Avery County Schools Policy Policy Code: 3460


The Avery County Board of Education recognizes the importance of setting rigorous graduation requirements in order to help ensure that students are receiving an education that will prepare them to be college and career ready and productive members of society.

In order to graduate from high school, students will be required to meet the minimum requirements:

1. successful completion of all course unit requirements mandated by the State
   Board of Education (see Section A);
2. beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, successful completion of
   cardiopulmonary resuscitation instruction; and
3. successful completion of all other requirements mandated by the board, as
   provided in this policy.

The principal shall ensure that parents and students are aware of all graduation requirements. Guidance program staff shall assist students in selecting their high school courses to ensure that students are taking all of the required units and selecting electives consistent with their post-graduation plans. For students who have transferred to the school district during high school, or who for other reasons have completed course work outside of the school district, the principal will determine what course work will be applied as credit for graduation. The principal shall consider the requirements of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children (G.S. 115C-407.5) and the requirements of subsection C.3 of this policy in determining the graduation requirements for children of military families.


Each student must meet the course unit requirements for one of the following courses of study. Students entering the ninth grade for the first time in the 2009-2010 school year must fulfill the requirements of the Future-Ready Occupational Course of Study. Course unit requirements for the Future-Ready Core Course of Study differ depending on the year a student enters ninth grade for the first time, as set out in the table below. In accordance with policy 3101, Dual Enrollment, and State Board of Education requirements, students may earn high school credit for college courses completed. In addition, students may earn credit for certain high school courses in the Future-Ready Core Course of Study completed while in middle school, as authorized by the State Board of Education. Students also have the opportunity to meet course unit requirements without completing the regular period of classroom instruction by demonstrating mastery of the course material in accordance with policy 3420, Student Promotion and Accountability, and State Board of Education requirements.

All awards of high school course credit must be consistent with State Board of Education requirements. Any inconsistency between board policy and State Board graduation requirements will be resolved by following the State Board requirements.

Avery County Schools Policy Code: 3460 Page 1 of 4 1. Future Ready Core Course of Study Credits Required for Students Entering Ninth Grade for the First Time in 2012-13 and Thereafter Courses Required State Requirements Local Requirements English 4 sequential (English I, II, III, and IV) Mathematics 4 (Math I, II, III, and a fourth math course aligned with the student’s post-high school plans.) (A principal may exempt a student from this math sequence. Exempt students will be required to pass Math I and II and two other application-based math courses.) Science 3 (a physical science course, Biology, and earth/environmental science) Social Studies 4 (including American History: The Founding Principles, Civics, and economics [formerly Civics & Economics], American History Parts I and II OR AP U.S. History and one additional social studies elective; and World History) Health/P.E. 1 Electives 6 (2 electives must be any combination of Career and Technical Education, Arts Education or World Language; 4 must be from one of the following: Career and Technical Education, J.R.O.T.C., Arts Education or any other subject area or cross- disciplinary courses. A four-course concentration is recommended.) Total Credits 22*** * Effective with the tenth grade class of 2011-2012, Early College High School students alternatively may complete college level English courses designated by the State Board in lieu of English III and IV. **Students seeking to complete minimum application requirements for UNC universities must complete four mathematic courses, including a fourth math course with Math III as a prerequisite. Students seeking to complete minimum application requirements for UNC universities must complete two years of a second language. **** ACS local graduation requirement is 28 credits.


High school students must take all end-of-course (EOC) tests, NC Final Exams, and Career and Technical Education State Assessments (CTE Post-Assessments) required by the State Board of Education and pursuant to policy 3410, Testing and Assessment.

C. CREDIT REQUIREMENTS Students must complete a minimum of 28 credits including all required courses to graduate from ACHS, and complete all tests (including but not limited to EOC’s WorkKeys, CTE Final Exams, ACT, NC Final Exams) required by the state of North Carolina before receiving a high school diploma.

D. RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT In order to graduate from high school in Avery County, a student must have at least seven (7) semesters of academic residency beginning in ninth grade. The Board of Education, upon a recommendation from the superintendent, may waive this requirement if there are extenuating circumstances.

Avery County Schools Policy Code: 3460 Page 2 of 4 E. SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

The board adopts the following policies with regard to graduation: 1. Honor Graduates Honor graduates may be designated by the principal on the basis of criteria established by the superintendent. Recognition of honor graduates may be included in graduation programs.

  1. Students with Disabilities Graduation requirements must be applied to students with disabilities to the extent required by state and federal law and State Board policy.

  2. Children of Military Families In order to facilitate the on-time graduation of children of military families, the board adopts the following policy provisions for students covered by the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

    a. Waiver Requirements
            Specific course work required for graduation will be waived if similar
            course work has been satisfactorily completed in another school system.
            If a waiver is not granted, school administrators shall provide the student
            with reasonable justification for the denial. If a waiver is not granted to a
            student who would qualify to graduate from the sending school, the
            superintendent or designee shall provide the student with an alternative
            means of acquiring the required coursework so that graduation may occur
            on time.
    b. Testing Requirements for Graduation
           The superintendent shall accept the following in lieu of any local testing
           requirements for graduation: (1) end-of-course exams required for
           graduation from the sending state; (2) national norm-referenced
           achievement tests; or (3) alternative testing. If these alternatives are not
           feasible for a student who has transferred in his or her senior year,
           subsection c below will apply.
    c. Transfers During Senior Year
           If a child of a military family who has transferred at the beginning of or
           during his or her senior year is ineligible to graduate from the school
           system after all of the alternatives listed above have been considered and
           the student meets the graduation requirements at his or her sending school,
           then school officials from the school system shall collaborate with the
           sending school system to ensure that the student will receive a diploma
           from the sending board of education.
  3. Early Graduation Graduation prior to that of one’s class may be permitted on the basis of criteria approved by the board upon recommendation by the superintendent.

Avery County Schools Policy Code: 3460 Page 3 of 4 5. Graduation Certificates Graduation certificates will be awarded to eligible students in accordance with the standards set forth in State Board policy.

  1. Diploma Endorsements

Beginning with the graduating class of 2014-2015, students will have the opportunity to earn an endorsement to their diploma identifying a particular area of focused study including: (1) Career Endorsement, (2) College Endorsement (two options), (3) North Carolina Academic Scholars Endorsement, and/or (4) a Global Languages Endorsement. No endorsement is required to receive a diploma.

Legal References: G.S. 115C-47, -81, -174.11, -276, -288, -407.5; State Board of Education Policies CCRE-001, GRAD-004, GRAD-007, GRAD-008, GRAD-010, TEST-003

Cross References: Goals and Objectives of the Educational Program (policy 3000), Student Promotion and Accountability (policy 3420), Citizenship and Character Education (policy 3530), Children of Military Families (policy 4050)

Adopted: 11/06/00 Revised: 9/10/07, 7/07/08, 9/14/09, 6/14/10; 8/9/11; 7/9/13; 12/10/13; 11/10/15; 5/10/16; 4/28/17

Avery County Schools Policy Code: 3460 Page 4 of 4