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605.3 - Graduation Requirements

Students must successfully complete the courses required by the school 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.

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 school board for approval.

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

  • English (40 credits): Must include English I or Advanced English I (10 credits each), English II or Advanced English II (may opt out if student passes English I with a 90% or higher grade), English III or Advanced English III, and one public speaking (rhetoric/speech/acting/communications) course (5 credits).
  • Mathematics (30 credits): Must include Algebra I (10 credits) or Algebra 1A and Algebra 1B (20 credits). Students who successfully complete both semesters of Algebra 1 may not then take Algebra 1A or Algebra 1B to fulfill the Algebra or three-year math requirement.
  • Science (30 credits): Must include General Biology (10 credits) or Biology 1&2 (15 credits), an earth science course [Earth Science (10 credits), Earth and Space Science (10 credits), or AP Environmental Science 1&2 (15 credits)], a chemistry course [Applied Physics and Chemistry (10 credits) or Chemistry 1 (10 credits)], and a physics course [Earth and Space Science (10 credits), Applied Chemistry and Physics (10 credits), Physics (10 credits), or AP Physics 1&2 (20 credits)].
  • Social Studies (30 credits): Must include US History 9 or Advanced US History 9 (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 Introductory Psychology or Sociology (5 credits).
  • Personal Finance (5 credits): Students must receive credit for Personal Finance (5 credits) or complete and demonstrate financial literacy competencies gained through MOC or a designated online financial literacy course.
  • Health/Fitness (20 credits): Must include Health I (5 credits). Must include a Lifetime Fitness course each school year.

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 students receiving special education services 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].

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 school counselor or academic assistance counselor to develop an approved plan for this option.

Credit may be awarded by a college upon successful completion of course requirements. Any college credit determination is made by the individual college.

Linn-Mar High School offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses in Environmental Science, Art History, Calculus (AB and BC), Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics (1&2), Computer Science (A), English Literature & Composition, 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 through the high school counseling and TAG office.

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

Students enrolled in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp Program will receive a one-eighth (1/8) credit in physical education for each semester they are enrolled in the program.

Prior to graduation, the district will advise students on how to successfully complete the free application for federal student aid.

The Linn-Mar Board of Directors will recognize students who earn 300 or more credits at graduation as Linn-Mar Board of Education Scholars for exceeding the 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; 10/22
Related Policy: 605.31; 605.31-R; 605.31-E1-E2; 605.32
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 256.7, .11, .41; 279.8; 279.61; 280.3, .14; 281 IAC 12.3(5); 12.5
IASB Reference: 505.05
Mandatory Policy