Governing Board Policies

Section I: Instructional Program

Policy Title: Graduation Requirements
Policy Code: IKF

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Graduation requirements for Tucson Unified School District are to be completed during grades nine to twelve with some courses offered for high school credit at the 8th grade level.

Graduation Requirements

Credit Requirements for classes of 2009-2011:
A student shall successfully complete a minimum of 21 credits that includes the following:

English 4  
Math 3 Algebra I and Geometry and a third credit of math
Science 2 Biology by end of sophomore year
Social Studies 3 American Government, American History and World History
World Language 0  
Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education 1  
Health .5  
Physical Education 1  
Electives 6.5  
Total 21  

Credit Requirements for classes of 2012:
A student shall successfully complete a minimum of 22 credits that includes the following:

English 4  
Math 3 Algebra I (or equivalent),
Geometry (or equivalent), and Algebra II (or equivalent)
Science 3 Biology by end of sophomore year
Social Studies 3 American Government, American History, World History, and Economics
World Language 0  
Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education 1  
Health .5  
Physical Education 1  
Electives 6.5  
Total Credits 22  

Credit Requirements for classes of 2013:
A student shall successfully complete a minimum of 23 credits that includes the following:

English 4  
Math 4 Algebra I (or equivalent), Geometry (or equivalent), Algebra II (or equivalent), and a 4th credit of math
Science 3 Biology by end of sophomore year
Social Studies 3 American Government (.5), American History, World History, and Economics (.5)
World Language 0  
Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education 1  
Health .5  
Physical Education 1  
Electives 6.5  
Total Credits 23  

Endorsements and Other School Embellishments
Students have a variety of career goals and TUSD responds to these needs for student achievement by providing alternative school programs. Satisfactory completion of these programs is recognized through additional endorsements.

Other Methods of Earning Credit

  • Earning Credits through College or Correspondence Courses: By earning credits through correspondence courses that meet graduation requirements in accordance with A.A.C. R7-2-302.04 and/or by passing appropriate courses at the college or university level if the courses are determined to meet standards and criteria established by the Board and in accord with A.R.S. 15-701.01.
  • Alternative Method for Earning Physical Education Credit: Students who participate in physical sports or activities may, upon certification of completion of the required hours of instruction as set forth in Exhibit IKF-E, opt to complete an assessment, a written test aligned with Arizona State Standards for physical education. If the assessment is successfully completed, the student will earn one Physical Education Credit.

Course Competency Requirements
Each student shall demonstrate accomplishment of grade level standards in reading, writing, science, social studies, and mathematics adopted by the State Board of Education.

AIMS Test
Each student shall demonstrate proficiency/competency in the areas determined by the State Board of Education by achieving a passing score on established tests.

Exceptions
Graduation requirements for students receiving special education and who have IEPs will be the same as that for students receiving regular education with the following exceptions:

  • One-course substitution from any required academic area may be considered. The maximum number of course substitutions allowed is four.
  • The alternative course that will serve as a substitution must contain comparable content material.
  • Consideration for course waiver will be limited to the following:
    • Physical Education is required with adaptations to the extent possible, but may be waived for students receiving special education who are physically, mentally, or emotionally unable to complete the requirements.
  • The IEP will guide the AIMS test for graduation requirements. All exceptional education students must take the AIMS test or the alternative assessment to the AIMS.

Students who are physically, mentally, or emotionally incapable of completing or benefiting from the course of study prescribed by the Arizona Board of Education and Tucson Unified School District will be provided an alternative course of study developed by the multi-disciplinary conference/individual education plan committee and will satisfy an individualized graduation plan. Such students would receive a diploma upon completion of their individualized graduation plan.

Other Requirements
Four full years of attendance are required; however, a student may accelerate his/her educational program and graduate without four (4) complete years with the approval of the principal or designee.

All high school students must take a full load of academic courses, 6 or more depending on school schedules. A full load of academic courses may be taken at any TUSD high school which may include, but not limited to:

  • JTED programs
  • Pima or other higher education courses
  • Distance Learning
  • Correspondence course
  • Work experience
  • Internships

This requirement may be waived by the principal or designee on a case by case basis and the circumstances for each individual. A student must submit the form High School Student’s Request for a Reduced Schedule (Exhibit 1) to their primary school administrator to be considered.

Transfer Students
High School credits earned in other schools and presented by transfer students toward graduation at TUSD shall be evaluated for approval by the high school principal. The principal may make exceptions to the specific graduations requirements provided that:

  • The student has done satisfactory work since the date of transfer;
  • The student has been unable to meet the specific requirements due to conditions beyond his/her control; and
  • The student would have graduated from the other school if he or she had not transferred.

All such exceptions to the established graduation requirements must be reported in writing to the superintendent.

Graduation Exercises Participation
In order to participate in graduation exercises and receive a diploma, a student must have successfully completed Arizona State and TUSD graduation requirements. The student must also have been enrolled in and successfully completed the last semester at the Tucson Unified School District high school where they are officially registered.

Exceptional Education students who have chronologically "aged out" of high school and will continue in a community-based education will also be allowed to participate in graduation exercises, but will not receive a diploma or certificate.

Adopted: May 11, 2004
Revised: January 18, 2005
Revised: August 9, 2005
Revised: February 28, 2006
Revised: July 24, 2007
Revised: February 14, 2008
Revised: March 11, 2008
Reviewed: December 9, 2008
Revised: January 12, 2010
Reviewed: August 8, 2012
Revised: January 17, 2013 [Cross Reference Correction Only]
Revised: December 9, 2014

Legal Ref:
A.R.S. 15-203 Powers and Duties
15-341 General powers and duties; immunity; delegation.
15-701.01 High school; graduation; requirements
15-741 Assessment of pupils
A.A.C. R7-2-302.04 Minimum Course of Study and Competency Requirements for Graduation from High School

Cross Ref: IGE - Curriculum Guides and Course Outlines
IKA - Grading/Assessment Systems