Can you believe in less than 30 schools days, students will be finished with their first semester of this school year? Now that we are half way through the school year, every parent should be asking this one question: “Is my child on track to graduate?” This one question will get you to the right people (school counselor, teachers, and your student) and this one question will get you to a bottom line answer. That answer will direct the course of the your child’s academic path to graduation. That question must be asked now because next semester may be too late! High school graduation requirements include what I like to call the ACTs: Attendance, Credits, and Tests. (Hopefully, this acronym will help you remember what to ask for and look for.)
Attendance: Check your school’s attendance policy. The standard policy across states is that students cannot miss 10% of the school year, which is about 18 school days. Find out where your student stands provide written excuses now to excuse any tardies or absences.
Courses/Credits: Students must complete and pass specific EOC course requirements as outlined by the graduation rule. Students must earn 23 units as a minimum state requirement for graduation. The school district may have additional requirements. Check with your school counselor.
Tests: All students must take and pass state standardized tests. Students in Georgia must pass the Georgia Milestones End of Course (EOC) assessments in Ninth Grade Language Arts, American Literature, Algebra I, Geometry, United States History, Economics, Physical Science, and Biology. Students must also pass the course to meet graduation requirements.
Again, first semester is almost over. This week, schedule a meeting with your student’s school counselor or email the school counselor to request a transcript. Follow this quick checklist:
- Ask for a copy of your child’s transcript.
- Ask for the “credits to earn by grade level” chart.
- Review the transcript to make sure your student has earned or is on track to earning the required credits.
- English/Language Arts 4
- Mathematics 4
- Science 4
- Social Studies 3
- CTAE and/or Modern Language/Latin and/or Fine Arts 3
- Health and Physical Education 1
- Electives 4
- Check to see what type of diploma your child is on track to receiving: career pathway, honors, or a certificate of attendance.
- If your child is not on track, ask about virtual school and credit recovery options other than summer school. (Use summer school as a last resort because you don’t want your child to missing out on summer intern opportunities or summer bridge programs. More blogs to come about that.)
The next and most important step is for you to take a minute and check your child’s current grades to make sure he/she is passing. Talk to the teacher to gain assurance that your child will pass his/her current class or find out what he/she can do to pass this semester.
Remember, the goal is to clearly see that your child is on his/her way to earning the minimum 23 units by graduation day. Get on it now! You will be surprised to find out information about even more opportunities by inquiring now.
ASK! ASK! ASK