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JLeslie's avatar

High School Teachers: How many credits are required to graduate and how many credits are possible each year of school?

Asked by JLeslie (65336points) January 25th, 2010

You have probably seen me write about how I want children to be able to take a fast track out of high school if they desire. Basically getting through high school in 3 or 31/2 years if they so desire. When I went to school you could easily rack up enough credits to graduate early, but they were reluctant to let you do it, or even let you know it could be done.

I was wondering if it is still possible, purely from a credit standpoint, without having to take summer school.

I think some kids who might otherwise drop out or be miserable would get more focused and do better if they saw the light at the end of the tunnel. That is how it worked for me. I had my best term my last year, knowing I would be finished with high schol early. My mom and dad both fast tracked though high school.

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18 Answers

MrItty's avatar

I don’t know how it’d be possible to take “extra” credits at my old school now (my sister is still there). From what I understand, “study hall” has been done away with. Every one of the 7 periods a day is filled with an actual credit-earning class.

nikipedia's avatar

I did it in 2001, but it involved some string-pulling. I needed four years of English, so one of my teachers stepped in and arranged for me to take junior and senior English at the same time so I wouldn’t have to do summer school.

eponymoushipster's avatar

each school system, in my experience, has it’s own criteria. I went to three different HS and each one had it’s own credit requirements.

JLeslie's avatar

@MrItty My school had every period full of credit earning classes, but the truth was you could fail some classes and still get through school. You had to have 4 years of English, 2 years of math, 2 years of science, 2 years of history, I don’t remember all of the requirements, and a total of a certain amount of credits; but, the total you needed was below getting credit for every class in the seven period day. I think most schools don’t tell you the minimums.

I didn’t take extra classes. I just doubled up on English the first part of my senior year, so I had the required 4 years, and took one less elective. I was finished mid year and started college in January.

eenerweiner's avatar

When I was in high school I did dual enrollment with the local community college. I earned highschool credit and college credit with one class. I got out of school earlier in the day instead graduating early but other kids took classes in the summers or didn’t leave school early in the day and graduated early. Either way you have a head start in college too.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I simply left after my second year and started college as a “special student”. I’m now in the odd position of having four degress and no high school diploma. It used to drive Army clerks crazy with my paperwork.
I suppose you could still do that today, but those were the years of the “brain gap” in the Cold War when bright students in technical fields were rushed through the education system as quickly as possible. I started college at 14 and had a dual bachelors degree at 18 and two masters degress by 21. No social life of any kind, strictly nose to the grindstone year-round. It was considered a duty.

JLeslie's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land interesting. Maybe that is why my parents easily had the option to get through school faster available to them? I had to go beg to be let out early. I still graduated with my class in June, even though I had finished taking classes in December. I think the principal wanted to just make sure he would continue getting the money that was probably attached to me, I assume I was still part of the head count all year.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@JLeslie I had to show my college records to the school authorities until I was 16 because of the states compulsory education law. I had a BS degree before my high school class graduated and a BA 6 months later. The school authorities kicked up a fuss but my parents were formidable people.

JLeslie's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land My parents were raised in The Bronx and it seems fast track was easily available. They did it in different ways though. My father was in a special program where you did 3 years in 2. He graduated at 16 and had his bachelors at 20. My mother doubled up on some courses and got out when she was 17 (she HATED school) which was basically after 11th grade. They both have HS diplomas though.

Did you want to get out early? Or, were you kind of thrust onto that path?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@JLeslie Partly both. I had basically run out of college-track courses to take. I was turning into a troublemaker and the school officials were glad to see me leave. My mother was a professor at the college I went to, so I was living at home and under constant academic monitoring. I got my first taste of freedom in the Army at 21.

shego's avatar

I graduated a year early. But I also took online classes on my own because I was sick and tired of the teachers. I finished and told them to go f*themselves cause I wanted out and I got what I wanted, because I worked for it. But now at my old high school, they won’t allow you ro do that anymore unless you have all your other credits, and half a core credit short.

hug_of_war's avatar

At my high school (I graduated in ‘06 but it’s probably the same):

You could graduate early, but only by going to summer school and you had to start planning for this in your freshsman year. 21 credits to graduate. The most you can take in a regular school year (not including summer school) is 7.5 but doing so is exceptionally rare. Most people who tried to graduate early couldn’t not because of number of credits but number of required subjects, like 4 credits of english. I think 1–2 out of 500 students graduates early. Also if you want to take AP science classes it affectss your ability to graduate early because they take up 2 periods but only count for 1.5 credits.

YARNLADY's avatar

Each school system has their own requirements, usually based on the college entrance requirements in their are. Here, the students who have shown the ability can actually enroll in college level classes while still in high school. There used to be summer school classes that they could take to accelerate their progress as well, but I think I read that they have been cut back because of budget cuts.

Tenpinmaster's avatar

@shego Now why didn’t i tell those people to F* themselves.. hmm if i ever have to go back to high school I will use that one :-)

shego's avatar

@Tenpinmaster it’s because you’re the product of a Denver public school.

Tenpinmaster's avatar

@shego Oh yes.. DPS (Denver Public Sh*t). Your oh so cute shego! =P I wonder what is required to work at one of the public schools around here. I know some of the teachers there had very little qualifications.

Val123's avatar

Well…is there an alternative school in your area? My son went there, voluntarily, so he could graduate 6 months early. Those schools allow you to work at your own pace, which in my son’s case was top speed!

The downside to it is, usually “problem” children are referred there by the regular schools, which, of course, could have a bad influence on the kids, if they’re easily influenced. My son wasn’t. He just kept to himself, kept his head down, and worked, and finished up in December of his Sr. Year. The school was tied in with the school system, so he did get a regular diploma and graduated along with the rest of his class that following spring.

Zen_Again's avatar

I think I’ve just read one of the most curious lines ever – @stranger_in_a_strange_land wrote: I got my first taste of freedom in the Army at 21.

This is out of context, of course, but I’ve never associated the army with “freedom” – this is the difference when the military is voluntary and not compulsory.

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