Preparing Our Students for Smooth Transitions

Guidance, Counseling and Mentoring provides professional development, resources, advocacy and technical support to professional school counselors, graduation coaches, administrators, parents, students, and community members throughout DeKalb County. School counselors are housed in all schools and centers.

School counselors work with students on all grade levels to ensure a smooth transition from one grade level to the next. In the elementary school environment, students are taught study and organizational skills that will prepare them for future schooling. Career exploration and peer relations are important components of the elementary guidance program. As students approach the fifth grade, they are exposed to the prerequisites for middle school success. Students learn about the scheduling differences, the importance of organization, class structuring, and the peer dynamics that they will encounter upon entering middle school.
Upon entering middle school, students begin a major transition from the elementary environment to the middle school from the changing of classes, increase in homework, extracurricular activities and the physical changes of adolescence and puberty, students must learn to navigate the middle school environment. School counselors work collaboratively with parents, teachers and students to address adjustment concerns, peer relations and academic advisement to help prepare students for high school. During the 8th grade year, students meet with their school counselor to plan for their high school experience. Close monitoring of grades and exploring career interests is essential for student success at the middle school level.
The high school experience is the final level towards graduation. The school counselor serves as a critical person in navigating a successful high school experience. Individual academic advisement occurs annually with freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior students. With graduation as the goal, school counselors work to ensure that students are aware that every grade counts.
Thirteen of our school counseling programs have received recognized American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Model Program distinction from the American School Counselors Association. We are extremely proud of the following schools for receiving this national recognition:

  • Browns Mill Elementary School
  • Cedar Grove Middle School
  • The Champion School
  • Chapel Hill Middle School
  • Chesnut Elementary Charter School
  • DeKalb Alternative School
  • Lithonia Middle School
  • M.L. King, Jr. High School
  • Miller Grove High School
  • Snapfinger Elementary School
  • Towers High School

Diplomas

DeKalb County School District was one of the first systems in Georgia to increase credits for graduation and to offer a variety of diplomas.

Students must pass the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT) in five areas to receive a diploma. A certificate of performance is given to a student who completes all course work towards the diploma but does not pass all requirements of the graduation test. A certificate of performance can not be used as a diploma and will not assist with any post-secondary options for a student—a high school diploma must be received.

A college preparatory diploma with honors/distinction requires three years of a world language, a 3.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA), and a 3.0 core GPA.

Replacement Process

Graduates of DeKalb County School District have the option to order replacement diplomas through the current vendor (Jostens) by following the procedures below:

Call Jostens at 1-706-691-9359 or email Mark Peay.

**All orders must be placed Monday-Friday, during normal business hours (8:30-5:00 PM EST). Orders will only be accepted via telephone.

  • Your name at time of graduation
  • The name of the high school you graduated from
  • The type of diploma/document you earned (High School Diploma, Certificate of Performance, Transition Diploma)
  • Your date of your graduation
  • Your Shipping address
**The signatures of the current Principal, Board Chair and Superintendent will be used on replacement diplomas.

Please be prepared to pay for your order when you call Jostens. The cost of the replacement diploma is $35.00. Production time is 3-4 weeks. Diplomas will be sent directly to the requesting person at the shipping address upon completion.

Note: DeKalb County School District is not responsible for the placement or orders, payment of invoices or tracking of replacement diplomas. Any questions should be directed to Jostens.

**In many instances, an official high school transcript will serve as proof of graduation. If you are in need of a transcript to verify graduation, please contact your graduating high school or send an email to studenttranscripts@dekalbschoolsga.org or fill out a Transcript Request Form.

Mentoring Programs

DeKalb County School District is committed to improving student achievement through personal outreach. We believe that one person really can make a difference. Caring adults from the community are encouraged to become involved as volunteers in our mentoring program.

Community and Corporate Mentoring

Employees from business agencies and local community organizations mentor students on a one-to-one basis. Volunteers from the community or business groups can serve as mentors to students.

Prospective mentors are required to complete an application, a background check through the DeKalb County School District Public Safety department, and attend a mandatory four-hour training session. After training, each mentor agrees to spend at least thirty minutes a week with his/her student. For the purposes of this program, all mentoring sessions are held at the school during the school day on a regular, predictable basis. Feedback group sessions are provided throughout the school year and offer information as well as professional support to mentoring volunteers.

Training sessions for all potential community and corporate mentors will be held quarterly.

School-Based Mentoring

DeKalb County Schools offers its students school-based mentoring support. In this program, staff members are paired with students in the local schools. Participants can be self-nominated or identified by parents or the members of the school faculty as students who would benefit from one-to-one support and monitoring of personal, academic, and behavioral goals.

Mentoring activities in this program occur during the school day.

Move On When Ready

Move on When Ready (MOWR) provides opportunities for high school freshman and sophomores to enroll full time in post-secondary institutions to earn both high school and college credits simultaneously. Students are eligible to participate in Move on When Ready if they are entering the 9th through 12th grade, as determined by the District. Institutions eligible to participate in Move on When Ready include a unit of the University System of Georgia, a branch of the Technical College System of Georgia, a private, independent, nonprofit post-secondary institution eligible for tuition equalization grants, or a private proprietary post-secondary institution eligible for tuition equalization grants.

  • GAfutures.org also provides information on the Move on When Ready Program.

Promotion & Retention

Students who enter the ninth grade in 2005–2006 and beyond are required to complete 360 hours (24 units) in order to meet the requirements for graduation. The requirements for promotion are as follows:

  • to the tenth grade: 90 hours (6 units), three (3) of which must be core courses† and three (3) elective courses
  • to the eleventh grade: 180 hours (12 units), six (6) of which must be core courses† and six (6) elective courses
  • to the twelfth grade: 270 hours (18 units), nine (9) core courses† and nine (9) elective courses

† core courses include English, mathematics, science, social studies, and world language

Students who enter ninth grade prior to the 2004–2005 school year must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 330 hours (22 units) in order to meet the requirements for graduation. Students who enter ninth grade in the 2004–2005 school year and beyond are required to complete 360 hours (24 units) in order to meet the requirements for graduation. The requirements for promotion are as follows:
  • to the tenth grade: 75 hours (5 units)
  • to the eleventh grade: 150 hours (10 units)
  • to the twelfth grade: 240 hours (16 units)
Students who enter ninth grade prior to the 2004–2005 school year must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 330 hours (22 units) in order to meet the requirements for graduation. Students who enter ninth grade in the 2004–2005 school year are required to complete 360 hours (24 units) in order to meet the requirements for graduation. The requirements for promotion are as follows:
  • to the tenth grade: 75 hours (5 units)
  • to the eleventh grade: 150 hours (10 units)
  • to the twelfth grade: 240 hours (16 units)