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Current Graduation Requirements

Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, the District develops a graduation plan for each student enrolled in grades nine through 12 to address the student’s academic pathway to meet the curriculum requirements specified by the District and to satisfy the applicable graduation requirements.
 
 The plan is developed jointly by the student and a representative of the District and updated each school year in which the student is enrolled in the District until the student qualifies for a high school diploma. The District invites the student’s parent, guardian or custodian to assist in developing and updating the graduation plan.

Graduation Requirements for Class of 2023 & 2024
 
Please select the dropdown menus below to review graduation requirements by subject.

Language & Literature - 4 Credits

  • Must include 9th-, 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade English. 
Recommended Credits
Ohio state universities: 4
More selective schools: 4 

Mathematics* - 4 Credits

  • Mathematics units must include 1 unit of Algebra II or the equivalent of Algebra II
Recommended Credits
Ohio state universities: 4
More selective schools: 4 
 
*Algebra and Language Acquisition credits earned at Shaker Heights Middle School count toward graduation. They are not included in GPA. 

Science - 3 Credits

  • 1 credit in a Physical Science
  • 1 credit in Biology
  • Total of 3 lab sciences
Recommended Credits
Ohio state universities: 3
More selective schools: 4 

Individuals & Societies - 3 Credits

  • 1 credit in Global Studies
  • 1 credit in US History
  • ½ credit in American Government 
  • ½ credit in a Senior Social Studies course or
  • ½ credit in Financial Literacy*
*For students entering ninth grade after July 1, 2022, ½ credit must be in Financial Literacy. 
 
Recommended Credits
Ohio state universities: 3
More selective schools: 4 
 

Physical Education - 1 Credit**

  • Class of 2025 and beyond take two 1/4-credit semesters of PE (1/2 credit total)
  • Classes of 2022, 2023 & 2024 take 4 1/4-credit semesters of PE (1 credit total)
  • 11th-12th graders take one ¼-credit semester.
P.E. medical excuses do not reduce total credits for graduation. 
**Students entering ninth grade prior to July 1, 2021 must earn at least 1 full unit of Physical Education credit. 
***For students entering ninth grade prior to July 1, 2021 SB 311 allows school districts to adopt a policy exempting students who participate in interscholastic athletics, marching band or cheerleading for two full seasons or two years of JROTC from the Physical Education requirement. Any student entering SHHS after July 1, 2021 (classes of 2025 & beyond) will not be granted this PE waiver.

Health - ½ Credit

  • 9th graders take one ½-credit semester. 

Fine and Practical Arts - 1 Credit

  • Most colleges require one credit in Fine Arts. (Fine Arts = Music, Theatre, Art and Photography)
  • Practical Arts meet the Shaker requirement. (Practical Arts = Informational Design and Career Prep) 
Recommended Credits
Ohio state universities: 1 credit
More selective schools: 1 credit

Language Acquisition* - 0 Credits

  • Most colleges require at least two years of one language.
  • Honors Diplomas require two years each of two different language or three years of one language taken during high school.
  • Highly selective colleges prefer four years of one language.
Recommended Credits
Ohio state universities: 2 (3 preferred)
More selective schools: 4 
 
*Algebra and Language Acquisition credits earned at Shaker Heights Middle School count toward graduation. They are not included in GPA. 

Electives - 4 Credits

  • From any of the subject areas above, except Physical Education.

Competency Requirements

To demonstrate competency, graduates must fulfill at least one option below to show that he or she is ready for college or employment.
  • Ohio’s State Tests: Participate in all end-of-course assessments.  Earn a state designated competency score on Ohio’s high school Algebra I (taken in 8th grade) and English Language Arts II assessments.  Students who do not earn the required score on the assessments with the first attempt must receive intervention and retake the test at least once.

  • College Credit Plus:  Earn college credit in a non-remedial math or English course (for the subject area not passed) to demonstrate competency.

  • Career Experience and Technical Skill – Complete two demonstrations to show competency, at least one of which must be a foundational option.
Foundational:
*Earn a score of proficient or higher on three or more WebXams in a single career pathway;
*Earn a 12-point approved industry-recognized credential or group of credentials totaling 12 points in a single career field;
*Complete a pre-apprenticeship in the student’s chosen career field or, for students ages 18 and older, show evidence of acceptance into an apprenticeship program after high school.
 
Supporting:
*Complete a 250-hour work-based learning experience with evidence of positive evaluations;
*Earn the workforce readiness score on WorkKeys; or
*Earn the OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal.

  • Military Readiness – Competency can be achieved by meeting the requirements to enlist in the military, which can be demonstrated by a contract with the military to enlist upon graduation (see the Military Enlistment Seal guidelines in this document for more information about enlistment)

  • College and Career Readiness Tests: Earn the “remediation-free” scores* on either:
ACT
English: 18 or higher
Mathematics: 22 or higher
Reading: 22 or higher
 
SAT
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW): 480 or higher
Mathematics: 520 or higher
 
State of Ohio will pay one time for all 11th-grade students to take national exam free of charge.
 
*Ohio's university presidents set these scores, which are subject to change.

Demonstrating Readiness

In addition to fulfilling curriculum requirements and meeting the competency requirements listed above, students also must show they are prepared for their next steps after high school.
 
State law created 12 diploma seals for students to demonstrate academic, technical and professional readiness for careers, college, the military or self-sustaining professions. Each seal allows students to demonstrate knowledge and skills essential for future success in their chosen post-high school paths.
 
Students will demonstrate readiness by earning at least two diploma seals, one of which must be state defined. Seals help students develop an array of critical skills that are valuable to them as they transition to the next steps after high school. Schools should consider encouraging students to pursue seals that meet their individual interests and skills.
 
Graduation planning meetings are an important step in supporting students in earning their seals. 
 
State Seals:
MIlitary Enlistment Seal
Technology Seal
Industry-Recognized Credential Seal
Citizenship Seal
OhioMeansJobs- Readiness Seal
State Seal of Biliteracy
College-ready Seal
Science Seal
Honors Diploma Seal
 
Locally Defined Seals:
Community Service Seal
Student Engagement Seal
Fine and Performing Arts Seal

Requirements for Diploma Seals

State-Defined Diploma Seal
Requirements
Military Enlistment Seal
Provide evidence that a student has enlisted in a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces; or Participate in an approved JROTC program.
Technology Seal
A student can:
  1. Earn a score that is at least equivalent to proficient on an appropriate Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exam;
  2. Earn a final course grade that is equivalent to a “B” or higher in an appropriate class taken through the College Credit Plus program; or
  3. Complete a course offered through the district or school that meets guidelines developed by the Department. (A district or school is not required to offer a course that meets those guidelines.)
Industry-Recognized Credential Seal
Earn a 12-point approved industry-recognized credential or group of credentials totaling 12 points in a single career field.
Citizenship Seal
A student can:
  1. Earn a score of proficient or higher on both the American history and American government end-of- course exams;
  2. Earn a score that is at least equivalent to proficient on appropriate Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams; or
  3. Earn a final course grade that is equivalent to a “B” or higher in appropriate classes taken through the College Credit Plus program.
  4. Earn a final course grade that is equivalent to a “B” or higher in American history and American government.
  5. Obtain a state issued license for a practice in a vocation that requires an examination in one of the foundational options.
OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal
Meet the requirements and criteria established for the readiness seal, including demonstration of work-readiness and professional competencies.
State Seal of BiliteracyMeet the requirements and criteria, including proficiency requirements on assessments in a world language and English.
College-Ready Seal
Earn remediation-free scores on the ACT or SAT. Visit the Department’s website to see current remediation-free scores.
Science Seal
A student can:
  1. Earn a score of proficient or higher on the biology end-of-course exam;
  2. Earn a score that is at least equivalent to proficient on appropriate Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams; or
  3. Earn a final course grade that is equivalent to a “B” or higher in an appropriate class taken through the College Credit Plus program.
  4. Earn a final course grade that is equivalent to a “B” or higher in an appropriate advanced science class.
Honors Diploma Seal
Earn one of six Honors Diplomas outlined below:
  1. Academic Honors Diploma;
  2. International Baccalaureate Honors Diploma;
  3. Career-Tech Honors Diploma;
  4. STEM Honors Diploma;
  5. Arts Honors Diploma;
  6. Social Science and Civic Engagement Honors Diploma.
Locally Defined Diploma Seals**
Community Service Seal
Shaker Heights High School encourages students to reflect on the needs of the community and schools and to actively address those needs. Community Service can be described as any unpaid work that is designed to help people in the community. When students complete community service, they have the opportunity to make meaningful connections and to gain a clearer understanding of the support available for students and community members. Community Service fosters an understanding of the importance of civic engagement as well as the continued development of essential skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, leadership and social skills.  
 
To earn a Community Service Seal from the Shaker Heights City School District, a student must complete 80 hours* of community service with a community organization. Students who enroll in Shaker Heights High School after the beginning of ninth grade will be expected to accumulate 10 hours of service for every full semester of attendance in Shaker. Students who enroll in Shaker Heights High School during the second semester of senior year will be expected to accumulate 10 hours of service. The community service cannot be for the student or the student’s immediate family or be supervised by a member of the student’s immediate family. Dates of service and hours need to be verified by a member of the organization on organization letterhead with the supervisor’s signature. This documentation should be submitted to a designated school official.  
 
*Class of 2023 = 60 Hours
Student Engagement Seal
Shaker Heights High School encourages every student to be engaged in curricular and extracurricular activities in school-based or District-sponsored athletic teams, clubs, and/or organizations that seek to provide equity, excellence and exploration for all students. We believe that meaningful participation in clubs and interscholastic athletic teams fosters the continued development of foundational knowledge and essential skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, leadership and social skills and allows a student to demonstrate the passions, skills and talents that align with their academic/postsecondary interests; emerging technical skill development; and/or development of professional skills and knowledge base that will help with the student’s postsecondary planning process.  

To earn a Student Engagement Seal from the Shaker Heights City School District, a student must complete six* meaningful experiences by actively participating in a Shaker Heights High School sponsored club for a full school year or a Shaker Heights High School interscholastic athletic team for a full season. Meaningful student engagement must include attendance and participation standards that can be objectively measured and recorded by each coach or advisor. The measurement of meaningful engagement will differ depending upon the activity but attendance at the vast majority (approximately 75%) of the club’s or team’s required activities can and should be one measure of meaningful student engagement. If there are activities that are directly related to the purpose or goal of the school- or District-based team, club or organization, those activities should be included in the measure of meaningful student engagement. Standards for meaningful student engagement should be normed to the minimum for engagement as opposed to extraordinary participation. Coaches and advisors can acknowledge exceptional student participation by other means (i.e., letters of recommendation, etc.)
 
Students can choose to participate in the same club or team for multiple years or to explore a variety of clubs or teams. For example, if a student actively participates in the same club for four full years of high school, then this counts as four experiences. 

*Class of 2023 - Four experiences required
Fine and Performing Arts Seal
Shaker Heights High School offers robust programs in both the visual and performing arts. A study of the arts requires each student to be an active and compassionate learner and encourages a love of life long learning. Students who learn to think through art or music are able to begin making decisions based on reflection. Our Theatre Arts Department weds academic study to practical theater activity to provide meaningful theater experiences.  
 
To earn a Fine and Performing Arts Seal from the Shaker Heights City School District, a student must earn four credits* through the Music, Visual Arts or Theatre Arts Departments. A student may choose to earn all four credits from one department or to earn a total of four credits split between departments. Music, art or theater credits earned through credit flexibility options off campus will count for the Fine and Performing Arts Seal.  
    
*Class of 2023 (began high school in the fall of 2019) - three credits
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