High School

Graduation Requirements

Wisconsin Virtual Learning High School is on a credit system and aligns with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s High School Graduation Standards for course requirements. WVL requires students to earn 22 credits in the following courses for graduation:

4 Credits-English:

  • English 9
  • Communications
  • American Literature
  • English Electives

3 Credits- Social Studies:

  • World Cultures
  • United States History
  • Government (.5 credit)
  • Social Studies/Sciences Elective (.5 credit)

 3 Credits-Mathematics

  • Algebra I
  • Geometry
  • Mathematics Elective

3 Credits-Science

  • Biology & Physical Science or 
  • Biology & Chemistry
  • Science Elective

1.5 Credits- Physical Education

  • PE I (.5 credit)
  • PE II (.5 credit)
  • PE III (.5 credit)

0.5 Credit- Health / Life Management

7 Elective Credits

Earned Credit – High school credit is earned on a semester basis.  Students earn 0.5 credits for each semester course that they complete with a passing grade. Students must earn 1.0 credit in the core subject areas of English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies to move to the next course level.

Successful Completion – For courses to be successfully completed, students must have earned a passing grade of D- (60%) or higher. In addition, student placement in AP and elective courses will be determined on a case-by-case basis and will be guided by input and/or approval from school staff.

Transfer Students – Students entering Wisconsin Virtual Learning from another school must provide a transcript showing completed coursework. Students providing a current grade report or transcript of courses in progress and current achievement will be placed into the corresponding course(s) at the appropriate point(s). Official academic records are necessary for credit to be earned at Wisconsin Virtual Learning from any school. Placement tests may be required to determine appropriate course assignment(s) for a student. Final determination on course placement, placement within individual courses, and final grades rests with the individual subject teachers and administration. 

Home Schooling Programs – Students entering from a home schooling program must provide evidence of a curriculum plan. Official academic records are necessary for credit to be earned at Wisconsin Virtual Learning from any school.  Letter grades will not be assigned; instead the student will receive a satisfactory/unsatisfactory for the course obtained through home schooling. Placement tests may be required to determine appropriate course assignment(s) for a student. Final determination on course placement and placement within individual courses rests with the individual subject teachers and administration.   

Pre-High School Credit – Students may earn high school credit for a class taken as a non-high school student given that all Department of Public Instruction requirements are met. Each student’s particular academic needs will determine which courses may be taken for high school credit and at what grade level.  Students must have successfully completed the course with a D- (60%) or higher in order to receive credit. However, WVL recommends students earning less than a B- retake the course to ensure success in subsequent coursework.  HS courses taken during MS are included on the transcript and count for credit, but do not count toward GPA.  It reads in the state legislature as “The Department of Public Instruction recommends that high school courses taken at the middle school level should be so noted on the transcript along with the grade received; however, the grade/s received should not be factored into high school grade point average. The reasoning behind that recommendation is that middle school students might shy away from taking a more challenging course because of future implications on their overall grade point average.”  WVL follows these recommendations as outlined by the Department of Public Instruction.

Course Failure and Repeat Credit – Failed courses are recorded as an “F” on the student’s transcript and a zero will be computed for the course in determining GPA. Students are permitted to retake failed classes. When a student retakes a course that shows the original grade was an “F,” the student will earn the credit, the new grade will replace the “F,” and the student’s cumulative grade point average will be recalculated using the passing grade earned in that course.   

Honest mistakes do happen and will be used as learning experiences. We will also discuss and review this information in your courses. Here are two main tips to avoid plagiarism:

  • Always write in your own words.

  • Cite any sources you use in your assignments.

Teachers reserve the right to request a meeting with students in order to assess their learning of course material. Meetings may be requested in online classrooms, on the phone, or in person.

Credit Recovery – CR courses are offered to allow students to make up credits that have been lost due to failure to earn a passing grade. When students take credit recovery courses, the previous “F” will still be used in the student’s GPA calculation, as will the final grade given in the credit recovery course. 

Drop/Add Policy – The request to drop a course should be made to the Student Learning Advocate (SLA) before the end of the tenth day of the semester. After the tenth day of the semester, courses dropped will be given a failing grade.  A request to add a course may occur at any time.  The request must be made to the SLA. However, a request does not guarantee a course addition. For courses that require special fees, or if the student’s participation in the course requires the school to make additional materials/course purchases, the family may be responsible for that financial commitment when the course is dropped, regardless of timing. For those courses, a student’s readiness for taking the course will be discussed with the family so that the family is aware of obligations they may incur. 

Audit a Course – Some curricula are structured in such a way that understanding and retention of material later in a course is directly related to material presented early on in the class (e.g., content covered in math classes builds on itself as the course proceeds through the year). As such, it may be recommended or required for students to audit the first semester of a course in order to better prepare for the content of the second semester. For example, if a student passed their first semester of a math class but not the second semester, it may be suitable for that student to retake the first semester of the class by auditing it, and then continuing on with the class in the second semester.  Audited courses will go on a student’s transcript with a grade, but will not count for credit.

Valedictorian/Salutatorian Criteria 

  • The criteria for this honor are the cumulative GPA at the conclusion of the winter semester of their senior year (end of 7th semester). Students must be in attendance for three consecutive semesters in order to be considered for these awards. There is a possibility that these honors may be shared.

  • Students must successfully complete a minimum of one Advanced Placement course to qualify for Valedictorian/Salutatorian.

  • If there are two or more students with identical GPAs, the first tie-breaker to determine the recipient of the Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholarship would be the total number of advanced placement courses successfully completed.

  • If there are two or more students still tied after the first tie-breaker, the second tie-breaker utilized will be the student with the most credits.

Wisconsin’s Academic Excellence Scholarship – Academic Excellence Scholarships are awarded to Wisconsin high school seniors who have the highest grade point average in each public and private high school throughout the State of Wisconsin. The number of scholarships each high school is eligible for is based on total student enrollment. In order to receive a scholarship, a student must be enrolled on a full-time basis by September 30thof the academic year following the academic year in which he or she was designated as a scholar, at a participating University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Technical College, or independent institution in the state. The value of the scholarship is $2,250 per year, to be applied towards tuition. Half of the scholarship is funded by the state, while the other half is matched by the institution. Eligibility must not exceed 8 semesters.

Technical Excellence Scholarships – Technical Excellence Scholarships are to be awarded to high school seniors who have the highest demonstrated level of proficiency in technical education subjects.The scholarships are only for use at a Wisconsin Technical College within the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS). In order to receive a scholarship, a student must be enrolled on a full-time basis by September 30 of the academic year following the academic year in which he or she was designated as a scholar. No student may receive both a Technical Excellence Scholarship (TES) and an Academic Excellence Scholarship (AES). Students must have attended WVL for at least three (3) consecutive semesters to be eligible to compete for the scholarship.

WVL will use the Higher Education Aids Board (HEAB)-recommended ranking system to determine student qualification.

In the event of a tie-breaker, the following selection process will be followed until a winner is reached:

  • GPA based on Career and Technical Education (CTE) grades is the first tiebreaker

  • The total number of (1) technical college credits earned while the student has been in high school and (2) technical college credits that are in progress during the current semester is the second tiebreaker.

  • The students’ cumulative high school grade point average is the third tiebreaker.

  • The student with the most high school credits earned by the end of the semester prior to the semester in which the scholarship is awarded is the fourth tiebreaker.

  • Each student’s highest ACT score, if an ACT score is available for all of the students who remain tied is the fifth tiebreaker.

  • In the event any remaining tie has not been broken after the five tiebreakers, the scholarship shall be awarded to the student who has attended WVL for the longest period of time.

The recipient must be a resident of Wisconsin and the United States who is either a citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent resident by the INS.

Eligibility to Compete for Academic and Technical Excellence Scholarships- A student will be eligible to compete for the Academic and Technical Excellence scholarships when 1) they have reached senior status and 2) they have acquired enough credits to be on pace to graduate with their class at the end of their senior year.  The student’s SLA, counselor, and/or principal will review whether or not a student is considered to be on pace to graduate with their age-appropriate class at the end of the school year.

Advanced Placement Program – Advanced Placement is a program run by the College Board, which offers students the opportunity to take college-level courses while in high school. AP classes help students improve writing skills, sharpen problem-solving techniques, as well as develop study habits necessary for tackling rigorous course work. Research indicates that many students who take AP courses and exams are much more likely to be successful in college. In addition, AP classes help college applicants stand out in the college admissions process, showing a willingness to take the most rigorous courses and emphasize a commitment to academic excellence. In May, students have the opportunity to take the AP exam for their course(s), allowing students to potentially earn college credit. The amount of college credit received varies by college, the AP score, and the subject. Students may also have the opportunity to enroll in higher-level courses as college freshman. Students are encouraged to challenge themselves by enrolling in AP courses. 

Early Graduation – Some students pursue educational goals which include graduation from high school at an earlier date than their designated class. The following guidelines should be followed when seeking Early Graduation:

  1. The student must have earned all credits necessary for graduation.

  2. Reasons for considering early graduation:

    1. To permit students to begin advanced formal education.

    2. To permit students entry into apprenticeships, on‐the‐job training programs, or entry into the armed services of the United States.

    3. To permit students to aid themselves or family during times of personal or financial need.

    4. To permit students to offer exceptional service to society.

  3. The process of application:

    1. The student must meet with the guidance counselor to discuss early graduation and review the Early Graduation Request Checklist.

    2. The student must submit a written letter requesting early graduation to the principal by September 30 of his/her senior year. The letter must include:

      1. An explanation of the student’s reason for early graduation.

      2. Signatures of the student and at least one parent/guardian to approve and verify      the request.

The Board must be informed of students who are eligible and have applied for early graduation. The early graduate will be issued a diploma in the spring of the year. The early graduate is welcome to participate in commencement exercises if he/she desires and must inform the high school principal of this desire. The early graduate will not be permitted to take part in organized school activities during the remainder of his/her senior year.