Academics » Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements

Summary of the High School Promotion Policy

Minimum units of credit required for promotion from:

Grade 9: 5 units
Grade 10: 11 units
Grade 11: 17 units
Grade 12: 26 units
Minimum requirement for promotion from the Junior Academy to the Senior Academy:
  • 11 units of credit
  • TAP score of 8.8 in reading and mathematics
  • Recommendation of high school counselor and principal
  • Fewer than 20 days of unexcused absence during each year,
  • including absence caused by out-of-school suspension

Requirements (Units)
English (4)
Social Studies (must include U.S. History & Public Law 195) (3)
Mathematics (Algebra, Geometry, Algebra-Trig) (3)
Science (3)
  • Biology
  • Earth Science or Environmental Science
  • Chemistry or Physics

World Language (two years of same language) (2)
Computer Technology (includes consumer education unit) (1)
E-T-C Career Education/Electives (6)
Art (Drafting I for all tech students) (1)
Music (1)
Physical Education or ROTC (P.E. includes Health and Driver Education) (2)
Total Credits (26)

To graduate, students:
  • Must demonstrate mastery in core subject areas (English, mathematics, science, social science) through Chicago
  • Academic Standard Exams
  • May place out of courses through exams
  • Must complete all other subject area requirements
  • Must meet student advisory and community service learning requirements
  • Must earn Certificate of Initial Mastery at, or near, completion of second year of high school
  • Must meet exit criteria set by local school

Specific State of Illinois Requirements

To graduate, students:
  • Must pass the Constitution Exam (Public Law 195) offered in U.S. History I
  • Must successfully complete a 30-hour unit in Driver Education offered in PE II
  • Must successfully complete a ten-week consumer education unit offered in technology
  • Must successfully complete 40 hours of service learning
For students with limited English proficiency, a standard-based bilingual assessment system determines placement in different levels of ESL, bilingual summer bridge, and newcomer programs.


Uniform Grading Policy

All teachers are to follow the uniform grading policy as follows:

90-100 = A
80-89 = B
70-79 = C
60-69 = D
0-59 = F

Progress Reports

Progress reports will be mailed home to parents on the following dates listed below. If you do not receive a progress report, call the Program Office at 535-2117.

6th week
15th week 
25th week 
34th week 

Quarterly Exams

1st quarter
9th week 

2nd quarter
19th week 

3rd quarter
29th week 

4th quarter
38th week 

Grades Issued

1st Quarter: Parents pick up grades……………………………………November 

2nd Quarter: Grades issued to students……………………………..……January

3rd Quarter: Parents pick up grades…………………………………...….……April 

4th Quarter: Grades issued to students…………………………...….……June 

Certificate of Initial Mastery

The Certificate of Initial Mastery is a credential earned by students at, or near, completion of the second year of high school. To receive this credential, students demonstrate mastery of basic skills, knowledge, and habits essential to continued success. They demonstrate this mastery in two primary ways: successful completion of the curricular core and other graduation requirements and achievement on the Illinois State Standards Exam at a level of proficiency determined by the Chicago Public Schools. Additional criteria may include such factors as attendance and culminating projects required by the local school.

Community Service Learning

Community service learning is a graduation requirement that couples academic learning in content areas with experiential learning through active participation in community activities and/or projects. This program meets recognized needs in communities while reinforcing skills and knowledge learned in school, providing opportunities for reflection and analysis and reinforcing curricular objectives. Participation enhances students' intellectual growth, social and moral development, and sense of civic responsibility. To visit our service learning web page, click here.

College Admission Requirements

College admission requirements vary widely by school and field of study. Some colleges look only at high school grades and test scores with little consideration given to the course patterns, but most want some common classes taken by all high school students. The state's public universities and transfer programs at community colleges require entering freshmen to have the following credits in high school:

English - Four years
Mathematics - Three years (algebra, geometry, and advanced algebra/trig, or higher)
Social Studies - Three years of social studies including one year of U.S. history
and American government
Science - Three years of laboratory sciences, which must include biology,
environmental or earth science, and chemistry or physics

Two years of world language
One year of music
One year of either art or drafting

Courses used to meet admission requirements are those which students take to meet our high school curriculum and emphasize classroom and laboratory experience. Students should plan early by consulting the computer programs and college catalogs located in the College & Career Center (Room 270) for specific requirements far colleges they are thinking of attending.