(1) TWENTY-FOUR CREDITS REQUIRED.—
(a) Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2013-2014 school year, receipt of a standard high school diploma requires successful completion of 24 credits, an International Baccalaureate curriculum, or an Advanced International Certificate of Education curriculum.
(b) The required credits may be earned through equivalent, applied, or integrated courses or career education courses as defined in s. 1003.01(4), including work-related internships approved by the State Board of Education and identified in the course code directory. However, any must-pass assessment requirements must be met. An equivalent course is one or more courses identified by content-area experts as being a match to the core curricular content of another course, based upon review of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for that subject. An applied course aligns with Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and includes real-world applications of a career and technical education standard used in business or industry. An integrated course includes content from several courses within a content area or across content areas.
(2) NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.—The school district must notify students and parents, in writing, of the requirements for a standard high school diploma, available designations, and the eligibility requirements for state scholarship programs and postsecondary admissions. The Department of Education shall directly and through the school districts notify registered private schools of public high school course credit and assessment requirements. Each private school must make this information available to students and their parents so they are aware of public high school graduation requirements.
(3) STANDARD HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA; COURSE AND ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS.—
(a) Four credits in English Language Arts (ELA).—The four credits must be in ELA I, II, III, and IV. A student must pass the statewide, standardized grade 10 ELA assessment, or earn a concordant score, in order to earn a standard high school diploma.
(b) Four credits in mathematics.—
1. A student must earn one credit in Algebra I and one credit in Geometry. A student’s performance on the statewide, standardized Algebra I end-of-course (EOC) assessment constitutes 30 percent of the student’s final course grade. A student must pass the statewide, standardized Algebra I EOC assessment, or earn a comparative score, in order to earn a standard high school diploma. A student’s performance on the statewide, standardized Geometry EOC assessment constitutes 30 percent of the student’s final course grade.
2. A student who earns an industry certification for which there is a statewide college credit articulation agreement approved by the State Board of Education may substitute the certification for one mathematics credit. Substitution may occur for up to two mathematics credits, except for Algebra I and Geometry. A student may earn two mathematics credits by successfully completing Algebra I through two full-year courses. A certified school counselor or the principal’s designee must advise the student that admission to a state university may require the student to earn 3 additional mathematics credits that are at least as rigorous as Algebra I.
3. A student who earns a computer science credit may substitute the credit for up to one credit of the mathematics requirement, with the exception of Algebra I and Geometry, if the commissioner identifies the computer science credit as being equivalent in rigor to the mathematics credit. An identified computer science credit may not be used to substitute for both a mathematics and a science credit. A student who earns an industry certification in 3D rapid prototype printing may satisfy up to two credits of the mathematics requirement, with the exception of Algebra I, if the commissioner identifies the certification as being equivalent in rigor to the mathematics credit or credits.
(c) Three credits in science.—
1. Two of the three required credits must have a laboratory component. A student must earn one credit in Biology I and two credits in equally rigorous courses. The statewide, standardized Biology I EOC assessment constitutes 30 percent of the student’s final course grade.
2. A student who earns an industry certification for which there is a statewide college credit articulation agreement approved by the State Board of Education may substitute the certification for one science credit, except for Biology I.
3. A student who earns a computer science credit may substitute the credit for up to one credit of the science requirement, with the exception of Biology I, if the commissioner identifies the computer science credit as being equivalent in rigor to the science credit. An identified computer science credit may not be used to substitute for both a mathematics and a science credit.
(d) Three credits in social studies.—A student must earn one credit in United States History; one credit in World History; one-half credit in economics; and one-half credit in United States Government, which must include a comparative discussion of political ideologies, such as communism and totalitarianism, that conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States. The United States History EOC assessment constitutes 30 percent of the student’s final course grade. Beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, students taking the United States Government course are required to take the assessment of civic literacy identified by the State Board of Education pursuant to s. 1007.25(4). Students earning a passing score on the assessment are exempt from the postsecondary civic literacy assessment required by s. 1007.25(4).
(e) One credit in fine or performing arts, speech and debate, or practical arts.—The practical arts course must incorporate artistic content and techniques of creativity, interpretation, and imagination. Eligible practical arts courses are identified in the Course Code Directory.
(f) One credit in physical education.—Physical education must include the 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. 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 IEP or 504 plan.
(g) Eight credits in electives.—School districts must develop and offer coordinated electives so that a student may develop knowledge and skills in his or her area of interest, such as electives with a STEM or liberal arts focus. Such electives must include opportunities for students to earn college credit, including industry-certified career education programs or series of career-themed courses that result in industry certification or articulate into the award of college credit, or career education courses for which there is a statewide or local articulation agreement and which lead to college credit. Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, all school districts must offer a financial literacy course consisting of at least one-half credit as an elective.
(4) ONLINE COURSE REQUIREMENT.—At least one course within the 24 credits required under this section must be completed through online learning. (a) An online course taken in grade 6, grade 7, or grade 8 fulfills the requirements of this subsection. The requirement is met through an online course offered by the Florida Virtual School, a virtual education provider approved by the State Board of Education, a 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 the requirement. (b) A district school board or a charter school governing board, as applicable, may allow a student to satisfy the online course requirements of this subsection by completing a blended learning course or a course in which the student earns a nationally recognized industry certification in information technology that is identified on the CAPE Industry Certification Funding List pursuant to s. 1008.44 or passing the information technology certification examination without enrolling in or completing the corresponding course or courses, as applicable.
For purposes of this subsection, a school district may not require a student to take the online or blended learning course outside the school day or in addition to a student’s courses for a given semester. This subsection does not apply to a student who has an individual education plan under s. 1003.57 which indicates that an online or blended learning course would be inappropriate or to an out-of-state transfer student who is enrolled in a Florida high school and has 1 academic year or less remaining in high school.
(5) GRADE FORGIVENESS POLICY.—Each district school board shall adopt policies designed to assist students in meeting graduation requirements including grade forgiveness policies. Forgiveness policies for required courses shall be limited to replacing a grade of “D” or “F” with 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” with 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”. In such case, the district forgiveness policy must allow the replacement of the grade with 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.
(6) AWARD OF A STANDARD HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA.— (a) A student who earns a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale and meets the requirements of this section or s. 1002.3105(5) shall be awarded a standard high school diploma in a form prescribed by the State Board of Education. (b) An adult student in an adult general education program as provided under s. 1004.93 shall be awarded a standard high school diploma if the student meets the requirements of this section or s. 1002.3105(5), except that:
1. One elective credit may be substituted for the one-credit requirement in fine or performing arts, speech and debate, or practical arts.
2. The requirement that two of the science credits include a laboratory component may be waived by the district school board.
3. The one credit in physical education may be substituted with an elective credit.
(c) A student who earns the required 24 credits, or the required 18 credits under s. 1002.3105(5), but fails to pass the assessments required under s. 1008.22(3) or achieve a 2.0 GPA shall be awarded a certificate of completion in a form prescribed by the State Board of Education. However, a student who is otherwise entitled to a certificate of completion may elect to remain in high 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.
(7) UNIFORM TRANSFER OF HIGH SCHOOL CREDITS.—Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, if a student transfers to a Florida public high school from out of country, out of state, a private school, or a home education program and the student’s transcript shows a credit in Algebra I, the student must pass the statewide, standardized Algebra I EOC assessment in order to earn a standard high school diploma unless the student earned a comparative score, passed a statewide assessment in Algebra I administered by the transferring entity, or passed the statewide mathematics assessment the transferring entity uses to satisfy the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), 20 U.S.C. ss. 6301 et seq. If a student’s transcript shows a credit in high school reading or English Language Arts II or III, in order to earn a standard high school diploma, the student must take and pass the statewide, standardized grade 10 ELA assessment, or earn a concordant score. If a transfer student’s transcript shows a final course grade and course credit in Algebra I, Geometry, Biology I, or United States History, the transferring course final grade and credit shall be honored without the student taking the requisite statewide, standardized EOC assessment and without the assessment results constituting 30 percent of the student’s final course grade.
(8) CAREER EDUCATION COURSES THAT SATISFY HIGH SCHOOL CREDIT REQUIREMENTS.— (a) Participation in career education courses engages students in their high school education, increases academic achievement, enhances employability, and increases postsecondary success. The department shall develop, for approval by the State Board of Education, multiple, additional career education courses or a series of courses that meet the requirements set forth in s. 1003.493(2), (4), and (5) and this subsection and allow students to earn credit in both the career education course and courses required for high school graduation under this section and s. 1003.4281.
1. The state board must determine at least biennially if sufficient academic standards are covered to warrant the award of academic credit, including satisfaction of assessment requirements under this section.
2. Career education courses must:
a. Include workforce and digital literacy skills.
b. Integrate required course content with practical applications and designated rigorous coursework that results in one or more industry certifications or clearly articulated credit or advanced standing in a 2-year or 4-year certificate or degree program, which may include high school junior and senior year work-related internships or apprenticeships. The department shall negotiate state licenses for material and testing for industry certifications.
The instructional methodology used in these courses must comprise authentic projects, problems, and activities for contextual academic learning and emphasize workplace skills identified under s. 445.06.
3. A student who earns credit upon completion of an apprenticeship or preapprenticeship program registered with the Department of Education under chapter 446 may use such credit to satisfy the high school graduation credit requirements in paragraph (3)(e) or paragraph (3)(g). The state board shall approve and identify in the Course Code Directory the apprenticeship and preapprenticeship programs from which earned credit may be used pursuant to this subparagraph.
(b) Each school district should take the initiative to work with local workforce boards, local business and industry leaders, and postsecondary institutions to establish partnerships for the purpose of creating career education courses or a series of courses that meet the requirements set forth in s. 1003.493(2), (4), and (5) that students can take to earn required high school course credits. Emphasis should be placed on online coursework and digital literacy. School districts must submit their recommended career education courses to the department for state board approval. School district-recommended career education courses must meet the same rigorous standards as department-developed career education courses in order to be approved by the state board. School districts participating in the development of rigorous career education courses will be able to better address local workforce needs and allow students the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills that are needed not only for academic advancement but also for employability purposes. (c) Regional consortium service organizations established pursuant to s. 1001.451 shall work with school districts, local workforce boards, postsecondary institutions, and local business and industry leaders to create career education courses that meet the requirements set forth in s. 1003.493(2), (4), and (5) and this subsection that students can take to earn required high school course credits. The regional consortium shall submit course recommendations to the department, on behalf of the consortium member districts, for state board approval. A strong emphasis should be placed on online coursework, digital literacy, and workforce literacy as defined in s. 1004.02(26). For purposes of providing students the opportunity to earn industry certifications, consortiums must secure the necessary site licenses and testing contracts for use by member districts. (9) STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES.—Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2014-2015 school year, this subsection applies to a student with a disability. (a) A parent of the student with a disability shall, in collaboration with the individual education plan (IEP) team during the transition planning process pursuant to s. 1003.5716, declare an intent for the student to graduate from high school with either a standard high school diploma or a certificate of completion. A student with a disability who does not satisfy the standard high school diploma requirements pursuant to this section shall be awarded a certificate of completion. (b) The following options, in addition to the other options specified in this section, may be used to satisfy the standard high school diploma requirements, as specified in the student’s individual education plan: 1. For a student with a disability for whom the IEP team has determined that the Florida Alternate Assessment is the most appropriate measure of the student’s skills:
a. A combination of course substitutions, assessments, industry certifications, other acceleration options, or occupational completion points appropriate to the student’s unique skills and abilities that meet the criteria established by State Board of Education rule.
b. A portfolio of quantifiable evidence that documents a student’s mastery of academic standards through rigorous metrics established by State Board of Education rule. A portfolio may include, but is not limited to, documentation of work experience, internships, community service, and postsecondary credit.
2. For a student with a disability for whom the IEP team has determined that mastery of academic and employment competencies is the most appropriate way for a student to demonstrate his or her skills:
a. Documented completion of the minimum high school graduation requirements, including the number of course credits prescribed by rules of the State Board of Education.
b. Documented achievement of all annual goals and short-term objectives for academic and employment competencies, industry certifications, and occupational completion points specified in the student’s transition plan. The documentation must be verified by the IEP team.
c. Documented successful employment for the number of hours per week specified in the student’s transition plan, for the equivalent of 1 semester, and payment of a minimum wage in compliance with the requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
d. Documented mastery of the academic and employment competencies, industry certifications, and occupational completion points specified in the student’s transition plan. The documentation must be verified by the IEP team, the employer, and the teacher. The transition plan must be developed and signed by the student, parent, teacher, and employer before placement in employment and must identify the following:
(I) The expected academic and employment competencies, industry certifications, and occupational completion points;
(II) The criteria for determining and certifying mastery of the competencies;
(III) The work schedule and the minimum number of hours to be worked per week; and
(IV) A description of the supervision to be provided by the school district.
3. Any change to the high school graduation option specified in the student’s IEP must be approved by the parent and is subject to verification for appropriateness by an independent reviewer selected by the parent as provided in s. 1003.572. (c) A student with a disability who meets the standard high school diploma requirements in this section may defer the receipt of a standard high school diploma if the student:
1. Has an individual education plan that prescribes special education, transition planning, transition services, or related services through age 21; and
2. Is enrolled in accelerated college credit instruction pursuant to s. 1007.27, industry certification courses that lead to college credit, an early college program, courses necessary to satisfy the Scholar designation requirements, or a structured work-study, internship, or preapprenticeship program.
(d) A student with a disability who receives a certificate of completion and has an individual education plan that prescribes special education, transition planning, transition services, or related services through 21 years of age may continue to receive the specified instruction and services.
(e) Any waiver of the statewide, standardized assessment requirements by the individual education plan team, pursuant to s. 1008.22(3)(d), must be approved by the parent and is subject to verification for appropriateness by an independent reviewer selected by the parent as provided for in s. 1003.572.
The State Board of Education shall adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this subsection, including rules that establish the minimum requirements for students described in this subsection to earn a standard high school diploma. The State Board of Education shall adopt emergency rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54.
(10) CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION GRADUATION PATHWAY OPTION.—Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, a student is eligible to complete an alternative pathway to earning a standard high school diploma through the Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathway option. Receipt of a standard high school diploma awarded through the CTE pathway option requires the student’s successful completion of at least 18 credits. A student completing the CTE pathway option must earn at least a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. (a) In order for a student to satisfy the requirements of the CTE pathway option, he or she must meet the GPA requirement and:
1. Meet the requirements in paragraphs (3)(a) through (d);
2. Complete two credits in career and technical education. The courses must result in a program completion and an industry certification; and
3. Complete two credits in work-based learning programs. A student may substitute up to two credits of electives, including one-half credit in financial literacy, for work-based learning program courses to fulfill this requirement.
(b) Each district school board shall incorporate the CTE pathway option to graduation in the student progression plan required under s. 1008.25. (c) Adjunct educators certified pursuant to s. 1012.57 may teach courses in the CTE pathway option.
(11) RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to implement this section.