A website created for families who want to know more about the assessment process!


Click on the category below for specific information.







Diploma Options

What is a standard diploma?

The standard diploma is the type of high school diploma students who graduate from Florida high schools earn. Students must meet the graduation requirements that the state of Florida and the district set.  

What are the graduation requirements?

Earn at least 24 credit hours in required course work, including 15.5 hours in required subjects and 8.5 credits in electives
Earn a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA)
Earn passing scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) and Florida Writes
Use Level 1 (lower level) courses only with written approval

What are the required courses?

Most are required by the state of Florida. Some districts may have others that they require. Check with your studentís guidance counselor for the requirements of your studentís school.

4 credits English
3 credits Math including Algebra I
3 credits Science, 2 courses must have laboratory sections
1 American History
1 World History (comparative study of all major political systems)
Ĺ Economics (comparative study of all major economic systems)
Ĺ American Government (U.S. constitution, Florida government, and structure of state and local government)
1 Practical Arts/Exploratory Career Education, or Performing Arts NOTE: Selected ESE vocational courses may be used  
1 credit of PE
Ĺ credit Life Management Skills
8.5 Electives

The Florida Department of Education has a web site that describes the requirements for high school graduation. To access it click here http://www.firn.edu/doe/binooo1/Intro.pdf

What is a Level I class?

It is a class that has lower requirements than most other high school courses. Approval to use these classes towards graduation requirements must be approved in writing by school staff and the parent. A level I class cannot be taken for Algebra I or equivalent class.

If my child takes a remedial class, may it be used for an elective class?

Yes, remedial classes may be used for elective credits. Also vocational and ESE course work may be used.

Can my child retake the FCAT if they do not pass it the first time?

Students who entered high school starting with the fall of 1999 will have to pass all parts of the FCAT. If a students with disabilities fail to pass the FCAT, they may retake the tenth-grade version of the test during regularly scheduled testing times as needed.  

What accommodations may my child receive?

Remember that accommodations change the way a student learns, but not what a student is expected to learn. The transition IEP team determines appropriate accommodations for your child.




Teaching methods or materials

Use hands-on activities
Use other materials to supplement
Use manipulatives to solve math problems

Assignments or assessments

Give student copies of lecture notes and overheads
Use a checklist for each step of procedure
Have science test read to student

Learning environment

Use a study carrel for independent work
Use adapted workstation for wheelchair

Time demands and schedules

Allow additional time to complete assignments
Limit independent work sessions to

 Information gathered from the Florida Department of education.

How will these accommodations effect my studentís goal to receive a standard diploma?

The course requirements for basic courses may not be changed. Students with disabilities are expected to meet the same requirements as nondisabled students. If the accommodations your student receives does NOT change the course requirements your child will receive the course credit.

What are the accommodations available for my child for FCAT and Florida Writes?

The following are examples of possible accommodations.



Flexible format

Use Braille or large print version
Have directions for tests read to him/her

Flexible response

Mark answers in test booklet
Dictate responses to proctor

Flexible schedule

Take test in short time periods
Have additional time to complete tests

Flexible setting

Take tests individually
Take tests in small group setting

Information gathered by the Florida Department of Education.

The Florida Department of Education has a web site that explains in detail the accommodations available in Florida.

Click here: http://www.firn.edu/doe/bin00014/ese9603.pdf  

Who decides if my child receives accommodations and which one he/she receives?

These accommodations are determined on the individual needs of each student by the transition IEP team.

How long does my child have to earn his/her diploma?

The policy, that is included in the 1997 Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, states that students with disabilities may stay in school until they are 22 years old. The district must continue to offer services until the student is 22 years old or until the student earns a standard diploma (whichever comes first).

Where can I find more information on the FCAT?

The Florida Department of Education has a site on the FCAT. It gives parents information on the FCAT, sample items, a presentation of the FCAT, and frequently asked questions.


Where can I find more information on the Florida Writes?

The Florida Department of Education has a site on the Florida Writes. It gives parents information on the test, a description of writing, types of writing prompts, how the test is scored, who takes the test, and the results around the state.


What are the Sunshine State Standards?

These are the learning standards developed by the Florida Department of Education. To see what they are for each high school subject area click here for the Florida DOE site. http://www.firn.edu/doe/curric/prek12/9-12g.pdf

Are there accommodations for the college entrance exams such as the SAT?

Yes, students may request accommodations appropriate to their disabilities. These accommodations include, but are not limited to:

testing the student in a separate room
allowing extra time to complete the examination
permitting a reader or writer to assist the student
providing a special test edition (Braille, 14-point photo-enlarged, audiocassette, or reader script formats)

For more information click here to go to the SAT web site http://wwwcollegeboard.org/disable/html/disable.html 



 Home | Background| Pre-K | Elementary | Secondary | Post-Secondary 
This website was developed collaboratively during the summer session of  June/July 2000, as a technology project by graduate students in EEX 6222: Assessment and Dr. Marcia Greene, Associate Professor and Bill Halverson, Technology Instructor/Webmaster, Florida Gulf Coast University, College of Education.   Comments/Feedback??? Email us directly or use the Feedback option at the top of the page.  We hope you have enjoyed this website! 

Last modified: July 05, 2000

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