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The school district’s four high schools operate on an eight-period A/B block schedule with modifications for special programs. This A/B block schedule allows for 90-minute class periods with four classes per day. Each class meets every other day. Under this schedule, a student may earn up to eight units of high school credit per year.
The eight-period A/B block schedule gives high school students the opportunity to explore many elective courses, prepare more extensively for two-year or four-year college work, and attend the career center while taking academic courses.
Each high school, combined with the career center, offers a broad curriculum consisting of more than 100 courses. These courses are available to all students on a non-discriminatory basis. Students are encouraged to select occupational courses available at the high school and the career center. These courses in computers, business, and technology give students the opportunity to gain career-related skills and to expand their knowledge of career options. Students will have the opportunity to organize their high school studies around one of the sixteen state and federal career clusters and to participate in work-based learning activities as they prepare for the world of work.
Students should always take the highest level of academic course work they can handle successfully and select occupational courses around their career goals.
Many courses provide students with opportunities to gain advanced placement (AP) and/or technical advanced placement (TAP) credit for college programs. Students should talk to their guidance counselor about the procedures to be followed to receive credit.
Honors courses are intended for students exhibiting superior abilities in the course content area. The honors curriculum places emphasis on critical and analytic thinking, rational decision-making, and inductive and deductive reasoning. An additional 0.5 weighting is given to honors courses. Students earning honors credit in courses other than English, math, science, or social studies must be in the third or fourth unit in the progression of those courses.
The advanced placement (AP) program offers students the opportunity to pursue college-level studies while still in high school and to receive advanced placement credit, college credit, or both based on their performance on rigorous AP examinations. Different colleges have different policies concerning accepting AP credit. Students should check with the colleges of their choice for their requirements. An additional 1.0 weighting is given to advanced placement courses.
Technical Advanced Placement (TAP) is an opportunity for qualified seniors to earn Tri-County Technical College (TCTC) credit. Credit is based on satisfactory completion of specific courses and TAP procedures. Counselors have more information about this program. Information on specific courses available through TAP credit along with the required procedures in each area is available through the guidance office, math, English and career and technology teachers, and TCTC’s Web site at www.tctc.edu/TAP.
All South Carolina technical colleges and many throughout the country offer similar advanced placement programs. They may have names other than Technical Advanced Placement. Each college sets its own program guidelines and requirements. For more information, contact the college you plan to attend.
Dual credit courses, whether taken at the school site or off campus, are defined as those courses for which the student has received permission from his/her home school to take the courses and to receive both Carnegie units and credit at another institution. Permission must be obtained prior to taking these courses if they are to be considered for dual credit. Students who do not receive prior permission will not receive credit. These approved courses will receive an additional weighting of one full quality point. Dual credit courses may be applied toward the 24 units required for a state high school diploma for students in Grades 9-12. A three-semester hour college credit will transfer as 1 Carnegie unit. High schools will only permit dual credit for courses taught through accredited colleges and approved by the SC Department of Education. Students must arrange for a certified transcript to be sent to the high school from the college after a dual credit course has been completed. Students must complete a School District of Pickens County Dual Credit Enrollment Form before being considered for approval to take dual credit courses. The form is available in each school’s guidance office.
Enrollment in dual credit courses will be verified to ensure that students are enrolled in the minimum number of Carnegie units for their grade level. If a student includes the dual credit course in the minimum units required for his/her grade level and does not enroll or withdraws from the dual-credit course, additional courses must be scheduled at the home high school.
All final grades (including WF--see Course Withdrawal section below for explanation) as reported by the college on the transcript will be recorded in the student database system. As of the start of the 2016-2017 school year, the conversion scale from letter grades to numerical grades for dual-credit courses has not yet been determined by the SC Department of Education. The conversion scale will be communicated to students once it has been finalized. Only the final grade reported on the college transcript will be entered in the student database and count in GPA calculations. Dual credit courses will not appear on student report cards issued by the high schools. Any dual credit course in progress during second semester will not figure in GPA calculations at the end of 3rd nine weeks. Any awards/honors determined by the rank at the end of 3rd nine weeks will not have the grades for second semester dual credit courses included.
Students may audit Carnegie unit courses if the administration deems this to be feasible. Students who audit courses will be expected to do the same work as the students enrolled in the courses. Students will not receive GPR or unit credit for audited courses that are completed successfully. Any student who is auditing a course who is disruptive to the class or who is not working at a passing average or who does not meet attendance requirements will be dropped by the administration with a WF on the transcript and a grade of F will be calculated in the student’s overall GPR. Auditing a course may impact class ranking for some students. Unless a mitigating circumstance exists, such as transferring into a high school, a computer scheduling error, an administrative error, etc., the request to audit a course must be received by the administration by July 1 prior to the opening of school.Courses required for graduation may not be audited.
Distancy/Online Education is an instructional delivery model that does not require the student to be physically present in the same location as the instructor. These courses offer increased accessibility and flexibility in the delivery of instruction. All distance/online education must be consistent with the instructional goals of the district to ensure both the rigor of the course and the quality of instruction. Students in grades 7-12 may participate in online/distance education programs to earn units of academic credit. This credit may be applied toward graduation requirements. Courses must be offered through agencies or universities that are approved by the board. Prior approval of the school/district must be secured prior to enrollment in these courses. If prior approval is not obtained, the student will not recieve credit.
Please note, this does not include independent study. SDPC does not offer courses via independent study.
The Pickens County Career & Technology Center serves students from the four high schools in Pickens County. The career and technology center offers programs to students as they prepare for two- or four-year colleges or universities, direct entry into work, or entry into the armed forces. Students in high schools may attend the career and technology center for a portion of the school day to take courses in the following career and technology programs: Agricultural Technology; Horticulture; Mechatronics Integrated Technologies; Health Science Technology; Cosmetology; Architectural and Mechanical Design; Electricity; Pre-Engineering; Carpentry; Machine Technology; Automotive Technology; Masonry; Welding; Culinary Arts; Graphic Communication; Fire and Emergency Services; Biomedical Sciences; Law, Public Safety and Security.
Tenth-grade students have the opportunity to explore different careers in preparation for the world of work while eleventh- and twelfth-grade students usually specialize in one of the career programs offered. Ninth graders also have the opportunity to explore careers in agriculture. Students may participate in work-based learning activities and in cooperative education and the Youth Apprenticeship Initiative while in upper level courses.
Students and parents need to choose courses carefully. The following guidelines outline consequences for students who withdraw from a course:
A student who withdraws after 2 days in a ¼ unit course, 3 days in a 45-day course, 5 days in a 90-day course, or 10 days in a 180-day course will be assigned a WF, and the F will be calculated as a grade of 61 in the student’s overall grade point ratio. The 3-day, 5-day, and 10-day limitations for withdrawing from a course without penalty do not apply to course or course-level changes approved by the administration of a school.
Students who drop out of school or are expelled after the allowed period for withdrawal but before the end of the grading period will be assigned grades in accordance with the following polices:
The student will receive a WP if he or she was passing the course. The grade of WP will carry no Carnegie units and no quality points to be factored into the student’s GPA.
The student will receive a WF if he or she was failing the course. The grade of WF will carry no Carnegie units but will be factored into the student’s GPA as a 61.
If a student fails a course due to excessive absences, an FA will be recorded on his or her transcript. The grade of FA will carry no Carnegie units but will be factored into the student’s GPA as a 61.
If a student is dropped from a course by the principal for disciplinary reasons, the grade recorded will be a WF. The WF will be calculated as a 61 with 0 quality points in the student’s overall grade point ratio.
To withdraw from a course, a student must have written permission from parents. If a WF is to result, the note must state that the parent is aware of this and the effect it will have on the student’s grade point ratio.
A student may retake the same course at the same difficulty level under the following conditions: If a student earns a D or F in a course, the course may be retaken in the same academic year and no later than the next academic year. Both the D or F earned and the new grade earned in the retake will be figured into the overall grade point ratio, with the following exception: Students taking courses for a Carnegie unit prior to their 9th grade year may retake any such course during their 9th grade year. In this case, only the 9th grade retake grade will be used in figuring the student’s GPA and only the 9th grade attempt will show on the transcript. This rule will apply whether the grade earned is higher or lower than the pre-ninth-grade attempt.
Class rank will be determined using the South Carolina Uniform Grading Policy that uses grade point ratios.
Honor graduates will be those students who have an unrounded GPA of 3.75 or higher according to the South Carolina Uniform Grading Policy at the end of the fourth quarter of the senior year. At the end of the third quarter a tentative list of honor graduates may be chosen using the above guidelines with the understanding that students may be added or deleted from the list after the fourth quarter based on final course grades. Final grades will be used to determine honor graduates to be recognized at graduation.
The valedictorian and salutatorian for the senior class will be determined as per the guidelines in the SDPC Regulation IHC-R regarding class ranking based on grades through the end of the third quarter of their senior year. These students may or may not be the top ranking students at the end of the fourth quarter. The only students who will be considered for valedictorian and salutatorian are those who have been enrolled at the high school prior to the beginning of the second semester of their junior year.
A student may participate in the graduation ceremony if he or she will receive a South Carolina High School Diploma or meet the requirements of an IEP to receive a Certificate from the School District of Pickens County. However, schools reserve the right to deny students the privilege of participating in graduation ceremonies for students who are not in good standing with the school.
To qualify for a Life scholarship, a student must meet all general eligibility requirements and meet two of the three initial eligibility requirements.
General Eligibility Requirements:
- Graduate from high school or complete a home school program as prescribed by law;
- Attend an eligible South Carolina public or private college or university;
- Be a South Carolina resident at the time of high school graduation and at the time of college enrollment;
- Be a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident (who meets the definition of a eligible non-citizen according to State Residency Statutes);
- Be enrolled as a full-time degree-seeking student;
- Certify that he or she has never been convicted of any felonies and has not been convicted of any alcohol or other drug-related misdemeanor convictions within the past academic year;
- Verify that he or she is not in default and does not owe a refund or repayment on any Federal or State financial aid;
- Must not be a SC HOPE Scholarship, Palmetto Fellows Scholarship or Lottery Tuition Assistance recipient.
Initial Eligibility Requirements:
To qualify for the LIFE Scholarship, first-time entering freshman attending an eligible four-year institution must meet two of three of the following criteria:
- Earn a cumulative 3.0 grade point average (GPA) based on the SC Uniform Grading Scale (UGS) upon high school graduation
- Score an 1100 on the SAT or an equivalent 24 on the ACT
- Rank in the top 30% of the graduating class.
First-time entering freshmen attending an eligible two-year or technical institution must earn a cumulative 3.0 GPA based on the UGS as described in (1) above. The standardized test score and class rank requirements are waived.
* Disclaimer: The information provided above is taken from the Commission on Higher Education’s website at www.che.sc.gov and is their understanding of the LIFE Scholarship Program.
Colleges award this scholarship. Other conditions apply, and changes may occur at anytime during the legislative process. Please see your guidance counselor and/or the CHE website for the general eligibility requirements and for the most current information.
The Adult Learning Center offers the traditional adult education classes for those who need to complete their high school education and lifelong learning opportunities for those who wish to learn something new. The main office is at 106 Glazner Street in Easley, and satellite locations are located throughout the county. Adult education classes include GED preparation classes; diploma classes; exit exam remediation classes; basic education classes; literacy referrals in coordination with Pickens County Literacy Association; and English for speakers of other languages. Lifelong learning classes include computer instruction; work place training (Custodial College, substitute teacher training, etc.); and community education classes.
The Parenting and Family Literacy Program offers adult education with support services that include childcare, transportation, and parent education. The program operates at Crosswell Elementary in Easley.
The Evening Learning Program is a placement option for middle and high school students who go through the expulsion process. The SDPC hearing officer can offer this option in lieu of expulsion. The ELP provides students access to basic core courses outside of traditional school hours. Not every course required for graduation is available, so placement in this program is limited to the remainder of the current school year. This program is not open for voluntary enrollment.