Course Catalog

The course catalog contains a description of each course offered at Sycamore High School. It is designed to assist students and parents in selecting courses of instruction that will best prepare the individual student to be college and career ready following high school graduation.


Registration for students will be held during spring semester of each year. The school counseling office will hold group meetings for all grade levels in January for the purpose of presenting curriculum offerings and to explain the registration procedure. Following the presentation,  students will have time to conference with parents, counselors, and teachers and complete their actual pre-registration.


The Sycamore Community School District 427 Board of Education establishes fees each year. These fees include textbook, Driver Education, and activity/athletic fees as well as specialized fees such as lab costs, projects, workbooks, KEC, and schedule changes.


Class of 2023 (Subject to change)

Total credits: 20
Eight semesters of high school work including the following:

  • 13 major academic credits including:
    • English – 4 credits .5 credit is met with required Public Speaking and Communication class)
    • Mathematics – 3 credits
    • Science – 2 credits
    • Social Studies – 2.5 credits (1 credit in World Cultures; 1 credit in Am History, .5 credit in Government)
    • Consumer Economics – .5 credit
    • World language, art, music or vocational – 1 credit
  • 4 credits in Physical Education including .5 credit in health and .25 credit in Driver Education
  • 3 credits in elective courses


English4 credits
Math3 credits (Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry)
Science3 credits
Social Studie3 credits
Fine Arts2 credits (including foreign language, art, and music)

Always check the college you are interested in for specific requirements.


(Core course requirements)

Divison I (16 Core – Course Rule)

English4 credits
Math3 credits (Algebra 1 or higher)
Science2 credits
Additional English, math, or science1 credits
Social Science2 credits
Additional coursework (from any area above or foreign language)4 credits

Division II (14 Core – Course Rule)

English3 credits
Math2 credits (Algebra 1 or higher)
Science2 credits
Additional English, math, or science3 credits
Social Science2 credits
Additional coursework (from any area above or foreign language)4 credits

Please check with the NCAA Clearinghouse ( for specific requirements related to each subject. Student athletes should apply to the NCAA Clearinghouse in their junior year.


  • Students are required to be enrolled in at least five classes per semester to be considered a full time student. Student must be passing 5 classes to be eligible for sports, activities, or clubs.
  • Students are expected to complete a course once they have registered for it because they have made a commitment to themselves and to the school. See withdraw and drop policies if you need to withdraw or drop a course.
  • Extra-curricular activities (athletics, clubs, etc.) and the possibility of employment should be seriously considered when planning the course load.
  • Junior and Senior students who elect to start late or end early will not be allowed to remain on campus during ‘flex’ time.


Student programs will be changed after the final registration is completed only if extreme emergency circumstances exist. If such circumstances should arise, changes will be made only if they meet the following criteria. Some will require written parental approval.

  • Errors such as enrolling in a course previously taken or resulting from data processing.
  • Failure or near failure in a pre-requisite course and/or in a semester or year course.
  • Successful completion of summer school courses.
  • Scheduling conflicts.
  • Teacher/counselor/administrator initiated.


“Dropping” is a student’s withdrawal from a course at Sycamore High School. If a class is dropped within the first ten days of school, the course will not appear on the student’s transcript. If a student drops a course after ten days of school but before the fifth Friday of the school year, they will receive a “W” (withdrawal) for that course on their final transcript. If a course is dropped after the fifth Friday of the semester, the student will receive an “F” as a semester grade in that course and the grade will be recorded on the student’s permanent record.

In order to drop a class, students should meet with their counselor and complete the drop/add form with the signature of the teacher and a parent. These forms are available in the School Counseling Office. There is a $20 fee to change a student’s schedule. The last day for a student to drop a course and be added into a new class (besides study hall) is ten days into the semester.

Schedules may be changed upon availability during the first full week of each semester. A schedule change request form and $20.00 should be submitted to the Counseling Office on the first day of school. Second semester course changes are encouraged to be made prior to winter break.


In order that students with special needs might benefit from developmental programs and in order to provide for individual differences, the school provides advanced and regular sections in some subject matter areas. Several criteria, including test scores, past performance in the subject field and teacher recommendations are used to guide students in placement.

We are aware that misplacements can occur. The student can review his/her placement with the teacher and the counselor during the year and make changes in their course level based on the recommendation of the teacher. If a parent/student disagrees with a teacher’s final recommendation, they must fill out a teacher recommendation form in the Counseling Office in order to sign up for a different class.


Students’ class standings are classified as follows:

FreshmenCompleted 8th grade
Sophomore5 credits and completion of at least one year of high school
Junior10 credits and completion of at least two years of high school
Senior15 credits and completion of at least three years of high school


LetterPercentagePoint Value
FBelow 600.00


Unweighted Grade Point Average

Sycamore High School uses a 4.0 grade point system. This means that grades in classes are given “grade points” as follows: A = 4.0; B = 3.0; C = 2.0; D = 1.0; F = 0.

Weighted Grade Point Average

Sycamore High School also utilizes a “weighted grade point average” for the purpose of recognizing student effort in particularly challenging classes.

0.5 Weighted Classes

Students will receive an additional 0.5 weighting per year for each grade in these courses as follows: A = 4.5; B = 3.5; C = 2.5; D = 1.5; F = 0.0. Weighted classes are as follows:

  • English: Pre-Advanced Placement (AP) English (9), Pre-Advanced Placement (AP) English (10), Junior Composition, Junior Literature, Senior Composition, Senior Literature
  • Mathematics: Geometry, Algebra II, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus
  • Science: Chemistry, Physics, Advanced Chemistry
  • Social Studies: Current American Problems, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, World History
  • World Language: French 2,3,4; Spanish 2,3,4
  • Art: Pre-Ap 2-D Studio, Advanced 2-D Studio, Advanced 3-D Studio, Advanced Digital Art Studio
  • Any Dual Credit course taken at a college or university that is categorized as a “100 level” course.
  • Any Dual Credit course taken at a college or university that is categorized as a “200 level” course or above.
  • If a Dual Credit course is not taught on sight or by our staff, a “Dual Credit Form” must be signed and kept on file. A dual credit agreement cannot be changed once it is signed, unless the course is dropped by the student for issues out of his/her control (ex: medical issue).

1.0 Weighted Courses

  • Students who meet the criteria to qualify for Sycamore High School’s Mathematically Talented Program (Geometry G, Algebra 2G, Pre-Calculas G, and AP Calculas G), EMSA taught at Kishwaukee College, AP Statistics, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP U.S. History, AP Physics I, AP Biology, AP Studio Art,  will receive an additional 1.0 per year weight each (regardless of it was a classroom or online course). Grade points in these classes will be awarded as follows: A = 5.0; B = 4.0; C = 3.0; D = 2.0; F = 0.0

Valedictorian and salutatorian will be determined using the weighted GPA and will be computed at the conclusion of all eight semesters of high school. Also, initial eligibility for National Honor Society will utilize the students’ weighted grade point average.

Auditing a Course

A student may audit a course with administrative approval under the following circumstance:

  • The student did not receive the required grade for continual enrollment in a curriculum during the second semester of a year-long course and needs the first-semester curriculum in preparation for the second semester of the course.

Other situations may arise that would warrant a student auditing a course. These situations require administrative and parental approval.

Senior Lounge

Senior Students may have two Senior Lounges under the following circumstances:

    • The student is on track to graduate by taking only five classes that semester.
    • The student does not have excessive tardies or absences.
  • Parental approval is required.

Senior Lounge is a privilege not a right. A student may be removed from Senior Lounge for disciplinary purposes.

Flex Schedule

Juniors and Seniors may apply for a “Flex Schedule” during the registration process. Every effort to accommodate the student’s request will be attempted. Because of the complex nature of scheduling, it may not be possible to honor all requests. A student may apply for a Flex Schedule under the following circumstances:

  • They are on track to graduate.
  • They have not had excessive tardies or discipline issues.
  • They must take 6 consecutive classes in a row with no study hall.
  • Parental approval is required.

The flex times are as follows:

  • Second hour through Tenth hour
  • First hour through Ninth hour
  • Zero hour through 8th hour

Flex schedule is a privilege, not a right, and may be revoked for disciplinary reasons.