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Minimum High School Graduation Requirements

Section 605.3 | Board Report 17-0524-PO1 | Date Adopted May 24, 2017

Policy PDF  English

Find More Info  Graduation Requirements

THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER RECOMMENDS THE FOLLOWING

Rescind Board Report 06-0628-PO2 and amend Board Report 16-0224-PO1 (“Minimum High School Graduation Requirements”).

PURPOSE

This policy sets forth minimum high school graduation requirements to prepare students for post-secondary education and the world of work. The graduation requirements meet or exceed requirements for entry into Illinois public colleges and universities.

Furthermore, this policy rescinds Board Report 06-0628-PO2, incorporates changes to minimum graduation requirements approved in prior years and amends minimum graduation requirements as set forth below for students who entered high school in the freshman classes in 2016 and subsequent years.

For students who entered in the freshman class of 2016, or any subsequent class, amend this policy to require that each student provide evidence of a Post-Secondary Plan,

For students who enter in the freshman class of 2017 or later, amend the Consumer Education requirements in this policy to ensure that each student receives a unit of study in Financial Education.

For students who enter in the freshman class of 2018 or later, amend the Science requirements in this policy so that each student receives 1.0 credit in Biology, 1.0 credit in Chemistry, and 1.0 credit in Physics.

HISTORY OF BOARD ACTION

“Policy for Revised Graduation Requirements for Freshman Students Entering High School September 1984” (Board Report 84-1114-ED14), adopted November 14, 1984. (Rescinded by 97-0827-PO2); Resolution to Establish Policy for Minimum Promotion Requirements for High School Students (Board Report 95-0222-RS3), adopted February 22, 1995 Note: Rescinded by 97-0827-PO1 (Amend Board Report 96-0828-PO3: Adopt the Amended High School Promotion Policy); Resolution to Establish Policy for Minimum High School Graduation Requirements of Three Courses of Science” (Board Report 95-0222-RS4), adopted February 22, 1995. (Rescinded by 97-0827-PO2); Resolution to Establish Policy for Minimum Graduation Requirements of Three Courses of Mathematics (Board Report 95-0222-RS5), adopted February 22, 1995 (Rescinded by 97-0827-PO2); Rescind Board Reports 95-0222-RS4, 95-0222-RS5, 84-1114-ED14 and Adopt Minimum High School Graduation Requirements Policy (Board Report 97-0827-PO2), adopted August 27, 1997; Amend Board Report 97-0827-PO2 Minimum High School Graduation Requirements to Include Community Service Learning Requirements (Board Report 98-0826-PO1), Adopted August 26, 1998; Amend Board Report 98-0826-PO1 Minimum High School Graduation Requirements (Board Report 00-0726-PO2), Adopted July 26, 2000; Amend Board Report 00-0726-PO2 Minimum High School Graduation Requirements (Board Report 03-1022-PO02), Adopted October 22, 2003, Amend Board Report 03-1022-PO2 Minimum High School Graduation Requirements (Board Report 06-0628-PO2), Adopted June 28, 2006, Amend Board Report 06-0628-PO2 Minimum High School Graduation Requirements (Board Report 16-0224-PO01), Adopted February 24, 2016.

POLICY TEXT

CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS MINIMUM HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

I. Academic Requirements

A student must earn a minimum total 24 credits in the following areas:

  • English (emphasis on written communication, oral communication, and literature; English I and English II serve to satisfy the state requirement for writing intensive courses) (4.0 credits)
    1. English I
    2. English II
    3. English III
    4. English IV
  • Mathematics (3.0 credits)
    1. Algebra
    2. Geometry
    3. Advanced Algebra/Trigonometry

    For students who successfully complete Algebra prior to entering high school or who successfully place out of Algebra upon entering high school as Freshmen, the following three required credits apply:

    • Geometry
    • Advanced Algebra/Trigonometry
    • Pre-calculus or College Algebra/Analytic Geometry or an Advanced Placement mathematics course or an advanced mathematics elective course that is approved by the Chief Education Office

    For students who successfully complete Algebra and Geometry prior to entering high school or who successfully place out of Algebra and Geometry upon entering high school as Freshmen, the following three required credits apply:

    • Advanced Algebra/Trigonometry
    • Pre-calculus or College Algebra/Analytic Geometry or an Advanced Placement mathematics course
    • An advanced mathematics elective course that is approved by the Chief Education Office

    These requirements apply equally to students who received formal high school credit for the Algebra or Geometry course taken prior to entering high school and to students who successfully place into a more advanced course, but did not receive formal high school credit for an Algebra or Geometry course.

  • Science (3.0 credits)

    The following requirements apply to students who entered high school as freshman in 2015, 2016 and 2017:

    1. Biology (1.0 credit)
    2. Other Laboratory Science Courses (a combination of the following four courses at either 0.5 or 1.0 credit each for a total of 2.0 credits. No more than 1.0 credit in one course may be used towards satisfaction of the science requirement):
      • Chemistry
      • Earth and Space Science
      • Environmental Science
      • Physics

    The following requirements apply to students who enter high school as freshman in 2018 or later:

    1. Biology (1.0 credit)
    2. Chemistry (1.0)
    3. Physics (1.0)

    These courses may be taken in any sequence.

  • Social Science (3.0 credits)

    The following requirements apply to students who entered high school as freshman in 2013, 2014 and 2015:

    1. World Studies
    2. United States History
    3. Other Social Science course

    The following requirements apply to students who entered high school as freshman in 2016 or later:

    1. World Studies
    2. United States History
    3. Other Social Science course (a minimum of which must be 0.5 credit in Civics or AP U.S. Government)
  • World Language (2.0 credits)
    1. Course I
    2. Course II
  • Fine Arts (credits may be completed in a single arts discipline; high schools must offer at least two arts disciplines.) (2.0 credits)
  • Physical Education or ROTC (athletic team credit possible in lieu of Physical Education but not in lieu of Health and Driver's Education) (2.0 credits)
    1. Physical Education I/Health or ROTC I/Health
    2. Physical Education II/Driver's Education or ROTC II/Driver's Education
  • Career Education or ROTC (college career pathways or advanced academic/fine arts options are part of Career Education)

    The following requirements (2.0 credits) apply to students who entered high school as freshman in 2013, 2014 or 2015:

    1. Career Education or ROTC III
    2. Career Education II or ROTC IV

    The following requirements (1.0 credits) apply to students who entered high school as freshman in 2016 or later:

    1. Career Education or ROTC III
  • Computer Science (1.0 credits): this requirement applies to students who entered high school as freshman in 2016 or later.
  • Electives (3.0 credits)

II. Service Learning Requirement

It is the intent of the Board to develop, encourage and promote partnerships with city agencies, community-based organizations and not-for-profit service entities in order to provide appropriate service opportunities for high school students. These requirements were developed with the assistance from a broad-based volunteer Task Force.

The following requirements apply to students who entered high school as freshman in 2013, 2014 and 2015:

  1. All students must complete a Service Learning project prior to graduation.
  2. High School principals shall designate a special Service Learning Coach to oversee projects, student participation, record-keeping and agency involvement;
  3. Service Learning projects shall be linked to current academic goals and curriculum and shall promote social awareness and career development; and
  4. A total of forty hours prior to graduation, with a minimum of twenty hours completed by the end of the sophomore year, which includes preparation, action, and reflection, will be required of each student; and
  5. Service Learning criteria shall be developed by the Chief Education Officer or designee.

The following requirements apply to students who entered high school as freshman in 2016 or later:

  1. All students must complete (2) Service Learning projects prior to graduation in the following way;
    • Successful completion of a service project in the required Civics or AP U.S. Government course; and
    • Successful completion of a service project either independently or in conjunction with a course offering during 9th or 10th grade.
  2. High School principals shall designate a special Service Learning Coach to oversee projects, student participation, record-keeping and agency involvement;
  3. Service Learning projects shall be linked to current academic goals and curriculum and shall promote civic engagement, social awareness and career development; and
  4. Service Learning criteria shall be developed by the Chief Education Officer or designee.

III. Other Graduation Requirements

  • Completion of State non-credit requirements.

    The following requirements apply to students who entered high school as freshman in 2013, 2014, 2015 or 2016:

    Consumer Education, and demonstrated knowledge of U.S. and Illinois constitutions as part of subject area curricula.

    The following requirements apply to students who enter high school as freshman in 2017 or later:

    A unit of Financial Education/Consumer Education as part of subject area curricula and a demonstrated knowledge of U.S. and Illinois constitutions.

  • Taking the state-mandated college and career ready determination exam unless otherwise excused by state law. Students must qualify as having taken the state-mandated college and career ready determination exam in accordance with state guidelines.
  • For students who entered high school as freshman in 2016 or later, provide evidence of a Post-Secondary Plan per the Post-Secondary Guidance Document published by the Chief Education Officer or designee.

IV. Application of Graduation Requirements

  • Implementation of the amendments to this policy shall begin with students who entered Chicago public high schools as freshmen in September 2016 for a Post-Secondary Plan, September 2017 for Financial Education/Consumer Education and September 2018 for Science.
  • Students in vocational/technical programs must meet all minimum graduation requirements along with any applicable special program requirements.
  • The Chief Education Office may allow the successful completion of IB Diploma Programme requirements or advanced placement courses to be accepted in lieu of core curricula, arts, physical education, and other graduation requirements.
  • Students with limited-English-proficiency meet all graduation requirements with placement in English/ESL and support in other subject areas as appropriate.
  • Students with disabilities meet graduation requirements with appropriate accommodations and curricular modifications as determined by their individual education plans (IEPs). Any student with disabilities who has attended four years of high school but has not earned twenty-four (24) credits or whose IEP prescribes the continuation of special education and/or related services or the provision of transition services beyond the completion of four years of high school may participate in the graduation ceremony. The Chief Executive Office shall issue guidelines regarding this participation, including the issuance of a certificate and notification of parents and students.
  • Students may place out of courses through exams, but shall not receive credit towards graduation for courses not actually taken.
  • Schools have the option to develop an integrated or thematic equivalent of subject area courses in so far as standards are met.
  • Credit is awarded in Carnegie Units that are equivalent to 120 hours of instructional time; integrated/thematic courses will be translated into Carnegie Units.
  • The Chief Education Office or designee shall determine appropriate placement for transfer students and students participating in independent study following an assessment of the individual student’s academic progress and completion of relevant coursework. Based on this assessment, the Chief Education Office may award credit towards fulfillment of the minimum graduation requirements noted in this Policy.

Policy References

Amends/Rescinds Rescinds 06-0628-PO2 and Amends 16-0224-PO1
20-0527-RS3 [Resolution Regarding Minimum High School Graduation Requirements and High School Promotion in Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is attached to the Policy]
18-0627-RS1 [Resolution Approving a Competency-Based Education Pilot Program in Eleven High Schools and Related Policy Modifications is attached to the Policy]
12-1114-RS1 (Note: 12-1114-RS1 Amends Section 1.F. - Fine Arts credit requirements of the Board’s Policy on Minimum High School Graduation Requirements (06-0628-PO2)
03-1022-PO02, 00-0726-PO2, 98-0826-PO1, 97-0827-PO2; 96-0828-PO3; 95-0222-RS3, 95-0222-RS4, 95-0222-RS5, 84-1114-ED14
Cross References  
Legal References 105 ILCS 5/2-3.64; 105 ILCS 5/14-16; 105 ILCS 5/27-5; 105 ILCS 5/27-6; 105 ILCS 5/27-12.1; 105 ILCS 5/27-21; 105 ILCS 5/27-22; 105 ILCS 5/27-22.05; 105 ILCS 5/27-22.2; 105 ILCS 5/27-22.3; 105 ILCS 5/27-24.2; 110 ILCS 305/8; 110 ILCS 520/8e; 110 ILCS 660/5; 110 ILCS 665/10-85; 110 ILCS 670/15-85; 110 ILCS 675/20-85; 110 ILCS 680/25-85; 110 ILCS 685/30-85; 110 ILCS 690/35-85; 23 Ill. Adm. Code § 1.440; 23 Ill. Adm. Code § 1.445; 23 Ill. Adm. Code § 1.460.
Public Comment  

Policy and Procedures

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