505 Student Scholastic Achievement

505.1 Assignment of Courses

Code No. 505.1


Students shall take a predetermined number and type of courses to graduate.

Where students have a choice in course offerings, the school district will try to allow each student to take the course of their choice. Courses with limited space will be allocated to those who first apply for the course or need it for graduation.

Legal Reference: 

Iowa Code §§ 256.11-.11A; 280 (2011)

281 I.A.C. 12.1; 12.3(7); 12.5.

Approved 9-13-93 Reviewed    9-24-07     Revised 5-21-2018

505.2 Student Progress Reports and Conferences

Code No. 505.2


Students shall receive a progress report at the end of each nine-week grading period. Students who are doing poorly, and their parents, shall be notified prior to the end of the semester in order to have an opportunity to improve their grade. The board encourages the notification of students who have made marked improvement prior to the end of the semester.

Parent-teacher conferences will be held twice a year to keep the parents informed.

Parents, teachers, or principals may request a conference for students in grades kindergarten through twelve in addition to the scheduled conference time if they feel the circumstances warrant it. Parents and students are encouraged to discuss the student's progress or other matters with the student's teacher.

Legal Reference: 

Iowa Code §§ 256.11, .11A; 280; 284.12 (2013).

281 I.A.C. 12.3 (4),12.5(16)

Approved 9-13-93 Reviewed 5-2-12   Revised 5-21-2018

505.3 Student Promotion - Retention - Acceleration

Code No. 505.3


Students will be promoted to the next grade level at the end of each school year based on the student's achievement, age, maturity, emotional stability, and social adjustment.

The district shall adhere to the following:

  • Retention/Promotion in kindergarten – eighth grade: The retention of a student will be determined based upon the judgment of the district’s professional staff. When it becomes evident a student in grades kindergarten through eight may be retained in a grade level for an additional year, the parents will be informed prior to making the retention decision.  It is within the sole discretion of the district to retain students in their current grade level and to deny promotion to a student.
  • Retention/Promotion in ninth – twelfth grade: Students in grades nine through twelve will be informed of the required course work necessary to be promoted each year. When it becomes evident a student in these grades will be unable to meet the minimum credit requirements for the year, the student and parents will be informed. It is within the sole discretion of the district to retain students in their current grade level and to deny promotion to a student.
  • Acceleration in kindergarten – twelfth grade: Students in grades kindergarten through twelve with exceptional talents may, with the permission of the principal and parents, take classes beyond their current grade level. Enrichment opportunities outside the school district may be allowed when they do not conflict with the school district's graduation requirements.
  • Retention or Acceleration in kindergarten – twelfth grade may also occur in additional instances as provided by law.

Any student or parent who is not satisfied with the decision of the district’s professional staff my seek recourse through the dostrcot complaint policy.

Legal Reference:         

Iowa Code §§ 256.11, 279.8.

281 I.A.C. 12.5(16)

Approved 9-13-93 Reviewed    5-2-12      Revised 5-21-2018

505.4 Student Honors and Awards

Code No. 505.4


The school district shall provide a program that establishes honors and awards including, but not limited to, academic letters, scholarships and good citizenship awards for students to assist students in setting goals. Students shall be made aware of honors and awards and the action necessary on the part of the student to achieve them. Students who have not attended the school district for their entire education or have not attended an accredited public or private school for the prior four years will not be eligible for honors and awards.

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to develop the administrative regulations regarding this policy.

Legal Reference: 

Iowa Code § 279.8 (2013)

Approved 9-13-93 Reviewed   11-21-16    Revised  5-21-2018

505.5 Testing Program

Code No. 505.4


A comprehensive testing program is established and maintained to evaluate the education program of the school district and to assist in providing guidance or counseling services to students and their families.

No student is required, as part of any applicable program, funded by the United State Department of Education, to submit to a survey, analysis or evaluation that reveals information concerning:

  • political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent or guardian;:
  • mental or psychological problems of the student or the student's family;
  • sex behavior or attitudes;
  • illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating or demeaning behavior;
  • critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
  • legally recognized, privileged and analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians and ministers;
  • religious practices, affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent or guardian; or
  • income,(other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program);

without the prior consent of the student (if the student is an adult or emancipated minor), or in the case of an unemancipated minor, without the prior written consent of the parent.

Prior to an employee or contractor of the district providing information on a student enrolled in the district on any survey related to the social or emotional abilities, competencies or characteristics of the student; the district will provide the parent/guardian of the student detailed information related to the survey and obtain written consent of the parent/guardian of the student.  This includes the person who created the survey, the person who sponsors the survey, how the information generated by the survey is used and how information generated by the survey is stored. This requirement will not prohibit a district employee from answering questions related to a student enrolled in the district as part of developing or implementing an individualized education program for the student.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the principal, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.

It is the responsibility of the board to review and approve the evaluation and testing program.

Legal Reference:

20 U.S.C. § 1232h

Iowa Code §§ 280.3

Approved 9-13-93     Reviewed 8-15-2022  Approved 8-21-2023

505.6 Graduation Requirements

Code No. 505.6


Students must successfully complete the courses required by the board and Iowa Department of Education in order to graduate.  

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to ensure that students complete grades one through twelve and that high school students complete 50 credits prior to graduation.  The following credits will be required for graduation:

Beginning Class of 2022

A Riverside High School student graduating in the class of 2022 and beyond must earn at least 50 credits.  Of these credits, 34 are required and 16 are electives.

  • Required classes or credits:  1 semester  = 1 credit
  • Business Education:  1 credit – Computer Literacy or Computer Science
  • English:  8 credits-English 9, English 10, American Lit. or Intro to Composition or English Elective (Geo Cultural Lit, Semester of Service), Elements of Writing, Brit Lit or IWCC English I and II.
  • Social Studies: 6 credits-World History, US History, Government and Economics or Financial Literacy
  • Mathematics: 8 credits
  • Science: 6 credits – Physical Science, Biology, Earth Science and 1 credit of Chemistry or Foundations of Chemistry
  • Psychology or Sociology: 1 credit
  • Physical Education: Health Class 1 credit and refer to Riverside Wellness Policy (page 24 of Course Description Handbook; All freshman must take Physical Education (2 credits)
  • Completion of Senior Portfolio
  • Career & Technical Education: 1 credit    Note: Computer Lit 1 does not meet this requirement

Suggested Sequence for Required Classes

9th Grade: English 9, Math*, Physical Science, Computer Literacy or Computer Science (semester), Health*

10th Grade: English 10, Math*, Biology, Health**, Fundamentals of Sociology or Sociology**, World History

11th Grade: American Literature or Introduction to Composition or Elective, Math*, Chemistry* or Foundations of Chemistry plus other Science & Earth Science**, Health**, Sociology or Psychology**, US History and Government & Economics or Financial Literacy**

12th Grade: Elements of Writing or English Composition I & II or British Literature, Math*, Chemistry* or Foundations of Chemistry plus other Science, Health**, Sociology or Psychology**, Goverment & Economics** or Financial Literacy**

*indicates class will be teacher recommendation

**indicates may be taken at any grade level shown

The required courses of study will be reviewed by the board annually.

Prior to graduation, the district will advise students on how to successfully complerte the free application for federal student aid.

Graduation requirements for special education students include successful completion of four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies and three years of science. 

Students who complete a regular session in the Legislative Page Program of the general assembly at the state capitol will be credited ½ credit of social studies.

Students enrolled in a junior officers’ training corp will receive 1/8th physical education credit for each semester the student is enrolled in the program.  

Approved 9-13-93    Reviewed    8-15-2022     Revised  7-25-2022

505.7 Early Graduation

Code No. 505.7


Generally, students will be required to complete the necessary course work and graduate from high school at the end of grade twelve. Students may graduate prior to this time if they meet the minimum graduation requirements stated in board policy.

A student who graduates early will no longer be considered a student and will become an alumnus of the school district. However, the student who graduates early may participate in commencement exercises.

Legal Reference: 

Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 280.3, .14 (2013).

281 I.A.C. 12.2, .5; 12.3(5)


Approved 9-13-93 Reviewed    5-2-12      Revised   5-21-2018

505.8 Commencement

Code No. 505.8


Students who have met the requirements for graduation will be allowed to participate in the commencement proceedings provided they abide by the proceedings organized by the school district. It shall be the responsibilityof the principal to solicit input from each graduating class regarding the proceedings for their commencement.

Failure of a student to participate in commencement will not be a reason for withholding the student's final progress report or diploma certifying the student's completion of high school.

Legal Reference: 

Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 280.3, .14 

281 I.A.C. 12.5

Approved 9-13-93 Reviewed   8-15-2022  Revised  5-21-2018

505.9 Parent and Family Engagement District-Wide Policy


It is the policy of the Riverside Community Schools that parents and family members of participating children shall have the opportunity to be involved jointly in the development of the district plan and in the district's review process for the purpose of school improvement. Recognizing that parental involvement is the key to academic achievement, we seek to involve parents in an effective home-school partnership that will provide the best possible education for our students. The district provides coordination, technical assistance and other supports necessary to aid in the planning and implementation of parent involvement activities. 

The district encourages parents involvement and assessment; providing training and materials for parents to help their children; educating school personnel about involving parents and the value of parent contributions; and developing roles for community organizations and businesses to work with parents and schools. 

1. This jointly developed and agreed upon written policy is distributed to parents and family members of participating Title I children through the Parent Handbook which is distributed to every family at the time of registration. In schoolwide buildings, this will include all parents. (ESSA Section 1116(a)(2)) 

2. The district will provide technical assistance and support to schools in planning and implementing effective parent and family engagement activities to improve student academic achievement and school performance through professional development regarding parent and family engagement. The district will partner with community groups as a means to engage families more creatively and successfully. (ESSA Section 1116(a)(2)(B)) 

3. The district will work to find ways to work cooperatively with other Federal, state, and local programs. The Title I program will work with local public preschool programs, Headstart programs, local library programs, and special education programs (IDEA). Our homeless education program coordinates with the local backpack program to offer support to students that are food insecure, especially over the weekends. (ESSA Section 1116(a)(2)(C)) 

4. The district conducts an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness for the Parent and Family Engagement Policy. The evaluation includes parents in a meaningful manner. In addition to surveys, the district uses focus groups and open discussion groups for this evaluation. Parents and families have a voice. The evaluation tools and methods identify the type and frequency of school-home interactions and the needs of parents and families have to better support and assist their children in learning. The evaluations will target at least three key areas: barriers, ability to assist learning, and successful interactions. (ESSA Section 1116(a)(2)(D)(i-iii)) 

5. The district uses the findings for the annual evaluation to design evidenced-based strategies for more effective parent and family engagement. The evaluation results will help uncover best practices that are working and adapt those ideas to the district and individual school needs. (ESSA Section 1116(a)(2)(E)) 

6. The district involves parents and family members in activities of the school. The district has established a parent advisory committee comprised of a sufficient number and representative group of parents or family members to adequately represent the needs to the population, revised, and reviewed the Parent and Family Engagement Policy. (ESSA Section 1116(a)(2)(F)) 

7. At least one annual meeting will be held to inform parents and family members of the school's participation in the Title I program and to explain the requirements of the program and their right to be involved. The meeting shall be for parents of both public and private school. The Riverside Elementary buildings will hold an annual meeting in the fall. Notification will be sent in the district and building newsletter. (ESSA Section 1116(c)(1)) Iowa Department of Education guidance should be viewed as advisory unless it's specifically authorized by state statute, according to Iowa Code section 256.9A as enacted by Senate File 475. This does not apply to administrative rules, declaratory orders, or materials required by federal law or courts.

8. Parent and family meetings, including parent conferences, will be held at different times during the day and Title I funds may be used to pay reasonable and necessary expenses associated with parent and family engagement activities, including transportation, childcare, or home visit expenses to enable parents to participate in school-related meetings and training sessions. (ESSA Section 1116(c)(2)) 

9. The district will involve parents in the planning, review, and improvement of the school’s Title I program through participation in stakeholder groups and in-person meetings where parents give input and feedback. (ESSA Section 1116(c)(3)) 

10. In a schoolwide program plan, parents are asked to be involved in the joint development of the building’s schoolwide plan through in-person meetings, surveys and electric feedback as appropriate. Applies only to Title I schools operating a Schoolwide Program. (ESSA Sections 1116(c)(3) and 1114)) 

11. Parents and family members of participating children are given assistance inunderstanding the Title I program, with timely information about the Title I program. Through annual meetings and parent teacher conferences, the school will provide parents and family members of participating children with a description and explanation of the curriculum in use at the school, the forms of academic assessment used to measure student progress, and the proficiency levels students are expected to meet. Parents and family members receive an explanation of the school's performance profile, the forms of academic assessment used to measure student progress, and the expected proficiency levels in the annual progress report distributed to all stockholders in the spring of the year, through individual reports given to parents at conference time, and through report cards. (ESSA Section 1116(c)(4)(A) & (B)) 

12. If requested by parents, the school will provide opportunities for regular meetings to formulate suggestions and to participate, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children, and respond to any such suggestions as soon as practicably possible. (ESSA Section 1116(c)(4)(C)) 

13. If the schoolwide plan under Section 1114(b) is not satisfactory, parents of participating students may comment. Comments may be made in writing to the school principal. (ESSA Section 1116(c)(5)) 

14. A jointly developed school/parent compact outlines how parents and family members, the entire school staff, and students all share responsibility for improved student achievement. The compact also describes the means by which the school and parents will build and develop a partnership to help children achieve our local high standards. It is distributed in the parent handbook and is reviewed at the annual meetings. (ESSA Section 1116(d)) 

15. Parents will be notified of this policy in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, provided in a language the parents can understand. The policy will be provided in English and Spanish and will be free of educational jargon. (ESSA Section 1116(b)(1)) 

16. In order to ensure effective involvement of parents and to support a partnership among the school involved, parents, and the community to improve student academic achievement, each school and local educational agency shall:

 a. Provide assistance to parents in understanding challenging State academic standards, State and local academic assessments, the requirements of this part, and how to monitor a child’s progress and work with educators to improve the achievement of their children; 

b. Provide materials and training to help parents to work with their children to improve their children’s achievement, such as literacy training and using technology (including education about the harms of copyright piracy), as appropriate, to foster parental involvement;

c. Educate teachers, specialized instructional support personnel, principals, and other school leaders, and other staff, with the assistance of parents, in the value and utility of contributions of parents, and in how to reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners, implement and coordinate parent programs, and build ties between parents and the school; 

d. Coordinate and integrate parent involvement programs and activities with other Federal, State, and local programs, including public preschool programs, and conduct other activities, such as parent resource centers, that encourage and support parents in more fully participating in the Iowa Department of Education guidance should be viewed as advisory unless it's specifically authorized by state statute, according to Iowa Code section 256.9A as enacted by Senate File 475. This does not apply to administrative rules, declaratory orders, or materials required by federal law or courts. Education of their children; e. Ensure that information related to school and parent programs, meetings, and other activities is sent to the parents of participating children in a format and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand; and 

f. Provide such other reasonable support for parental involvement activities under this section as parents may request. (ESSA Section 1116(e)(1-14)) 

17. The school, to the extent practicable, will provide opportunities for the informed participation of parents and family members (including parents and family members who have limited English proficiency, parents and family members with disabilities, and parents and family members of migratory children) by providing information and school reports required under Section 1111 in a format and language the parties can understand. (ESSA Section 11116(f))


 Adopted: 10-16-23    Revised:        Reviewed: