Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Credit?

A credit is what you earn when you pass a course.  You need a minimum of 22 credits to graduate from high school, which includes a combination of required and elective classes..  A one (1) credit course meets all year (both semesters), a half (.5) credit course meets for half a year (one semester).

How Do I Know Which Classes I Need to Take?

Consider class choices carefully. Visit with counselors, teachers, and parents to gather information to make class choices. Take the time to read the course listings book for details about courses and graduation requirements. Consider your interests and your abilities and take courses in areas that you have not had the opportunity to explore in the past. SDMyLife is a great tool for students to explore college, career, and life readiness goals. Students can utilize SDMyLife to build a four-year academic plan, which will provide a blueprint of classes they will take in high school.

Will I automatically go to the next grade level if I fail a course?

No, grade level classification is determined by credits, NOT by years of school attendance. As you earn credits you will be classified according to the following Grade level classification:  FRESHMEN:  0 – 4.5, SOPHOMORE:   5 – 10.5, JUNIOR:  11 – 15.5, SENIOR:  16 +

What happens if I fail a course?

Beginning in 9th grade, students earn credits towards graduation.  If you fail a course that you need to graduate, you will have to re-take the course, or take another course to replace the one you failed. If you choose to take classes at summer school, there will be a fee. It is important to remember that your high school career begins the minute you enter your High School.  It is vital that you take school seriously and stay on track with earning credits.

How many class periods are there in a day and how many courses should I take?

There are seven class periods and lunch. You will automatically be enrolled in a math, science, social studies and English. Students are encouraged to enroll in seven courses per semester; however,

the student’s typical academic performance and participation in extracurricular activities should be considered when determining class load. Some students might find 6 credits to be a more appropriate course load.

Who has to take Reading?

Students who enter high school or transfer into high school must meet the 9.0 Reading level as mandated by the school district and measured by the district’s reading test.  Students MUST attain the 9.0 reading level prior to graduation and will continue to be enrolled in a reading class until such time.  This is measured by the Scholastic Reading Inventory assessment (SRI).

What is the Academic Resource Center (Central and Stevens only)?

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) is an academic study hall that is available to 9th grade students as a non-credit elective. A portion of ARC class time will be independent reading. Freshmen students who do not sign up for a full schedule will be assigned to the ARC. Students may also be assigned to the ARC per parent, teacher or counselor. The ARC staff can help students review for tests, gain additional explanation or practice, or otherwise help students be more successful with their courses.

What “Test-Out” options are available?

Test-out opportunities are offered in July with registration in May.  Registration is handled through the Student Achievement Office at 394-5147.  Test-out opportunities are offered in the following areas:  Math, Social Science, English, Foreign Language, Computers and Personal Finance.  For more information see Course Equivalency Exam (Test-Out) Program.  You can also contact your Middle School Counselor if you have any questions.

Where can I get help?

Administration, school counselors, Lifeways advisor, Accelerated Learning services, teachers, security, liaison officers, Title VII advisor, Ateyapi and secretaries are available to assist you.

When will my schedule be Complete?

Your schedule will be complete when you come to pick it up during picture/ID days the middle of August. It will also be available on Family Access at the same time.

What does College, Career and Life Readiness mean?

High school is intended to prepare students for life after they graduate. Students have unique goals for their life after high school, and staff work to prepare students for their individual college, career, and life readiness goals, whatever those may be.

What are the eligibility requirements for activities and athletics?

Freshmen students are eligible to participate in all fall activities. To remain eligible in subsequent semesters, students must be enrolled in and PASSING a minimum of four classes.

Will I have my own locker?

Yes, lockers will be assigned during Orientation in August for incoming freshmen.

Are breakfast and lunch served?

Yes, breakfast and lunch are served daily in the lunchroom/commons area.  Students have a variety of choices including salad bar, hot/cold lunch, sub sandwiches and healthy snacks.  Students will use the bar code located on their student issued IDs to access their lunch account.  Students are required to deposit money into their lunch accounts in the morning, by 9:30am.  Free and Reduced lunch applications are available online via Family Access (preferred) or you may download the Free and Reduced Lunch Application  To learn more go Student Nutrition Services.

What is closed campus?

9th and 10th grade students may not leave campus or be in the parking lots until after their last class of the day.  Rapid City Area Schools has a closed campus/lunch policy for 9th & 10th grades. Students who leave campus will receive consequences as per our student handbook.