High School Regulations
Proficiency Based Graduation Requirements
Letters from Commissioner Gist RE:graduation requirements & NECAP assessment (Feb 2013)
Department of Education Website - Middle & Secondary Reform & Graduation Requirements
The Middletown Public Schools are committed to providing a comprehensive high school diploma system which enables all students to achieve proficiency in rigorous academic and applied learning standards. Proficiencies in academic, social, and civic areas shall be based on the Middletown High School Student Learning Expectations (SLEs) as well as the grade 10 Grade Span Expectations (GSEs) as set by the Rhode Island Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education. The requirements for a Middletown High School diploma shall be as set by the School Committee and published annually in the High School's Program of Studies. Such requirements shall be consistent with Rhode Island Board of Regents Regulations
Graduation by proficiency is based on mutual, shared accountability. The school district is accountable for providing an educational program designed to give all students multiple and varied opportunities to demonstrate proficiency. Students are accountable for participation in, and completion of, their program. To that end, all students in Middletown shall have access to rigorous curriculum and instruction as well as scaffolded support designed to achieve proficiency as shall be required of them to graduate.
Students will need to successfully complete the following Carnegie units in the designated content areas: (1 unit = a full year of study)
For the Class of 2010 and each successive class:
English 4 units
Mathematics 4 units
Social Studies 3 units
Science 3 units
PE/Health 2 units (4 semesters)
Fine/Performing Arts .5 unit
Community Service Requirements:
All students will complete 20 hours of approved community service learning. Students must also successfully complete all required reflective writings based upon their community service.
1. All students will successfully complete a Capstone Project, which is an exhibition based on student choice that involves independent research, problem solving, and a written and oral presentation before a panel. Successful completion will be a demonstration of proficiency in four applied learning standards and the standards in at least one content area.
2. All students will successfully complete. Graduation Portfolio which contains acceptable entries from all content areas. The entire Graduation Portfolio shall document evidence that the student has demonstrated proficiency in each of the MHS academic Student Learning Expectations (SLEs), which are:
- A Middletown High School graduate will effectively utilize literacy skills: reading analysis and interpretation, writing, listening, and speaking.
- A Middletown High School graduate will acquire, analyze, and evaluate information and ideas to solve problems effectively.
- A Middletown High School graduate will demonstrate technological literacy.
- A Middletown High School graduate will demonstrate a critical understanding of aesthetics.
- A Middletown High School graduate will identify behaviors that are physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy.
Specific requirements of the MHS Graduation Portfolio, i.e., quantity of acceptable entries required reflective writing, etc. will be published in the MHS Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirement Handbook and is subject to School Committee approval.
Formative portfolio assessments will occur during the freshman, sophomore, and junior years. The final Graduation Portfolio assessment will occur no later than the second semester of the senior year.
ROLE OF STATE ASSESSMENTS
All students, except those participating in an alternative assessment because of their disability, must participate in the state assessment program. State assessments will be administered in accordance with a timeline established by the Rhode Island Department of Education. All state assessment results shall be included on student transcripts. Students receiving a score of "Meeting the Standard" or "Exceeding the Standard" or scoring a 3 or 4 on the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) exam shall be exempted from the inclusion of one entry in the Graduation Portfolio in the appropriate content area(s) the student exceeded the standard (English, mathematics, science, or social studies). Beginning with the graduating class of 2014, students must attain partial proficiency (at minimum) to meet graduation requirements. Further guidance shall be outlined in the MHS Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirement Handbook.
The following guidelines shall apply to students who transfer into Middletown High School:
1. Students entering prior to the start of their junior year must complete all academic and community service requirements as detailed in this policy. A Capstone Project must also be successfully completed. The Graduation Portfolio must also be successfully completed, with prorated requirements as outlined in the MHS Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirement Handbook. If the entering student completed entries in their electronic portfolio from a RI Electronic Portfolio System district, then all entries will be transferred to the MHS portfolio.
2. Students entering after the start of their junior year must complete all academic and community service requirements as detailed in this policy. Students will complete the Capstone Project or will have completed a proficiency based requirement of their previous high school, so long as that requirement of their previous high school was approved by the Rhode Island Department of Education. Students choosing to exercise the option to follow the proficiency based guidelines of the previous high school must notify the principal, in writing (cosigned by a parent/legal guardian if the student is under the age of 18), at the time of enrollment. Regardless of choice, students entering after the start of their junior year will complete a Graduation Portfolio with prorated requirements as outlined in the MHS Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirement Handbook.
3. Individual situations not addressed by this policy will be handled on a caseby- case basis at the school level. The approval of the Superintendent of Schools is required for variations from this policy.
COMMUNICATION & PROGRESS MONITORING
All students entering Joseph H. Gaudet Middle School shall be notified of the proficiency based graduation requirements. Written notice will be provided to their families and posted on the district web site. The same information shall be shared with students and families of those entering Middletown High School. Advisory teachers for 7th and 8th grade students will review all graduation requirements with their advisees. The same will occur in all advisories at Middletown High School. MHS advisory teachers will monitor their advisees' progress toward successful completion of a Capstone Project and Graduation Portfolio throughout their four-year experience. As part of a comprehensive guidance program, all Gaudet Middle School and Middletown High School students shall have an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) which guides course selection, academic preparation, and planning toward all proficiency based graduation requirements. High school guidance counselors
will review the ILP with their students and communicate progress toward successful completion of all graduation requirements annually.
Students who believe that they have been improperly denied a diploma may appeal the decision by citing the reason(s) in writing addressed to the Principal of Middletown High School. The appeal shall cite specific reasons for disagreement, and if the student is under the age of 18, it must be cosigned by a parent/legal guardian.
If the appeal is due to unsuccessful completion of a Capstone Project or Graduation Portfolio, the written letter appeal must be filed to the Principal of Middletown High School within five (5) school days of the Capstone presentation or final Graduation Portfolio assessment. The appeal shall cite specific reasons for disagreement on the presentation/portfolio assessment score. If the student is under the age of 18, the appeal must be cosigned by a parent/legal guardian. The appeal will be considered by an independent Appeals Panel consisting of at least three staff members, none of which participated in the appellant's Capstone presentation or Graduation Portfolio assessment. If the Appeals Panel is presented with substantive evidence supporting the appeal, then the panel may authorize another Capstone presentation or Graduation Portfolio assessment to be conducted by a new team of evaluators.
If the appeal is denied by the Appeals Panel, the student may further petition the decision to the Principal of Middletown High School. If denied by the principal, the appeal may be presented following normal appeal procedure through the Superintendent, the School Committee, and if necessary, the State Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education.