Detroit Public Schools High School Graduation Requirements

Detroit Public Schools High School Graduation Requirements – Effective for students entering 9th grade in 2007 (Class of 2011)

To prepare Michigan's students with the knowledge and skills needed for the jobs in the 21st Century, the State of Michigan has enacted a rigorous new set of statewide graduation requirements that are among the best in the nation. With these new graduation requirements, students will be well-prepared for future success in college and the workplace.

The Michigan Merit Curriculum requires students entering 8th grade in 2006, to obtain a minimum of 16 credits for graduation, which could be met using alternative instructional delivery methods such as alternative course work, humanities course sequences, career and technology courses, industrial technology/vocational education courses, or through a combination of these programs. In addition, students entering the 3rd Grade in 2006 (Class of 2016) will need to complete two credits of a language other than English in grades 9–12; OR an equivalent learning experience in grades K–12 prior to graduation.


Michigan Merit Curriculum High School Graduation Requirements

The total number of credits needed for graduation is twenty-three (23).


4 credits

  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II – Note: Algebra II was formerly Algebra 3 & 4
  • Geometry
  • one math or math-related course in final year of high school
English Language Arts

4 credits

  • English Language Arts 9
  • English Language Arts 10
  • English Language Arts 11
  • English Language Arts 12

3 credits

  • Biology
  • Chemistry or Physics
  • one additional science credit
Social Studies

3 credits

  • World History & Geography
  • U.S. History & Geography
  • .5 credits in Civics or Government
  • .5 credits in Economics
Physical Education & Health

1 credit

Visual, Performing and Applied Arts

1 credit

Online Learning Experience

Course, Learning or Integrated Learning Experience

Language other than English

2 credits

In grades 9-12; OR an equivalent learning experience in grades K-12 effective for students entering third grades in 2006 (Class 2016)

DPS District Requirement – Out-of-Class Learning Exp. (200 Clock Hours)

1 credit

The fourth year of Math may include business math, accounting, applied math and even a retake of Algebra II.

All required courses/credits must be aligned with Course/Credit content Expectations and Guidelines developed by Michigan Department of Education, and may be acquired through Career and Technical Education programs and integrated courses.



High School Graduation Requirements and Promotion Checks

High School Graduation Requirements and Promotion Checks



Quality assurance for student data drives the ability of the Detroit Public Schools to improve business efficiencies, organizational structure and customer service to clients.  The ability of the District to provide quality student data requires that teachers, counselors, clericals, and administrators ensure student data are routinely monitored and student data accuracy is appropriately maintained. It is essential that early monitoring of student progress, combined with communication with students and to parents, is applied consistently to create and maintain a plan to help the at-risk students early. 

The accuracy of grade data reported on Student Transcripts is crucial.  The student transcript is the tool that often determines scholarships and potential careers for many of our graduating seniors.  In an informal grade level check and course credit completion audit of students thought to be in grades 10 through 12, 3,000 out of 15,600 students were found to be in one grade lower than expected.  To establish meaningful interventions for students in grades 9 through 12, counselors must use the electronic tools readily available to support our students and guide their academic history.  We endeavor to validate transcripts to minimize and eliminate cases where electronic transcripts are sent to colleges, universities, the military services, and technical institutes, which indicate students, have not met District Graduation Requirements.

The WRESA SIS Transcript and Graduation Requirements data and applications are critical to:

  • Monitor student academic performance and progress towards graduation
  • Student Grade Level promotion,
  • The Student graduation process,
  • Federal State Aid and baseline data reports,
  • Graduation and Dropout (GAD) reporting to the Michigan Department of Education,
  • Student Awards and Rank Listings,
  • Communication with other districts in Michigan and the country,
  • Communication with colleges/universities for entrance applications, and/or
  • Scholarships, grants and fellowships.

Student transcripts impact:

  • Student/parent confidence in our District,
  • College/University applications for our students,
  • Scholarships for our students, and/or
  • State Aid Funding to our District.

Student grade levels will be automatically set per the WRESA SIS transcript records.  To monitor student grade level promotions, audit reports will be run three times a year per the established policy.


Recommended Policy and Process

  • All high schools will implement mid-term progress reporting.  This process requires hard copy communications to parents for any student at risk of receiving an unsatisfactory or failing mark at the end of a quarter or semester.  School personnel are required to use the RESA SIS Progress Reporting application.  Reports will be submitted to parents no later than the close of the 5th week of each quarter or mark reporting period.  Teachers must report:
    • The student is at risk of failing the quarter or mark reporting period, and
    • The cause, or causes, for this failure that need remedial action.
  • All high school SIS assistant principals, counselors, and the identified clerical(s) must attend training on Transcripts and Graduation Requirements.
  • All high school counselors must use the WRESA SIS Graduation Requirements application.  Paper and manual graduation checks must be aligned exactly with WRESA SIS.
  • High school students must have their out of district transcript data input quarterly, and then reviewed for accuracy no later than the end of a given semester; the 4th review includes summer school.
    • The routing steps are: US Mail » Main Office » Counselor » SIS Assistant Principal » Clerical for SIS entry
    • Transcripts not received by the high school within 30 days  of student enrollment must initiate the Policy and Procedures to Correct Grades process (March 11, 2011 rev)
  • All Graduation Requirements must be reviewed and updated by counselors four times a year:
    • The first review should coincide with the Graduation and Dropout (GAD) Application Audit in the fall (late October through early December).
  • Priority will be for seniors, then students in grades 9 through 11
    • The second review should occur in January/February immediately following the end of first semester and prior to preregistration for the following year.
      • Priority will be for seniors scheduled to graduate
      • Next priority is for students in grades 9 through 11
    • The third review should coincide with the third report card marking cycle consistent with progress report notices to identify summer school candidates.
    • The 4th review should occur immediately following summer school during final updates to student schedules for the fall
  • During Graduation Requirement review:
    • For any student in promotion jeopardy (not meeting grade level requirements) or graduation (not meeting graduation requirements), a Graduation Plan will be completed, reviewed with the counselor and signed by the student’s parent and the student during parent teacher conference.  The option for this step may occur with the 3rd or 4th review.
  • Impact of the Global Language Graduation Requirement (Class of 2016)
    The Michigan State Board of Education expects all students, beginning with the graduating class of 2016, to complete two credits of a world language other than English prior to graduation, or demonstrate a two-year equivalent proficiency at the Novice High Level on the ACTFL Proficiency Scale.

    Students may demonstrate language proficiency at any point prior to high school graduation and may meet the two-credit world language graduation requirement via:

    • High School Grades 9-12:
      Successfully completing the two credits of study in the same language at the high school level.

    • Grades K-8 or Combination K-8 and High School:
      For students who successfully completed either or both credits of the two credit requirement prior to high school, a formal assessment aligned to the Michigan World Language Standards and Benchmarks (2007) is required. Detroit Public School will provide an online exam to measure the language proficiency of eligible students. A committee is working on its implementation and information will be released when the document is finalized.

    • Alternative Equivalency:
      Any student who chooses to fulfill the two-credit world language requirement through an alternative route must provide formal documentation of proficiency. In addition to the types of documentation listed in two (2) Courses K-8 and High School above, the following documentation is also possible: A translated, official school transcript documenting continuous and successful school experiences of at least one academic semester (for I credit) or one academic year (for 2 credits) in which classes were conducted in the language for which credit is sought.

This policy implementation is effective immediately.  It will be revised pending necessary updates per mandated requirements.