• Grosse Pointe Public School System

    To: Parents of Grosse Pointe High School Students

    From: High School Principals

    Subject: Personal Curriculum Process and Criteria

    Date: January, 2009

    Recent revisions in the Michigan School code provided for a parent or legal guardian to request a personal curriculum for the pupil that allows specific modifications to certain of the Michigan merit standard requirements. The personal curriculum (PC), requested by the parent, legal guardian, or emancipated student, allows the board of a school district or public school academy to award a high school diploma providing the student completes the PC, including as many of the content expectations of the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) as practicable.

    The legislative intent of the PC is to increase the rigor and relevance of the educational experience. In this context, “practicable” is an inclusive term meaning as much of the subject area content expectations as possible during high school instruction for the individual student. Students with disabilities operate under this same context of increased rigor and relevance as well. The implication for a student with disabilities using the PC option is that the school “shall incorporate” as much of the content expectations in areas that are being modified as is reasonably doable for the individual student, while maintaining the legislative intent of increased rigor for all students.

    Recommendations for all students

    • The Personal Curriculum Committee at each high school shall consist of the Principal (or administrator designee), the parent or legal guardian (except in the case of an emancipated student), the student, a counselor and, in the case of a special education student, a special education teacher and/or psychologist. Additional resource people may be included as needed.
    • Parents and/or students may apply for a Personal Curriculum second semester of the second year of high school.
    • Plans must be approved by either the Superintendent or the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction.
    • For general education the following modifications may be allowed:
      • Math may be modified if the student completes two credits of math (including Algebra I and Geometry) and completes at least the equivalent content of one semester of Algebra II or completes one credit of Algebra II over two years. Additional credits needed for the four year requirement may be taken in a math or math related course.
      • Social Studies may be modified only after completing 2 credits including Government/Civics. The student may then complete the requirement with one additional credit of English, Math, Science or Foreign Language.
      • Health and Physical Education may be modified if the student completes one additional credit of English, math, science or foreign language.
      • Visual, Performing or Applied Arts may be modified if the student completes one additional credit of English, math, science or foreign language.
    • If a student makes one of the modifications above, the successful completion of the alternative class becomes a new graduation requirement for that student.
    • For Algebra II, the only content area for which completion of only one of the two semesters is permitted; the mathematics department will define which content expectations are part of semester 1.
    • Educational Development Plans are an important component of the Personal Curriculum process. Currently, such plans are initiated using Career Cruising in seventh grade as required by the state and continued throughout a student's secondary career. Additional planning information, including a tentative four year plan for high school courses, should be completed by the end of eighth grade and regularly updated through high school.

    Recommendations for Special Education Students with an IEP

    The Personal Curriculum (PC) is a documented process that modifies certain requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC), which was legislated by the state of Michigan. The legislative intent of the PC is to increase the rigor and relevance of the educational experience. The PC is not a stand alone document that drives a student's high school experience but must be developed and coordinated with any other plans a student has in effect such as the Educational Development Plan (EDP) and the Individualized Educational Program (IEP). A request for consideration of a personal curriculum must be made by a parent, legal guardian, or emancipated student.

    The use of a personal curriculum modification for a student with a disability is allowed by State statute when a student with an IEP needs to modify the credit requirements based on his or her disability and/or lack of progress on the MMC despite documented interventions, supports and accommodations.

    All options available to general education students are available to special education students.

    The following content areas are eligible for modification for Students with a Disability through a Personal Curriculum:

    • Mathematics
    • Social Studies
    • Physical Education and Health
    • Visual, Performing or Applied Arts
    • English Language Arts
    • Science
    • World Languages (for class of 2016)
    • Online Learning Experiences

    Key Points for the PC for Students with Disabilities

    For a student eligible for special education services, the personal curriculum modifications must:

    • Incorporate as much of the subject area content expectation as practicable for the student
    • Be consistent with both the Educational Development Plan (EDP) and the Individualized Education Program (IEP)
    • Modify components of the content expectations within each credit requirement.

    Practicable content is the mix of existing MMC content expectations and modifications to those expectations driven by student need, that when achieved, will assure the student progresses towards his or he identified post-secondary goals and career pathway. This content could also include preparatory courses which would facilitate subsequent mastery of the MMC content expectations.


    A parent, legal guardian or emancipated student with an IEP may initiate the process of considering a Personal Curriculum Modification by the second semester of the student's second year of high school by submitting a Personal Curriculum Modification Request Form.

    The building Personal Curriculum Committee will meet with the student and parent/legal guardian to either create a Personal Curriculum Modification Plan, or reach agreement that a Personal Curriculum Modification Plan is not appropriate.

    If the Personal Curriculum Committee determine that a Personal Curriculum Modification Plan is not appropriate, they will indicate this on the Personal Curriculum Modification Plan Form. The student will then complete the Michigan Merit Curriculum without modification.

    If approved:

    • Copies will be placed in the student's CA60 and submitted to the Superintendent or designee.
    • A Personal Curriculum Team (PCT) will be identified to monitor the Personal Curriculum Modification Plan. This Personal Curriculum Team will include the parent, student, counselor, school psychologist and teacher in the area of modification.
    • When the modification to the MMC begins, the Personal Curriculum Team will review the student's progress quarterly.

    The process outlined above will be reviewed periodically and may be modified to improve the process, or as new information becomes available from the State of Michigan.