Graduation Requirements

Graduation from Carlynton Junior-Senior High School shall be in accordance with the standards as established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Board of School Directors of the Carlynton School District. These requirements are summarized below.

Credits Required for Graduation:

English 4.00
Mathematics 3.00
Science 3.00
Social Studies 3.00
*Health/Phys. Ed. 2.50
Electives 8.50
TOTAL 24.00 Credits

* The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires Physical Education every year, and one course in Health.

COURSES REQUIRED for graduation:
English – Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
Science – Biology
Social Studies – American Cultures I; American Cultures II; American Government and the Economy or AP U.S. Government and Politics Wellness I
Health/Physical Education – Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

In addition to the state requirements for graduation, the Carlynton Board of Education has established additional local requirements. Those requirements include a minimum subject load of six (6) credits per year, excluding health & physical education. A score of proficient or advanced on the eleventh grade PSSA Assessments (see below) or District-approved assessments is required of all students in grade 12.

A credit is earned for a course upon satisfactory completion of one hundred twenty (120) clock hours of instruction in a planned course. However, credit for a course can be forfeited for excessive absences (20 or more days) in a year course or (15 or more days) in a semester course.

Promotion to higher class standing requires a minimum of 6 credits earned for sophomore status, 12 credits earned for junior status, and 18 credits earned for senior status. Failure to earn the required credits will result in the student's retention in the appropriate grade level homeroom.

PLEASE NOTE: In addition to the credit requirement for graduation, students must demonstrate proficiency on each of the three Keystone Exams; Algebra 1, Biology, and Literature. If a student scores below proficient on a Keystone Exam, they will need to complete the corresponding Keystone fundamentals class prior to retaking the test. If a student scores below proficient on their second attempt, they will be enrolled in the corresponding Project Based Assessment course. After a second attempt on a Keystone Exam, they will need to either complete the Project Based Assessment or score a proficient score on the Keystone Exam to fulfill the state level graduation requirement. Students are permitted to take the Keystone Exams while they are currently enrolled in the Project Based Assessment class. Students cannot retake a Keystone exam without receiving supplemental instruction between each attempt.

Changes to Keystones and Project-Based Assessments (Senate Bill 880)

What has changed in terms of PDE requirements?

Pennsylvania has amended graduation requirements specific to Keystone Exams. As stated in Senate Bill 880, which was passed on January 20, 2016, "the use of the Keystone Exam as a graduation requirement or as a benchmark for the need for participation in a project-based assessment shall be delayed until the 2021-2022 school year." 

What has stayed the same?

Keystone Exams in Literature, Algebra I, and Biology are still required to be administered by the school district and taken by students. These skills are still necessary for college readiness. The district still has a responsibility and expectation to provide supplemental for students who are not yet proficient.

Where is The District in terms of these changes?

Even though Keystone Exams will not be a graduation requirement until 2021-2022, students will be required to take these exams. The Carlynton School District will continue to support students that are not yet scoring "Proficient" or higher so they are prepared for post-secondary education, career, and life.

Specifically, students will continue to take the Literature Keystone Exam at the conclusion of 10th grade English course. If a student is not proficient on the Literature Keystone, he or she will continue to receive supplemental instruction and re-test the following year.

Students will continue to take the Algebra Keystone Exam. For most Carlynton JSHS students, this exam is administered at the end of the Algebra I course. If a student is not proficient on the Algebra Keystone Exam, he or she will continue to receive supplementary instruction the following year and re-take the exam.

Students will continue to take the Biology Keystone Exam at the conclusion of the 9th grade biology course. If a student is not proficient on the Biology Keystone Exam, he or she will be scheduled to receive supplemental instruction the following year and re-take the exam.


To view more information regarding the Keystone Exams, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education's website or the Assessment tab on the District website.


The Senior Project

Prior to the end of a student’s senior year, a Graduation Project must be completed. The Graduation Project is a presentation activity that demonstrates the student’s ability to apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate a selected topic and communicate significant knowledge and understanding to the teacher. Students select a theme for the project and compile information about their topic through extensive research and a written paper. The activity also requires the preparation of visual props or a display of proficient knowledge of the theme by means of a demonstration.

The graduation project enhances the student’s composition and research skills, oral communication skills, organizational skills and creative thinking skills.

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