Graduation Requirements

High School Graduation Requirements for students graduating after 2013.
As approved by the South Dakota Board of Education Nov. 2, 2009

A student’s Personal Learning Plan must document a minimum of 22 credits that include the following:

  1. Four units of Language Arts – must include: a. Writing – 1.5 units b. Literature – 1.5 units (must include .5 unit of American Literature) c. Speech or Debate – .5 unit d. Language Arts elective – .5 unit
  2. Three units of Mathematics – must include: a. Algebra I – 1 unit b. *Algebra II – 1 unit c. *Geometry – 1 unit
  3. Three units of Lab Science – must include: a. Biology – 1 unit b. Any Physical Science – 1 unit c. *Chemistry or Physics – 1 unit
  4. Three units of Social Studies – must include: a. U.S. History – 1 unit b. U.S. Government – .5 unit c. World History – .5 unit d. Geography – .5 unit
  5. One unit of the following-any combination: a. Approved Career & Technical Education b. Capstone Experience or Service Learning c. World Language
  6. One unit of Fine Arts
  7. One-half unit of Personal Finance or Economics
  8. One-half unit of Physical Education
  9. One-half unit of Health or Health Integration

Academic core content credit may be earned by completing an approved career and technical education course. Approval to offer credit must be obtained through an application process with the Department of Education. The application must include: course syllabus; standards based curriculum; teacher certification; and assessment of standards by methods including end-of-course exams, authentic assessment, project-based learning or rubrics.

*With school and parent/guardian approval, a student may be excused from this course in favor of a more appropriate course. A student may be excused from Algebra II or Geometry, but not both. A student is still required to take three units of math. If a student is excused from Chemistry or Physics, the student must still take three units of a lab science.

~Required beginning Sept. 1, 2013
Regarding the health requirement: Beginning with students who are freshmen in the fall of 2013, students will be required to take .5 unit of health at any time grades 6-12. A district may choose to integrate health across the curriculum at the middle or high school level in lieu of a stand-alone course. See Frequently Asked Questions for details.

^Local decision. A district may decide to offer credit for extracurricular fine arts activities. Students may be granted up to one credit in fine arts for participation in extracurricular activities. A maximum of ¼ credit may be granted for each activity in each school year.

Alternative Methods of Earning Credit

  1. Independent (Correspondence) Courses – Students in grades 9-12 may, upon approval of the administration, take correspondence courses through approved programs. The student is responsible for requesting application to the program and bearing all costs involved. Permission to enroll must be obtained from the principal, and a certified instructor approved by the principal must supervise the coursework.
  2. Summer School – Students in grades 7-12 may, upon approval of the administration, receive credit for accredited summer school coursework. .