The high school curriculum is composed of courses in English/Language Arts (grammar, composition, and literature), mathematics, science, social studies, career technology education (CTAE), fine arts (art, band, chorus, and drama), Junior Reserved Officers Training Corps (JROTC/NROTC), modern languages (French, German, Spanish) and Latin, and physical education and health. A general description of each course is available online in the Course Description Catalog and is also available at each high school’s counselor's office. Parents and students are strongly encouraged to meet regularly with their assigned Professional School Counselor regarding graduation requirements, programs of study, career pathways, state-mandated testing requirements, scholarship opportunities, dual enrollment, and non-traditional instructional programs.
Graduation from the Columbia County School System is based upon completing all coursework requirements, earning units of credit as specified by state and local policies and completing a Senior Project as required by local policy and facilitated in 12th grade English.
Upon graduation, many students plan to continue their education by attending post-secondary institutions. These institutions have varying entrance requirements; therefore, it is vitally important for parents and students to determine the specific admissions criteria of the desired institution and plan accordingly by registering for appropriate high school courses. Special attention should be given to the areas of mathematics, science, and foreign language.
The Georgia Department of Education adopted new graduation requirements (Policy IHF-6) for all students entering high school from 2008 and beyond. These requirements include a single-track diploma system, increased course credits toward graduation in mathematics and science, and a standards-based instructional curriculum for all content areas as mandated by the Georgia Department of Education. In addition, an integrated mathematics curriculum has replaced the traditional math curriculum. The Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE's) for mathematics have been designed to achieve a balance among concepts, skills, and problem-solving. The curriculum stresses rigorous concept development, presents realistic and relevant tasks, and keeps a strong emphasis on computational skills.
Students in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades begin receiving counseling, advisement, career awareness, career interest inventories and information to assist them in evaluating their academic skills and career interests. Before the end of the second semester of the eighth grade, students will develop an individual graduation plan in consultation with their parents, guardians, or individuals appointed by the parents or guardians to serve as their designee. High school students will receive guidance, advisement, and counseling annually that will enable them to successfully complete their individual graduation plans, preparing them for a seamless transition to postsecondary study, further training, or employment.