Before entering high school, students need to know the standards for attaining a Cape Elizabeth diploma in order to plan an appropriate, sequential, educational program to meet that goal.
 
The Cape Elizabeth School Department is in the process of implementing proficiency-based education and transitioning, over a period of five years, from traditional graduation requirements to proficiency-based diploma requirements.  When fully implemented, these new diploma requirements will require students to demonstrate proficiency in the content areas and Guiding Principles of the Maine Learning Results and to fulfill all additional graduation requirements set by the Board.
 
Students graduating in the Classes of 2018-2020 must meet the credit and other graduation requirements specified in Part I of this policy. A student who would have graduated with the Class of 2020 and been awarded a diploma at commencement but for his/her failure to earn sufficient credits or meet other requirements set by Board policy will have until December 31, 2020 to fulfill the graduation requirements applicable to the Class of 2020.
 
The transition to proficiency-based diploma requirements will begin with the Class of 2021 and be completed with the Class of 2025.
 
The Superintendent, through the high school principal or other designee, shall be responsible for making accurate information concerning diploma requirements available to incoming students and their parents prior to the start of their ninth grade school year. These requirements will also be included in the high school student handbook.
 
The Board has approved the following minimum requirements for graduation, which includes the requirements specified by the State of Maine. The Board is aware that current law and regulations are subject to change, and expects the Superintendent/ designee to inform students and parents as soon as practicable of any additional State-imposed standards that must be met before students may be awarded a high school diploma.
 
 
I.          DIPLOMA REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS GRADUATING IN THE CLASSES OF 2018, 2019, OR 2020
 
            Students who anticipate graduating in the Classes of 2018, 2019, or 2020 must meet the following minimum requirements in order to be awarded a high school diploma.
 
 
            A.        The student must successfully complete a total of 230 credits.  Of these credits, 125 must be those specified by the State of Maine.  They are:
 
                        1.         English/Language Arts – 40 credits;
 
                        2.         Mathematics – 20 credits;
 
                        3.         Social studies, including one year of American history and government – 20 credits;
 
                        4.         Science, including at least one year of laboratory study – 20 credits;
 
                        5.         Visual and Performing Arts, which may include art, music, or theater – 10 credits;
 
                        6.         Health – 5 credits; and
 
                        7.         Physical Education – 10 credits.
 
           
 
            B.        In addition to the State requirements, the student must meet the following additional credit requirements established by the Board:
 
1.         Math – 10 additional credits for a total of 30 credits;
 
2.         Science – 10 additional credits for a total of 30 credits, including credits in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology unless alternative credit arrangements in Science are approved by the Principal;
 
3.         Social Studies – 10 additional credits for a total of 30 credits, including 15 credits in World History unless alternative credit arrangements in Social Studies are approved by the Principal;
 
4.         Technology – 5 credits;
 
5.         Visual and Performing Arts/Technology – 5 credits; and
 
6.         Electives – 65 credits.
 
            C.        The remaining credits may be selected by the student based on the student’s interest, satisfaction of course prerequisites, and requirements of the field that the student plans to enter upon graduation.


            D.        A student who wishes to meet these requirements through alternative means or is deficient in these requirements may earn and apply credits following prior written approval from the Department Chair, Guidance Counselor, and Principal. A student who makes up deficiencies may participate in the next regular graduation ceremony following successful completion of all graduation requirements.
 
 
 
II.         DIPLOMA REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS GRADUATING IN THE CLASS OF 2021 AND BEYOND
 
            In accordance with Maine law and Cape Elizabeth’s proficiency-based system of education, after January 1, 2021, the awarding of a diploma from Cape Elizabeth schools will be contingent on the demonstration of proficiency in the content areas and Guiding Principles of the Maine Learning Results, rather than the accumulation of credits. The student must also fulfill the other requirements specified in this policy. 
 
A.        Phase in of content-area requirements from the 2020-2021 school year to the 2024-2025 school year:


1.         Commencing with the Class of 2021, in order to receive a high school diploma, students must demonstrate proficiency in meeting the state standards in the four content areas of:

a.         English Language Arts;
b.         Mathematics;
c.         Science; and
d.         Social Studies.


2.         Commencing with the Class of 2022, in order to receive a high school diploma, students must demonstrate proficiency in meeting the state standards in the content areas of:


            a.         English Language Arts;
            b.         Mathematics;
            c.         Science; and
d.         Social Studies
e.         At least one additional content area of the student’s choice.


3.         Commencing with the Class of 2023, in order to receive a high school diploma, students must demonstrate proficiency in meeting the state standards in the content areas of:


            a.         English Language Arts;
            b.         Mathematics;
            c.         Science;
d.         Social Studies; and
e.         At least two additional content areas of the student’s choice.


4.         Commencing with the Class of 2024, in order to receive a high school diploma, students must demonstrate proficiency in meeting the state standards in the content areas of:


            a.         English Language Arts;
            b.         Mathematics;
            c.         Science;
d.         Social Studies; and
e.         At least three additional content areas of the student’s choice.


5.         Commencing with the Class of 2025 and all graduating classes thereafter, in order to receive a high school diploma, students must demonstrate proficiency in meeting the state standards in the content areas of:


            a.         English Language Arts;
            b.         Mathematics;
            c.         Science;
d.         Social Studies;
e.         World Languages;
f.          Computer, Industrial, Performing, and Visual Arts;
g.         Health and Physical Education; and
h.         Career and Education Development. *


*The Career and Education Development standards may be embedded and
addressed in other content-area learning experiences.
 
 
B.        In addition to the content-area requirements, the student must meet the following
additional credit requirements established by the Board:


1.         Engage in learning experiences in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies in each year of high school.
                      
2.         Engage in learning experiences in world languages in at least two years of high school.
 
3.         Engage in learning experiences in the computer, industrial, performing, and visual arts in at least two years of high school.


4.         Engage in learning experiences in health and physical education in at least two years of high school.


5.         Engage in learning experiences that integrate career and education development into other content areas of the Maine Learning Results.
 
C.        Students may also opt to pursue proficiency through other pathways including:


            1.         Early college/dual enrollment courses;
            2.         Career and technical education programming;
            3.         Online/virtual learning;
            4.         Apprenticeships, internships and/or field work;
            5.         Community service;
            6.         Exchange programs;
            7.         Independent study;
            8.         Alternative education; and
            9.         Adult education.
 
Each pathway must provide a quality learning experience comparable in rigor to Cape Elizabeth’s course offerings and be preapproved by the appropriate Department Chair, Guidance Counselor, and Principal.
 
D.        Students identified for special education who achieve proficiency in the content
standards and Guiding Principles of the Maine Learning Results, as specified in
the goals and objectives of their Individualized Education Plans (IEP), will be awarded diplomas.
 
 
III.       ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS APPLICABLE TO THE AWARDING OF A DIPLOMA FROM CAPE ELIZABETH HIGH SCHOOL
 
            This section applies to all students, in all graduation classes.
 
            A.        Transfer Students
 
                        For students who transfer to Cape Elizabeth High School from another state or from an educational program that is not aligned with the content standards and Guiding Principles of the Maine Learning Results, the principal shall evaluate the value of the student’s prior educational experience and determine to what degree the student has met the school’s graduation requirements.
 
            B.        Home-schooled Students
 
                        For home-schooled students wishing to receive a diploma from Cape Elizabeth High School, the principal shall evaluate the value of the student’s prior educational experiences and determine to what degree the student has met the school’s graduation requirements.  A home-schooled student must have attended Cape Elizabeth High School for a minimum of two semesters in order to receive a Cape Elizabeth High School diploma.
 
 
            C.        Delayed Awarding of Diplomas
 
                        A student who leaves Cape Elizabeth High School to attend an accredited, degree-granting institution of higher education may upon satisfactory completion of the freshman year be awarded a high school diploma, provided that the student has notified the principal at the time of the early admission.
 
 
            D.        Extended Study
 
                        Students are eligible for extended years of study to complete the requirements of a diploma if they have not reached the age of 20 at the start of the school year.  Students eligible for extended years of study may be referred to adult education or other programs and resources.  Extended study for students with disabilities shall be specified in the student’s Individualized Education Plan.
 
 
            E.         Participation in Graduation Ceremony
 
                        A student must complete all Board requirements for a high school diploma in order to participate in graduation exercises.
 
 
            F.         Honors and Awards at Graduation
 
                        In order to be eligible for valedictorian status at graduation, a student must have been in attendance at least three semesters prior to graduation.  If a student in attendance less than three semesters prior to graduation qualifies for the “top ten percent,” the number of students qualifying for that status will be expanded by one for each student meeting this description. Students in attendance less than three semesters are otherwise fully eligible, without condition, for all end-of-year honors, awards, and scholarships.

Legal Reference:        20-A M.R.S.A. § 4722
                                    Ch. 127 § 7 (Me. Dept. of Ed. Rule)
 

CROSS RERFERENCES:

REVISED:      November 12, 1996
                        May 13, 2003
                        November 14, 2006
                        June 10, 2008
                        December 11, 2012
                        March 10, 2015
                        September 12, 2017
 

School Board Members 2019

Susana Measelle Hubbs - Chair
Heather Altenburg - Co-Vice Chair
Elizabeth Scifres
Kimberly Carr - Co-Vice Chair
Laura DeNino
M. Nasir Shir
Hope Straw
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