Academic Planning Guide

The information below is designed to provide students and their families with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions when planning a high school course sequence at Southwest.  Many forms mentioned on this page can be submitted electronically and are in the Forms section above. Please contact your LSW school counselor if you have questions about this information.

What is academic planning and why should you do it? Watch and learn from the Southwest School Counseling Team!

Course Menu and Core Course Sequence Recommendations

The Course Menu contains much of the same information as the 4-year graduation plan, but is accessible and viewable by families. These documents outline the class options available for students at each grade level, as well as standard required and recommended courses for each year.

To help with academic planning, families may also wish to view the General Core Course Sequence Recommendations for core classes at Southwest (Math, English, Science, Social Studies). This document shows different possible pathways through the required courses in each core area, as well as serving as a quick look guide for core requirements at each grade level.

Online LSW Course Guide

The online LSW course guide is a necessary companion for most academic planning tasks. This interactive website provides detailed course descriptions for all classes taught at LSW (and within the district) and offers students and families the ability to filter their search in a number of ways. Be sure to visit the online course guide to make the most informed decisions when planning a course of study at Southwest!

4-Year Graduation Plans

Selecting classes for high school can be stressful for students and their families. Proper planning helps minimize this stress and ensures that students are well-prepared to meet their post-secondary goals after graduation. The 4-year graduation plan is an interactive tool created by each individual student that helps support this planning process. This graduation plan outlines which LPS graduation requirements are typically met each year (9th, 10th, 11th, 12th) and provides students with a framework to aid in thinking about high school as a continuum – rather than 4 separate, unconnected years. 4-year plans should be updated regularly to reflect work accomplished during the past academic semester, and make whatever adjustments may be necessary to ensure students are preparing to be career and college ready while working toward completion of LPS high school graduation requirements.

Not all students have the same goals beyond high school graduation, and therefore not all 4-year plans should look the same. The best course of study for each student is one that:

  • Includes the most classes of high interest to the student. 
  • Is challenging within the student’s ability level.
  • Fulfills all LPS graduation requirements.
  • Prepares the student to meet career and college goals.

Learn more about creating and using the 4-year graduation plan by visiting our Course Request page.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Course Evaluation Option

A mark of S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory) can be recorded on the transcript when specifically requested in writing by the student and with approval from the student’s parent/guardian and LSW school counselor. Students in all grades can opt to receive an S/U mark rather than the standard letter grade for any class, and this decision can be reversed any time prior to the end of the grading period for the requested class. Requests must be made and approved in writing (or electronically) by the beginning of the 6th week of a standard one-quarter class at Southwest (beginning of the 12th week for the less common semester-long classes). Deadlines will be communicated to students/families through daily student announcements and the Silver Talon parent newsletter. Classes taken for S/U marks are not included when calculating GPA, nor do these credits count toward meeting academic eligibility requirements. 

The Request for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Course Evaluation form can be submitted by the student online (in Forms section above), or students may request a paper copy of this form from their counselor.

Withdrawing From A Class

A student may withdraw from a semester or quarter class during weeks 1-3 without record. If a student withdraws during weeks 4-11 of a semester class (4-5 in a quarter class), a ‘W” will be placed on the student’s record. If a student withdraws during weeks 12-18 of a semester class (6-9 in a quarter class), an “F” will be placed on the student’s record unless approval is granted for either a “W” or an “INC” to be placed on the student’s record. Approval is granted by the principal or his designee.

Withdrawal deadlines for the 2021-2022 school year are provided below. Remember that most classes at Southwest are completed within a single quarter, and therefore will follow the schedule for quarter classes – only “skinnies” operate on the standard semester schedule running for a full 18 weeks.

Quarter 1 classes: September 6-September 20 will result in a “W”; after Sept. 20th will result in an F
Semester 1 classes: September 6-November 1 will result in a “W”; after November 1 will result in an F
Quarter 2 classes: November 8-22 will result in a “W”; after November 22 will result in an F
Quarter 3 classes: January 24-February 7 will result in a “W”; after February 7 will result in an F
Semester 2 classes: January 24-March 28 will result in a “W”; after March 28 will result in an F
Quarter 4 classes: April 4-18 will result in a “W”; after April 18 will result in an F

Incomplete Contract

When a student and teacher are in agreement that a course, which has not been completed during a regular term, can be successfully completed during an extended time frame, an Incomplete Contract can be written. This contract must include the work to be completed, the level of mastery that is acceptable, and a date by which these must be completed. Failure to fulfill any portion of the Incomplete Contract results in a grade of “F” for the course. Students/families are encouraged to work with their classroom teacher if this option may be appropriate, or contact their counselor with questions.

Repeating a Class

Any student may choose to retake a course either due to failure or to raise the grade previously earned and subsequently improve their cumulative GPA. Students wishing to replace their previous grade with the higher grade on their transcript must make this request in writing (or electronically). These requests should be made by the end of the academic school year in which the class is retaken. As a reminder, the class that is retaken must be exactly the same as the original class in order for grade replacement.

The Repeat Class to Replace Grade form can be submitted online (in Forms section above), or student’s can request a paper copy from their counselor.

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