West Wilkes High School

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu
Support your Blackhawks at our sporting events!
Public Notice
Students » Student Handbook » Academics


High School Diploma Requirements

Students earn a West Wilkes High School diploma by successfully completing all graduation requirements of the state, county and school. The High School equivalence test does not qualify a student for a West Wilkes diploma. Students who complete the additional requirements of the NC Scholars Program will be honored with a special sticker on his/her diploma.
Graduation Project Requirement

Each graduating senior must complete a graduation project. Guidelines for the graduation project are shared with seniors during their junior year and senior year of English class. All seniors will be enrolled in a Graduation Project Canvas course for completion and upload of the project requirements.

High School Grading and Reporting

The staff at West Wilkes High School will offer a rigorous academic program based on high standards for student performance. The NC Common Core and Essential Standards will be the basis for our curriculum offerings. Our staff will use current best practices in their strategies, assessments and planning areas of excellent teaching. Students are expected to do their best every day. Additional opportunities for advanced level studies will be offered and encouraged as students select such courses of study (WCS Board Policy 3400).


All grade reports for grades 9-12 shall be made using numerical grades:

A: 90-100 = 4.0
B: 80-89 = 3.0
C: 70-79 = 2.0
D: 60-69 = 1.0
F: 59 or below = 0.0

Effective with students entering the 9th grade in the school year 2015, a new weighting scale will apply to honors and college-level courses. Honors credit beyond standard weights will carry an additional 0.5 quality point and any college-level course (AP, Career and College Promise through WCC, or university) will carry an additional 1.0 quality point. The maximum credits earned for an “A” in an honors course would be 4.5 and in a college-level course, a 5.0.

Progress and Report Card Dates

Progress Reports:
September 27, 2023
December 6, 2023
February 21, 2024
May 7, 2024
Report Cards:
November 1, 2023
January 24, 2024
March 27, 2024

Final Exams (EOCs, NTEs, NC Finals) and Exemption Policies

A student may be exempt from a teacher-made exam if he/she:
  • Misses no more than four class periods AND has no more than 3 tardies per semester with an “A” average.
  • Misses no more than three class periods AND has no more than 3 tardies per semester with a “B” average.
  • Misses no more than two class periods AND has no more than 3 tardies per semester with a “C” average.
  • Misses no more than one class periods AND has no more than 3 tardies per semester with a “D” average.

Any student that qualifies for exam exemption may still choose to take the exam with no penalty. School-related absences will not count against a student’s exam exemption. A student’s privilege to be exempted under this policy will be forfeited if the student has been assigned to In School Suspension (ISS) and/or Out-of-School Suspension (OSS) for disciplinary actions. Teacher-made exams do not include any exams developed and administered by NCDPI (i.e. EOC, CTE, field tests, etc.), or any AP exams. Students enrolled in AP courses will be required to take the AP exam. Students will be counted absent during class periods for which they are exempt if they do not attend school for state reporting purposes and safety.
  • All 10th graders will take the Pre-ACT assessment
  • All 11th graders will take the ACT assessment
  • Qualifying 12th graders will take the WorkKeys assessment
  • All students who take AP courses should plan to take the AP exams administered in May 2024. If a student is enrolled in an AP course(s) and does not take the AP exam for that course(s), there will be a charge of $40 (per course) to the student for payment of the unused test(s).

Junior Marshalls

The weighted GPA will be calculated at the end of the 1st semester of the junior year for all juniors. The marshals will be determined starting with the student having the highest weighted GPA and continuing down the list until the appropriate number of students has been chosen.

Honor Graduate Recognition Protocol

Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, Wilkes County Schools will use the Latin Honors System for recognizing honor graduates in all high schools. Policy 3450 describes the changes and expectations.

Policy 3450

Class ranking is a method of measuring academic performance. The Wilkes County Board of Education also recognizes other means of evaluating student achievement, including grade point average, courses completed, the rigor of the curriculum, results of tests and assessments, and recommendation letters.

High school principals shall provide for the compilation of class rankings to be listed on the student transcripts and may make class rank information available periodically to students and their parents or guardians. While the board encourages broad means of recognizing student achievement, high school principals shall not use class rank to designate a valedictorian or salutatorian. Beginning with graduating class of 2019, high school principals shall designate the following senior honors:
  • Student with a 3.5-3.99 weighted grade point average shall receive the distinction of cum laude
  • Students with a 4.00-4.249 weighted grade point average shall receive the distinction of magna cum laude
  • Students with 4.25 or higher weighted grade point average shall receive the distinction of summa cum laude

Principals shall ensure that class ranking is computed in accordance with State Board of Education Policy GCS-L-004. The superintendent and principal shall ensure that students and parents receive adequate notice as to how class rank is calculated and shall provide written procedures on how students with equal grades, or grades that may be perceived as equal, will be treated. Nothing in this policy provides a student with any legal entitlement to a particular class rank or title.

Timeline for determining honor graduates:

1. At the completion of the first semester, schools will run the GPA and class ranking report for all juniors and seniors. This report will be used to determine Junior Marshals for that school year’s graduation. The same report will also generate the honors graduate list for any preparations for graduations (programs, awards programs, etc).

2. At the end of 2nd semester, counselors will run the GPA report after grades have been finalized. Students that earn the honors recognition in the second semester will be announced as an honor graduate and receive the correct graduation regalia (cord, collar, etc.) for graduation. Their name will not be printed in the program due to the program printing deadlines.

3. Each school will determine what graduation regalia (cord, collar, etc.) students will wear to recognize honor graduates.

4. All honor graduates of Wilkes County Schools will receive an emblem on the diploma designating the honor distinction.

Reporting of Class Rank

Class rank for all reporting purposes will be based on the weighted GPA in accordance with the State Board guidelines.

Wilkes County Schools Academic Integrity Code

Wilkes County Schools values the hard work, self-discipline, honesty, integrity, and mutual respect of all students. This Code has been established to uphold these values. Cheating, collusion, lying, and plagiarism will not be tolerated.
The following offenses constitute violations of the academic integrity code:
Cheating: Giving, taking, or presenting information or material that unethically or fraudulently aids self or others on any work to be considered in the determination of a grade or the completion of an academic requirement or the enhancement of one’s record or academic career.

1. Individual Cheating: To practice or attempt to practice dishonesty or deception in the taking of tests or in the preparation or submission of academic work purporting to be one’s own; to copy or attempt to copy another person’s test, paper, or other graded work in a course; to use or provide any notes or other prepared materials that a student is not permitted to consult during a testing period or to bring those materials into the testing area with the intent to use; to submit identical or near identical papers or coursework for credit in more than one course without permission of the instructor; to steal, deface, or destroy any research materials or technology that may deprive others of their use; to obstruct or interfere with another student’s academic work; to retain, possess, or circulate previously used exams, copies of blank tests, or other assignments without the instructor’s permission.

2. Collusion (action taken by two or more persons together to cheat): To allow another person to copy tests, papers, or other graded coursework; to provide assistance to others in the preparation of graded course work without the express consent of the instructor. Questions related to homework or other assignments should be directed to the instructor. Failing to report that another student has used your work or another’s work to commit violations of academic integrity – with or without consent.

3. Lying: Committing a forgery or giving a statement known to be false or dishonest, orally or in writing, for the purpose of, or having the effect of, protecting or improving one’s grades in a course, one’s academic record, or one’s academic standing.

4. Plagiarizing: The act of willfully copying a sentence, several sentences, or a significant part of a sentence from any source, including internet sites, that has been written by someone other than the person submitting the paper, and then neglecting to indicate that the material has been copied; also, copying from another writer by changing one or two words in the sentence, or to rearrange the order of the wording, or to paraphrase, or to summarize information and then neglect to furnish documentation. For all assignments, especially team or collaborative assignments check with the teacher to find out what level of cooperation and/or sharing is permitted.

5. Attempting: Attempting to participate in any act that if completed would result in loss of academic integrity. A student caught “attempting” to participate in such an act will face the same consequences as one who actually commits a violation.
Consequences for committing acts of Academic dishonesty:
1st Offense in any course – The student will receive a zero on the assignment, parent conference, receive a written reprimand, 1 day of ISS, and be placed on academic probation in that course for the rest of the semester.

2nd Offense in the SAME course – The student will receive an “F” in the course and 1 day of OSS. Depending upon the number of days left in the semester... the principal will decide whether to require the student to participate in Credit Recovery, or to retake the course at a later date. The student will lose the privilege of being recognized with honors by any organization sponsored by the school.
3rd Cumulative Offense (in any combination of courses) –The student will lose the privilege of being recognized with honors by any organization sponsored by the school. The student must appear before the school’s discipline committee. The committee will decide whether a placement in the Alternate Learning Program is needed.

NOTE: Depending upon the severity of the violation... additional consequences may be determined by the discipline committee. (i.e. Tampering with the school network/server or password protected files could result in criminal charges being filed).
Wilkes Community College Information
Eligible students have the opportunity to take college courses, tuition free, through Wilkes Community College's Career and College Promise program. Students will be advised by a WCC Career Coach on education pathways that lead to certificates, diplomas, and degrees, prior to enrolling in WCC courses. In Wilkes County Schools, eligible students can begin taking WCC courses the summer semester after completion of 10th grade. After students are registered for college courses, they attend a required orientation and pay a $30 material fee per course. Career and College Promise offers high school students options to pursue educational and career goals of their choice using a rigorous yet supportive structure designed to help them become successful.