The Douglas County School District is committed to ensuring that every student is college and career ready and receives a high school diploma. To receive a high school diploma, district students must meet the requirements set forth in this policy.

Minimum Credits and Credit Calculation
To graduate and receive a diploma from a district school, a student must earn a minimum of 24 credits as set forth in more detail below. A unit of credit is defined as the amount of credit given for the successful completion of a course which meets at least 40 minutes daily, five days per week for one academic year (36 weeks) on a traditional schedule or a four-or-more-hour college semester hour course (1 credit). One unit of credit is equivalent to 120 clock hours. One half credit is given for successful completion of a class which meets at least 40 minutes daily five days per week for one semester (18 weeks) on a traditional schedule or a two-or-more-hour college semester course. The district will use these measurement standards to calculate credits earned by students who have non-traditional schedule.

District students begin accruing credits towards earning a diploma and graduation upon completion of high school level courses identified in IKF-R-1.

Graduation Requirements
To graduate and receive a diploma from a district school, a student must satisfy all of the following requirements:

  1. Academic Requirements
  1. Attain a minimum of 24 units of credit in the following areas:
  • 16 Credits in the following CORE Curricular Areas as follows
    • Language Arts 4.0
    • Mathematics 3.0*
    • Science 3.0
    • Social Studies 3.0 **
    • Practical Arts 1.0
    • Fine Arts 1.0
    • Physical Education 1.0

*At least one of the three credits of mathematics must include Algebra 1
**At least 0.5 credits must include Civics/US Government

  • 8 Credits in Electives 

b. To earn credit in a class, students must demonstrate proficiency on the content standards embedded in the course. Documentation that these standards have been achieved will be through teacher judgement based on District assessments, end of course tests or other measurements, as well as satisfaction of other stipulated course expectations.

Students who do not achieve these standards will be enrolled in courses or programs as prescribed by the school principal and faculty.

Course content and/or graduation requirements may be adjusted for those students with individualized education plans (IEPs) in accordance with applicable law.

With prior approval of the high school principal, up to a total of six credits of approved correspondence, college/university courses (for 11th/12th grade students only through the post-secondary options act), and/or online courses from an accredited educational institution, as identified in IKF-R-2, may be used to meet either the electives or required portion of the academic requirements to receive a diploma.

  1. Document a minimum of twenty hours community service while enrolled as a high school student as identified in IKFB.
  1. Demonstrate college and career readiness via one of the approved methods. Students must provide documentation of meeting or exceeding the required level of readiness in both Mathematics and English. (beginning with the graduating class of 2021)
  1. Completion of the requirements and goals as listed on a student’s Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) and/or Individualized Education Plan (IEP) which may include modified content standards. (beginning with the class of 2021)

Residency Requirements

A diploma will be issued from the school in which the student spent his/her last full semester prior to meeting the district’s graduation requirements unless prior written arrangements have been secured from the principal of the receiving school. Ninth, tenth, and first semester eleventh grade students who transfer into a district high school must satisfy all of the graduation requirements set forth in this policy to receive a diploma from a district school.

Second semester eleventh grade students and twelfth grade students who transfer into a district school must satisfy all of the district’s “Core Credit” requirements and at least 6.5 credits of the “Elective Credit” requirement, the district’s Responsible Citizenship Expectations, and the district’s community service requirement to receive a diploma from a district school.

Participation in Graduation Exercises

To participate in graduation exercises students must meet all of the following:

  1. Successfully complete all of the “academic requirements,” as described above, including correspondence and other out-of-school coursework no later than forty-eight hours prior to graduation exercises;
  2. Be a full time student (as defined as taking the equivalent of seven classes per semester which are transcripted through a district school);
  1. Wear, without alteration, the designated cap and gown and must have appearance and dress that conforms with standards established by the Board of Education and/or building principal;
  1. Demonstrate behavior (during the semester prior to graduation) deemed by the building principal, to be compatible with the district’s Responsible Citizenship Expectations and, as described in IKF-R-1;
  1. Cooperate fully with the school’s staff during all school sponsored senior activities, including graduation exercises; and,
  1. Return all school/district property and clear all outstanding debts owed the school

Certificate of Attendance (foreign exchange students)
A foreign exchange student may participate in the high school graduation ceremony and receive a certificate of attendance if the student has successfully completed all enrolled courses.

  1. Notification of Postsecondary Opportunities
    Students are encouraged to begin planning during their high school years so they will be adequately prepared for postsecondary opportunities upon graduation. The Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) is required to provide information to the parents/guardians of eighth grade students about postsecondary educational opportunities including admission requirements for institutions of higher education in Colorado. Prior to a student’s enrollment in ninth grade courses, the District will make information available to the parents/guardians of eighth grade students concerning the courses the District offers that meet the CCHE admission requirements.

    Adopted: February 5, 1980
    Revised: April 4, 1989
    Revised: March 19, 1991
    Revised: July 19, 1994
    Revised: August 15, 2000
    Revised: December 5, 2000
    Revised: July 16, 2002
    Revised: September 20, 2005
    Revised: February 20, 2007
    Revised: October 18, 2016

    C.R.S. 22-1-103 through 22-1-111
    C.R.S. 22-32-109 (1)(ff)

    IKE, Promotion and Retention of Students
    IKFA, Early Graduation
    IKF-R-3, Graduation Competencies (beginning with the Class of 2021)
    JECBA, Admission of Foreign Students and/or the School District.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.

In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District's Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, [email protected], 303-387-0127.

Outside Agencies

Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.


Special Education records which have been collected by Douglas County School District related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of special education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for the period of five (5) years after special education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, or completes his/her educational program at age 21, or moves from the district. This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of Douglas County School District's intent to destroy the special education records of students who exited special education services as of June 30, 2016. These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise. After five years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for social security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc. The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request a copy of the records by requesting the records at this link ( Douglas County School District Transcripts and Records Requests ).