Graduation Requirements

The graduation requirements from Renaissance School are significantly more rigorous than for an Advanced Studies Diploma as prescribed by the Virginia Department of Education. Specifically, recognizing the value of the Arts for personal expression, cultural appreciation, creative problem solving, health, critical thinking, and many other domains that are part of the life of an ambitious high ability student, Renaissance School requires a minimum of six Arts credits.

Likewise, recognizing the value of giving a student the structure and tools to pursue their passions, Renaissance School requires a minimum of five Elective credits in any subject. Finally, as a college preparatory school, Renaissance School requires two credits of Independent Studies as well as three credits of Headmasters Class / College Counselling over four years. In total, this means a minimum of 33 credits to graduate from Renaissance School, as follows:

Arts - At Least:

  • Visual Arts:  1 credit
  • Music:  1 credit
  • Theater:  1 credit
  • Physical Activity:  1 credit
  • Additional:  1 extra credit in two of the arts courses

Sciences - At Least:

  • Science:  3 credits
  • Mathematics:  3 credits

Humanities - At Least:

  • English:  4 credits
  • History:  4 credits
  • Foreign Language:  3 credits in one language, or 2 credits each in 2 languages

College Prep - At Least:

  • Independent Studies:  2 credits
  • Headmaster's Class:  1 credit (0.5 credits each year for 2 years)
  • College Counseling:  2 credits (1 credit each year for 2 years)

In addition, all Renaissance School students are required in their second year of Independent Studies to defend the thesis of their research before the full faculty. In their Junior year students propose a topic of research to be pursued fall of Senior year; write a 20-page MLA style paper in support of their thesis; share their findings with the school in a 20-minute presentation; and appear before the faculty in a formal thesis defense. The faculty must vote unanimously in favor of a student having met these requirements in order for the student to be eligible for graduation from Renaissance School.

Overall, our graduation requirements are designed around our school philosophy: not as a minimum bar to measure proficiency, but as a target to encourage high ability students to meet their potential, give them a well-rounded and balanced Renaissance School education, and help them to be ready for the opportunities and challenges that await them in college.