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505.5 Graduation Requirements

Code No. 505.5


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

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to ensure that students complete grades one through twelve and that high school students complete 53 credits prior to graduation. The following credits will be required:

  1. A minimum number of credits must be earned within certain disciplines as follows:

English                                          8 Credits
Social Studies                                7 Credits
Science                                           6 credits
Mathematics                                  Must complete 3 years of math
Health                                             1 Credit
Physical Education                         4 Credits
Financial Literacy or Economics    1 Credit

  1. Band, Choir, and Physical Education are to receive 1 credit per term.

Students enrolled in a junior officers’ training corp will receive 1/8th physical education credit for each semester the student is enrolled in the program.

Graduation requirements for special education students will be in accordance with the prescribed course of study as described in their Individualized Education Program (IEP). Each student’s IEP will include a statement of the projected date of graduation at least 18 months in advance of the projected date and the criteria to be used in determining whether graduation will occur. Prior to the special education student’s graduation, the IEP team will determine whether the graduation criteria have been met.

Middle school students who complete high school level course(s) will be given high school transcript credit for said course(s), and have the course(s) count toward fulfillment of the high school requirements for that area of instruction. Although credits for these courses will be reflected on student high school transcripts and will meet graduation requirements, high school grade point averages will not be impacted by these courses as high school grade point averages will not be calculated until students complete their first term of high school courses. Courses and their credits may not be deleted from the high school transcript, unless it is determined that the course unit does not meet the standards which may result in denied credit. The superintendent shall develop rules and procedures for implementing this provision.

High School students who are significantly behind in graduation credits or who have major, extenuating life circumstances may be eligible for a 42 credit CORE diploma through the Independent Learning Center. Students must follow the administrative rules and procedures to be considered for either of these programs and the CORE diploma.


High school distance learning coursework may be accepted by the principal for credit toward Grinnell High School graduation if the following conditions are met:

  1. All high school distance-learning courses must be from a school that is approved for high school distance learning courses by an accredited association such as the North Central Accrediting Association.

  2. No more than eight credits towards graduation may be earned by distance learning will be accepted towards earning the high school diploma.

  3. Students using high school distance learning credit toward meeting graduation requirements  must meet the same requirements as all students qualifying for graduation from Grinnell Community High School.

  4. Students shall have all distance learning courses approved by the High School Principal prior to enrollment to ensure that they will meet graduation requirements. The Grinnell Community High School shall accept credits toward graduation requirements for students attending colleges in the State of Iowa under the following condition: 1. The course credits must be approved by the High School Principal.

Legal Reference:     
Iowa Code §§ 256.11, .11A; 279.8; 280.3, .14 (2013)
281 I.A.C. 12.2, .5.

Cross Reference:     
505 Student Achievement
603.3 Special Education

Approved: 11/11/09

Reviewed: 2/24/16

Revised: 2/6/22

Grinnell-Newburg School District, Grinnell, IA