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Graduation Requirements

2203 Academic Requirements

2203.1 The course work set forth in Subsections 2203.3 shall be required of students who enrolled in ninth grade in school year 2007-2008 and thereafter in order to be certified as eligible to receive a high school diploma.

2203.2 At the beginning of the ninth grade, students shall develop a graduation plan pacing the courses they will take to complete high school. This shall be done with the assistance of the school counselor or other school official designated by the local education agency (LEA).

2203.3

(a) A total of 24 Carnegie Units in corresponding subjects and required volunteer community service hours shall have been satisfactorily completed for graduation.

(b) The following Carnegie Units in the following subjects shall be required:

Courses Unit(s)
English 4.0
Mathematics; must include Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra II at a minimum 4.0
Science; must include three lab sciences 4.0
Social Studies; must include World History 1 and 2, United States History; United States Government, and District of Columbia History 4.0
World Language 2.0
Art 0.5
Music 0.5
Physical Education/Health 1.5
Electives 3.5
Total 24.0

(c) At least two of the 24 Carnegie Units for graduation must include a College Level or Career Preparatory (CLCP) course approved by the LEA and successfully completed by the student. The course may fulfill subject matter or elective unit requirements as deemed appropriate by the LEA. CLCP courses approved by the LEA may include courses at other institutions.

(d) ll students must enroll in Algebra I no later than 10th grade commencing with the 2016-2017 school year, unless the school is approved for a waiver pursuant to Subsection 2203.7.

(e) For all students entering the ninth grade beginning school year 2009-2010, one of the three lab science units, required by paragraph (a) of this subsection, shall be a course in Biology.

(f)  In addition to the 24 Carnegie Units, 100 hours of volunteer community service shall be satisfactorily completed. The specific volunteer community service projects shall be established by the LEA.

(g) 1.5 Carnegie Units in health and physical education shall not be required for the evening program high school diploma.

2203.4 An LEA may establish specialized or career-focused programs or courses of study, which lead to the high school diploma in accordance with Subsection 2203.3. These courses of study can include academic, performing arts, science and mathematics, and career or vocational education focuses or other areas of concentration. The programs or courses of study may require additional coursework.

2203.5 Electives taken to fulfill the requirements of Subsection 2203.4 shall be required to be taken in courses established by the LEA for each area of concentration in order to receive certification in the area of concentration.

2203.6 Each student who completes the requirements for specialized or career focused courses of study established under Subsection 2203.4 shall receive appropriate recognition on the student's diploma.

2203.7 Beginning with School Year 2016-2017:

(a) The District of Columbia Public Schools (“DCPS”) or the Public Charter School Board (“PCSB”) may waive the Carnegie Unit requirement set forth in Subsection 2203.3 for a school seeking to award competency-based unit(s), as defined in this chapter, accordingly:

(1) A school that seeks a waiver from the Carnegie Unit requirement to award competency-based unit(s) shall submit an application to either the DCPS or PCSB.  If a charter school is part of an LEA, the application must be submitted to the PCSB through the LEA;

(2) Applications for a waiver to award competency-based unit(s) shall be in the format established by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (“OSSE”) and contain the information required by OSSE; and

(3) The DCPS or PCSB, respectively, shall review the school’s application in accordance with the standards and requirements established by OSSE. If the school’s application meets the standards and requirements established by OSSE, the DCPS or PCSB, respectively shall approve the school’s application for a waiver to award competency-based unit(s);

(b) [RESERVED]

(c) OSSE shall make publicly available aggregated evidence of annual implementation of Subsections 2203.7(a) in a summative report no later than three years after initial implementation, and annually thereafter, to share best practices and lessons learned from implementation.

2203.8 A student with special needs who does not achieve a diploma, as set forth in Subsection 2203.3 shall be eligible to receive an Individual Educational Program (IEP) Certificate of Completion. The decision to pursue a program leading to an IEP Certificate of Completion shall be made by the IEP team including the parent(s) and where possible, the student. The decision shall be made no earlier than the ninth (9th) grade and shall be attached in writing to the student’s IEP.  An LEA shall comply with the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (20 U.S.C. §§ 1400 et seq.) (IDEA) and District law with regard to appropriate transition assessments.

2203.9 Graduation Requirements for Previous Years: The following coursework shall be required of students who enrolled in ninth grade for the first time in 1982-1983 or a prior school year in order to be certified as eligible to receive a high school diploma:

(a) A total of 17.5 Carnegie Units;

(b) The Carnegie Units shall include:

(1) 4 Units in English;

(2) 1in United States History;

(3) 0.5 Unit in United States Government;

(4) 1 Unit in Mathematics;

(5) 1 Unit in Science;

(6) 1.5 Units in Health/Physical Education; and

(7) 8.5 electives; and

(c) 1.5 Carnegie Units in health and physical education shall not be required for the evening program high school diploma.

2203.10 The following coursework shall be required of students entering ninth grade for the first time in any of the school years between and including school year 1983-1984 and school year 1992-1993 in order to be certified as eligible to receive a high school diploma.

(a) 20.5 Carnegie Units;

(b) The Carnegie Units shall include:

(1) 4 in English;

(2) 1 in Foreign Language;

(3) 0.5 in DC History-Government;

(4) 1 in US History;

(5) 0.5 in US Government;

(6) 2 in Mathematics;

(7) 2 in Science;

(8) 1.5 in Health/Physical Education;

(9) 1 in Life Skills Seminar and 7 Electives; and

(c) 1.5 Carnegie Units in health and physical education shall not be required for the evening program high school diploma.

2203.11 The following coursework shall be required of students entering ninth grade for the first time in any of the school years between and including 1993-1994 and school year 2006-2007 in order to be certified as eligible to receive a high school diploma:

(a) A total of 23.5 Carnegie Units shall have been completed.

(b) The following Carnegie Units in the corresponding subjects shall be required:

Courses Units
Art 0.5
Career/Vocational Education 1.0
Electives 4.5
English 4.0
Foreign Languages 2.0
Health & Physical Education 1.5
Mathematics (including elementary Algebra or its equivalent) 3.0
Music 0.5
Science (including 1 year of lab science) 3.0
Social Studies to include DC History, World Geography and US Government (each 0.5), US History and World History (each 1) 3.5
Total 23.5

(c) 1.5 Carnegie Units in health and physical education shall not be required for the evening program high school diploma; and

(d) 100 hours of community service shall be required for graduation.

Source: Final Rulemaking published at 63 DCR 5221 (April 8, 2016).

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