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605.3 - Graduation Requirements




Students must successfully complete the courses required by the board and the Iowa Department of Education in order to graduate.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent [or designee] to ensure that students complete grades 1 through 12 and that high school students earn a minimum of 250 credit hours to be awarded a Linn-Mar High School diploma.

Early Graduation: Students meeting all requirements for graduation and electing to graduate early must apply for early graduation at least one month prior to the student’s final quarter. Applications can be picked up in the high school counseling office and submitted to the principal’s office. The principal will meet with each early graduation applicant prior to recommending candidates to the board for approval.

Graduation Requirements: Linn-Mar High School students are required to earn a minimum of 250 credits in order to graduate. In addition, the following department requirements must be met in order to earn a diploma:

  • English (40 credits): Must include English 9 or English I (10 credits each), English II (May opt out if pass English I with a 90% or higher grade), English III or Advanced English III, and one speech/acting course (5 credits).
  • Mathematics (30 credits): Must include Algebra (10 credits) or Algebra Fundamentals I and Algebra Fundamentals II (20 credits). Students who successfully complete both semesters of Algebra may not take Algebra Fundamentals I or Algebra Fundamentals II to fulfill the Algebra or three-year math requirement.
  • Science (30 credits): Must include General Biology (10 credits) or Fundamentals of Biology I and Fundamentals of Biology II (20 credits), a physical science course (Chemistry, Physics, or Earth and Physical Science) (10 credits).
  • Social Studies (30 credits): Must include US History 9 or US History I (10 credits) or AP US History (15 credits), World History (10 credits), or AP World History (15 credits), American Government (5 credits) or AP American Government (10 credits), and one social studies elective (5 credits).
  • Health/Fitness (20 credits): Must include Health I (5 credits). Must include a Lifetime Fitness course each school year.
  • Personal Finance (Starting with the class of 2020) (5 credits): Students must receive credit for Personal Finance (5 credits) or granted a waiver through completion of designated, online Financial Literacy course with certificate.

Graduation requirements for students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be in accordance with the prescribed course of study as written in their IEP. This course of study will be in alignment with the Linn-Mar High School graduation requirements. The IEP team will determine strategies to meet the graduation requirements for the student. Beginning with the class of 2022, graduation requirements for Special Education students will include successful completion of four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and three years of science [4-3-3-3].

COMPASS Credits: High school credits are available via the COMPASS Alternative Program. Linn-Mar will accept credit hours for approved courses that can be applied to requirements for the Linn-Mar High School diploma. Students should visit with their assigned counselor or the Academic Assistance Counselor to develop an approved plan for this option.

Post-Secondary Opportunities (PSEO): Credit may be awarded by a college upon successful completion of course requirements. Any college credit determination is made by the individual college.

Advanced Placement: Linn-Mar High School offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses in Art History, Calculus (AB and BC), Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics (B), Computer Science A, English Literature, Microeconomics, Music Theory, Comparative Government, World History, Psychology, US Government, and US History. A minimal number of AP courses are available thru the Iowa AP Online Academy. Students who complete these courses can take a standard AP exam. Many colleges and universities accept AP courses for college credit depending upon individual AP exam scores. More information is available in the high school counseling and TAG office.

Legislative Page Program: Students who complete a regular session in the Legislative Page Program of the General Assembly at the State Capitol will be receive a 1/2 credit in Social Studies.

Junior ROTC: Students enrolled in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp Program will receive 1/8 credit in physical education for each semester they are enrolled in the program.

Board Recognition: The Board of Education will recognize students who earn 300 or more credits at graduation as Linn-Mar Board of Education Scholars for exceeding graduation requirements at an exemplary level.

Adopted: 12/71
Reviewed: 9/12; 4/18; 6/21
Revised: 6/11; 10/3; 2/15; 11/18; 6/19; 2/21; 9/21
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 256.17, .11, .41; 279.8; 280.3, .14; 281 IAC 12.3(5); 12(5)
IASB Reference: 505.5
Mandatory Policy