For official high school purposes, students will be placed in grade levels according to the number of credits they have.

Freshmen – Less than six (6) credits

Sophomore – Six (6) credits to less than twelve (12) credits with four (4) credits of Michigan Merit Credit

Junior – Twelve (12) credits to less than seventeen (17) credits with nine (9) credits of Michigan Merit Credit

Senior – Seventeen (17) credits to twenty-three (23) credits with twelve (12) credits of Michigan Merit Credit

All incoming students will have their transcripts evaluated to determine class placement and earned Michigan Merit Credit.

All incoming students will be told of these requirements at the time of admission.

Credits required for graduation

Dearborn Public Schools require twenty-three (23) credits for graduation.  The Michigan Merit Curriculum requires sixteen (16) credits for graduation, which could be acquired through subject and integrated (mixed subject) classes, as well as, career and technical education programs.  The Board has designated listed curriculum as required for graduation.

Michigan Merit Curriculum Graduation Requirements:

  • Mathematics – 4 Credits including the equivalent of algebra I, geometry, the entire algebra II content taken either in one or two full years with one (1) math or math-related class taken in the final year of high school.
  • English Language Arts – 4 Credits aligned with subject area content expectations
  • Science – 3 Credits including biology, physics or chemistry and one (1) additional science credit.  A state-approved career-technical class may be substituted for the third science credit.
  • Social studies – 3 Credits including half credit in US civics/US government, half credit in US economics;  one credit US history, one credit world history/geography
  • Physical education/health – 1 Credit.  Students may receive a 0.5 credit with two seasons of a high school sport or two semesters of marching band.  The other 0.5 credit must be earned in either PE-Health or Health.
  • World language – 2 credits of a single world language in grades 9-12 or an equivalent learning experience in grades K-12.  Students may substitute up to 1.0 credit with career-technical or visual/performing/applied arts classes.   In Dearborn Schools, world languages include Arabic, French, German, Spanish or American Sign Language.
  • Visual, performing, applied arts – 1 Credit.  This is in addition to any credits being used to satisfy world language or science requirements.

Students shall receive high school credit for high school level classes taken at the middle school if the courses are identical to the high school courses and have been awarded high school credit.

Additional Dearborn Public School requirements:

  • 5 Credits – In addition to the credits outlined above, credit hours in electives, or career and technical education programs must be completed and awarded.
  • Computer Applications taken either in middle school, high school, or successful test out
  • Completion of State Assessment (Michigan Merit Exam or MI ACCESS)
  • Students may request to modify requirements as defined in the “Personal Curriculum”

Sample class schedule 

9th grade10th grade11th grade12th grade
Language Arts 1 & 2Language Arts 3 & 4Language Arts 5 & 6 Language Arts 7 & 8
Algebra 1GeometryAlgebra 2Senior year math
BiologyChemistry or
Science or qualified
career/tech class
World HistoryU.S. HistoryEconomics/U.S. Government
Physical educationWorld languageWorld language
Visual, performing
or applied arts

9th Grade: Language Arts 1 & 2; World History 1 & 2; Biology; Algebra 1; physical education/health; visual, performing or applied arts

10th Grade: Language Arts 3 & 4; U.S. History 1 & 2; Geometry; Physics or Chemistry; world language; one elective

11th Grade: Language Arts 5 & 6; Algebra 2, science elective or eligible career/technical course; Economics and U.S. Government; world language; one elective

12th Grade: Language Arts 7 & 8; senior year math; four electives

Transfer Students

Student transferring into the Dearborn Public Schools from out-of-state or nonpublic schools will receive general credit for successful completion of courses taken in an out-of-state or nonpublic school.

Michigan Merit Credit will be granted for math, science, social studies, and courses completed prior to transfer after the student passes the equivalent Dearborn Public School courses proficiency exam, if available,  with a score of 50% or higher or upon successful completion of a higher level course covering the same subject area content.

The grades listed on incoming transcripts will be the grades granted on the Dearborn Public Schools’ transcript.  A grade of “G” will only be issued if the credit on the incoming transcript is granted without a grade.

If credit was granted for ROTC, drivers’ education, or religious courses the course will transfer as a general elective credit.

If a student transfers in having earned more than six credits per year, the graduation requirements will increase accordingly.

If a student fails a course having had the opportunity to earn more than six credits, the graduation requirements will be increased according to the credits attempted.

If a transfer student failed all courses or never attended school, the graduation requirements are not increased.

Personal Curriculum

The Personal Curriculum is an option that may be requested by a parent/legal guardian or emancipated student that modifies certain requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum and, if approved by the Superintendent, allows the student to earn a high school diploma.  It is also appropriate for school personnel to initiate a request for a personal curriculum for a specific student; however, the school may not implement a personal curriculum for a student without parent/legal guardian consent.

  1. The personal curriculum shall be developed by a group that includes the student, at least one (1) of the student’s parents or the student’s legal guardian, and the student’s high school counselor or another designee (selected by the high school) qualified to act in a counseling role.
  2. The personal curriculum shall incorporate as much of the subject area content expectations of the Michigan Merit Standard as is practicable for the student, shall establish measurable goals that the student must achieve while enrolled in high school, shall provide a method to evaluate whether the student has achieved these goals and shall be aligned with the student’s educational development plan.
  3. Before it takes effect, the personal curriculum must be agreed to by the student’s parent or legal guardian and by the Superintendent of the District or his/her designee.
  4. The student’s parent or legal guardian shall be in communication with each of the student’s teachers at least once each calendar quarter to monitor the student’s progress toward the goals contained in the student’s personal curriculum.
  5. Revisions may be made in the personal curriculum if the revisions are developed and agreed to in the same manner as the original personal curriculum.
  6. Students without a disability may not modify the English language arts, science, world language civics/government, or online learning experience requirement.
  7. Except for transfer students and students with disabilities, the mathematics credit requirements may be modified as part of a personal curriculum only after the student has successfully completed at least two and one-half (2.5) credits of mathematics.  As part of a personal curriculum, the student will still be required to successfully complete at least three and one-half (3.5) credits of the mathematics requirement including at least one (1) mathematics course during his/her final year of high school enrollment.  The algebra II credit may be modified as part of a personal curriculum only if the student has successfully completed at least 3.5 of the required mathematics credits including .5 credit of algebra II.
  8. The social science credit requirements may be modified as part of a personal curriculum only if all of the following requirements are met:
    • the student has successfully competed two (2) credits of social studies including US civics/US government and,
    • the modification is made so that the student may complete one (1) additional credit in English language arts, mathematics, science, or world language.
  1. The health and physical education credit requirement may not be modified.
  2. The visual arts performing arts or applied arts credit requirement may be modified only if the modifications made to permit the student to complete one (1) additional credit in English language arts, mathematics, science, or world language.

Retaking Classes

Students who fail a course and then retake the course (either through their regular day schedule, ASAP, or summer school) and receive a passing grade will have their E grade changed to “M” (repeated class) with no credit. The grade of the repeated class will be included in the calculation of the GPA.

Students may retake a class that they previously passed. The lower grade of the two classes will become an “M” grade with no credit. The higher grade will be reflected on the transcript and will be included in the calculation of the GPA.

Students who receive an E in a course and then complete the course through credit recovery will receive an “R” in place of the “E” grade (credit with no grade).

Students who fail a course and then pass the test out exam for that course will receive a “G” grade for credit with no impact on their GPA. The E grade will remain on the transcript. If the student fails the test out exam, the test out exam results will not be included on the student’s transcripts.