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Graduation Requirements FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about graduation requirements.

If you cannot find the answers you are looking for - please contact your school.

What are the Jeffco graduation requirements?

As required by Colorado law, Jeffco students must complete a minimum of 23 credits in required courses and through approved knowledge demonstration options show they know how to apply and use what they have learned in English and math and are prepared to pursue their interests after high school.


Why were new graduation requirements developed?

Learn more on the Colorado Department of Education website at

How were the Jeffco Public Schools graduation requirements determined?

Each school district in Colorado had the opportunity to work with communities and schools to tailor the state graduation guidelines to best meet local needs. The Jeffco graduation requirements include all knowledge demonstration options offered by the state.

Why do students need to complete a certain number of credit hours and demonstrate their mastery of knowledge?

Time dedicated to learning means that students have studied, practiced, and have an understanding of required subjects. Demonstration of knowledge shows that students know how to apply and use what they have learned in a variety of ways and are prepared to pursue their interests after high school.

When do these graduation requirements go into effect?

The graduation requirements apply to all Jeffco students that graduate in and after 2021.

Will the graduation requirements remain the same for students graduating after 2021?

Currently, Jeffco students must complete a minimum of 23 credits in required courses and through approved knowledge demonstration options to show they know how to apply and use what they have learned in English and math and are prepared to pursue their interests after high school. The menu of knowledge demonstration options will continue to evolve as new options and assessments are identified. Schools may also change the options and assessments they offer, so be sure to check with your school.

What is the menu of demonstration options?

The menu of demonstration options offers students improved flexibility, allowing them to choose from among several different approaches to show they know how to use and apply their knowledge of English and math. Learn more about the demonstration options.

Do all Jeffco high schools offer the same demonstration options?

No. Each school may select demonstration options from the menu offered by Jeffco Public Schools that best meet the needs of their students. Be sure to check with your school to learn which demonstration options they offer.

What is the Seal of Biliteracy?

The Jeffco Seal of Biliteracy is a recognition for students who can demonstrate a high level of proficiency in at least one world language and English by high school graduation.

The State of Colorado adopted the Diploma Endorsement for Biliteracy on March 30, 2017, setting the minimum criteria for districts to develop their own process and criteria. Over the course of 2018, Jeffco used this criteria to develop a seal program for Jeffco students. As a result, the class of 2019 included the first students to earn the Jeffco Seal of Biliteracy.

For more information, see the Jeffco Seal of Biliteracy page

Why should students and families start planning for graduation in middle school?

Exposing middle school students to broad career fields can help them make more informed decisions about high school course selection and graduation pathways. It is important for students to talk with their families and with teachers and career counselors along the way, from middle school through high school, as their passions and career interests emerge and develop.

Can students earn high school credit for courses they successfully complete while in middle school?

Yes, beginning in the Fall of 2021, students can earn high school credit for successfully completing certain mathematics and world language courses in middle school.

For more information, please refer to the following flyers in English and Spanish.

How do students and families know if they are on track to graduate?

To graduate, students need to earn a minimum of 23 credits in required classes and through approved knowledge demonstration options to show they know how to apply and use what they have learned in English and math and are prepared to pursue their interests after high school. Students and families can track progress through grades that are provided every six weeks and by talking with counselors. Students earning the required credits but with lower grades in English and/or math are encouraged to explore demonstration options in addition to the required SAT exam, like a Capstone or Industry Certification.

Can students demonstrate readiness in two different measures from the menu?

Yes, students can “mix and match” from the menu of demonstration options. For example a student can demonstrate readiness with a score of 470 on the SAT in English and a math ACCUPLACER score of 61 on Elementary Algebra; with a 2 in AP English and an Industry Certificate for math; with a Capstone in one or both content areas; or with any other combination of approved options, as long as she or he can demonstrate readiness based on at least one measure in both English and math.

Can students retake assessments?

Some assessments like the SAT, ACT, and Accuplacer can be retaken by students, but would require students cover additional testing fees. Other tests, like AP and IB, cannot be retaken. For specific information, please contact your school.

Do the graduation requirements differ for special education students?

Graduation requirements are consistent across all students. If students have an IEP with alternate eligibility for the state test (COALT or DLM), then a modified Capstone may be available. Contact your special education team for more information.

Are the demonstration options offered free of charge to students?

Please check with your school administrators and/or counselor to find out specific costs associated with school-based knowledge demonstration and assessment options.

When do graduation requirements need to be met in order to walk at graduation ceremony?

Students need to have earned a minimum  of 23 credits in required classes and successfully demonstrated knowledge through state approved options in English and math prior to graduation in order to be eligible to walk in their high school graduation ceremony. Contact your schools for specific policies.
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