Academic Planning


Continuing SME Students

Please consult information on our Enrollment Resources page.

Students New-to-East

See the district's Enrollment site for general information and residency requirements for enrolling in the Shawnee Mission School District, 

Information about in-district transfers can be found in the SMSD Student Transfer Procedures handbook.

Enrollment packets may be picked up from the SME Student Services office between 7:00 a.m.- 3:20 p.m., Monday - Friday.

Counseling Secretary Carolyn Cahill will schedule an enrollment appointment with the student's counselor upon receipt of completed enrollment forms and required documentation.

Required Documentation for Enrollment includes the following:

Graduation Requirements

Listed below are the minimum credit requirements to earn a diploma from the Shawnee Mission School District. 

The Shawnee Mission School District as well as the Kansas Board of Regents strongly recommend that to be well-prepared for the academic rigors of post-secondary education students should take additional classes beyond the minimum requirements, particularly in the areas of math and science. 

English  (4 units)

Social Studies (3 units)

  • World Regional Studies (9th grade)
  • Social Studies elective (.5 unit) (taken anytime during grades 10-12)
  • United States History (11th grade)
  • American Government (.5 unit) (12th grade)

Math (3 units)

  • College admissions requirements often require a fourth year of math and/or specific math courses for admissions. Check admissions websites of college and universities for details.

Science (3 units)

  • Biology
  • Physical Science (Physical Science, Chemistry or Physics) 
  • Science elective

Physical Education (1 unit)

  • Students may take any two PE classes to fulfill the 1.0 credit requirement. They repeat any class except the online (virtual) Fitness for Life class, which may be taken only once. 
  • Foundations of PE is no longer a required course, but students may still take it and it will count as one-half credit toward the PE requirement.

Health (.5 unit)

Financial Literacy (.5 unit)

  • May be taken in grades 10-12

Fine Arts (1 unit)

  • See list of approved courses in the Program of Studies

Electives (7.5 units)


Total Units Required:  23.5


Program of Studies

For complete course descriptions, including grade level, prerequisites, and academic planning information, see the 2019-20 Program of Studies.

Subject Areas

English Language Arts

Social Studies

Three units of credit are required:

  • World Regional Studies or Honors World Regional Studies

    • 9th grade; one unit


  • US History or Advanced Placement (AP) US History

    • 11th grade; one unit


  • American Government (12th grade)

    • Options:
      • regular Government:  .5 unit (one semester) OR
      • AP Government:  1 unit (full year)
        • Students who choose not to continue in AP Government at the end of fall semester must take a full semester of regular Government in the spring, in order to fulfill government standards required by the State of Kansas


  • Social Studies elective

    • One-half credit required, taken anytime during grades 10-12
      • Full-year options: (one semester counts toward the social studies elective and the semester counts toward general elective graduation requirements
        • Modern World History
        • AP European History
        • AP Psychology
      • One-semester options:
        • AP Microeconomics (fall semester)
        • AP Macroeconomics (spring semester)
        • Psychology 1
        • Psychology 2 (grades 11-12; prerequisite is Psych 1)
        • Economics 1
        • Intro to Study of Legal Systems
        • Practical Law (prerequisite is Intro to Study of Legal Systems)
        • International Relations
        • Sociology 1 (grades 11-12)
        • Sociology 2 (grades 11-12)



World Language

World Languages offered at SME include:

  • Spanish
  • French
  • Latin
  • Chinese

The SME World Languages brochure includes more information on the benefits of studying a world language.

Physical Education

Visual Arts and Performing Arts (Music & Theatre)


Family and Consumer Science (FACS)

Industrial Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a "unit of credit?"

A unit of credit represents the equivalent of a year’s work with a passing grade.

A full-year course receives one unit of credit per period.

A semester course receives a half unit of credit per period.

Select courses offered at the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA) and TBD may earn one unit of credit per semester based on a double-block class time schedule.

How many credits do I need to be classified in 10th, 11th, and 12th grades?

Students attain grade level classification according to the number of course units earned and the number of years completed at the high school level. 

Students are classified after the completion of the summer school session.

Grade Level

Class of 2020 & beyond minimum credits earned

Grade 9

Grade 10 5.50
Grade 11 11.50
Grade 12* 16.50


*Students may be reclassified after first semester to grade 12 if they have attended at least 7 semesters in grades 9-12 and have earned 18.50 credits.

How can I check my credits to make sure I'm on track to graduate?

The credits required in each area and the credits you've earned so far can be seen on the Graduation Requirements tab in Skyward.

How can I find my GPA?

Your GPA is based only on your final grade in each class at the end of each semester.
At the end of the semester the final grade in each class is placed on your transcript and then those grades are calculated in with all of your previous high school semester grades to produce a cumulative gpa. 

Your cumulative weighted GPA can be found on Skyward on the Gradebook page (look for the small "GPA" in blue letters to the right of the student's name).

Your transcript includes both your weighted and unweighted GPA. You can get an unofficial copy of your transcript from the SME registrar, Melanie Lowe, between 7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. 

If you have questions about your grades or GPA, contact Mrs. Lowe.

How is my GPA calculated?

All academic grades shall be determined solely by student achievement of clearly stated instructional expectations.

    • Grade point averages are computed regularly in grades 9-12 and are based on the final semester grade earned in each course. Grade points for all credit courses, other than honors or advanced placement courses, shall be computed as follows: A = 4 points B = 3 points C = 2 points D = 1 point F = 0 points

Possible grades or marks are defined as follows:

  • A   Superior Work- 90% - 100%
  • B   Above Average Work- 80% - 89%
  • C   Average Work- 70% - 79%
  • D   Below Average Work- 60% - 69%
  • F   Failing- Student has not progressed far enough to receive a passing grade. The student’s parents or guardian must be notified prior to an F being given.
  • E   Excused- Course waiver based on unusual circumstance as granted by the building principal. I
  • Incomplete- Only those students who have been excusably absent and need additional time to complete missed work should be given an incomplete grade at the grading periods.
  • N   No Credit- Student has not done sufficient work to receive a passing grade. Credit lost due to not meeting minimum attendance requirements will be marked N for all grades of A, B, C, and D. Students who have an F will be given an F.
  • P   Passing- Credit for an academic course (with administrator’s approval). This may be given for homebound course work upon mutual agreement between the teacher and student. Q Competency- Competency Testing out of a class.
  • NG   No Grade- Used for study hall when wanting to report attendance and/or comments.
  • WP   No Credit- Student withdraws from a course with a passing grade.
  • WF   No Credit- Student withdraws from a course with a failing grade.

How is a student placed on the Honor Roll?

Shawnee Mission recognizes academic excellence by placing students on one of two honor rolls:

  • 3.0 Honor Roll

A student must have a GPA (grade point average) of 3.0 for a minimum of 2.5 credits per semester.

The grades of “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” and “F” will be used to calculate the GPA.

Grades of “Q,” “P,” “E,” “NG,”“WP,” or “WF” are not used in the GPA computation formula. A grade of “N,” “D,” “F or “I” will eliminate the student from being named to the Honor Roll.

  • Principal’s Honor Roll

A student must have a GPA (grade point average) of 4.0 or above and be enrolled in a minimum of 2.5 credits per semester.

The grades of “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” and “F” will be used to calculate the GPA.

Grades of “Q,” “P,” “E”, “NG,” “WP” or “WF” are not used in the GPA computation formula.

A grade of “N,” “C,” “D,” “F,” or “I” will eliminate the student from being named to the Principal’s Honor Roll.

Students who earn all “A’s” will have special designation by an asterisk on any information distributed to the public.

How do I know which Honors or AP classes would be right for me?

How do I know which courses have prerequisites?

The SMSD Program of Studies includes a complete description of every course offered, including its grade level and any prerequisites.

In addition, certain courses require an audition or tryout before you can enroll. These courses have brackets around them on the course listing sheets given to students at the beginning of the enrollment process.
For example:  [Art Portfolio] and [Chamber Choir]

Ask your counselor if you need help finding information about a course.

Do I need to take a world language in order to graduate from SME?

World Language credit is not required for graduation from SME and it is also not required for admission to a state university in Kansas. 

However, it is recommended for college preparation, and many other colleges and universities in the U.S. recommend or require two-to-four years of world language for admission. (For example, U of Missouri-Columbia requires two years.)

It can also benefit you in your chosen college major or in a future career.

See KU's Foreign Language placement policy as an example and check individual college websites you're applying to for details on their requirements and placement policies.

How can I earn college credit during high school?

Learn how to earn college credit while you're in high school on the Dual Credit section of the Academic Planning page.

Which classes count toward the 1.0 Fine Arts graduation requirement?

Visual Arts:  Credit in all visual art courses may apply toward the fine arts credit.
  • Digital Design
  • Digital Design Studio
  • Web Design
  • Game Design and Development (Signature Program @CAA)
Family and Consumer Science:
  • Advanced Foods
  • International Foods
  • Fashion, Apparel & Interior Design Essentials
  • Interior Design
  • Fashion Merchandising
  • Fashion, Apparel & Interior Design Studio
  • Commercial Baking 1 & 2 (Signature Program @CAA)
  • Culinary Arts 1 & 2 (Signature Program @CAA)
Industrial Technology
  • Computer-Aided Manufacturing
  • Intro to Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer-Aided Industrial Design
  • Design 1, Computer-Aided Architectural
  • Design 2, Computer-Aided Architectural
  • Introduction to Engineering Design
  • Welding 1 & 2 (@SM West)
  • Wood Design and Fabrication
  • Wood Design 2
Center for Academic Achievement (Signature Programs):
  • Commercial Baking 1 & 2
  • Culinary Arts 1 & 2
  • Game Design and Development
  • 2D Animation 1 & 2
  • 3D Modeling and Animation 1 & 2
Engineering-Project Lead the Way
  • Introduction to Engineering Design
English Language Arts:
  • Actor’s Studio
  • Competitive Speech and Drama, Beginning and Advanced
  • Digital News Media Production
  • Digital Yearbook Production
  • Drama
  • Repertory Theatre
  • Repertory Theatre, Advanced
  • Technical Theater
  • Advanced Video Production
Performing Arts:  Credit in all performing arts courses may apply toward the fine arts credit.
IB Program:
  • IB Dance

Signature Programs

Dual Credit

Dual credit, or concurrent credit, is college credit that is earned concurrently with high school course credit in a particular class.

There are two main ways to earn dual credit:  College Now, through Johnson County Community College (JCCC) and taking Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses and tests.

The type and amount of college credit awarded by a particular college or university varies widely. Students are encouraged to check the websites of colleges they're interested in to determine what type of credit they might earn from College Now and AP & IB courses.

College Now (JCCC)

Students who are new to College Now:

  • Click here for detailed instructions on how to apply to JCCC and enroll in College Now courses

Students are continuing in College Now:

  • Click here for instructions on how enroll in additional College Now courses


Advanced Placement (AP)

  • Any course offered at SME with "AP" in its title is an Advanced Placement course. See the College Board for more information about the benefits of taking AP courses and deciding which AP courses may be right for you.
  • Taking an AP course in high school does not automatically earn college credit. Schools award credit based on the score you earn on the AP test, which is taken in May and scored from 1 to 5.
  • The type and amount of credit awarded varies tremendously from state to state and school to school. It also depends on what you are majoring in and the type of courses a particular program or major requires.
  • Use the College Board's credit policy search tool to find colleges and universities that offer credit or placement for AP scores.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

See the SME IB page for more information about the program, courses, and how to earn college credit.