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Know your graduation requirements

You have to have the credits and the GPA to take the big walk.

By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 4, 2002


Those who don't want any surprises come graduation time might want to make sure they are on track with their required courses and test requirements.

This is especially important for students who are new to Florida, as graduation requirements vary from state to state. Seniors who don't meet graduation requirements are not allowed to don the cap and gown and walk in May, regardless of their good intentions to retake tests or attend summer or night school.

School guidance counselors and occupational specialists can provide a wealth of information on opportunities at community colleges, universities, technical schools and the military. Touching base with your child's guidance counselor early is a good idea for parents, so plan to stop in or give a call.

The Pasco County School Web site gives these requirements:

High school graduation requirements: Students must have 24 credits in the following areas:

English:

Four credits with concentration in composition and literature. English through ESOL is required for all LEP students receiving ESOL services and meets English requirements for graduation.

Mathematics:

Three credits. One must be Algebra I, a series of courses equivalent to Algebra I, or a higher level course.

These courses or series of courses satisfy the Algebra I requirement: Algebra I, Algebra I Honors, Algebra Ia and Algebra Ib, Applied Mathematics I and Applied Mathematics II, Integrated Mathematics I and Integrated Mathematics II.

Science:

Three credits. Two must be earned in courses with laboratory components.

Social Studies:

One credit in American history.

One credit in world history.

One-half credit for American government, including a study of the U.S. Constitution, Florida government, and municipal and county government.

One-half credit for economics.

Physical education:

One-half credit (personal fitness) and one-half credit (physical education course).

Participation in an interscholastic sport at the junior varsity or varsity level for two full seasons satisfies the one credit requirement in physical education if the student passes a competency test on personal fitness with a score of C or better. These students do not receive course credit, though.

Practical arts/performing fine arts:

One credit in practical arts career education or one credit in performing fine arts, or half a credit in practical arts career education and half a credit in performing fine arts.

Life management:

One-half credit

Electives:

Nine credits for students graduating in 2002/2003 and after.

GPA: A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale is required. The GPA computation will be based on all courses used by the student to complete graduation requirements. Semester grades will be averaged for the GPA calculation.

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