High School Graduation Standards

 

Wisconsin Statute 118.33

118.33 High school graduation standards; criteria for promotion.
(1)
(a) Except as provided in pars. (d) and (e), a school board may not grant a high school diploma to any pupil unless the pupil has earned:
1. In the high school grades, all of the following:
a. At least 4 credits of English including writing composition.
b. At least 3 credits of social studies including state and local government.
c. At least 3 credits of mathematics. The school board shall award a pupil up to one mathematics credit for successfully completing in the high school grades a course in computer sciences that the department has determined qualifies as computer sciences according to criteria established by the department. The school board shall award a pupil up to one mathematics credit for successfully completing in the high school grades a career and technical education course that the school board determines satisfies a mathematics requirement, but may not award any credit for that course if the school board awards any credit for that same course under subd. 1. d.
d. At least 3 credits of science. The school board shall award a pupil a science credit for successfully completing in the high school grades each course in agriculture that the department has determined qualifies as science according to criteria established by the department. The school board shall award a pupil up to one science credit for successfully completing in the high school grades a career and technical education course that the school board determines satisfies a science requirement, but may not award any credit for that course if the school board awards any credit for that same course under subd. 1. c.
e. At least 1.5 credits of physical education.
2. In grades 7 to 12, at least 0.5 credit of health education.
(am) The state superintendent shall encourage school boards to require an additional 8.5 credits selected from any combination of vocational education, foreign languages, fine arts and other courses.
(b) A school board may not grant a high school diploma to any pupil unless, during the high school grades, the pupil has been enrolled in a class or has participated in an activity approved by the school board during each class period of each school day, or the pupil has been enrolled in an alternative education program, as defined in s. 115.28 (7) (e) 1. Nothing in this paragraph prohibits a school board from establishing a program that allows a pupil enrolled in the high school grades who has demonstrated a high level of maturity and personal responsibility to leave the school premises for up to one class period each day if the pupil does not have a class scheduled during that class period.
(c) A school board may require a pupil to participate in community service activities in order to receive a high school diploma.
(d) A school board may grant a high school diploma to a pupil who has not satisfied the requirements under par. (a) if all of the following apply:
1. The pupil was enrolled in an alternative education program, as defined in s. 115.28 (7) (e) 1.
2. The school board determines that the pupil has demonstrated a level of proficiency in the subjects listed in par. (a) equivalent to that which he or she would have attained if he or she had satisfied the requirements under par. (a).
(e) A school board may allow a pupil who participates in sports or in another organized physical activity, as determined by the school board, to complete an additional 0.5 credit in English, social studies, mathematics, science, or health education in lieu of 0.5 credit in physical education.
(f)
1. By September 1, 2004, each school board operating high school grades shall develop a written policy specifying criteria for granting a high school diploma that are in addition to the requirements under par. (a). The criteria shall include the pupil's academic performance, and the recommendations of teachers. Except as provided in subds. 2. and 4., the criteria apply to pupils enrolled in charter schools located in the school district.
2. By September 1, 2004, each operator of a charter school under s. 118.40 (2r) that operates high school grades shall develop a policy specifying criteria for granting a high school diploma. The criteria shall include the pupil's academic performance, and the recommendations of teachers.
2m. The governing body of each private school participating in the program under s. 119.23 shall develop a policy specifying criteria for granting a high school diploma to pupils attending the private school under s. 119.23. The criteria shall include the pupil's academic performance and the recommendations of teachers.
2r. The governing body of each private school participating in the program under s. 118.60 shall develop a policy specifying criteria for granting a high school diploma to pupils attending the private school under s. 118.60. The criteria shall include the pupil's academic performance and the recommendations of teachers.
3. Beginning on September 1, 2005, neither a school board nor an operator of a charter school under s. 118.40 (2r) may grant a high school diploma to any pupil unless the pupil has satisfied the criteria specified in the school board's or charter school's policy under subd. 1. or 2. Beginning on September 1, 2010, the governing body of a private school participating in the program under s. 119.23 may not grant a high school diploma to any pupil attending the private school under s. 119.23 unless the pupil has satisfied the criteria specified in the governing body's policy under subd. 2m. The governing body of a private school participating in the program under s. 118.60 may not grant a high school diploma to any pupil attending the private school under s. 118.60 unless the pupil has satisfied the criteria specified in the governing body's policy under subd. 2r.
4. If a school board enters into an agreement with a federally recognized American Indian tribe or band in this state to establish a charter school, the criteria specified in the policy developed by that school board under subd. 1. apply to pupils enrolled in the charter school, regardless of the location of the charter school.
(g)
1. A school board may grant a technical education high school diploma to a pupil who does all of the following:
a. Satisfies the requirements under par. (a).
b. Earns in the high school grades the same total number of credits that the school board requires of other pupils for high school graduation.
c. Successfully completes a technical education program, established by the school board, in a subject or subjects.
2. In establishing a technical education program under subd. 1. c., the school board may incorporate standards for industry-recognized certifications. Annually, the department shall provide to each school board operating high school grades a list of such certifications. The school board shall indicate on a pupil's technical education high school diploma the certifications attained by the pupil.
(2) The state superintendent shall:
(c) Establish course requirements under sub. (1) (a) and approve any school board's high school graduation standards policy that is equivalent to the requirements under sub. (1).
(m) Adopt policies to accommodate pupils with exceptional educational interests, needs or requirements, not limited to children with disabilities, as defined under s. 115.76 (5).
(3) By September 1, 1986, each school board operating high school grades shall submit to the state superintendent a report describing the school board's policies and guidelines on high school graduation standards, including a list of courses required under sub. (1) (a) and the number of hours in each school term required to earn one credit under sub. (1) (a), and thereafter shall notify the state superintendent whenever changes are made in such policies or guidelines. The department shall make reasonable efforts to combine the reports required under this subsection with other required school board reports.
(3m) A course taken at a technical college by a child attending the school part-time or in lieu of high school under s. 118.15 (1) (b), or attending the school under s. 118.15 (1) (cm), does not fulfill any of the high school graduation requirements under sub. (1) (a) unless the state superintendent has approved the course for that purpose. If a pupil satisfies all of the high school graduation requirements under sub. (1), the school board shall grant a high school diploma to the pupil regardless of whether the pupil satisfied all or a portion of the requirements while attending an institution of higher education under s. 118.55 or a technical college.
(4)
(a) The state superintendent shall establish procedures for school boards to certify to the state superintendent whether they are in compliance with the requirements under sub. (1) and the rules promulgated under sub. (2).
(b) The state superintendent may periodically review school district high school graduation standards and shall notify any school board not in compliance with the requirements under sub. (1) or the rules promulgated under sub. (2), identifying the changes necessary.

(5) The department shall include in its biennial report under s. 15.04 (1) (d) information on the status of statewide high school graduation standards..

For questions about this information, contact Beverly Kniess (608) 266-3706