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Graduation Requirements Class of 2021

What Colorado's New Graduation Guidelines Mean for CCHS

Graduation Requirements beginning with the Class of 2021

What are the new Colorado Graduation Guidelines?
In 2007, the Colorado legislature created law that directed the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) to set new high school graduation guidelines. In 2013, the CDE established those graduation guidelines and began changing the definition of what Colorado students must do to earn a high school diploma. In September 2015, the Colorado graduation competency measures for English and Math were approved by the Colorado State Board of Education.  In its most essential form, the law requires local districts to adopt graduation expectations that meet or exceed these state guidelines.

State law also required all Colorado school districts to adopt revised Colorado Academic Standards  – high expectations for what students should know and be able to do at every grade level in every course.  State law now links academic standards and competencies to high school graduation.  The goal is to ensure that each of our students will succeed after high school regardless of the path they choose.  

Beginning with the Class of 2021(this year’s current 7th graders), Colorado graduates must:

  • Successfully complete the graduation course requirements for their high school; and
  • Successfully complete the Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) process; and
  • Demonstrate competency in English and Math

How are the new Graduation Guidelines different than what CCHS currently requires to graduate?

Academic and career pathways are currently in place.
Our high school currently has in place and will continue to offer rigorous graduation course requirements provided through multiple pathways. These course requirements prepare students to be college and career ready. Course pathways are designed to cater to students’ areas of interests and passions. A few examples of current academic and career pathways include:

  • General Education 
  • Career and Technical Education 
  • College Preparatory 
  • Honors Diploma (Honors Courses/Advanced Placement Courses)
  • Concurrent Enrollment Courses

Students currently complete the ICAP process.
Legislation requires every Colorado graduate to have completed the Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) process. The ICAP is a personalized career and academic planning process designed to help ensure academic success for each and every student. Quality Indicators in the ICAP process include self-awareness, career awareness, postsecondary aspirations, environmental expectations, academic planning, employability skills and personal financial literacy. CCHS is committed to helping students and families engage in the Individual Career and Academic Planning process for every student as part of their graduation requirements. 

Graduates must meet a new requirement around “demonstration of competency."  
In September 2015, the Colorado State Board of Education approved a "Menu of Options" listing ways students will be able to demonstrate competency in English and Math. Colorado Graduation Guidelines legislation requires local boards of education to adopt options from this menu through which their students must demonstrate competency. It’s important to know that the vast majority of high school graduates already demonstrate competency on many of these measures. Beginning with the Class of 2021, state law requires  students to demonstrate competency on at least one of the adopted measures in both English and Math in order to graduate.

Below is the Colorado State Board of Education approved menu of competency measures under consideration by the Clear Creek School District Board of Education. It is important to understand that the state's Menu of Options will change and evolve over time, and that the CCSD Board of Education may not adopt the State's Menu of Options in its entirety.

Colorado State Board of Education Approved Menu of Options
(Menu of Options under consideration by Clear Creek School District Board of Education)
Students must demonstrate competency in at least one measure in English and
at least one measure in Math in order to graduate.

Colorado Graduation Guidelines Competency Options

What are the next steps?

A Clear Creek High School Graduation Guideline Task Force (composed of middle and high school counselors, administrators, parents and special populations educators) has been meeting since the fall of 2015. The Task Force has been monitoring the ongoing conversations happening at the state level as the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado State Board of Education enacted this legislation. The CCHS Task Force is having conversations about what our high school currentlys offer, how our high school already meets the new guidelines, and what possible changes need to be made while keeping in mind the needs and values of CCHS students, their families and the community. 

Colorado Graduation Requirements Implementation Timeline

2015-2016 School boards adopt revisions to local graduation requirements that meet or exceed state guidelines 
2016-2017 School boards decide menu of options for students to demonstrate college and career readiness
2017-2018 Implement new graduation requirements with ninth graders
2018-2019  Implement new graduation requirements with ninth and tenth graders
2019-2020  Implement new graduation requirements with ninth, tenth and eleventh graders
2020-2021 Graduate first class under new graduation requirements

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