School Board Policy 613 -
Graduation Requirements

Adopted: september 8, 1997
REVISED: june 11, 2002
revised: July 18, 2005
revised: november 8, 2007
revised: december 14, 2009

revised: april 11, 2011
revised: february 13, 2012
Revised: November 12, 2019
Revised: September 11, 2023
Revised: January 8, 2024

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set forth requirements for graduation from the school district.

II. General Statement of Policy 

The policy of the school district is that all students must demonstrate, as determined by the school district, their satisfactory completion of the credit requirements and their understanding of academic standards. The school district must adopt graduation requirements that meet or exceed state graduation requirements established in law or rule.

III. Definitions

A. "Credit" means a student's successful completion of an academic year of study or a student's mastery of the applicable subject matter, as determined by the school district. An academic year of study is equivalent to two (2) full credits.

B.  “English Language Learners” or “ELL” students means individuals whose first language is not English and whose test performance may be negatively impacted by lack of English language proficiency.

C. “Individualized Education Program,” or “IEP,” means a written statement developed for a student eligible by law for special education and services.

D. "Required standard" means: (1) a statewide adopted expectation for student learning in the content areas of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, and the arts, and (2) a locally adopted expectation for student learning in health.

E. “Section 504 Accommodation” means the defined appropriate accommodations or modifications that must be made in the school environment to address the needs of an individual student with disabilities.

IV. District Assessment Coordinator 

The Superintendent or designee shall be named the District Assessment Coordinator. Said person shall be in charge of all test procedures. 

V. Graduation Requirements 

Students' state graduation requirements, based on a longitudinal, systematic approach to student education and career planning, assessment, instructional support, and evaluation, include the following:

A. Achievement and career and college readiness tests in mathematics, reading, and writing, as measured against a continuum of empirically derived, clearly defined benchmarks focused on students' attainment of knowledge and skills so that students, their parents, and teachers know how well students must perform to have a reasonable chance to succeed in a career or college without the need for postsecondary remediation and which facilitates the:

1. monitoring of students' continuous development of and growth in requisite knowledge and skills; analysis of students' progress and performance levels, identifying students' academic strengths and diagnosis of areas where students require curriculum or instructional adjustments, targeted interventions, or remediation; and

2. based on analysis of student's progress and performance data, determine students' learning and instructional needs and the instructional tools and best practices that support academic rigor for the student; and.

C. Consistent with this paragraph and Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.125 (see Policy 604, Section II.H), age-appropriate exploration and planning activities and career assessments to encourage students to identify personally relevant career interests and aptitudes and help students and their families develop a regularly reexamined transition plan for postsecondary education or employment without need for postsecondary remediation. 

D. Based on appropriate state guidelines, students with an IEP may satisfy state graduation requirements by achieving an individual score on the state-identified alternative assessments.

E. Students meeting the state graduation requirements under this section must receive targeted, relevant, academically rigorous, and resourced instruction which may include a targeted instruction and intervention plan focused on improving the student's knowledge and skills in core subjects so that the student has a reasonable chance to succeed in a career or college without need for postsecondary remediation. 

F. Students meeting the state graduation requirements under this section and who are students in grade 11 and 12 and who are identified as academically ready for a career or college must be actively encouraged by the school district to participate in courses and programs awarding college credit to high school students. Students are not required to achieve a specified score or level of proficiency on an assessment under this subdivision to graduate from high school.

G. A student's progress toward career and college readiness must be recorded on the student's high school transcript.

VI. Graduation Credit Requirements

Students who enter grade 9 the Fall of 2025 and later must successfully complete, as determined by the school district, the following high school level credits for graduation:

 A. Eight credits of language arts sufficient to satisfy all academic standards in English language arts

B. Six credits of mathematics, including an algebra II credit or its equivalent, sufficient to satisfy all of the academic standards in mathematics.

C. An algebra I credit by the end of 8th grade sufficient to satisfy all of the 8th grade standards in mathematics;

D. Six credits of science, including at least: (a) one credit of biology; (b) one credit of chemistry or physics; and (c) one elective credit of science. The combination of credits must be sufficient to satisfy (i) all of the academic standards in either chemistry or physics and (ii) all other academic standards in science;

E. Seven credits of social studies, encompassing at least United States history, geography, government and citizenship, world history, and economics sufficient to satisfy all of the academic standards in social studies;

F. Two credits in the arts sufficient to satisfy all of the state or local academic standards in the arts;

G. Three credits in physical education and health;

H. One credit in personal finance; and

I. A minimum of twenty-two elective credits.

J. Credit equivalencies

1. A trimester class is equivalent to one full academic credit.

2. A one-half credit of economics taught in a school's agricultural, food, and natural resources education or business education program or department may fulfill a one-half credit in social studies under Paragraph E, above, if the credit is sufficient to satisfy all of the academic standards in economics.

3. An agriculture science or career and technical education credit may fulfill the elective science credit required under Paragraph D, above, if the credit meets the state physical science, life science, earth and space science, chemistry, or physics academic standards or a combination of these academic standards as approved by the school district. An agriculture or career and technical education credit may fulfill the credit in chemistry or physics required under Paragraph D, above, if the credit meets the state chemistry or physics academic standards as approved by the school district. A student must satisfy either all of the chemistry or physics academic standards prior to graduation. An agriculture science or career and technical education credit may not fulfill the required biology credit under Paragraph D., above. 

4. A career and technical education credit may fulfill a mathematics or arts credit requirement under Paragraph B or Paragraph  F, above.

5. A computer science credit may fulfill a mathematics credit requirement under Paragraph B, above, if the credit meets state academic standards in mathematics.

6. A Project Lead the Way credit may fulfill a mathematics or science credit requirement under Paragraph B or Paragraph D,  above, if the credit meets the state academic standards in mathematics or science.

7. An ethnic studies course may fulfill a social studies, language arts, arts, math, or science credit if the course meets the applicable state academic standards. An ethnic studies course may fulfill an elective credit if the course meets applicable local standards or other requirements.

8. Addendum A provides a detailed credit conversion chart for students who entered 9th grade in the Fall of 2024, 2023, and 2022. (Note: One credit of personal finance is required for 9th grade students who started in the Fall of 2024 and later.)

VII. Graduation Standards Requirements

A. All students must demonstrate their understanding of the following academic standards:

1. School District Standards, Health (K-12);

2. School District Standards, Career and Technical Education (K-12); and

3. School District Standards, World Languages (K-12)

B. Academic standards in health, world languages, and career and technical education will be reviewed on an annual basis.* A school district must use the current world languages standards developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

*Reviews are required to be conducted on a periodic basis. Therefore, this time period may be changed to accommodate individual school district needs.

C. All students must satisfactorily complete the following required Graduation Standards in accordance with the standards developed by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE);

1. Minnesota Academic Standards, English Language Arts K-12;

2. Minnesota Academic Standards, Mathematics K-12;

3. Minnesota Academic Standards, Science K-12;

4. Minnesota Academic Standards, Social Studies K-12, and

5. Minnesota Academic Standards, Physical Education K-12.

D. State standards in the Arts K-12 are available, or school districts may choose to develop their own standards.

E. The academic standards for language arts, mathematics, and science apply to all students except students with extreme cognitive or physical impairments for whom an IEP team has determined that the required academic standards are inappropriate. An IEP team that makes this determination must establish alternative standards. 

VIII. Early Graduation 

Students may be considered for early graduation, as provided for within Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.07, upon meeting the following conditions:

A. All course, standardsand credit requirements must be met;

B. The principal or designee shall conduct an interview with the student and parent or guardian, familiarize the parties with opportunities available in post-secondary education, and arrive at a timely decision; and

C. The principal’s decision shall be in writing and may be subject to review by the Superintendent and School Board.

Legal References: 
Minn. Stat. § 120B.018 (Definitions)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.02 (Educational Expectations and Graduation Requirements for Minnesota’s Students)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.021 (Required Academic Standards)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.023 (Benchmarks)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.024 (Credits)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.07 (Early Graduation)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.11 (School District Process for Reviewing Curriculum, Instruction and Student Achievement; Striving for the World's Best Workforce)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.125 (Planning for Students' Successful Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment; Personal Learning Plans)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.30 (Statewide Testing and Reporting System)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0660 (Graduation Standards for Language Arts)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0700-3501.0745 (Graduation Standards for Mathematics)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0820 (Graduation Standards for the Arts) 
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0900-3501.0960 (Graduation Standards for Science)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1300-3501.1345 (Graduation for Social Studies)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1400-3501.1410 (Academic Standards for Physical Education) 
20 U.S.C. § 6301, et seq. (Every Student Succeeds Act)

Cross References: 
WBLASB Policy 601 (School District Curriculum and Instruction Goals)
WBLASB Policy 614 (School District Testing Plan and Procedure)
WBLASB Policy 615 (Testing Accommodations, Modifications, and Exemptions for IEPs, Section 504 Plans, and LEP Students) WBLASB Policy 616 (School District System Accountability)
White Bear Lake Area High School Registration Guide