High School Academic Honors Policy
Many academic classes at DSA are offered with honors and non-honors options. The following are the guidelines from the district handbook for academic honors and AP credit:
Instructional-Delivery Criteria that Provides Necessary Course Rigor
- Coursework must include at least one major research paper/project per semester.
- Coursework must include intensive reading and writing in the content area.
- Instruction must include the use of higher-order thinking skills during questioning and discussion periods.
- A significant amount of rigorous homework, beyond that of a regular class, must be required.
- Instructional materials selected for use must reflect the challenging nature of the course.
- Level of instruction must reach greater depths of understanding, including self-directed learning, and establish higher expectations of the student.
In order for a course at DSA to qualify for academic honors credit it must meet the above criteria. The requirements for academic honors credit needs to be clearly explained to the students and be available to parents at the start of each semester.
All DSA high school students have the first four weeks of each semester to decide between the non-honors or honors section of an academic class:
Friday, September 13, 2019 deadline for first semester
Friday, January 31, 2020 deadline for second semester
After these dates, students may not switch into the academic honors or non-honors section and are expected to complete the class work expected for that level. For courses taught by multiple teachers, the standards for academic honors versus non-honors credit need to be similar in the quantity and nature of the work. Any student may take a course for academic honors credit for the first semester, but only those students who received a D or higher during first semester may take it for honors during the second semester.