Planning

Guidance, Counseling, and Career Planning

Early planning by each student toward an individual program is most important. The guidance counselors can be a vital resource in this planning process. They can provide an important service in helping students evaluate their interests, abilities, and goals and in assisting students in planning a program of selected courses that will best contribute to the fulfillment of those personal and career goals.

Students and their parents are encouraged to take advantage of the help available through the counseling centers where college information, career interest inventories, and computerized career information systems can be utilized for post high school planning.

Credit Attainment

Students may obtain credit through the following:

ACHIEVED CREDIT

The student receives credit based on the successful completion of an established course. Unless otherwise indicated in the course description, courses may only be taken once for credit. If a student passes a course with a grade of D, the student may appeal to the building principal for the opportunity to repeat the course. Both grades earned will be posted to the student’s transcript and calculated in the GPA; however, no additional credit is earned.

ASSIGNED CREDIT

The student receives credit based on the approval of the building principal for prior work completed at a non-accredited institution or home school. In order to assign proper credit, students must provide transcripts from previous schools. If no official transcript is available, the family will provide a typed transcript of previously completed coursework. This transcript will include:

The name of the course
The grade earned
A list of all textbooks used including title, author, publisher, and copyright date

Such approval may be given upon the recommendation of the appropriate division coordinator after examination of the course content and alignment as well as the student’s performance. Credit may also be assigned for the successful completion of courses taken prior to the ninth grade if the courses have equivalent content and rigor. Approval of such coursework must be given by the principal prior to taking the course. These credits are entered on the high school transcript at the time of admission to the ninth grade. Such credit may be used to meet the district’s graduation requirement. Courses offered at both middle school and high school may be awarded high school credit if taken prior to the 9th grade. Specific courses offered for high school credit are designated in the Middle School Program of Studies approved on an annual basis by the board.

Credit for a sequential course may be assigned retroactively following successful completion (60% or better) of the next level course in that curricular area. The original grade earned will be recorded on the transcript. Validation may occur at semester with administrator approval.

If a student is not enrolled in a sequential course that can be validated through the procedure described above, competency (60% or better) must be demonstrated by passing a departmental exam for each course. If the student meets competency, the original grade earned will be recorded on the transcript.

Only courses for which there is a Shawnee Mission equivalent will be considered for validation. Honor grade points may be validated if the following criteria are met:

1. There is an equivalent Shawnee Mission honors or advanced placement course.
2. The honors or advanced placement designation is noted on the official transcript from an accredited institution.
3. A grade of A or B was earned.

CREDIT BY EXAMINATION

A student may earn credits towards high school graduation by demonstrating mastery of the course outcomes through a performance instrument. The standards for designing and passing the performance instrument shall be set sufficiently high to ensure credits earned by such a means shall be equivalent to those offered in the framework of the Carnegie unit. This performance instrument must be reviewed and approved by the district curriculum department. Credit for such classes shall be awarded only on a pass/fail basis.

Given the requisite approval, a student may undertake the credit by examination process for a specific course only once. Students may not receive honors credit through the testing out process. The test out procedure must be completed prior to the student taking the course during the regular school term. Students may not test out of courses offered through summer school or night school.

CREDIT FOR OUT-OF-DISTRICT CORRESPONDENCE COURSES AND OUT-OF-DISTRICT VIRTUAL COURSES
The student receives credit based on successful completion of out- of-district courses by correspondence or through out-of-district virtual courses from accredited institutions.

 

Gifted and Talented Program

Curriculum in gifted education is designed with flexibility to meet individual needs within special education guidelines. The student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) reflects the areas of emphasis needed for that student. The courses developed to meet specific needs of gifted/talented students in carrying out the program goals and the IEP are listed below.

GIFTED STUDENTS SHOULD SEE THE HIGH SCHOOL GIFTED EDUCATION TEACHER FOR HELP IN PURSUING THE FOLLOWING OPTIONS:

1. Alternative Course Options: Credit can be obtained in specific fields of interest where existing courses do not meet the student’s needs. In this case, the student, gifted teacher, and a content area teacher cooperatively design a study plan to fulfill the objectives and requirements for the course.
2. Subject-Matter Acceleration: Acceleration involves telescoping content areas for appropriate placement. No credit is granted for courses bypassed.
3. Credit-by-Examination: A proficiency test can be taken to fulfill course requirements.
4. Compacting Classes: Students may consolidate curriculum for any content area into a shorter time span. Requirements are fully completed for each course, and full credit is received. For example, an individual might complete Algebra 1 and 2 and Geometry in a single school year or during the summer. Completion can be accomplished by “doubling up” or by working with a mentor.
5. College Credit: Courses may be taken for college credit on the high school campus, on the college campus, by correspondence or through the telecommunications networks.

 

Suggested Programs of Study

The schedules listed below illustrate two sample high school programs. Students should make schedule decisions based on personal preference, post-secondary plans, and career interests.


GENERAL EDUCATION PROGRAM

9th

1 unit English 9
1 unit World Regional Studies
1/2 unit Health*
1 unit Math
1 unit Science (Biology)
2 1/2 units Electives

10th

1 unit English 10
1/2 unit Physical Education
1 unit Science (Physical Science or Chemistry)
1 unit Math
2 1/2 units Elective
1 unit Fine Arts

11th

 1 unit English 11
1 unit United States History
1/2 unit Physical Education
1 unit Math
2 1/2 units Electives
1 unit Science
***1/2 unit Financial Literacy- class of 2020

12th

1 unit English 12

1/2 unit American Government
1/2 unit Social Studies Elective**
5 units Electives

 

*The health course may be taken in grade 10.
**The social studies elective listed in grade 12 may be taken earlier.
***Graduation requirement for class of 2020


COLLEGE PREPARATORY PROGRAM

9TH

1 unit English 9
1 unit World Regional Studies
1/2 unit Health*
1 unit Math (Algebra or Geometry)
1 unit Science (Biology)
1 unit World Language
1 1/2 units Electives

10TH

1 unit English 10
1/2 unit Science (Chemistry or Physics)
1 unit Science
1 unit Math (Geometry or Algebra 2)
1 unit World Language
1 unit Modern World History 1 1/2 units Electives

11th

1 unit English 11
1 unit United States History
1/2 unit Physical Education
1 unit Math (Algebra 2 or
College Algebra/Trig)
1 unit Science (Chemistry,
Physics, or Biology 2)
1 unit World Language
1 1/2 units Electives

12th
1 unit English 12
1/2 unit American Government
1 unit Math (beyond Algebra 2)
1 unit Science (if three units not taken previously)
2 1/2 units Electives
1 unit Fine Arts

**1/2 unit Financial Literacy-class of 2020
*The health course may be taken in grade 10.
** Graduation requirement for class of 2020


 

IMPORTANT NOTES

  1. All freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are required to attend school full time. Seniors will be expected to meet full-time equivalency requirements. Changes in this rule may only be approved by the building principal.
  2. One unit of science credit must be earned in both a biological and a physical science.
  3. Enrichment and remediation are available to students through the opportunities that exist for flexible scheduling and variety of course and class options.
  4. Naval Science (NJROTC) may, if desired, count for physical education credit to meet graduation requirements. One full year of NJROTC can substitute for one-half (1/2) unit of physical education credit. Two full years of NJROTC would satisfy the graduation requirement of one (1) unit of physical education. Additional NJROTC units will be counted as elective credits.
  5. The Shawnee Mission School District provides a wide range of career and technical education courses, work study opportunities, and special education programs to meet the needs of all students. Students should consult counselors for additional information on special programs.
  6. In planning a course of study, the student must be continually aware of the need to fulfill the requirements for graduation.
  7. Students are encouraged to investigate, with their counselors and/or parents, the requirements of the specific institution(s) of higher learning they may wish to enter, taking that information into consideration in designing their 4-year educational plan.
  8. With principal’s approval, a maximum of 2 units of activity credit may be applied toward meeting graduation requirements.
  9. The Shawnee Mission high school program is designed to be completed in eight semesters. A candidate for graduation from this district must have been in attendance in the district during the last semester of his or her senior year, or have attended a Shawnee Mission School District high school at least four semesters in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12.
  10. The College Board (SAT, PSAT) recommends a study of the arts to provide a full, rounded program. This study could include visual arts, theatre, dance, or music.