Doing What’s Best for Kids

Students AP 375: Graduation Exercises


High school graduation requirements ensure students have the basic education they need to do well in their further studies and future careers. In order to graduate from high school and participate in graduation exercises, students must complete a full range of compulsory, core subjects as well as optional courses that broaden their knowledge and skills to meet provincial and Division graduation requirements.

In order to graduate from high school and/or participate in graduation exercises students must meet, or be in the process of meeting the certification requirements prescribed by the Minister of Education and be in good standing with the school prior to the graduation ceremonies.


  1. Diploma requirements are set by the Minister of Education and include 100 credits in compulsory and optional courses. Schools are required to provide 25 hours of instruction for each credit. Most high school courses are worth either three or five credits, and the average course load is 35 credits per year.
    1. Grade 12 diploma examination is to certify a student's achievement in a course. Each examination is aligned with the program of studies in order to provide a common assessment for students across the province. This ensures fairness to students and allows them to compete equally for post-secondary admission and scholarships. Grade 12 diploma examinations are administered in January, June, and August.
    2. The requirements for a High School Diploma are as follows:
      1. English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2
      2. Social Studies 30-1 or 30-2
      3. Mathematics 20-1, 20-2, or 20-3
      4. Science 20 or 24, Biology 20, Chemistry 20, or Physics 20
      5. Physical Education 10
      6. Career and Life Management
      7. In addition 10 credits in any 30-level course and 10 credits in optional courses offered.
  2. Diploma requirements must be met as per the provincial Guide to Education.
    The diploma examination contributes 30% of a student's final mark in the course, and the school-awarded mark contributes the other 70% of the final mark. To pass a course, a student must obtain a final blended mark of 50% or higher.
  3. Should a student wish to improve his or her diploma examination mark, the student may do so by rewriting the examination at a subsequent scheduled administration. When a student rewrites a diploma examination, the student's transcript reports only the highest diploma examination mark, the highest school-awarded mark, and the highest final mark achieved within the current school year or the previous two school years.
  4. It is the responsibility of students to pay all fees associated with provincial examinations.
  5. It is the responsibility of Alberta Education to issue transcripts of marks and graduation certificates to students.  Alberta Education may delay release of individual student marks for outstanding fees.
  6. Certificate of High School Achievement: Students may earn a Certificate of High School Achievement according to the requirements outlined in the provincial Guide to Education.
  7. Certificate of School Completion: The Certificate of School Completion in special education can be awarded to students with significant cognitive delays who are unable to achieve either a High School Diploma or a Certificate of High School Achievement. It is the responsibility of the Principal to nominate eligible students for this certificate based on provincial eligibility criteria.
    1. It is the responsibility of the Principal to verify that credits achieved by each student with significant special needs have not been applied to a Diploma or Certificate of High School Achievement (i.e., Knowledge and Employability).
  8. Graduation Ceremony
    1. The graduation ceremony is a school-based responsibility and it shall be planned in advance with Superintendents Approval before announcing.
    2. Principals are responsible for establishing guidelines for the participation of students in high school graduation activities.  All activities planned must be pre-approved by the Principal. 
    3. It is the responsibility of students to ensure graduation requirements are met. Parents and students must be notified in advance if graduation requirements are not being met.  Students who are ineligible to participate in the school’s graduation ceremony may appeal to the Principal.
    4. All funds raised to support graduation activities and ceremony must be used for the purpose the funds were raised and expenditures must be approved by the Principal.
    5. Each high school’s graduating class is responsible for electing a Graduation Committee and Valedictorian, from the students eligible for graduation, to plan and organize the graduation ceremony in addition to inviting dignitaries. All activities must be under the supervision of teacher advisors.
    6. The Principal has the authority to withdraw any student who is graduating, Committee Members and/or the Valedictorian, in the event of a serious breach of school rules or conduct that is immoral or injurious to the well-being of others