Academic Guidelines

Sir Winston Churchill High School is committed to making the most effective use of available educational resources. The master timetable and student timetables are created on the basis of individual student course requests. The required minimum course load is:

Grade 10 – 8 full courses
Grade 11 – 7 full courses
Grade 12 – 6 full courses (3 per semester)

Student program requests often exceed this minimum course load. Funding for high school education is dependent on students’ commitment to completion of their program as requested. Students are expected to fulfill their commitment to attend and do the work required to be successful in each course in which they have been granted a placement.

Only in exceptional circumstances, with administration and parent involvement, will a student be permitted to withdraw from any class.

The following procedures will guide student programming:

1. Grade 10 students will not be permitted to drop courses.
2. Grade 11 and grade 12 students:
a. Once the school term begins, students will only be allowed to drop courses if the minimum course load for the grade level is being met.
b. Students who fail (or drop) a course will not be permitted to take the same course for a second time in the same school year.
c. It is expected that students that fail or drop the same course twice at SWC will complete the course in an alternative manner.

Alberta High School Diploma Requirements

After six semesters of high school, students must meet the following requirements in order to graduate:

1. Obtain a minimum of 100 credits

2. Complete and meet the standards of the following courses:

  • English 30-1 or English 30-2 or French 30
  • Social Studies 30-1 or 30-2
  • Math 20-1, Math 20-2 or Math 20-3
  • Science 20 or 24 or Biology 20 or Chemistry 20 or Physics 20 (or Science 10 and any other 5-credit science course)

3. Complete and meet the standards of the following:

  • Physical Education 10 (3 credits)
  • Career and Life Management (CALM) 20 (3 credits)
  • 10 credits from:
  • Career and Technology Studies (CTS) or
  • Fine Arts or
  • International Languages or
  • Physical Education 20 and / or 30
  • 10 credits, in any combination from any 30 level courses (including locally developed), in addition to English 30-1 or English 30-2 and Social Studies 30-1 or 30-2

*For specific information on what constitutes International Languages, Fine Arts, and CTS, see your counsellor.
*Knowledge and Employability Program - Students interested in this alternative program must meet with their guidance counsellor to determine programming.

Course Prerequisites

A minimum mark of 50% is required to proceed to the subsequent course at the same subject level. However, in most cases a significantly higher grade is recommended to achieve success at the next level in the sequence of courses.

Alberta High School Diploma Graduation Requirements

The requirements indicated in this chart are the minimum requirements for a student to attain an Alberta High School Diploma. The requirements for entry into post-secondary institutions and workplaces may require additional and/or specific courses.

100 Credits including the following:

  • English Language Arts  – 30 Level (English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2)
  • Social Studies – 30 LEVEL (Social Studies 30-1 or 30-2)
  • Mathematics – 20 LEVEL (Mathematics 20-1, Mathematics 20-2 or Mathematics 20-3)
  • Science – 20 LEVEL (1) (Science 20, Science 24, Biology 20, Chemistry 20 or Physics 20)
  • Physical Education 10 (3 CREDITS) (2)
  • Career and Life Management (3 CREDITS) (3)

10 Credits in any Combination from:

  • Career and Technology Studies (CTS) courses
  • Fine Arts courses
  • Second Languages courses
  • Physical Education 20 and/or 30
  • Knowledge and Employability courses
  • Registered Apprenticeship Program courses
  • Locally developed courses in CTS, fine arts, second languages or Knowledge and Employability occupational courses (4)

10 Credits in any 30-Level Course

(In addition to a 30-Level English Language Arts and a 30-Level Social Studies Course as specified above) (5)

These courses may include:

  • 30-level locally developed courses
  • Advanced level (3000 series) in Career and Technology Studies courses
  • 30-level Work Experience courses (6)
  • 30-level Knowledge and Employability courses
  • 30-level Registered Apprenticeship Program courses
  • 30-level Green Certificate Specialization courses
  • Special Projects 30
  1. The science requirement—Science 20 or 24, Biology 20, Chemistry 20 or Physics 20—may also be met with the 10-credit combination of Science 14 and Science 10.
  2. See information on exemption from the physical education requirement.
  3. See information on exemption from the CALM requirement.
  4. Integrated Occupational Program (IOP) occupational courses may be used in place of Knowledge and Employability occupational courses to fulfill this requirement.
  5. 30-level English language arts or 30-level social studies courses from a different course sequence may not be used to meet the 30-level course requirement.
  6. Students may earn a maximum of 30 credits in Work Experience, but only 15 credits may be used to meet the 100-credit requirement for the Alberta High School Diploma.

These are the minimum requirements for a high school diploma. You must see your Guidance Counselor to determine what additional requirements are necessary for your educational plans after high school.

Rules Governing the Awarding of Credits

  • A minimum mark of 50% is required to receive credits in a course.
  • A mark of at least 50% is required to move to the next level of the course (i.e., from Math 10 to Math 20).
  • You can receive credits in a course only once

Grade 11 & 12 Course Selection Procedure

As a service to students, guidance counsellors will be going into classrooms to work with all current Grade 10 and 11 students on their course selections for next year. This process usually occurs in March of every year. Students are expected to plan ahead and come prepared to complete course selection. Please review the information below as it will support you in making informed choices with your course selection.

Alberta High School Diploma Requirements

Minimum Course Load Requirements

  • Grade 11 Students (minimum of 35 credits)
  • Grade 12 students (minimum of 30 credits)
  • Both Grade 11 and 12 students must carry a minimum of 3 full course equivalents per semester.
  • CBE-learn courses do not count in the course load. It is not likely that a student will get 4 courses at Churchill and one online.
  • Depending on a student's course load, it is sometimes unlikely that a student will have 3 courses at Churchill and one online.


  • A prerequisite course is a course that must be successfully completed before students can proceed to the next level. For example, students must pass English Language Arts 10-2 with a minimum mark of 50% before they can take English Language Arts 20-2.
  • Many courses have pre-requisites and it is the student's responsibility to ensure he/she has the appropriate pre-requisites before selecting courses.

Teacher Recommendations

  • Teacher recommendations are important as we are looking to set students up for success.
  • Passing a class with 50% does not set a student up to be successful in the next level.

Recommendations are as Follows


Grade 11

  • Eng 20-1 (at least 65% in Eng 10-1)
  • Eng 20-2 (Eng 10-2 or 45% in Eng 10-1). Example: If a student earned 45% in Eng 10-1, that student could then register for Eng 20-2 in Grade 11. Once the student earns a final mark of at least 50% in Eng 20-2, Alberta Education would award retroactive credits for Eng 10-2.

Grade 12

  • Eng 30-1 (65% in Eng 20-1)
  • Eng 30-2 (Eng 20-2 or 45% in Eng 20-1

Grade 11

  • Math 20-1 (65% or better in Math 10 Common)
  • Math 20-2 (Math 10 C 50%)
  • Math 20-3 (Math 10-3 or 45% in Math 10 Common) Example: If a student earns 45% in Math 10 Common, that student can then register in Math 20-3. Once the student earns a final mark of at least 50% in Math 20-3, Alberta Education will then award retroactive credits for Math 10-3.

Grade 12

  • Math 30-1 (at least 65% in Math 20-1)
  • Math 30-2 (Math 20-2 or 45% in Math 20-1 with teacher recommendation)
  • Math 31 (70% in Math 30-1)
Science Grade 11

Upon successful completion of Science 10, students are presented with choice in their science program. Success (greater than 60%) in Math 10 Common is recommended.

  • Biology: Recommendations for Success: 60% in Science 10 overall and 60% in the Biology unit of Science 10.
  • Chemistry: Recommendations for Success: 60% in Science 10 overall and 60% in the Chemistry unit of Science 10.
  • Physics: Recommendations for Success: 60% in Science 10 overall and 60% in the Physics unit of Science 10.
  • Science 20: Recommendations for Success: 60% in Science 10 overall. Science 20 is an academic science course that has been designed to fit a non-science career.
  • Science 24: 50% in Science 14.
Science Grade 12
  • Science 30 (successful completion 60% of any Science 20, Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Science 20 and Math 20).
  • Biology 30 (60% in Biology 20. Chemistry 20 background and successful completion of Math 20 would be an asset).
  • Chemistry 30 (60% in Chemistry 20. Successful completion of Math 20).
  • Physics 30 (60% in Physics 20. Success greater than 60% in Math 20).
  • Note: successful completion of Math 20 is a recommendation.
Social Studies

Grade 11

  • Social 20-1 (65% in Social 10-1)
  • Social 20-2 (Social 10-2 or 45% in Social 10-1). 

Grade 12

  • Social 30-1 (60% in Social 20-1 or Social 30-2)
  • Social 30-2 (45% in Social 20-1 or Social 20-2)

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