GRADUATION: Frequently Asked Questions - A Guide for Parents and Students

THE QUESTIONS (answers below)

WHAT am I required to do in order to earn a diploma? answer…
HOW will I know how I am doing? answer…
WHAT are my responsibilities for meeting these requirements? answer…
WHAT are my teachers’ responsibilities for meeting these requirements? answer…
HOW can I best prepare to be successful? answer…
HOW do I get help? answer…
HOW many chances do I have to meet the requirements? answer…
IF I transferred into the district must I meet all the requirements? answer…
IF I am in Special Education, ESL, or have a 504 plan, what accommodations/ modifications can be made in these requirements? answer…
WHAT if I pass all the required courses but still can’t meet the performance requirements? answer…


Q. What am I required to do in order to earn a diploma?
Answer: All students also must complete the following required courses with grades of D or better:

Subject

Years

Units

English

4

40

Mathematics, including Algebra 1-2 or Algebra P1-P4 or equivalent

3

30

Social Studies

4

40

World Cultures & Geography

.5

5

World History

1

10

U.S. History

1

10

American Government

.5

5

Economics

.5

5

Social Issues

.5

5

Science (Integrated Science 1-4 or equivalent one year physical science, one year biological if student is a transfer student)

2

20

Visual/Performing Arts

1

10

Physical Education

2

20

computer proficiency (course or exam)

.5 (course)
0 (exam)

5 (course)
0 (exam)

Electives

 

55-60

TOTAL

 

220

HIGH SCHOOL EXIT EXAM
THIS REQUIREMENT HAS BEEN SUSPENDED BY THE STATE UNTIL AT LEASAT 2018

Q. How will I know how I am doing?
Answer: When you review your progress with your counselor, all requirements will be discussed. Also, after each specific assessment, you and your parents will receive written information about your score and recommendations for how to improve, if needed.

Q. What are my responsibilities for meeting these requirements?
Answer: First, do a thorough job with all your coursework. Second, pay attention to your teachers’ feedback about your strengths and areas needing improvement. Talk to them about how to get extra help if you need it. Third, don’t procrastinate. Coasting through ninth grade math, for example, might mean that you’ll need to take extra math later in order to learn the skills and content required for graduation. It’s better to do it now! Fourth, take advantage of the extra help opportunities (tutoring, summer school, etc.) as soon as you need it. Finally, be sure to take the assessments when they are offered, even if you are not sure you are ready to meet the standard. This will give you experience and give you and your teachers important feedback on what you need to work on for the next try.

Q. What are my teachers’ responsibilities for meeting these requirements?
Answer: All teachers are responsible for knowing what the requirements are and how and when students will be given opportunties to fulfill them. Some of the requirements, such as math, are the responsibility of particular departments and those teachers are expected to provide more information within the courses as well as offer instruction designed to help you be successful. They should be providing practice within the class.

Q. How can I best prepare to be successful?
Answer: Pay attention to your coursework and do it to the best of your ability. The graduation requirements are supposed to measure how well you learned what was most important across all courses taken. Second, discuss the results with your parents, teachers, and counselor so you are clear about what you need to do next. If you are “test-phobic,” talk to your teachers and counselors about ways to improve your test-taking skills.
 
Q. How do I get help?
Answer: The most important support is the on-going instructional program in which each teacher is well informed about the requirements and performance tasks required and provides opportunities for students to master the skills and knowledge required. In addition, supplemental instructional services will be made available such as: 1) tutoring (inc. peers), 2) summer school sessions, 3) tutorial/office hours, 4) if needed, additional diagnostic testing to help identify skill/knowledge weaknesses, 5) short workshops before or after school designed to help with a particular requirement, 6) Adult Education courses, 7) lists of supplemental programs available outside the school (such as College of Marin, private learning centers, etc.). The options will vary among the district’s schools, so it is best to ask your student’s counselor.
 
Q. If I transferred into the district must I meet all the requirements?
Answer: Transfer students are required to meet the district’s requirements for graduation. However, there are procedures for evaluating work which has been accepted at your previous schools which may be accepted as an alternative to the district’s assessments. If you enter the Tamalpais High School District late in your senior year, without sufficient time to complete all the district’s requirements, you may elect to have coursework transferred back to your previous school so that a diploma can be awarded from there. Counselors can provide details of these options.

Q. If I am in Special Education, ESL, or have a 504 plan, what accommodations/modifications can be made in these requirements?
Answer: During your IEP or 504 planning process the team will consider what, if any, accommodations or modifications need to be made based upon your learning disability. These adjustments should be written in as part of the individual instructional plan. If you are an ESL student you are required to meet the district standards just as other students unless you are also served as Special Education or 504 student.
 
If you have other questions or need more information please talk with your counselor.

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