General Academic Information
Changing a Student’s Schedule During the Semester
It is expected that changes will not be made to the student’s schedule after it has been created. It is recognized, however, that unique or extenuating circumstances arise which may necessitate the changing of a student’s schedule. Counselor consultation with the student and his/her parent(s), and approval of the change(s) by the affected teacher(s) are required parts of the process. Changes to a student’s schedule once the semester has begun may have negative consequences.
Credit will not be earned in any course added to a student schedule after the 10th day of the semester. A course dropped from a student’s schedule after the 20th school day of the semester will result in a grade of W (if passing the course at the time of the drop) or WF (if failing the course at the time of the drop), and these grade will appear on the student’s transcript.
The principal may waive the WF grade requirement if it is determined there are medical or other extenuating circumstances necessitating the dropping of the course and the waiver is in the best interest of the student and the school. If waived, the grade of WF will be changed to U. The dropped course and grade would still appear on the student’s transcript, but the U grade does not negatively impact the student’s grade point average.
S – U (Satisfactory – Unsatisfactory) Grading Option
The S/U grading option is available to encourage students to explore high interest areas of study that might otherwise be avoided because of a fear of low grades within the traditional letter grading system. Students seeking this grading option must sign a Statement of Understanding available from his/her counselor.
The following understandings pertain to the S/U grading option:
- Students may request no more than one S/U grading option per semester.
- The S/U grading option must be requested with the first 23 school days of the semester.
- An academic letter grade will not be issued after the Statement of Understanding is signed.
- Students are expected to maintain a high level of effort and performance. The teacher of record will establish minimum performance criteria for receipt of the S grade (C work or better is generally recommended).
- Honor Roll recognition requires a minimum of four A-F traditional grades or their credit equivalent.
- Grades of S/U on academic transcripts may be viewed skeptically.
Retaking Courses to Improve Grade Point Average
As per Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 392-415-055 (4), a non-recurring course may be retaken to improve the grade previously earned in order to improve the student’s grade point average. The ability to retake a course to improve a student’s grade point average does not apply to recurring courses. Recurring courses are those courses, generally classified as elective courses, that students may take repeatedly because of interest, to improve skill or broaden knowledge, for enjoyment, or to acquire elective credits.
When retaking a course, the grade and credit earned will be handled in one of two ways: (1) Credit earned from the retaken course will count toward meeting the number of credits needed for graduation AND the grade received in the previous course will be included with the new grade in the grade point average calculation; or (2) The lower of the two grades will not be included in the grade point calculation AND credit earned from the lower of the two grades will not count toward meeting the number of credits needed for graduation.
The necessary form for retaking a course is available from the counseling office.
Grade Level (or Class Standing) Identification
Grade level (or class standing) identification is determined by the number of school years that a student has been attending high school. Ninth grade students (freshmen) are in their first year of high school, 10th grade students (sophomores) are in their second year, 11th grade students (juniors) in their third year and 12th grade students (seniors) in their fourth year of high school. It is expected that students will satisfy all graduation requirements after four years of high school.
In order to maintain adequate progress toward graduation, ninth grade students should earn five or more credits by the end of their first year of high school, tenth grade students should have earned 10 or more credits after two years of high school and 11th grade students 15 or more credits after three years of high school.
Students are expected to be enrolled in at least five courses during each semester.
Denial of Credit Due to Non-Attendance
Regular school attendance is necessary for the mastery of the educational program provided to students. The greatest impediment to academic achievement is absenteeism. After the 12th non-school-related absence in a semester, the high school student will be notified of the 12th absence and whether an attendance contract is appropriate.
In addition to the contract, and after the 12th non-school-related absence per semester in a given class, the classroom teacher, at his or her discretion, may forward to the building administration a notice of referral for denial of class credit. The classroom teacher, at his or her discretion, may thereafter rescind said notice, or having rescinded said notice, reinstate it any time for attendance and classroom work-related behaviors.
Absences that count for the 12 include absences due to illness or health/medical conditions, family emergencies, those categorized as cut/truancy, court/legal, juvenile justice, other, pre-arranged, and unexcused.
Valedictorian – Salutatorian Selection
The selection and identification of the class valedictorian and salutatorian shall be based on the following:
- The valedictorian shall be selected based on the highest cumulative grade point average of all courses taken. The student must have completed a minimum of five courses in the Advanced (including academies and identified Running Start courses), Honors, or AP/IB categories. Opting for a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, audit, or NC grade in any of the Advanced, Honors, and/or AP/IB courses automatically disqualifies the student from consideration. The salutatorian shall be selected following the same guidelines, but is identified as the student with the second highest cumulative grade point average.
- The selectees must earn a minimum of 10 credits in attendance at Kennewick School District high schools.
- The selectees must be in attendance during their senior year at the school from which they are being selected.
- The selectees must have passed all components of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL).
- The selectees must complete all graduation requirements in compliance with their High School and Beyond Plans and Kennewick School District Policy #2410.
- The determination of the Valedictorian(s) and Salutatorian(s) will be made in April of the graduation year, so that Running Start winter quarter grades can be included in the grade calculations.
Students and Employment
Although students are not discouraged from working while attending high school, balancing the demands of a job while concentrating on one’s academic studies can present significant challenges to students. Although minors (14–17 years of age) are not restricted from working, Washington state child labor laws prohibit minors from generally working more than a total of 20 hours per week. During summer, winter and spring breaks, the limit is raised to 40-48 hours, depending on age. Limits also are placed on how late into the evening minors may work. The student’s legal guardian and school’s principal must sign a parent/school authorization form (provided by the employer) in order for a student to work during the school year.