Skip Navigation
Schools

Pupil Progression Plan

High School Student Progression

Enrollment

Full-Time Enrollment

A full-time high school student is defined as one who attends school each day for seven periods, however, the seven periods can be comprised of any combination of on-site, Florida/Hillsborough Virtual, and dual enrollment classes. A student enrolled in Hillsborough County Public Schools must maintain enrollment in at least one on-site high school course each semester. Any student enrolled full time with Hillsborough Virtual School or admitted as an early admission student is also considered a Hillsborough County Public high school student.

To be eligible for a diploma, the student must be enrolled full time in the district within the first 15 days of his/her last semester.

Part-Time Enrollment

Part-time enrollment is limited to the following students: co-enrolled in hospital/homebound, home school, fifth year, or a Certificate of Completion student. No other students can be enrolled part time.

  1. Home education students whose programs are registered with the district may enroll part time at the assigned or approved choice school based on class size availability. Home education students may take additional courses through Florida/Hillsborough Virtual School.
  2. Grade-level placement of the part-time student is determined by the parent or guardian. Part-time students may not have senior privileges. Should the student wish to enroll full time at the school, grade-level placement is determined by school personnel.

Students enrolled in a private school may not co-enroll in courses in Hillsborough County Public Schools or participate in extracurricular activities unless Florida High School Athletics Association (FHSAA) guidelines are met. Private school students may however take courses through Hillsborough Virtual School. Refer to FHSAA for specific guidelines.

Back to top

Course of Study

Graduation requirements are published annually on the school district website.

  1. A student selects courses necessary to meet either the 18-credit ACCEL option or the 24-credit program based upon the student's academic and career plan. This plan is reviewed annually when students make course selections for the next school year.
  2. If the student and parent or guardian do not select the 18-credit ACCEL option, the student is considered to have selected the 24-credit program.

Each student, including each exceptional education student, is assigned to courses appropriate to his or her developmental level.

Health Opportunities through Physical Education

The Health Opportunities through Physical Education (HOPE) is a full year physical education course that integrates health education and is a district graduation requirement. This requirement may be waived for students participating in one of the following:

  • 18-credit ACCEL option;
  • Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) (2.0 credits); or
  • interscholastic sport at the junior varsity and/or varsity levels (2 seasons that must be verified on the HOPE waiver form available through the district website or high school).

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Requirement

The 24-credit standard diploma option students will be required to be instructed in compression only CPR and AED instruction. CPR and AED will be taught in the Health Opportunities through Physical Education (HOPE) traditional and virtual course. Additional instructional opportunities may be provided through JROTC, dance, and health science education courses, as well as in afterschool programs.

Character Education Requirement

The character development curriculum for grades 9 through 12 is incorporated in a variety of courses required for graduation, including English 9-12, World and United States History, Economics with Financial Literacy, and HOPE.

The skills and topics covered include: instruction on developing leadership skills, interpersonal skills, organization skills, and research skills; creating a resume; developing and practicing the skills necessary for employment interviews; conflict resolution, workplace ethics, and workplace law; managing stress and expectations; and developing skills that enable students to become more resilient and self-motivated.

Back to top

State Assessments

The standards and course descriptions specify the expectations for student learning in Florida and provide the basis for the content that will be measured on each Florida EOC assessment. EOC assessments are computer-based, criterion-referenced assessments that measure the Florida Standards (FS) or the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) for specific courses, as outlined in the course descriptions.

  1. Students in grades 9 and 10 are administered the English Language Arts (ELA), FS-aligned Florida Standards Assessment (FSA).
  2. Students enrolled in courses specified by the state are administered Florida EOC assessments.
    • Algebra 1 and Geometry, FS-aligned EOC assessments
    • Biology 1 and U.S. History, NGSSS-aligned EOC assessments

Students must participate in statewide, standardized assessments. The use of the state assessment scores for grading purposes is determined by state and district guidelines. Students who do not pass the statewide assessments will be recommended for remedial instruction to achieve the required passing score.

Refer to the Exceptional Student Education section of this document for specific information addressing assessment waivers.

Back to top

Course Grades

Grading Scale

The grade point average for all high school students is based on quality point values. Quality points are earned each quarter grading period. Quality point values and grades are determined as follows.

Letter Scale Quality Points Description
A 90%-100% 4 Outstanding Progress
B 80%-89% 3 Above Average Progress
C 70%-79% 2 Average Progress
D 60%-69% 1 Lowest Acceptable Progress
F 0%-59% 0 Failure

Students must earn three quality points per semester and a grade on the semester exam (or a scaled score equivalent). The three quality points required must be earned from a combination of at least two of the three grades awarded each semester.

Some courses (advanced-level Career and Technical Education(CTE), dual enrollment, virtual, semester two of Advanced Placement(AP), International Baccalaureate(IB) and annual reading courses that are assessed with another state, national, or international examination) have alternative grading procedures. Please check with your specific course instructor for details.

All final course grades are reported in the student’s permanent record and on the official transcript.

Semester Exams

  1. District semester and End-of-Course (EOC) exams are required and calculated in the final grade.
    • a. For courses that do not require an EOC, the district scaled semester exam grades are calculated as 25% of the semester grade.
    • b. For courses that require an EOC, the district scaled semester 1 exam and the EOC exam are calculated as 30% of the corresponding semester grade. If a student is enrolled in a credit recovery course with an EOC, the student may opt to retake the EOC to improve their final grade if they meet the grade enhancement criteria. The EOC will be calculated as 30% of the final grade.
  2. The following courses require an EOC assessment.
  3. Algebra I Geometry Biology US History
    Algebra I Honors Geometry Honors Biology Honors US History Honors
    Algebra IB IB Geometry Pre IB Biology AP US History
          IB US History
  4. Students who are absent on an exam day must verify their absence to be eligible for a make-up exam. Schools may request a doctor’s note.
  5. Students who do not take an exam will receive an incomplete (I) exam grade and a failing grade for the semester, until the exam is taken. It is the student’s responsibility to promptly schedule a time to make-up a missed exam.
  6. In cases of confirmed cheating on a semester exam, the student will receive an “F” grade for the exam that will be calculated into the final course grade.

Semester Exam Exceptions

  1. When an annual course requires a semester 1 exam and a standardized assessment (FSA ELA, ACT, SAT, AP or IB examinations), administered in lieu of a semester 2 exam, grades are calculated using the three-grade configuration for semester 1 and the two-grade configuration for semester 2. This applies to the following annual courses:
    • reading;
    • Advanced Placement; and
    • International Baccalaureate, which applies to seniors only.
  2. All reading, AP and IB semester courses require final exams.
  3. There are no exam exceptions for courses with a corresponding EOC exam; this includes Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate US History.
  4. Some specialized elective courses do not require a semester exam.
  5. A final exam is a required component of virtual and online credit recovery courses. Students receive a final semester grade; quarter grades and semester exams are not reported separately.
  6. Postsecondary colleges and universities determine the grading requirements for dual enrollment courses.
  7. Seniors may qualify to exempt their final semester exams. Refer to Graduating Senior Exemptions in this document for criteria.

Refer to the following Grade Procedure Charts for specific final grade calculations.

Semester Grade Calculation for Courses with a Final Exam or EOC

A final semester grade is calculated by a combination of two quarter grades and a district, scaled semester exam. To pass a subject and be awarded credit, a student must earn three quality points per semester and a passing grade on at least two of the three grades awarded.

Semester Grade Calculation for Courses with a Final Exam or EOC

Semester Grade Calculation for Courses with No Final Exam

Students must earn a minimum of two quality points to pass a semester course that does not require an exam. The student’s semester grade will be calculated based on a combination of quarter grades and the quality points assigned.

Semester Grade Calculation for Courses with No Final Exam

Grade Enhancement

  1. Grade enhancement for any course is limited to enhancing a grade of D or F with a grade of C or higher earned subsequently in the same or comparable course.
  2. Grade enhancement also applies to middle school students who earn a C or below in a high school level course.
  3. Honors points may not be earned more than once for the same course.
  4. The cumulative, unweighted state GPA required for graduation is calculated by including all grades that the student has attempted, including all D's and F's, unless they have been enhanced.
  5. The cumulative, weighted district GPA used to determine rank in class is not affected by the grade enhancement procedure. The cumulative, weighted district GPA includes all courses attempted and enhanced, to include D’s and F’s.
  6. All courses attempted will appear on a student’s transcript regardless of grade enhancement.

Course Weight

Students may increase their cumulative, weighted district GPA through completion of advanced coursework with a final semester grade of C or higher.

  1. District approved honors course are awarded a .04 weighting that is added to the cumulative, weighted district GPA for each semester credit.
  2. Advanced Placement, Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), dual enrollment, and International Baccalaureate courses are awarded a .08 weighting that is added to the cumulative, weighted district GPA for each semester credit.

Beginning with the 2015-16 ninth grade cohort, the following criteria must be met for transfer courses to receive Hillsborough County honors points.

  1. The course must be designated as honors in the state or district course code directory.
  2. The course must be designated as honors on the official transcript from the sending school.

For students who entered ninth grade prior to the 2015-16 school year, the official transcript must reflect a weighted grade for the designated honors course, in addition to the requirements above.

Assessment and Support

  1. Students are required by statue to participate in the statewide, standardized assessment program. (F.S. 1008.22)
  2. Students who score below level 3 on Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) for English Language Arts (ELA) and/or the Algebra I EOC assessment are highly recommended for remedial instruction and will be evaluated to identify the academic need and appropriate strategies for providing academic supports to improve the student’s performance. (F.S. 1008.25)
  3. A student who is not meeting the school district or state requirements for satisfactory performance in ELA and mathematics will be provided one of the following plans:
    • a federally required student plan such as an Individual Education Plan;
    • a school-wide system of progress monitoring; or
    • an individualized progress-monitoring plan. A student who scores a level 4 or 5 on the FSA ELA and EOC math assessment may be exempted from participation in the school-wide system of progress monitoring.
  4. A student who scores a level 4 or 5 on the FSA ELA and EOC math assessment may be exempted from participation in the school-wide system of progress monitoring.

Grade Reporting

  1. The online grade reporting system, Edsby, provides parents or guardians and students with access to monitor academic progress. Parents or guardians may initiate communication or request a conference with a teacher through Edsby, email, or phone.
  2. By the end of the fifth week of each grading period, Interim Progress Reports or Scholarship Warnings are issued to students in jeopardy of failing a course. Interim Progress Reports or Scholarship Warnings should be returned with a parent or guardian signature.
  3. Quarterly progress reports (report cards) with course grades are posted through the online grade-reporting system. Each grading period is approximately nine-weeks in length.
  4. Fourth quarter progress reports include the student’s promotion or retention status.
  5. The parent or guardian will be notified when the student has not met state assessment requirements or does not have a minimum 2.0 cumulative, unweighted state GPA, and is in jeopardy of not graduating.
Back to top

Credit

High School Credit

  1. A semester credit course requires a minimum of 67.5 traditional hours or 60 block hours. This requirement does not apply to virtual or credit recovery courses.
  2. Credit may be awarded to a student who passes an AP, College Level Examination Program (CLEP), EOC or IB assessment without enrollment in the respective course through the Credit Acceleration Program (CAP). The grade awarded will appear as a “Pass” on the transcript, and will not impact the final GPA.
  3. High school students may access the adult high school credit program to earn credits that are required for graduation. Up to two co-enrolled courses are allowed per year, as per state rule. Refer to adult school section of this document for more details.
Back to top

Transfer Credit

Foreign Students without Records

A foreign student with no obtainable record of credits seeking enrollment in Hillsborough County Public Schools will be placed according to the foreign student without records age/grade placement guidelines.

Foreign students seeking enrollment should meet with the school principal or designee who will conduct an entrance interview to explain the high school curriculum, graduation requirements, and appropriate program planning.

The student must earn at least 12 approved core credits, meet all appropriate state testing requirements and achieve a 2.0 cumulative, unweighted state GPA to receive a standard diploma from the Hillsborough County Public Schools. The school counselor will provide the specific course requirements.

Acceptance of Work Completed or Credits Earned in Other Schools

Any student who transfers into the district and whose credits can be verified must meet all provisions of the district's Student Progression Plan and Florida graduation requirements.

All credits and grades awarded on an official transcript from schools that are accredited by a recognized national, regional or state accrediting agency will be accepted at face value. Students transferring midyear from schools that award annual credits will have transcripts reviewed to award credits and grades at face value. A native language credit may be applied as a required English credit for a student transferring from out of the country. Students who transfer into a Florida public high school who have less than a year left in high school are exempt from the online graduation requirement.

Schools may accept credits and grades from non-accredited schools when official transcripts are validated by one or more of the following procedures: a review of the student’s academic record, an analysis of a sending school’s curriculum, a review of a portfolio of student work or through an assessment of scholastic performance.

If a student transfers to a Florida high school from out of the country, out of state, a private school, or a home school education program and the student’s transcript shows credit in Algebra 1, the student must take and pass the Algebra I EOC, PERT, or state approved equivalent assessment in order to earn a Florida high school diploma. Transferring students must take and pass all state assessments or earn a reading concordant score on the SAT or ACT, or a PERT comparative score for the Algebra I assessment to earn a Florida high school diploma.

Students enrolling from home education or nonaccredited programs who do not possess an official transcript will have credits validated through performance during the student’s first enrolled grading period. A student transferring into a school will be placed at the appropriate sequential course level. To receive credit for the previous course(s), the student must earn a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the course by the end of his/her first grading period. If the student does not meet the scholastic performance standards of a 2.0 GPA, the alternative validation procedures are utilized to validate credit. The alternative validation procedures include the following:

  • portfolio evaluation;
  • written recommendation by a Florida certified teacher selected by the parent and approved by the principal;
  • demonstrated performance in courses taken through dual enrollment or at other public or private accredited schools;
  • demonstrated proficiencies on nationally normed standardized subject area assessments;
  • demonstrated proficiencies on the FSA ELA/EOC assessments; and
  • written review of the criteria utilized for a given subject by a former school.

The decision to accept credits is subject to review and revision after school personnel have had the opportunity to observe the student's work.

For credits requiring validation, credit is awarded after review utilizing one of the validation procedures. No honors points will be granted and the grade awarded will be a “P” for pass. Credits and grades are placed on an official transcript at the end of the first semester of full-time enrollment.

Students transferring from a home education program may not accrue credits in one school year, which exceed the number of credits that may be accrued through the district’s Student Progression Plan. Grade placement is made according to the high school grade level placement matrix for grades 9 through 12 based on the number of credits validated.

Home education students with a transcript from a regionally accredited correspondence program or a regionally accredited virtual school receive credits at face value.

The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children provides additional guidance for students of military families. (F.S.1000.36)

Back to top

Summer Program Credit

Senior High Academic Summer Program

An academic summer program may be offered as an opportunity to earn credit toward graduation. A student may graduate at the end of a summer session in which all graduation requirements are fulfilled.

Foreign Study in Summer Programs

Students in summer instructional programs other than those offered in the county’s regular summer programs may receive credit if all the following conditions are met.

  1. By April 1 of the year in which the summer course is to be offered, a request for approval of the course must be submitted by the sponsor of the course to the Instructional Leadership Director of Secondary Education. The request must show how the preceding criteria will promote the student’s course of study. The Instructional Leadership Director of Secondary Education will send notice of approval or disapproval to the requesting party by May 1.
  2. The program must be under the direct supervision of an adult holding a valid Florida teacher’s certificate covering the field for which elective credit is to be earned.
  3. The program must be held at the recognized institute of learning in the host country for a minimum of five weeks.
  4. Qualified teachers are used to instruct the students in a program consisting of a minimum of 120 clock hours, of which at least one half must be used in supervised, cultural excursions. Supervised homework is not to be counted as any portion of the 120 clock hours.
  5. At the termination of this course of study, a comprehensive exam must be given, and the results made available to the principal of the student’s assigned school for student evaluation.
  6. After successful completion of the course and having no more than three full days’ absence, the student may be awarded one elective credit toward their graduation requirements.
Back to top

Promotion

Promotion from one grade to the next is determined, in part, upon satisfactory performance in English Language Arts, social studies, science and mathematics, along with all credits required for graduation.

  1. Promotion from grade 9 to grade 10 occurs when a student has completed one full year and has earned five credits towards graduation.
  2. Promotion from grade 10 to grade 11 occurs when a student has completed two full years and has earned eleven credits towards graduation.
  3. For 24 credit option students, promotion from grade 11 to grade 12 occurs when a student has completed three full years and has earned seventeen credits including eight required credits in English, mathematics, science, and social studies.
  4. Students electing to graduate with the 24-credit program or the 18-credit ACCEL option in three years or less are promoted to grade 12 on May 1 of their final semester if they are on track to graduate.
Back to top

Academic Acceleration

Academically Challenging Curriculum to Enhance Learning (ACCEL) Options

A variety of articulated early graduation and acceleration options are available to all students grades 9 through 12 to shorten the time necessary to earn a high school diploma and a postsecondary degree. They include, but are not limited to, dual enrollment, early admission, Advanced Placement, the International Baccalaureate program, Collegiate Academy, 18-credit ACCEL option, virtual/online school, occupational completion points, industry certifications, work-related internships or apprenticeships and the Credit Acceleration Program (CAP). (F.S. 1003.4295)

Notification of Acceleration Options

At the beginning of each school year, parents or guardians of all high school students are notified of the opportunity of early graduation and benefits of acceleration options.

Students electing to graduate with 24 credits in three years or less, or the 18-credit ACCEL option are promoted to grade 12 in May of their final semester and are not eligible for consideration as valedictorian, salutatorian, Talented 20, and Tampa Tribune Scholars.

24-Credit Program

Any student who has completed all requirements for graduation may be dismissed from attending school upon request to the school from the parent or guardian and student. The student receives a diploma with the next spring graduating class.

18-Credit ACCEL Option

The ACCEL 18-credit graduation option, allows a student who meets the following requirements to be awarded a standard high school diploma:

  • Florida’s standard diploma graduation requirements in ELA, mathematics, science and social studies, without the required physical education course;
  • 3 credits in electives;
  • online course is not required;
  • satisfies the state assessment requirements; and
  • a cumulative, unweighted state GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Refer to the district website for specific graduation requirements.

Early Admission to College

  1. A student may be excused from the last two semesters of high school if he/she is accepted for full-time admission by an accredited Florida college or university. The student must meet the following criteria:
    • complete all graduation requirements with the exception of English IV, Economics for Financial Literacy, American Government and one mathematics course;
    • meet the institution’s requirements for early admission which includes a 3.5 cumulative, unweighted state GPA;
    • demonstrate acceptable performance on the entry-level placement instrument as defined by the postsecondary institution;
    • obtain a written recommendation from the school principal or designee; and
    • complete all admissions requirements of the postsecondary institution.
  2. The steps to apply for early admission at HCC and USF are posted on the colleges’ websites: www.hccfl.edu/dualenrollment or www.usf.edu/honors.
  3. The school district is responsible for the purchase of textbooks for early admission students for courses identified on the State Department of Education master list of approved courses. All textbooks must be returned to the school district after the semester.
  4. After the conclusion of each college semester, the student is responsible for providing a college transcript detailing work completed to the high school, to be added to the student’s transcript.
  5. Early admission students may participate in high school athletics, as per FHSAA. Refer to the Assistant Principal for Administration for FHSAA guidelines.
  6. An early admission student will be awarded a high school diploma upon successful completion of two college semesters (12 credit hours per semester) as a full-time student while maintaining a C or higher GPA. Coursework must include the remaining graduation requirements.

The student will retain any honors earned in high school prior to his/her early admission to college. Students under this program cannot receive additional honors such as valedictorian, salutatorian, or recognition as a Tampa Tribune Scholar student.

Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment is the process by which an eligible secondary student is enrolled in a postsecondary technical college or a college or university course, and credit earned applies toward both a high school diploma and a college degree or postsecondary career and technical certificate.

  1. A student must have an overall cumulative, unweighted state GPA of 3.0 and meet the required score on the SAT, ACT or PERT, as defined by the postsecondary institution to be enrolled in dual enrollment. Dual enrollment courses in the Career Technical Education program require an overall minimum cumulative, unweighted state GPA of 2.0 state.
  2. A full-time student may be enrolled part time in any college or university as agreed upon in the Interinstitutional Articulation Agreement. Any exceptions must be approved by the Chief Academic Officer for Teaching and Learning.
  3. Students must have prior approval from their school before enrolling in any off campus dual enrollment course.
  4. A student may enroll in a college or university course and use the credits earned to meet high school graduation requirements and degree requirements as agreed upon in the Interinstitutional Articulation Agreement. Only courses identified on the State Department of Education master list of approved courses will receive dual credit.
  5. Students are limited to ten credit hours for fall, ten credit hours for spring and ten credit hours for summer, not to exceed 30 credit hours per academic year. Credit hours may vary for students in the Collegiate Academy.
  6. A student may enroll in a postsecondary technical college and the credit earned will apply toward both a high school diploma and a postsecondary career and technical certificate.
  7. A bonus of .08 is added to the cumulative, district (weighted) GPA for every one-half credit earned with a grade of C or higher. High school credits awarded follow the FLDOE equivalency list.
  8. Upon completion of each semester, the student is responsible for providing the college transcript to the high school. The transcript grades will be recorded on the student’s permanent record.
  9. A student who earns a grade of D or F, or who withdraws from a dual enrollment course after the drop/add deadline may not repeat that course unless they submit a petition to HCC for reinstatement and are approved. Only one course may qualify for reinstatement during high school. Any student that falls below the required 3.0 cumulative, unweighted state GPA will not be eligible to enroll in dual enrollment courses until they have met the 3.0 GPA requirement. Any student that falls below the postsecondary dual enrollment GPA requirement may have serious admission and/or academic implications in their future postsecondary opportunities.
  10. The school district is responsible for the purchase of textbooks for dual enrollment students for courses identified on the State Department of Education master list of approved courses. All textbooks must be returned to the school district after the semester.
  11. The steps to apply for dual enrollment at HCC and USF are posted on the colleges’ websites: www.hccfl.edu/dualenrollment or www.usf.edu/honors.
  12. Since the Florida State College system is the primary agency for dual enrollment, only courses not offered at Hillsborough Community College will be approved for dual enrollment at the University of South Florida or other schools in the state college system with district approved articulation agreements.

Collegiate Academy

The Collegiate Academy is a dual enrollment program offered at designated magnet sites. This program provides an accelerated, dual enrollment course of study where students work toward an Associate Degree upon graduation from high school.

  1. Students must apply online through the Magnet Office during the open application periods and must meet all of the entrance requirements provided on the district website.
  2. Incoming freshmen students must earn Algebra 1 or Algebra 1 Honors credit and score a level 3 or higher on the Algebra 1 EOC, or the PERT comparative equivalent prior to the start of the school year.
  3. Students, including freshmen, must meet all dual enrollment requirements before being scheduled or continuing in a dual enrollment course. Refer to the Dual Enrollment section of this document.
  4. If a Collegiate Academy student falls below a 3.0 cumulative, unweighted state GPA or the 2.0 dual enrollment threshold, the student’s Program Performance Agreement with the Collegiate Academy and Hillsborough Community College will be reviewed to provide support for meeting the GPA requirement by the end of the school year. If the GPA requirement is not met by July 1, the student will be reassigned to their area attendance school, as per School Board Policy 5120.

Credit by Examination – College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

A student may earn a high school credit through the passage of a College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test. If a student attains a passing score on the CLEP exam, the student will be awarded course credit, as per the state course code directory. The credit awarded will be entered as “P” for pass.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Programs

The district offers Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses to eligible secondary students in grades 9 through 12. Course descriptions and examinations are prepared by the CollegeBoard and the International Baccalaureate Program and are administered in May of each year. Postsecondary credit may be awarded by the receiving college or university to students who score a minimum of three on a 5-point scale on the corresponding AP examination or a minimum of a four on a 7-point scale on the IB examination. Although most colleges and universities grant credits to students whom have earned a passing score on the exams, policies on awarding college credit are the decision of the individual postsecondary institution. A student and parent or guardian should consult with their college of choice for guidance pertaining to awarding credit.

A student may earn high school credit through the passage of an AP or IB examination without course enrollment or completion. If a student attains a passing score on the AP or IB exam, the student will be awarded course credit under the Credit Acceleration Program (CAP).

Industry Certification

Industry certification are nationally recognized credentials that students earn as a result of the instruction in a career-themed course. Career and professional academy courses and career-themed courses provide opportunities for students to earn technical college credit or industry certification, identified on the state CAPE Industry Certification Funding List. (F.S.1003.493)

Back to top

Florida Diplomas and Certificates

Florida Standard Diploma

All courses of study and graduation requirements are consistent with the Florida Department of Education and Hillsborough County Public Schools graduation requirements. Graduation requirements may change due to legislation. Refer to the district website for specific Graduation Requirements.

Requirements to meet a standard diploma.

  1. Students must be enrolled as a full-time student in their final semester to receive a Hillsborough County Public School diploma.
  2. A student must achieve a minimum cumulative, unweighted state GPA of 2.0. The cumulative, unweighted state GPA required for graduation is calculated by including all grades earned by the student except those enhanced.
  3. A student must earn a passing score on all statewide, required assessments or a concordant or comparative score of the state approved alternative assessment.
  4. For the 24-credit program or the 18-credit ACCEL option, the student must earn the specified credits for graduation, as found on the state approved graduation requirements.
  5. A student with a disability (SWD) for whom the individual education plan (IEP) team determines that the required assessments cannot accurately measure the student’s abilities, taking into consideration all allowable accommodations, shall have assessment results waived for the purpose of receiving a course grade and a standard high school diploma. According to Florida statute, a waiver of the required assessment results by the IEP Team must be approved by the parents and is subject to verification for appropriateness by an independent reviewer selected by the parents. Refer to the Exceptional Student Education section of this document for more detailed information on graduation options for SWD. (F.S. 1008.22, F.S. 1003.572)
  6. Proper registration, fulfilling requirements for graduation and passing class work and examinations are the responsibility of each student. While the school attempts to check each student’s record and to guide his or her progression, each student is responsible for seeing that all requirements are met within the regular time. Specific course requirements can be found on district website or through the school counseling office at each school.

High School Equivalency

The Adult Education Department offers the high school equivalency instruction to prepare students for the GED® test. A State of Florida High School Diploma is awarded to students who pass all four sections of the official GED® test. Refer to the adult education section of this document for more information.

Certificate of Completion

The awarding of a Certificate of Completion is limited to those students choosing a standard diploma with the 24-credit or the 18-credit ACCEL option, but who have not met the required state assessments and/or 2.0 GPA requirement.

Students who receive a Certificate of Completion are still eligible to pursue a standard diploma. Students and parents or guardians should consult with their school counselor and/or administrator for options to continue pursuing either their GPA requirement and/or the required state assessments. Students may elect to remain in high school as a full-time or part-time student for up to one additional year to complete the GPA or assessment requirement.

Senior Transfer Diploma Eligibility

  1. Transfer students must be enrolled within 15 days of their final semester to receive a Hillsborough County Public Schools diploma or certificate.
  2. A student who transfers from outside the district after the first 15 days of the last semester of his/her high school career will be furnished a transcript of the work completed in the school, but no diploma will be awarded. An exception may be made if the committee appointed by the principal recommends awarding the diploma. Upon request, a transcript of the work completed in the school will be forwarded to the last school attended and that school may grant a diploma if its policies so provide.
  3. A senior transfer student may graduate by meeting the total number of credits required in the district from which he/she transferred or the total number required for a Florida standard diploma; however, to receive a standard high school diploma the transfer student must earn a 2.0 cumulative, unweighted state GPA and pass the required state assessments.
  4. Communication with the transfer school may allow other options to earn the diploma from the previous school.

College Entrance Assessments, Concordant and Comparative Scores

  1. Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT): The PSAT provides an opportunity for students to prepare for the SAT by learning about their strengths and weaknesses in English and mathematics. The PSAT is given each year in October in all high schools at no charge to students. Students in grades 9 through 11 are encouraged to take this test, and juniors should take the PSAT, as it is the qualifying test for the National Merit and the National Hispanic Scholars Programs.
  2. SAT: The SAT serves as an entrance exam for college admissions, as well as an option for meeting the graduation requirement in FSA ELA. The SAT is administered seven times annually at local high schools and colleges. Information may be obtained from the school counseling office or online by visiting www.collegeboard.org. The completed online application and fee are sent directly to the testing agency by the student. Registration fee waivers are available for students who qualify for the free or reduced lunch program.
    Students must earn a passing score of 430 on the new SAT evidence-based Reading and Writing test, or score a 24 on the new SAT Reading subtest, to meet the graduation concordant score for the grade 10 FSA ELA. Concordant scores are subject to change based on state rule revisions.
  3. ACT: The ACT serves as an entrance exam for college admissions, as well as an option for meeting the graduation requirement in FSA ELA. The ACT is administered seven times annually at local high schools and colleges. Information may be obtained in the school counseling office or online by visiting www.act.org. The completed online application and fee are sent directly to the agency by the student. Registration fee waivers are available for students who qualify for the free or reduced lunch program.
    Students must earn a passing scale score of 19 on the ACT Reading test, to meet the graduation concordant score for the grade 10 FSA ELA. Concordant scores are subject to change based on state rule revisions.
  4. PERT: Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT) – High schools may evaluate the college readiness of students utilizing the PERT. The PERT math score may serve as an Algebra I EOC comparative score.
    Students must earn a passing score of 97 on the PERT math to meet the comparative score for the FSA Algebra I EOC. Comparative scores are subject to change based on state rule revisions.

Diploma Designations

Students who select the 24-credit program may also earn the Scholar and/or the Merit designation in addition to their standard high school diploma.

Scholar Designation: To earn the Scholar designation, a student must meet the standard diploma requirements and satisfy the following.

  1. Mathematics: Earn one credit in Algebra II and one credit in statistics or an equally rigorous course. Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2014-2015 school year, pass the Geometry EOC assessment.
  2. Science: Pass the Biology I EOC assessment and earn one credit in chemistry or physics and one credit in a course equally rigorous to chemistry or physics. However, a student enrolled in an Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Biology course who takes the respective AP, IB, or AICE Biology assessment and earns the minimum score necessary to earn college credit meets the requirement without having to take the Biology I EOC assessment.
  3. Social Studies: Pass the US History EOC assessment. However, a student enrolled in an AP, IB, or AICE course that includes United States history topics who takes the respective AP, IB, or AICE assessment and earns the minimum score necessary to earn college credit meets the requirement without having to take the US History EOC assessment.
  4. World Language: Earn two credits in the same world language.
  5. Electives: Earn at least one credit in an Advanced Placement, an International Baccalaureate, an Advanced International Certificate of Education, or a dual enrollment course. (F.S.1003.4285)

Merit Designation: To earn the Merit designation at graduation, a student must meet the standard diploma requirements and attain one or more industry certifications from the state approved list.

Seal of Biliteracy Program

The Seal of Biliteracy is the attainment of a high level of competency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in one or more world languages, in addition to English, which will be noted on the high school diploma and transcript as either a Gold Seal of Biliteracy (highest level of competency) or a Silver Seal of Biliteracy (second-highest level of competency), awarded by the Commissioner of Education to high school graduates meeting the requirements.

The requirements for earning the Seal of Biliteracy include:

  • earning four world language course credits in the same world language with a cumulative 3.0 grade point average or higher on a 4.0 scale,
  • achieving a qualifying score on a world language assessment, or
  • satisfying alternative requirements as determined by the State Board of Education.

The Silver Seal of Biliteracy is awarded to students who have earned four (4) foreign language credits in the same foreign language with a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale or earned a qualifying score on a nationally recognized assessment (refer to the FLDOE for the recognized exams and required scores).

The Gold Seal of Biliteracy is awarded to students who have met the above requirements, and have also earned a level 4 or higher on the grade 10 FSA ELA or have attained an advanced qualifying score on a nationally recognized assessment.

Back to top

Graduation

Graduation

  1. A diploma will be awarded to any student who completes the 24-credit program or the ACCEL 18- credit option, by meeting the required credits, 2.0 cumulative, unweighted state GPA, and achieving a qualifying score on all required state assessments.
  2. Students earning the credit requirements for the 24-credit program or the ACCEL 18-credit option, with the exception of the state assessments or the 2.0 cumulative, unweighted state GPA, will be eligible for a Certificate of Completion.

Graduating Senior Exemptions

Seniors who meet all graduation requirements by the end of the first semester and elect to graduate early are exempt from first semester exams. Second semester graduating seniors may be exempt from final exams if the senior meets all the following eligibility criteria:

  • three quality points in the final semester;
  • at least one quality point during the second grading period of their final semester (the senior need not pass both grading periods, but must pass the second grading period);
  • no more than five absences in the class for the semester; and
  • a satisfactory conduct record.
Senior Semester Grades with Exemptions
Total Quality Points Letter
7-8 A
5-6 B
3-4 C
2* D
0-1* F
* Not eligible to exempt final exam

Graduation Ceremony

To be eligible for participation in the graduation ceremony, students enrolled in the 24-credit program or the 18-credit ACCEL option must have earned all required credits by the end of the school year in which graduation is anticipated. Students will not be issued a standard diploma until all graduation requirements are met. Students earning a Certificate of Completion are eligible to participate in graduation.

  1. A student may participate in one graduation ceremony with his/her designated class or grade 9 cohort.
  2. A student must have met all financial obligations to the school before being given a diploma.
  3. Participation in a graduation ceremony is dependent upon a student meeting both graduation requirements and abiding by discipline standards. Violation of a level one or level two offense (or other suspendable offenses) may result in the student’s non-participation in graduation. Each high school’s principal will decide who is eligible to participate in graduation exercises based on the above criteria.

Rank in Class

The final rank in class will be determined for seniors at the end of the first semester of their senior year.

  1. A student must be enrolled by the final day of the first semester of his/her senior year to be ranked.
  2. The cumulative, weighted district GPA is used to determine rank in class. All attempted and enhanced high school course grades are calculated in the GPA, including grades from Hillsborough Virtual School (HVS), Florida Virtual School (FLVS), dual enrollment, adult school and high school credit prior to grade 9.
  3. Transcript and final grade report procedures at HVS, FLVS, HCC, and USF may vary.
  4. To be included in the cumulative, district weighted GPA for final class rank calculation, an official “Final Grade Report” from the virtual school or transcripts from any outside institution must be dated with an “issue date” on or before the fifth teacher workday following the end of the first semester.
  5. Virtual school students are responsible for coordinating with the virtual schoolteacher to ensure that all course work is completed in order to meet the issue date requirement, on or before the fifth teacher workday following the end of the first semester.
  6. Following the grade submission deadline, class rank is finalized on a district designated date. This provides time for schools to review individual student transcripts for accuracy.
  7. After class rank is finalized a student’s cumulative, district weighted GPA may change based on additional credits earned during the second semester, but will not impact final class rank.
  8. Students enrolled in magnet programs are ranked separately from students in the traditional program in the same school.
    • a. Students enrolled in the International Baccalaureate and other magnet programs, who leave their program after the first semester of their sophomore year, are ranked with their prior magnet program.
    • b. Students entering a magnet program for the first time as a junior and return to a traditional program prior to earning first semester credits will be ranked with the traditional program.
  9. Students electing to graduate with 24 credits or the 18-credit ACCEL option, in three years or less, are promoted to grade 12 in May and hand ranked.

Honor Graduates

  1. The top 5% of graduates, extended to include all students with a cumulative, district weighted unrounded 4.0 or higher GPA, are recognized as honor graduates. In magnet schools that maintain separate class ranks, honor graduates will be recognized for each program.
  2. The district third quarter GPA report (4.0 and above, district with honors) will be utilized to identify honor graduates.
  3. To be included in the cumulative, district weighted GPA for recognition as an honor graduate, an official “Final Grade Report” from the virtual school or transcripts from any outside institution must be dated with an “issue date” on or before the fifth teacher workday following the end of the third quarter.
  4. Virtual school students are responsible for coordinating with the virtual school teacher to ensure that all course work is completed in order to meet the issue date requirement, on or before the fifth teacher workday following the end of the third quarter.
  5. Students electing to graduate early are eligible to be honor graduates.
  6. Honor graduate recognition does not impact final class rank.

Valedictorian/Salutatorian

Each high school will recognize a valedictorian and salutatorian from among the graduating seniors. Magnet schools may recognize separate valedictorians and salutatorians for each magnet program. The valedictorian will be the student whose rank in class is number one (1) and the salutatorian will be the student whose rank in class is number two (2).

In the event of a tie for valedictorian, each student whose rank is tied for first in the class will be recognized as a co-valedictorian. If there are co-valedictorians, there will be no salutatorian since the next student’s rank would be third.

In the event of a tie for salutatorian, each student whose rank is tied for second in the class will be recognized as a co-salutatorian. If there are co-salutatorians, the rank of the next student would be fourth.

Students must complete the first semester of the senior year to be eligible for valedictorian or salutatorian. Therefore, students electing to graduate with 24 credits or the 18-credit ACCEL option, in three years or less, are promoted to grade 12 in May and are not eligible.

Back to top

Student Recognition

Honor Roll

Honor Roll lists will be published by each school. Honor Rolls are determined based on quarter grades or the semester average, whichever benefits the student. Only classes taken on campus are considered in Honor Roll calculation. A student must take at least four of their classes on campus to be considered for Honor Roll. All academic grades are used for consideration for Honor Roll.

  1. A student must earn an A in each subject to attain the Principal’s Honor Roll.
  2. A student must earn at least three academic A’s with no grade lower than a B to attain the High Honor Roll.
  3. A student must have a grade no lower than a B to attain the Regular Honor Roll.

National Honor Society

The National Honor Society (NHS) is an organization that honors students who are outstanding in scholarship, character, leadership, and service. Membership in the National Honor Society is by invitation only. Only those individuals who are outstanding in all areas receive this honor.

All sophomore, junior and senior class students who have been enrolled in their present high school one semester or more will be eligible candidates for the National Honor Society, if they fulfill the following scholastic requirements based on semester high school grades.

  1. To qualify for NHS a cumulative, weighted, unrounded, district GPA of 3.5 or better is required.
  2. All grades earned in grades 9, 10, 11 and first semester of grade 12 are considered by the school in determining a student’s grade point average for NHS.
  3. For students to continue membership in the NHS, a student must maintain a 3.5 cumulative, weighted semester average. Students not meeting the requirement will be placed on probation. Students will be allowed only one probationary period.
  4. Members may also be placed on probation or dismissed for failure to maintain standards for character, leadership or service.

The following selection process will be used for membership in the National Honor Society.

  1. Selection of students from eligible academic candidates will be by majority vote of the faculty council. However, the entire faculty could be invited to recommend a candidate’s eligibility.
  2. Character, leadership, and service will be considered in selecting students for membership according to the policy considered fair and appropriate by the faculty of the school.
  3. Membership will be by invitation only.
  4. A candidate must be enrolled in his or her present high school for at least one semester prior to being eligible for membership.
  5. A transfer student from another high school who was a member in good standing of its National Honor Society Chapter will be accepted into the National Honor Society of the school entered.
  6. Schools may not limit membership in the National Honor Society by selecting an arbitrary number percentage.
  7. Each school may induct new members either once or twice each year, with the number of inductions to be at the discretion of the individual school.
  8. Refer to approved exceptions to determine if your school has any additional requirements that are included in a School Improvement waiver.

Academic Letters

  1. To be eligible to receive an academic letter, a student must have received an annual, cumulative, weighted, unrounded, district GPA of 3.5 or higher at the end of grades 10, 11, and at the end of the first semester for grade 12.
  2. Students must be enrolled full time.
  3. Students must be enrolled a minimum of one semester in the Hillsborough County Public School system and in attendance by the 15th day of the semester.
  4. Students transferring between Hillsborough County Public Schools after the 15th school day will be eligible to receive a letter at the receiving school.
  5. Transfer students must have been enrolled in a regionally accredited school or credits must have been validated.
  6. Each student will receive an academic letter initially and receive a bar and/or letter for each year and/or semester he or she meets the eligibility requirements.
  7. Schools will publicize the requirements for earning an academic letter and notify students of their eligibility.

Co-Curricular and Extracurricular School Letters

Each student fulfilling requirements for the school letter under any category will receive an initial school letter. In addition, a pin or symbol will be awarded for each co-curricular area for which the student has met requirements. A bar will signify ensuing awards. The requirements for each letter follow.

Band Auxiliary Units
  • earn an overall GPA of C or higher
  • participate in all scheduled rehearsals, performances, and evaluated festivals; excused absences will be at the Director’s discretion
  • return all assigned materials (not owned by the student) and have no outstanding debts to the music program
  • maintain appropriate behavior at all functions as described

Band, Chorus, and Orchestra
  • earn a grade of a C or higher in the musical program
  • earn an overall GPA of C or higher
  • participate in all scheduled rehearsals, performances, and evaluated festivals; excused absences will be at the Director’s discretion; exceptions will be evaluated by the principal
  • return all assigned materials (not owned by the student) and have no outstanding debts to the music program
  • maintain appropriate behavior at all functions as described in the Student Code of Conduct established by Hillsborough County Public Schools

Career and Technical Education (CTE)
  • earn a GPA of 3.0 in CTE course(s) for the current school year
  • earn a GPA of 3.0 in CTE course(s) for the current school year
  • participate in a district and/or state CTSO competitive event
  • earn community service hours as required by the CTSO or program
  • secure a recommendation from the CTSO Chapter Advisor
  • have no outstanding debts to CTSO Chapter

World Languages
  • earn a GPA of 3.5 or higher in world language eight
  • earn an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • enrolled in a level three course or higher of the same language
  • member of a world language National Honor Society or participate in world language competitions

Forensics
  • earn a GPA of 3.0 or higher in speech and debate
  • participate in 30 hours over and above class time in forensics competition
  • receive a recommendation by adviser and/or teacher

Journalism
  • earn one full credit in journalism
  • earn a GPA of 3.0 or higher in journalism
  • participate in 10 hours over and above class time contributing to the school publication
  • receive a recommendation by adviser and/or teacher

JROTC
  • earn a grade of C or higher in the JROTC program
  • earn an overall passing average
  • be active in the team for which the letter is awarded (50% or greater participation in practicing competition)
  • receive a recommendation by the team coach and approval by the senior JROTC instructor

Mathematics
  • earn a minimum unweighted state GPA of 3.0
  • be an active member of Mu Alpha Theta: participate in competition (minimum of 60% of school’s participation) OR peer tutoring at school (minimum 30 hours per year)
  • take AMC [AHSME] (reported score ≥ 60)

Theatre Arts
  • earn 75 Thespian points
  • earn a GPA of 3.0 or higher in theatre courses
  • participate in the equivalent of two major productions
  • receive a recommendation by adviser and/or teacher

TV Production
  • earn a GPA of 3.0 or higher in television production
  • participate in 30 hours over and above class time in television production
  • receive a recommendation by an advisor and/or teacher

Visual Arts
  • earn a GPA of 3.0 or higher in visual arts classes and an overall C or higher GPA
  • exhibit their own art work in or out of school
  • show evidence of 10 hours or more of involvement in the arts above and beyond the school day
  • receive a recommendation from an art teacher

Bright Futures Scholarship Program

The Bright Futures Scholarship Program is the umbrella program for three state-funded scholarships: the Florida Academic Scholars, the Florida Medallion Scholars, and the Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Awards. These awards are based on specific academic requirements and volunteer service work hours earned in grades 9 through 12. The school will annually provide high school students a complete and accurate Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Evaluation Report.

For detailed information on the Bright Futures Scholarship Program, go to floridastudentfinancialaid.org.

A student who graduates from high school midyear may receive an initial Bright Futures Scholarship award during the spring term following the student’s graduation if the student applies for the scholarship award no later than August 31 of the student’s graduation year.

The Talented 20 Program

The Talented 20 Program provides guaranteed admission, within space and fiscal limitations, to one of Florida’s 12 public universities for public high school graduating seniors who rank in the top 20% of their graduating class and who have completed the 18 academic credits required for a state university admission. Determination of Talented 20 students at each high school is made upon completion of the seventh semester. Please note that, while eligible students are guaranteed admission at one of the state universities, it may not be to their first choice of schools. Students are given priority for the awarding of funds from the Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG), if they are eligible for this needs based grant.

Back to top
Schools
Search for School
Find a School
School Locator

Locate your attendance area school

School Locator