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General Guidelines


Students should note that certain courses have pre-requisites for admission. Where a Department Chair's approval is required, obtain his/her signature on the Course Request Form before returning it to the counselor.

Minimum Schedule:

The typical student will need to take at least six courses each semester in order to reach the required 240 units for graduation. Any exceptions to this must have the support of the counselor and parents, and the approval of the Dean of Studies.

Teacher's Assistant Courses (TA):

If an upper division student selects a TA course, he must obtain the approval of the Department Chair. Please check the course description for pre-requisites. Students signing up for more that one semester of TA require the approval of the Dean of Studies.

Repeated Courses:

a. Failed courses may not be repeated during the school year at Junipero Serra High School. A required course that received a failing grade (or its equivalent) must be passed in summer school before the student returns in August.

b. A student may repeat Athletic Assistant, Teacher Assistant, and Physical Education courses only in place of a study period and with the approval of the Dean of Studies and Department Chair. The repeated courses will be recorded on the transcript but will not count toward the 240 units necessary for graduation.

c. Colleges do not accept grades of a "D" for required courses.

Advanced Placement and Honors Courses:

When selecting Advanced Placement (AP) or Honors level courses, students should be aware of the rigorous academic demands and time commitment of each course. They should check with their counselor and review their academic, athletic and personal commitments so they do not over-extend themselves. Once a student signs up for an advanced placement course they are required to complete an advanced placement contract and to turn it in by the posted deadline. Students should be aware that if they wish to drop out of an AP class after the end of spring semester, such changes will only be granted if there is space available in the new course. The final decision on such changes will be made by the Dean of Studies.

Summer School:

Students may supplement their Serra courses with courses taken for advancement. However, any such course must be pre-approved in writing. All courses used to qualify for more advanced courses at Serra (particularly math or science courses) must be approved by completing a form and getting the necessary approval signatures from the counselor, Department Chair, and Dean of Studies. Serra is under no obligation to grant course credit for courses taken without acquiring the necessary pre-approvals. Student should begin the pre-approval process by speaking with his counselor.

Selection of Elective Courses:

As you plan for post high school education, it is important to have a well-rounded course of studies. The benefits derived from electives are not only varied and numerous, but they add depth and richness to your program and enable you to acquire skills which will provide pleasure and satisfaction. You are encouraged to take as full and challenging a program as you are able. The broader the program, the more college and career possibilities it will open up for you.

Special Off-Campus Courses:

The following special off-campus instructional programs are available to seniors (and other students with special permission). These courses can supplement or complement a student's program while attending Serra. These programs are:

  • Tri-School classes at Notre Dame High School or Mercy High School

  • Special college programs for seniors in high school offered at College of San Mateo, Canada and Skyline Colleges.  Depending on the course taken, students may receive either college or high school credit.

  • Space available programs in public high schools for non-public high school students

  • Regional Occupation Program (ROP) offers training opportunities in technical and vocational courses at a variety of locations and at various times.  All special programs have registration deadlines and pre-requisites.  For more information, contact the Dean of Studies or the Director of Guidance.
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