Tuesday, 22 December 2009 07:00

College- and Career-Ready Academic Plan

Canyons School District has developed innovations to usher in more challenging academics, additional educational choices for families, and improved facilities in which our students learn.

The Canyons Board of Education on Feb. 16, 2010 unanimously approved Utah's first college- and career-ready diplomas program, and began efforts to reconfigure school grade levels (i.e., K-5, 6-8, 9-12), facilities, and programs to better address student academic needs, reach out to communities, and provide more educational choices to students and parents.

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Q: Where can I find a list of Advanced and Honors credit requirements?

A. Visit (Coming Soon) to find diploma requirements for the class of 2012 through the class of 2017.

Q. Why Do Credit Requirements Differ for the Class of 2011 – 2015, 2016 and 2017?

A. Canyons is phasing in changes to world language and social studies requirements to assist students in their efforts to earn Advanced and Honors Diplomas. First, students, beginning with the Class of 2017, will need to earn world language credits while in high school, or grades nine- through 12. Additionally, Canyons is phasing in a new social studies requirement that frees up 0.5 credit for a social studies elective. The new social studies requirement, effective for the Class of 2016 and thereafter, will be 3 credits, instead of 3.5 credits. This is still above the state required 2.5 social studies credits.

Q. How can I apply to receive an Advanced or Honors Diploma?

A. Download the pdf Diploma Application.pdf to receive an Advanced or Honors diploma. Please fill out the form and give it to your school counselor. The application deadline is Friday, April 1, 2011.

Q. When will the District start awarding Diploma Emphasis recognitions?

A. Diploma Emphasis recognitions are expected to be awarded as early as spring 2012.

Q. What happened to the weighted GPA requirement of the Honors Diploma?

A. A committee of Canyons counselors and academic, school, special education and career and technical education directors determined a weighted GPA was infeasible at this time. As part of its work, the committee interviewed Utah colleges and universities, Newsweek's Top 25 high schools and teachers and counselors at Canyons high schools. The committee could not identify a uniform weighting method for Canyons high schools. It also found many districts nationwide are discontinuing weighted GPAs because colleges and universities use their own unique weighting systems.

Q. What if I can't afford to take the ACT for the Honors Diploma?

A. There are a few different ways students can receive assistance on the ACT. First, the District has set aside funding for all students to take the ACT college entrance test in 11th grade. Students wanting to take the ACT more than once to meet diploma requirements can inquire about fee waivers at their school's counseling center. ACT test scores can be used to meet Honors Diploma requirements. They also will help school counselors, teachers, parents and students work together to tailor students' educational plans to their career- and college aspirations. The District also gives the ACT EXPORE and ACT PLAN tests to all Canyons students in the eighth- and 10th grades, respectively, to help students better prepare for college and careers.

Q. How can I meet new diploma requirements while completing internships or participating in Released Time and other activities?

A. The District is developing innovative strategies to help students complete core courses through flexible means. For example, students wanting extra academic opportunities can access them in a unique summer semester, successfully piloted in summer 2010. Or, they might choose to demonstrate proficiency via exams to satisfy some requirements (a native Spanish speaker could demonstrate proficiency on the world languages requirement, for example). The District is continuing its discussions with higher education partners and businesses to develop innovative course delivery options that utilize technology and distance learning.

Q. Is the district considering any innovations that would allow students flexibility in meeting the Advanced and Honors Diploma requirements?

A. Yes. First, the district would plan to allow students to meet course credit requirements by means of proficiency testing — for example, if a student can demonstrate foreign language fluency above a second-year level, the two years of foreign language could be waived. However, students should meet with their school counselor to ensure credits earned through proficiency tests will be transferable for other academic purposes, including entrance to a desired college or university, Regents Scholarship requirements, or NCAA play. Additionally, the district is working to develop a summer semester to provide students additional in-class and on-line options for completing selected core courses in English, math, science, and social studies.

Q. Where do students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and other disadvantaged students fit into this proposal?

A. We have designed the Advanced Diploma with all students in mind, and believe that nearly every student, with the proper support and assistance, will be able to meet its college- and career-ready requirements.

Q. When will the first Advanced and Honors diplomas be awarded?

A. The intent of getting new diploma options adopted now is so the new requirements can be used by guidance counselors with current eighth-graders so they can fulfill all requirements when they graduate in 2015. However, we will begin awarding differentiated diplomas to students who meet the requirements in spring 2011.

Have a question that's not answered here? Please contact your school counselor or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Last modified on Wednesday, 21 March 2012 22:13
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