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IKF, Graduation Requirements

IKF, Graduation Requirements

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Academic Requirements for Graduation

In an effort to improve the overall academic preparedness for students to graduate college, career, armed forces and workforce ready, the Thompson School District’s requirements for graduation reflect a higher academic expectation, beginning with the class of 2021, which include community service, college and career demonstrations and competencies to attain a high school diploma. At a minimum, students must earn at least 20 credits for a Thompson School District Diploma.

Credit Requirements

Academic Area 20 Credit Diploma 24 Credit Diploma 24 Credit Distinction 28 Credit Distinction*
English Language Arts 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0
Mathematics 3.0 3.0 4.0 4.0
Science (at least 2 credits of science with a lab) 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0
Social Studies (World History and Geography, and Civic) 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0
World Language 1.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
Health and Fitness 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
Career Pathway Elective 4.0 7.0 6.0 10.0
Applied Arts / CTE 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Fine Arts 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Total Credit Requirement 20.0 24.0 24.0 28.0
Additional Requirements    

3.0 of 24.0 credits must be weighted

Credits 3.5 weighted GPA

3.5 weighted GPA
Community Service Requirement (20 hours)

Prorated to 10 hours for the class of 2021

Prorated to 15 hours for the class of 2022

The Class of 2023 and beyond will be required to complete 20 hours.

*This diploma type will no longer be awarded beginning with the Class of 2025.
The IB program may require alternative courses than the ones listed above. Contact the District IB coordinator for further information.

Diplomas and Certificates

1. Thompson School District Diploma (20 credits)

The Thompson School District Diploma is awarded to any student who earns 20 credits and completes all required course work, including all state-required courses, assessments and credits. In addition to state requirements, Thompson School District students will be required to complete the following additional credits: 4 career pathway elective credits.

2. Thompson School District Diploma (24 credits)

The Thompson School District Diploma is awarded to any student who earns 24 credits and completes all required course work, including all state-required courses, assessments and credits. In addition to state requirements, Thompson School District will require students to complete the following additional credits: 2 world language credits, 7 career pathway elective credits.

3. Thompson School District Diploma with Distinction (24 credits)

Students earning a Thompson School District Diploma with Distinction with 24 credits are required to earn 24 credits and complete all required coursework, including all state-required courses, assessments, credits, complete a minimum of 3.0 course credits that are weighted credit (AP, IB and/or College Level 100+ courses) and have maintained a 3.5 weighted grade point average (GPA) or higher. Thompson School District requirements exceed the Colorado Higher Education Admission Recommendations (HEAR).

4. Thompson School District Diploma with Distinction (28 credits)

Students earning a Thompson School District Diploma with Distinction are required to earn 28 credits and complete all required coursework, including all state-required courses, assessments, credits, and have maintained a 3.5 weighted grade point average (GPA) or higher. Thompson School District requirements exceed the Colorado Higher Education Admission Recommendations (HEAR). This diploma type is available to the Classes of 2021-2024. Beginning with the Class of 2025, this diploma type will no longer be awarded.

5. Certificate of Achievement

If a student with a disability has not completed the requirements for a Thompson School District Diploma, the student may be eligible for a Certificate of Achievement under one of the following circumstances:

  1. In connection with a social graduation with common aged peers;
  2. If the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) team has determined the student has met the criteria for a Certificate of Achievement as stated in the student’s IEP; or
  3. At the end of the semester in which the student turns age 21.

Students will be eligible to receive one of the following honor titles based on weighted GPA regardless of diploma type.

Honor Titles

  • Cum Laude – 3.70 – 3.84 weighted GPA
  • Magna Cum Laude – 3.85 – 3.99 weighted GPA
  • Summa Cum Laude – 4.0 and above weighted GPA

College and Career Ready Demonstrations

The Colorado State Board of Education has adopted state graduation guidelines that identify college and career readiness measures in English (Reading, Writing, and Communication) and Math (Mathematics). The Board has selected its own measures from these state graduation guidelines.

Students must complete at least one English measure and one Math measure and meet or exceed the measure’s corresponding cut score or criteria to demonstrate college and career readiness in English and Math. The Board’s approved measures and cut scores are outlined in this policy’s accompanying exhibit (IKF-E1).

Exceptions to the Board’s required measures and cut scores/criteria

If a student has demonstrated college and career readiness by completing an assessment or other measure that is not included in this policy’s accompanying exhibit but is included in the state graduation guidelines, the principal may determine such assessment or other measure is acceptable and meets the district’s graduation requirements.

Capstone

Capstone is a culminating exhibition of a student’s experience while in Thompson School District that demonstrates academic and intellectual learning in English language arts and/or Mathematics. Demonstration of learning for Capstone is incorporated in coursework and assessments in Financial Algebra and English 12 courses.

Community Service Requirements

Students will need to complete 20 hours of community service. This requirement will be phased in as follows:

  • Class of 2021 – 10 hours of community service
  • Class of 2022 – 15 hours of community service
  • Class of 2023 and beyond – 20 hours of community service

Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP):

The Individual Career and Academic Plan is a multi-year process that guides students and families in the exploration of career, academic, and post-secondary opportunities. With the support of adults, students develop the awareness, knowledge, attitudes, and skills to create their own meaningful and powerful pathways to be career and college ready. Per this policy, students are required to have a relevant ICAP experience to earn their diplomas. A complete and relevant ICAP means that a student has met all learning objectives and completed the ICAP. Objectives missed by transfer students should be made up to ensure all students benefit from a complete ICAP process.

Eligibility for Diverse Learners

Students with Disabilities

Thompson schools will provide students with disabilities access to all graduation pathways and the opportunity to earn a diploma. The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will describe the student’s planned course of study, the specially designed instruction, the accommodations and the modifications necessary to enable the student to demonstrate competency and achieve post secondary goals. For students accessing Capstone for demonstration of competency through work experience or for English language arts or Mathematics, the IEP is the guiding document for a student’s high school pathway.

Students on 504 Plans and/or IEPs may access allowable accommodations on the various competency pathway demonstrations.

English Language Learners

If a student is identified for English Language Development (ELD), and the student arrived in the United States in 8th grade or later, and was classified as Non-English proficient upon arrival, the student is eligible for an alternative pathway to graduation for English Learners. Students identified as English Learners according to district criteria may follow an alternate pathway to graduation. English Language Development (ELD) courses may contribute to fulfillment of English Language Arts, World Language, or other graduation requirements as deemed appropriate.

Waivers of Graduation Requirements

Students with Disabilities

The IEP team may seek a waiver for a given graduation requirement if it is determined to be in the best educational interest of the student or if required in order to provide each student with disabilities a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

For students with disabilities, a waiver must be approved by the Executive Director of Student Support Services and the students’ IEP team. All student waivers will be recorded in a student’s permanent special education file.

Academic Credit

Principals may seek a waiver for graduation requirements for students in their senior year if there is not sufficient time to make up missing credits due to extenuating circumstances, such as, but not limited to, transferring in from a school outside the district, injury or illness, etc.

The Thompson School District will not waive any graduation requirements below 17 credit hours in accordance with the Colorado Higher Education Admissions Recommendations. Requests for waiver of graduation credits must be approved by the Director of Secondary Education.

To facilitate on-time grade level progression and graduation of students in a variety of highly mobile situations, such as students experiencing homelessness, students in foster care, students of migrant families, and students of active military personnel (highly mobile students), as defined by the Every Student Succeeds Act and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the Thompson School District will:

  1. Waive specific courses required for graduation for students experiencing homelessness, students in foster care, students of migrant families, and children of active military personnel (highly mobile students), if similar coursework has been satisfactorily completed in another school district; or
  2. Provide reasonable justification for denial of the waiver.
    1. In the event the district denies a waiver and the highly mobile student would have qualified to graduate from their sending school district, the district will provide an alternative means of obtaining required coursework so that the student may graduate on time.
  3. The district will consolidate partial credit, unresolved, or incomplete coursework and will provide highly mobile students with opportunities to accrue credit in a manner that eliminates academic and nonacademic barriers for the student.
  4. For highly mobile students who have been unable to complete an academic course and receive full credit due to withdrawal or transfer, the district will grant partial credit for coursework completed before the date of the withdrawal or transfer. When the district receives a transfer student in these circumstances, it will accept the student’s partial credits, apply them to the student’s academic progress, graduation or both, and allow the student to earn credits regardless of the student’s date of enrollment in the district.
  5. In the event a highly mobile student is transferring at the beginning of or during their junior or senior year of high school and is ineligible to graduate after all alternatives have been considered, the district will work with the sending district to ensure the awarding of a diploma from the sending district if the student meets the graduation requirements of the sending district.
  6. In the event a highly mobile student enrolled in three or more school districts as a high school student, has met state requirements, has transferred to the district, but is ineligible to graduate from the district after all alternatives have been considered, the district will waive its local requirements and ensure the student receives a diploma.

Adopted January 23, 1991
Revised May 6, 1998
Minor Revision August 18, 2004
Minor Revision February 2008
Revised May 6, 2009
Revised February 17, 2016
Revised February 21, 2018
Revised June 5, 2019
Revised January 22, 2020
Revised November 4, 2020
Revised March 2, 2022
Revised March 27, 2024

Legal References

C.R.S. 22-1-104 (teaching of history, culture and civil government)
C.R.S. 22-1-104.7 (2)(a) (requirement to incorporate Holocaust and Genocide studies standards into existing course required for graduation)
C.R.S. 22-32-109 (1)(dd) (duty to adopt/revise policies to remove barriers to access and success in schools for homeless children)
C.R.S. 22-32-109 (1)(kk) (board to establish graduation requirements that "meet or exceed" state graduation guidelines)
C.R.S. 22-32-132 (discretion to award diploma to honorably discharged veterans)
C.R.S. 22-32-138 (school stability, transfer and enrollment of students in out-of home placements)
C.R.S. 22-33-104.5 (home-based education law)
C.R.S. 22-35-101 et seq. (Concurrent Enrollment Programs Act)
42 U.S.C. §11431 et seq. (McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act - Education for Homeless Children and Youth)

Cross References

IA, Instructional Goals and Learning Objectives
IHBG, Home-Based Education
IHCDA, Postsecondary Options/Concurrent Enrollment
IJNDAB, On-Line Instruction
IK, Academic Achievement
IKA, Grading and Assessment Systems
IKF-E – Academic Requirements for Continuing Students from the Freshman Cohorts of the 2016-2020 Graduation Classes
IKF-E1 – College and Career Ready Demonstrations
IKFA – Early Graduation
IKFB – Graduation Exercises
ILBA, Student Assessment System