SMUHSD Graduation Requirements
All graduates must complete a minimum of 220 credits of coursework.
English: 40 credits
Social Science: 35 credits
Physical Education: 20 credits
Science: 20 credits (10 credits must meet the D or F required in the UC “a-g” list)
Mathematics: 30 credits (Including Algebra & Geometry)
World Language: 10 credits
Fine and Performing Arts: 10 credits
Health: 5 credits
CTE: 10 credits
Elective Credits: 40 credits
Students should expect to receive homework on a daily basis per academic subject. Expectations are greater in terms of quality and quantity for AS and IB courses. For absences of more than one day, please contact teachers to request missing assignments or the Attendance office at 558-2708. Please allow 24 hours for the assignments to be gathered.
The San Mateo Union High School District Board of Trustees has adopted policy BP 6154 regarding homework practices in support of equity and access, student health and wellness, school/life balance, and the quality of instruction. The full policy document can be accessed on our school website under “Academics.” Some of the policy requirements include:
- Homework-free breaks
- Homework comprising no more than 15% of a student’s grade
- Communication of the due date and the amount of time expected for homework completion
- Communication of students’ roles in project-based assignments.
The library will be open from 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. each school day. The ID card is used for checking out books,Chromebooks, and for permission to use computers. Students are encouraged to use the library in a quiet and studious manner. Most of the materials in the library circulate for a specific period of time, and students are informed of due dates at checkout time. Computers and Wi-Fi are available in the library for school work. No food or drinks are permitted in the library. The library can be reached at 558-2727. After school tutoring is available in the Library.
After-School Tutorial Center
Students are encouraged to come to our library to work with a peer tutor or staff to enhance their study, time management, and organization skills. Our trained peer tutors and staff also work with students either one-on-one or in small groups to deepen their understanding of a topic covered in class. This is a free service available to all students. Students can also work independently in the library after school hours. For more information and opening hours, please check our website: https://www.smuhsd.org/Page/10066
Teachers assign the grade, which the student earns according to the criteria established for that class. Typically, “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, and “F” are used to indicate student progress. Teachers will inform students at the beginning of each semester how grades will be computed. Progress Reports are mailed approximately one week after the grading period ends. Grades are also available online on Canvas (on Aeries for marking periods only).
Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) targets students in the academic middle who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. AVID at Capuchino has become a bridge to the IB program. At the 9th & 10th grade levels, we focus on the skills needed to succeed in high school (note-taking, time management, organization, etc.) & provide students an environment where they are comfortable & confident to enroll in IB classes for their junior & senior years.
At the 11th & 12th grade levels, the focus shifts to preparing students for college. Besides learning about what it takes to be accepted to a four-year university, the class emphasizes the skills necessary to actually graduate from college. The AVID curriculum was developed by high school teachers working together with college professors.
The class is an academic elective & students are recruited for the class based on family, teacher, & counselor recommendations. Please contact your counselor with any questions or if you would like to recommend your student for AVID.
Career Technical Education (CTE)
Capuchino High School offers a variety of vocational education courses. Throughout the four years of high school, a student may take such courses as Animation, Art of Video, Computer Science, Foods and Nutrition, and Green Construction.
College Entrance Requirements
It is Capuchino’s goal that every student is prepared to go to college upon graduation, and making plans as early as their freshman year is critical to be eligible for many colleges that are selective and competitive. The following guidelines pertain to students seeking college admission.
To meet minimum admission requirements, students must complete 15 yearlong approved high school courses with a letter grade of C or better. (Note: Credit/No Credit will be accepted for Spring 2020 courses). Refer to websites for updated information.
- Subject Area A: 2 years of history/social studies (1 year of world or European history, cultures and geography-may be a single yearlong course or 2 one-semester courses, AND 1 year of U.S. history or 1 semester of U.S. history and 1 semester of civics or American government)
- Subject Area B: 4 years of English (No more than one year of English Learner type courses can be used to meet this requirement)
- Subject Area C: 3 years of college preparatory mathematics, 4 years recommended (Algebra, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, or equivalent Integrated Math courses). UC requires a geometry course or an integrated math course with a sufficient amount of geometry content .
- Subject Area D: 2 years of science, 3 years recommended for UC (including integrated topics that provide fundamental knowledge in 2 of the 3 subjects: biology, chemistry, or physics). CSU requires 1 year of biological science and 1 year of physical science. 1 year of approved interdisciplinary or earth and space sciences coursework can meet 1 year of the requirement for UC. Computer science, engineering, applied science courses can be used in area D as additional science (i.e., 3rd year and beyond).
- Subject Area E: 2 years of language other than English, 3 years recommended for UC
- Subject Area F: 1 yearlong course of visual or performing arts chosen from the following disciplines: dance, drama/theater, music, interdisciplinary arts or visual art--or 2 one semester courses from the same discipline.
- Subject Area G: 1 year or 2 semesters of an elective (College elective course work chosen from any area on approved A-G course list)
Examination Requirements (Note: CSUs have suspended SAT/ACT requirements for Classes of 2022 and 2023; UCs are no longer considering ACT/SAT test scores for admissions.)
- California State University
- University of California – Writing for SAT or ACT; SAT Subject Tests are not required, but they may be recommended for certain selective majors.
Private Colleges or Universities (e.g., Stanford, USC, St. Mary’s College, Columbia)
These schools vary widely in their admission policies, with some being extremely competitive and others being less so. Students should go online, see their counselor or visit the Career Center for specific information. Many times the financial packages at private colleges or universities are more generous.
The Community College System (e.g., Skyline, College of San Mateo)
These colleges are a good choice if you wish to attend for one or two years to prepare for a vocation, if you are not sure of your academic field of study, if for financial reasons you want to stay near home, or if you wish to prepare for a 4-year college by transfer.
The requirements include:
- A high school diploma, a certificate of proficiency, or the age of 18.
- No admission tests are required
- Apply for financial aid beginning October 1 of 12th grade using FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application
- 12th Grade Families: Be sure to Opt in for Cal Grant consideration and apply no later than March 2 of 12th grade.
All students are assigned to a counselor by last name, except students in special programs. Students with IEPs should check with their case manager regarding their assigned counselor. For contact information, please see the Main Office Directory on page 7.
Counselors help students plan high school pathway, prepare college plans, and address social/emotional health. Students having difficulty with a subject or who are experiencing social/emotional or personal problems are encouraged to speak with a counselor in working out possible solutions. To make an appointment to see the counselor, email or call them directly.
Counselors meet one-on-one every spring semester to plan students’ courses for the following year. Families are encouraged to call counselors if they have any questions or concerns. Assistance with Spanish/English translation is readily available. The Counseling department also holds annual grade level parent nights, where students and families will have the opportunity to learn about college and career paths after high school.
Course Drop Policy
San Mateo Union Board Policy - AR 5121:
A student who drops a course during the first six weeks of the grading period may do so without any entry on his/her permanent record card. A student who drops a course after the first six weeks of the grading period shall receive an F grade on his/her permanent record, unless otherwise decided by the principal or designee because of extenuating circumstances.
- Student-Initiated Drops will be considered after the 2nd week of school and reviewed by Counseling Committee. Final decisions made by the start of the 3rd week of school.
- Teacher-initiated drops from a course can occur up to 6 weeks into the course. Conferencing will occur between teacher, counselor, parent and student before final decision is made.
- Mid-Semester changes and Semester schedule changes are discouraged. Exceptions will be provided for students in Support Classes or in need of Support Classes.
- Student initiated class changes will not be considered after the 2nd week of the 1st semester.
Dropping Classes for 2nd Semester will not be considered. (Level change requests by students or teachers should be discussed 1st semester for 2nd semester implementation, space permitting).
Note: These stated guidelines provide structure to class placement procedures, yet the administration reserves the right to consider unique and individual cases as needed.
Freshman and Sophomore Teams
The Freshman and Sophomore Team program at Capuchino High school is a small learning community designed to support the successful transition of 9th grade students from middle to high school and to then continue to support successful academic skills and habits for 10th grade students. Within the teams, academic and emotional supports are provided to help students build the essential educational skills needed to obtain an excellent college preparatory education. The teams focus on two essential areas: personalization and academics. Through such focus, the teams at Capuchino create a climate and structure for students and teachers where all participants know each other well enough to provide appropriate structural support for students’ academic success during their first two years at Capuchino.
The teams are interdisciplinary and include four courses at the 9th grade level - science, English, health and ethnic studies - and three courses at the 10th grade level - English, history & science. Every student within the team will share the same core teachers and team teachers have regular meeting time to collaborate both on student support and common academic practices. Through this structure, team students become part of a community and culture that provides the support each student needs to succeed academically.
- Assurance #1 (Canvas) - We believe in providing students with timely access to assignments for all FT courses on Canvas.
- Assurance #2 (Organizational System) - We believe in providing an organizational system where students are able to review and retain academic content needed to be successful on FT.
- Assurance #3 (Community) - We believe in building and maintaining a team community that cultivates a caring and respectful student where collaboration and cooperation reigns true.
- Assurance #1 - Canvas - We all believe that students are better equipped to succeed with access to class materials and homework; therefore, we will all post regularly on Canvas with accurate due dates with as many resources as possible.
- Assurance #2 - Late Work - We all believe students should have multiple opportunities to demonstrate learning while building time management skills; therefore, we all will accept late work. Time limits and grade impact will vary by teacher and assignment.
- Assurance #3 - Electronic Devices, Cell Phone - We believe that students learn best when focused in a distraction-free environment; therefore, we will provide structure to minimize the distractions created by electronic devices. Structures will vary.
International Baccalaureate Programme (IB)
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is a challenging two-year curriculum for Junior and Senior students. It leads to a qualification that is widely recognized by the world’s leading universities. Students learn more than a collection of facts. The Diploma Programme prepares students for university and encourages them to:
- Ask challenging questions
- Learn how to learn
- Develop a strong sense of their identity and culture
- Develop the ability to communicate with and understand people from other countries and cultures.
Students entering the 9th grade with an interest in the IB Program should speak with a Counselor and enroll in Pre-IB courses.
IB Program Coursework:
Juniors and Seniors take IB courses in following six subject areas:
- World Languages (French or Spanish offered)
- Individuals and Society (Social Studies sequence and Psychology)
- Experimental Sciences
- Electives and or Arts
*These course requirements can be fulfilled at the most rigorous level over two years called "Higher Level" or can be taken as a one-year course called "Standard Level." All IB courses are college-level work and upon an acceptable exam score can earn college credit.
- College-level work (noted as the best college-preparatory program anywhere) with the ability to earn "advanced standing" to the college of your choice.
- Students are working to international standards with their assessments being scored externally by the international office as well as by site teacher.
- The curriculum is interrelated and therefore, integrated as the IB team works for cross-purpose projects for students.
- Globalism and international understanding is the focus of all courses.
- Projecting well-rounded students and able learners who serve the community are physically active, and enjoy the arts (CAS requirement).
- The IB Philosophy is to "show what you know" and allows for individualization and choice for students vs. traditional testing methods.
The IB Diploma vs. the IB Certificate:
The IB Diploma Candidate satisfies the following requirements:
- Three Higher Level Courses (exams to be taken in the senior year)
- Three Standard Level Courses (two exams may be taken in the junior year) - The course work sequence is noted above and aligns with our district graduation as well as college entrance requirements.
- Exams in these six courses with a cumulative score of 24
- 150 hours of CAS (community, action, and service)
- 4000 word Extended Essay (a faculty advisor will be selected to assist)
- Theory of Knowledge Seminar Class (TOK: how we know what we know)
The IB Certificate Candidate can take any course singularly and the accompanying exam to earn college credit for that course alone. This allows students to choose to participate fully or modify their program as they enter their senior year.
For more information, contact the IB Coordinator Martee Lopez-Schmitt at 650-558-2721 or firstname.lastname@example.org or the IB Assistant (TBD) at 650-558-2746.
Please note that end-of-the-school-year testing fees are associated with IB and AP courses. One IB test fee for the 2018-2020 school year was approximately $120. One AP test fee for the 2018-19 school year was approximately $95.
Textbooks are signed out to students in each class and become the responsibility of the student. Some classes will hold a class set of books in the classroom so that students may leave their own book at home. Students are financially liable for any damage to books or materials. Any student not returning textbooks or other materials will be charged replacement costs. Final report cards, transcripts or diplomas will not be issued to any student with outstanding books or other debts. Fines and bills are paid to the Site Accounting Technician. For questions, please call 650-558-2720.