The American Community School at Beirut offers a High School Program of studies designed to prepare students for selective universities. ACS offers three rigorous options for our students to pursue - the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program; the Lebanese Baccalaureate Life Science Stream; and an American College Preparatory Diploma. International Baccalaureate and Lebanese Baccalaureate diplomas are awarded following successful completion of all program requirements including external examinations.
The American Community School Diploma is based on the American model and is awarded after successfully meeting all graduation criteria. Students accumulate credits toward graduation and credits are earned based on final grades and meeting the seat-hour threshold in the class. A student must complete all graduation requirements in order to graduate with his or her class.
- A minimum of 26 credits are required.
- Transfer students will have their official transcripts reviewed and individual programs of study will be developed when deemed necessary.
- Students must earn a minimum grade point average of 2.00 (on a 4-point scale).
- Students with individualized learning support plans, developed by ACS, must meet all of their objectives to fulfill graduation requirements.
Total Carnegie Credits Needed*
Group 1 Courses
Group 2 Courses
Group 3 Courses
History / Social Sciences
Group 4 Courses
Group 5 Courses
Group 6 Courses
(DP & ACP students)
Physical Education & Health
Additional Graduation Requirements
- Passing grade in “Senior Seminar” for American College Prep Diploma candidates OR passing grade in “Theory of Knowledge” for IBO Diploma Program candidates.
- 100 hours of community service, adjusted for students entering after 9th grade.
- Successful participation in Week Without Walls courses in grades 10 and 11.
Additional Grade Level Promotion Requirements
- Freshmen must have completed at least 25 hours of community service prior to the start of their sophomore year, sophomores must have completed at least 50 hours of community service prior to the start of the junior year, and juniors must have completed at least 75 hours of community service prior to the start of their senior year.
- Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors with overall GPAs below 2.0 will be placed on Academic Probation prior to the start of the next academic year.
- Students in the Class of 2016 who fall below the revised graduation requirements, but were on-track under the previous guidelines will have their transcripts reviewed to set individualized targets that must be met.
Criteria for Passing/Failing a High School Course
- Final grades are determined through a combination of the scores earned in both semesters and cumulative exams.
- Students will have passed a course and receive credit for the class if they earn any final grade other than an F. It is important to note that while students may earn credit for a course with a final grade of D, students are required to maintain an overall average of C- or better in order to graduate from ACS.
- In order to have earned a passing mark for a year-long course, students must earn a passing grade in the second semester. If a student earns a failing grade (F) for the first semester of a year-long course, the student must earn at least a C- during the second semester to earn a passing mark for the year.
- At the end of first semester, any high school student who is already in jeopardy of failing a class or the entire grade-level will be scheduled for a mandatory conference with his or her teachers and the school administration.
- Only final grades, not progress report marks or semester scores, are used to calculate a student’s GPA for the year.
Credit Recovery for Students with End of Course Scores above 55%
High School students who do not pass one or two credit-bearing classes, as defined by the previously mentioned criteria, but whose end of year score is above 55%, will be required to enroll in and successfully complete a pre-approved summer school course or an online credit recovery program in order to earn promotion to the next grade. This option is not available to students below the 55% threshold or if the student failed three or more classes.
Online Credit Recovery Option
Credit recovery is an option available to high school students who did not earn a final, passing grade in one or two courses. The intent of the program is to provide these students with further instruction, more practice, and additional time to learn the required course standards that were missed the first time. Credit recovery cannot be used to earn credits in classes that the student was not already enrolled in at ACS.
The online program used by ACS is ‘Penn Foster Virtual High School’. All costs associated with this option are the responsibility of the student. Students who need to enroll in an online course will be notified as soon as possible; however, it is often the case that the need is not clear until after final exams have been completed.
Students must successfully complete all course requirements in order to earn the needed credit.
Please note that it is a requirement of our school that all of the exams for the online course be taken at ACS under the supervision of one of our staff members. The credit recovery course must be successfully completed prior to the first day of school.
Upon receipt of the official transcript from Penn Foster indicating a passing mark, which is at or above a C-, the student’s end-of-year ACS grade will be adjusted to a C- and credit conferred. The student’s ACS transcript will indicate that credit recovery was utilized for that class.
Also, students in DP level courses needing to use credit recovery are still required to meet all external requirements set by the IBO in order to earn course certificates or to be eligible for the IBO’s full diploma.
Summer School Option
In order to use this option, the student must have written pre-approval by the high school principal. Only courses offered by schools fully accredited from a recognized accrediting agency in the United States will be allowed. All costs associated with this option are the responsibility of the student. Students must earn passing marks in the summer school course to receive the necessary credit. Upon receipt of the official transcript from the summer school indicating a passing mark, which is at or above a C-, the student’s end-of-year ACS grade will be adjusted to a C- and credit conferred. The student’s ACS transcript will indicate that summer school was utilized for that class.
Academic Probation is a temporary status incurred by a student based on his or her most recent progress report and/or report card. A student will be placed on academic probation if he or she is not in good academic standing at the end of the quarter. Reasons may include the following:
- The student is currently failing 2 or more classes.
- The student’s GPA for the semester is below 1.75 on a 4-point scale.
- The student is not on track to meet promotion/graduation criteria.
An academic action plan will be created to find all possible means to increase the student’s success in school. An academic action plan may include tutoring, supervised study, reorganization of athletic or social schedules, and/or courses.
A list of students on academic probation is compiled after each term and shared with teachers in order to more closely follow each student’s progress and provide extra support. In all cases, the parents will be notified so they are aware of their child’s situation.
If at the end of the next quarter a student has returned to good academic standing, he or she will be removed from Academic Probation. However, students who remain on Academic Probation through a school year are in jeopardy of having their automatic re-enrollment option rescinded.
Academic Probation and Team Eligibility
Students on Academic Probation are not eligible to travel.
A student on Academic Probation must meet with the Athletics Director, Principal or Dean of Students, the appropriate grade-level Counselor, and the parents or guardian to review his or her obligations and to make a collaborative plan that will enable the student to meet his or her academic and co-curricular commitments.
If at the end of the academic year a student fails three or more year-long courses, the student will either be required to repeat the current grade or will be dismissed from ACS. Students may repeat a maximum of one grade level in the upper school (grades 6-11); however, there is no guarantee that any individual student will be permitted to repeat. The student’s senior year may not be repeated.