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Antelope Valley Union HSD |  BP  6146.1  Instruction

High School Graduation Requirements   

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Cautionary Notice: As added and amended by SBX3 4 (Ch. 12, Third Extraordinary Session, Statutes of 2009), ABX4 2 (Ch. 2, Fourth Extraordinary Session, Statutes of 2009), and SB 70 (Ch. 7, Statutes of 2011), Education Code 42605 grants districts flexibility in "Tier 3" categorical programs. The Antelope Valley Union High School District has accepted this flexibility and thus is deemed in compliance with the statutory or regulatory program and funding requirements for these programs for the 2008-09 through 2014-15 fiscal years. As a result, the district may temporarily suspend certain provisions of the following policy or regulation that reflect these requirements. For further information, please contact the Superintendent or designee.

The Board of Trustees desires to prepare each student to obtain a diploma of high school graduation in order to provide students with opportunities for postsecondary education and/or employment.

(cf. 0420.3 - School-Based Student Motivation and Maintenance Program)

(cf. 5123 - Promotion/Acceleration/Retention)

(cf. 5127 - Graduation Ceremonies and Activities)

(cf. 5147 - Dropout Prevention)

(cf. 5149 - At-Risk Students)

(cf. 6164.2 - Guidance/Counseling Services)

Course Requirements

To obtain a diploma of graduation from high school, students shall complete at least the following courses in grades 9-12, with each course being one year unless otherwise specified: (Education Code 51225.3)

1. Four courses in English (40 credits).

(cf. 6142.91 - Reading/Language Arts Instruction)

2. Three courses in mathematics (30 credits).

Beginning in the 2003-04 school year, at least one mathematics course, or a combination of the three mathematics courses required for completion in grades 9-12, shall meet or exceed state academic content standards for Algebra I. Completion of algebra coursework in grades 7-8 shall not exempt a student from the requirements to complete three mathematics courses in grades 9-12. (Education Code 51224.5)

(cf. 6011 - Academic Standards)

(cf. 6142.92 - Mathematics Instruction)

3. Two courses in science, including biological and physical sciences (20 credits).

(cf. 6142.93 - Science Instruction)

4. Three courses in social studies, including United States history and geography, world history, culture and geography; a one-semester course in American government and civics; and a one-semester course in economics (30 credits).

5. One course in visual or performing arts, foreign language or American Sign Language (10 credits).

(cf. 6142.6 - Visual and Performing Arts Education)

6. Two courses in physical education, unless the student has been exempted pursuant to Education Code 51241 (20 credits), and;

(cf. 6142.7 - Physical Education)

7. One course in health (10 credits).

Credit Requirement

The total minimum credits required to obtain a diploma is 230 credits.

Alternative Means of Completion

Because the prescribed course of study may not accommodate the needs of some students, the Board shall provide alternative means for the completion of prescribed courses in accordance with law.

(cf. 6146.11 - Alternative Credits Toward Graduation)

(cf. 6146.2 - Certificate of Proficiency/High School Equivalency)

Standards of Proficiency for Classes Prior to 2006

To receive a high school diploma, district students prior to the class of 2006 also must achieve at least minimum proficiency in reading comprehension, and mathematics. The Board shall adopt proficiency standards in these areas and any others it deems appropriate. All adopted proficiency standards shall correspond with the goals of the course of study required for graduation.

(cf. 6011 - Academic Standards)

Students shall be assessed in the approved proficiency standards annually in grades ten and eleven. Students who have not passed all areas of the proficiency tests by the twelfth grade shall be reassessed with a different test as frequently as deemed appropriate.

Any student who does not receive a diploma because of failure to meet proficiency requirements shall later be awarded a diploma by the district, without taking additional coursework, if the student subsequently passes the district proficiency tests.

Remedial instruction shall be provided to any student who does not show adequate progress toward mastery of basic skills. This instruction may be provided through Supplemental Instruction and shall offer the student numerous opportunities to achieve mastery.

(cf. 6177- Summer School)

Exit Exam for the Classes of 2006 and Later

Beginning in the 2005-06 school year, each student completing grade 12 shall have successfully passed the state exit examination in language arts and mathematics as a condition of high school graduation. (Education Code 60851, 60859)

(cf. 6146.4 - Differential Graduation and Competency Standards for Students with Disabilities)

(cf. 6159 - Individualized Education Program)

(cf. 6162.52 - High School Exit Examination)

Supplemental instruction shall be offered to any student who does not demonstrate "sufficient progress," as defined in Board policy, toward passing the exit examination. (Education Code 37252, 60851)

(cf. 6176 - Weekend/Saturday Classes)

(cf. 6177 - Summer School)

(cf. 6179 - Supplemental Instruction)

Transfer Students

The Board of Trustees does not intend that these requirements should cause undue hardship on transfer students who are unable to comply with the requirements because of insufficient time. The principal may waive limited aspects of local graduation requirements (e.g. a full year of healthful living) which were not required by the student's previous school, if the curriculum of the previous school substantially satisfied requirements of a California public high school. The Exit Exam requirement cannot be waived.

Legal Reference:


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

48412 Certificate of proficiency

48430 Continuation education schools and classes

48645.5 Acceptance of coursework

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

60850-60859 High school exit examination

66204 Certification of high school courses as meeting university admissions criteria


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


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

Management Resources:


Preparing for the High Stakes of the High School Exit Exam: An Examination of Certificates of Completion, Policy Advisory, September 2005



California Department of Education, California High School Exit Examination:


adopted: November 13, 1990 Lancaster, California

revised: May 15, 2002

revised: February 4, 2004

revised: February 4, 2009