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Graduation, diploma, and examination requirements

New York State requires that students fulfill both credit and examination requirements in order to graduate from high school.  Accordingly, students at the Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy must fulfill the following requirements in order to earn a diploma.

Credit Requirements
At the end of each semester, credit is earned for each class in which the student has earned a mark of 65% or higher.  Usually, the fall semester ends on or about january 31, and spring semester ends on or about June 30.  Courses are taught at general education, honors, or advanced placement level and are labeled accordingly on academic transcripts.  As per the regulations of the Department of Education, Advance Placement courses are weighted by a factor of 1.1 in the computation of grade point averages.

In order to graduate with a Local Diploma, the requirement for high school graduation are:
*  Passing grade for students entering 9th grade after 2006 is 65+% on four of the five required Regents exams.
*  Passing grade for students entering 9th grade in 2006 is 65+% on at least three of the five required Regents exams.
*  Passing grade for students entering 9th grade in 2005 is 65+% on at least two of the five required Regents exams.
*  Passing grade on five Regents exams:  Math A or Integrated Algebra, English Language Arts, Global Studies, US History and Government, and lab Science (Living Environment, Earth Science, Chemistry, Physics.)
*  Four years of credits in English and Social Studies.
*  Three years of credits in Science (including two years of labs) and Math.
*  At least one semester credit each in Music and Art.
*  Required Physical Education class (or Health) every semester.
*  Total of 44 credits needed.

In order to graduate with a Regents Diploma, the requirements for high school graduation are:
*  All of the local diploma requirements must be met, and passing grade on all five required exams must be 65+%.

In order to graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma, students must pass all the Regents exams required for an Advanced regents Diploma, and fulfill the following distribution and credit requirements:
*  All of the Regents diploma requirements must be met, as well as three years of credits (6 credits) in foreign language.
*  Passing grade of 65+% on eight required Regents exams (including a second math and science regents, a foreign language Regents, and the standard five Regents exams.)

Promotional Requirements
As per Department of Education policy, students are promoted from one grade to the next based on the credit requirements noted below:
Promotion from Grade 9 to Grade 10 -  The student has earned a minimum of eight credits.
*  Promotion from Grade 10 to Grade 11 - The student has earned a minimum of twenty credits, including four credits in Global History and four credits in English.

Promotion from Grade 11 to Grade 12 - The student has earned a minimum of thirty credits, including four credits in Global History and four credits in English.

Students are promoted at the end of each semester, provided that they have fulfilled the above cumulative credit requirements.

Students will be certified as graduates, regardless of their grade, when they have fulfilled all credit requirements required by the State of new York and when they have passed all required state examinations.

Regents Diploma
In order to receive a Regents diploma, a student must earn a mark of 65% or higher on each of the following Regents examinations:
*  Comprehensive English
*  Mathematics A
*  Global History and Geography
*  US History
*  One Science:  Living Environment, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics.

In order to receive an Advanced regents diploma, a student must earn a mark of 65% or higher on each of the following Regents examinations:
*  Comprensive English
*  Mathematics A
*  mathematics B
*  Global History and Geography
*  US History
*  Two Sciences:  Living Environment, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics
*  Foreign Language

Advanced Placement Exams
All students at Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy who elect to enroll in Advanced placement courses must sit for the requisite AP Exam as a condition of enrollment.  Students who are enrolled in an AP course, but fail to sit for the AP Examination, will not receive AP designation for the course oon their high school transcript.

At this time, students may receive Advanced Placement credit for college on the basis of the followiong examinations:
*  Calculus
*  Living Environment
*  English Language and Composition
*  Spanish Language and Composition
*  Spanish Literature and Composition
*  US History
*  World History
*  Studio Art

All students who enroll ini an Advanced Placement class must participate in a week-long AP Summer Institute which will culminate in a project or paper.

Advanced Placement classes are a committment and should be treated as such.  Students who commit to an Advanced placement course will not be allowed to drop that class once the term begins.  All AP courses are contingent upon the number of enrolled students.

The Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy offers the PSAT to students in the 10th and 11th grades.  Currently, the Department of Education has provided the exam free to all students.  The PSAT serves as practice for students who will take the SAT Reasoning Test as part of the college admission process.  Students who take the PSAT in 11th grade will qualify for the national meri Scholarship/National Achievement Scholarship competition based on their test performance.  PSAT scores are one factor in determining which students are eligible to take College Now courses.

The College Board provides PSAT test-takers with a comprehensive score report that contains valuable information for students preparing for the SAT Reasoning Test.  Score reports are returned to students in mid-December of each year.  The guidance counselors will assist students in interpreting their score reports and identifying the areas and skill for which further preparation is required.

The SAT Reasoning test
The SAT Reasoning Test is a college entrance exam required as part of the application process to most four-year bachelor's degree programs.  Two-year community colleges usually require the exam for determining course placement and awarding scholarships.  The SAT attempts to measure critical thinking skills by assessing how well students analyze and solve problems.  The SAT is comprised of three sections:  critical reading, mathematics, and writing.

The SAT is offered seven times a year, and students generally take the exam for the first time in spring of their junior year.  Most students elect to re-take the exam in the fall of the senior year.  In general, so that colleges will receive score reports on time, students must take the exam no later than October of the senior year.

Students are responsible for paying the SAT registration fee and for submitting the registration application on time.  Students who are eligible for free or reduced lunch may receive a fee waiver for taking the SAT.  If you have questions about this, see your guidance counselor.

Most college require students to have an official SAT score report mailed to them directly by the College Board.  All students who take the SAT receive four college score reports at no extra cost.  Additional reports may be purchased, for a fee, from the College Board.

The SAT II Subject Tests
The SAT II Subject Tests are one-hour multiple choice exams that measure how much students know about a particular academic subject and how they can apply that knowledge.  These exams help colleges compare the academic achievement of students from different schools across the country.

Many selective colleges require students to take two or three SAT II Subject tests.  Usually, colleges require that at least one of these exams be taken in mathematics or science and that an additional exam be taken in English or social studies.  It is the student's responsibility to become aware of each college's admission requirements.

In general, students must have taken all SAT Subject tests prior to early fall of the 12th grade year.  We strongly suggest that students take the SAT II Subject Test in June of the year they finish the corresponding high school course.  The English Department recommends thatstudents wait until the fall of the senior year in order to take the Literature examination.

The ACT is a national college admission examination that consists of sub-tests in English, mathematics, reading, and science, as well as an optional writing test.  Unlike the SAT, the ACT is curriculum-based.  Virtually all colleges and universities, including all of the Ivy League schools, permit students to take the ACT.

Traditionally, the ACT has been a more popular college entrance exam in the mid-west and west.  In recent years it has become more popular in the northeast.  The ACT can serve as an excellent option for students instead of, or in addition to, the SAT.

Many highly competitive colleges will accept the ACT with writing in lieu of both the SAT Reasoning Test and SAT II Subject tests.  The ACT has established a "score choice" policy, meaning that scores are not reported to colleges until students have first reviewed their results.  The ACT registration forms are available in either the Guidance Suite or the College Office.


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