation in the Modified Standard Diploma program shall be determined by the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) team and the student, as appropriate, at any point after the student’s eighth grade year.

2. The school must secure the informed written consent of the parent/guardian and the student to choose this diploma program after review of the student’s academic history and the full disclosure of the student’s options.

3. The student who has chosen to pursue a Modified Standard Diploma shall also be allowed to pursue the Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma at any time throughout that student’s high school career. The student must not be excluded from courses and tests required to earn a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma.

4. Students pursuing the Modified Standard Diploma shall pass literacy and numeracy competency assessments prescribed by the Board.

5. Credits required for graduation with a Modified Standard Diploma are listed below:

 

Number of
Required Units

Number of
Verified Units

English

4

N/A

Mathematics (Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include content from among applications of algebra, geometry, personal finance, and statistics in courses that have been approved by the Board.)

3

N/A

Science (Courses completed shall include content from at least two to the following: applications of earth science, biology, chemistry, or physics in courses approved by the Board.)

2

N/A

History/Social Science (Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include one unit of credit in U.S. and Virginia History and one unit of credit in U.S. and Virginia Government in courses approved by the Board.)

2

N/A

Health and Physical Education

2

N/A

Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education

1

N/A

Electives (Courses to satisfy this requirement shall include at least two sequential electives in the same manner required for the Standard Diploma.)

6

N/A

TOTAL UNITS

20

N/


E. Special Diploma

Students with disabilities who complete the requirements of their Individualized Education Program (IEP) and do not meet the requirements for other diplomas shall be awarded Special Diplomas.


F. General Achievement Adult High School Diploma

1. The General Achievement Adult High School Diploma is intended to provide a diploma option for individuals who exit high school without a diploma. It should not be a first option for high school students.

2. Individuals who are at least 18 years of age and not enrolled in public school or not required to meet the compulsory school attendance requirements, as set forth in the Code of Virginia §22.1-254, are eligible to earn the General Achievement Adult High School Diploma. (A person of school age is one who has not reached twenty years of age on or before August 1 of the school year [§ 22.1–1.] or any individual through twenty-one years of age who is eligible for mandated services in a program of special education designed to educate and train children with disabilities [§ 22.1–213]).

3. The required number of standard units of credit may be earned by enrolling in:

a. a public school if the individual meets the age requirements,

b. a community college or other institution of higher education,

c. an adult high school program, or

d. correspondence, distance learning, and online courses.

4. Eligible candidates must have earned a Board of Education-approved career and technical education credential such as the successful completion of an industry certification, a state licensure examination, a national occupational competency assessment, or the Virginia workplace readiness skills assessment.

5. Diploma candidates shall have achieved a passing score on the GED© examination.

6. Credit and assessment requirements for graduation with a General Achievement Adult High School Diploma:
 

Number of
Required Units

Number of
Verified Units

English

4

 

Mathematics (Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include content in mathematics courses that incorporate or exceed the content of courses approved by the Board to satisfy any other Board-recognized diploma.)

3

 

Science (Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include content in science courses that incorporate or exceed the content of courses approved by the Board to satisfy any other Board-recognized diploma.)

2

 

History and Social Sciences (Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include one unit of credit in Virginia and U.S. History and one unit of credit in Virginia and U.S. Government in courses that incorporate or exceed the content of courses approved by the Board to satisfy any other Board-recognized diploma.)

2

 

Electives (Courses shall include at least two sequential electives in an area of concentration or specialization, which may include career and technical education and training.)

9

Achieve a passing score on the GED© examination

TOTAL UNITS

20

 

G. General Educational Development Credential (GED©) 

Students who are at least sixteen years of age may request a waiver from compliance with compulsory attendance requirements in order to enroll in a General Educational Development (GED©) program approved by Frederick County Public Schools. After required counseling by the student support specialist, the student, the parent, and a school division representative will develop an Individual Student Alternative Education Plan (ISAEP), which shall include the enrollment in a program to earn a Board of Education-approved career and technical education credential, such as the successful completion of an industry certification, a state licensure examination, a national occupational competency assessment, or the Virginia workplace readiness skills assessment; and successful completion of a course in economics and personal finance required to earn a Board of Education-approved high school diploma.


H. Certificate of Program Completion

1. Students who complete credits required for a high school diploma but who do not attain the required verified units of credit will be eligible for a Certificate of High School Program Completion. Students who receive a Certificate of High School Program Completion may apply to participate in subsequent SOL test administrations in order to attain the required verified units of credit and become eligible for the award of a Standard Diploma.

2. Students who complete at least twenty (20) credits required for an alternative program of study will be awarded a Certificate of Alternative Education Program Completion. The subjects and units of credit are as follows. 

                                   Discipline Area                                                 Units of Credit

 

                                   English                                                                                      4

                                   History and Social Studies                                                        3

                                   Mathematics                                                                             3

                                   Science                                                                                    2

                                   Health and Driver Education                                                     1

                                   Career and Technical Education (Including a sequence) 3

                                   Electives                                                                                   4

                                   Total                                                                                       20

 

I. Awards for Exemplary Student Performance

Students who demonstrate academic excellence and/or outstanding achievements may be eligible for one or more of the following awards:

1. The Governor’s Seal will be awarded to students who complete the requirements for an Advanced Studies Diploma or an Advanced Technical Diploma with an average grade of B or better (3.0), and successfully complete college level course work that will earn at least nine (9) transferable college credits in Advanced Placement or Dual Enrollment courses.

2. The Board of Education Seal will be awarded to students who complete the requirements for a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma with an average grade of A (3.6).

3. The Board of Education’s Career and Technical Education Seal will be awarded to students who earn a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma and complete a prescribed sequence of courses in a career and technical education concentration or specialization that they choose and accomplish one of the following three options:
  • maintain B (3.0) or better average in those courses;
            or
  • pass an examination or an occupational competency assessment in a career and technical education concentration or specialization that confers certification or occupational competency credentials from a recognized industry, trade, or professional association;            
            or
  • acquire a professional license in that career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

4. The Board of Education’s Seal of Advanced Mathematics and Technology will be awarded to students who earn either a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma and satisfy all of the mathematics requirements for the Advanced Studies Diploma (4 units of credit including Algebra II; two verified units of credit) with a B (3.0) average or better; and accomplish one of the following three options:
    • certification from a recognized industry or trade or professional association;
            or
    • acquire a professional license in that career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia
            or
    • pass an examination approved by the Board that confers college–level credit in a technology or computer science area.

5. The Board of Education Seal for Excellence in Civics Education will be awarded to students who meet the following criteria:
    • Satisfy the requirement to earn a Standard Diploma or an Advanced Studies Diploma; and
    • Complete Virginia and United States History and Virginia and United States Government course with a grade of "B" or higher; and
    • Complete 50 verified hours of voluntary participation community service or extracurricular activities. Acceptable activities include:
a. volunteering for a charitable or religious organization that provides services to the poor, sick, or less fortunate;
b. participating in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or similar youth organizations;
c. participating in JROTC;
d. participating in political campaigns or government internships, or Boys State, Girls State, or Model General Assembly;
e. participating in school-sponsored extracurricular activities that have a civic focus.

Any student who enlists in the United States military prior to graduation will be deemed to have met this community service requirement.
  • Have good attendance and no disciplinary infractions as determined by local school board policies. Good attendance is defined as having missed no more than 20 school days since initial entry into the ninth grade and no unexcused absences since initial entry into the ninth grade. Appeals regarding attendance or discipline criteria will be heard by a committee that includes the school principal, the director of student support services, and the assistant superintendent for instruction.

6. Governor’s Early College Scholars Certificate will be awarded to graduating seniors who fulfill the Governor’s Early College Scholars Agreement signed by the student, parent/guardian, high school counselor, and high school principal. Criteria to earn this certificate include the following:

a. Earn an Advanced Studies Diploma with a Governor’s Seal;

b. Earn at least 15 transferable college credits while enrolled in high school. College credits toward completion of this Agreement will be considered earned by:
  • Completing dual enrollment/dual credit courses and earning a “C” or better in the courses;
  • Completing advanced placement courses; i.e., AP©, IB©, or Cambridge©; and
  • Scoring a “3” or higher on the AP© examinations; or
  • Scoring a “4” or higher on any form of the IB© examinations; or
  • Scoring a “D” or better on the Cambridge© examinations;  
        • Earning college credits by passing College Level Examination Program (CLEP) examinations;
        • Completing college-level courses and documenting credit awarded;
c. Apply and be accepted to a college or university. 


J. Dual Enrollment

Students who take college dual enrolled classes for credit will be awarded high school credit based upon completion of 140 clock hours of instruction. Students wishing to use college credit to meet high school credit must be enrolled in a sequence of college courses meeting the 140 clock hour requirement. Generally, the ratio of awarding high school credit for college level work is one high school credit for every six semester hours of college work or for a full year of college credit in the same course sequence. 


K. Post Secondary Degree Attainment 

a. Students may seek an Associate's Degree from a community college by completing a requisite number of properly articulated dual-enrolled and college level courses consistent with the degree requirements of the community college.

b. Students may seek a one-year Uniform Certificate of General Studies from a community college by completing a requisite number of dual enrolled, and/or Advanced Placement© courses accompanied by a qualifying exam of three or higher.


L. Transfer Students

Students transferring into a Virginia public school from other than a Virginia public school will be required to take SOL tests to earn the verified units of credit as listed below:

1. Standard Diploma

a. Students transferring during the ninth grade or at the beginning of the 10th grade shall earn verified units of credit as described in section B of this policy.

b. Students transferring in during the 10th grade or at the beginning of the 11th grade shall earn a minimum of four verified units of credit: one each in English, mathematics, history, and science.

c. Students transferring in during the 11th grade or at the beginning of the 12th grade shall earn a minimum of two verified units of credit: one in English and one of the student’s choosing.

2. Advanced Studies Diploma

a. Students transferring in during the ninth grade or at the beginning of the 10th grade shall earn verified units of credit as described in section C of this policy.

b. Students transferring in during the 10th grade or at the beginning of the 11th grade shall earn a minimum of six verified units of credit: two in English, one in mathematics, one in history, one in science, and one of the student’s choosing.

c. Students transferring in during the 11th grade or at the beginning of the 12th grade shall earn a minimum of four verified units of credit: one in English and three of the student’s choosing.


M. High School Credit Taken at Middle School

Grades and credits earned in middle school for high school credit-bearing courses will count toward graduation credits and will be calculated in the high school GPA unless a “Request to Omit Grade and Credit for High School Courses” is filed as provided for in the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (8 VAC 20-131-90).

Requests to omit grades and credit for a high school credit-bearing course taken in middle school must be submitted to the high school principal prior to the first student day of the student’s ninth grade year. When parents do not opt to omit a grade and credit and the student proceeds to the next course in sequence, parents may appeal to the high school principal during the first month of school that the student be returned to the prerequisite class if it becomes apparent that further preparation is needed for success in the more advanced course.

 

N. High School Course Credit through Demonstration of Mastery

Students seeking to earn course credit to meet graduation requirements without completing the 140-hour class requirement must present verification of completion of course content for which credit is being sought. Verification of course mastery will be by transcript and passing score on FCPS End of Course (EOC) Competency Test, passing score on appropriate benchmark test, or approved examinations. Approved examinations are Virginia Standards of Learning End-of-Course tests, tests approved by the State Board of Education as substitute tests for the Standards of Learning tests, or a passing score of 3 or higher on Advanced Placement© tests. Passing grades will be reflected as a “P” on the student transcript and will not be calculated in the grade point average.

Credits awarded under this procedure will be recorded on the student’s academic transcript using the approved state code number for the course. Relevant SOL EOC, when applicable, will be required and scores will be recorded in accordance with regulations governing student transcripts. Documentation of other approved tests will be recorded in the student’s official academic record (cumulative folder) along with the signed documentation from the division superintendent or designee granting the course credit. Students will earn applicable verified credits should they pass Standards of Learning assessments or other Virginia Board of Education-approved examinations.


O. Diploma Options for Students with Disabilities

1. Students with disabilities who are eligible for special education services and who receive instruction from the regular education teacher shall receive credit in the same manner as students in regular education. Modifications to grading and testing procedures may be based upon the student's individualized education program.

2. Students with disabilities who receive appropriate instruction designed to accommodate their disability, should be considered eligible for receiving credit for courses taught by special education teachers.

3. Special education units of credit shall meet the minimum time allotment of 140 clock hours and shall have a defined course of study with objectives for mastery of pre-determined skills, and knowledge associated with the course.

4. For each student, the individual educational plan shall define the course of study, the procedures, and the means of evaluation.

6. The basis for awarding units of credit to a student shall be passing grades and the satisfactory completion of the performance objectives as provided for in his/her individual educational plan.

7. Students with disabilities shall be awarded a diploma upon earning the credits prescribed by the Virginia Department of Education and passing tests prescribed by Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia.

8. Students with disabilities who are eligible for special education services who graduate with a credential other than a standard or advanced studies diploma and who subsequently complete requirements for a standard or advanced studies diploma shall be awarded the newly earned credential. Special education students attempting to complete standard or advanced diploma requirements may participate in subsequent SOL test administrations for the purpose of completing diploma requirements.


P. Commencement

All seniors receiving either a diploma or a certificate of program completion will be called alphabetically to receive their award. All will be listed on the graduation program as members of the graduating class. Students not meeting prescribed graduation

requirements for a Frederick County Public Schools diploma or certificate will not participate in spring commencement exercises. Students assigned to alternative education programs for disciplinary reasons may not participate in commencement exercises, unless such prohibition is waived by the principal (See also Regulation 328R, Instruction- Alternative Education Programs).


Q. Valedictorian and Salutatorian Status

The following requirements for determining valedictorian and salutatorian status will be in effect:

1. A student must have completed requirements for an advanced studies diploma.

2. A student must have successfully completed at least two Advanced Placement courses with a minimum grade of "B" in each.

3. Honors and Advanced Placement courses will be graded on the grading scale specified in School Board Policy 316P, Instruction- Evaluation and Grade Assignment. All Grade Point Averages (GPA) will be calculated on the universally recognized 4‑point scale (A=4.0; B=3.0; C=2.0; D=1.0; F=0) to determine class rank. The cumulative GPA will be increased by (0.05) quality points for each Advanced Placement or approved College Dual-Enrolled course successfully completed by the student. Approved College Dual-Enrolled courses may only include English/literature, mathematics, sciences, and history/social science. Dual-Enrolled career and technical and/or applied sciences courses are not eligible for additional quality points. Other accelerated coursework, including but not limited to International Baccalaureate, Cambridge or certain Governor’s School courses, may also be considered for additional quality points, as approved by the School Board. Students may be eligible for consideration for valedictory or salutatory status by GPA/class rank after having completed requirements for an Advanced Studies Diploma and at least two Advanced Placement or approved College Dual-Enrolled courses.

4. When two or more students share valedictorian status, no salutatorian will be named.



Cross Reference:
Regulation 328R, Instruction - Alternative Education Programs
Policy 316P, Instruction - Evaluation and Grade Assignment


Legal Reference:
Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1‑210; 22.1‑223 through 22.1-226.4; 22.1-253.13:1 et. seq: Standards of Quality, as amended.
8 VAC 20-131 et. seq: Regulations establishing standards for accrediting public schools in Virginia.
8 VAC 20-30-10
8 VAC 20-360-10

Virginia Board of Education Guidelines for Locally Awarding Verified Credit, Resolution 2002-22, Approved July 25, 2002




Approved: July 18, 2001
Amended: September 7, 2001
Amended: February 13, 2002
Amended: May 23, 2002
Amended: November 21, 2002
Amended: October 6, 2003
Amended: December 18, 2003
Amended: February 10, 2004
Amended: March 29, 2004
Amended: June 30, 2005
Amended: June 29, 2006
Amended: November 1, 2006
Amended: April 24, 2007
Amended: June 11, 2007
Amended: June 21, 2011
Amended: July 14, 2011
Amended: August 31, 2012
Amended: January 21, 2013
Approved: November 13, 2014