Picking Your Courses For Next Year

Everything You Need to Know

It is that time of year again. Time to pick your classes for next school year!

Please read over all the information here before starting the Course Selection Survey. Reach out to your School Counselor at any time if you need help.

OVCA High School Counselors will be available every Wednesday in newrow from 11:30am -12:15pm during the month of April to help answer questions. We typically host the Bison Mindset Minute (BMM) during this time, but for the month of April this time will be utilized as School Counselor Office Hours to assist students and families that need help selecting courses for next school year.

*Link to School Counselor Office Hours will appear on CC schedule every Wednesday during the month of April as optional.

Students can also email counselors at any time for additional help or to arrange a conference.

The Course Selection Survey link is toward the bottom of this newsletter.

Please read over all the information before starting the Course Selection Survey!

Your Graduation Plan Is Here for YOU!

Your biggest resource at OVCA is your Graduation Plan. It is YOUR road map to graduation. The School Counselors customize every single Graduation Plan to fit the needs and goals of each OVCA High School student. Graduation Plans are like snowflakes! Each one is as unique as the student it serves!

Other than YOUR road map to graduation, you can think of the Graduation Plan as a living transcript. What is a transcript? A transcript is a document or record that shows which courses you have completed in high school. It also shows which courses you still need to complete in order to meet the graduation requirements of the State of Oklahoma. The Graduation Plans are updated following the end of each semester to reflect the courses that were completed during that semester.

Students and LCs can view their Graduation Plans at any time through the OLS by clicking the quick links (chain link) icon located in the upper right corner of their home page. With 24/7 access OVCA encourages students and LCs to view their Graduation Plans regularly and often to become familiar with them.

How to Use Your Graduation Plan to Help You Choose Classes For Next Year.

Your Graduation Plan will be EXTREMELY helpful to you as you decide which courses you want to take next school year. We encourage you to have it open in another tab or window while you fill out the course selection survey.

You can view your Graduation Plan in two different ways: By Year and By Subject.

By Year view shows all of your courses in chronological order starting with 9th grade. The By Year view looks similar to a 4-Year Plan. It shows all of your courses laid out from start to finish with the goal of graduating high school in 4 Years. You can use the By Year view to plan ahead for the future--to see what courses are ahead for you in 11th or 12th grade for example--and it can also be used to review courses you have completed in the past---"Did I take Life Skills in the 9th or 10th grade?"

By Subject view shows all of your courses grouped together by subject area. All English courses are together, all math courses are together, all elective courses are together, etc. Viewing your Graduation Plan By Subject will be helpful to you as you fill out the course selection survey. Let's look at some examples.

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Example 1. Computer Technology.

All students in grades 9-12 must complete either 2.00 credits of Computer Technology OR 2.00 credits of the same Foreign Language in order to meet graduation requirements.

The course selection survey will ask you to review your Computer Technology (or Foreign Language) credits on YOUR Graduation Plan.

In this picture example we can see that we are viewing the Graduation Plan "By Subject" (yellow box). We are looking at the section titled "Computer Technology." We can see that 2 credits are required in this area (red box). We can also see that this student has completed the course called Computer Fundamentals part A with a letter grade of "A" to earn 0.5 credits (green). The Graduation Plan tells us that Computer Fundamentals part B is "in progress" right now, meaning the student is currently enrolled in that course (light blue). Once the student completes that course it will turn green as well. In this example, the student needs to take 2 more Computer Technology courses to complete the requirement for graduation. We know that because we see 2 gray boxes titled "Not Specified" and are "Not Started."

The courses you choose on the course selection survey will take the place of the "Not Specified" courses on YOUR Graduation Plan.

Let's take a look at another example.

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Example 2. Fine Art.

All students in grades 9-12 are required to complete 1.00 credit of Fine Art courses to meet graduation requirements.

In this picture example we can see that we are again looking at the Graduation Plan "By Subject" view (yellow box). We see that we are looking at the section called "Fine Arts." We can see that 1 credit is required in this area (red box). In this example, the student has 2 green boxes, and 0 gray boxes, which tells us that the student has completed this requirement. On the course selection survey the student can mark "I have completed this requirement" when asked about Fine Art courses.

Requirements for Graduation.

At OVCA students are required to earn a minimum of 23 credits to be eligible for graduation.

This is the minimum number of credits required by the State of Oklahoma. Other high schools in our state may require more than 23 credits for graduation per their district policy, but every high school in Oklahoma requires that all students complete the specific 23 credits as outlined by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Your Graduation Plan covers these requirements, but here is another way to see what is required per state law.

Graduation Checklist

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Oklahoma high school students are also required to participate in state testing during the 11th grade. 11th grade students will take 3 tests: the 11th Grade US History Test, the 11th Grade Science Test, and the ACT.

At this time students do not have to achieve any certain score on these exams in order to be eligible for graduation, but all 11th grade students must participate in testing to complete this requirement.

Grade Level Classification


In high school your grade level classification (9th, 10th, 11th, 12th) is based entirely upon how many credit you have. It does not matter how old you are, or how many years you have been in high school. It is all based on credits earned.

It works like this:

9th graders have 0.00-4.75 credits.

10th graders have 5.00-10.75 credits.

11th graders have 11.00-16.75 credits.

12th graders have 17.00+ credits.

A brand new 9th grader that is just starting high school likely has anywhere between 0 and 2 high school credits. (Some students take courses like Algebra 1 and Physical Science in the 8th grade for high school credit.) So any students with less than 5.00 credits are classified as 9th grade.

Let's say "Billy" passed all of his classes in 9th and 10th grade, so he has a total of 12.00 credits. He starts his 3rd year of high school classified as an 11th grader. "Billy" has a rough year. He fails 3 classes during semester 1 of 11th grade, but passes all of his classes during semester 2. "Billy" ends the year with 16.50 credits. When "Billy" starts school again for his 4th year, he will be classified as 11th grade again because he does not have 17.00 credits. It doesn't matter that it will be his 4th year of high school, or that he is 17 years old. "Billy" has not earned enough credits to be classified as a 12th grader. "Billy" will have to retake the classes he failed to get back on track for graduation.

Failing courses can prevent you from moving on to the next grade level. Failing courses can also push your graduation date back. You have very little wiggle room when it comes to failing courses in high school if you want to graduate in 4 years.

Consider this:

Each semester course is worth 0.50 credits. OVCA students take 6 courses per semester. If you pass all of your courses for the semester you earn 3.00 credits. If you pass all of your classes for the second semester you earn another 3.00 credits, for a total of 6.00 credits per year. If you pass all 6 courses every year for 4 years, then you should graduate with 24.00 credits total. OVCA requires 23.00 credits for graduation. This is why you need to try your ABSOLUTE BEST to pass every class every year!

Grade Level Classification information can be found in the OVCA Student Handbook on page 39.

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Your credit total can be found at the top of your graduation plan like in the picture above. The first number is 23 for everyone because that is the number of credits required for graduation. The next number, circled in green in this example, is how many credits you have right now. The number with the orange arrow above it will tell you how many credits you still need before you will be eligible to graduate.
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Some Things You Should Know Before You Start...

Each grade level (9th, 10th, 11th, 12th) comes with a few things you should know.

9th Grade:

9th graders typically take English 9, Algebra 1, Oklahoma History and Government, and Physical Science along with their first year of Computer Technology or Foreign Language. This leaves room for only 1 elective course. Because the 9th grade year is heavily weighted with required courses it is of particular importance to do well and pass all of your courses during this year.

9th graders, being new to high school, often do not realize that if you fail a course you have to repeat that course until you pass it. The goal at OVCA is for all students to graduate high school in 4 years. This starts with passing all of your classes in the 9th grade. Students that fail 1 or more courses will be at risk of not graduating on time.

10th Grade:

10th grade is full of required courses as well. Most 10th graders typically take English 10, Geometry, World History, and Biology along with their second year of Computer Technology or Foreign Language.

In addition to these courses, all 10th graders must take and pass Personal Finance. The State of Oklahoma requires all high school students to take a Financial Literacy course before graduating.

11th Grade:

The 11th grade year is important for many reasons. Students in the 11th grade usually take American Literature (English 11), Algebra 2, US History, and Earth Science or Chemistry. All 11th graders must also take ACT Prep because all 11th grade students must participate in state testing to meet graduation requirements. 11th graders will take 3 tests: the 11th Grade Science Test, the 11th Grade US History Test, and the ACT. State testing takes place in the Spring of each school year.

11th graders also have the opportunity to begin participation in Concurrent Enrollment or Career Technology programs. More information on Concurrent and Career Tech can be found in the sections below.

12th Grade:

12th grade is the often the most exciting year for obvious reasons! As 12th grade students approach the finish line toward graduation they often have the most flexibility in their course schedules.

12th grade students that have passed all of their required courses in previous years usually have only British Literature (English 12) and elective courses left to take. This is sometimes confusing to students and families.

A commonly asked question that School Counselors hear is, "If I only need English to graduate, why do I have to take 6 classes?" The simple answer is because it is state law that all students must take a minimum of 6 classes per semester to be considered full time students. However, you also need elective credits to graduate.

All students are required to earn a minimum of 6 elective credits to meet graduation requirements. In grades 9, 10, and 11, students often have only 1 elective. So senior year is usually when you earn the rest of your elective credits. It is very, very, very common for 12th grade students (that have passed all of their previous courses) to have only British Literature (English 12) and 5 electives on their course schedule.

This does not mean that you can focus on English only, and fail your elective credits. You need those electives to graduate. Beyond that, failing courses will negatively impact your overall GPA whether you "need" the course or not.

Students that do not want to take multiple OVCA high school elective courses are strongly encouraged to participate in Concurrent Enrollment or Career Technology programs. Courses taken at your local community college or career technology center can take the place of your high school electives. More information on Concurrent and Career Tech can be found in the sections below. Students that are interested in these programs can also reach out to their School Counselor or OVCA's College and Career Coordinator, Katie McAskill for more information.

Honors & Advanced Placement (AP) Courses

OVCA High School offers several Honors and AP courses for students that desire more rigorous coursework in the subject areas of English, math, science, and history.

Honors courses are considered advanced. Honors courses cover the same material as non-honors courses, but at a faster pace with more projects and writing tasks. Honors courses go deeper into the course content to take a closer look at important concepts. Honors courses are also weighted in terms of overall GPA.

AP courses are college-level courses. The courses are extremely rigorous. At the end of the school year students can register to take the AP Exam. Students that earn a high enough score on the AP Exam can earn college credit for the course. For more info visit https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/what-is-ap

Concurrent Enrollment & Career Tech

Students at OVCA High School have the opportunity to participate in Concurrent Enrollment or attend a Career Technology Center during the 11th and/or 12th grade.

Concurrent Enrollment

Concurrent Enrollment is an early entry program in which students enroll in college courses for college credit while they are finishing their requirements for high school graduation.

Concurrent Enrollment Courses comparable to state-mandated core curriculum courses taken by concurrent enrollment may be counted toward meeting the minimum graduation requirements. For example, if a student takes a government course from a university, he/she may also count it as a year of high school government.

Career Tech

Juniors and seniors who are on track for graduation are strongly encouraged to attend an area Career Tech Center program while still attending high school. Some Career Tech Centers also offer programs to sophomores.

Students are responsible for contacting their local Center to determine program offerings, application deadlines, and admission requirements; these will vary from one Career Tech Center to another. To determine the Career Tech Center your student is eligible to attend, please contact your High School counselor or visit https://www.okcareertech.org/technology-centers for more information.

Tuition is not charged for eligible high school students, but additional supplies may be required.

Students must obtain and complete the appropriate forms for Concurrent Enrollment or Career Tech AND must meet with their School Counselor to be approved by OVCA to participate in either program.

For more in depth information about Concurrent Enrollment and Career Tech including eligibility requirements see the OVCA Student Handbook, page 62.

GPA Info

High School students will have a Grade Point Average (GPA) listed on their transcript. OVCA used a weighted GPA system to determine Class rank, Valedictorian, Salutatorian, and eligibility for Honor Roll and National Honor Society. GPA is determined by total grade points earned by total credits attempted.

The following values are assigned to each full year course:

A = 4

B = 3

C = 2

D = 1

F = 0

OVCA honors/Pre-AP level courses taken carry the following weighted value:

A = 4.25

B = 3.25

C = 2.25

D= 1.25

F = 0

Advanced Placement/College courses carry the following weighted values:

A = 5

B = 4

C = 3

D = 2

F = 0

Students taking concurrent courses at technology centers that are part of approved Associate in Applied Science degree programs may work with their technology center to obtain a college transcript indicating their applied credits. A student may submit their college transcript to OVCA to be awarded weighted credit based on the guidelines listed above.

Upon enrolling in OVCA, prior credits will be transcribed per OVCA weighted grades policy.

Students may repeat a course in which they have earned an F; however, both grades will be reflected on the student transcript and figured into the overall grade point average. One does not erase the other. Credit in a specific subject will only be granted once for that class, and the other course will receive credit for an elective class. (See Appendix D: OVCA Board Policy 2050)

The information above is found in the OVCA Student Handbook starting on page 50.

Thank you for reading the information above. You may now proceed to the Course Selection Survey.

Course Selection Survey

Students will use this form to request courses for next school year. English, math, science, and history courses will be assigned by the school counselor based on individual student needs. Filling out this form does not guarantee that students will get all courses requested, but it helps the school counselors to know which courses you would prefer over others. This is a list of courses that will potentially be offered. Ultimately some will not make the cut due to staffing issues (no teacher) or lack of student interest (less than 10 students interested in the course) among other reasons. School Counselors try their very best to accommodate these student requests, and to create schedules that students enjoy based on this survey and the student's previous course history.

Elective Course Catalog

Use this course catalog to review elective course descriptions as you fill out the course selection survey.

What Happens After I Complete the Course Selection Survey?

School Counselors will review your course selection requests from the survey and your Graduation Plan. School Counselors will then start updating your Graduation Plan to add the courses you requested and the courses you NEED for graduation. Counselors have to review and edit every single Graduation Plan for OVCA students one at a time so your patience during this process is greatly appreciated! All Graduation Plans should be updated before the end of the school year. Check your Graduation Plan before you go on summer break to see which courses you have been assigned for next school year. You can also check your Graduation Plan over the summer, and again before the school year starts to see your upcoming course schedule at any time! As always, reach out to your School Counselor if you have any questions.

OVCA High School Counselors Contact Information

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