Earning the Cap and Gown

Johnston High School students at the graduation ceremony throw their caps up in the air. Johnston High School is continually striving to enhance the educational quality of its program. This effort includes revising graduation requirements to meet the changing needs of students. The following are minimum graduation requirements for Johnston students. Most students will choose to go beyond the minimum requirements needed for graduation.

The traditional high school is four years. Students may either accelerate or slow down their studies to arrive at graduation. For purposes of classification, credits will be determined at the end of the previous school year. Students intending to accelerate their studies need to plan their high school course sequence accordingly. Students should schedule an appointment with a guidance counselor to arrange their schedules.

Students successfully completing recommended loads should earn enough credit to graduate in four years. Less than the recommended number of classes may result in extra years required to graduate and/or loss of athletic eligibility.


Required Credits for Graduation = 24

Required Courses for Graduation Number of Credits
English 4 Credits (8 semesters)
Math 3 Credits (6 semesters)
Science 3 Credits (6 semesters)
Social Studies 3 1/2 Credits (7 semesters) to include one semester each of Topics of History, Principles of Economics, and American Government; one year each of Modern World Studies and U.S. History.
Financial Literacy 1/2 Credit through Money Management
Physical Education 1 Credits (1/8 Unit each semester). During the school year, students may be excused from taking PE for one semester. PE will be waived if they have a full (8 periods) schedule.
Health 1/2 Credits (1 semester)
Electives 8.5 Credits


1/2 credit is earned per class each semester with the following exceptions:

  • Extended Period/Block Class: 1 credit
  • Co-op Work: 1 credit
  • Freshman Chorus: 1/4 credit
  • Mixed Chorus: 1/4 credit
  • Physical Education: 1/8 credit
  • Synergy Show Choir: 1/8 credit
  • Innovation Show Choir: 1/8 credit

Driver’s Education does not count as a credit toward graduation.


Selection of courses should be based on the following: past achievement, test scores, teacher recommendations, college entrance requirements, individual interest, career goals, and balanced programming. We encourage all students to work directly with their school counselor to select the best courses to help them reach their academic and professional goals.