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2013 Florida Statutes

SECTION 428
General requirements for high school graduation.
F.S. 1003.428
1003.428 General requirements for high school graduation.
(1) Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2007-2008 school year, graduation requires the successful completion of a minimum of 24 credits, an International Baccalaureate curriculum, or an Advanced International Certificate of Education curriculum. Students must be advised of eligibility requirements for state scholarship programs and postsecondary admissions.
(2) The 24 credits may be earned through applied, integrated, and career education courses approved by the Department of Education. The 24 credits shall be distributed as follows:
(a) Sixteen core curriculum credits:
1. Four credits in English, with major concentration in composition, reading for information, and literature.
2. Four credits in mathematics, one of which must be Algebra I, a series of courses equivalent to Algebra I, or a higher-level mathematics course. Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2010-2011 school year, in addition to the Algebra I credit requirement, one of the four credits in mathematics must be geometry or a series of courses equivalent to geometry as approved by the State Board of Education. Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2010-2011 school year, the end-of-course assessment requirements under s. 1008.22(3)(c)2.a.(I) must be met in order for a student to earn the required credit in Algebra I. Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2011-2012 school year, the end-of-course assessment requirements under s. 1008.22(3)(c)2.a.(I) must be met in order for a student to earn the required credit in geometry. Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2012-2013 school year, in addition to the Algebra I and geometry credit requirements, one of the four credits in mathematics must be Algebra II or a series of courses equivalent to Algebra II as approved by the State Board of Education.
3. Three credits in science, two of which must have a laboratory component. Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2011-2012 school year, one of the three credits in science must be Biology I or a series of courses equivalent to Biology I as approved by the State Board of Education. Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2011-2012 school year, the end-of-course assessment requirements under s. 1008.22(3)(c)2.a.(II) must be met in order for a student to earn the required credit in Biology I. Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2013-2014 school year, one of the three credits must be Biology I or a series of courses equivalent to Biology I as approved by the State Board of Education, one credit must be chemistry or physics or a series of courses equivalent to chemistry or physics as approved by the State Board of Education, and one credit must be an equally rigorous course, as determined by the State Board of Education.
4. Three credits in social studies as follows: one credit in United States history; one credit in world history; one-half credit in economics, which shall include financial literacy; and one-half credit in United States government.
5. One credit in fine or performing arts, speech and debate, or a practical arts course that incorporates artistic content and techniques of creativity, interpretation, and imagination. Eligible practical arts courses shall be identified through the Course Code Directory.
6. One credit in physical education to include integration of health. Participation in an interscholastic sport at the junior varsity or varsity level for two full seasons shall satisfy the one-credit requirement in physical education if the student passes a competency test on personal fitness with a score of “C” or better. The competency test on personal fitness must be developed by the Department of Education. A district school board may not require that the one credit in physical education be taken during the 9th grade year. Completion of one semester with a grade of “C” or better in a marching band class, in a physical activity class that requires participation in marching band activities as an extracurricular activity, or in a dance class shall satisfy one-half credit in physical education or one-half credit in performing arts. This credit may not be used to satisfy the personal fitness requirement or the requirement for adaptive physical education under an individual education plan (IEP) or 504 plan. Completion of 2 years in a Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) class, a significant component of which is drills, shall satisfy the one-credit requirement in physical education and the one-credit requirement in performing arts. This credit may not be used to satisfy the personal fitness requirement or the requirement for adaptive physical education under an individual education plan (IEP) or 504 plan.
(b) Eight credits in electives.
1. For each year in which a student scores Level 1 on FCAT Reading, the student must be enrolled in and complete an intensive reading course the following year. Placement of Level 2 readers in either an intensive reading course or a content area course in which reading strategies are delivered shall be determined by diagnosis of reading needs. The department shall provide guidance on appropriate strategies for diagnosing and meeting the varying instructional needs of students reading below grade level. Reading courses shall be designed and offered pursuant to the comprehensive reading plan required by s. 1011.62(9). A high school student who scores Level 1 or Level 2 on FCAT Reading but who did not score below Level 3 in the previous 3 years may be granted a 1-year exemption from the reading remediation requirement; however, the student must have an approved academic improvement plan already in place, signed by the appropriate school staff and the student’s parent, for the year for which the exemption is granted.
2. For each year in which a student scores Level 1 or Level 2 on FCAT Mathematics, the student must receive remediation the following year. These courses may be taught through applied, integrated, or combined courses and are subject to approval by the department for inclusion in the Course Code Directory.
(c) Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2011-2012 school year, at least one course within the 24 credits required in this subsection must be completed through online learning. A school district may not require a student to take the online course outside the school day or in addition to a student’s courses for a given semester. An online course taken during grades 6 through 8 fulfills this requirement. This requirement shall be met through an online course offered by the Florida Virtual School, an online course offered by the high school, or an online dual enrollment course. A student who is enrolled in a full-time or part-time virtual instruction program under s. 1002.45 meets this requirement. This requirement does not apply to a student who has an individual educational plan under s. 1003.57 which indicates that an online course would be inappropriate or a student who is enrolled in a Florida high school and has less than 1 academic year remaining in high school.
(3)(a) A district school board may require specific courses and programs of study within the minimum credit requirements for high school graduation and shall modify basic courses, as necessary, to assure exceptional students the opportunity to meet the graduation requirements for a standard diploma, using one of the following strategies:
1. Assignment of the exceptional student to an exceptional education class for instruction in a basic course with the same student performance standards as those required of nonexceptional students in the district school board student progression plan; or
2. Assignment of the exceptional student to a basic education class for instruction that is modified to accommodate the student’s exceptionality.
(b) The district school board shall determine which of these strategies to employ based upon an assessment of the student’s needs and shall reflect this decision in the student’s individual education plan.
(4) Each district school board shall establish standards for graduation from its schools, which must include:
(a) Successful completion of the academic credit or curriculum requirements of subsections (1) and (2). For courses that require statewide, standardized end-of-course assessments under s. 1008.22(3)(c)2.d., a minimum of 30 percent of a student’s course grade shall be comprised of performance on the statewide, standardized end-of-course assessment.
(b) Earning passing scores on the FCAT, as defined in s. 1008.22(3)(c), or scores on a standardized test that are concordant with passing scores on the FCAT as defined in s. 1008.22(10).
(c) Completion of all other applicable requirements prescribed by the district school board pursuant to s. 1008.25.
(d) Achievement of a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, or its equivalent, in the courses required by this section.

Each district school board shall adopt policies designed to assist students in meeting the requirements of this subsection. These policies may include, but are not limited to: forgiveness policies, summer school or before or after school attendance, special counseling, volunteers or peer tutors, school-sponsored help sessions, homework hotlines, and study skills classes. Forgiveness policies for required courses shall be limited to replacing a grade of “D” or “F,” or the equivalent of a grade of “D” or “F,” with a grade of “C” or higher, or the equivalent of a grade of “C” or higher, earned subsequently in the same or comparable course. Forgiveness policies for elective courses shall be limited to replacing a grade of “D” or “F,” or the equivalent of a grade of “D” or “F,” with a grade of “C” or higher, or the equivalent of a grade of “C” or higher, earned subsequently in another course. The only exception to these forgiveness policies shall be made for a student in the middle grades who takes any high school course for high school credit and earns a grade of “C,” “D,” or “F” or the equivalent of a grade of “C,” “D,” or “F.” In such case, the district forgiveness policy must allow the replacement of the grade with a grade of “C” or higher, or the equivalent of a grade of “C” or higher, earned subsequently in the same or comparable course. In all cases of grade forgiveness, only the new grade shall be used in the calculation of the student’s grade point average. Any course grade not replaced according to a district school board forgiveness policy shall be included in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average required for graduation.

(5) The State Board of Education, after a public hearing and consideration, shall adopt rules based upon the recommendations of the commissioner for the provision of test accommodations and modifications of procedures as necessary for students with disabilities which will demonstrate the student’s abilities rather than reflect the student’s impaired sensory, manual, speaking, or psychological process skills.
(6) The public hearing and consideration required in subsection (5) shall not be construed to amend or nullify the requirements of security relating to the contents of examinations or assessment instruments and related materials or data as prescribed in s. 1008.23.
(7)(a) A student who meets all requirements prescribed in subsections (1), (2), (3), and (4) shall be awarded a standard diploma in a form prescribed by the State Board of Education.
(b) A student who completes the minimum number of credits and other requirements prescribed by subsections (1), (2), and (3), but who is unable to meet the standards of paragraph (4)(b), paragraph (4)(c), or paragraph (4)(d), shall be awarded a certificate of completion in a form prescribed by the State Board of Education. However, any student who is otherwise entitled to a certificate of completion may elect to remain in the secondary school either as a full-time student or a part-time student for up to 1 additional year and receive special instruction designed to remedy his or her identified deficiencies.
(8)(a) Each district school board must provide instruction to prepare students with disabilities to demonstrate proficiency in the core content knowledge and skills necessary for successful grade-to-grade progression and high school graduation.
(b)1. A student with a disability, as defined in s. 1007.02(2), for whom the individual education plan (IEP) committee determines that the FCAT cannot accurately measure the student’s abilities taking into consideration all allowable accommodations, shall have the FCAT requirement of paragraph (4)(b) waived for the purpose of receiving a standard high school diploma, if the student:
a. Completes the minimum number of credits and other requirements prescribed by subsections (1), (2), and (3).
b. Does not meet the requirements of paragraph (4)(b) after one opportunity in 10th grade and one opportunity in 11th grade.
2. A student with a disability, as defined in s. 1007.02(2), for whom the IEP committee determines that an end-of-course assessment cannot accurately measure the student’s abilities, taking into consideration all allowable accommodations, shall have the end-of-course assessment results waived for the purpose of determining the student’s course grade and credit as required in paragraph (4)(a).
(9) The State Board of Education may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section and may enforce this section pursuant to s. 1008.32.
History.s. 23, ch. 2006-74; s. 6, ch. 2007-234; s. 180, ch. 2008-4; s. 7, ch. 2008-235; s. 3, ch. 2010-22; s. 53, ch. 2011-4; s. 6, ch. 2011-137; s. 18, ch. 2011-175; s. 8, ch. 2012-191; s. 6, ch. 2012-192; s. 15, ch. 2013-27.