High School Academics and Curriculum
Grand Rapids Christian High School provides strong preparation for college and career. Our rigorous curriculum includes math, science, English, social science, foreign language, religion, art, music, computer training, physical education, business education, applied technology, and family and consumer sciences - all taught from a reformed Christian perspective.
Grand Rapids Christian High School is committed to an academic program that integrates the nurturing of faith and a Christian worldview throughout the curriculum. Accredited since 1926, the school offers a robust, liberal arts-based curriculum that has expanded recently to include the common core state standards.
We believe that the high school curriculum ought to be one of exploration as well as focus on mastery. The curriculum of Grand Rapids Christian High School provides a broad selection of elective classes as well as core subjects. Requiring a full four years of high school will help assure both breadth and depth in the student’s high school experience.
Teachers at Grand Rapids Christian High School are highly qualified for their positions. Many teachers hold a master’s degree in their discipline, and they:
- Hold current State of Michigan teacher certification
- Hold credentials as being highly qualified in their teaching assignments
- Fulfill their continuing professional development expectations for the State of Michigan and Grand Rapids Christian Schools
- Develop annual professional goals and professional learning plans
Grand Rapids Christian High teachers are committed to providing every student with an intentionally Christian, academically excellent education. Most of our faculty members have at least a master's degree, and the rest are working towards one. Our teachers continue their education through graduate course work, in-service training, conventions, conferences, and mini-grants.
We expect our students to demonstrate knowledge of our Christian perspective and use this understanding as they are challenged to make decisions, raise questions, and examine real-life problems through the curriculum. We also expect students to be active participants in their learning, giving their best efforts toward developing a strong academic background for using their God-given potential to transform God’s world.
- HIGH SCHOOL PROFILE
- DIPLOMA REQUIREMENTS
- COURSE SELECTION PROCESS
- COURSELOAD REQUIREMENTS
- GRADING AND EXAMS
- ADDITIONAL CURRICULAR INFORMATION & POLICIES
- DUAL ENROLLMENT & INDEPENDENT STUDIES
- GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA)
- NCAA ELIGIBILITY CENTER REQUIREMENTS
- ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP)
REQUIREMENTS FOR A GRAND RAPIDS CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
Students must complete four full years of high school studies. Ordinarily, the senior year must be completed at Grand Rapids Christian High School. Early completion of high school is not an option, regardless of credits earned in excess of the minimum requirements. A minimum of one full year at Grand Rapids Christian High School is required for a Grand Rapids Christian High School diploma.
GRCHS students must earn .50 Winterim credits per year as a graduation requirement. These Winterim courses will not count toward fulfilling non-Winterim graduation requirements.
Beginning with the class of 2021, students who pass 7th and 8th grade Spanish at Grand Rapids Christian Middle will receive high school credit for Spanish I.
All students must complete the following designated curricular requirements in order to earn a Grand Rapids Christian High School diploma. Students must take 24 credits and 2 Winterim credits (Please see department descriptions for specific required courses)
- BIBLE AND THEOLOGY – 4 semesters
- ENGLISH – 8 semesters
- ELECTIVES – 8 semesters
- MATHEMATICS – 8 semesters
- PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND HEALTH – 2 semesters
- SCIENCE – 6 semesters
- SOCIAL STUDIES – 6 semesters
- VISUAL, PERFORMING AND APPLIED ARTS – 2 semesters
- WORLD LANGUAGE – 4 semesters
REQUIREMENTS FOR A GRAND RAPIDS CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL BASIC DIPLOMA
The requirements for this diploma are the same as for a Grand Rapids Christian High School diploma with these exceptions:
- There is not a limit to the number of credits earned in modified courses.
- With prior approval, courses may be omitted from the normal subject distribution requirement based on individual student programming.
- Counselors will meet with students to select courses in the winter/spring of each school year.
- Course requests will be honored to the extent possible. Students will be asked to choose alternate courses in the event of a conflict, or the class is not offered due to low enrollment numbers.
- Students will have a drop/add process at the beginning of each semester, but choices may be limited due to class size restriction. A form must be completed stating the course request change and the reason for making the request.
- Please know that our master schedule is based solely on the original course choices of our students. Course changes after our master schedule is made cannot be guaranteed.
In grades 9 through 12, all students must take a minimum of 3 hours of credit per semester. Parents of seniors may request a parent-excused hour for 1st or 8th period for their student.
Kent Career Technical Center, Kent Transition Center or Early College students must take a minimum of 2.0 hours of credit at Grand Rapids Christian High concurrent with the off-campus classes.
Participation in the Graduation Ceremony:
Senior students who meet GRCHS diploma requirements are invited to participate in the annual graduation ceremony. If a student was in attendance throughout the senior year, but fails to satisfy the credit unit requirements by one credit unit or less, that student may participate in the graduation ceremony. In order for a senior to be considered as a speaker at the ceremony, that senior must have consistently followed the expectations described in “The Eagle Way”.
Insufficient Credit for Graduation:
Students who leave GRCHS prior to graduating, who have earned nineteen or more credits, at least 75% of which were earned at GRCHS, may earn a GRCHS diploma. Arrangements for completing the requirements for the diploma can be made with a school counselor or an administrator.
Honors Designations for Graduation:
- Students must have earned the majority of credits through seven semesters at Grand Rapids Christian High School
- Students must be full-time students each semester of high school.
- Beginning with the class of 2018, the honors designations were changed from Valedictorian/Salutatorian to Honors: 3.70 - 3.849 GPA; High Honors: 3.85 - 3.949 GPA; Highest Honors: 3.95 and above GPA. Cumulative Weighted grade point averages, following the 1st semester grading period of the senior year, will be used for this designation. Grade point averages will not be rounded. That will allow the school to honor the diligent academic efforts of more of the graduating class.
- Highest Honors: Weighted GPA of 3.95 and higher
- High Honors: Weighted GPA of 3.85 – 3.94
- Honors: Weighted GPA of 3.70 – 3.84
Please note: Cumulative weighted grade point average, following the 1st semester grading period of the senior year, will also be used if and when the school publicizes information on top seniors in the graduating class.
Three grades will be reported on the report card for each course: 18-week, exam, and final semester grades. The final semester grade will be recorded on the school’s permanent record.
Averaging semester grades will be done as follows, unless special permission is given by the school administration to follow a different pattern in a particular class or for a particular student: The 18-week grade=80% and the exam grade=20% of the final grade.
If a student passes the final exam, s/he will pass the semester with a minimum grade of D-.
Second Semester Exam Exemptions for Seniors
Seniors who meet or exceed their cumulative GPAs in second semester courses are exempt from taking the exams in those courses.
A senior who has a 4.0 or greater GPA, but earns an A- for the 18 week grade in a course may still be exempt from the exam in that course. Seniors who are exempt from exams may, however, choose to take the exam to improve their final grade in a class.
Multiple Summative Assessments
A student may request postponement of a summative assessment if the student has been assigned more than two summatives on a given day. The student should discuss the problem with the last assigning teacher prior to the day of the summative to request other arrangements. If the student cannot get resolution, the student may ask for administrative intervention.
Students may not add or switch courses after the first three days of instruction. Courses may be dropped without academic penalty until the fourth week of the semester.
A student who is deficient in credits may take courses from another approved school.
In order to receive replacement credit, the course must be retaken within one year. Replacement courses may only be taken if the original grade was C+ or lower, and with permission by an administrator.
After a replacement course has been completed an R (meaning replacement) will appear on the transcript in place of the previous grade (the C+ or lower). If the class was taken at Grand Rapids Christian High School, the new grade will appear on the transcript. If the class was taken elsewhere, the replacement grade will not appear on the transcript. A copy of the transcript from the school where the course was completed will be included with the transcript from GRCHS.
Kent Career Technical Center and Kent Transition Center
Students who desire to participate in Technical Center or Transition Center programs must work out their schedules and programs with their counselor. These programs are considered to be auxiliary programs available to all area high schools. Since neither Kent Career Technical Center, nor Kent Transition Center are a credit-granting institution, all participants must be enrolled in and attend classes at GRCHS.
Transfer Students/Outside Credits
Transfer students’ academic status will be determined upon enrollment at Grand Rapids Christian High School. Academic records from previous schools will be used for placement and graduation requirement decisions.
However, courses, credits, and grades from other schools will not appear on a GRCHS transcript. In addition, grades from outside schools will not be used to calculate the student’s final GPA. The student’s GRCHS transcript will consist of coursework, credits, and grades completed at GRCHS.
Parents of seniors may request a parent-excused hour for 1st or 8th period for their student.
Seniors whose parents have permitted a parent-excused hour at the end of the school day are expected to leave campus. Seniors who do not leave campus during that time should plan on treating that as a Responsibility Period with those constraints.
High school credit is given for dual enrollment courses, however they will not be recorded on the GRCHS transcript. A student may only take a dual enrollment course if an equivalent course is not offered at GRCHS.
Students must submit a written request signed by their parent/guardian that includes both the reason for the request and a brief description of the course(s) to be taken. Final approval must be obtained from their counselor and/or principal.
To qualify for State reimbursement, a student is required to be enrolled full time at GRCHS.
See the Counseling Department website at counselors.grcs.org for complete details.
- When a student is enrolled on a regular basis at Grand Rapids Christian High School:
- Independent studies are offered on an exception basis only. Ordinarily, the only reason for an independent study is a scheduling conflict.
- No credit for independent study will be granted without prior approval from the high school counselor.
- Usually a maximum of one course (0.5 credit) per semester is allowed as an independent study for a student.
- An independent study must be a GRCHS course and be supervised by a GRCHS teacher.
- When a student is unable to take courses on Grand Rapids Christian High School's campus:
- Arrangements can be made to take core coursework only. These arrangements must be made in advance through the high school counselor.
- Credit will be granted only if the study is conducted under the jurisdiction of a recognized online high school program or by a Grand Rapids Christian High School teacher.
- Credit for an independent study will be awarded on a pass/fail basis. No letter grade will be awarded for use in the student’s cumulative GPA.
- A flat fee of $350.00 will be assessed for each semester course (.5 credit).
Grade Point Average (GPA) values are based on the semester grade given for all completed courses. Advanced Placement Courses will have a weighted GPA formula. Credits from other schools will not be calculated into the student’s final GPA or appear on the final transcript from GRCHS.
|LETTER GRADE||UNWEIGHTED GPA||WEIGHTED GPA||NUMERIC GRADE|
Full-time students who earn a weighted grade point average of 3.7 or above at the conclusion of each semester will be recognized for their achievement.
College-bound student-athletes must meet a core-course progression requirement to be eligible to compete in the initial year of full-time enrollment at an NCAA Division I and Division II school.
Please see your counselor for information on course requirements, Core GPA and Test Scores.
Additional eligibility information is available at www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future/eligibility-center.
*Please see curriculum guide for all NCAA approved courses.