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Academics and Curriculum


 A level change is when a student moves from a more rigorous level of a subject to a less rigorous level of the SAME subject.

  • Students may request a level change up to the FOURTH week of school DEADLINE: September 18, 2015
  • Requested subject change may cause one or more additional courses to change periods or teachers
  • Absolutely NO period or teacher requests will be considered
  • The withdrawal grade from the former class will be transferred to the new class
  • Change request forms are available in the Guidance office or online
  • Change request forms must be signed by the student, parent and teacher/coach before submitting to the academic advisor. Emails and phone calls from parents will not be allowed in lieu of a signature
  • Allow up to 48 hours for change requests to be processed.
  • IMPORTANT: Students must continue to attend all classes on their schedule (including the one they are trying to change until their academic advisor confirms that the change has been approved



To be on track for graduation, students must pass all their classes.

  • In grades 9 and 10 they must pass a minimum of 6 classes at 5 credits per class for a total of 30 credits each semester (60 for the year)
  • In grades 11 and 12 students must pass  a minimum of 5 classes at 5 credits per class for a total of 25 credits each semester (50 for the year).
  • Students who fail classes must meet with their academic advisor to develop a plan to 'get back on track'. This may involve one or more of the following:  attending summer school,  Credit Recovery program/courses, and adding extra classes to the school day.
  • Students who are behind in credits MUST take a minimum of 6 classes.


See the chart below for credit information.

9TH grade 30 30 60
10th grade 30 30 120
11th grade 25 25 170
12th grade 25 25 220  (graduation)


Remember: High school graduation requirements are not the same as college admission requirements (i.e. UC / CSU A-G Requirements). 
KNOW THE DIFFERENCE ; your future deserves it!!


Many times parents and students have questions such as:

  • How many AP classes should I take to get into a good college?
  • How do I get on a sport team?
  • For entrance to a UC or CSU, is it better to get an A in a class that is not honors or AP or to get a B or lower in the non-honors/AP class?

Click Here for answers to these questions and more...

Volunteer Hours

Capistrano Unified School District does NOT require volunteer hours for graduation.

Some clubs may require volunteer hours (National Honor Society, California Scholastic Federation).

Competitive colleges and universities look for students who have been active at their school and community. Students should look to become involved/volunteer in areas in which they have an interest or passion, not "what is the college looking for". There are no minium or maximum hourly requirements. Students should keep a personal tally of the hours worked, jobs done, supervisor information, etc. This information will be useful for job applications and college applications.