Learn all about what you need to graduate

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Learn all about what you need to graduate

While throwing their caps into the air, students celebrate their graduation.

While throwing their caps into the air, students celebrate their graduation.

Photo Credit: Photo via Wikipedia under the Creative Commons License

While throwing their caps into the air, students celebrate their graduation.

Photo Credit: Photo via Wikipedia under the Creative Commons License

Photo Credit: Photo via Wikipedia under the Creative Commons License

While throwing their caps into the air, students celebrate their graduation.

By: Kaitlyn Ferreira, Spring Reporter

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As seniors start to hear Pomps and Circumstance in their heads, some start to wonder if they have met New Jersey’s Graduation Requirements and if you are one of those seniors; keep reading.

Some things that students need to graduate are a total of 125 credits, demonstrating proficiency in both English Language Arts (ELA) and Math, and Community Service.

The classes that students need to take in order to graduate are English, which the student would need to take 4 years consecutively to earn 20 credits. Mathematics which the student need 15 credits but 20 are suggested, but it must include Algebra 1 (if not mastered in Grade 8) and Geometry. Science in which the student would need to have 15 credits but 20 are suggested, and it must include Biology. World Language which the student need a total of 5 credits but 20 are suggested. History, which would include World History & Cultures, U.S. History 1, U.S. History 2  for a total of 15 credits. Physical Education, which the student would need to take in each year of attendance at the student’s school and need a total of 15 credits. Health Education, which the student would take in each year of attendance at the student’s school and a total of 5 credits. Visual or Performing Arts, which the student would need a total of 5 credits. 21st Century Life and Careers and Technology, which the student need a total of 5 credits. Financial Literacy which the student need a total of 2.5 credits, and the student’s Electives  which would account for the student’s remaining credits.

In a recent interview, Nicholas Abrantes, a student at Kean University was asked if he was well prepared for college when he left high school. He replied and said that “Yes, High School prepared me and when I started college, I was placed in low level classes, that the credits weren’t used and I already had taken the classes so it was easier”

For Community Service, an average of 10 hours each year is recommended for a total of 40 hours but it is not required. Ann Dinicola, a guidance counselor at Colonia High School was asked what some additional things should be a graduation requirement or not disregarded as a requirement. She said “I would like to see community service become mandatory. Several students are not able to stay after school to do community service; therefore, maybe it could be a credited course.”

Along with the classes and community service, students must be able to demonstrate proficiency in both ELA and Math by meeting one of the criteria in the following paragraphs. But also note that *SAT taken prior to March 2016; **PSAT taken prior to October 2015; ***PSAT taken after October 2015. The College Board will establish new ‘threshold scores’ in May 2016 for the new SAT.

In English Language Arts, the student would need to have a passing score on a PARCC ELA Grade 9 >= 750 (Level 4) or passing score on a PARCC ELA Grade 10 >=750 (Level 4) or passing score on a PARCC ELA Grade 11 >=725 (Level 3) or SAT Reading* >= 400 or ACT Reading or ACT PLAN Reading > = 16 or Accuplacer Write Placer >= 6 or Accuplacer Write Placer ESL >=4 or  PSAT10 Reading or PSAT-NMSQT Reading**  > = 40 or PSAT 10 Reading or PSAT-NMSQT Reading***
> = 22 or ACT Aspire Reading > = 422 or ASVAB-AFQT Composite  > = 31 or Meet the Criteria of the NJDOE Portfolio Appeal
In Mathematics, the student would need to have a passing score on PARCC Algebra I >= 750 (Level 4) or a passing score on PARCC Geometry >= 725 (Level 3) or a passing score on PARCC Algebra II >= 725 (Level 3) or SAT Math* >= 400 or ACT  or ACT PLAN Math > = 16 or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra >= 76 or PSAT10 Math or PSAT-NMSQT Math** > = 40 or PSAT10 Math or PSAT-NMSQT Math*** > = 22 or ACT Aspire Math > = 422 or ASVAB-AFQT Composite > = 31 or Meet the Criteria of the NJDOE Portfolio Appeal.

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