Academic Policies

Definition of Terms

Required courses: All students must take these to graduate from high school.

Prerequisite: A course that is required in order to be prepared for a more advanced course.

Electives: Courses which may be chosen by the student that are not graduation requirements.

Credit: One credit is earned for a passing grade in each high school subject taken five periods a week for a full year. If the subject is only taken for half the school year, one half credit is earned.

Local diploma: A diploma based upon completion of a level of general education and required state testing.

Regents diploma: A diploma based on completion of an upper level academic program and passing required Regents Examinations.

Advanced Regents diploma: A diploma based on completion of a more rigorous academic program including additional Regents Examinations.

With honors: Indicates that the Regents or Advanced Regents Diploma was earned with Regents Exam scores averaging 90% or better.

Minimum courseload: The Voorheesville Central School Board of Education policy requires that all students in Grades 9-12 carry a course load of 6.5 credits or its equivalent each year. Students who wish to waive this must get approval from parents, guidance, and the principal.

New York state examinations: Regular education students are required to pass Regents Examinations in 4 areas; Math, Science, Social Studies and English to graduate. Students must also pass 1 additional exam in Math, Science or Social Studies. To earn a Regents Diploma, students must score a 65 or higher on all 5 tests.

A local diploma is granted with a 55 or higher on the Regents for students in our special education program as needed.

Credits required for promotion to the next grade

Grades 9 to 10: 4 Credits (including 3 from core subjects (English, Social Studies, Math, Science)

Grades 10 to 11: 9 Credits (5 from core subjects)

Grades 11 to 12″ 14 Credits (8 from core subjects)

Honor Roll/High Honor Roll

Honor Roll/High Honor Roll is determined by quarterly averages. A student on Honor Roll has achieved an average of 84.50 or higher in the quarter. A student on High Honor Roll has achieved an average of 89.50 or higher. Additional rounding cannot be used to obtain the required average. Such student cannot be on Honor Roll or High Honor Roll if they have a grade of F, NE, or INC within the quarter.

Scheduling Timetable

Counselors will meet with students in classroom groups to gather preliminary requests. Teachers recommend students for placement, department chairpersons then review (i.e. AP, Honors, Regents, School Level) as applicable. Counselors will annually review the high school plan and selected courses in individual meetings with each student. Individual conferences for students in Grade 11 will be held with a parent or guardian to review post high school plans. A course selection sheet will be finalized by April 1 and must be signed by a parent or guardian and returned to the guidance and counseling office in order to assure that requests are in place in selected courses. After the master schedule is created a student’s schedule will be developed. Where classes are canceled or a conflict arises in a student’s schedule, different courses will need to be selected.


Transfer Students

All grades from prior schools attended will become a part of the Voorheesville High School Transcript for that student. Letter grades will be converted to our numerical system using a grading conversion scale. Students from out of state and private schools will be expected to pass New York State Regents Exams and coursework as outlined in the Commissioner’s regulations. Home Schooled students who enroll in high school must also meet these requirements.

Dropping a Course

Schedules will not be altered to accommodate teacher requests, early dismissal or late arrival. The official add/drop period for all classes is 7 school days after the beginning of a course.

A schedule change due to academic difficulty may be considered prior to end of first quarter provided:

  • a request from a parent or guardian is made
  • student is carrying the required number of courses
  • student has made a sincere effort to succeed
  • the student, parent, teacher and guidance counselor are in agreement regarding the change.
  • class balance is not disrupted by the change.

Such student may then have to add a course in its place during second semester.

Grades for Dropped Courses

If a course is dropped prior to the end of the first quarter, the class will not become a part of the student’s record. After a student receives a grade in the course, in the next quarter column of the report card the student will receive either a Drop or Drop/Fail. The teacher assigns a Drop or Drop/Fail based on the current grade in the course. A Drop/Fail is equivalent to a 50 and is averaged in to that quarter’s average and the final average for that year. A student will receive a Drop/Fail if their average is below 65. A Drop/Fail may only be overridden if the student was placed in an inappropriate academic level. If a student begins a new full year course at a different academic level, grading for that course begins when the student enters the new course.

Failing Grades

A letter grade of F is used in the first half of a full year course for grades below 50. An F will be calculated as a 50 in the overall average. This will only be afforded to students who have attended at least 75% of scheduled classes. For the second half of a course, actual numerical grades will be used for grades below 50. If a student’s overall average for a course at the end of the year is below passing, the actual grades earned in the first semester will replace the original grades of 50 (F). A grade of F in physical education is not calculated numerically into the average.

Incomplete Grades

Teachers may choose to give a student an incomplete in a course provided that there is a valid reason for work not completed (i.e. extended illness). The student will have a maximum of five weeks from the end of the marking period to make up this back work.

Changing Academic Levels in a Course

A student may elect to change levels in a course (i.e. Regents to School level or Honors/AP to Regents) with teacher, parent and counselor permission provided the request is made before the end of the second quarter. Computation of the final average for the new course will include the quarters for which the student was enrolled in the course, the final examination, and input from the former teacher. A student who transfers within the last two weeks of a the first quarter will receive a letter grade of P or F for the quarter and the grade for the year will be based upon the remaining three quarters.

Testing Out of a Course

A student may test out of a course in January if they are in the course for the second time and have teacher approval. The student needs to earn an average of 75 or higher both first and second quarter, must take the midterm as part of the second quarter grade, and must take a final exam achieving a 65 or higher to prove competency in the entire course. Grading is determined by factoring in the third and fourth quarter grades of the previous year. Students may remain in the course to improve the remaining quarters and therefore the overall average.

Summer School

For course failure, Regents Exam failure or grade improvement

Students who fail one or more core courses during the regular school year are strongly advised to attend summer school at one of the local school districts.
A student who fails a Regents Exam may opt to retake the exam or course in summer school or will be scheduled to repeat the course or attend remediation classes where available. Voorheesville Central School District does not operate a summer school. Summer school programs vary from year to year within each district. To take a 1 credit course in summer school you must have taken the course before. ½ credit courses can be taken for the first time in summer school. Some summer school programs allow students to register to retake Regents Examinations due to failure or for improvement. A student who receives a higher grade on this exam will have that grade recalculated into their overall average for the course to which it applies. If the score on the walk-in exam is lower it is not recorded on the transcript.

Computation of the Final Average

The final average for a course is calculated by averaging the four quarterly grades and the final examination grade. Final averages for half year courses are calculated by doubling the two quarterly grades, adding the final exam grade to the total and dividing by five. The quarterly average is calculated by averaging each course grade equally, with the exception of courses which meet every other day and therefore carry half the weight of a daily course.
A student’s final average for the year is calculated by assigning half credit courses half the value of full-credit courses and averaging all scores.

Computation of the Transcript

All courses taken by a student that have a numerical grade are used for calculating an overall average. The only letter grades that have a numerical value are F (fail) or DF (drop/fail) which is equal to a 50. A DF is averaged in the quarter the student drops the class and in the overall average. A letter grade in PE has no numerical value.

When a course is repeated due to failure, both the failing grade and the new grade are calculated in the overall average. When a course that has been passed is repeated for improvement, only the better grade is used in calculations, although both course grades appear on the transcript.

Students who retake a Regents Exam that is used as a final exam for a course will have the higher grade used for calculating the average for that course. Students who are testing out of a course will also have the quarterly grades that they repeated recalculated into the overall average. The original final average and exam grades will appear on the transcript during the year taken. The new calculations will also appear in the year taken.

If a student has failed the same class or Regents exam more than once, the highest failing grade is calculated in the overall average along with a later passing grade. Classes are unweighted, meaning no course is given a greater value in calculations.

Homework Policies

Homework policies are determined by the individual teacher of each course and are available for review through the department chairperson. High school students are responsible for keeping up to date with their assignments. If a student is absent two or more consecutive days, the Guidance and Counseling Center can collect work for a student if given at least one day of advance notice. Students are responsible for making up their work if they are out of school for an extended illegal absence (i.e. vacation, family commitment). It is the students’ responsibility to make a list of work they need to complete and set up appointments with teachers to review work missed.

Missing Assignments/Absenteeism

Students are required to make up all homework and all class work due to an absence. In the case of excused absences, two school days of completion time for each day of absence will be allowed(e.g., six school days to complete assignments for a three-day absence). This provision for make-up work does not excuse students from handing in work on a previously specified due date.

Students are required to make up all tests and examinations following unexcused absences in the same time parameters as homework completion. Students are required to take mid-year and final examinations as scheduled. If students are legally absent from an examination, the counselor and/or the teacher will reschedule the examination.

Students who have an unexcused absence (illegal absence which include parent approved vacations, not including skips) will only be allowed one day of completion time for each absence. If going on an extended vacation or leave (3 or more days), students must give the teacher at least one weeks’ notice when requesting assignments to be completed during the absence. If a particular student has an excessive number of these days, it will be referred to the building principal and counselor for a meeting with the student and parents.
If a student misses an assignment, test, quiz, or class grade due to a skip, that student does not have any expectation of receiving credit for what was missed.

Extended Absences

If a student is legally absent from school for 10 or more consecutive days, he or she may request tutoring through their school counselor. Tutoring will be at a rate of two hours per school day missed.
Any student who is expected to miss a number of days (3 or more), and requests work from teachers, should make all efforts to pick up and complete the work that was organized. The building principal has the authority to revise or amend this guideline as needed.

Home Tutoring

Students who are ill for a period of more than 10 consecutive school days with the illness expected to continue may request home tutoring. Documentation from an appropriate physician must be submitted to the school indicating the nature and duration of the illness. The counselor will arrange for tutors to come to the home for up to 2 hours per day missed. Extended illness may force electives to be dropped. Families must work with the tutors to arrange a schedule that is a best fit for everyone.

Independent Study

Students may elect to pursue independent study in academic areas in which we currently do not offer courses. The student must enlist a sponsor teacher willing to oversee the independent study. A written proposal must then be submitted to the department chairperson with a copy for the student’s counselor and a meeting will be held to consider the proposal.
Alternative Study Contract must be completed and signed for approval to pursue an independent study, online/off campus course, or Regents Class challenge.

Acceleration/Challenging Courses

Students may opt to challenge a course by proving competency in the course material. A student must submit a request in writing to the chairperson of the academic department, and a contract must be completed with approval from parent, teacher, department chair, guidance, and administration. The chairperson will evaluate a student’s knowledge of the material and will require that the student show mastery of the final examination (score of 85% or better) and complete a special project. In Regents Courses it is required that students earn a grade of 85% or higher on the Regents Examination in addition to requirements set forth by the department chairperson or principal.

Credits from College, Private Programs or Independent Studies

A student may apply for high school credit for courses completed at college, online, or in another institutional program. Prior to taking an online or off-campus course the student will need to get permission from their guidance counselor, and have a contract completed with approval from parent, appropriate department chair, and administrator. Verification that the course was completed and a grade received must be submitted to the Guidance Office. This should include a record of the amount of hours spent in the program in order to determine the amount of high school credit to be given. Grades from such programs will be converted to pass/ fail or letter grade on the student’s transcript and are not used in GPA calculations. When a college course is used to fulfill a NYS requirement the grade in the course must be a C or better and credit must be awarded by that institution. Permission for this must be granted by the appropriate department head prior to the beginning of such class. If not an approved credit bearing program, a student may seek an independent study in the area by consulting their counselor and the appropriate department chair. Any course taken in lieu of a required high school course as an independent study must be approved by both counselor and department chairperson. This contract must be completed prior to the beginning of the independent study.

Doubling Up

Doubling Up refers to the situation where a student is allowed to take two courses within a department due to failing one of the courses in a previous year. Example: A student, who fails English 9, does not attend summer school and is given permission to take English 9 and English 10 simultaneously the following school year. In such cases, the student must pass the lower course each quarter. By the end of the second marking period a decision will be made regarding the continuation of the doubling. If the student has failed the lower course at this point in time, the student is required to drop the higher level course regardless if the student is passing or not. Students may also choose to accelerate by doubling-up in courses with permission of the counselor, department chairperson and parent.

Honor Society Selection

Nomination into the National Honor Society rests on the pillars of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. To fulfill the scholarship requirement a student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 90.000. The remaining three requirements involve strong evidence of outstanding leadership, service, and character determined through a faculty rating and nominee applications. A five member Faculty Council (appointed each year by the principal) reviews the results of ratings and the applications and then determines the new members by a majority vote. Nomination into the National Honor Society does not guarantee induction. Induction is an honor and as such selection is competitive with only those having strong evidence of the four pillars of the National Honor Society being chosen.

Further, by applying to the C.A. Bouton Chapter of the National Honor Society, you will be agreeing to enhance the Voorheesville High School spirit of leadership, service, and character by participating in various National Honor Society events, volunteering for twenty hours during the school year, as well as maintaining high academic standards.

Valedictory Class, Valedictorian and Salutatorian Policy

POLICY A Valedictory Class will be identified for purposes of commencement and recognition at the graduation ceremony. The Valedictory Class will be made up of students who have taken or who will have taken prior to commencement at least seven (7) Advanced Placement, University in the High School, and/or honors classes, and who represent the highest 10% of the graduating class (as determined by the total number of 12th grade students enrolled at the Clayton A. Bouton High School on the first day of school of the senior year), or all students who have a cumulative average of 94.000 and above, whichever is greater.

From the Valedictory Class, the class Valedictorian and Salutatorian will be identified after the third quarter of the senior year. The Valedictorian and Salutatorian will be determined by the overall Grade Point Average (GPA), provided that the Valedictorian and Salutatorian also meet all of these criteria:

  • Involvement in two or more district sponsored clubs, extracurricular activities, and/or sports team activities; and
  • Successful completion of the required Community Service Hours; and
  • Remain in good standing with all district sponsored clubs, extracurricular activities, and/or sports teams in which they are involved.

Early Graduation

The standard four year program is suited to most students in terms of their emotional, physical, and intellectual development. It is also most readily adaptable to post high school educational and vocational plans. Special situations may occur where a student may need to shorten the length of their high school program. Such a decision must involve the student, his/her family and the guidance counselor. It is recommended that this decision be made by the end of the sophomore year. Early graduates will not be eligible for some community awards traditionally given to seniors.

College Application Process

The High School Transcript is an official document vital to the college admissions process. All Regents Exam and final course grades from high school courses will be recorded on the transcript including those courses failed and later repeated and those attained during summer school. This document is only valid for college admissions and scholarship organizations when mailed directly from the Guidance and Counseling Center.

SAT/ACT/AP Scores- Students who indicate our High School Code (335740) on registration forms for these tests will have a copy of results reported to the high school. These reports will become a separate part of the high school transcript and will not be reported to college or scholarship programs by the guidance office. Students must request that these scores be sent directly from the testing agency (College Board or ACT), to the colleges to which they are applying.

School Counselor and Teacher Recommendations are confidential documents that will be sent along with the transcript directly to the college. Students applying to four-year colleges should request recommendations in the fall from two teachers.

Requesting Transcripts

Current students should have an account on Naviance. On Naviance, students will list all colleges to which they are applying. Once this is done, students need to check the box on Naviance to officially request their transcript from C. A. Bouton to be sent to their potential colleges.