Pupil Personnel Services

Academic Planning Guide


  • In November/December counselors present a 4-year plan and basic course selection information in advisories.

  • In mid-December teachers in core academic classes make recommendations in Skyward for next year’s course placements.n

  • In January counselors present the course selection process in large group presentations.

  • Towards the end of January students meet one-on-one with their school counselor to confirm and make final course selections for the next school year.

  • Students have until the last Friday in April to change course selections.

  • Student schedules will be available to view in Skyward the week before school begins.



22 Credits to Graduate
4 Credits of English  
3 credits of Science
3 Credits of Mathematics
1 Credit of Reading/Freshman Seminar
1 Credit of World History
1 Credit of History of the United States
½ Credit of Economics or Personal Finance
½ Credit of Civics & Constitution Tests
4 Credits of PE (or AFJROTC)/Health/Driver Education
1 Credit of Fine Art, Career and Technical Education, or World Languages

Remaining credits in Elective Areas

25 hours community service (Class of 2021 and beyond) 

*Exemption Criteria:

Class of 2025/2026 – Students may qualify for a Reading exemption based on the PSAT 8/9 Reading Score: 30 OR qualify for, enroll in, and pass both English Honors AND World History & Geography Honors courses. 

Students transferring to Lincoln-Way after the beginning of sophomore year will be exempt from the reading requirement.

Community Service
All students in the Class of 2021 and beyond are required to complete 25 hours of community service to graduate. Community service must be completed between the summer prior to Freshman year and May 1st of Senior year. Students can print a blank community service form and return the form to the designated office at each high school. Once the hours are entered, parents and students will see the hours documented on online. Students may not use court-mandated hours to fulfill the graduation requirement; however, hours that are done for the graduation requirement can be used for other organizations such as National Honor Society.

Community Service Form

Driver Education Requirement
The driver education requirement may be satisfied by completing Driver Education at Lincoln-Way, by submitting a Certificate of Successful Completion from a commercial school or submitting a copy of the student’s Illinois driver's license if issued prior to age 18. Students must earn eight credits in their previous two semesters to be eligible for Driver Education.
Constitution Test Requirement
Students must pass the Illinois and United States Constitution exams which are part of the required Government course.

FASFA Completion Requirement
To ensure that families receive information regarding the FAFSA and resources to assist in completing this application, the Illinois General Assembly passed Public Act 101-0180 during the summer of 2020. This legislation amended the Illinois graduation requirements for any public high school student to include one of the following steps which must be completed to earn a high school diploma:

1. File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The FAFSA is used to apply for financial aid options available through the federal government as well as some state aid options such as the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant. Click to learn more regarding eligibility requirements to complete the FAFSA.

2. File an Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid. The alternative application allows qualifying undocumented and/or transgender students who are not otherwise eligible for federal financial aid to apply for aid through the state or specific college, university, or trade school. The alternative application should only be completed by students not eligible to submit the FAFSA. 

3. Parents/guardians who wish to opt their child out of this graduation requirement (or whose child does not meet the eligibility criteria to file the FAFSA or alternative application) must complete the FAFSA Non-participation FormPDF download.

Requirement Electives
At least one elective credit must come from any of the following divisions: Career and Tech, Fine Arts and/or World Languages.


The following procedures pertain to student course selection:

Course Load: All students must maintain the required minimum of five subjects and physical education unless special permission has been granted for a lighter load by an administrator. Students may register for zero hour to add an additional class; however, enrollment is based on space availability and classes cannot be guaranteed. Students register for courses in January for the following school year.

Course Requests: Students will review core course level placements and select electives in January. Any changes to course requests must be made prior to the last Friday in April and are based on space availability. Changes to meet graduation requirements and address failures and conflicts will be made prior to the beginning of the school year. The counselors are not available during the summer.

Schedule Changes: Once school begins, schedule changes are limited to extenuating circumstances. Freshman students will have two days at the start of the school year to make course changes. Sophomore through senior student- and/or parent-initiated changes will not be allowed unless:

  1. The student or parent discovers either a mistake or error on the student’s schedule.

  2. The student is an upperclassman who needs a course change to add a course to meet graduation requirements.

Staff initiated schedule changes will be considered if it becomes apparent that misplacement has occurred. Staff initiated changes may be made if an agreement is reached between student, parent, teacher, and department chair.

Course Withdrawal/Drop: Students dropping a single class will be graded by the following conditions: WP – Withdrawn Without Penalty and WF – Withdrawn Failing.

If a student initiates a class withdrawal during the first nine weeks of a class, the student will receive a WP grade regardless of his/her grade. After the first nine weeks, only staff-initiated withdrawals will be allowed. In these situations, the student will receive either a WF or WP (whichever is earned). All student and parent initiated second semester class additions must be completed prior to the start of the second semester. Students may not withdraw from a class required for graduation. No class drops after December 1 and May 1.

Level Changes: Students are placed in course levels based on teacher recommendations, grades and test scores. Students/parents are allowed to waive the student into a higher level. If the student and parents override the teacher/department recommendation, that student will not be allowed to return to a lower level class during the school year. Additionally, enrollment in courses by waiver is subject to space availability. Once the school year begins, level changes are not permitted except under extenuating circumstances and with administrative approval.

Auditing: Any student who wants to audit a class must contact the counselor the first day of school to obtain an audit contract. Students may audit if space is available in the class and if the teacher, student and parent agree to all the terms of the audit contract. When a student audits a class, the student receives no credit but the audit grade is listed on the transcript.

Early Release – Seniors have the opportunity to leave school early (6th and/or 7th period) for employment opportunities provided they meet all terms of the early release application. Seniors must have a minimum of eighteen (18) credits in the fall semester of senior year, hold a job that could provide early work hours, a transcript evaluation and parent permission. All students must maintain a minimum of four academic classes plus P.E. Applications must be signed by an administrator at the start of the semester by the end of the first week of each semester.


Lincoln-Way has established a system for weighted grades that affects the Grade Point Average (GPA) of students taking weighted courses. Generally, weighted courses are Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), or capstone courses. Incoming students who do not qualify for a course may initially enter with a parent/student waiver. An invitation to enroll in a weighted course may include qualifying requirements such as a written essay, portfolio, prognosis tests, and evidence of a high degree of self-motivation.

To benefit from the weighted grades, a student must earn a grade of C- or higher in a designated course.

Weighted Courses by Department


AFJROTC 4 Honors


Welding 3 Honors


AP Studio and Design, AP Art History


Honors Accounting, AP Computer Science Principles


English I Honors, English II Honors, AP English Language, AP English Literature


Algebra 1 Honors, Geometry Honors, Algebra 2 & Pre-Calculus Honors, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Computer Science, Calculus 3


AP Music Theory, Orchestra Honors, Wind Ensemble, Chorale, AP Guitar Studio Honors


Biology Honors, Chemistry Honors, Physics Honors, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics 1 & 2, AP Physics C, Environmental Science, Human Anatomy & Physiology Honors, Human Anatomy & Physiology Medical - Honors


World History and Geography Honors, AP U.S. History, AP Psychology, AP Government/Politics, AP Macroeconomics, AP European History, AP Comparative Government & Politics, and AP Human Geography


French 3 Honors, French 4 AP, German 3 Honors, German 4 AP, Spanish 3    Honors, Spanish 4 AP, Spanish 5 AP, Mandarin Chinese 3 Honors, AP Chinese Language & Culture


Beginning with the Class of 2021, at the end of each semester, a student’s GPA will be determined by a weighted system of one additional point for each weighted class.

Letter Grade       Regular Classes         Honors/AP Classes

       A+                         4.333                         5.333

       A                            4.000                         5.000

       A-                          3.667                         4.667

       B+                          3.333                         4.333

       B                            3.000                         4.000

       B-                          2.667                         3.667

       C+                          2.333                         3.333

       C                            2.000                         3.000

       C-                          1.667                         2.667

       D+                         1.333                         1.333

       D                            1.000                         1.000

       D-                           0.667                        0.667

       F                            0.000                        0.000


Report cards will be processed electronically. Along with this service will be the computing of academic honor roll. Parents can view grades online. There will be two reporting periods: End of First Semester and End of Second Semester. All grade reports will contain the total number of days absent.

The following is the Key to Grading as a percentage grade:

A+                                                                   (100-98)
A                                                                      (97-93)
A-                                                                    (92-90)
B+                                                                   (89-87)
B                                                                      (86-83)
B-                                                                    (82-80)
C+                                                                   (79-77)
C                                                                      (76-73)
C-                                                                    (72-70)
D+                                                                   (69-67)
D                                                                      (66-63)
D-                                                                    (62-60)
F                                                                       (0-59)

WP                          Withdrawn-Without Penalty

WF                          Withdrawn-Failing 

“WP” grades are not figured in computing grade point averages.
“WF” grades are figured the same as an “F” grade when computing grade point averages.

Final grades are determined by one semester grading period, and the final exam grade. The percentages for each component of the final grade are: Semester = 80%, Final exam grade = 20%


Students who take the College Board’s AP exam in the corresponding course in which they are enrolled will be exempt from a second semester final exam in that course. Students will not be exempt from any first semester AP course exams. Students may choose to take the final exam.


Unit of Credit: Lincoln--Way High School awards credit on the basis of the “Carnegie Unit.” The Carnegie Unit is the amount of credit given for the successful completion of a course which meets for a minimum of 40 minutes daily, 5 days per week, for a least 36 weeks or the equivalent amount (120 clock hours) of time within the school year. All regularly scheduled courses at Lincoln-Way meet for a minimum of 50 minutes per day, 5 days a week for at least 36 weeks. Academic courses offered in summer school fulfill the 120 clock hour requirement. Successful completion performance criteria, student achievement, and student attendance is defined by the instructional staff of the respective disciplines.

Transfers: Students transferring into Lincoln-Way will have their transcripts evaluated by the school’s counselor/registrar and credits will be converted to our system. Transfer students must meet all graduation requirements (at least seven semesters of high school attendance, 22 credits and all required courses) before these students are eligible for a Lincoln-Way diploma. Also, all transfer students must be in attendance at Lincoln-Way High School during the regular school year for at least one full semester of their senior year to receive a diploma from Lincoln-Way High School.

Homeschooled Students: Homeschooled students seeking Lincoln-Way credit must submit information about the organization providing work, including a detailed syllabus of course work and samples of student’s completed work. The Director of Curriculum and Instruction will evaluate all submitted documents for approval.

Correspondence Courses: In order for District 210 to consider accepting credit from online classes, the credit must come from an accredited company certified by the Illinois State Board of Education. Courses must meet Lincoln-Way’s Carnegie unit requirements, to fulfil one of the 22 required graduation credits. Correspondence courses may be taken in a student’s senior year when it has been determined that the student needs the correspondence credit to meet the graduation requirements. Correspondence classes taken prior to the senior year must be approved by a building administrator. All courses taken outside of Lincoln-Way High School must be approved by a Lincoln-Way counselor/PPS Director prior to registration for the course if the student wishes to use the credit from this course toward meeting graduation requirements. Correspondence courses may not be used toward early graduation, unless approved by the building principal.

Proficiency Exams: District 210 will not award credit solely on the basis of a proficiency exam. District 210 will participate in any proficiency exam authorized by the Illinois State Board of Education which allows students to proficiency out of a mandated course. The student passing the proficiency exam will not receive credit toward meeting the graduation requirements but will receive a waiver for the specific course for which he/she demonstrated proficiency.

Correctional Institution Education Programs: District 210 will evaluate credit earned through correctional institution programs on the basis of the Illinois State Board of Education’s regulations and recommendations.

Grade School Courses: District 210 will not grant high school credit for courses taken prior to high school enrollment. Certain high school level classes taken in grade school will appear on the high school transcript for no credit. Certain advanced high school classes, taken by grade school students on site at District 210 schools or another accredited high school, may receive credit if documented on a high school transcript.

Life and/or Non-Formal Experiences: District 210 will not grant credit on the basis of life and/or other non-formal experiences.


Summer school offerings are at the discretion of District 210. Summer school is not tax supported and a tuition fee is assessed for students who attend summer school to cover the cost of the teacher’s salary and materials. Information regarding summer school courses is available in the spring through the PPS Office.

A . Junior/Senior students may request a petition for exemption from physical education for the following reasons:

1.       A student is determined to be participating in an interscholastic sport or Marching Band. Participation must be verified by the athletic director or the music department chairperson, according to the area of requested exemption. If eligible to be exempted from physical education, a student will be placed in a study hall. If a student is placed in study hall, the student must return to physical education at the completion of the sport/activity season, or when the student quits or is removed from a sport/activity. A student may remain in study hall if the athlete immediately participates in a sport during the following sports season. As an alternative to study hall, a student may request to be placed in an academic class. To exercise this option, a student must be a participant in an interscholastic sport or Marching Band at the beginning of a semester. Once enrolled, a student may remain in the course for one semester regardless of the length of the sport/activity season.

2.       A senior student can verify through written evidence from an institution of higher education that a specific course not required for graduation from high school is required for admission to the college or university. Even if verified, a student must first drop all courses which are not needed to meet college entrance requirements before a petition for exemption from physical education will be considered.

3.       A student who has previously failed or not completed one or more courses required for graduation, or a student who has transferred into the district with deficient credits required for graduation. Before an exemption will be granted, the student must drop all elective courses not required for graduation.

Petitions for exemption must be made through the student’s Coach or Band Director. Petitions will be verified and determined on an individual basis. Approvals will be for one semester only but may be renewed for additional semesters if circumstances warrant. Final decisions regarding these guidelines will be made by the building principal.

B. PE Waiver/Credit:

STUDENTS WHO STAY IN PE: Students who choose to stay in Physical Education and receive a passing grade for the semester will receive their normal ½ credit and the grade will be computed into the students’ Grade Point Average.

STUDENTS WHO WAIVE OUT OF PE AND TAKE ANOTHER COURSE: Students who waive out of Physical Education and take another semester course, and successfully pass the replacement course, will receive ½ credit for the replacement course and the semester grade will be computed into the Grade Point Average. The Physical Education credit for the semester will be waived. However, if a student takes another course in place of Physical Education to meet a graduation requirement or for college admission and drops the replacement course prior to the end of the semester, the Physical Education waiver will be removed. The student will have to make up the semester credit in Physical Education. Additionally, if a student waives out of Physical Education due to participation in an eligible extra-curricular activity, takes a substitute course, and subsequently drops out of the sport/activity, the Physical Education waiver will be removed. The student will have to make up the semester credit in Physical Education.


STUDENTS WHO WAIVE OUT OF PE AND GO INTO A STUDY HALL: Students who are eligible to waive out of Physical Education must do so during the first week of the activity that allows for the Physical Education waiver. If eligible students stay in Physical Education beyond the first week of the sport/activity, the students must stay in Physical Education until the start of the next sport/activity eligible for a waiver. Students who participate in an eligible sport/activity that starts before the beginning of the school year must exercise their waiver option during the first full week of school.

1.      Students who waive out of Physical Education for an entire semester will receive a “Ex” for the semester. The “Ex” will award ½ credit in Physical Education but will not be computed into the student’s Grade Point Average.

2.      Students who waive out of Physical Education for more than half of a semester will receive a “Ex” for the semester. The “Ex” will award ½ credit in Physical Education but will not be computed into the student’s Grade Point Average. However, to receive a “Ex” for the semester, the students must receive a passing grade in Physical Education during the time they are in Physical Education class.

3.      Students who waive out of Physical Education for half of a semester or less (one quarter or less) will receive a regular letter grade for the semester. The grade will be computed into the students’ Grade Point Average, and if a passing grade is awarded, the students will receive ½ credit in Physical Education.


To earn a Lincoln-Way diploma, the student must attend Lincoln-Way during their last semester. Students who have fulfilled all graduation requirements are eligible to receive a diploma. Students wishing to participate in the commencement ceremony will receive their diploma following the commencement exercise. Students who have completed all requirements are eligible to participate in the commencement ceremonies held at the conclusion of the year in which the requirements were completed. Participation in commencement exercises is not required to receive a diploma. If a student chooses to accept the diploma before the ceremony, they will not be eligible to walk in the ceremony.

All students who choose to participate in spring commencement ceremonies must abide by the following stipulations:

  1.  All graduation requirements must be completed before the last day of senior attendance.

  2. All school fees must be paid in full.

  3. Attend a mandatory graduation practice as announced by the school officials.

  4. For students intending to graduate early, they must first submit an early graduation application by the deadline, complete all required course work, order a cap & gown, and provide proof that all school fees have been paid in full. Students should meet with their counselors to plan for early graduation and discuss application deadlines and early graduation conditions.

Students graduating at the end of the seventh or eighth semester, who do not wish to participate in the spring ceremonies, must present a statement signed by the parent, stating this desire.

Students who have earned 22 credits prior to their eighth semester and elect to start their eighth semester and then withdraw before the conclusion of the semester will not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony. Also, the current course grades received at the time of withdrawal will be reflected as a dropping status of WP or WF on the student’s transcript. Documented emergency situations will be reviewed by the principal for consideration to attend the graduation ceremony.


A student usually needs eight semesters of attendance to earn the required credits for graduation. A student who has met all the graduation requirements, both total number of credits and required courses, fulfilled community service and state testing requirements, and completed FASFA filing is eligible to receive a diploma. For students electing to graduate early, the physical education requirement will be waived for that semester he/she is not in attendance.

Transfer students must meet all graduation requirements (at least seven semesters of high school attendance, 22 credits, and all required courses) before these students are eligible for a Lincoln-Way diploma. Also, all transfer students must be in attendance at Lincoln-Way High School during the regular school year for at least one full semester of their senior year and complete all graduation requirements to receive a diploma from Lincoln-Way High School.


Honor Roll: Academic Honor Roll is achieved by full time students based on unweighted semester GPA. All students who earn 3.5 or above are granted high honors. Students who earn a grade point average of 3.0 or above and below 3.5 are granted honors. Weighting does not affect semester GPA. The weight is applied to cumulative GPA. The weight does not affect work from one specific grade period, but of all cumulative grade periods. All grades will be evaluated in proportion to the amount of credit given for the course.

Graduation Honors: For the Class of 2022, at the conclusion of a student’s 7th semester, the transcript will be evaluated for academic honor consideration based upon the following criteria:

·         Summa Cum Laude:  Weighted GPA of 4.5 and above

·         Magna Cum Laude: Weighted GPA of 4.2-4.499

·         Cum Laude: Weighted GPA of 4.0 – 4.199

Transcripts will not be re-evaluated after the 8th semester. Honors designation will be printed on student transcripts after the 7th semester if they meet the criteria. Final transcripts will also recognize these academic honors.