Michigan Merit Curriculum Frequently Asked Questions
The following information was compiled in response to questions frequently asked by parents and students.
1. What are the district’s new high school graduation requirements?
district’s new high school graduation requirements were adopted as a
result of the state’s new Michigan Merit Curriculum. They are applicable
for the Class of 2011 and beyond as follows:
4.0 English Language Arts –
1.0 English Language Arts 9
1.0 English Language Arts 10
1.0 English Language Arts 11
1.0 English Language Arts 12
4.0 Mathematics –
1.0 Algebra 1
1.0 Algebra 2
1.0 Math or Math-Related Course
3.0 Science –
1.0 Physics or Physical Science
3.0 History/Social Studies –
1.0 World History
1.0 U.S. History
.5 American Government
1.0 Visual, Performing Arts –
1.0 Visual, Performing and/or Applied Arts
1.0 Health/Physical Education –
.5 Physical Education
10 Hours Online Experience (will be included in academic courses)
2. How will these new requirements affect students?
many students who already plan on taking the credits required by
Livonia Public Schools, things will change very little with one
exception; students may now earn graduation credits prior to entering
Students will continue to be able to earn credit
through Career and Technical Education courses, by testing out, and Dual
Enrollment college classes not offered by their high school. For other
students, it may change the courses they plan to take and may introduce
them to new subjects such as Algebra and Biology.
3. Can I still take the electives I want?
district requires a minimum of 23 credits to graduate, of which 16 are
from courses required by the Michigan Merit Curriculum. This allows
students to choose up to seven elective credits.
key. Students pursuing a specialized area of study, such as music or
science, should work closely with their school counselor to ensure they
develop an Educational Development Plan that will accommodate their
4. If my child fails a course required for graduation, what options are available to make up the credit?
There are several options available. A student may:
- Enroll in a summer school course.
- Take one of the 7 th hour courses that are offered on a limited basis.
- Sign up for a night school class.
- Repeat the course during the school day.
other options become available they will be communicated to
students/parents. Students can contact their counselor for more
5. How many years of world language are required?
credits of a world language will be required beginning with the
graduating class of 2016. Students are not required to fulfill this
requirement until then. Students may begin to fulfill this requirement
through world language courses at the middle school level.
colleges/universities may have a world language requirement. Students
are encouraged to contact the college/university directly.
who are fluent in reading, writing and speaking a language other than
English should contact their guidance counselor for an exemption to this
6. Is there a computer course requirement in order to graduate?
The Michigan Merit Curriculum guidelines from the Michigan Department
of Education for online learning require that students:
- Take an online course, OR
- Participate in an online experience, OR
- Participate in online experiences incorporated into each of the required credit courses of the Michigan Merit Curriculum.
Public Schools has opted to include a minimum of six hours in a
structured online learning activity in the ELA, math, science and social
studies courses that comprise our graduation requirements. In this
experience, students will utilize technology with Internet-based tools
and resources as the delivery method for instruction, research,
assessment and/or communication.
7. Are special education students required to complete the Michigan Merit Curriculum?
education students are general education students first, and by law,
must be given access to, and support for success in, the general
curriculum. Studies show all students learn and achieve more when they
take a challenging curriculum rather than low-level courses.
students receiving special education services in Michigan must have an
Individualized Education Program (IEP) that details the appropriate
education plan outlining modifications, accommodations, and support for
In addition, the law states that districts may
allow a parent or legal guardian to request a personal curriculum for
the student that modifies some of the Michigan Merit Curriculum
requirements and/or subject area content expectations of the required
8. What types of support are available for students who may struggle with Algebra 2?
Several options are available:
- Algebra 2 is taught over three semesters.
- Incorporating Algebra 2 content through Livonia Career/Technical Center courses.
- After-school math support.
Students should consult their guidance counselor for the option that best meets their needs.
9. What is a “test out," and when will they be available?
state allows districts to grant high school credit in any course
required for graduation if the student earns a qualifying score on the
assessment developed by the school district. The assessment is called
“test out.” It measures the student’s understanding of the subject area
content expectations for each course.
Currently, the district is
in the process of creating a “test out” beginning with ninth grade
courses and continuing until a test is developed for all required
courses. Once the test outs are developed, they will be available to
students outside of the school year, probably in June 2009 for a fee.
Specific details will be disseminated once the “test outs” are available
10. What is available to students through the 7 th Hour Option?
2008-09, Health will be offered during the first semester to students
in grades 10-12 and Personal Fitness will be offered during the second
semester to all students. These courses will also be offered during the
normal school day.
Beginning with the 2009-10 school year,
American Government and Economics will be offered during seventh hour,
in addition to the courses previously mentioned.
11. Can a student take Health/PE in summer school or before entering high school?
may take Health or Physical Education through the summer school program
after ninth grade for Personal Fit and after tenth grade for Health.
Student may not earn high school credit for Health and Personal Fit prior to entering high school.
12. Does a student have to take the preliminary course like Biology, prior to AP Biology?
A student needs to take Biology before AP Biology. For students who are
interested in taking AP classes, it is likely they will have fewer
electives in their schedule.
13. How will the parochial students have the Algebra 1 credit assigned to their transcript?
Students should contact their high school guidance counselor for information on this topic.
14. What can parents do to help students succeed with this new curriculum?
Expect your child to achieve and succeed. The more you expect, the more they will learn.
in seventh grade, students work with their middle school to develop a
career and high school planning document called an Educational
Development Plan (EDP). The EDP will help guide their scheduling choices
and explore various career pathways.
Get involved and stay
involved. When parents are actively involved, kids do better in school.
Be a partner with each teacher. Teachers need your cooperation to do a
first-class job. Together, you can help your child have a great school
year. Help your child establish a study routine in a quiet area at home.
Most importantly, be supportive.
For more information, please contact your school guidance counselor.