Grades 9-12 


A Guide for Parents and Families

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Welcome to Grades 9-12

Success in grades 9-12 means opportunities in college, career, and life. It’s never too soon to think about life after graduation, and to start planning for the knowledge, skills, and experiences needed to prepare for the future. That planning begins with choosing the right high school to meet your child’s needs and interests.

With over 20 high schools, DCPS offers many career and college readiness programs that will prepare your child to achieve his or her goals.

What does DCPS offer my child?

Basic Facts About Grades 9-12 at DCPS

Unique Academic Programs

How do I find school options for my child?

Find Your Neighborhood School
A neighborhood school is a school assigned to a student based on his/her address. (Please note that students with special needs or limited-English may be assigned to a school other than their neighborhood school in order to better serve their needs.)

Find Your Destination School
A destination school is a school into which a student's current DCPS school feeds. Students have the right to attend their destination school even if it is different from their neighborhood school.

Find your assigned DCPS destination school.

Learn About Opportunities to Attend a Different School


What will my child be learning in grades 9-12?

In July 2010, DCPS joined more than 40 states in adopting new and more rigorous academic standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics for grades K-12. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) set clear expectations for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.

The CCSS start by establishing what high school graduates need to truly be ready for success in college, careers and life. Then those goals are back-mapped down through the grades to kindergarten, so that students, parents and teachers all know what skills and knowledge are necessary at each step along the way.

In 2011, we have crafted an Academic Plan for the next four years that is the road map to implementing these game-changing new standards and to advancing student progress even further than we have over the past four years.

Because the CCSS apply to almost the entire country and have been created to match the highest expectations around the globe, we can now be sure we are preparing our students in each grade level and subject area to be competitive not just in our city, but also our region, our country and the world.

Here are the standards used for each grade level.

  • For kindergarten through Grade 2 students: DCPS has implemented the CCSS in English/language arts and mathematics. All other subjects will follow the DC Learning Standards.
  • For grades 3-5 students: DCPS has implemented the CCSS in English/language arts. All other subjects will follow the DC Learning Standards.
  • For grades 6-12 students: DCPS has implemented the CCSS in English/language arts. Science, social studies and technical arts teachers will use the CCSS in literacy along with the DC Learning Standards for their content area.
  • Starting in the School Year 2012-2013, DCPS will implement the remaining mathematics standards for grades 3-12.

Learn more about the DCPS Academic Plan, including downloading the specific standards for your child's grade level.

How do I enroll my child in a DC Public School?

Download all enrollment forms »

How can my child prepare for high school and beyond?

Graduation Requirements
See the requirements for graduating from a DCPS high school.

Sequences of Study / College and Career Pathways
View samples of course plans that show the recommended path to prepare for college or career.

Timeline of College Preparation Activities
This extremely helpful guide provides a timeline of recommended activities for high school students to complete in order to prepare for college.

Download the Guide to High School Options

The Guide to High School Options includes information to help families prepare for the transition to High School by providing information about the types of high school programs available, the application process(where required), Out of Boundary information, and questions to consider while choosing a high school. 

The Guide also provides families with information about important DCPS initiatives to help prepare their student for college and careers, such as the Individual Graduation Portfolio, Advisory Programs, Career & Technical Education, and the College Readiness Initiative.

Download the High School Catalog 2011-2012

Download the complete High School Catalog 2011-2012.

What is the DCPS High School Online Application?

Applying to high school is getting easier! 

In response to requests from students and families, DCPS is introducing Phase 1 of DCPS High School Online Application process. 

The application period for School Year 2013-2014 will begin on Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. Read more »

Inside DCPS Highlights.


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