• Graduation Requirements

    A high school diploma tells admission officers at colleges, universities, and career and technical schools that the bearer is ready for the rigors of post-secondary education. It also tells potential employers that the graduate possesses the reading, writing, and computational skills required for success in the workplace.  In order to graduate from a public high school in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a student must meet the criteria established by the Virginia Department of Education.
     
    The standard and advanced diploma options are the two most common options available for students. Other diploma types offered by the Commonwealth of Virginia include the Applied Studies Diploma; the Certificate of Program Completion; the General Achievement Diploma (GAD); and the General Education Development Certificate (GED).
     

    Requirements for Students Entering Ninth Grade in 2011-2012 through the 2017-2018 School Year
    Discipline Area
    Standard Diploma 
    Course Credits
    Standard Diploma 
    Verified Credits (SOL)
    Advanced Diploma 
    Course Credits
    Advanced Diploma 
    Verified Credits (SOL)
    English 4 2 4 2
    Mathematics 3 1 4 2
    Laboratory Science 3 1 4 2
    History and Social Sciences 3 1 4 2
    Health and Physical Education 2   2  
    Foreign Languages Not Required    3/4  
    Fine Arts or Career & Technical Education 2   1  
    Economics and Personal Finance 1   1  
    Electives 4   3  
    Student Selected Test   1   1
    Total: 22 6 26 9

     A verified credit is based on a course credit plus a passing score on the end-of-course Standards of Learning (SOL) test or state approved substitute test. End-of-course SOL tests are offered in World Geography; World History 1; World History 2; US History; Algebra 1; Algebra 2; Geometry; Earth Science; Biology; Chemistry; English Writing and English Reading. Students may earn three locally verified credits in any subject. Students transferring to FDHS from either a private or out-of-state school may have altered requirements for earning verified credits based on when the student transferred and the credits that the student has earned at a previous school.

    Students pursuing the standard diploma must take two sequential electives in order to satisfy the elective requirement.
     
    For standard diploma only, students may substitute a foreign language for one of the fine art or career/technical course requirements.
     
    For the advanced diploma, students may complete the foreign language requirement by taking three years of one language or two years of two different languages. 
     
    With a standard diploma, students must earn a board-approved career and technical education credential to graduate.
     
    Credit accommodations provide alternatives for students with disabilities in earning the standard and verified credits required to graduate with a Standard Diploma. Credit accommodations for students with disabilities may include:
     
    • Alternative courses to meet the standard credit requirements
    • Modifications to the requirements for locally awarded verified credits
    • Additional tests approved by the Board of Education for earning verified credits
    • Adjusted cut scores on tests for earning verified credits
    • Allowance of work-based learning experiences through career and technical education (CTE) courses
     
    While credit accommodations provide alternate pathways and flexibility, students receiving accommodations must earn the 22 standard credits and six verified credits required to graduate with a Standard Diploma.
      
     

    Requirements for Students Entering Ninth Grade in in 2018-2019 School Year and Beyond
    Discipline Area
    Standard Diploma 
    Course Credits
    Standard Diploma 
    Verified Credits (SOL)
    Advanced Diploma 
    Course Credits
    Advanced Diploma 
    Verified Credits (SOL)
    English 4 2 4 2
    Mathematics 3 1 4 1
    Laboratory Science 3 1 4 1
    History and Social Sciences 3 1 4 1
    Health and Physical Education 2   2  
    Foreign Languages Not Required    3/4  
    Fine Arts or Career & Technical Education 2   1  
    Economics and Personal Finance 1   1  
    Electives 4   3  
    Total: 22 5 26 5

     A verified credit is based on a course credit plus a passing score on the end-of-course Standards of Learning (SOL) test or state approved substitute test. End-of-course SOL tests are offered in World Geography; World History 1; World History 2; US History; Algebra 1; Algebra 2; Geometry; Earth Science; Biology; Chemistry; English Writing and English Reading. Students may earn one locally verified credit in any subject. Students transferring to FDHS from either a private or out-of-state school may have altered requirements for earning verified credits based on when the student transferred and the credits that the student has earned at a previous school.

    Students pursuing the standard diploma must take two sequential electives in order to satisfy the elective requirement.
     
    For standard diploma only, students may substitute a foreign language for one of the fine art or career/technical course requirements.
     
    For the advanced diploma, students may complete the foreign language requirement by taking three years of one language or two years of two different languages. 
     
    New: Students shall either (i) complete an Advanced Placement, honors, or International Baccalaureate course or (ii) earn a career and technical education credential approved by the board
     
    Credit accommodations provide alternatives for students with disabilities in earning the standard and verified credits required to graduate with a Standard Diploma. Credit accommodations for students with disabilities may include:
     
    • Alternative courses to meet the standard credit requirements
    • Modifications to the requirements for locally awarded verified credits
    • Additional tests approved by the Board of Education for earning verified credits
    • Adjusted cut scores on tests for earning verified credits
    • Allowance of work-based learning experiences through career and technical education (CTE) courses
     
    While credit accommodations provide alternate pathways and flexibility, students receiving accommodations must earn the 22 standard credits and five verified credits required to graduate with a Standard Diploma.