High School Curriculum

Purpose & Overview

The resource has been developed to provide students and parents/guardians with valuable information and tools to assist in the planning of their SHS academic career.

Academic Planning, Programming and Scheduling

Springfield High School is committed to preparing graduates for life after high school – “Commencement is the beginning . . .” Many of our graduates further their education by pursuing a post-secondary education at two and four year colleges and universities. Others enter military service, trade or technical schools or the work force, maybe even with certifications they have received from DCTS programs. Recognizing that the majority of our graduates will seek further education and/or training of some kind, we recommend that students develop their High School Plan around a sequence of courses that will maximize the potential to pursue rigorous and challenging post-secondary education opportunities. This plan can begin in 9th or 10th grade with specialized classes but most students focus in on a career path in 11th grade.

Course Selection Guidelines

The course selection process is extremely important and plays a vital role in preparing students for their post-secondary endeavors. Course selection involves careful thought and planning and this process is a collaborative effort between counselors, teachers, students and parents. Parent conferences are also very helpful and welcomed by counselors. Call 610-938-6130, 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for appointments during the school year or by email. The High School Guidance Counselors are:

Kelly Pedrotty - A - De Ext. 6136
Hilary Campbell - Df - Ke Ext. 6137
Jamie Weaver - Kf - Ph Ext. 6134
Jessica Houser - Pi - Z Ext. 6139
Kendra Campbell – College & Career Counselor Ext. 6138

Springfield High School takes pride in a wide variety of academic and special area offerings. Students can pursue college preparatory along with highly rigorous honors and advanced placement courses in addition to exploring and experiencing many courses in the arts and technology application areas. Students are encouraged to take full advantage of these options. Throughout the course selection and scheduling process, please carefully read the course descriptions and expectations associated with each course. Working with your counselor, make sure the courses you select are in line with your academic plan. Choosing the right courses is one of the most significant tasks a student completes each year. Courses should be selected with these questions in mind:

  • Will this course allow me to meet graduation requirements?
  • Will this course help me to meet college entrance requirements?
  • Will this course help me develop a skill to become employable after high school?
  • Will this course introduce me to a new subject or experience?
  • Is this course appropriate for my ability? Will it be a challenge?
  • Do I have the prerequisite for this course?

Note: Students must be sure they have all required courses each year. Every effort will be made to schedule all students with seven (7) credits comprised of scheduled courses, school service opportunities, internship/externship opportunities or independent studies. Senior students have additional scheduling opportunities.

Considerations When Completing the Course Request Process

Preparing Course Requests

  • A “Credit Tracker Form” will be distributed to students and is also available on the SHS web page under the Scheduling tab. Use HAC Transcript feature to view completed course and courses you are currently enrolled in this school year.
  • A Grade Level “Course Selection Sheet” will also be distributed to students and is also available at the SHS web page under the Scheduling tab. These forms need to be completed with a high degree of accuracy because they will be used to enter course requests into the scheduling program. Students will be instructed on how to complete this process at our grade level scheduling meetings.

Course Sequencing

  • Course sequencing must be adhered to when planning your program of study.
  • Planning charts are presented at the beginning of each core content area in this guide
  • It is important to review prerequisite course before requesting a course.


  • Prerequisites for courses should be carefully considered and adhered to when planning a program of study. Questions regarding appropriate placement related to prerequisites and qualifications should be directed to the student’s current teacher in that area or guidance counselor.
  • Most courses in the Academic Programming and Scheduling Guide (APSG) have percentage based pre-requisites and some require teacher recommendation. Please keep in mind that these percentages are the initial screener in determining if a student has demonstrated the academic rigor to be successful in these more rigorous courses.
  • Where appropriate, performance requirements above and beyond College Preparatory courses are identified. Please consider these requirements when making your requests.
  • Before students complete the course selection process, teachers will make recommendations based on demonstrated academic ability and performance.
  • In some instances, a student does not meet the course pre-requisites, or display the recommended standards of academic performance, and as such is not recommended by a teacher. If a student still desires to take the course under these circumstances, the student and parent must complete a Course Recommendation Waiver Form available through guidance.

Course Offering Requirements

  • Course may not be offered during the school year if an insufficient (fewer than 15) number of students request the course or if an insufficient number of students (fewer than 15) are able to be scheduled into the course.
  • Students selecting rigorous academic course work, including Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors courses, must be aware of the commitment that the administration and Board of School Directors make to staff AP and Honors courses. Students are expected to honor their commitment to take these challenging courses. Please make sure that you are fully committed to these challenges because the withdrawing from an Honors or AP level course can have a significant impact on the college application and college acceptance process. Teachers will make recommendations for Honors and AP courses based on student ability and performance. Counselors will guide you through the selection and commitment process so that you are confident in your decision to pursue these courses.

Note: AP course offerings in particular may be eliminated if not requested by a sufficient number of students. Additionally, when scheduling is completed, an AP course can be removed from the schedule if an insufficient number of students are enrolled in the course.

The Master Schedule

Students are given opportunities to choose from a wide variety of courses beyond the required courses listed in this guide. Every effort is made to fulfill these requests; however, it is difficult to provide every course that every individual student requests. The development of a master schedule takes into consideration many factors when determining which courses can be offered. Staffing, the number of students requesting a particular course, unique combinations of course requests, and school resources are among many factors that influence the course offerings courses in a given year. HS administration and guidance will work diligently and methodically to provide a rich and varied academic experience, but there may be some instances where, for scheduling purposes, the administration and guidance staff may need to enroll students in courses they did not request. If this occurs, every effort will be made to place the student in a similar course at a similar level. That is why it is important for students to list an adequate number of electives and alternatives to insure they are scheduled into courses aligned with their academic goals and interests.

Acceleration and Course Exemption

Periodically students wish to accelerate through a course sequence to advance to the next level for a variety of reasons. The guidelines for these opportunities are as follows:

  1. A request to exempt a course by exam is to be initiated by parent and student, in writing, to the principal; the letter must clearly state reason for the exemption request. Exemption by exam must be requested prior to the start of the course. Permission to exempt a course by exam is granted at the principal's discretion.
  2. Any costs are to be funded by the student and/or parents, which may include the costs of assembling materials, and administering and scoring the exams.
  3. The student must take the district mid-term and final examinations for the course and achieve a score of 85% or better. These examinations need to be taken and evaluated at least 2 weeks before the start of the course.
  4. No grade will be assigned or included in the GPA.
  5. No credit will be awarded for the course.
  6. If the criteria in Step 3 are met, the course will be listed on the transcript as “Course by Exemption” and will be awarded a passing mark of “P”.
  7. The scheduling of the mid-year and final examinations dates and administration/scoring will be arranged by the building principal or his/her designee.

Guidelines for Changing Scheduled Courses

Updates in progress.

Promotion Requirements

To be promoted to the 11th grade, students must have earned a minimum of 11 credits by the end of the 10th grade. Six (6) of these credits must be in the core academic areas of LA, SS, Math and Science. Students who do not meet the promotion requirement will remain with their guidance counselor and advisory and will be designated as a sophomore.

Repeating Courses and Summer School

If a student fails a core course, they have the option to repeat the course(s) the following school year or attend Summer School. Counselors will assess these situations and make a recommendation that is in the student’s best interest academically. Repeating courses can be beneficial, especially with courses that build on prior knowledge. Sometimes scheduling constraints are such that repeating a course creates difficulty in scheduling. In these cases the student is encouraged to attend Summer School. Please contact the Guidance Office for specifics regarding qualifications for summer school, grading procedures, available courses, dates, and tuition.

Failing any course may impede or jeopardize a student graduating within four (4) years. Students and parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to make necessary and appropriate arrangements in the event of a course failure.

Weighted Courses

A student can be enrolled in College Preparatory, Honors or Advanced Placement courses. Due to the higher academic rigor of Honors and AP courses, a heavier weight is assigned to these courses when calculating a student’s GPA. College Prep courses carry a weight of 1.00, Honors a weight of 1.125 and AP a weight of 1.25.

Students enrolled in an AP course must sit for the AP Exam to receive AP weight (1.25) at the conclusion of the course. If a student does not sit for the AP Exam, the student will be awarded Honors weight (1.125) at the conclusion of the course and must take the final examination in that course.

GPA Calculation

All MP and Final grades will be recorded and reported as a numerical value. Students can use the following method to calculate GPA:

Determine Total Quality Points - sum of all points for each course attempted as determined by the following formula:

Quality Points per Course = % Grade earned in course x Credit x Weighted Value

Overall GPA = Total Quality Points / Credits Attempted

Class Rank

Class rank is calculated at the end of the school year and is based on the overall weighted GPA. Student MP Report Cards include class rank but this is an un-weighted calculation and is not a true indication of the student’s class rank.

National Honor Society

Requirements for consideration for elections in the NHS include:

  • Junior or Senior
  • 95.0000 weighted Cumulative GPA or higher the summer before Junior or Senior Year
  • Enrolled in 3 or more Honors/AP courses during the school year in which application is made (invitations are mailed in August and applications are submitted in September)

More details will be shared in the invitation/application materials.

Delaware County Technical Schools Programs

A complete list of the courses offered by Delaware County Technical Schools is provided beginning on page 62. The Delaware County Technical Schools program is offered to 11th and 12th grade students at the Intermediate Unit Vocational Technical Schools. The training at the schools is extensive and demanding and provides a graduate with an excellent background for technical careers. The Technical Schools Program is offered as a half-day AM or PM program and the school district provides transportation to and from the Technical School. To enroll, students should meet with their guidance counselor to complete the Technical Schools application. Students and their parents are encouraged to visit the Delaware County Technical Schools. Call for an appointment: Folcroft (610) 583-7620 or Aston (610) 459-3050.

Delaware County Community College Credit Options

Updates in progress.

Options for Academically Talented / Gifted Students

Updates in progress.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

Updates in progress.

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