Academics » Academics


Grading Scale

Students will be graded on a 10-point scale and their final numerical grades will be listed on their transcript to clearly display performance levels. Our grading system is similar to that of other educational institutions both in middle/high school and beyond, and the system facilitates our assessing transcripts and comparing grades for colleges and other requirements.


Numeric Grade


90 - 100


80 - 89


70 - 79


60 - 69





State Testing

All Southern Wake Academy students in grades 6-12th will take the North Carolina required state tests. These tests include the following: 

Grade Level

State Testing Required

Grades 6-7

  • Reading EOG
  • Math EOG

Grade 8

  • Reading EOG
  • Math EOG OR Math I EOC if taking Math I in 8th Grade
  • Science EOG

Grades 9-12 

The EOC State Converted score will count as the student’s final exam score and is weighted as 20% of the course final grade. 

  • Math I EOC
  • Biology EOC
  • English II EOC
  • Math III EOC
  • NC Final Exams for VPS courses
  • Pre-ACT
  • CCRAA- as noted in the student’s IEP
  • ACT
  • EXTEND1- as noted in the student’s IEP

Promotion and Retention
The teachers at Southern Wake Academy will be responsible for assessing each student throughout the school year in order to track their progress towards mastery.  All data, work samples and other pieces of academic evidence will be kept in each student’s individual student portfolio. If a teacher has a concern about a student’s academic progress or behavior, they will bring the concern directly the Multi-Tiered System Support (MTSS) Team. The MTSS Team includes the Dean of the Middle School, The Dean of the Upper School, the Head of School, the School Counselor, and the Exceptional Children’s Director. The MTSS Team will discuss the teachers’ concern and will then create an intervention plan.  The teacher will communicate the details of the plan with the parents.  If a teacher has a concern about the promotion of a student, the teacher will communicate their concern to the MTSS Director by following the required steps.  If necessary, the teacher, parent, student and MTSS Director will meet to discuss the details of the student’s academic progress and an additional intervention plan will be put in place. Any student being considered for retention must have already been referred to the MTSS Team.  At the end of the school year the Principal will review all of the data in the students file and a final decision will be made about the promotion or retention of the student. 

School Promotion Requirements
Middle School (Grades

Southern Wake Academy requires grade-level proficiency in reading and mathematics in order to be promoted to the next grade level in grades 6-8. To be promoted, teachers will take into context proficiency standards and receive a passing grade (D or better) in Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies or Science, and half of all remaining courses taken. In addition to academic performance requirements, students must meet the requirements of the SWA attendance policy as well as attending all portfolio conferences and completing community service/job shadow requirements. Failure to meet the requirements of the attendance policy may result in the failure of a class and grade retention. Such students receive a grade of “FDA.” Failure to meet portfolio requirements may result in withholding of report cards and a failing grade in advisory. North Carolina Law [1 15C-288(a)] mandates that the final decision regarding promotion or retention of students lies with the principal. 

High School (Grades 9-12):

  • Promoted from 9th grade to 10th grade: 5 credits including English I and two core courses 
  • Promoted from 10th grade to 11th grade: 11 credits including English II and two more core courses 
  • Promoted from 11th grade to 12th grade: Promotion to senior status will be based on the ability to fulfill all graduation requirements including the total of 26 credits.

The following Future-Ready Core Course of study must be completed in grades 9-12: 

Course Area


Southern Wake Academy Credits Requirement


  • English I
  • English II
  • English III
  • English IV



  • NC Math I
  • NC Math II
  • NC Math III
  • 4th Math based on Post-Secondary Plans


Social Studies

  • World History
  • American History I
  • American History II
  • Civics & Economics



  • Earth/Environmental Science
  • Biology
  • Physical Science



Health and PE


Foreign Language

Two Credits of the SAME World Language (Required for the UNC System)


Two elective credits of any combination from either:

  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) 
  • Arts Education
  • World Languages



Four elective credits from one of the following: 

Career and Technical Education, Arts Education, or Cross-Disciplinary Courses



0.25 credit per year


Senior Internship

Students are required to work for 265 hours, have documentation of hours, several reflections, and a final Senior presentation. This is a graduation requirement.

**For the 2020-2021 school year, adjustments have been made due to COVID-19.  Seniors will be expected to complete 8 virtual experiences prior to graduation**




*The state of North Carolina requires 22 credits for graduation.  If a student is considered at risk of not meeting SWA graduation requirements (26 credits), a determination can be made by counselor, parent, student, and administrator to reduce the graduation requirements to the state requirement*