High School Curriculum General Information

Academic Intervention Services

Students unable to meet Regents or NYS proficiency requirements will be assigned Academic Intervention Services (AIS). AIS classes are required by New York state and shall take priority over elective course selections.

Advanced Placement/University in the High School/Distance Learning

Stillwater High School provides students with opportunities to gain college credit through coursework completed at SHS. Prerequisite coursework and teacher recommendation are required for consideration for Advanced Placement (AP), University in the High School (UHS), or Distance Learning (DL) classes offered on the HVCC ITV network. UHS are college-level classes taught by SHS staff through SUNY Adirondack.

AP and UHS courses are listed in the High School Program of Studies.

All students enrolled in AP classes must take the AP exam. The grades on the AP examination are reported on a five-point scale:
5 – Extremely well qualified
4 – Well qualified
3 – Qualified
2 – Possibly qualified
1 – No recommendation
Based on a student score, college credit may be granted for AP coursework/exam participation.*

SUNY Adirondack and HVCC offer college credit to students who satisfactorily pass a course.

*There is no guarantee that colleges and universities will accept college credit taken at SHS including Advanced Placement (AP), UHS or HVCC ITV course credits. Students must contact college admission offices to discuss their policies and procedures regarding UHS, HVCC ITV and AP course credit.

Disciplinary Disclosure Practice for College Applications

In accordance with The National Association for College Admissions Counseling’s Statement of Principles of Good Practice, it is the policy of Stillwater High School to answer questions regarding a student’s disciplinary history on college and scholarship applications. Disclosures are made for infractions committed during the student’s high school years which lead to out of school suspension or expulsion and only if the college or scholarship director requests this information.

Course Load Requirements

Enrollment in Courses

  • All students at SHS must take 5 academic credits plus Physical Education for a minimum of 5½ units of credit each year.
  • Students who fall behind in credits may be required to carry a heavier load of units of credit along with physical education.
  • Class placement is based upon the number of credits previously earned.
  • Seniors not meeting the 5½ credit minimum will be scheduled into elective classes.

Course Selections

Beginning the second semester, all students will select courses for the following school year. Course selections will be based on:

  • Graduation requirements
  • Prerequisite knowledge
  • Successful completion of current courses
  • Sequence coursework requirements
  • Proficiency level reached on Regents and NYS Exams
  • Teacher recommendations
  • Student interest

A parent must approve these selections before an assignment is complete. Courses not approved by the above-mentioned criteria but requested by parents will require a waiver for student enrollment submitted to the school principal.

Grading System/Class Rank

Stillwater High School derives a class rank for each student based on the weighted average of the course. AP courses, University in the High School, Distance Learning classes, and Advanced Classes are weighted for class ranking purposes. Weighted grades will be reported to colleges.

Drop/Add Deadline

Drop/add requests for full year courses must be made within the first two weeks of the start of the school year. Drops after the two week period need a compelling reason to drop and it needs to be signed-off by the principal. Drop/add requests for half-year courses must be filed with the Counseling office for consideration within the first two weeks of a semester.

Doubling Contracts

Doubling must be agreed upon and endorsed by the Principal, parents, student and counselor. Due to the four units of credit in both English and Social Studies diploma certification required by the State of New York, doubling in these subject areas is allowed only with the approval of the Principal.

Counseling Services

Each student has a counselor who is available to assist in planning the student’s high school program and to help with college or career decisions. The Counseling Department is a central component of advocacy for the student beginning from the student’s first day of school at SHS. Daytime appointments to serve all students’ needs are easily scheduled.


Incomplete grade will be issued with prior approval of the principal. Students awarded an incomplete grade will have two weeks to complete and submit all necessary work to secure a grade for that marking period.

Levels of Placement

SHS offers several levels of instructional placement: Advanced Placement (AP), University in the High School (UHS), Advanced (A) and Regents (R).

AP: Students recommended for AP courses will be those who submit work of high quality, maintain superior achievement levels with course work and demonstrate a clear understanding and thorough conceptual knowledge of the subject matter. AP students will also be expected to keep a high level of motivation and willingness to independently seek out subject content in and outside of the classroom.

UHS: University in the High School (UHS) courses are reserved for the college-bound student seeking to experience a college-based curriculum. UHS students demonstrate a high degree of independent and critical thinking and a highly motivated approach to their studies.

A: Advanced courses are enriched beyond the equivalent Regents level course as preparation for a UHS, HVCC or AP Course. Selection is based upon tested ability, past achievement and teacher recommendations.

R: Regents-level courses are based upon the New York Learning Standards, with topics covered in preparation for the required Regents examinations. The Regents program is intended to prepare students for post-high school education and trade development.

National Honor Society (NHS) Selection Process

All second semester juniors with a cumulative average of 90 or higher will be academically eligible to apply to the NHS. The inductees shall be selected from this group on the basis of scholarship, leadership, character and service. The NHS Faculty Council, composed of five faculty members appointed by the principal, will make the final selection guided by faculty inputs. A formal induction ceremony will honor these students in the spring of their junior year. Members are expected to maintain the high standards of scholarship, leadership, character and service on which their selection was based in accordance with the SHS Chapter Bylaws.

Regents Examination Retakes

Students may retake available New York State Regents examinations in June, January, or August. A student must notify their counselor of their desire to do so by the published deadline, specifying which tests they wish to retake. Unless a student is enrolled in a summer school course in that subject, they must seek instruction from a qualified tutor. Raising a low Regents test score may also help a student qualify for the New York State Regents or Regents with Advanced Designation diploma. Students who wish to retake Regents examinations in January, June, or August must register with their school counselor.

Scholastic Recognition

At the end of each marking period, three categories of recognition are generated on the basis of student performance during that marking period.

  • Principal’s List includes those students who achieve an overall average of 95 or higher at the end of each marking period.
  • High Honor Roll includes students whose average falls in the range of 89.5 to 94.9.
  • Honor Roll includes students whose average falls in the range of 84.5 to 89.4

At the end of the school year, the top ten seniors of the graduating class along with the top six students from each underclass grade level will be selected and recognized.

Summer School

Students requiring summer school will be notified by their school counselor.

Superintendent/Principal Medal

Students who earn a 90 percent or higher on all eight Regents exams plus score at least 1200 on the SAT and/or a 26 on the ACT receive a Superintendent Medal. Students who earn 85 percent or higher on all eight Regents exams receive a Principal Medal.

Transfer Students

The following NYS regulations govern test awards for students who first enter a NYS high school. The principal may choose to waive the following Regents exams for a high school diploma:

  • Entering 12th grade –Science and Global History
  • Entering 11th grade – Global History

Regents exams may not be waived for students entering 9th or 10th grade from schools outside NYS.

Unit of Credit for Advancement

Students must meet the following requirements to advance to the next grade level:

  • Grade 9 – Be promoted from Grade 8
  • Grade 10 – Minimum of 5 units of Credit; one must be English 9 or Global History 9
  • Grade 11 – Students must have 10 Credits, including at least three in English and Social Studies
  • Grade 12 – Students must be able to meet graduation requirements by June