Every Child a Graduate. Every Graduate Prepared.


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Question:   Where can I find the curriculum standards for Alabama?

Answer:   The content standards for all courses or grade levels may be found in the state courses of study. These documents may be accessed by clicking here, selecting “Publications,” and then clicking on the appropriate subject area course of study.


Question:   Where can I find the Alabama high school graduation requirements?

Answer:   The Alabama high school graduation requirements are included in the appendix section of each subject-area course of study. Click here to access the most up-to-date graduation requirements as found in the science course of study.


Question:   What does my school system spend per student to educate my child?

Answer:   Information regarding per pupil expenditures can be found on your school system report card. The report card may be accessed by checking “Reports” and highlighting the school system at the following link: Click here.


Question:   What is the dropout rate in my school system's high school?

Answer:   Information regarding the dropout rate in your school system’s high school can be found on your school system report card. The report card may be accessed by checking “Reports” and highlighting the school system at the following link: Click here.


Question:   What grade did my child's school receive on the report card?

Answer:   To find out your child’s school grade, link to your local school system’s report card. The report card may be accessed by checking “Reports” and highlighting the school system at the following link: Click here.


Question:   What was the average ACT score for my child's high school?

Answer:   To obtain your child’s high school average ACT score, link to your local school system’s report card. The report card may be accessed by checking “Reports” and highlighting the school system at the following link: Click here.


Question:   What is the cutoff birth date for Kindergarten? What is the cutoff birth date for 1st grade?

Answer:   The cutoff date is on or before September 1. For more information on the minimum age at which a child may enter, click here and select Title 16 Education, Chapter 28, Article 1 General Provisions, Section 16-28-4.


Question:   Is kindergarten mandatory?

Answer:   No, kindergarten is not mandatory in Alabama; however, all school systems must offer kindergarten programs.


Question:   What diploma options are available for students in Alabama high schools?

Answer:   The state Board of Education has approved six diploma options for students–three diplomas and three endorsements. These options are: the Alabama High School Diploma, the Alabama High School Diploma with Advanced Academic Endorsement, the Alabama High School Diploma with Career/Technical Endorsement, the Alabama High School Diploma with Advanced Career/Technical Endorsement, the Alabama Occupational Diploma, and the Alternate Adult High School Diploma. Each of these options requires students to earn 24 credits. For additional information, contact Cynthia Brown at cbrown@alsde.edu.


Question:   What are Alabama’s requirements concerning teacher-pupil ratio?

Answer:   The state Board of Education’s guidelines follow:
  Teacher-Pupil Ratio
  Self-Contained Non Self-Contained
Kindergarten 1:18**  
Grades 1-3 1:18** 1:18**
Grades 4-6 1:26* 1:26*
Grades 7-8 1:29*  
Grades 7-12   1:29/750 per week*
*Does not include physical education, musical performing groups, ROTC, or typing. The limit for these subjects is 1,000 student contacts per week. High schools (Grades 9-12), junior high schools (Grades 7-9), unit schools (Grades K-12), and area vocational centers shall also maintain the SACS standard of an overall student-to-staff ratio of 21:1. **Classes with aides will be reviewed as an exception by the Alabama Department of Education.


Question:   Has the content of state assessments been correlated to Alabama’s courses of study?

Answer:   Yes. Courses of study correlations to the Alabama High School Graduation Exam and to the Stanford 9 may be found for English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies by clicking here and selecting the appropriate subject area and grade/course.


Question:   May students pass or fail one semester of a one-credit course?

Answer:   No. One-credit courses are either passed or failed in their entirety. This does not apply to American Government and Principles of Economics, which are one-half credit courses.


Question:   How are grade/class placements and/or credits determined for students transferring into Alabama schools from in- and out-of-state schools/school settings?

Answer:   Students transferring from accredited public or non-public schools/school settings will have all credits and current class/grade placement accepted upon receipt of their official transcript(s) without validation. The state Board and the U.S. Department of Education recognize the following accrediting agencies: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and North Western Association of Schools. For core courses, official records and national standardized tests should be used to determine placement/credit for students from non-accredited schools/school settings. Elective courses are transferred without validation.


Question:   What is the Alabama Arts Initiative?

Answer:   The goal of the Alabama Arts Education Initiative is to assure that quality comprehensive arts education programs are established in schools throughout the state providing opportunities for students to learn in, about, and through the arts; enhance the quality of education and achieve academic excellence. Based on the goals of the Alabama Arts Education Plan: Linking the Arts to Student Achievement the initiative encourages instruction in all arts disciplines; integrated teaching of the arts across the disciplines; the development of collaborative partnerships among schools, arts organizations and the community; and intensive, sequential professional development for teachers and administrators. A comprehensive arts education program prepares students to think creatively, solve problems, work cooperatively, and develop skills critical for success in the 21st century.


Question:   Where do I find information about the Alabama Penman Creative Writing Contest, the State Superintendent’s Visual Arts Exhibit, and other programs and grants?

Answer:   To access a listing of grants/contests, click here.


Question:   May students receive credit toward graduation for courses taken prior to Grade 9?

Answer:   Yes, only for three courses--and in Grade 8--with local board of education approval. These courses are Algebra I, Computer Applications, and Level I of a foreign language.


Question:   May credit be awarded for two courses having different names but containing the same content?

Answer:   No. According to Alabama Administrative Code Rule 290-3-1-.02(8)(c)1., a student shall not earn credit toward graduation for a course that duplicates course content for which credit has already been awarded.


Question:   Can the content of Biology or any other one-credit science course be divided and taught in two parts for two credits?

Answer:   No. A course may only be taught in two parts for two credits if so stipulated in the course of study. Currently, content from only two courses (Algebra I and Geometry) may be taught as two courses, as indicated in the Alabama Course of Study: Mathematics.


Question:   What courses can fulfill the one-credit “a physical science” graduation requirement?

Answer:   A. The only courses that can fulfill the “a physical science” requirement for graduation are:
• Any course designated a physical science course and incorporating the Physical Science Core from the Alabama Course of Study: Science
• Any course designated a chemistry course and incorporating the Chemistry Core from the Alabama Course of Study: Science
• Any course designated a physics course and incorporating the Physics Core from the Alabama Course of Study: Science


Question:   Can Principles of Technology I fulfill the “a physical science” requirement for graduation?

Answer:   No. The content fails to meet course requirements identified in the Alabama Course of Study: Science for the Physical Science Core.


Question:   Which courses may be counted as the required one-half credit in arts education?

Answer:   Effective 1999-2000, only those courses described in the Alabama Course of Study: Arts Education, Bulletin 1998, No. 17 (click here) fulfill this requirement. These are courses in music (vocal or instrumental), drama, dance, visual arts, and humanities (as described in the appendix of the course of study).


Question:   Is physical education required for all students in Grades K-8?

Answer:   Yes. The Code of Alabama, 1975, §16-40-1 requires every public and private school (except church schools) to offer physical education in accordance with the physical education program outlined by the Alabama Department of Education. Other courses (e.g., band, academic courses) may not substitute.


Question:   What are the time requirements for physical education classes in Grades K-8?

Answer:   Every student in Grades K-8 must have a minimum of 30 minutes of physical education daily, not to include lunch or recess.


Question:   May K-8 physical education teachers teach health and physical education on alternate days?

Answer:   No. Although a physical education teacher may teach health, if certified, physical education must be taught for a minimum of 30 minutes daily.


Question:   Is an elementary classroom teacher certified to teach physical education?

Answer:   Yes, but to teach his/her class only.


Question:   May students with disabilities be exempted from physical education?

Answer:   No. The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act clearly states that handicapped students need physical education and that the LEA must be responsible for providing developmentally appropriate physical education for the student.


Question:   May other subjects (such as band or ROTC) be substituted for physical education in high school?

Answer:   Yes, if the school system has adequate certified physical education teachers in Grades K-8, the system may request of the State Superintendent of Education a waiver to substitute courses for the one credit of physical education in Grades 9-12, as specified in Alabama Administrative Code Rule 290-3-1-.02(8)(e).


Question:   Is physical fitness testing required for the 2010-2011 academic year and results reported to the state?

Answer:   No. The State Department of Education has developed a new physical fitness test that is being piloted in eight schools during the 2010-2011 academic year. Teachers are encouraged to continue fitness testing using their choice of fitness test. No results will be reported during this time.


Question:   Where can I find a list of textbooks that have been approved by the state Board of Education?

Answer:   This information is available on the Alabama Department of Education Website. Click here.


Question:   Where can I find a list of textbooks that have been rejected by the state Board of Education?

Answer:   This information is available on the Alabama Department of Education Website. Click here.


Question:   Is there a copy of the State Textbook Law available on the Alabama Department of Education Website?

Answer:   This information is available on the Alabama Legislative Website (ALISON). Click here.


Question:   Where can I find an adoption schedule available that indicates the subjects that new textbooks will be adopted for each year?

Answer:   This information is available on the Alabama Department of Education Website. Click here.


Question:   Where can I find a list of the members of the current State Textbook Committee available?

Answer:   This information is available on the Alabama Department of Education Website. Click here.


Question:   Where can I find a list of the public review sites for textbooks being considered for adoption available?

Answer:   This information is available on the Alabama Department of Education Website. Click here.


Question:   What address should I use when ordering textbooks from publishers that are under state contract?

Answer:   This information is available on the Alabama Department of Education Website. Click here.


Question:   Is there a current list of state-adopted publishers and state representatives available?

Answer:   This information is available on the Alabama Department of Education Website. Click here.


Question:   Where can I find a list of the textbook supervisor for each local school system?

Answer:   This information is available on the Alabama Department of Education Website. Click here.


Question:   Is there a law pertaining to Character Education in Alabama?

Answer:   Character Education is part of the Accountability Law - Alabama Act 95-313.


Question:   What character traits are mandated by the Alabama State Legislature to be taught in Alabama’s public schools?

Answer:   The 25 character are courage, patriotism, citizenship, honesty, fairness, respect for others, kindness, cooperation, self-respect, self-control, courtesy, compassion, tolerance, diligence, generosity, punctuality, cleanliness, cheerfulness, school pride, respect for the environment, patience, creativity, sportsmanship, loyalty, and perseverance.


Question:   Does the Alabama Department of Education provide assistance to schools scoring in Alert?

Answer:   The Classroom Improvement section of the Alabama Department of Education provides assistance to Alert schools in the areas of curriculum, instruction, management, and leadership.


Question:   Can the Classroom Improvement Section assist me in locating a presenter for an inservice session or workshop for my faculty?

Answer:   Yes, we can provide names of presenters who have participated in train-the-trainer sessions sponsored by the Department listed in the July 2000 Teacher Trainers Directory. In addition, we suggest that you contact your Regional Inservice Center for recommendations or for already-scheduled sessions that may be of interest to your faculty. A list of Inservice Centers is on page 20 of the Alabama Education Directory. Click here.


Question:   Where can I access information on preschool/four-year-old programs?

Answer:   The Alabama Department of Children's Affairs has received funding to conduct a pilot program for preschool-aged students in sites around the state. For more information, click here or call Richard H. Dorrough, Commissioner, at 334-223-0502.


Question:   Where might I find information on the state's kindergarten programs?

Answer:   Local public school systems may provide information or you may contact, Telena Madison, at tmadison@alsde.edu.


Question:   Why don't we have half-day kindergarten programs in my school system?

Answer:   Alabama Administrative Code Rule 290-5-1, states the minimum standards for kindergarten programs in Alabama schools, sets the daily schedule for kindergartens: "The beginning and ending times of the school day in kindergartens shall be the same as the schedule of the elementary schools in the systems of which they are a part."


Question:   Does the state Department of Education provide professional development training to teachers and administrators?

Answer:   The Classroom Improvement Section employs content area specialist that provide professional development to local school systems in the areas of curriculum, instruction, management, and leadership.


Question:   Can Principles of Technology I and II fulfill the requirements for the Physics Core?

Answer:   No. The combined content of these courses fails to meet course requirements identified in the Alabama Course of Study: Science for the Physics Core.


Question:   Where might I find information about the Alabama High School Graduation Exam (AHSGE)?

Answer:   For Great Expectations, A Guide to Alabama's High School Graduation Exam, click here. For information visit the Student Assessment Section, click here.