To graduate from Elmwood Park High School, students in the Classes of 2021-23 must:
- Earn a minimum of 26 credits, with all subject matter requirements met.
- Pass a required exam on the foundational documents of U.S. and Illinois government.
- Complete an approved assessment of college and career readiness.
For students in the Class of 2024 and beyond, the minimum credit requirement will be 25 credits. This is due to the recent change in the EPHS bell schedule, the focus on post-secondary pathways for all students and a need to provide additional daily academic support.
Each semester-long class counts as 0.5 credit and each year-long class counts as 1.0 credit (0.5 credit for each semester successfully completed).
Graduation requirements are explained in greater detail directly below. Click the section(s) you would like to learn more about. See also the 2020-21 Program of Studies.
CREDITS (Classes of 2021-23)
|CREDITS (Classes of 2024 & Beyond)|
Social Studies 2
PE / Kinetic Wellness3
1 State requirement is a minimum of 1.0 credit of Algebra 1 and one course that must include geometry content.
2 State requirement is a minimum of 1.0 credit on the history of the United States or a combination of the history of the United States and American government, and at least 0.5 credit of civics coursework will be required.
3 Formerly Physical Education, now Kinetic Wellness; exemptions may be granted in accordance with District- and state-approved guidelines.
4 The credit total must include a minimum of 0.5 credit in Consumer Education.
CLASS OF 2021-23 GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS INCLUDE:
- English — 4.0 credits in English plus 1.0 credit in Effective Writing
- Math — Minimum 1.0 credit of Algebra 1 and one course with geometry content
- Science — Biology, Chemistry, Physics is a typical sequence
- Social Studies — Minimum 1.0 credit of U.S. History and 0.5 credit of Civics
- Physical Education/Kinetic Wellness — 4.0 credits; exemptions may be granted following state and District guidelines
- Fine Arts — Includes Art or Music courses
- Business — Includes Foreign Language and Computer Technology courses; must include 0.5 credit of Consumer Education
CLASS OF 2024 & BEYOND GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS INCLUDE:
- English — English I, II, III, IV (English IV can be substituted)
- Math — Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II (Algebra II can be substituted)
- Science — Biology, Chemistry, Physics (Physics can be substituted)
- Social Studies — World History, U.S. History, Civics (Civics can be substituted)
- Kinetic Wellness — KW I & II plus two additional KW semester courses required; no exemptions will be granted with the 2.0 credit PE waiver
- Fine Arts — Includes Art, Foreign Language and Music courses
- Business — Includes 0.5 credit in Consumer Education and all CTE courses
- Additional Courses — Includes Health and may include Driver Education
Every student must pass an examination on the following items:
- Declaration of Independence
- Flag of the United States
- Constitution of the United States
- Constitution of the State of Illinois
Every student must complete a state-approved assessment of college and career readiness.
The principal, in conjunction with the District superintendent, shall have discretion regarding decisions as to what constitutes an assessment of college and career readiness.
Please note that for grading purposes EPHS uses a system that applies different weights to AP, honors and regular courses. To learn more about our course assessment practices and procedures, please visit our Grading System page.
Other Information Related to Graduation
In addition to the requirements noted above, students and parents should be aware of the following information concerning EPHS courses, credits, promotion and graduation procedures.
During commencement, EPHS recognizes those students who graduate with honors and those who are members of the National Honor Society.
We recognize as valedictorian of the senior class the senior student who attains the highest cumulative grade point average at the end of the eighth semester (16th quarter), and who has been in residence at Elmwood Park High School for a minimum of four semesters (eight quarters).
The senior student who attains the second highest cumulative grade point average and who has been in residence for a minimum of four semesters (eight quarters) is designated as the salutatorian.
► TOP 5 PERCENT & TOP 10 PERCENT
Those students graduating in the top five percent are recognized as Tiger Scholars. Those students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class are also recognized. Both groups are acknowledged at an annual honors breakfast and have priority seating at the graduation ceremony.
Once the school year has begun, student changes of mind or schedule preferences (teacher, period, time of day) will not be accommodated.
Therefore, only for limited reasons will adjustments be considered and/or approved.
Regardless of the request, students must continue attending class and completing assignments until notified of the decision regarding adjustment requests in case space is not available or a request cannot be accommodated.
The decision to allow or deny a change of course or course level will be made by the Tiger Support Team, which includes the teacher, counselor, social worker, student, parent and either the curriculum leader and/or administration.
Only significant academic and/or social-emotional reasons for a change in classes will be considered, which may include:
- Attendance in summer school or credit recovery.
- Level changes agreed upon by student, parent, teacher, counselor and administration. Level-change requests will not be considered unless the student engages in additional opportunities for support for a duration of minimally four to six weeks to determine the need for a level change. If a student decides to drop a course without engaging in support opportunities or intervention, doing so will result in a W/F on the student's academic transcript.
- Recognized special learning needs agreed upon by student, parent, teacher, counselor and administration. This may include the special education team, Section 504 team and/or Tiger Support Team.
- Significant evidence of new courses needed for college/career programs.
If the student meets one of these criteria, the students or parent should contact the assigned counselor and complete a Program Change Request Form.
Students may receive a District 401 diploma with one or more distinctions:
- General Studies
- Career Pathway
- Distinguished Scholar
A student may receive a D401 diploma with a General Studies Distinction alone, a Career Pathway Distinction alone, a Distinguished Scholar Distinction alone, or both a Career Pathway Distinction and a Distinguished Scholar Distinction.
► GENERAL STUDIES DISTINCTION
What this means: A student's transcript shows all graduation requirements have been completed, but they have not completed enough courses within a sequence to receive the Distinguished Scholar or Career Pathway Distinctions.
► CAREER PATHWAY DISTINCTION
What this means: A student’s transcript includes the completion of at least 5.0 credits within one specific Career Pathway and the successful completion of the Career Pathway Capstone course. The following courses may be substituted for a student pursuing a specific Career Pathway:
- English — Can substitute English IV with an English Career Pathway Elective
- Math — Can substitute Algebra II with Financial Math
- Science — Can substitute Physics with a Science Career Pathway Elective
- Social Studies — Can substitute Civics with a Social Studies Career Pathway Elective
- Kinetic Wellness — Can enroll in Kinetic Wellness Career Pathway Electives past KW I & II
► DISTINGUISHED SCHOLAR DISTINCTION
What this means: A student’s transcript and high school national testing results includes the completion of 10 or more honors/Dual Credit/AP courses with a C or better, as well as the meeting/exceeding of English and Math Standards on state test (SAT) and/or the receiving of a 3 or better on at least two Advanced Placement exams. The following courses may be substituted for a student pursuing a Distinguished Scholar Distinction:
- English — Any honors/AP courses in the department
- Math — Any honors/AP courses in the department
- Science — Any honors/AP courses in the department
- Social Studies — Any honors/AP courses in the department
- Fine Arts — Any honors/AP courses in the department
- Business — Any honors/Duel Credit/AP courses in the department
Any student planning to graduate early must petition the principal.
To do so, the student must inform his or her counselor of this intent on or before the end of the student's junior year.
Then the student must complete the appropriate paperwork, which must be approved by the student, parent/guardian, counselor and administration.
Students will take final exams during the last week of attendance each semester.
Any student who is absent for the final exam will be required to make arrangements with the teacher to make up the exam outside of normal class time.
A student may be allowed to take a final exam early, during the week of the scheduled exams, if his or her absence is preplanned. To be considered for this option, the student must complete a "Special Absence Request Form" available in the Attendance Office.
However, final exams will not be administered prior to the week of scheduled exams. If a student will be unavailable during that window, he or she will be issued an incomplete for the course grade, and a plan to remedy the incomplete will be determined.
Each semester a 3.7 and a 3.3 honor roll is tabulated and reported in the school and community newspapers.
The attainment of honor roll status becomes a part of the student's permanent record. In order to qualify for the honor roll, a student must have no grade lower than a C and must achieve a grade-point average of at least 3.3 or 3.7 using the grade-point system.
A student must be enrolled in a minimum of three courses that receive grades to be eligible for honor roll status.
Students who have displayed qualities of scholarship, leadership, character and service as determined by faculty vote will be invited to membership in the Harold Grothen Chapter of the National Honor Society.
A minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.3 is necessary before a student can be considered for possible membership. Students may be inducted into the Society after the 10th or 14th quarter.
Only students who are qualified to receive a diploma may participate in the cap and gown ceremony, with the exception of students who are entitled to participate under Brittany's Law. A student who qualifies for a diploma after commencement is eligible to participate in the following year's ceremony.
Advancement in grade is based upon academic credits earned, not solely on attendance. All students need to meet the following requirements to be promoted to the next grade level:
All students with fewer than 7.0 credits are classified as EPHS freshmen.
All students who have earned at least 7.0 credits but fewer than 13.0 credits are promoted to sophomore status. As part of these credits, students must have at least 1.0 credit in each of the following: English, math and science and at least 1.0 in social studies.
All students who complete their sophomore-year requirements and have earned 13.0 or more credits are promoted to junior status. As part of these 13.0 credits, students must have at least 2.0 credits in each of the following: English, math, science and social studies.
Students who complete their junior-year credit requirements and the state-testing requirement are promoted to senior status.
NOTE: Reclassification of students takes place at the end of the first-semester marking period (January) and after the completion of the summer school session (August).
Underclassmen are required to enroll in seven courses each semester they attend Elmwood Park High School.
Senior students have the option, depending on their current graduation progress, to be enrolled in fewer than seven courses.
Sophomore, junior and senior students may enroll in more than seven courses — taking an optional zero hour and/or eighth hour course(s).