General Guidelines
Compulsory Attendance

Arizona state law states that students must attend school until they are 16 years of age. (ARS 15-803) Students under the age of 16 with documented truancies are subject to a class 3 misdemeanor punishable by jail time or a fine as violators of the state truancy law. (ARS 15-802)


Student Fee Structure

The Peoria Unified School District does not require students to pay for a required program of instruction. The opportunity to attend school, complete required course work, or earn required course credit during the regular school day is not contingent upon payment of any optional fee/material charge. However, students who choose to take any course that requires the use of expendable materials will be charged a fee to cover the cost of materials. The administration may waive the assessment of all or part of the fee upon request if it creates an economic hardship. Requests can be made to the administration during registration or throughout the school year.


Eligibility for Extracurricular Activities - No Pass/No Play

Eligibility will be at least that as stipulated by the State Board of Education Rule R7-2-808 and the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

  1. Extracurricular Activities
    Extracurricular activities are those activities for which no credit is earned in meeting graduation or promotional requirements and are organized, planned, or sponsored by the District consistent with District policy.
    Extracurricular activities include two areas:
    1. Interscholastic Activities
      This category includes all interscholastic activities which are of a competitive nature, and involve more than one school where a championship, winner, or rating is determined
      Example: Athletic competitions and some activities in speech, theater, music, Spiritline, JROTC, and Robotics
    2. Activities For Which No Credit Is Earned
      This category includes activities of a continuous and ongoing nature for which no credit is earned toward graduation or promotional requirements and which are organized, planned, or sponsored by the District consistent with District policy.
  2. Eligibility Requirements
    To be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities a student must:
    1. Earn a passing grade in every course or subject in which he/she is enrolled.
    2. Maintain satisfactory progress toward graduation requirements by enrollment in courses required for graduation and achieve passing grades in a all credit bearing courses each semester; seniors must be enrolled and making satisfactory progress towards graduation. 
    3. It is expected that students in grades 9-11 (freshmen, sophomores, juniors) are registered in four accredited classes per semester. Seniors are expected to be enrolled in three at least classes first semester and those remaining classes that are needed to graduate second semester. Individual circumstances may be reviewed by school administration.
      Note: Students designated as special education students may be exempt from this policy if indicated on an IEP.
  3. Ineligibility
    Checks of academic progress will be made under the direction of the principal or his/her designee. When it is determined that a student has failed to meet the requirements specified for eligibility, the student shall be declared ineligible to participate in extracurricular activities and shall remain ineligible until the requirements of eligibility are met. Students will be graded in accordance with District grading practices set forth in policy.
  4. Notice
    When it is determined that a student’s eligibility is in jeopardy, the student and his/her parents shall be given oral or written notice of pending ineligibility. When ineligibility is determined, the student and his/her parents or guardian shall be provided written notice in the form of a letter signed by the principal. A copy of the notice will be forwarded to the teacher or teachers of those classes wherein the student is failing.
  5. Support Services
    Every school offers a wide range of support services and remedial options for students who fail to make appropriate academic progress. These include adult or peer tutoring, specially designed remedial homework, make-up opportunities, and special assistance before or after the regular school day. When students are notified of pending or established ineligibility under this rule, the teacher is expected to provide remedial opportunities for students.


Educational Planning
Education and Career Action Plan (ECAP)

Arizona State Board of Education Rule #R7-2-302.05 (effective with the Class of 2013).
This course description guide has been developed to assist students and parents in making wise decisions in choosing courses. High school counselors are available to assist students and parents in planning and/or evaluating a student’s program whenever necessary. It is important that each student work with his/her counselor and parents to develop an ECAP, which will include all course requirements for graduation, career goals and exploration, post-secondary education goals, and extra-curricular activities. Recognizing that individual needs, interests, abilities, and objectives differ, it is important that each student develop a high school program that is meaningful and personally rewarding. Planning assures the student of meeting all of the requirements for graduation as well as completing courses needed to fulfill specific career objectives for post-secondary opportunities.

Career Development Plan

The Peoria Unified School District has as a primary goal that all students are provided opportunities for academic excellence and preparation for lifelong employment. The integration of academic achievement, career and technical education, and workplace readiness are all vital to ensuring that students are ready to make the transition from high school to post-secondary education. Not only will a student’s course work be tailored to meet his/her educational and career goals, but additional career exploration and planning will be provided through the Counseling Department. Counselors will work with students to develop an Education and Career Action Plan (ECAP) based on the student’s interests and aptitudes. This ECAP may be revised throughout high school to ensure that the student has the opportunity to explore careers of his/her choice. The counseling staff is qualified to assist students and is supported by the Career Center. Students are encouraged to build upon ECAP as directed by counselors. In the ECAP process, they may take interest inventories and personality assessments, investigate and compare careers and colleges, write résumés and explore scholarships. 

Special Placement Courses

Some courses may have placement criteria. For example, students may not request enrollment in English Essentials, English I with Extension, or honors courses. Courses that include Strategies, Concepts, and Foundations in the course titles also have placement criteria. Placements in these courses require that the student meet specific eligibility criteria. The criteria are based upon testing and teacher recommendations. Students with individual questions regarding special placement should see their counselor.

Course Credits
  1. A unit of credit is granted for work completed in a subject meeting one period daily for a full semester. (Underclassmen are expected to enroll in four classes per semester.)
  2. If credit deficiencies exist, the following options are available:

a. Summer school or credit recovery (may require fee)
b. P.A.S.S. Classes (max. 2 credits; requires fee)
c. Community Service Program (max. 2 credits)
d. Peoria Flex Academy
e. Extended Learning Programs
f. eCampus Virtual High School (may require fee)


PUSD Credit Requirements for Graduation

Graduating Class of 2013 and beyond

Graduation requirements as determined by the Arizona State Board of Education (R7-2-302.02) and the District Governing Board are as follows:

English   4
Algebra I   1
Algebra II or equivalent   1*
Geometry or equivalent   1*
4th math for which Alg II is a prerequisite (from elective course column)   1
Science (one class from each category: Life, Physical, Earth/Space)   3
Physical Education   1
Arizona/US History   1
Arizona/US Government   1/2
Economics    1/2
World History   1
Fine Arts or Career & Technical Ed.   1
Total   16
Electives   12
Total Credits Required for Graduation   28

The American's Civics Act (HB2064) requires all students to pass a civics test in order to graduate from high school. The test is comprised of 100 questions identical to the United States Immigration and Naturalization Test. Once students pass the test with a score of 60% or above, it will be noted on their official transcript. It is the responsibility of all high school students, who did not pass the test during the previous school year, to review materials and ensure that they are signed up to take the test. Opportunities for testing are provided throughout the school year

Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry courses are prerequisites to all required fourth math courses.  Math courses completed prior to 9th grade (Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry) will be transferred to high school as credit, but will not be figured into the student's high school GPA or class rank. A student who completes honors math courses prior to 9th grade will have these honors credits included in their rank after successful completion of AP Calculus I H. The new ranking will be configured at the end of the semester after the AP Calculus I H grade has been posted.

Starting with the Class of 2025, students must take one course per discipline in Life, Physical, and Earth Space to meet state and district standards. By 11th grade students must take one of the following from each discipline: Life Science--Biology, Biology H, IB Biology; Physical Science--Chemistry, Chemistry H, AP/IB Chemistry, Physics, Physics H, Conceptual Physics, AP/IB Physics; Earth Science--Earth Space, Earth Space H.

Credits earned through online courses taken outside Peoria Unified School District shall be taken from a regionally accredited institution in order to meet graduation requirements and must be approved by administration in advance. Awarding of credit may be contingent upon the student earning a passing score on a district exit exam. Passing score is defined as the acceptable passing cut off for the selected course. 

Students transferring from a Traditional six period schedule to the four period block schedule used in the District may have modified credit requirements. (see GRADUATION REQUIREMENT MODIFICATION in section below)

The graduation plan must meet the State of Arizona course requirements. Students who transfer from other types of credit systems will have their graduation requirements determined based upon the number of credit opportunities, curriculum considerations, and credit reciprocation. The Principal shall have the final approval on graduation requirements for transferring students. Students who transfer to PUSD once the semester has already begun will be afforded the opportunity to prove mastery of course material for the courses in which they enrolled upon completion of that semester. This mastery may be proved in a number of ways such as District benchmark exams, end of the course assessments, etc. The decision to award credit for these courses will lie solely with the Principal.

Homeschooled students will be required to test to determine educational placement pursuant to ARS 15-745. Public schools are not required to accept homeschool credits toward a diploma but students may competency test to earn credit. 

Students placed in special education classes, grades 9-12, are eligible to receive a high school diploma. The individual education plan (IEP) that is developed for each student will document the student’s eligibility to receive a diploma. Reference to special education may be placed on the student’s transcript and permanent file.


High School Graduation Requirement

Students must meet all requirements before they will be permitted to participate in the commencement ceremonies. Students who wish to graduate at mid-term are urged to visit their counselor well in advance of completing their graduation requirements. All high school students must comply with the following minimum requirements:

  • Students must take four PUSD classes per semester that provide credit toward graduation. The principal may allow a graduating senior to enroll in less than four credit classes per semester.
  • Students must meet the graduation requirements of the Peoria Unified School District and the State of Arizona which includes a passing score on the civics exam.


Students who transfer from other types of credit systems will have their graduation requirements determined based upon the number of credit opportunities, curriculum considerations, and credit reciprocation. Modification should only be used for students who have not had the same credit opportunities as PUSD students. The Principal shall have the final approval on graduation requirements for transferring students.

# of Semesters Completed Outside of PUSD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Credits Needed to Graduate 27 26 25 25 24 24 23 23


Admission to Community Colleges

There are a number of quality community colleges located in the greater Phoenix area. Courses range from technical skills and trades to academic studies. The ACT or SAT examinations are not required for admission. Students who complete a program of study may receive an associate degree, certificates (“certified status”), or “transfer” status to a four-year college/university depending upon their program of study.

In cooperation with post-secondary institutions, district high school students may enroll in both high school and college classes under terms prescribed by the post-secondary institution and agreed upon by the district. Concurrent enrollment is when students are taking a college class off-site while still enrolled in high school campus. Community college courses do not always fulfill university requirements for admission. Any student interested in this opportunity should see his/her counselor, and seek pre-approval from his/her principal.


Admission to State Universities




Arizona Tri-University Admission Standards

Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) Undergraduate Admission Requirements  ABOR Policy 2-121  (Oct 2020)






ACADEMIC COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS--Requirements set forth here were current as of October 2020. Students seeking university admission should always consult with the selected university to ensure coursework meets admissions guidelines.

  • Competency may be demonstrated by 16 core courses from high school or the appropriate college courses within each subject area. In some cases, ACT or SAT scores may be used to satisfy competencies. Please refer to ABOR Policy 2-121 for the most current requirements.
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for each competency (subject) area.
  • All FIRST YEAR and TRANSFER students with a combination MATH/LABORATORY SCIENCE deficiency are not admissible.

ENGLISH--4 credits

English must include literature and have substantial emphasis on grammar and composition. Courses such as journalism, business communications, and speech may not be substituted for a regular English course. 

MATHEMATICS--4 credits

Mathematics must include four high school classes that include Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and a culminating one credit advanced math class for which Algebra II is a prerequisite. 

SCIENCE--3 credits

One laboratory science in each of three areas: chemistry, physics, earth science, or biology. Three different lab sciences are recommended rather than advanced courses in the same subject. For example, Biology, Chemistry, and Earth/Space Science is recommeded rather than Biology, AP Biology, and Earth/Space Science. 


PUSD required courses meet university requirements.


Students should complete two classes of the SAME language for university admission. 

FINE ARTS--1 credit

Students should take one fine arts course to meet university requirements. 

CTE--1 credit

Most in-state universities allow students to complete one CTE course in place of the fine arts course. Check with the specific university to ensure requirements are met. 

School Counseling Resources

Peoria Unified School District High School Counselors follow the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) national model by supporting high school students in three domains: Academic Development, Career Development, and Social/Emotional Development.  PUSD also staffs every high school with a Career Center Specialist.  These specialists focus on dual enrollment, scholarships, and post-secondary planning.  



For the most current information about NCAA academic eligibility requirements, consult the NCAA Student-Athletes website.

Before an athlete can play a sport or receive an athletic scholarship at a Division I or II college, he/she must meet the specific academic criteria as set forth by the NCAA. Students must have at least a 2.3 GPA (based on a 4.0 scale) in 16 core courses. A student must also achieve a minimum combined sum score on the ACT/SAT, depending upon the student’s GPA. 

Students must take specific courses in order to meet NCAA eligibility requirements. These include a certain number of college preparatory English, science, social studies, and math courses with at least one year of algebra and geometry. Because the NCAA has such specific requirements, it is very important that athletes meet with their counselors and coaches in the ninth grade to obtain information on all of the NCAA requirements. At this time, athletes also need to make certain that their ECAP’s include courses that will satisfy NCAA requirements.

IMPORTANT: Not all PUSD math, English, social studies, and science classes meet NCAA requirements. 

Athletes should take the ACT or the SAT no later than the spring of their junior year in order to have time to retake them if necessary. Athletes also need to complete the registration process with the NCAA Eligibility Center at the beginning of their junior year. 


Explanation of Grading System

The purpose of grading is to inform students, parents and others of the student progress toward the achievement of educational objectives. Grades are to reflect learning, i.e., student achievement toward mastery of standards aligned course outcomes. Grades and credit are not to be awarded for any other purpose. Full credit (1.0 or .5) will be awarded at the end of the course. Note: Full year A/B courses would be an exception to the rule. In a full year A/B course, ½ credit grade-in-progress would be awarded at the end of the first semester and ½ credit grade-in-progress awarded at the end of the second semester.

The grading system in the Peoria Unified School District is as follows:

90 – 100%          A     Excelling
80 – 89%            B     Highly Performing
70 – 79%            C     Performing
60 – 69%            D     Under Performing
0 – 59%              F      Failing                        
                           NC   Audit/No Credit
                           W     Withdrawal
                           P      Pass

*Select courses are not figured into a student's GPA. Examples include but are not limited to: community service, student assistant, PASS. 

In order to earn credit in the course AND be eligible for enrollment in the next course a student must meet the following criteria.

  1. Students must achieve a grade of 60% or higher as a final grade unless otherwise noted in this High School Course Offering and Description Guide .
  2. Students must meet all prerequisite criteria listed in this High School Course Offering and Description Guide.


It is extremely important that the course selections be made only after careful and complete consideration. All students are expected to remain with the schedule received prior to the start of the new school year. Schedule changes may not be made unless a change is a result of an error in placement. Changes in a student’s schedule following registration cannot be made except in those cases where it is considered by the counselor to be advisable. In addition to obtaining counselor approval, parental approval is also necessary.

A student may request to change a class from credit to audit status anytime betweenthe start of the semester until the 20th day (8th day in a nine-week class). A change to audit status must have the approval of the parent, student, administrator, and counselor. Any student who changes a class from credit status to audit status during the term will be ineligible under the No-Pass / No-Play regulations for the remainder of that athletic season. The student must continue to actively participate in the course.

Course Level Placement Changes:

Students who requests an AP course, IB course, or Honors course are accepting the rigor that comes with these advanced academic courses. Once students and parents agree to the requirements, they will be enrolled in an advanced academic course. No level changes will be considered for students in advanced academic classes before the 5th day of class and after the 20th day of class. Students must request the level change in writing and receive parent and teacher permission to do so. If approved, all earned grades will transfer to the new class. Students may request a level change from a regular level course to an honors level course within the first 10 days of the semester, provided there is enough data that such a change is merited, and parent and teacher permission is obtained. Level changes will occur only if seats are available in the requested course.

Withdrawal from a Course:

Freshman, sophomores, and juniors must maintain a full schedule with no release periods. Seniors must maintain progress toward high school graduation. Student athletes should ensure their course load meets district eligibility requirements. Any withdrawal prior to the 20th day (8th day in a nine-week class) will not show on the transcript. Any student who withdraws after the 20th day (8th day in nine-week course) will receive a grade of “W”, if passing the course, or an “F” if failing the course. The W or F will be posted to the transcript. Students who receive a F will be ineligible for extra-curricular and AIA participation for the remainder of the semester and the F will be factored into their GPA and class rank. Requests for class withdrawals will not be allowed after the 50th day of the semester or 20th day in a nine-week class. Dropped classes may be retaken and the higher grade will be used for Grade Point Average purposes. Parent approval must be in writing with the understanding that replacing a dropped class with a student assistant position will negatively impact a student’s class rank.


The Class Rank Index (CRI) model for calculation of GPA and class rank portrays a complete, holistic picture of student achievement. Students receive incentives for taking rigorous courses and are rewarded for taking maximum course loads. The index reflects the Peoria Unified School District’s commitment to provide opportunities for all students to achieve and demonstrate academic excellence.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Grade Point Average is calculated for each student for the purpose of reflecting a student’s academic achievement over his/her high school experience. The GPA is calculated on a non-inflated basis. Grade points are provided for each grade as follow:

      Grade               Grade Points
A                             4
B                             3
C                             2
D                             1
F                             0

To calculate the GPA, you add the sum of the grade points and divide by the number of credits taken. The calculation is as follows:

GPA =     sum of grade points
                number of credits taken

Credits taken after eighth grade promotion will be reflected on the high school transcript and will be figured into the student’s GPA with the exception of student assistant, the P.A.S.S. program, the alternative program, pass/fail courses and community service credit. Regular high school courses taken at the elementary level, prior to eighth grade promotion, will be noted on the student’s transcript, but will not be figured into the student’s high school GPA.

The only exception is honors level math courses. If a student takes an honors level math course prior to entering 9th grade AND completes AP Calculus I, the semester the student completes AP Calculus I, the honors math credit from elementary school will be calculated into the GPA and counted towards class rank. 

NOTE: Courses taken in the summer between 8th and 9th grade will count toward class rank and GPA for students who have been promoted from 8th grade. 

Cumulative Difficulty Weight

The Cumulative Difficulty Weight (CDW) is a measure of the overall rigor of a student’s academic course load compared to that of other students and is utilized to determine class ranking for college entrance and scholarship opportunities.

To determine the CDW, the following weights are given:

Honors credits = 1.33
Regular credits = 1.00

The prescribed load for students is four credits for the first six semesters completed, two credits for semester seven, and two credits for semester eight. The prescribed load for each grade level is as follows;

1st        semester freshman                    4
2nd       semester freshman                    8
1st        semester sophomore               12
2nd       semester sophomore               16
1st        semester junior                        20
2nd       semester junior                        24
1st        semester senior                       26
2nd       semester senior                       28

To calculate the CDW for a student who takes the prescribed number of credits, you multiply the number of regular credits times 1.0 plus the number of honors credits times 1.33 and divide by the prescribed load. The formula will be:

1.33 (#honors credits) 1.0 (# regular credits)
prescribed load

For students who take more than the prescribed load, the following slide scale weight times the number of credits is added to the numerator:

For the 1st additional credit over the prescribed load       .25
For the 2nd additional credit over the prescribed load      .125
For the 3rd additional credit over the prescribed load       .0625

Each additional credit beyond the 3rd additional credit over the prescribed load is weighted .0625.

The formula would be:

1.33 (# honors credits) 1.0 (# regular credits) .25 (1) .125 (1) .0625(1)
prescribed load

Credits taken after the eighth grade promotion will be reflected on the high school transcript and will be figured into the student’s GPA with the exception of Special Education courses, student assistant, the P.A.S.S. program, the alternative program, pass/fail courses and community service credit. Regular high school courses taken at the elementary level, prior to eighth grade promotion, will be noted on the student’s transcript, but will not be figured into the student’s high school GPA.

The Class Rank Index

The purpose of ranking students according to academic standing is to provide information requested by post-secondary institutions to determine acceptance and scholarship opportunities.

To determine ranking the Grade Point Average (GPA) is multiplied by the Cumulative Difficulty Weight (CDW).


Students are ranked by percentile rather than individual slots in an effort to maximize the number of students eligible for admission and Regent Scholarships. In a graduating class of 400, the top 4-6 students will be ranked as the top 1% rather than 1, 2, 3, 4 out of 400; the next 4-6 students will be ranked as the top 2%, and so on. Percentile rankings align with the information requested by most universities. Colleges and universities that require specific numerical ranking will see that reported on the student’s transcript.


Honors Guidelines
Honors Entrance and Maintenance Requirements

Candidates for initial honors placement shall have:

  1. Previously qualified for gifted services based on state standards in the verbal or quantitative areas or,
  2. Percentile rank test scores of ninety-five (95%) or above on the reading, language, and math portions of a nationally-named achievement test or,
  3. Fulfilled the prerequisites for the content.
  4. A recommendation from an instructor familiar with the student's aptitude.

High School Honor Roll Guidelines

Students in grades 9-12 who meet high academic standards will be eligible for honor roll recognition. The honor roll shall be computed for each semester according to the following criteria:

  1. Semester grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or better
  2. Enrollment in three or more courses that count toward the honor roll requirements
  3. Any pass/fail credit will not count towards honor roll requirements
  4. No D’s or F’s on semester grade report
  5. Incomplete grades must be cleared from the record before a student can qualify for the honor roll.


Diploma Endorsements

Students may elect to pursue endorsements and seals to be added to the regular high school diploma as supported by the Arizona Department of Education. 

Mastery of Subject Area Endorsement (CTE) is designed for students who are highly competent within designated subject areas. The criteria are as follows:

  • Complete all prescribed courses within their designated subject area
  • Maintain the defined minimum GPA within the designated subject area
  • Demonstrate a high level of competency on performance-based course assessments
  • Meet all program and course outcomes established by the designated department and obtain final approval from the curriculum lead or designee

Arts Proficiency Seal is awarded to graduates who complete an arts pathway and demonstrate high levels of engagement in fine arts-related extracurricular activities, community service, and develop and present a final Fine Arts Capstone Project. The requirements are as follows:

  1. A final GPA of 3.0 or greater in each of the qualifying arts/CTE courses.
  2. Four minimum credit requirements in one of the following ways:
    1. a minimum of four credits in one artistic discipline: dance, music, theater, visual arts or;
    2. three credits in one artistic discipline, and two credits in a qualifying creative industries CTE course or separate artistic discipline; or
    3. two credits in one artistic discipline, and two credits in a qualifying creative industries CTE course or separate artistic discipline.
  3. 80 hours of arts related extracurricular activities
  4. A student capstone project