Beginning with the Class of 2004, students need to receive a combination of 22 standard credits — earned by successfully completing 140 hours of instruction and meeting the course objectives — and six verified credits, earned by receiving a standard credit in the course and passing the corresponding end-of-course Standards of Learning (SOL) test or approved substitute test in order to graduate with a standard diploma.
* The Classes of 2004, 2005 and 2006 must earn two verified credits in English — typically English: Reading, Literature and Research, and English: Writing — by passing the end-of-course SOL test, which is usually administered at the end of the junior year.
The additional four verified credits must also be earned by passing any combination of four end-of-course SOLs in math, science, history and social science, health and physical education, fine or practical arts and approved electives.
* Beginning with the Class of 2007, the number of verified credits remains the same. However, they must be earned in specific subjects: two end-of-course English tests; one each in math, history/social science, and science; and one test of the student’s choosing.
* Beginning with the Class of 2004 and beyond, to earn an advanced diploma, students must pass the required courses and earn nine verified credits: two end-of-course English tests; two tests each in math, history/social science, and science; and one test of the student’s choosing.
For more information, visit the state Department of Education Web site at www.pen.k12.va.us/2plus4in 2004 or talk to the school's guidance counselor.