Portfolio Graduation Requirement

Students in Santa Cruz City Schools are required to complete an English Portfolio prior to graduation in addition to standard graduation requirements. Students have four years to complete a piece in each of the categories below with a collective average score of 3.5.

  1. Reading Informational Materials & Public Documents
  2. Control of Conventions (the mechanics of writing)
  3. Report or Narrative
  4. Quantity, Range, & Depth of Reading
  5. Persuasive Essay
  6. Response to Literature

How Are the Pieces Scored?

The pieces are assigned in English classes and scored with rubrics used district-wide. Students can score between a 0-5. The piece with the highest score in each of the six categories, regardless of which year it is written (9th - 12th), is used to calculate this average.

When are Portfolio Pieces Taught?

The first three categories are introduced in grade 9, and the second three in grade 10. Students are then provided opportunities each year after to successfully complete the portfolio requirement in the categories they need.

How Can I Find Out Where My Student Stands?

Portfolios records are stored at the school site. A letter is sent out to parents at the beginning of the student's junior year (and again during the senior year) if he/she has not yet met the requirements.

Does Every Student Have to Complete This Requirement?

Yes. However, students in Special Education, English Language Learners, or others performing below grade level may qualify for a modified portfolio requirement determined by a team made up of the student's teachers, case load manager (if the student has one), the Portfolio Coordinator and Assistant Principal of Curriculum.

What if My Student Did Not Attend Santa Cruz City Schools as a 9th, 10th or 11th grader?

Students who transferred into Santa Cruz City Schools as sophomores are responsible for completing four of the six components with an overall average of 3.5. Junior transfers need to complete two. Students enrolling as seniors are exempt.

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High School Graduation Requirements

English: 40 Credits

Fine & Applied Arts: 25 Credits

  • 10 credits must be fine arts
  • 5 credits must be applied arts
  • 10 credits may be from fine or applied arts and/or world language

9th Grade Core (health/technology): 10 Credits

  • Earns 5.0 Health and 5.0 General Education Cr. (Applied Art credit can be earned if student passes a Technology Test)

Mathematics: 20 Credits

  • Must include Algebra 1, or Alg 1A & 1B

Physical Education: 20 Credits

Science: 20 Credits

  • Life Science (LS) or Biology (LS) 10
  • Physical Science (PS) or Chemistry (PS) or Physics (PS) 10

Social Studies: 30 Credits

  • World Civilizations (10th grade) 10
  • US History (11th grade) 10
  • American Government (12th grade) 5
  • Economics (12th grade) 5

Additional Selective Credits 65

Minimum credits required to graduate: 230

Graduation Requirements for University of California and California State Universities (A – G)

A: History/Social Science – 2 years required
B: English – 4 years required
C: Mathematics – 3 years required, 4 years recommended
D: Laboratory Science – 2 years required, 3 years recommended
E: Language Other than English – 2 years required, 3 years recommended
F: Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) – 1 year required
G: College-Preparatory Electives – 1 year required