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New Student FAQ

New & Prospective Student Frequently Asked Questions:

Is there more than one lunch?
Garfield only has one lunch for all students.

Is there a lot of homework?
If you are taking a regular class you can expect 2-3 hours of homework per week, if it is an honors class you can expect 3-4 hours per week, if it is an AP class you can expect 4-5 hours per week. 

Do I have to take PE?
3 semesters of PE are required to graduate, however there are ways that this requirement can be waived. See the PE Waiver form for more details.

Can I take a different World Language than the one I took in MS?
Yes, Garfield offers Spanish, French, and Japanese.

I would like to take classes over the summer to get a head in Math, Science, or World Language, how can I do that?
The Digital Learning Department, of OSPI has online providers. You can select a provider, pay their fee for a full year of a course. Once you have completed the full year (it will need to be completed by mid-August) you will submit the transcript from the online provider to your Garfield Counselor and they will update your schedule accordingly. These are NOT for credit classes, but placement ONLY!

Can I take more than one Science class at a time?
Unfortunately, we are not able to offer students the opportunity to take more than one Science class at a time.

Can I take more than one Math class at a time?
For 9th Grade students we do have the Double Math block where students are able to take both Algebra and Geometry during 9th grade in hopes that they will continue thru AP Calculus BC. This opportunity is not available in other grades.

Does 9th grade really count?
Yes, your 9th grade classes are a part of your high school transcript, colleges will see your 9th grade year, just like they will see your 12th grade year.

Can I change my schedule if I don’t want/like the classes I received?
Unfortunately not the master schedule is built based on the course requests we receive in the Spring, so it is important that you are requesting classes that you want to take as the reasons for schedule changes are VERY limited. See below.

Does Garfield do Full Year Scheduling?
Yes, the schedule you receive in the fall will be your schedule for the full year, there will not be any 2nd semester changes.

Are there reasons a 9th grader can submit a change request form?
There are only two reasons 9th graders can submit a change request form. 1) There is no class assigned for a particular period – you have a hole in your schedule or 2) You are missing a CORE class (LA, Math, Science, or History). No other requests will be accepted.

How many credits do you need to graduate?
Class of 2021 and beyond need 24 credits to graduate.

How many hours of Community Service do you need to graduate?
You need 60 hours of Community Service to graduate. Hours completed the summer prior to 9th grade do not count toward the 60 hours needed for graduation. Some ideas for places you may volunteer are: Hospitals, Parks and Recreation Centers, Food Banks, Missions, etc.…

Are there Summer Programs offered thru SPS where students can earn credits?
The SPS Skills Center offers FREE Career and Technical Education (CTE) summer classes for students. For more information go to the SPS Skills Center page: https://skillscenter.seattleschools.org/summer_programs

Are there AP classes for 9th graders?
The first AP class available is AP World History and it is a 10th Grade class.

Garfield High School is an Honors for ALL High School?
Which means that all students will take Honors English and World History during their 9th grade year. There are supports built in to the system to support students who may need additional supports to work at an honors level. This is a partnership, we encourage communication between teachers and families.

When will my student begin taking the required State Testing?
Students will begin taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) in 10th Grade they will take the Math and English and in 11th Grade they will take Science.

When are PE Waivers due?
PE Waiver forms are due March 1st for 1st semester and October 1st for 2nd semester. Forms are available on the GHS website. This does not apply to those who are playing GHS sports, no waiver form is needed.

Do quarter grades go on my official transcript?
No, only semester grades are reflected on the transcript.

When can I participate in the Running Start Program?
Students who are in 11th and 12th grade are eligible to participate in the Running Start program. See your Counselor for more details.

When do rising 9th Graders and new students register?
District will notify all high schools of the new assignments, and registration packets will be mailed out over Spring Break.

What if I have questions about registration?
You will receive detailed instructions in your registration packet. We will also have all the information posted on the Garfield Counseling Registration page.

How do I purchase an ASB sticker or buy a yearbook?
You can register for a Schoolpay.com account to pay for your ASB Sticker and your Yearbook.

How do I join a club? How do I start a club?
Clubs generally meet at lunch, you just find out where they are meeting attend the meeting and if you like, you join. If none of the current 80+ active clubs meet your needs, you can start your own. Directions are on the Clubs & Organizations page .