Graduation Requirements Regulation

Section I: Instructional Program

Regulation Title: Graduation Requirements
Regulation Code: IKF-R

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Determining Competency for Graduation Credit

Determination and verification of student accomplishment of subject-area course requirements and/or competencies for graduation credit shall be the responsibility of a subject-area teacher and, at a minimum, shall be in accord with the following:

  • The student shall have successfully completed the subject-area course requirement incorporating the standards and competencies adopted by the State Board of Education from the course of study as determined by the Governing Board in accord with the District's designated grading system; or
  • Successfully completing distance learning courses that meet graduation requirements in accordance with Governing Board Policy IKG; or
  • By passing appropriate courses at the college or university level if the courses are determined to meet standards and criteria established by the Board and in accord with A.R.S. §15-701.01; or
  • As an alternative to completing the course requirements, a student may request, upon a showing of familiarity with the subject matter of the course, an examination on the competencies of the course. The student may take an examination on a particular course one (1) time only in an academic year. The examination shall be prepared by a teacher of the subject matter who is designated by the Superintendent. To receive graduation credit, the student must demonstrate accomplishment of the standards and competencies adopted by the State Board of Education and Governing Board, respectively. Demonstration of accomplishment of the skills and competencies shall be determined in accord with accepted practices in evaluation of students. A copy of the test results, verified by the appointed teacher, shall be filed with the student's records; or
  • Any person, twenty-one or older, who has been accredited 12 or more units toward graduation at a TUSD high school may, with the consent of the principal of that high school, complete State and District Board graduation requirements at a recognized institution (such as Pima County Community College) and, upon successful completion, be granted a high school diploma, in no case can more than 9 credit hours be acquired in this manner.

Endorsements and Other School Embellishments

  • Each school with an endorsement or other school embellishment program will provide each student and their parent/guardian with the expectations for achieving the additional requirements.
  • If a student is unable to meet the additional requirement for the endorsement or other school embellishment but meets the graduation requirements as established in IKF – Graduation Requirements Policy, the student will receive a TUSD diploma.

Special Needs Students
Students with disabilities shall meet general graduation requirements with appropriate accommodations and curricular modification as determined by their Individual Education Plans (IEPs).

  • Graduation issues will be addressed by the IEP team on an individual basis. The IEP is the vehicle for making changes to graduation requirements to meet the unique educational needs for students with disabilities.  As such, the IEP must document the nature and extent of modifications, substitutions, and/or exemptions made to accommodate a student with disabilities.  The decision to terminate services, through graduation, for a student with disabilities under the age of twenty-two, is an IEP team decision.
  • Exceptional education students who turn twenty-two within the school year and will meet the graduation requirements for graduation by year-end may stay to complete the program.

Graduation Options for students with disabilities whose age mates will graduate during a given academic year include the following:

  • If all Arizona State Board of Education and Tucson Unified School District graduation requirements are completed, the student will graduate and receive a regular high school diploma.
  • If graduation requirements as amended on the IEP are completed, the student will graduate and receive a regular high school diploma.
  • If graduation requirements as amended on the IEP are not completed and the student's IEP or transition plan documents the need for transition services offered by the District, the student may be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremonies; however, a diploma shall not be issued until the student has successfully completed their program.
  • If graduation requirements as amended on the IEP are not completed before the student reaches age twenty-two, the student may be issued a certificate indicating that a record of competencies can be made available to them or to others who may legitimately inquire.
  • If graduation requirements as amended on the IEP are not completed due to factors that are not a direct manifestation of the student's disability, as determined by the IEP team, the student is not eligible to participate in graduation ceremonies or receive a regular high school diploma until the amended requirements are met.

Home Instruction

  • Students who have been unable to attend regular classes and who have received their school experience through the homebound program may earn 16 of their required graduation credits through the homebound program and will not be required to meet TUSD PE credit requirement for graduation. However, all Arizona State Board of Education and all other Tucson Unified School District graduation requirements must be completed for the student to graduate and receive a regular high school diploma.

Transfer Students

  • High school credits earned in other schools by students transferring into TUSD will be evaluated for approval by the high school principal, using the following guidelines: 
    • Credits earned at a school accredited by the Arizona State Board of Education, or the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges are accepted at face value in Tucson Unified School District.
    • Credits earned at non-accredited schools, including schools outside of the United States, must be evaluated in consultation with the District committee to determine whether the applicable course meets competency requirements for TUSD credit.
    • For schools outside of the United States, the District committee will make reasonable efforts to translate the transcript into English (if needed), and to work with the student’s family to reconstruct incomplete or unavailable transcripts.  The committee may rely on an unofficial translation of the transcript.
    • The transferring student will be provided with a list of credits that have been accepted and denied by the school district.  For any course in which credit has been denied, the student may request to take an examination to demonstrate competency.  If the student receives a passing score on the examination, as evaluated by a teacher who teaches the subject matter on which the examination is based, then the District will award the student credit for that course.
  • Students enrolled at anytime prior to the third (3rd) term of the senior year will be eligible for a diploma from a District high school. Those students enrolling during the fourth (4th) term of their senior year shall have their graduation status coordinated by the principals of the new school and the sending school, including where the student shall participate in graduation exercises.

Early Graduation
Students who complete all Arizona State Board of Education and Tucson Unified School District requirements may graduate early and receive a regular high school diploma.

Concurrent Enrollment
Students who can demonstrate readiness for college level work may earn college credit while attending high school.

GED Credit
The GED can only be taken by students who are no longer enrolled in high school and are attending an adult education program, or whose class has already graduated. Any credit earned as a result of successful completion of GED examinations can only be applied to an adult high school diploma.

Reviewed: August 9, 2005
Revision: September 7, 2007 (Friday Report)
Revision: March 11, 2008 (Board Meeting Review)
Revision: June 7, 2013 (Friday Report)
Revision: April 25, 2024
Revised: June 5, 2024

Legal Ref: A.R.S. §15-701.01; A.A.C. R7-2-302

Cross RefIKA - Grading/Assessment Systems