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Los Angeles COE |  BP  6146.1  Instruction

High School Graduation Requirements   

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Academic Requirements for Graduation

1. Definitions

a. Academic Requirements: courses required by law and/or the Los Angeles County Board of Education that LACOE students must complete successfully in order to graduate from LACOE educational programs. These may include college/university courses, vocational courses, and other courses the County Board approves.

b. Diploma: is awarded to a pupil who has successfully met the requirements of LACOE's educational program set forth below.

c. Certificate of Achievement: the certificate awarded to a pupil with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) who has completed four years of high school but has not met the requirements for a diploma.

d. Certificate of Recognition: the certificate awarded to a pupil with an IEP who has reached their twenty-second (22nd) birthday and is leaving the educational system.

e. State-Awarded Certificates: either of the certificates awarded by the State of California to a pupil who has successfully completed the criteria set forth either in Education Code 51420 (High School Equivalency Exam) or Education Code 48412 (California High School Proficiency Examination). Either of these certificates is the legal equivalent of a high school diploma.

Graduation Requirements for Juvenile Court Schools and County Community Schools

Course Requirements

1. Academic

To obtain a high school diploma, students must successfully complete 220 credits in grades 9-12, which must include the following course work:

a. Forty (40) credits in English language arts

b. Twenty (20) credits in mathematics, which must include algebra or a more advanced mathematics course

c. Twenty (20) credits in science

d. Thirty (30) credits in social sciences, including U.S. history and geography; world history; one semester of American government; and one semester of economics

e. Ten (10) credits in visual or performing arts or a foreign language, which might include American Sign Language or a career and technical education (CTE) course can be applied toward, or any combination of five (5) credits in each of visual or performing arts or a foreign language, including American Sign Language or CTE

f. Twenty (20) credits in physical education; ten (10) credits must be taken in the 9th grade and an additional ten (10) credits taken during grades 10-12, unless the student has been exempted pursuant to provisions of the Education Code

g. Five (5) credits in health

h. Seventy-five (75) elective credits, any other coursework, including work experience, vocational education, arts and sciences or developmental course (e.g., reading and math intervention) that LACOE has required.

i. Pupils enrolled in LACOE educational programs may receive academic credit for coursework completed through college courses and online instruction, provided that LACOE academic requirements are met and such alternative instruction is approved by designated LACOE staff.

2. Assessment Requirements for Diploma

LACOE educational programs may require students to demonstrate minimum proficiency in reading and math on a LACOE-adopted assessment.

Commencement Ceremony

1. LACOE pupils (except those from IPoly or LACHSA) who have earned a diploma or certificate of achievement will be eligible to participate in a commencement ceremony. Students who will complete the LACOE requirements to earn a diploma or certificate of achievement before August 15th of the same year will be allowed to participate in the previous school year commencement ceremony.

2. Any senior who demonstrates chronic absenteeism and/or shows cause to be placed on an attendance, academic, or is on disciplinary probation may lose the privilege of participating in the commencement ceremony.

3. The ceremony programs will list pupils by their specific diploma or certificate they will receive.

Graduation Requirements for International Polytechnic High School (IPoly)

1. Academic

Between the ninth (9th) and twelfth (12th) grades, pupils enrolled in LACOE's IPoly program must successfully complete a minimum 240 credits to earn an IPoly diploma. This includes 210 credits of required core courses and a minimum of 30 credits in additional courses. The IPoly core course sequence includes the a-g requirements:

a. Forty (40) credits in English language arts

b. Forty (40) credits in mathematics

c. Forty (40) credits in science

d. Forty (40) credits in social sciences (9th grade social science may be waived for transfer students)

e. Twenty (20) credits in foreign language

f. Twenty (20) credits in physical education

g. Ten (10) credits in visual and performing arts

h. Thirty (30) credits in additional required courses

i. Students must complete 100 hours of community service in order to graduate with an IPoly diploma. Community service hours must be obtained by volunteering for a verified non-profit organization.

j. Grade-Level Projects: Students must pass grade level project each semester with a grade of 60% or better

During a long-term County-wide or Statewide declared emergency or other unforeseen disaster that would interrupt the school's educational continuity and/or operations, the County Superintendent or designee in collaboration with the IPoly Principal or designee retains the authority to waive or adjust the service hours or work requirements for grade level projects.

Commencement Ceremony

1. Pupils from IPoly who have earned a diploma will be eligible to participate in their own respective commencement ceremonies.

2. Any senior who demonstrates chronic absenteeism and/or shows cause to be placed on attendance, academic, discipline probation (or violates probation) during the second semester of their senior year may lose the privilege of participating in the commencement ceremony.

Graduation Requirements for Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA)

1. Academic

Between the ninth (9th) and twelfth (12th) grades, pupils enrolled in LACOE's LACHSA program must successfully complete 225 credits, which must include the following courses in order to receive a diploma. The LACHSA core course sequence includes the a-g requirements:

a. Forty (40) credits in English language arts

b. Twenty (20) credits in mathematics which must include algebra or a more advanced mathematics course

c. Twenty (20) credits in science (life and physical)

d. Thirty (30) credits in social sciences, including U.S. history and world history; one semester of American government; and one semester of economics

e. Twenty (20) credits in a foreign language

f. Ten (10) credits in fine arts

g. Twenty (20) credits in physical education

h. Sixty-five (65) credits in electives

Commencement Ceremony

1. Pupils from LACHSA who have earned a diploma will be eligible to participate in their own respective commencement ceremonies.

2. Any senior who demonstrates chronic absenteeism and/or shows cause to be placed on attendance, academic, discipline or arts probation (or violates probation) during the second semester of their senior year may lose the privilege of participating in the commencement ceremony.

Graduation Requirements for AB 167, AB 216, AB 1806, AB 2306, AB 365, and AB2121

Students in foster care, students experiencing homelessness, former juvenile court school students or probation 602 youth, or child of a military family, newly arrived immigrant, or a migratory child who transfer(s) into a LACOE school any time after completing a second year of high school shall be required to complete all graduation requirements specified in Education Code 51225.3 (CDE graduation requirements of 130 core credits) but shall be exempt from any additional LACOE-adopted graduation requirements, unless the County Superintendent or designee makes a finding that the student is reasonably able to complete the requirements in time to graduate by the end of a fourth year of high school. Within 30 days of the transfer, any such student shall be notified of the availability of the exemption and whether he/she qualifies for it. (Education Code 51225.1)

Assembly Bills 1806, 2306, 365, and 2121 extend the same exemptions mentioned above to homeless pupils, incarcerated or formerly incarcerated pupils, pupils of military parents, newly arrived immigrant student who is in the third or fourth year of high school and is participating in a new comer program (i.e., a program designed to meet the academic and transitional needs of newly arrived immigrant students (within 3 years) that has as a primary objective the development of English language proficiency), and pupils who are migratory children.

Pursuant to Education Code 51225.1, within 30 calendar days of the transfer of a foster youth, a student experiencing homelessness, former juvenile court school student, child of military family, migrant student, or newly arrived immigrant student participating in a newcomer program, LACOE is required to provide notice to the student of the availability of the exemption and whether the student qualifies. If LACOE fails to provide that notification, the student will be eligible for the exemption once notified, even if the notification is received after the termination of the court's jurisdiction over the foster youth or former juvenile court school student, after the homeless student ceases to be homeless, or after the student no longer meets the definition of a child of a military or migrant family, as applicable.

Education Code 51225.1 also provides that, if an exempted student completes the statewide coursework requirements before the end of the fourth year of high school, LACOE or a district school must not require or request that he/she graduate before the end of the fourth year of high school.

There are five criteria to be eligible for the waiver to graduate with his or her 9th grade cohort:

* The youth must have transferred schools while he or she is in grade 11 or 12, transfers into the school district from another school district or between high schools within the district.

* The youth cannot complete the LACOE graduation requirements within 4 years of high school, and the Education Rights Holder declines a 5th year of high school.

* Education Rights Holder determines that the waiver is in the youth's best interest to graduate under AB 167/216/1806/2306/365/2121.

* The student successfully completes the CDE required minimum courses of 130 core credits.

* The student has an open DCFS case since starting the 11th grade, or experiencing homelessness, or a former juvenile court school student or probation 602 youth, or a child of a military family, or a migratory child since starting the 11th grade, or a newly arrived immigrant within 3 years.

1. Academic

To obtain a LACOE high school diploma, students shall complete 130 credits, from the following courses in grades 9-12, with each course being one year unless otherwise specified:

a. Thirty (30) credits in English language arts

b. Twenty (20) credits in mathematics which must include algebra and any other mathematics course

c. Twenty (20) credits in science (biological science and physical science)

d. Thirty (30) credits in social studies, including U.S. history and modern world history; one semester of American government; and one semester of economics

e. Ten (10) credits in visual or performing arts, foreign language, or career technical education (CTE). (Five [5] maximum from CTE)

f. Twenty (20) credits in physical education

2. Assessment Requirements for Diploma

Once the student completes all LACOE course requirements, the counselor will confirm and request the student's diploma. The processing for the diploma takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, the student or individual with education decision-making rights should contact the LACOE Student File Center to request his or her diploma. This can be done in person at Los Angeles County Office of Education, 9300 Imperial Highway, Student File Center, Downey 90242, or by mail, fax, or email. Fax (562) 469-4244 or (562) 469-4346 or email, studentfilecenter@lacoe.edu.

(cf. 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures)

(cf. 5145.6 - Parental Notifications)

(cf. 6173 - Education for Homeless Children and Youth)

(cf. 6173.1 - Education for Foster Youth)

(cf. 6173.2 - Education of Children of Military Families)

Retroactive Diplomas

Education Code 51413, as added by AB 830 (Ch. 641, Statutes of 2017), retains and renumbers the requirement to grant a diploma to students who previously met all applicable graduation requirements other than the requirement to pass the high school exit examination.

Any student who completed grade 12 in the 2003-04 through 2014-15 school year and met all applicable graduation requirements other than the passage of the high school exit examination shall be granted a high school diploma. (Education Code 51413)

In addition, LACOE may retroactively grant high school diplomas to: (Education Code 48204.4, 51430, 51440)

1. Persons who departed California against their will while in grade 12 and did not receive a diploma because the departure interrupted their education, provided that they were in good academic standing at the time of the departure

Persons may be considered to have departed California against their will if they were in custody of a government agency and were transferred to another state, were subject to a lawful order from a court or government agency that authorized their removal from California, were subject to a lawful order and were permitted to depart California before being removed from California pursuant to the lawful order, were removed or were permitted to depart voluntarily pursuant to the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, or departed due to other circumstances determined by the district that are consistent with the purposes of Education Code 48204.4.

In determining whether to award a diploma under these circumstances, the County Superintendent or designee shall consider any coursework that may have been completed outside of the United States or through online or virtual courses.

2. Former students who were interned by order of the federal government during World War II or who are honorably discharged veterans of World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War, provided that they were enrolled in a district school immediately preceding the internment or military service and did not receive a diploma because their education was interrupted due to the internment or military service in those wars. Deceased former students who satisfy these conditions may be granted a retroactive diploma to be received by their next of kin.

3. Veterans who entered the military service of the United States while in grade 12 and who had satisfactorily completed the first half of the work required for grade 12 in a district school.

Complaints

If a student or student's parent/guardian has a complaint regarding academic credits, academic requirements, or the diploma process, that individual should follow the Complaint Policy, 1312.3, and, where appropriate, the Williams Uniform Complaint Procedures, 1312.4.

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

35186 Williams Uniform Complaint Procedures

37252 Supplemental instructional programs

37254 Supplemental instruction based on failure to pass exit exam by end of grade 12

37254.1 Required student participation in supplemental instruction

47612 Enrollment in charter school

48200 Compulsory attendance

48430 Continuation education schools and classes

48645.5 Acceptance of coursework

49701 Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

51224 Skills and knowledge required for adult life

51224.5 Algebra instruction

51225.3 Requirements for graduation

51225.5 Honorary diplomas; foreign exchange students

51228 Graduation requirements

51240-51246 Exemptions from requirements

51250-51251 Assistance to military dependents

51410-51412 Diplomas

51420-51427 High school equivalency certificates

51450-51455 Golden State Seal Merit Diploma

51745 Independent study restrictions

52378 Supplemental school counseling program

56390-56392 Recognition for educational achievement, special education

66204 Certification of high school courses as meeting university admissions criteria

Education Code 51220 et seq., 51410 et seq. 5 CCR 1600 et seq.

48412 Certificate of proficiency

48430 Continuation education schools and classes

48645.5 Acceptance of coursework

48980 Required notification at beginning of term

49701 Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

51224 Skills and knowledge required for adult life

51224.5 Algebra instruction

51225.1 Exemption from district graduation requirements

51225.2 Student in foster care defined; acceptance of coursework, credits, retaking of course

51225.3 High school graduation

51225.35 Mathematics course requirements; computer science

51225.36 Instruction in sexual harassment and violence; districts that require health education for graduation

51225.5 Honorary diplomas; foreign exchange students

51225.6 Compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation

51228 Graduation requirements

51240-51246 Exemptions from requirements

51250-51251 Assistance to military dependents

51410-51413 Diplomas

51420-51427 High school equivalency certificates

51430 Retroactive high school diplomas

51440 Retroactive high school diplomas

51450-51455 Golden State Seal Merit Diploma

51745 Independent study restrictions

56390-56392 Recognition for educational achievement, special education

66204 Certification of high school courses as meeting university admissions criteria

67386 Student safety; affirmative consent standard

CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 5

1600-1651 Graduation of students from grade 12 and credit toward graduation

4600-4687 Uniform complaint procedures

COURT DECISIONS

O'Connell v. Superior Court (Valenzuela), (2006) 141 Cal.App.4th 1452

Management Resources:

WEB SITES

CSBA: http://www.csba.org

http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/hs

California Department of Education, High School: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/gs/hs

University of California, List of Approved a-g Courses: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/freshman/requirements

Policy LOS ANGELES COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION

adopted: May 5, 2020 Downey, California