SOUTH HARDIN HIGH SCHOOL

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1 SOUTH HARDIN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS There are minimum requirements* established by the State of Iowa and the local Board of Education. South Hardin requires a minimum* of 50 credits for graduation. It takes one term [9 weeks] to earn a credit in a 90-minute class, and two terms [18 weeks] to earn a credit in a 45-minute class. The following information is meant to clarify those requirements. Academic Area Number of years required. Number of credits required. English 4 years 8 Math 3 years 6 Science 3 years 6 Social Studies 3 years 6 PE 4 years 4 Health 1 Portfolio 1 Applied Academics Vocational Studies 2 Fine Arts 2 Technology 2 Electives 12 Total Credits 50 Six credits from all areas within applied academics, including one each from vocational and fine arts (either music or art) and two from technology. The remaining two credits can be from any of the applied academic areas. (The vocational credit(s) must be in addition and separate from the technology credits.) Each graduate must obtain these required credits, and in addition, must obtain a varying number of additional elective credits. Those elective credits can be chosen from the offerings described later in this book. Students should consider their own needs when selecting courses from elective areas so they attain the highest level of competency possible in the basic skill areas of reading comprehension, writing, and math. To best prepare oneself for college entrance tests [example ACT] as well as eventual college enrollment requirements, one should select the maximum courses in English, math, science and social studies. Please note that colleges usually will not accept independent study

2 classes, and that students planning to attend college should avoid classes containing "marginal or questionable" content offerings. *Note that the minimum requirements will not meet many college entrance requirements. See the section marked POST-SECONDARY PLANNING [page 3] for that information. Also please note that these minimum requirements do not meet some NCAA standards for eligibility for participation in extracurricular athletics. Course Load: Each student in grades 9-12 is required to schedule and attend school all day. South Hardin does not have provisions for part-time students. SHHS does not offer free blocks within student schedules. Free time is limited to "skinny" or 45 minute time periods that may occur on a schedule opposite a 45 minute class that is required or desired within a 90 minute block. Students that have free time in their schedule will be expected to attend study hall, take an on-line class, or schedule an additional Human Services class. On rare occasions seniors may be allowed to leave the building during one of these 45-minute time blocks, if no class is offered that they have not already taken, but only if they are passing all classes with a C or above. The only other exception is students needing travel time to a college class. These students will often need to take an additional 45-minute class at South Hardin High School in order to maintain full time status. All seniors are expected to schedule a full complement of classes. At times students will request more than a normal course load. These requests will be examined individually, with much consideration given to the requesting studentʼs previous academic history. In general, only one additional class beyond a full schedule will be allowed. Students must take at least half of their coursework on the SHHS campus. Early Graduation: South Hardin does allow for early graduation during the second semester of the senior year. However, it is the student's responsibility to meet and fulfill all requirements and deadlines associated with early graduation, and approval is not automatic. These details can be obtained from the High School Principal's office. Students applying for early graduation are expected to maintain a full schedule and are allowed no "free blocks" of time, either of 45 or 90 minutes. Parental Signatures: South Hardin will require the parent s signature for any class changes that will limit the postsecondary opportunities for its students, or that appear to be motivated by reasons other than sound educational decisions. If your son or daughter requests to change classes from the recommended offerings, it should send a red flag to the parents about their child's post-secondary opportunities. The Guidance Office will meet once each year with each junior, and early in the fall with each senior, to try and make sure schedules meet the needs of each student. Post-Secondary Enrollment Option/Dual Credit Courses: South Hardin is very much in favor of students enrolling in these courses, as long as they are approved ahead of time and do not disrupt the normal school day in such a manner that may cause a student to not meet other South Hardin requirements. Courses will be approved on a case-bycase basis, and the student may receive credit toward graduation requirements. All students wishing to register for PSEO, dual-credit or Online classes must satisfy the prerequisite requirements. There will be significant paperwork requirements needing to be filled out for these courses, as well as specific deadlines and financial details to examine. The student must provide his/her own transportation. Deadlines for sign-up are usually earlier than South Hardin

3 deadlines. The second semester of the senior year is usually the best time for seniors to consider this option. Please contact the Guidance Office for information. Participants in extra-curricular activities need to understand that these courses do affect extra-curricular eligibility at South Hardin. Failure of these classes will cause a student to be ineligible for activities and be assessed a fee of $250. Students will not be allowed to register for courses, either off campus or on line, that are already offered by SHHS. There is a book rental fee of $30 per class for courses that require SHHS to purchase ECC textbooks. On-Line High School courses: South Hardin High School will grant high school credit for pre-approved on-line courses such as Iowa Learning Online. South Hardin will financially support the cost of these courses up to $250 per semester, with a limit of two courses per semester per student. Scheduling of these courses must fit into the scheduling of South Hardin on campus classes, with on campus classes taking priority. South Hardin reserves the right to grant credit and pay for only pre-approved classes. There is no guarantee that all classes will be approved. Students are responsible for their own textbooks in instances that apply. Advanced Placement Courses: Students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses complete college-level work and prepare for nationally scored tests. Many colleges grant credit when students enroll and have qualifying Advanced Placement test scores. South Hardin High School offers several AP classes through the Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy. Deadline for applications is April 1, Certain AP courses have assessments that have associated costs, which are the responsibility of the student and his/her family. Senior Year Plus: The Iowa Legislature passed the Senior Year Plus Act in 2009, and updates and interpretations are ongoing. Portions of this legislation affect student eligibility and access to college credit and advanced placement courses, and limit the number of dual credit hours a high school student can obtain without paying for tuition out of pocket. The current limit of credits for one student during one year is 23 credits. Student eligibility for these opportunities through Senior Year Plus is based on student proficiency on the most recent math, reading, and science ITED tests taken by each student. If the student is non-proficient in any of these tests, he or she is ineligible for the benefits provided by Senior Year Plus. State law allows individual school districts to establish alternative means of demonstrating proficiency, but at this time South Hardin High School has chosen not to provide such alternative assessment measures. Students wishing to access Senior Year Plus opportunities must also meet a variety of other criteria as demanded by the postsecondary institution, such as the adherence to their attendance limitations, and meeting the institution s entrance requirements [which usually involves taking an entrance exam, such as the COMPASS test]. Dual credit math and English courses usually demand proficiency on both the ITED and COMPASS tests. Students accessing these opportunities are subject to a $250 fee for any class they fail or are removed from for any reason. South Hardin High School has the legal authority to add certain requirements to those students seeking access to college credit and advanced placement courses through Senior Year Plus. In accordance with the district s local attendance policy, students seeking these advanced opportunities will need to meet certain attendance prerequisites. First, any student absent more than 25 times during the previous school year, or more than 8 times during the 4th quarter of the

4 previous school year, will be ineligible to be enrolled in any Senior Year Plus opportunities for the first semester of the next school year. Then, should the student re-establish consistent attendance during the first and second quarters of the next year [fewer than 9 absences in each quarter], he or she will re-establish eligibility for Senior Year Plus opportunities in the second semester. These attendance limitations include all absences, excused or un-excused, and any appeal to a decision to withhold a student from enrollment in Senior Year Plus must be made in writing in a timely manner with the Superintendents office. High School Spanish: Spanish I enrollment will be available to those incoming freshman who have achieved a C- or above yearly average in 8 th grade Language Arts and Literature, and who are considered proficient (=/+41 NPR) in Reading Total (this includes vocabulary and comprehension) on the latest ITBS results. Students wishing to appeal enrollment decisions due to the lack of proficiency on ITBS must be proficient on the latest MAP reading testing (defined as 33% or above). High school students wishing to continue to any level of Spanish beyond Spanish I must have received a C- or better yearly average in the previous level of Spanish enrollment. Any student failing a quarter of Spanish will not be allowed to continue Spanish class in the next quarter without first retaking the quarter they have failed. Post Secondary Planning: The following courses are generally recommended as minimum requirements for admission to college and vocational or technical schools. I. Students that anticipate attending a four-year college after graduation need to consider taking these credits for admission as described on pages 1 and 2. See pages 4 & 5 for further information about regent schools. An ACT score is almost always required for admission. II. III. Students that anticipate going on to a Community College or Technical School should have a High School Diploma. A score on an ACT test or on a Compass test is most always required for admission. Students who may be considering a career in the military will need a high school diploma in order to enlist. The military does not accept GED s. A Statement About Foreign Language Preparation There are many excellent reasons for including foreign language study whether you terminate your formal education upon high school graduation, or choose to continue your education beyond high school. If you are sincerely interested in learning to speak, to translate, to write a foreign language and to learn a new cultural background, you are encouraged to visit with the language teacher. Unfortunately, misunderstandings persist concerning foreign language requirements at the college and university level. These requirements vary greatly from college to college and university to

5 university. To learn the college or university graduation requirements, consult the respective college catalog. Simply write to the registrar to request a catalog or check one out from the guidance office. These summary statements reflect recent survey finds from all Iowa colleges, and three state universities in Iowa Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa and The University of Iowa. The University of Iowa: The foreign language requirement for admission to the University of Iowa is 2 years. However, to graduate from U of I in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or the College of Education, students need to be at the 4 th level of proficiency. This means that if a student takes 4 years of the same foreign language in high school, he or she has met Iowa s graduation requirement and does not need to take any more foreign language during their education at the university. If the student takes 2 years at the high school level and plans to pursue a major in either of the two colleges mentioned above, it will be necessary to take 2 more semesters (level s 3 & 4 courses) in that foreign language before they can graduate from the university. Several of the undergraduate colleges such as Engineering, Business, Nursing and Pharmacy have no additional foreign language requirement past the 2 years required for admission. However, many times a student who plans on majoring in Business, Nursing, etc. may not be admitted to the program and would end up majoring in something within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, so the University encourages the 3 rd & 4 th levels of foreign language just to be safe. Iowa State University: For admission, only the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering require two years of a foreign language. There is no foreign language requirement for some colleges. However, several of the colleges require three years of a foreign language in order to receive a degree. If a student has three years of a foreign language in high school, he or she will not be required to take any additional language in order to graduate from their college program. University of Northern Iowa: There is no minimum foreign language requirement for admission to the University of Northern Iowa. However, students will be required to take 2 years of a foreign language (or 2 semesters at the college level) in order to fulfill their university graduation requirement. Students can complete the graduation requirement at the high school level or during their education at the university. It is best if a student can complete the 2 years of foreign language requirement at the high school level because the courses are stretched out over a year instead of a semester. Each year of foreign language taken in high school also boost the RAI (Regent Admissions Index) score (based on the student ACT composite score, cumulative GPA, and number of high school courses completed in a core subject such as English, math science, social studies, and a foreign language. This score is calculated and used to determine admissions to the Regent Universities.

6 FRESHMAN ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS TO IOWA REGENT UNIVERSITIES The admission of freshman applicants to the Iowa Regent Universities is based on a Regent Admission Index which combines four factors: ACT composite score, high school rank, high school grade point average, and number of high school courses completed in the core subject areas. A Regent Admission Index (RAI) will be calculated for each freshman applicant using the equation below: RAI=(2 x ACT composite score) + (1 x high school rank) + (20 x high school grade point average) + (5 x number of high school courses completed in the core subject areas) Note: For purposes of calculating the Regent Admission Index, ACT composite score has a top value of 36 (SAT scores will be converted to ACT composite equivalent); high school rank is expressed as a percentile with 99% as the top value; high school GPA is expressed on a 4-point scale; and number of high school courses completed in the core subject areas is expressed in terms of years or fractions of years of study. (Applicants who do not possess all required factors will be evaluated on an individual basis by each Regent University.) Freshman applicants from Iowa high schools who have an RAI of at least 245 and who meet the minimum number of high school courses required by the Regent universities will qualify for automatic admission to any of the three Regent universities. Freshman applicants who have an RAI below 245 may also be admitted to a specific Regent university; however, each Regent University will review these applications on an individual basis and the admission decision will be specific to each institution. Freshman applicants from approved high schools in other states may be held to higher academic standards, but must meet at least the same requirements as graduates of Iowa high schools. The Regent universities recognize that the traditional measures of academic performance do not adequately describe some students potential for success. Therefore, the Regent universities strongly encourage all interested students to apply for admission. Applicants who feel their academic record is not an accurate reflection of their potential for success are encouraged to provide supplemental information explaining their circumstances in addition to the application, academic transcripts, and test scores.

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