Academics & Instruction

2021-2022 School Year

Academic Grades and Honors
Grades and the corresponding number of quality points are shown below for the 3 different levels of courses offered.
Students Entering 9th Grade in the 2015-2016 School Year or After
Letter Grade
Numerical Grade
College / Advanced Placement
59 and below
Retaking Course for Credit
In accordance with Policy 3420, high school students who fail a course for credit may repeat that course.  To take advantage of this option, the student must repeat the entire course. Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, when a student initially fails a high school course and successfully repeats the course for credit, the new course grade shall replace the original failing grade for the course on the student’s transcript and in calculations of the student’s GPA, class rank, honor roll, and academic awards eligibility.
Retaking a Previously Passed Course
Beginning with the 2017-18 school year, students may repeat a maximum of four courses for which they have previously earned credit (provided the grade earned in the first attempt was 79/C or lower), in order to increase their understanding of the course content, to improve skill mastery, or to meet postsecondary goals. More information is available at in Board Policy 3420. 
Unweighted GPA - A GPA that does not include extra quality points for courses that are taught at a more rigorous academic level than a standard course.
Weighted GPA - A GPA that includes extra quality points for courses taught at a more rigorous academic level such as honors (+.5 quality point) and advanced placement (+1 quality point) courses. This is also known as the QPA or Quality Point Average.
Academic Recognition
¨       Principal’s List:  A student must have all A’s in all courses.
¨       “A” Honor Roll:  A student must have an overall grade average of 90.0 with no grade below 80.
¨       “B” Honor Roll:  A student must have an overall grade average of 80.0 with no grade below 70.
¨       80 Average:  A grade average of 79.4445 or above.
¨       90 Average:  A grade average of 89.4445 or above.
Class Rank
The weighted GPA will be used to determine class rank. In cases where students have an identical weighted GPA, multiple students shall be designated, in alphabetical order by last name, for the same class rank number.
Course Levels
Students in grades 9-12 earn quality points based on course level designation.  The following course levels are now in Wayne County Public Schools:  S (Standard Course of Study); H (Honors Level); AP (Advanced Placement). 
Grading Periods
Wayne County Public Schools is on nine weeks grading periods for grades K-12.  Please refer to the school calendar as to when the grading periods end and when report cards are scheduled to go home.

Graduation Requirements
Future-Ready Core
Occupational Course of Study Diploma
- select IEP students -
4 Credits
 English I, II, III, and IV
4 Credits
 English I, II, III, and IV
4 Credits
 NC Math 1, NC Math 2, NC Math 3
(OR Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II)
plus a fourth math course aligned with the student’s post high school plans
4 Credits (Entered 9th Grade in 2021-22 or after): 
 Introduction to Mathematics; NC Math 1; Financial Management; Employment Preparation IV: Math
3 Credits (Entered 9th Grade prior to 2021-22): 
 Introduction to Mathematics; NC Math 1; Financial Management
3 Credits
 Earth/Environmental Science; Biology; and a physical science (either Physical Science, Chemistry, or Physics)
3 Credits (Entered 9th Grade in 2021-22 or after): 
 Applied Science; Biology; Employment Preparation I: Science
2 Credits (Entered 9th Grade prior to 2021-22): 
 Applied Science; Biology
Social Studies
4 Credits
 Entered 9th Grade in 2021-2022 or after:
World History; Founding Principles of the United States of America and North Carolina: Civic Literacy; American History; Economics and Personal Finance 
Entered 9th Grade in 2020-2021:
World History; a founding principles course (American History: Founding Principles, Civics and Economics  OR  Founding Principles of the United States of America and North Carolina: Civic Literacy); an American History course (American History I, American History II, OR American History); Economics and Personal Finance 
Entered 9th Grade prior to 2020-2021:
World History; a founding principles course (American History: Founding Principles, Civics and Economics  OR  Founding Principles of the United States of America and North Carolina: Civic Literacy); 2 American History courses (American History I and II  OR  American History I or II and another Social Studies course  OR  American History and another Social Studies course)
4 Credits (Entered 9th Grade in 2021-22 or after): 
 Founding Principles of the United States of America and North Carolina: Civic Literacy; Economics and Personal Finance; Employment Preparation II: Citizenship 1A; Employment Preparation II: Citizenship 1B
2 Credits (Entered 9th Grade in 2020-2021): 
 a founding principles course (American History: Founding Principles, Civics and Economics  OR  Founding Principles of the United States of America and North Carolina: Civic Literacy); Economics and Personal Finance
2 Credits (Entered 9th Grade prior to 2020-2021): 
 American History: Founding Principles, Civics and Economics  OR  Founding Principles of the United States of America and North Carolina: Civic Literacy
AND American History I  OR  American History II  OR  American History
World (Second) Language
Not Required for high school graduation 
(but, 2 credits in the same language is required to meet minimum application requirements for UNC system)
Not Required
Health and Physical Education
1 Credit
 Health/PE including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instruction
1 Credit
 Health/PE including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instruction
Electives or other requirements
10 – 12 Credits:
(depending on school year entering 9th Grade)
2 elective credits of any combination  from either:
 – Career and Technical Education (CTE)
 – Arts Education
 – World Language
4 elective credits (four course concentration) from one of the following is strongly recommended:
– Career and Technical Education (CTE)
– Arts Education
    (e.g. Dance, Music, Theater Arts, Visual Arts)
– Any other subject area
   (e.g. Social Studies, Science, Mathematics, English)
4 additional electives from any area – 
     entered 9th Grade in 2017, 2018, 2019, or 2020
6 additional electives from any area – 
     entered 9th Grade in 2021 or after
4 Credits:
 Career and Technical Education electives
2 Additional Employment Preparation Credits:
(Entered 9th Grade in 2021-22 or after)
Employment Preparation III: Citizenship 2A
Employment Preparation III: Citizenship 2B
6 Occupational Preparation Credits
 (Entered 9th Grade prior to 2021-22)
Occupational Preparation I or Employment Preparation I: Science; Occupational Preparation II or Employment Preparation II: Citizenship 1A and 1B; Occupational Preparation III or Employment Preparation III: Citizenship 2A and 2B; Occupational Preparation IV or Employment Preparation IV: Math
The work hours shall include:
150 hours of school-based training with work activities and experiences that align with student’s post school goals; 225 hours of community-based training; and 225 hours of paid employment or 225 hours of unpaid vocational training, unpaid internship, paid employment at community rehabilitation facilities, and volunteer and/or community service hours
Total work hours:  600
26 Credits – entered 9th Grade between 2017 - 2020
28 Credits  entered 9th Grade in 2021 or after
22 credits
+ Career Portfolio & completion of student’s IEP objectives

Designation of Latin Honors
Beginning with the Class of 2019, qualified students may earn Latin Honors (e.g., Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude).   Students may earn the following Latin Honors by attaining the associated Weighted GPA for each honor:
¨       Cum Laude Graduate = Weighted GPA of 3.75 to 3.99 (on the 4.0 scale);
¨       Magna Cum Laude Graduate = Weighted GPA of 4.0 to 4.24 (on the 4.0 scale); or
¨       Summa Cum Laude Graduate = Weighted GPA of 4.25 or higher (on the 4.0 scale).
Latin Honors will be determined at the end of the 4th grading period for all students.  Corresponding stickers will be affixed to students’ diplomas, and recognition will be made when students’ names are called at graduation.
Honor Graduates
To be an honor graduate, a student must maintain an Unweighted Grade Point Average of 3.25 or higher through the end of the senior year. Initial determination of Honor Graduate status, for the purpose of awards, will be made at the end of the 2nd grading period. Final calculations will be made at the end of the 4th grading period, in order to verify that Honor Graduate qualifications have been met for graduation. Other students earning Honor Graduate status by the end of their senior year will be granted their honor cords prior to graduation, but they will not be recognized at Awards Night nor will their names appear on the commencement program due to advanced preparation for these events.
The top 7 percent of the students of the junior class rank will serve as marshals each year.  Using the Weighted Grade Point Average scale, computation for marshals will be made through the end of the first semester of the junior year.  The highest ranked Weighted Grade Point Average in the junior class will designate the Chief Marshal. The second highest ranked Weighted Grade Point Average will designate the Assistant Chief Marshal. In cases where students have identical Weighted Grade Point Averages, the tie would be broken using the Unweighted Grade Point Average.  In cases where students have identical Unweighted Grade Point Averages, more than 7% of the students in the junior class may serve as marshals.
National Honor Society
Students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades must have a weighted GPA of 3.5 or higher at the time of computation to be considered for induction.  Other factors considered for induction are service to the school and community, character, and leadership.  Students must have attended their high school for one full semester prior to being considered for induction.  New members are considered for membership following the third grading period of each academic year.
Eligibility Requirements
Students in grades 10–12 who meet the requirements for membership outlined by their school’s chapter are eligible to be invited for membership. Qualifications for membership are based on the four pillars of NHS:

WCPS chapters require students to maintain a weighted GPA of 3.5 or higher.
This involves voluntary contributions made by a student to the school or community, done without compensation.
Student leaders are those who are resourceful, good problem solvers, and idea contributors. Leadership experiences can be drawn from school or community activities while working with or for others.
The student of good character is cooperative; demonstrates high standards of honesty and reliability; shows courtesy, concern, and respect for others; and generally maintains a clean disciplinary record.
National Technical Honor Society
Induction in the National Technical Honor Society is available to students who excel in Career and Technical Education courses.   Other factors considered for induction are service to the school and community, character, attendance, and disciplinary records.  New members are inducted each academic school year. 

North Carolina Academic Scholars Program
Students who complete the requirements for a well-balanced, challenging high school program will be named North Carolina Scholars and receive special recognition.   Students must have a cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.5, in addition to the following course requirements:
English I, II, III, and IV
4 credits
NC Math 1, NC Math 2, NC Math 3 (or their equivalents), and a higher level math course with NC Math 3 as a prerequisite
4 credits
Earth/Environmental Science, Biology, and either Chemistry or Physics
3 credits
Social Studies
Students entering 9th Grade in 2012-13 or later shall complete four course credits of social studies.  (World History; a founding principles course; at least one American History course (depending on year entering 9th Grade); and Economics and Personal Finance (entering 9th Grade 2020-21 or after)
4 credits
Second Language
Two course credits of a world language (other than English)
2 credits
Healthful Living
Health and Physical Education
1 credit
The student shall complete four elective credits in any one subject area, such as:  Career and Technical Education (CTE), JROTC, Arts Education, World Languages, or in another content area
4 credits
High Level Courses
At least three higher-level courses during junior and/or senior years which carry quality points such as: Advanced Placement; International Baccalaureate or Dual Enrollment courses; Advanced CTE and CTE credentialing courses; Honors level courses; or Project Lead the Way courses
3 credits


Promotion Standards

¨       Promotion to 10th Grade:  student must have earned 6 credits
¨       Promotion to 11th Grade:  student must have earned 13 credits 
¨       Promotion to 12th Grade:
  • student must have earned 18 credits if entered 9th Grade in 2020-2021 school year or before
  • student must have earned 20 credits if entered 9th Grade in 2021-2022 school year or after
Academically Gifted Program
Students identified at the secondary level are served in grades 9 and 10 through honors level courses and in grades 10, 11, and 12 through Advanced Placement courses.   Emphasis is given to the four core curriculum areas: communication skills, social studies, math, and science.   Identified students, along with other students, are offered these courses taught by certified teachers.   Curriculum is expanded and augmented by student-oriented seminars, guest speakers, and field trips.  The focus of the secondary program is on academic excellence, intellectual growth, and student achievement.
If you plan to continue your education at a four-year college or university and would like to earn college credits while still in high school, Advanced Placement courses are generally available in Science, Math, Social Studies, and English. Advanced Placement courses in other areas may be available through the North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) Each course covers material the equivalent of a complete college course.  The student who enrolls in an Advanced Placement course must take the AP Exam for that course as specified in the course description to receive AP course credit weight (5.0).
To receive college credit:  A student who earns a score of 3 or better on an AP Exam is considered qualified to receive credit for the equivalent course at one of the participating UNC system universities.  Other colleges or universities may require a score of 4 or 5 in order to receive credit. Students should obtain the college’s AP policy.  Up to six semester hours of college credit may be granted depending upon the requirements of the selected college or university.   Technically, a student may take the Advanced Placement Exam without enrolling in the Advanced Placement course; however, this course of action is not recommended.
The mission of the WCPS Career and Technical Education programs is to empower students for effective participation in a global economy as world-class workers and citizens. WCPS offers a comprehensive Career and Technical Education program for students in middle and high schools. Courses are offered in Agricultural Education; Business, Finance, and Marketing Education; Career Development Education; Computer Science and Information Technology Education; Family and Consumer Sciences Education; Health Science Education; and Trade, Technology, Engineering, and Industrial Education. Note: All programs may not be offered at each middle and high school. 
WCPS offers Freedom from Discrimination in its Career and Technical Education Program.
A student known to have cheated on a test or examination shall receive a zero on the test or examination and his/her parents shall be notified of the incident, and will also receive a discipline consequence aligned with a Level II offense (see Policy 4300). 
The WCPS Exceptional Children’s Department is committed to proactively providing specialized instruction and staff support that ensures quality programs in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) that will lead students with disabilities to optimal success in school and in life. Information regarding policies governing services for children with disabilities is shared with every parent of a child receiving services within the Exceptional Children’s program. Additionally, issuance of the North Carolina Notice of Procedural Safeguard will be distributed prior to Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings and included with the notice/invitation to an IEP conference/meeting.
Please contact the Exceptional Children’s Department at 300 Dixie Trail, Building O, Goldsboro, NC 27530 or call 919-705-6027 for more information.
Child Find
In accordance with Section 1502 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Wayne County Public Schools conducts an annual child find to identify children with disabilities, ages 3 to 21, residing in the school district, including children who may attend private schools or religious schools or who are home schooled, who are in need of special education and related services. Please contact the Exceptional Children’s Department at 300 Dixie Trail, Building O, Goldsboro, NC 27530 or call 919-705-6027 for more information. 
Life Skills Program
The high schools in Wayne County offer an environment to students in the Life Skills Program which allows them to participate in a functional curriculum with the following characteristics:  community-referenced, integrated, longitudinal, and community-based.   Schools use a number of curricula to meet the needs of our students, including life centered career education, transition education, functional curriculum, and the basic computer curriculum.
Occupational Course of Study
The Occupational Course of Study (OCS) is one of the courses of study a student with disabilities may complete to graduate with a High School diploma in North Carolina.   The Occupational Course of Study will be an appropriate alternative for selected students with disabilities for whom the Future Ready Core (FRC) is inappropriate.  Students will learn functional academic skills that will prepare them to live independently, maintain employment, and be active participants in the community.  The decision to place a student on an OCS graduation plan is made by the IEP Team (teacher(s), parents, administration, and district representative).
Wayne County Public Schools recognizes the importance of activities above and beyond what is taught in the classroom.  Participating in a club or organization opens the door to building new friendships, enhancing each student’s academic life, and exploring career opportunities.  As an active member, a student learns important teamwork, leadership and management skills when participating in a variety of programs and service projects. Schools across Wayne County offer a multitude of extracurricular offerings, and students are encouraged to participate in clubs and organizations that cover a wide variety of interests.  Note: Many clubs, organizations and honor societies have academic criteria that must be met in order to participate.  
College applications may be available in the school counseling office, but are generally accessed online by students and parents on college/ university websites. .Financial Aid information is available in the counseling office, along with support with the completion of the FAFSA.  Letters of recommendation are frequently required for scholarships as well as applications.  Give complete information to your reference well in advance (two weeks) of any deadlines.   This should include an addressed envelope, deadlines, a list of activities, and specific information on the scholarship program.  Seniors should begin this process early in their senior year. School Counselors are available to offer assistance.  BEGIN THIS PROCESS EARLY!
Wayne County Public Schools is rich with culture and diversity. Our diverse population is made up of students from around the world with 36 different languages represented. To help address the unique needs of our English Learners (EL) in our English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, our schools work to provide students with the necessary resources and supports to help them learn and grow academically. For more information, contact Youlonda Wynn at or call 919-705-6171.
Final examinations will be given in all courses each semester.  The principal must give permission for a change in exam administration dates at least two weeks prior to the regularly scheduled exam administration if the student is seeking to reschedule the exam due to circumstances beyond the control of the parents of the student.  Students missing the rescheduled exam(s) will receive an exam grade of zero; no further make-ups will be scheduled. Students missing exams for unexcused reasons without prior approval of the principal will receive a zero, and no provisions will be made for make-ups.

Course Credit

In order to receive credit for courses, a student must achieve a passing grade (60 or greater) as the final course average. Final exams in courses with EOCs and teacher-made exams will count as 20% of the final grade.  The end-of-semester Career and Technical Education State Assessments will also count as 20% of the final grade. Any student taking an Advanced Placement course must take the AP Exam in order to receive AP course credit (5.0 quality point scale).  The AP Exam is not the final exam for an Advanced Placement Course.

Credit by Demonstrated Mastery

Credit by Demonstrated Mastery (CDM) is the process by which a student may be awarded credit in a particular course without completing classroom instruction for a certain amount of seat time.  The CDM process will consist of a student scoring mastery on a specific exam and completing a required artifact that shows mastery of the course content. A student must begin the CDM process the semester before the next course in the sequence is to be delivered. If a student does not meet the requirements of CDM, they must register and take the course that was challenged.  Students and families must speak with the school CDM team or its representative to begin the application process.
Homeless School-Age Children
Services for students who are homeless can be provided through Wayne County Public Schools.   Please contact the McKinney-Vento liaison for Homeless Education Services, Dionna Smith-Johnson, 919-731-5916 ext 3004; address, School Street Early Learning Center, 415 S. Virginia Street, Goldsboro, NC 27530-4797.
Homework is an integral part of the total school program.  It reinforces and extends what a student has learned in class and develops a sense of self-discipline, personal responsibility, and independent thinking.  In order to give a student an opportunity to develop various kinds of skills, teachers will give many types of homework assignments.  Research clearly indicates that appropriate amounts and higher standards of homework have substantial, positive effects on students’ learning.   It further suggests that homework provides a mechanism whereby parents, students, and teachers can work cooperatively as partners in education.  Homework, as stated in this policy, is work that the teacher assigns to a student to complete outside of the regular class session.  The following is a list of some purposes homework can effectively serve:
  1. Reinforcement and/or extension of previous learning
  2. Completion of familiar, unfinished work
  3. Development of responsible, independent study habits through learning to use and manage time
  4. Utilization of out-of-school resources for learning; giving students opportunities to explore, create, and broaden his/her interests
  5. Involvement of parents with students’ school experience through related home activities which keep parents informed of the school program
  6. Enrichment and development of student initiative through accommodation of student abilities and learning differences
  7. It is suggested that 60-90 minutes of homework is age appropriate for students in grades 9 – 12.
*Note:  Homework should not be used as punishment for students.
Students are responsible for all work missed when absent from school.  Immediately upon returning to school a student must make arrangements with each of their teachers to make up all missed assignments and tests within the next five (5) school days.  If there are extenuating circumstances, the makeup time may be extended by the administration.  Work not made up by the end of grading period (within the prescribed limits) will result in a grade of “I" (Incomplete) for that grading period.  All incompletes must be removed by the first five days of the following grading period or the incomplete(s) will revert to a failing grade.   
  • Students are expected to do their work alone unless directed otherwise by the teacher.
  • A student who is absent due to out-of-school suspension or other disciplinary action may make up daily work missed during the absences.  He/she may also take any tests or exams missed while under suspension upon returning to school.
  • Makeup work may be specific material missed by the student or it may be of a reinforcement or enrichment nature.
  • No academic penalty shall be given a student for absences.  A student may not be given a failing grade or "zeros" for days missed -- only on assignments that are missed and have not been “made- up."  No additional make-up work will be provided to the student until the initial make-up work has been completed and turned in.
  • If a student is expected to be confined to his home and/or a hospital for an extended period or time due to injury, illness or other disability, the child's parent/guardian should be referred to a guidance counselor as soon as possible to possibly obtain the services of a "homebound" teacher.
The media center is a valuable resource available to students.  The purpose of the media center is for reading, study and research.  Media personnel will assist students in checking out materials, selecting appropriately challenging text, or using media equipment.  The Media Center houses a collection of many types of materials, books, magazines, computers, etc.  Students may check out materials from the Media Center for classroom work, home study, or for pleasure.  Generally, materials may be checked out for a two-week period.  There are no overdue fines charged, howeverstudents pay for all lost or damaged materials.  Students owing money to the Media Center may not check out materials until the money is paid.
Migrant School-Age Children
Services for students who are migrant can be provided through Wayne County Public Schools.  Please contact the Migrant Liaison, Youlonda Wynn: telephone, 919-705-6171; address, Wayne County Public Schools, P.O. Drawer 1797, Goldsboro, NC 27533-1797.
Military Child Education & Support
WCPS has more than 2,100 military connected students attending schools across the district. Please contact the WCPS Military Liaison Counselor, Jamie Livengood, with questions or for more information about military student support: telephone, 919-738-0070 or email, [email protected]
Support for military students and families includes, but is not limited to:
  • Military Liaison Counselor – supports and advocates for military-connected students and families.
  • Deployment Support – available by request. School counselors can help provide support for your child over the course of a deployment. Schools may offer deployment support groups or sessions. Remember that schools rely on families to inform them about an upcoming deployment. Please contact your child’s school counselor to discuss deployment support.
  • Student 2 Student and Junior Student 2 Student program – is a student led organization that welcomes incoming students to their school and helps departing students prepare for their next school. S2S eases transitions and creates a positive environment at WCPS middle and high schools with the highest military population. 
  • Anchored4Life – is a transition and resiliency program that makes a significant difference in military and civilian children's lives by offering positive support, encouragement, and life skills as they face many unique challenges. Students are trained and lead the program, focused on character development, transition support, new student tours, and service projects at WCPS elementary schools with the highest military population.
  • School-Based Military Family Life Counselor – counselor who works specifically with military children at WCPS schools with the highest military population. 
  • Interstate Compact – law specifically addressing the needs of transitioning military students; including such issues as enrollment, eligibility, placement and graduation.
*Note: The Department of Defense, in collaboration with the National Center for Interstate Compacts and the Council of State Governments, has developed an Interstate Compact that addresses the educational transition issues of children of military families. Currently, all 50 States and the District of Columbia participate in the interstate compact and provide a uniform policy platform for resolving the challenges experienced by military children. It is estimated that the average military family moves three times more often than the average nonmilitary family. These frequent moves can cause children to miss out on extracurricular activities and to face challenges in meeting graduation requirements. The Interstate Compact ensures that the children of military families are afforded the same opportunities for educational success as other children and are not penalized or delayed in achieving their educational goals. For more information, visit 


Much time and planning is involved in student course selection and the creation of a master schedule that provides students with the best schedules possible to fit the course offerings at each school.  Therefore, schedule changes will be limited following the completion of course registration.  Courses may be added or dropped during the first three (3) days of each semester provided there is a valid reason and the course change is approved by parents, school counselor, and principal.  
All students must have a student acceptable use of technology resources agreement on file before using any technology resources, i.e. Internet.  Failure to abide by the agreement as outlined in policy code 3225 may result in suspension of resources. 
Textbooks are school property provided by the state of North Carolina for your use.  It is the responsibility of each student to keep his/her books in good condition.   Books must be returned at the end of the year or when a student transfers.  When books are returned, they will be examined for damage.  All school books that are assigned to students are solely the student’s responsibility until they are returned.  Students will be required to pay for lost or damaged books. College textbooks purchased by WCPS are also considered the property of the school district, and must be returned by the student after use in a college course.
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