School Counseling Services


Academic Planning and Graduation Requirements



Individual student planning occurs throughout each school year. Students work with counselors who use teacher recommendations and student and/or parent requests to select appropriate courses. After analyzing the student requests, the administration develops a plan for staffing courses as well as purchasing equipment and supplies for the following school year.  During the second and third quarter and the development of appropriate staffing for courses, course verification reports will be posted in Family Access. Parents have until mid-January to request in writing that counselors make changes for the next school year. After mid-January, all course requests are considered final. Changes will be considered only as a result of second semester final grades, completion of summer school classes, or school scheduling error. NOTE: Requests to change lunch periods will be accommodated only for demonstrated medical need as changing lunch periods causes imbalances in academic periods.


Course placement requests may be initiated by a teacher, student, counselor, or parent.  A request does not automatically ensure a change can be made.  If a class change request is granted, a move will only occur if space is available.  A student's performance in current and past courses plus any relevant test scores can be used in evaluating a prospective course level change.  It is expected that a conversation will occur at each level (student, parent, teacher, counselor, Division Head) to ensure that the change is appropriate.  Students and parents must be aware that a prospective level change may alter a student's current schedule.  In some cases, a preferred class may be full which will prohibit a prospective change.  Course level changes may occur within the first six weeks of the semester.    If a level change is requested after the first six weeks of a year-long course, the request will be reviewed by the Division Head, Counselor, and classroom teacher at the end of the first semester.


Requests to change a teacher, counselor, or dean will not be considered until after the end of the first semester. The person making the change request must first discuss the concern with the counselor or dean. If resolution is not achieved as a result of the discussion, the student/parent/guardian must follow the District Decision and Appeals process described in this catalog. If a counselor or dean change is made, the student will be moved to the counselor/dean who currently carries the lowest caseload.


After the 5th day of school attendance, new classes no longer will be added to a student's schedule. If a student withdraws from a class after the 6th week of school attendance, a grade of W will show on the transcript. If a student withdraws from a class after the 9th week of school attendance, a grade of WF will show on the transcript.  It is expected that an in-person conversation will occur with the classroom teacher before a withdrawal request is made.


Arabic numerals following a course title are used to designate the specific semesters of subjects which extend over more than one semester. The Academic Catalog lists full-year courses as three-digit codes. A one-semester course offered only during a specific semester contains four digits with the final digit reflecting the semester in which the course is offered.

If the description of a course lacks the designation “Open to . . .” it may be assumed that the course is open to all students. If no prerequisite is indicated, it may be assumed that there is no prerequisite for the course. All questions regarding course descriptions should be directed to the Division Head of the division in which the course is offered or to the Director of Student Learning.


The maximum number of semester courses a sophomore, junior, or senior may take is 7. Freshmen are limited to 5 semester courses plus Physical Education/Health Education and, if they choose, a performance class (band, orchestra, chorus, or acting) for non GPA-bearing weight. Freshmen not enrolled in a music or acting performance course or in a curricular intervention program will be enrolled in freshman study hall.

In the summer term, a student may enroll for 1, 2, or 3 courses. Students who desire to take courses in the summer term are encouraged to take them at Oak Park and River Forest High School. If a student needs courses not offered by the Oak Park and River Forest High School Summer School, the student may take them in the summer term at another accredited high school.


A student must earn a minimum of 43 credits as specified in the table below to be eligible for an OPRFHS diploma.  A credit is granted for any credit-bearing semester course in which a student earns a passing grade.  A student must enroll in at least 5 full-credit courses per semester to be considered a full-time student.  Requirements may be altered for Special Education students according to the provisions of their Individual Education Plan (IEP).  Summer field courses may not be used to satisfy any specific graduation requirement; they may be used only to satisfy the elective requirement.