Skip to main content


CREDITS REQUIRED FOR GRADUATION - Forty-Six (46) / Forty-Seven (47)*

Class Load

All students must be enrolled in seven classes every semester.  Juniors who have earned 25 credits by the end of their sophomore year may enroll in six classes (six periods) per semester.  Seniors who have earned 34 credits by the end of their junior year may be enrolled in six classes (six periods) during their first semester and as many as necessary to graduate during their second semester. 


English/Language Arts (8 CR)

  • 9th English (2 CR)
  • 10th English (2 CR)
  • 11th English (2 CR)
  • 12th Language Arts option (2 CR)

Mathematics (6 CR)

  • Six semesters of Mathematics (6 CR)    

Social Studies (6/7* CR)

  • US History (2 CR)
  • World History (2 CR)
  • American Government (1 CR)
  • Economics/Financial Literacy (1 CR)
  • Psychology/Sociology (1*) (beginning with the Class of 2025+)

 Science (6 CR)

  • Earth & Space Science (2 CR)
  • Biology (2 CR)
  • Physical Science - Physics (1 CR)
  • Physical Science - Chemistry (1 CR)

Physical Education (3 CR*)

  • Three semesters of PE (3 CR - Class of 2025+)

*Required of all students each semester (unless waived per board policy)

College and Career Readiness

  • Career and Technical Education (1* CR beginning with the Class of 2025+)
  • Number of credits for required classes               30
  • Number of credits for elective classes                16 
  • Minimum credits for diploma class of 2023/24    46
  • Minimum credits for diploma class of 2025+       47

*Class of 2025 and beyond will have additional behavioral science credit and CTE requirement totaling 47


A student may graduate at the end of the first semester of his/her senior year provided he/she:

  1. Fulfills all graduation requirements. 
  2. Makes application during the spring of scheduling their classes for senior year.  This should be in the four-year plan for his/her educational need.
  3. Obtains approval of the school and parent/guardian by completing and returning the OHS Early Graduation Policy form available from his/her counselor.

A diploma will be issued upon completion of the stated requirements after the graduation ceremony. Mid-year graduates may take part in all senior activities as¬sociated with graduation.


  • Every student is assigned to a grade level according to the traditional system:  9th grade (freshman) for 1st-year high school students, 10th grade (sophomore) for 2nd-year high school students, 11th grade (junior) for 3rd-year high school students, and 12th grade (senior) for 4th-year high school students.  We will use these classifications for reporting purposes.


  • Progress reports will be available at parent teacher conferences.  Parents and students can access the online grading system at any time for an up-to-date grade report. Teachers update gradebooks weekly.  Teachers and parents are urged to communicate when there is a concern about a student’s attitude or progress.  


  • Students are not ranked until they complete their first semester of study. Thereafter, rankings are recalculated at the end of every semester.  Rankings are fluid as new students enroll and current students transfer out of district.  Class rank represents the numerical position of a student in the class with which the student graduates. The “numerical position” is determined by cumulative grade point average.  For example, a senior student who has a cumulative grade point average of (4.00) in a senior class of three-hundred (300) students - would have a class rank of “1/300”.  The student would be at the top of the class. Cumulative grade point averages will be calculated three (3) decimal places.  Any student receiving educational modifications will not be included in the class rank.  


  • A list of the names of those students that have earned a grade point average of 2.667 and above is published in The Ottumwa Courier each semester.  To qualify for the honor roll, a student must be enrolled in three (3) letter-graded OHS courses.


  • This policy is intended to make OHS grading practices consistent across the building, to eliminate practices that focus on sorting and selecting, and to improve alignment of grading practices with the mission of teaching and learning. Grades should reflect the degree to which students meet learning targets. Grades should be based primarily on achievement: what a student knows and is able to do. The same grading scale will be used by all teachers for all classes (with the exception of Concurrent Enrollment and Advanced Placement classes).  The PowerSchool categories will be as follows: Formative = 30%, Summative = 55%, and Semester Test = 15%.


  • Cumulative grade point is the average of all semester grades; current grade point is the average of only the current semester’s grades.  Grades not included in the GPA are denoted with an asterisk following the course’s title.  IHCC classes counted for concurrent credit, including classes satisfying graduation requirements/credits, will calculate in a student’s high school GPA regardless of instructor or instructional method.  
  • In the fall of 2022, Ottumwa High School will implement a weighted grade policy that will be in effect for the incoming freshman class (Class of 2026).  The purpose of having weighted grades is to encourage students to enroll in our most rigorous academic courses in order to maximize preparation for their post-secondary education.  In addition, with a weighted GPA, students can potentially be more competitive when applying for college scholarships and admission.
  • Weighted grades are letter grades that are assigned a numerical advantage when calculating a grade point average, or GPA.  Weighted grade systems give students a numerical advantage for grades earned in higher-level courses or more challenging learning experiences, such as honors courses or Advanced Placement courses.
  • The purpose of weighting grades is to provide an incentive for students to challenge themselves academically and reward students who take tougher courses. Not all IHCC classes on campus or online are weighted, please see your counselor for further information. All weighted courses are denoted with an * in the progarm of studies.

Letter Grade / Class Percent / Honors/AP GPA / GPA Equivalent
    A / 100-93 / 5.0 / 4.0
    A- /    92-90 / 4.667 / 3.667
    B+/    89-87 / 4.333 / 3.333
    B  /    86-83 / 4.0 / 3.0
    B- /    82-80 / 3.667 / 2.667
    C+/    79-77 / 3.333 / 2.333
    C  /    76-73 / 3.0 / 2.0
    C- /    72-70 / 2.667 / 1.667
    D+/    69-67 / 2.333 / 1.333
    D  /    66-63 / 2.0 / 1.0
    D- /    62-60 / 1.667 / 0.667
    F  /     59-0  /  1.0 / 0.0  


  • Free periods are a privilege for juniors and seniors in good credit standing.  Every two weeks, counselors will verify grades for those students with a scheduled Free Period.  Students receiving an “F” in any course will lose their Free Period and be required to attend Aspire to support their academic needs.  At the end of two weeks, grades will be reevaluated to determine every student’s Free Period status.    


It is important that students carefully choose the proper classes that best fit their personal, educational, and vocational needs.  Students should seek advice from parents, teachers, and counselors.

  1.  All students must be enrolled in seven classes every semester.  Juniors who have earned 25 credits by the end of their sophomore year may enroll in six credit earning classes per semester.  Seniors who have earned 34 credits by the end of their junior year must be enrolled in six credit earning classes during their first semester.  During the second semester a senior must enroll in at least as many classes he/she needs to graduate.  Second year seniors may enroll in as few courses as necessary to graduate.
  2. Juniors and seniors may request to drop a course during the first three days of each semester if they are scheduled for seven periods.  Students may not drop a class if they will fall below the minimum course load requirements.  
  3. The scheduling process begins 2nd semester.  Students will have multiple opportunities to learn about the next year’s classes.  Courses are then scheduled during an individual appointment with their guidance counselor.  
  4. Students will have two opportunities to make schedule changes; in the spring (Move Up Day) and during registration.  Student or parent initiated schedule changes are not accepted after the start of classes. 
  5. Multiple credits may be earned in classes meeting for more than one period.  (Check the course description for details.)
  6. All classes are offered “upon demand”.  Although a course is listed, a sufficient number of students must register for the class to make it economically feasible to offer the class.
  7. Due to the limited enrollment of some courses students may not always receive their first choice.  It is suggested that they be prepared to choose an alternate course in the event one of their first choices is closed.
  8. To maintain athletic, music, and other activity eligibility, students must be enrolled in a minimum of four courses.


Students are responsible for accepting the course of study for which they register, therefore they must plan very deliberately, always keeping in mind individual interests and post high school plans.  Any adjustments following the initial Spring Registration period are limited and will be based on only one of the following reasons: 

  1. Computer error or imbalance of course sections. 
  2. Failure in a class that is a prerequisite. 
  3. Teacher recommendation and/or request because of inappropriate level placement. 
  4. Unavailability of a class. 

Requests for reasons other than those listed above are limited to extenuating circumstances and must have parent/guardian approval. Requests that would result in an imbalance in the sections of a course will NOT be approved. 

Any adjustments after the beginning of the term must have Principal approval.  Students wanting to add, drop, or adjust their schedule must pick up a Schedule Adjustment Request form from the Counseling Office and make an appointment.  Requests for teacher change will not be granted except under extenuating circumstances approved by the Principal.  


  • Each semester a student may elect to take one class pass/fail.  A student wishing to take a class pass/fail must first discuss it with his/her counselor and request a meeting with the appropriate teacher for approval.  A student must file the appropriate form within the first week of the semester and will remain in effect throughout the semester.  Students or Parents/Guardians may not request that a traditional letter grade be recorded for the class on the official school records once the Pass/Fail Contract is submitted.  Pass/Fail grades will be recorded on the transcript with a P or F in place of the letter grade.  In order for a student to earn P, they must earn a minimum of 60 percent.  On the official transcript the earned percentage will follow the P (i.e. if the student completes the class with a 72 percent, the transcript will display P72).  A Pass/Fail class will count as part of a full-time load.  The NCAA Clearinghouse Eligibility Center requires a letter grade for each class to determine their final GPA.  Student athletes interested in Division I or II post-secondary schools should consider taking all classes for letter grades.  See your guidance counselor for more information.   

Online/On Campus/ OHS Concurrent Enrollment Pass/Fail Option: 

  • Each semester a student enrolled in a college online or on-campus course may elect to take one course pass/fail. This will only be reflected on the Ottumwa High School transcript not the college transcript. Pass/Fail forms must be submitted to the counseling office within the first week of each term. Pass/Fail forms for concurrent enrollment classes that are taught by OHS teachers must be turned in within the first week of each semester. 


  • If a student wishes to repeat a course, he/she must conference with their counselor.  To qualify, the student must have originally received a “C” or lower for a grade.  If academic credit was granted when the course was taken originally, no additional credit will be issued for repeating the course.  The repeat grade will replace the original grade even if the repeat grade is lower than the original, unless the repeat grade is an “F” and would result in a loss of credit.


  • It is the belief of the Ottumwa Community School District that all students should have a balanced high school curriculum, which includes physical education.  Participation in high school physical education on a yearly basis provides students with a healthy outlet, which will improve their learning. 
  • Exemptions from physical education may be granted for the following reasons: medical condition with written doctor’s statement, religious beliefs, or full academic schedule. Participation in a full academic load does not necessarily require that a student be exempt from physical education.  Every effort will be made by the professional staff of Ottumwa High School to ensure that a student will participate in physical education for a minimum of two years.
  • Students who believe they qualify for a physical education exemption should work with their counselor to determine if they qualify and complete any necessary forms.


  • Students planning to withdraw from Ottumwa High School for any reason must check out with their guidance counselor.  The counselor will help the student complete necessary withdrawal forms and procedures.  


Driver Education is operated by Drivescape LLC.

For further information regarding availability, scheduling, and fees, please contact:

David Becker
School Phone: 641-683-4444 Ext. 77117
Cell:  641-799-7512


Concurrent Credit Options

  • Senior Year Plus serves as an umbrella for a variety of programs designed to provide high school students access to courses that have the potential to generate college credit.

Student Eligibility Requirements

To participate in Senior Year Plus programming, students must meet the academic requirements of both the school district and postsecondary institution.  

  • At the school district level, students interested in Arts & Science courses must demonstrate proficiency on the state tests in all three academic areas.  This is primarily determined using the students’ most recent scores on the designated state required test.  ISASP levels below.



Grade Not Yet Proficient Proficient Advanced
8 385 to 493 494 to 593 594 to 720
9 410 to 504 505 to 617 618 to 750
10 435 to 529 530 to 641 642 to 780
11 460 to 560 561 to 659

660 to 800


 Grade  Not Yet Proficient  Proficient  Advanced  
 8  385 to 489  490 to 605  606 to 720
 9  410 to 512  513 to 625  626 to 750
 10  435 to 536  537 to 653  654 to 780
 11  460 to 558  559 to 674  675 to 800


 Grade  Not Yet Proficient  Proficient  Advanced  
 8  385 to 507  508 to 608  609 to 720
 10   435 to 544  545 to 655  656 to 780


  • If a student is not proficient in one or more area but wishes to enroll in an Arts & Science course, he/she must meet an alternate proficiency requirement.  Two options are available as alternate proficiency measurements: (1) an Accuplacer recommended cut score for the individual course as determined by the community college.  (2) only proficient in the area they wish to take concurrent courses

  • Career Technical programs/courses do not require proficiency for eligibility.  See your counselor for more information.  

  • At the college level, students must meet any assessment requirements of the postsecondary institution including any placement exam requirements of the institution.

The following programs provide an overview of opportunities:

Advanced Placement (AP®)

  • Advanced Placement (AP®) courses are college-level courses offered by high schools.  The courses, curriculum requirements, and optional tests are provided by The College Board.  Based on the examination score and the postsecondary institution's policies, students may be eligible for college credit or advanced standing at the college or university they later matriculate. In order for a student to enroll in an online AP course while enrolled at Ottumwa High School, the student must receive prior approval from the Talented and Gifted Coordinator and the principal or designee.

All enrolled AP students will be expected to take the course AP exam.  Exam performance will not impact a student's course grade.

Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO)

Ninth and tenth grade students who have been identified by the school district as gifted and talented, and eligible eleventh and twelfth grade students, may utilize the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (“PSEO”) program. To qualify, a course must be a nonsectarian, credit-bearing course that leads to a degree, and in the areas of:  mathematics, science, social sciences, humanities, career and technical education. A course is not eligible for PSEO if a comparable course is offered by the school district. This would include courses at a community college with which the district has a concurrent enrollment agreement. Students shall not be charged for tuition, textbooks, materials, or fees related to a PSEO course with the exception of equipment that becomes the property of the student. In Iowa, 4 year institutions qualify for PSEO. 

  • The school district shall reimburse the post-secondary institution for tuition and other expenses for each PSEO course up to $250. Students who successfully complete a PSEO course, as determined by the postsecondary institution, shall receive postsecondary credit and high school credit. The Superintendent or designee is responsible for determining the number of high school credits that shall be granted to a student who successfully completes a PSEO course. Students may not enroll on a full-time basis to any post-secondary institution through the PSEO program. 

Transportation to and from the postsecondary institution is the responsibility of the student or parent or legal guardian of the student enrolled in a PSEO course. Eligible students may take up to seven hours of post-secondary credit during the summer months and receive high school credit upon successful completion of a post-secondary course. However, the student or student’s parent or legal guardian are responsible for all costs associated with courses taken during the summer. 

Students who fail a PSEO course and fail to receive credit are required to reimburse the school district for all costs directly related to the course up to the $250.00 reimbursement maximum. Prior to registering, students under the age of eighteen are required to have a parent or guardian sign a form indicating that the parent is responsible for the costs of the course should the student fail the course and fail to receive credit. Reimbursement waivers may be granted by the board if sufficient verification is provided to show that the student was unable to complete the course for reasons outside the student’s control, including but not limited to physical incapacity, a death in the student’s immediate family, or a move out of the school district. 

In accordance with all PSEO qualifying guidelines stated above, students may take such courses at a community college. The courses are called individual concurrent enrollment. If a student enrolls in such a course, the following rules apply: 

  • Individual concurrent enrollment contracts must be completed with the community college for each class.
  • The district will receive supplemental weighting dollars for the individual concurrent enrollment course.
  • Regular tuition and book fees apply, to be paid for by the district.
  • Failure still results in student reimbursement beyond the supplemental weighting amount.

Concurrent Enrollment

The concurrent enrollment program promotes rigorous academic or career and technical pursuits by providing opportunities for high school students to enroll part-time in eligible nonsectarian courses at or through community colleges. Per Senior Year Plus, concurrent enrollment courses are offered through contractual agreements between community colleges and school districts within their service area.

There are concurrent enrollment classes taught at Ottumwa High School that earn both college and high school credit. Other concurrent options are held online, on-campus, or through live virtual learning. OHS teachers have been credentialed through IHCC and use their syllabi, college textbooks, etc. to teach a concurrent enrollment class.  The student must sign up for the class in the spring, during the registration process by discussing their options with their school counselor using the application form provided.

IMPORTANT:  College credit obtained may or may not transfer to a higher-level institution.  Students and/or parents should contact the university or college choice to make sure that what they are planning to take will transfer to the specific major or particular field of study of the student.

Add, Drop, and Withdraw for IHCC Courses: 

Adding a course

  • No course additions are permitted after the 5th day of the fall, winter, and spring term. Contact your school counselor immediately to add a class online, on IHCC campus, or at OHS. 

Dropping a course

  • OHS students have eight days after the beginning of the Indian Hills Community College term to drop an IHCC class. Students must communicate with their school counselor to complete the request. If a student drops an IHCC class, there is no record on their transcript they took the class and the student will find an alternative class to enroll in at OHS if the class is needed for graduation or to complete the student’s schedule. 

Withdrawing from a course

  • OHS students who are enrolled in IHCC classes have the option to withdraw from classes. Students may withdraw from the course from the ninth day of the term until two weeks before the term ends. Students and families will be communicated with by OHS staff when those deadlines are for each term.  
  • During this period, students wishing to withdraw from class should speak with their school counselor. A withdrawn class will appear on the permanent college transcript and high school transcript as a “W” which signifies the withdrawal and no credit will be earned. 

Discovery Academies

  • Discovery Academies are programs of study offered to high school students through Indian Hills Community College. They bridge high school and community college CTE programs. Discovery Academy programs typically are ½ day college block schedules on the Indian Hills Community College campus. IHCC has also developed career academies which last two periods in a student schedule on the Indian Hills Community College campus.


Articulation Agreements

  • Based upon a mutual concern for the needs of students pursuing technical education programs, Ottumwa High School and Indian Hills Community College have reached several articulation agreements for classes in the OHS curriculum. Courses that qualify are indicated within the course description of this booklet.  Applicants for credit must meet all college admission requirements and be an enrolled student in good standing with the college.  In addition, the student must have satisfactorily completed the secondary course to be articulated with a grade of C or higher.

In addition to classes that articulate to Indian Hills, a few classes are designated as State Articulated, which means that they transfer to participating community colleges throughout the State of Iowa.


For students who potentially might play athletics in college, specific courses meet eligibility standards for freshman participation at member NCAA Division I and II schools.  Courses are designated as Approved or Not Approved for the NCAA Clearinghouse.  The Counseling Office has further information for questions about the college-bound athlete.


The State of Iowa has a rich tradition of providing quality post-secondary educational opportunities for its citizens that also attracts students from all over the country and world. Today, Iowa's three Regent universities and 15 community colleges serve more than 150,000 students annually!

Iowa's Regent universities and community colleges have joined to create a Web site dedicated to seamless transfer. Their intent is simple - to create a one-stop resource to help students and families plan for their future.

The number one question transfer students ask is "How will my credits transfer?" Follow the 'Transferring Your Credit' links on the Transfer in Iowa website to discover how your courses may transfer to the Regent universities. You are invited to explore, discover, and continue to dream big.  Visit for more information. 


Students from Iowa high schools planning to begin their studies in fall 2009 or later must have a Regent Admission Index score of at least 245 and take the minimum number of required high school courses to qualify for automatic admission to Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at The University of Iowa. Students who achieve a score less than 245 will be considered for admission on an individual basis. 

The index combines four factors that strongly predict success at regent universities: ACT or SAT test score, high school rank, high school cumulative grade-point average, and the number of completed high school core courses. 

Visit for more information or to calculate your RAI.  See your Counselor for more information. 


The (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), or FAFSA, is the first step in the financial aid process when looking for funding available to pursue post-secondary education.  Use it to apply for federal student financial aid, such as the Pell Grant, student loans, and college work-study.  In addition, most states and schools use FAFSA information to award their financial aid.  For more information visit  

High School Course Requirements
For Admission to Iowa Regents Universities

In addition to meeting the Regent Admission Index requirement, students must complete the minimum number of high school courses specified below for the institution to which they’re applying.


English Language Arts

4 years of English/Language Arts emphasizing writing, speaking, reading, as well as an understanding and appreciation of literature. 4 years, with an emphasis on the analysis and interpretation of literature, composition, and speech. 4 years, including one year of composition; may also include one year of speech, communication, or journalism.
Math 3 years, including one year each of algebra, geometry, and advanced algebra. 3 years, including two years of algebra and one year of geometry, for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 4 years, including two years of algebra, one year each of geometry higher math (trigonometry, analysis, or calculus), for admission to the College of Engineering. 3 years, including the equivalent of algebra, geometry, and advanced algebra.
Natural Science 3 years, including one year each from any two of the following: biology, chemistry, and physics. 3 years, including courses in physical science, biology, chemistry, environmental science and physics for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 3 years, with at least one year each in chemistry and physics, for admission to the College of Engineering. Nursing - 3 years including one year each of biology, chemistry and physics. 3 years, including courses in general science, biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics; laboratory experience highly recommended.
Social Studies 2 years for admission to the Colleges of Agriculture, Business, Design, Human Sciences, and Engineering. Three years for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 3 years, with U.S. history and world history recommended for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 2 years, with U.S. history and world history recommended, for admission to the College of Engineering. 3 years, including courses in anthropology, economics, geography, government, history, psychology, or sociology.
Foreign Language 2 years of a single foreign language for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering. Foreign language courses are not required for admission to the Colleges of Agriculture, Business, Design, or Human Sciences. 2 years of a single foreign language are required for admission. For many degrees, the fourth year of proficiency is required for graduation. Nursing - 3 years in a single language or two years each in two different languages. Foreign language courses are not required for admission. However, two years of a foreign language in high school with a C- or above in the last term will meet the university graduation requirement.
Other Courses Specific elective courses are not required for admission to Iowa State University. Specific elective courses are not required for admission. Two years of additional courses from the required subject areas, foreign languages, or fine arts.