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Graduation Requirements

We CAN and MUST graduate more students. 

  • Yellowstone County faces a severe labor shortage in the next ten years as a large population of the workforce begins to retire.
  • A graduate earns $700,000 more than a drop out in his lifetime.  
  • A drop out costs the public more over time, due to such things as the need for public assistance and the increased likelihood of jail.
  • Each 50 additional students that graduate increases lifetime earnings in Yellowstone County by $35 million.

How Does United Way Help More Kids Graduate?

We do our research. We use local and national data and research to identify solutions.  Our strategies rely on a foundation of trauma informed culture and the key tenet of family engagement.  

Key focus areas are:

  • School Readiness- School success starts at birth and many low income students start kindergarten significantly behind. We must equip parents to be their child’s first and best teacher.

  • School Success-  If a student is not reading on grade level by third grade, the odds for dropping out are much higher.  We must decrease chronic absenteeism in order for kids to stay on track academically, prevent summer learning loss and increase access to mentors and positive youth development in the non-school hours.

  • Crisis Stabilization- When a child is homeless, hungry, living with an addict, or faces a myriad of crises, they also face barriers to learning.  We must protect the basic rights and needs of our children.

We work on a United front. We listen to national and local experts, and partner with nonprofits, schools, health care, businesses, and government to achieve results.  Formal collaboratives such as Best Beginnings, Reader Tutor Mentor Billings Out of School Time and Healthy By Design inform our work.  Volunteers serve as mentors, raise awareness, deliver books, read to children, collect food and more.  Donors give of their time, talent and resources.

We leverage our combined resources. United Way puts its money where its mouth is.  We work with businesses to raise funds.  We invest in nonprofits who are moving the needle on school readiness, school success and crisis stabilization.  We secure grants and contracts. We work with donors to fund innovative pilot projects and to build system infrastructure, a comprehensive online resource guide.

To graduate from a Billings Public High School a student shall have earned a minimum of twenty credits. (The minimum will be 21 beginning with the class of 2008).

Credit Requirements:

• 4 credits in English
• 2 credits in Mathematics, one of which must be Algebra I or above
• 1 credit in World History
• 1 credit in American History
• 1/2 credit in Government
• 1/2 credit in senior Social Studies
• 2 credits in Science (1 in Biology and 1 in Physical Science)
• 1  credit in Health Enhancement
• 1 credit in Visual or Performing Arts
• 1 credit in Practical Arts
• 7 Elective credits selected by the student

For more information regarding graduation requirements, please contact your individual high school.


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