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This Course Catalog contains the essential information needed for students to plan their educational program. Please be sure to review the information on this page prior to making course selections.

The courses selected each spring will determine the student’s schedule of classes for the next school year. Spring selections will result in individual class schedules that will be given to students in the fall.

Please Note: The courses and grade levels within this course catalog represent typical programming paths. Shaker Heights High School's counseling staff can help direct students and their families to the courses that best fit a student's academic needs.

Open Enrollment

The District has an open enrollment policy for all students interested in participating in any given course. Students are encouraged to pursue the highest level of instruction matching their motivation, interest, and previous learning. Some course descriptions indicate preparatory coursework that is “Recommended” which, in our professional experience, best prepares a student for success. “Prerequisite” or “Concurrent” courses are required for enrollment. However, students may also access their choice of courses through permission of the Department Chair or Principal. To satisfy Shaker Heights High School and Ohio Graduation requirements, students in 11th and 12th grades will receive priority registration. 

Courses and levels of instruction listed in the Academic Planning Guide will be scheduled based on enrollment and staff availability.

Grade Placement

Assigned grade and requirements:
Grade 9 — promoted from Grade 8
Grade 10 — earned 5 credits
Grade 11 — earned 10 credits
Grade 12 — earned 15 credits

Algebra and Language Acquisition credits earned at the Middle School count toward graduation. They are not included in GPA.

High School Core Curriculum

The Advisory Commission on Articulation between Secondary Schools and Ohio Colleges appointed by the Ohio Board of Regents and the State Board of Education has recommended the following:
  • The Core curriculum should include:
    • 4 units of Language & Literature
    • 3 units of Individuals & Societies
    • 3 units of Language Acquisition
    • 4 units of Mathematics
    • 3 units of Science (4 preferred)
    • 1 unit of Fine/Practical Arts
  • Private and state-assisted four year colleges and universities generally require that students who wish to be admitted on an unconditional basis successfully complete the requirements listed above.

Subject Load and Standards for Defining the School Day

The State of Ohio Department of Education prescribes the minimum official day and minimum subject load for students. The Minimum Standards for Ohio Schools outline that:
  • A full-time student needs to be scheduled for at least six hours of classes or other guided-learning experience or flexible credit per semester.
  • Other guided-learning experiences or flexible credit need to be educational; planned by the student, parent, and certified school personnel; and approved by the principal.

Accelerated Graduation

Students planning to graduate after only six semesters of high school must:
  • Have a plan confirmed two semesters prior to the completion date.
  • Schedule a conference with both their parent(s) and school counselor.
  • Have written parent approval submitted to the school counselor.
Students planning to graduate after only seven semesters of high school must:
  • Have written parent/guardian approval by the spring of the 11th grade.
  • Have a plan started and tentatively approved by the second Monday in May.

Community Service

An important component of a complete education is developing the awareness, initiative and skill to give to others and to contribute to the benefit of one's community. Therefore, while not required for a Shaker Heights High School diploma, Shaker Heights High School is committed to providing and supporting a variety of service education programs and to recognizing the volunteer efforts of Shaker students.

Many clubs are service oriented. Students are encouraged to make community service a part of the yearly experience through these clubs, class projects, senior projects or personal initiative. To have your community service hours appear on your transcript, turn in a Time Verification Chart with your supervisor’s signature to your School Counselor. Volunteer hours are required for an IB diploma or Shaker IB Medallion; however, it is recommended for all students.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • A student's GPA starts with grades earned in the ninth grade and includes all subsequent work taken in high school. Grades earned in the Middle School are not counted in the GPA. Only semester grades are used in the calculation of grade point averages.
  • If a student fails a course and later passes the same course, both marks will be used in computing the GPA. Only the passing grade will show on the transcript unless the subject is failed in the 12th grade. 
  • Similarly, both marks will be used in computing grade point average of any student retaking a course for grade improvement. Double credit is not given when a course is retaken for grade improvement, and the higher grade appears on the transcript.
  • GPA is printed on a student's transcript.
  • Shaker does not rank students.

The Grading System

  • There are four nine-week grading periods.
  • Grades are recorded at the end of each grading period.
  • Grades represent a teacher's professional judgment of a student's scholastic achievement.
  • Grades are based on cumulative achievement throughout a semester.
  • Units of credit are awarded upon successful completion of each semester.
  • A student may need to successfully complete first semester before going on to second semester.
The grading system is as follows: 
 
Grades Effort
A - Superior
B - Above Average
C - Average
D - Below Average
F - Failure
P - Pass in a Pass/Fail Course
X - Pass on Effort
IN - Incomplete
# - Medical Excuse
E - Excellent
S - Satisfactory
U - Unsatisfactory

Scholarship Roll Criteria

Scholarship Roll Criteria
  • Scholarship rolls are calculated on current grades each quarter and semester.
  • Students receiving any D’s, F’s or U’s are disqualified.
  • Both ½-unit credit classes and ¼-unit credit Physical Education are figured into the tabulation.
  • Three Scholarship Rolls are posted at the end of each nine weeks:
    • Honor Roll: 3.5-5.0 GPA
    • Merit Roll: 3.0-3.49 GPA
    • Recognition Roll: 2.5-2.9 GPA

Dropping Courses

A student may drop a course no later than one week after the first report card in a semester and only with a parent or guardian's written approval. However, each student must maintain a minimum course load earning 2½ credits per semester.

Inter-Scholastic Eligibility Requirements & College Athletic Eligibility/NCAA

Inter-scholastic Eligibility Requirements
For unqualified eligibility for inter-scholastic activities, students must meet two standards. One is established by the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) and the other is set by the Shaker Heights Board of Education.

  • OHSAA Standard: Students must earn 2.5 credits of passing grades each nine-week grading period to be eligible during the next nine-week grading period.  
  • Shaker Standard: Students must earn a 2.5 or higher GPA each nine-week grading period and maintain a 2.5 or higher Cumulative GPA to be eligible during the next nine-week grading period.

Students meeting the OHSAA standard, but not the Shaker standard, may obtain probationary eligibility with an approved Academic Improvement Plan.


Students not meeting OHSAA eligibility requirements during the fourth quarter of any school year will be ineligible for the entire first quarter the following fall. Summer school work cannot be used to reestablish eligibility lost as a result of fourth quarter achievement.

College Athletic Eligibility/NCAA
NCAA rules stipulate that only Core, Honors and Advanced/Advanced Placement/IB courses will count toward initial eligibility for college athletes. Not all Shaker Heights High School courses are approved for NCAA eligibility.

  • A minimum core course GPA of 2.30 for scholarship and full participation.
  • 10 of the 16 core course requirements must be completed prior to the start of the seventh semester (senior year) of high school.
  • 7 of those 10 core courses must be from the English, math or Natural/Physical Science.
    Any retakes of the first 10 core courses must be completed prior to senior year.
  • Earn an SAT combined score or ACT sum score matching the core-course GPA on the Division I sliding scale.
  • Graduate high school.

Please consult the NCAA Eligibility Center for the most up-to-date eligibility information.  

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