Graduating with Honors or Distinction

  • Graduation with Honors

    Students who score at or above all of the subject area readiness benchmarks on the ACT or equivalent score on the SAT will graduate with honors. The ACT benchmarks are as follows:

    English – 18

    Math – 22

    Reading - 22

    Science – 23

    Graduation with Distinction

    Students will be recognized as graduating with “distinction” by attaining a B (3.0 cumulative GPA or above) average and completing at least one of the following:

    • Earn a nationally and or state recognized industry certification
    • Participate in at least one (1) of the Governor’s Schools
    • Participate in one (1) of the state’s All State musical organizations
    • Earn statewide recognition or award at a skill- or knowledge-based state tournament, convention, or competition hosted by a statewide student organization, and/or qualify for national recognition by a national student organization
    • Be selected as a National Merit Finalist or Semi-Finalist
    • Attain a score of thirty-one (31) or higher composite score on the ACT or SAT equivalent
    • Attain a score of three (3) or higher on at least two Advanced Placement exams
    • Earn 12 or more semester hours of college credit as indicated on high school transcript.

    *Students graduating with a gold or platinum medal on National Career Readiness Certificate (WorkKeys) shall be recognized.
    *Students who voluntarily complete at least ten (10) hours of community service each semester the student is in attendance at a public high school shall be recognized.

    Tri-Star Scholar

    A student who earns the following shall be recognized by placing an appropriate designation on the student’s diploma and by the student’s name in the school’s graduation program:

    • a composite score of nineteen (19) or higher on the ACT, or an equivalent score on the SAT
    • capstone industry certification as promoted by the Department of Education

    Tennessee Seal of Biliteracy

    Students who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one (1) or more languages in addition to English shall be recognized with a Seal of Biliteracy of high school diploma.

    Students receiving this recognition shall meet the following criteria:

    • Complete all English language arts (ELA) requirements for graduation with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher in those classes;
    • Demonstrate English proficiency through one (1) of the following:
      • Score at the on-track or mastered level on each ELA end-of-course assessment taken;
      • Score three (3) or higher on an Advanced Placement English Language or English Literature exam; B1 or higher on a Cambridge International English exam; or four (4) or higher on an International Baccalaureate English exam;
      • Score 22 or higher on the ACT Reading subtest or 480 or higher on the SAT evidence- based reading and writing subtest; or
      • Score 4.5 or higher on the WIDA Access, if the student is an English learner; and
    • Demonstrate proficiency in a world language through one (1) of the following:
      • Score Intermediate-Mid or higher in all three (3) communication modes (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) on a world language proficiency assessment recognized by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
      • Score three (3) or higher on an Advanced Placement world language exam; B1 or higher on a Cambridge International world language exam; or four (4) or higher on an International Baccalaureate world language exam;
      • Score at the Intermediate level or higher on the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI: ASL);
      • Pass a foreign government's approved non-English language exam, or score at a level comparable to Intermediate-mid or higher on the ACTFL proficiency scale on another country’s secondary level standardized exam in the country’s non- English native language; or
      • Score at a level comparable to Intermediate-Mid or higher on the ACTFL proficiency scale on an LEA developed alternate model. Alternate models may only be used if the identified world language does not have an associated nationally recognized assessment and must address communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities.

    Other Graduation Recognitions

    • Students who voluntarily complete at least ten (10) hours of community service each semester the student is in attendance at a public high school shall be recognized at their graduation ceremony.
    • Students graduating with a gold or platinum medal on National Career Readiness Certificate (WorkKeys) shall be recognized at their graduation ceremony.
    • Students graduating with a district-developed work ethic distinction shall be recognized at their graduation ceremony.

    Wilson County Work Ethic Distinction

    • Attendance Standard
      • (5 pts) No more than 1 unexcused  absence from school during  senior year
      • (3 pts) No more than 3 unexcused  absences from school during  senior year
      • (1 pts) No more than 5 unexcused  absences from school during  senior year
    • Tardiness Standard
      • (2 pts) No more than 1 tardy from  school during senior year
      • (1 pts) No more than 3 tardies from  school during senior year
    • Discipline Standard
      • (2 pts) ​​No discipline referrals during senior year
      • (1 pts) No more than 1 referral during senior year
    • Drug Free Standard
      • (4 pts) Student Voluntary presents proof of being drug free
    • Overall Grade Point Average Standard
      • (3 pts) Overall GPA above a 3.5 unweighted
      • (2 pts) Overall GPA between 3.00-3.499 unweighted
      • (1 pts) Overall GPA between 2.0-2.99 unweighted
    • Career and Technical Education (CTE) Coursework Standard
      • (3 pts) Student has earned 3 or more CTE credits by the end of senior year
      • (2 pts) Student has earned 2 or more CTE credits by the end of senior year
      • (1 pts) Student has earned 1 or more CTE credit by the end of senior year
    • Career and Technical Education (CTE) Competition Standard
      • (3 pts) Student has competed in an approved National-level CTE competition
      • (2 pts) Student has competed in an approved State-level CTE competition
      • (1 pts) Student has competed in an approved Regional-level CTE competition
    • TN Promise Standard
      • (2 pts) Student is good standing with TN Promise
    • Dual Enrollment/ Credit Standard
      • (2 pts) Student has earned credit for at least one Dual Enrollment, Dual Credit, or Advanced Placement course.
    • Industry Certification
      • (3 pts) Student has earned a state or nationally recognized industry certification prior to graduation
    • Employed, Enlisted, or Enrolled Standard
      • (2 pts) Student is registered or applied to a post-secondary institution, is employed, or has enlisted into military service.
    • Career Readiness: Academic Standard
      • (3 pts) Student has earned College and Career readiness Lexile
    • Career Readiness: ACT Standard
      • (4 pts) Student has earned College and Career benchmark in all sub tests of the ACT
      • (3 pts) Student has earned College and Career benchmark in 3 sub tests of the ACT
      • (2 pts) Student has earned College and Career benchmark in 2 sub tests of the ACT
      • (1 pts) Student has earned College and Career benchmark in 1 sub tests of the ACT
    • Industry Awareness Standard
      • (3 pts) Student has participated in Work-based learning, an apprenticeship, or internship in CTE related field.
    • Community Service Standard
      • (3 pts) Student has completed 30 hours or more in community service
      • (2 pts) Student has completed 20 hours or more in community service
      • (1 pts) Student has completed 10 hours or more in community service
    • Gold Work Ethics distinction is 35 or more points 
    • Silver Work Ethics distinction is 30-34 points 
    • Bronze Work Ethics distinction is 25-29 points