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Newport News Public Schools
  12465 Warwick Boulevard   •  Newport News, VA 23606  •  Phone: (757) 591-4500

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from high school, a student will meet the minimum requirements set forth by the Virginia Department of Education. All graduation requirements are described in the High School Course Offerings booklet.

 

Requirements for a Standard Diploma

  1. To receive a Standard Diploma, students will earn standard units of credit described in the table below, and of the standard units of credit earned, students will earn the following number of verified units of credit:  English-two; math-one; science-one; history/social science-one; and one additional verified unit of credit of the student's own choosing.

    Students who complete the requirements for a standard diploma with a cumulative grade point average of 3.60 or better at the end of their senior year will receive a Board of Education Seal on the diploma.

Credits Required for Graduation: Standard Diploma

Discipline Area Units of Credit Units of Credit with
9th Graders 2011-12
Number of These
Required to be Verified
English 4 4 2
Mathematics1 3 3 1
Laboratory Science2,6 3 3 1
History and Social Sciences3,6 3 3 1
Health and Physical Education 2 2
 
Foreign Language, Fine Arts or Career & Technical Education7 1 2
 
Economics and Personal Finance   1  
Electives4 6 4
 
Student Selected Test 5
 
 
1
Total 22 22 6

1Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include at least two different course selections from among: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra, Functions, and Data Analysis, Algebra II, or other mathematics courses above the level of Algebra II. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.

2Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include course selections from at least two different science disciplines: earth sciences, biology, chemistry, or physics, or completion of the sequence of science courses required for the International Baccalaureate Diploma. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.

3Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and one course in either world history or geography or both. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.

4For the 2011-2012 academic year and beyond: Courses to satisfy this requirement shall include at least two sequential electives as required by the Standards of Quality.

5A student may utilize additional tests for earning verified credit in computer science, technology, career and technical education, economics or other areas as prescribed by the board in 8VAC20-131-110.

6For the 2011-2012 academic year and beyond: Students who complete a career and technical education program sequence and pass an examination or occupational competency assessment in a career and technical education field that confers certification or an occupational competency credential from a recognized industry, or trade or professional association, or acquires a professional license in a career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia may substitute the certification, competency credential, or license for (i) the student-selected verified credit and (ii) either a science or history and social science verified credit when the certification, license, or credential confers more than one verified credit. The examination or occupational competency assessment must be approved by the Board of Education as an additional test to verify student achievement.

7For the 2011-2012 academic year and beyond: Pursuant to § 22.1-253.13:4 of the Code of Virginia, credits earned for this requirement shall include one credit in fine or performing arts or career and technical education.

 

  1. Sequential Electives
    Beginning with the graduating class of 2003, at least two sequential electives are required for the Standard Diploma.  Sequential electives may be in any discipline as long as the courses are not specifically required for graduation.
    • Courses used to satisfy the one unit of credit in a fine arts or career and technical education course may be used to partially satisfy this requirement.
    • An exploratory course followed by an introductory course may not be used to satisfy the requirement.
    • An introductory course followed by another level of the same course of study may be used.
    • Sequential electives do not have to be taken in consecutive years.

     
  2. Locally Awarded Verified Credits for the Standard Diploma

    Students may be awarded locally verified credits in science and social studies to fulfill the requirements for verified credits for the standard diploma.  To be eligible for locally awarded verified credit, a student must:

    • Pass the high school course but not pass the related Standards of Learning test or approved substitute;
    • score within a 375-399 scale score range on any administration of the Standards of Learning test after taking the test at least twice;
    • have earned fewer than four of the verified credits required for the standard diploma; and
    • demonstrate achievement in the academic content through the appeal process that follows.

In the appeal process for the student, a review panel will be established at the school consisting of an administrator, the School Counseling Director, and the Lead Teacher for the appropriate content area.  The panel will review the student's record for the course in question and grant the verified credit if met the criteria listed above. No more than three verified credits may be awarded through this process.  Students may not use locally awarded verified credits for the Advanced Studies Diploma.

Requirements for a Standard Technical Diploma

  1. Beginning with the ninth-grade class of 2010-2011 and beyond, students shall earn the required standard and verified units of credit described in subdivision 2 of this subsection.

  2. Credits required for graduation with a Standard Technical Diploma.

Credits Required for Graduation: Standard Technical Diploma

Discipline Area Units of Credit Number of These
Required to be Verified
English 4 2
Mathematics1 3 1
Laboratory Science2,5 3 1
History and Social Sciences3,5 3 1
Health and Physical Education 2
 
Fine Arts or Foreign Language 1
 
Career and Technical Education4 1  
Electives4 4
 
Student Selected 6
 1
1
Total 22 6

1Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include at least three different course selections from among: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra Functions and Data Analysis, or Algebra II or other mathematics courses above the level of Algebra II. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.

2Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include course selections from at least three different science disciplines from among: earth sciences, biology, chemistry, or physics, or completion of the sequence of science courses required for the International Baccalaureate Diploma. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.

3Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and one course in either world history or geography or both. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.

4Courses completed to satisfy this requirement must include a career concentration as approved by the board. If a career concentration includes a specific assessment approved by the board and the student is eligible to take the assessment, then the student must take this assessment.

5Students who complete a career and technical education program sequence and pass an examination or occupational competency assessment in a career and technical education field that confers certification or an occupational competency credential from a recognized industry or trade or professional association or acquires a professional license in a career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia may substitute the certification competency credential or license for (i) the student selected verified credit and (ii) either a science or history and social science verified credit when the certification license or credential confers more than one verified credit. The examination or occupational competency assessment must be approved by the board as an additional test to verify student achievement.

6A student may utilize additional tests for earning verified credit in computer science, technology, career and technical education, economics or other areas as prescribed by the board in 8VAC20-131-110.

Requirements for an Advanced Studies Diploma

  1. To receive an Advanced Studies Diploma, students will earn the standard credits outlined in the table on the next page, and of the total credits earned, students shall earn the following number of verified units of credits:  English-two; Mathematics-two; Science-two; History/Social Science-two; and one additional verified unit of credit of the student's own choosing. 
     
  2. Students who complete the requirements for an Advanced Studies Diploma with an average grade of 3.00 or better at the end of their senior year and successfully complete college-level coursework that will earn the student at least nine transferable credits in Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or dual enrollment courses will receive the Governor's Seal on the diploma.

Credits Required for Graduation: Advanced Studies Diploma

Discipline Area Units of Credit Units of Credit with
9th Graders 2011-12
Number of These
Required to be Verified
English

4

4

2

Mathematics1

4

4

2

Laboratory Science2

4

4

2

History and Social Sciences3

4

4

2

Foreign Language4

3

3

 

Health and Physical Education

2

2

 

Fine Arts or Career & Technical Education

1

1

 

Economics and Personal Finance

 

1

 

Electives

2

3

 

Student Selected Test 5

 

 

1

Total

24

26

9

1Courses completed to satisfy this requirement 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. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.

2Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include course selections from at least three different science disciplines from among: earth sciences, biology, chemistry, or physics or completion of the sequence of science courses required for the International Baccalaureate Diploma. The board shall approve additional courses to satisfy this requirement.

3Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and two courses in either world history or geography or both. The board shall approve additional courses to satisfy this requirement.

4For the 2010-2011 academic year only: Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include three years of one language or two years of two languages.

5A student may utilize additional tests for earning verified credit in computer science, technology, career or technical education, economics or other areas as prescribed by the board in 8VAC20-131-110.

Requirements for an Advanced Studies Technical Diploma

Any student who meets the requirements for both the Advanced Studies and the Advanced Technical diploma may choose between these two diplomas.

  1. Beginning with the ninth-grade class of 2010-2011 and beyond, students shall earn the required standard and verified units of credit described in subdivision 2 of this subsection.
     
  2. Credits required for graduation with an Advanced Technical Diploma.

Credits Required for Graduation: Advanced Studies Technical Diploma

Discipline Area Units of Credit Number of These
Required to be Verified
English

4

2

Mathematics1

4

2

Laboratory Science2

4

2

History and Social Sciences3

4

2

Foreign Language4

3

 

Health and Physical Education

2

 

Economics and Personal Finance

1

 

Fine Arts or Career & Technical Education

1

 

Career and Technical Education 5

3

 

Student Selected Test 6

 

1

Total

26

9

1Courses completed to satisfy this requirement 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. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.

2Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include course selections from at least three different science disciplines from among: earth sciences, biology, chemistry, or physics or completion of the sequence of science courses required for the International Baccalaureate Diploma. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.

3Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and two courses in either world history or geography or both. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.

4Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include three years of one language or two years of two languages.

5Courses completed to satisfy this requirement must include a career concentration as approved by the board. If a career concentration includes a specific assessment approved by the board, and the student is eligible to take the assessment, then the student must take this assessment.

6A student may utilize additional tests for earning verified credit in computer science, technology, career or technical education, economics, or other areas as prescribed by the board in 8VAC20-131-110.

Requirements for Diploma Seals from the Board of Education

  1. Requirements for a Board of Education’s Seal
    Students who complete the requirements for a Standard Diploma or advanced Studies Diploma with an average grade of "A" shall receive a Board of Education Seal on the diploma.

  2. Requirements for Board of Education’s Career & Technology Education Seal
    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 maintain a "B" or better average in those courses ;
    1. or pass an examination or an occupational competency assessment in a career and technical education concentration or specialization that confers certification or occupational competency credential from a recognized industry, trade or professional association
    2. or acquire a professional license in that career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The Board of education shall approve all professional licenses and examinations used to satisfy these requirements.
        
  3. Requirements for Board of Education’s Seal of Advanced Mathematics and Technology
    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
    1. and satisfy all of the mathematics requirements for the Advanced Studies Diploma (four units of credit including Algebra II, two verified units of credit) with a "B" average or better
    2. and do one of the following
      • pass an examination in a career and technical education field that confers certification from a recognized industry, or trade or professional association
      • acquire a professional license in a career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia
      • pass an examination approved by the Board that confers college-level credit in a technology or computer science area.  The board of education shall approve all professional licenses and examinations used to satisfy these requirements.
         
  4. Requirements for a Board of Education’s Seal for Excellence in Civics Education
    The Board of Education's Seal for Excellence in Civics Education will be awarded to students who earn either a Standard or Advanced Studies diploma and
    1. complete Virginia and United States History and Virginia and United States Government courses with a grade of "B" or higher
    2. have good attendance and no disciplinary infractions as determined by local school board policies
    3. complete 50 hours of voluntary participation in community service or extracurricular activities.  Activities that would satisfy this requirement include:
      • volunteering for a charitable or religious organization that provides services to the poor, sick or less fortunate;
      • participating in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or similar youth organizations;
      • participating in JROTC;
      • participating in political campaigns or government internships, or Boys State, Girls State, or Model General Assembly; or
      • participating in school-sponsored extracurricular activities that have a civics focus.  Any student who enlists in the United States military prior to graduation will be deemed to have met this community service requirement.

Please download the High School Course Offerings booklet for a complete description of all graduation requirements as listed above and including:

  • The Governor's Early College Scholars Program
  • The Newport News Scholars Program (Superintendent's Seal of Distinction)
  • Requirements for Other Diplomas (Modified Standard, Special, General Achievement, Adult High School, Certificate of Program Completion)
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 HIGH SCHOOL

 Michael Evans
 Executive Director
 Secondary Education
 (757) 591-4647

 Susan Tilley
 Executive Director
 Secondary School Leadership
 (757) 591-4647

       
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