High School Course Guide

Guide to Success

Our Mission

Believe… Achieve… Succeed

The Sioux City Community School District exists to educate students to believe in their talents and skills, achieve academic excellence, and succeed in reaching their potential. We offer a strong academic program of studies that focuses on improving student learning and achievement. By blending a solid-core curriculum and caring staff, our schools provide students with excellent opportunities for learning and growth.

Our Exit Level Intentions

As a result of their education, graduates of the Sioux City Community School District will:

Demonstrate Critical Thinking and Problem Solving.

Students will be able to create solutions to complex problems through inquiry and investigations. Students will be able to access, analyze, and use key information as they develop solutions to complex problems.

Demonstrate Communication Skills.

Students will be able to successfully show information through multiple means that include visual, digital, verbal, and nonverbal interactions. Communication is purposeful, clear, and concise and leads to an accurate exchange of information and ideas.

Be Self-Sufficient and Autonomous Lifelong Learners and Citizens.

Students will be able to respond and adjust to situational needs, change to meet the challenges of new roles, paradigms, and environments, and create quality results in an ever-changing environment through the nurturing of lifelong learning


Additional Information & Guidelines

Advanced Placement (AP) Program

Advanced Placement is a program of college-level courses and exams that give high school students the opportunity to receive “bonus GPA points” and/or college credit. Students who wish to earn bonus GPA points must take the AP Exam upon completion of AP courses. A minimum score of 3 or 4 on the AP Exam is required to receive college credit. The number of college credits awarded for each AP course is subject to the individual college policy, department review, and approval. The number of high school credits earned for each AP course is listed below.

AP American History AP European History  2
AP Biology 2
AP Chemistry 4
AP Computer Science A – PLTW 2
AP Computer Science Principals – PLTW 2
AP English Language and Composition  2
AP English Literature and Composition  2
AP Environmental Science  2
AP European History  2
AP Music Theory 2
AP Psychology 2
AP Spanish Literature & Culture 2
AP Spanish Language & Culture 2
AP Statistics 2
AP Studio Art: Drawing 2
AP US Government & Politics 2

Articulation

Articulation is the process of mutually agreeing upon core competencies and performance levels transferable between institutions and programs for college credit. The purpose of articulation is to enable students enrolled in high school courses to transfer to a community college and receive college credit for the competencies achieved at the high school. Upon course completion, students must check with the instructor to ensure the necessary forms are sent with the high school transcript.

Dual Credit

Dual credit refers to successfully completing a course for which the student receives both high school and college credits. This may be a high school course that also carries college credit, or a college course that also carries high school credits, such as those in the Postsecondary Enrollment Options Program. Courses that may be used for dual credit are designated with the notation “Dual Credit w/(name of appropriate institution).”

Full-Time Student Status

In order to be considered a full-time general education student in the Sioux City Community School District, each student shall schedule a minimum of five academic courses (credits) per semester. Courses designated as Post Secondary Enrollment Option may be scheduled as part of the required five academic high school credits defining a full-time student. Students have the right to appeal the full-time student board policy to the Principal and to the Superintendent or his/her designee. (Board Policy 684.06)

Grade Point Average Calculation

The method of computation for the weighted grade point average will be based on the GPA Plus formula beginning with the freshman class of 2011 (Board Policy AR605.4). Additional weight for the courses below is added to the student’s unweighted GPA after its typical calculation (+.02 per course per semester). Additional weight (.01) is added for earning 7.5 credits or more per semester and earning a 2.0 grade point average for that semester (See Parent/Guardian & Student Handbook for additional information). A minimum score of 3 or 4 on the AP Exam is required to receive college credit.

  • English Composition I & II
  • Calculus I & II
  • Calculus w/Analytical Geometry
  • Advanced Calculus
  • College Physics I & II
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I & II
  • All AP Courses
  • College Chemistry I & II

High school classes taken during middle school will be counted as high school credit toward graduation and will be computed into the high school GPA.

Internships

High School Internships are available for juniors and seniors who are interested in participating in career experiences during high school. Students are able to earn academic credit while exploring careers in all Career Pathways. Internship assignments are arranged in conjunction with the school counselor.

Schedule Changes

Schedule changes will normally occur at the beginning of the school year only for the following reasons:

  • The student completed a course during summer school which is on the student’s schedule.
  • The student must repeat a failed course from a previous year.
  • There is an error in the student’s schedule.

A student who wishes to add a class to his/her schedule for one of the above reasons must do so within the first ten school days of the semester. A student who wishes to drop a class without penalty must do so within the first ten school days of the semester. No class will be dropped to accommodate an added class without the permission of the parent/guardian and the building principal or his/her designee. Students have the right to appeal the drop procedures to the building principal or his/her designee. (Board Policy 684.06)

Seal of Biliteracy

The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given to recognize students who have attained proficiency in two or more languages, one of which is English, by high school graduation. The Seal of Biliteracy:

  • Recognizes the value of language diversity and cultural identity.
  • Prepares students with 21st-century skills that will benefit them in the labor market and the global society.
  • Provides employers, universities, and grant/scholarship providers with a method to recognize applicants for their dedication to the attainment of biliteracy.

Students in SCCSD that pass the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam with a minimum score of 3, and score proficient on Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) during their junior year will be awarded the Seal of Biliteracy on their diploma. Students will also receive a certificate of completion. For additional information, contact our World Languages Program Coordinator, (712) 279-6840 ext. 6124.

Talented & Gifted Education

In gifted education, a variety of programs and services are offered to meet the diverse needs of students. Services include concepts of enrichment, acceleration, guidance, and extended learning experiences. Students are selected for participation based on evidence of need and likelihood of success. Factors that determine what curriculum modifications would best serve the students’ educational needs include the students’ abilities, interests, and achievements.

Selection instruments include standardized test scores, student interviews, academic and motivation inventories, and portfolios of student work. Neither formal nor informal instruments outweigh one or the other in the selection process. A team approach is used to determine the most appropriate programs/services for students.

Students who participated in TAG programming in middle school are encouraged to continue taking honors and advanced placement courses in high school. For more information on services provided in gifted education, parents and students are encouraged to visit with their teacher, counselor, or principal or call the Director of Learning Supports, (712) 224-3648.

Transfer of Coursework

Transfer grades from other districts presented on an official transcript will be evaluated by the building principal or his/her designee and assigned appropriate credit based on merit. The student’s transcript will be matched to the Sioux City Community School District’s graduation requirements.

Transfer students must successfully complete (pass and earn credit) five credits during the last semester of high school to earn a diploma from a Sioux City Community School District high school. Home school credits will be accepted through the third year of high school. An official transcript from the accredited home school program must be submitted to the high school principal for evaluation.


Acts & Exemptions

Human Growth & Development Exemption

The Sioux City Community School District provides instruction in human growth and development. The topics include a) self-esteem, responsible decision making, and personal responsibility and goal setting; b) interpersonal relationships; c) discouragement of acquired immune deficiency syndrome, premarital adolescent sexual activity; d) family life and parenting skills; e) human sexuality, reproduction, contraception, and family planning, prenatal development including awareness of mental retardation and its prevention, childbirth, adoption, available prenatal and postnatal support, and male and female responsibility; f) sex stereotypes; g) behaviors to prevent sexual abuse or sexual harassment; h) sexually transmitted diseases and their causes and prevention; i) substance abuse treatment and prevention; j) suicide prevention; and k) stress management. The human growth and development topics are taught in health classes as well as infused into many subject areas.

Parents are encouraged to examine the textbooks and educational materials, which are used at school. Your school principal will be happy to arrange an appointment so that you have the opportunity to become familiar with the curriculum in any subject area. Parents may have their children excused from the human growth and development classes by completing the Human Growth and Development Non-Participation form, which is available in the principal’s office.

Physical Education Exemption (Board Policy 602.11)

The physical education program is to provide opportunities and resources for students to acquire knowledge, discipline, and skills to develop physical fitness, holistic wellness, and a vigorous, healthy lifestyle. All students physically able shall be required to participate in the program for a minimum of one semester each year they are enrolled except as otherwise provided in this paragraph. A twelfth-grade student may be excused from this requirement by the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled under one of the following circumstances:

  1. The student is enrolled in a cooperative, work-study, or other educational program authorized by the school, which requires the student’s absence from the school premises during the school day.
  2. The student is enrolled in academic courses not otherwise available.
  3. An organized and supervised athletic program which requires at least as much time of participation per week as a one-eighth unit of physical education. One-eighth unit per semester equals 900 minutes of physical education per semester for each physically able student enrolled. Only when participation in an organized and supervised athletic program equals 900 minutes during a semester may a senior be excused from physical education for that semester. For purposes of this section, an organized and supervised athletic program is one that is sponsored by the school or school district and employs licensed and appropriately endorsed staff. To qualify as organized and supervised athletic programs, for example, cheer squads, dance squads, and show choirs must be supervised by licensed employees or those with coaching endorsements.
  4. Students in grades 9-11 may be excused from the physical education requirement in order to enroll in academic courses not otherwise available to them, subject to review of the Superintendent’s designee.
  5. Students in grades kindergarten through twelve shall be considered physically able unless otherwise determined by a physician. If a student is diagnosed physically unable to participate in the physical education program, he/she shall submit written documentation signed by the attending physician that he/she is physically unable to participate. This documentation shall include the beginning and ending dates of nonparticipation. This documentation shall be returned to the physical education teacher and filed in their permanent record.

A student shall not be required to meet the requirements of this policy if the student’s parent or guardian files a written statement with the school counselor that the requirement conflicts with the student’s religious beliefs. This statement shall be filed in the counseling office. To comply with the Healthy Kids Act, the district will form an agreement with the student and his/her family to meet the required minutes per week that students are engaged in physical activity.

Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Act

The Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act was enacted in 1987 to promote rigorous academic pursuits and to provide a wider variety of options to high school students by enabling them to enroll part time in nonsectarian courses in eligible postsecondary institutions of higher learning in Iowa. Students can earn both high school and postsecondary credit through this program. More information about this program may be obtained by contacting the high school counseling department or the Director of Secondary Education, 712-279-6676.

  1. Students must complete an application form that is available in the high school counseling office. The application must be approved by the student’s counselor and the Director of Secondary Education. Prior approval is required for each course.
  2. Summer school postsecondary courses are not included in this program.
  3. Transportation will be the responsibility of the student or parent and costs are not reimbursable.

Students who drop their PSEO courses after the prescribed time, will receive an F on their report card. Students who have graduated from high school are not eligible under this Act. Receipt of a diploma does not determine when graduation will occur.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against persons with a disability in any program receiving federal financial assistance. No discrimination against any person with a disability should knowingly be permitted in any of the programs and practices of the school system. The Sioux City Community School District has the responsibility under Section 504 to afford access to appropriate educational services to students who are determined to be eligible under Section 504. If the parent or guardian disagrees with the determination made by the professional staff of the school district, he/she has a right to a hearing with an impartial hearing officer.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) also specifies rights related to educational records. This act gives the parent or guardian the right to:

  1. inspect or review his/her child’s educational records;
  2. make copies of these records;
  3. receive a list of the individuals having access to those records;
  4. ask for an explanation of any item in the records;
  5. ask for an amendment to any report on the grounds that it is inaccurate, misleading, or violates the child’s rights; and
  6. a hearing on the issue if the school refuses to make the amendment.

For additional information, contact the Director of Student Services & Equity Education & Title IX Coordinator, (712) 279-6075.