• Graduation Requirements

    North Allegheny Requirements

    The North Allegheny School District Program of Studies for grades 9-12 outlines the scheduling process, provides background information related to academic issues, and describes the specific courses available for students. The depth and breadth of course offerings available at the North Allegheny School District contribute to its recognition as one of the top public school districts in both Pennsylvania and the United States. Students have the opportunity to both explore a variety of subject matter and/or gain in-depth knowledge of a particular strand by completing a majority of courses with a particular department.

    Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this rich Program of Studies by scheduling at least 7.0 credits (9th-12th grade) each year. With eight instructional periods available at the high school level, students should be able to far exceed the minimum credits required through this policy. The selection of a broad spectrum of courses will help students deepen their knowledge and better determine areas of interest for the future.

Graduation Requirements
  • - The English credits also includes the culminating project as detailed in the North Allegheny School District Strategic Plan.

    * S.T.E.M. refers to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The Program of Studies outlines specific courses that meet the S.T.E.M. designation.

    Pennsylvania Requirements

    Students are required to demonstrate post-secondary preparedness through one of five pathways that illustrate college, career, and community readiness. View the Pennsylvania Pathways to Graduation flow chart for full descriptions.

    Keystone Exams

    Pathway 1: Keystone Proficiency

    The Keystone Exams are commonwealth-mandated, end-of-course assessments designed to assess proficiency in the subject areas of Algebra, Literature, and Biology. Keystone Exams will continue as the commonwealth-wide assessment Pennsylvania uses to comply with accountability requirements set forth in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Although students will no longer be required to achieve proficiency on the Keystone Exams to meet the commonwealth graduation requirement, students must take the Keystone Exams for purposes of federal accountability. Failure to do so will affect a Local Education Agency (LEA) and the school's participation rate.

    If the student receives a score of Proficient or Advanced on all three Keystone Exams, they have met this graduation requirement.

    Keystone exam scale score ranges

    If a student does not receive a score of “Advanced” or “Proficient” on a Keystone Exam, the student is strongly encouraged to take a re-test during designated windows established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. If a student continues to receive a less than “Proficient” score on future retests, they have the option to demonstrate postsecondary preparedness through one of four additional pathways that more fully illustrate college, career, and community readiness. 

    Pathway 2: Keystone Composite

    Under Act 158 of 2018, a student may demonstrate proficiency for high school graduation through the Keystone Composite Pathway by earning a satisfactory composite score of 4452 on the Algebra I, Literature, and Biology Keystone Exams (while achieving at least a proficient score on one of the three exams and no less than a basic score on the remaining two). Students who do not have a score in all three Keystone Exam areas (e.g., an EL student who did not participate in the Keystone Literature Exam, a student who did not participate in a Keystone Exam for religious reasons, a student who did not participate due to COVID-19) do not qualify for the Keystone Composite Pathway and must meet graduation requirements under the CTE Concentrator, Alternative Assessment, Evidence-Based Pathways, or re-take the exam.

    • On July 8, 2022, Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 55 of 2022 (Act 55) into law. Act 55 of 2022 amends the Pennsylvania School Code to assist students in meeting statewide high school graduation requirements. Effective immediately, any student may graduate via the Keystone Composite Pathway provided the student:
      • Has one COVID- proficient indicator for a Keystone Exam during the spring of 2020 (pursuant to Act 136 of 2020);
      • Successfully passes the academic content associated with the course aligned to that COVID provident indicator; and
      • Achieves a Keystone Composite score of 2939 or greater for the other two Keystone Exams (calculated using the highest numerical scores attained by the student, neither of which may be Below Basic and at least one of which must be Proficient or Advanced).

    Pathway 3: CTE Concentrator

    If a student is enrolled in a career and technical education program, the student can graduate by:

    • Industry-based competency certification
    • Successful completion of the Pre-NOCTI
    • Enrollment at A.W. Beattie through the end of their senior year

    Pathway 4: Alternative Assessment

    Students can meet graduation requirements by completing one of the following alternative pieces of evidence.

    • Successful completion of the voluntary Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) given in grade 10 or 11
    • Attainment of Gold Level or better on ACT WorkKeys. ACT® WorkKeys® assessments are the cornerstone of the ACT workforce solutions. The assessments help you measure the workplace skills that can affect your job performance.
    • Attainment of a score of 3 or better on an AP Exam related to each Keystone content area in which less than Proficient.
    • Successful Completion of a College in High School (CHS) course related to each Keystone content area in which less than Proficient.
    • Acceptance into a 4-year institution of Higher Education for college-level coursework.

    Pathway 5: Evidence-Based Pathway

    Students can take an evidence-based pathway consistent with student goals. Students must satisfy one or more items from List 1 AND no more than two items from List 2.

    • List 1 (students must satisfy one or more items)
      1. Attainment of 630 or better on any SAT Subject Test
      2. Attainment of Silver Level or Better on ACT WorkKeys. 
      3. Attainment of a score of three or better on any AP Exam
      4. Successful completion of any concurrent or post-secondary course (i.e. College in High School) or postsecondary course for each Keystone Exam content area in which the student achieved less than proficient. For example, a student who only demonstrated Proficiency or better in the Keystone Literature Exam would need to satisfy the following under this criterion:
        1. Pass both the Algebra 1 and the Biology courses (local grade-based requirements), and
        2. Pass an LEA-approved concurrent course aligned to Algebra I and an LEA-approved concurrent course aligned to Biology.

          For an LEA to approve a concurrent enrollment course for the purpose of meeting this criterion, the credit-bearing, non-remedial course must be aligned to the respective Keystone Exam (i.e., includes the majority of the Eligible Content for the respective Keystone Exam). Concurrent enrollment courses aligned to more than one content area may only be attributed to one Keystone Exam (e.g., a passing grade in a concurrent Chemistry course may be attributed only to Algebra I or Biology, not both).
      5. Industry-recognized credentialization issued by a third party. The student must earn an industry credential aligned to the student’s goals and career plans, identified in PDE guidance documents for students in Career & Technical Education Programs or in non-CTE programs.
      6. Acceptance into an other-than-4yr Institution of Higher Education (IHE) for college-level coursework


    • List 2 (students must satisfy no more than two items)
      1. Attainment of Proficient or Advanced on any Keystone Exam
      2. Successful completion of a service-learning project Defined as a form of experiential education that combines learning goal(s) with community service.- more information to follow on this option.
      3. Letter guaranteeing full-time employment or military enlistment from employer or military official
      4. Compliance with NCAA Division II academic requirements
      5. Completion of Co-Op Requirements
        • Must enroll into Career Development (Grade 12) or Advanced Marketing (Grade 11 or 12)
        • Must work an average of 15 hours per week at an approved training station