In order to graduate, every student will demonstrate competency in English and math, and/or career readiness. Demonstrating competency means being able to show that you’ve learned certain skills, abilities and concepts, and that you are able to apply them in the real world. Students must complete one or more of the items in the competency menu below to be eligible to graduate. Students may mix and match English and math competencies from the menu. For example, a student who demonstrates competency on the reading/writing section of the SAT (but not the math section) and passes a concurrent enrollment class in math would be eligible to graduate.
The test includes reading, writing, and math content that closely matches tasks students will face during first-year college courses. Students must earn a score of 241 in reading or 236 in writing to demonstrate competency in English, and a score of 255 AR or 230 QAS or 245 AAF to demonstrate competency in math.
- Advanced Placement Exams
AP classes are college-level classes you can take in high school. At the end of the semester, students are encouraged to take the AP exam, which tests how they may perform at the college level. Scores range from 1 to 5. If a student earns a score of 2 on a qualifying English/math exam, they earn competency. Note, most colleges only give college credit for exam scores of 3 or higher. At West Leadership Academy, students may take AP Calculus to demonstrate competency in math, and they may take AP English Language and Composition, or AP English Language and Composition, to demonstrate competency in English.
- Concurrent Enrollment
Concurrent Enrollment allows students to simultaneously earn college and high school credits. Students are able to enroll in college courses for free, saving them both time and money. Many Concurrent Enrollment credits are transferable to two-year and or four-year degree programs. If a student earns a C- or higher in a qualifying English/math course, they earn competency.
- DPS Math and English Capstone
With the Capstone option, students build a portfolio of work, primarily composed of district-created assessments, to show what they’ve learned and how it applies in the real world. It allows students and educators to monitor progress over time. For students who elect a Capstone Portfolio to fulfill the competency requirement, teachers will help students track their progress.
- DPS CareerCapstone
To demonstrate competency in CareerCapstone students must complete 4 semesters (C- or higher) of a CTE approved pathway and earn an industry certification. The West Campus currently offers courses and certifications in two approved CTE pathways: TechConnect and MedConnect.
Denver Public Schools requires that all juniors take the SAT in the spring of their 11th grade year. The SAT exam shows colleges how prepared you are for college by measuring key skills in math, evidence-based reading and writing, and an optional essay. Each section is scored on a 200 to 800 point scale, with a “perfect” score being 1,600. The SAT is offered seven times each year. DPS administers the exam each April for free to juniors. DPS also offers a free online SAT practice program through Khan Academy. If a students earns a 470 on the reading/writing section and a 500 on the math section, they earn competency.
- ACT WorkKeys
ACT WorkKeys is an assessment that tests students’ job skills in applied reading, writing, mathematics and 21st-century skills. Scores are based on job profiles that help employers select, hire, train, develop and retain a high-performance workforce. Students who score at the Bronze Level (at least 3) on the three WorkKeys assessments for Applied Math, Workplace Documents, and Graphic Literacy earn the ACT’s National Career Readiness Certificate and earn competency toward graduation. Note, DPS does not provide WorkKeys testing and students pursuing this option must find and use an approved testing center.
- ASVAB (Armed Services)
ASVAB is a comprehensive test that traditionally helps determine students’ eligibility for careers in the military; however, the assessment is an option for students even if they don’t plan to enlist in the military. ASVAB tests arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension and mathematics knowledge. Students must be 17 years old, take the test in English, and earn a composite score of 31 or higher in order to earn competency toward graduation.