POLICY #6146
 
NORWICH FREE ACADEMY
GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS POLICY
 
Graduation from The Norwich Free Academy indicates that students have satisfactorily completed a prescribed course of study in accordance with their respective abilities to achieve, that they have satisfactorily met standards established by the faculty and administration, and that they have fulfilled at least the mandated minimum number and distribution of credits as established by law and the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees policy for graduation requirements meets the requirements set forth in State regulations addressing credits needed for graduation from high school.
 
Requirements
The Board of Trustees has established that a minimum of twenty-two (22) credits in the following distribution is required for graduation from The Norwich Free Academy:
 
English
4 credits
 
Mathematics
3 credits
Science
3 credits
Social Studies
3 credits
Including a half credit in Civics
 
 
Including 1 credit in United States History
Physical Education
1 credit
 
Vocational/Arts
1 credit
 
Electives
 
Minimum Total:
7 credits
 
22 credits
 
 
NOTE: Beginning with the NFA Class of 2017 the minimum total credits for graduation is 23 credits. The additional credit is a World Language credit. (See attached)
 
A credit or the equivalent is defined in the Connecticut General Statutes.
 
Only courses taken in grades nine through twelve, inclusive, shall satisfy The Norwich Free Academy graduation requirements except those courses as defined in the Policy for Alternative Credit and the Policy for Homebound Instruction. If all or a portion of the physical education credit requirement is not earned due to an acceptable documented medical excuse, the total credit needed for graduation shall be earned in other subject areas. Moreover, a minimum of two (2) credits must be earned at The Norwich Free Academy to satisfy graduation requirements and the graduating student must be enrolled at The Norwich Free Academy at the time of graduation.
 
Students are required to meet the following performance standards for graduation from The Norwich Free Academy:
 
1.     Proficiency in reading and writing as demonstrated by scoring in the top two quartiles on the Reading Across the Disciplines portion of the Connecticut Academic Performance Test; or by scoring in the top two quartiles on the Writing Across the Disciplines portion of the Connecticut Academic Performance Test. Students who do not score in the top two quartiles in either the Reading or Writing portions of the Connecticut Academic
 
Performance Test shall demonstrate proficiency by the satisfactory completion of an alternative assessment during the upper or senior year; or by the satisfactory completion of a designated English course during the senior year.
 
2.     Proficiency in problem-solving techniques as demonstrated by scoring in the top two quartiles on the Mathematics portion of the Connecticut Academic Performance Test; or by scoring in the top two quartiles on the Science portion of the Connecticut Academic Performance Test. Students who do not score in the top two quartiles in either the Mathematics or Science portions of the Connecticut Academic Performance Test shall demonstrate proficiency by the satisfactory completion of an alternative assessment during the upper or senior year; or by the satisfactory completion of a designated mathematics course during the senior year.
 
Early Graduation
The experiences at The Norwich Free Academy are designed to develop the intellect, engage and employ the interest, and instill a passion for learning so that students may become productive and responsible. Completion of the requirements for graduation reflects minimum standards and does not necessarily signify the conclusion of the high school experience. However, early graduation from The Norwich Free Academy may be permitted under certain circumstances at the sole discretion of the Superintendent/Head of School.
The Superintendent/Head of School may consider specific criteria in a request for early graduation, determined on a case-by-case basis, including but not limited to the following:
 
•     Successful completion of all requirements for graduation from The Norwich Free Academy.
•     A minimum of twelve (12) credits earned at The Norwich Free Academy.
•     A minimum of four (4) semesters enrolled at The Norwich Free Academy.
•     A minimum grade point average of 2.75 (B-) or evidence of an earned grade point average commensurate with ability.
•     Documentation of acceptance to a two or four year college or university program or;
•     Documentation of acceptance to a post-secondary training program or;
•     Documentation of acceptance to the United States Armed Forces.
•     Evidence of social and academic readiness for post-secondary education or training.
 
Commencement Ceremonies
Participation in The Norwich Free Academy commencement ceremonies is a student privilege that is earned by meeting academic, social, and behavioral standards. Students may be denied the privilege of participation in commencement ceremonies for reasons including but not limited to the following:
 
•     Failure to earn a minimum of four credits during the senior year.
•     Failure to pass the equivalent of four full credit courses in the second semester of the senior year.
•     Violation of the policies and practices of The Norwich Free Academy including those published in the Pilot, The Norwich Free Academy Student Handbook.
•     Violation of standards of behavior that may be considered by The Norwich Free Academy as seriously disruptive of the educational process or endangers persons or property.
 
The Norwich Free Academy commencement ceremony shall be scheduled in accordance with state statutes as amended from time to time.
 
Awarding The Norwich Free Academy Diploma
The Norwich Free Academy offers a standard diploma and three honors diplomas to its graduates. Students must meet all established graduation requirements and earn the following GPA in all courses taken in grades 9-12:
 
Standard Diploma                    Below 3.33 GPA
Honors Diploma                     3.33 – 3.49 GPA High Honors Diploma        3.50 – 3.65 GPA Highest Honors Diploma         3.66 GPA and above
 
Transfer grades from other schools shall be evaluated by the Director of Guidance in accordance with established criteria to determine which grades, if any, will be included in the student’s GPA. Students must earn minimum of six credits at the Academy to qualify for an honors (Honors, High Honors, and Highest Honors) diploma.
 
Students who complete all graduation requirements shall receive a diploma at the June commencement. Students who have completed all graduation requirements but were denied participation in the June commencement will receive their diploma at The Academy, or by certified mail, during the weeks following the June commencement.
 
Students may satisfy deficient credit requirements for graduation in the following ways, including, but not limited to, successful completion of summer school, successful completion of an approved tutorial program at parent expense, and/or application to the sending school district for an additional semester(s) at The Norwich Free Academy.
 
The Norwich Free Academy may award the high school diploma, on a case-by-case basis, to individuals who withdrew from school to join the Armed Forces providing the individual was honorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces after a minimum of ninety days of active service during World War II.
 
Exceptions
Exceptions to this policy, excluding the number and distribution of credit requirements for graduation, may be made by the Superintendent/Head of School or designee on the basis of supporting physical, psychological, and/or educational evidence. If a special education student is being considered for an exemption to the graduation requirements policy a Planning and Placement Team, including a representative from The Norwich Free Academy, shall be convened by the sending town.
 
Legal Reference:          Connecticut General Statutes
10-221a. High School Graduation Requirements 10-16(l). Graduation exercises
10-14n. Statewide Mastery Examination
10-233a. Promotion and Graduation Policies. (As amended by PA 01-166)
See Also:                      The Norwich Free Academy Policy For Alternative Credit
The Norwich Free Academy Policy For Homebound Instruction The Norwich Free Academy Policy For Home Schooling
 
Policy Adopted:           May 15, 2001
Policy Revised:             September 17, 2002
January 20, 2004
April 22, 2008
November 17, 2009
July 17, 2014
 
 
 
 
 
SUBJECT
CLASS OF 2017 & BEYOND
English
4.0
Mathematics
3.0
Social Studies
3.0
1 Credit must be in U.S. History & .5 credits must in in Civics
Science
3.0
Physical Education
1.0
Arts or Vocational Education
1.0
Electives
7.0
World Language
1.0
 
 
Total Credits Required for Graduation
23.0
 
  • #6146