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Incoming Freshmen Resources

Freshman Frequently Asked Questions

How can I stay updated on what is happening at San Clemente?
     Answer: You should regularly check the SCHS website, for detailed information about school programs, upcoming events, school staff, course catalog, and district guidelines. Every year, families need to update their Parent Portal and take a moment to make sure your email and phone contacts are up-to-date and correct. Once your child is enrolled at SCHS, make  sure to check your email every Tuesday evening for Triton News, a weekly newsletter with information regarding upcoming  events and deadlines at SCHS.


How can I keep track of my child’s progress?  

Answer: School Loop provides daily communication to the parent and student and displays current grades and assignments.  You will also be able to send a direct email to each teacher. Parents and students can create a brand new SCHS account with School Loop on the first day of the school year. If you try to create one before your student’s first day of high school, you will receive an error message.


Do my child and I need to create separate Student and Parent Portal Accounts?

     Answer: Yes! Every student MUST have an account in order to choose his/her courses in high school. Current CUSD 8th grade students should contact their middle school for help creating their account.  Non-CUSD students will receive this information during their enrollment. Parents MUST also have their own account in order to complete the registration process and receive the data confirmation for Walk-Through Registration.


How many classes does my student need to take their freshman year?

     Answer: All freshmen MUST be enrolled in at least 6 classes each semester. All schedules will include an English, science, math, and physical education class. Most students also take Health/CCP and choose a world language. If the student plans to do Health/CCP over the summer instead, the student can select either: Honors World History (if they are enrolled in Honors English 1), band, choir, drama, Robotics, CISCO IT Essentials, Digital Photography, or Video Production (permitting there is room). Additionally, students can apply for AVID or ASB; applications will be available on the SCHS website. The Auto Academy is only available to students starting in the sophomore year.


What world languages are offered at SCHS?

Answer: We offer Spanish, French and Sign Language. Please note: There is very limited availability in Sign Language, so you will need to also select a second choice. Also, Sign Language does NOT offer an AP or IB level.


If my student took a world language in middle school, should he/she go into an advanced level in 9th grade?

     Answer: Typically, no. Unless they are in the TWI program, the majority of freshmen will enroll in the lowest level of their chosen language. This is intended to help the student build the strongest foundation possible. During the first couple weeks of the school year, our world language teachers can assess students for potential advancement into the higher level.


Can my student take Health during the summer?

     Answer: Many 9th grade students take CCP and Health during their freshman year. When a student has an impacted schedule (more than 6 classes), he/she may take Health over summer. Students must see their 8th grade Academic Advisor to register. Non-CUSD students will be able to register when they meet with their SCHS Academic Advisor. Space is limited; current SCHS students have priority. Please keep in mind that students who do not get a spot in summer school this year will still have other opportunities to take the course.


When will my student be able to create a 4-Year Plan?

     Answer: A 4-year plan is embedded in the College and Career Planning (CCP) curriculum. Academic Advisors visit all CCP classes during the school year and assist students with this activity. If the student takes CCP in summer school, the curriculum doesn’t change; students will still create a 4-year plan.


Is CCP still a graduation requirement? 

          Answer: No. However, SCHS still offers the course for elective credit. If your student takes Health as a class for one

         semester his/her freshman year, he/she will take CCP during the opposite semester. 


Can my 9th grade student take Honors/AP/IB courses?

     Answer: We offer Honors English I, Honors Algebra II/Trig, Honors Biology and Honors World History to freshman. AP and IB courses are not offered to freshman. CUSD has set district guidelines for placement. Visit the SCHS website for district guidelines: .  Have your student continue to work hard the remainder of the year as final 4th quarter grades will be taken into consideration.


Can my 9th grade student go into a higher level math?

Answer: The district mandates the math placement based on 8th grade quarter math grades and the final math examination. A student who is new to our district will be required to take a math placement test if they are trying to test into a class above Algebra I. Contact the CUSD district office to register at (949) 234-9200, or go to and type “math placement” in the search box.    


Does my student have to try out for sports?

     Answer: Most sports require a try-out. Wrestling and freshman football do not.

     Please visit: for information regarding summer camps and tryouts.  


My student will be trying out for a sport second semester. Do they have to be in PE first semester?

     Answer: Yes. All freshmen must be enrolled in some form of physical education both semesters.


What is the International Baccalaureate (IB) program?

     Answer: The International Baccalaureate (IB) program aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people through intercultural understanding and respect. These students take the most rigorous courses that SCHS has to offer, pass an arrangement of assessments, and complete an extended essay and service hours.


Do you have a homework/tutor center?

     Answer:   Yes. Our after-school tutorial program is currently held every Monday and Wednesday from 3:00pm to 5:00pm in the Library and is led by a rotation of SCHS teachers. We also have student tutors available on Tuesday and Thursday 3-4pm. No sign-ups required; walk-ins welcome. 


Can my student request a specific teacher or specific periods?

     Answer: No. We cannot honor teacher requests, teacher changes or period requests.


Can my child have a zero period?

     Answer: A zero period may be granted to students with impacted schedules (more than 6 classes). We will

     process these requests at Walk-Thru Registration.


My child attended a private school during 8th grade. When do we enroll?

     Answer:  New Student enrollment for next year begins February 5th.  The first step is to submit the Online Enrollment Form found at . Bring all required documents to the Registrar during Enrollment Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00am - 12:00pm. No appointment is necessary.  An appointment will be set for your student to meet with their Academic Advisor to discuss their 9th grade classes at a later date.


CUSD guidelines for advancement in 9th grade: 


     Placement in English I Honors: Earn 3.5 GPA in English 8 ACC OR a 4.0 GPA in English 8


     Placement in Geometry:

Earn 3.00 GPA or higher in Algebra 1 AND a score of 75% or higher on the Algebra 1 Final Exam


Earn 2.75 GPA or higher in Algebra 1 AND a score of 85% or higher on the Algebra 1 Final Exam


     Placement in Honors Biology:

             Earn 4.0 GPA in 8th grade science AND

             Earn 3.0 or higher in Algebra I AND

             Earn 3.0 or higher in 8th grade English Acc or 4.0 in standard 8th grade English


We would love to give you a tour of our campus! We will be hosting tours at 8:30 am every Tuesday from Jan. 23rd- March 2nd.  If Tuesdays do not work for you, that's ok...just call us and we will work with your schedule!  Come see the Tritons in action!  


Call our Guidance Department at (949)492-4165 and ask for Sue Henderson to set up your tour!

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Capistrano Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in all district activities, programs, and employment based upon actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, pregnancy, age, physical or mental disability or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Reference: AR 1312.3, BP 1312.3 and BP 5183.

Rich Montgomery, Executive Director, Human Resource Services/Compliance
33122 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-9200

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