Academic Planning

  • Quick Links, this page:
    Academic Planning
    Scholar's Programs
    Alternative Methods of Earning Credit
    Enrichment Opportunities
    Community Service & Service Learning
    Quick Links, other pages:
    9th-Grade Timeline
    10th-Grade Timeline
    11th-Grade Timeline
    12th-Grade Timeline

    Counselors work with students to plan a four-year curriculum that will keep them on track to meet graduation requirements and prepare them for college and beyond. In addition to regular classroom visits and communication from counselors, students will find useful planning resources on this page. 


    Academic Planning

    PPS Diploma Requirements
    Four-year Planning Worksheet
    Forecast Guide
    Forecast Forms

    Add/drop form. Students may add or drop courses during the first three weeks of each semester with parental and counselor approval and without grade penalty. See page 2 of the Student/Parent Handbook for more information and check the school calendar for add/drop deadlines each semester.

    Pass/no pass form. Note: Courses required for graduation are NOT subject to the Pass/No Pass option. In a few selected courses, or under special circumstances, students may choose within the first three weeks of each semester to take a course on a Pass/No Pass basis. See the course syllabus to determine if a class is eligible for the Pass/No Pass option. A building administrator, teacher, student and parent need to sign off and approve on a Pass/No Pass grade option.  See page 9 of the Student/Parent Handbook for more information.

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    Scholar's Programs

    Advanced Placement

    Taking AP courses in high school helps prepare students for the level of challenge they will find in college, signals to college admissions officers that a student is ready to succeed at the undergraduate level, and can earn students college credit while still in high school. …Learn more about AP courses at Wilson

    Woodrow Wilson Scholars

    Wilson High School offers a scholars program to provide a framework for students to plan a rigorous course of study with attention to all disciplines. The curriculum exceeds the requirements of most colleges and is not mandatory for students planning to attend college. Students who complete seven semesters with a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA and complete the requirements for the program, including community service, receive the “scholars” distinction at graduation.

    community service sheet

    National Honor Society

    Juniors with a 3.5 GPA or higher will be invited to complete an application in the Fall of Junior Year. Eligible students who submit a completed application and $15 dues (reduced rate available) will be inducted at a ceremony to be held in the November. To maintain NHS membership, students must complete 20 hours of service, exhibit good character (any school suspension or drug/alcohol violations could result in loss of membership), maintain outstanding scholarship, and demonstrate leadership.

    Wilson High School Valedictorian Honors

    Wilson valedictorians are recognized as those students who have earned straight A’s through all eight semesters. Portland Public Schools recognizes those students who earned all A's through semester seven, but we have discovered that some students fail to continue these excellent work habits through the end of their senior year. This can result not only in poor grades during semester eight, but in some cases can also lead to college admission offers being rescinded. We don’t want this to happen to any of our students, and we want to recognize academic excellence at our commencement ceremony in June.

    The Wilson policy has been the following since September, 2008:

    • Students who have earned a 4.0 un-weighted grade point average through semester seven will continue to be recognized by Portland Public Schools at its School Board Meeting recognition ceremony in May.
    • Wilson High School’s recognition of valedictorians at graduation will only include those who have earned a 4.0 un-weighted grade point average though all eight semesters of high school.
    • We will also recognize the student with the top weighted grade point average, through semester eight, at graduation.


    If you have any questions, please contact you student’s counselor for clarification.

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    Credit Recovery & Alternative Methods of Earning High School Credit

    Students have many alternatives to acquire high school credit, recover credit from previous courses in which they received an "F" grade, or improve grades. Always check with your counselor before enrolling to see if the credit will transfer as an elective or required course on your transcript. Wilson only accepts credit from accredited institutions. Below are the institutions most commonly used by Wilson students; however, the list is not exhaustive.

    Portland Evening Scholars at Benson

    Portland Evening Scholars (PES) is a supplemental credit recovery and credit advancement program; it is NOT a diploma or a G.E.D. program. All PES students (with few exceptions) are also attending a day school program while they are taking classes with PES.

    Course Credits: Students earn 1/2 credit for each semester course successfully completed at PES. Each class is held one night a week, from 6-9 pm. PES follows a two-semester schedule. Fall Semester runs September through January. Spring Semester runs February through May.

    Registration, fees, and course info are updated in early September for Fall Semester, and in January for Spring Semester.

    Summer Scholars at Benson

    Summer Scholars is a high school credit recovery and credit advancement program. It is a tuition-based program for students who want to recover credit, improve a grade, or get ahead by earning original credit. Each three-week semester carries 0.5 credits.

    Work Experience Elective Credit

    In some circumstances, students may earn credit toward graduation through work experience, either paid or unpaid. For information on earning credit for paid employment, Click here. For information on earning credit for unpaid employment, click here.



    STAMP (STAndards-based Measurement of Proficiency) is a web-based test that is an option for high school students to earn academic credits for language proficiency. Students should be native English speakers or ESL students with high intermediate to advanced English. Application with parent signature is required at time of test.

    Virtual Scholars

    Virtual scholars is a free online credit recovery program offered as a class at Wilson to students who have received a “D” or “F”grade and need to improve their grade. See your counselor to sign up.

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    Enrichment Opportunities

    Saturday Academy

    Saturday Academy offers a broad range of hands-on classes and camps during the school year and school vacations. Courses include topics in science, engineering, writing, college entrance test prep, programming, art, filmmaking, and more.

    Apprenticeships in Science and Engineering (ASE)

    The ASE Program provides a full summertime work experience beginning with the application process and interview skill training. Successful applicants are selected by ASE mentors and gain professional experience while working as interns with mentor scientists and engineers from industry, university, non-profit and government agencies. Applications due in late February. 

    Partnership for Scientific Inquiry

    The Partnership for Scientific Inquiry class is designed to allow Portland area high school students an opportunity to experience scientific research. The class pairs students with OHSU faculty mentors. Students prepare a research proposal that describes work which could be done in the mentor's lab over the ensuing summer. Please note this program meets during the second academic semester (Feb-June) and students may continue in the summer to conduct research with their mentor. High school credit can be obtained for participation in this upper level class. This class meets every Monday from 4:30 to 6:30 PM on the OHSU campus beginning approximately Feb. 1 and continuing throughout the remainder of the school year. High school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are invited to apply. Students must have no scheduling conflicts that would interfere with attending all classes. The class is rigorous with weekly homework as well as written and oral presentations.

    Architecture, Construction, Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program

    To be eligible, students must have at least a 2.0 grade point average, good attendance, teacher recommendations and two full years of math. They must also complete an interview. Applications are usually due in December. Teams are composed of 15-25 students and their industry mentors. Each team is set up to emulate an actual design team, with students guided through a mock design project by their architect, engineer, and construction management mentors. Several companies will be assigned to each team, each providing one or two mentors. Mentors guide the students as they work towards a final project, introducing them to the careers, industry vocabulary, and various roles companies play in the construction industry. ACE runs for the duration of the school year. The teams meet for approximately 15 sessions, for about two hours after school. In addition to these team sessions, there are also all-team activities such as "College Night" and field trips to construction sites. ACE students are eligible for ACE scholarships, which they can apply toward higher education in a building-related field.

    Lewis and Clark College Templeton Scholars

    Qualified students who seek a challenging academic experience beyond the offerings of their high school curriculum may enroll in regular Lewis & Clark courses with the permission of the instructor.

    Reed College Young Scholars

    High-school seniors who are ready for part-time, rigorous college study may apply to take one college class at Reed for the full academic year while concurrently enrolled in high school. Applicants must have exhausted high-school curricula options in the subject he or she wishes to take at Reed, or have demonstrated a serious and sustained interest in a subject not offered at the high school.

    Portland Community College

    Some juniors and seniors elect to take a class or two at PCC to supplement their education at experience.

    Portland State University Leap Into New Knowledge (LINK)

    LINK is an academic-year scholarship program (not offered in the summer) for selected high school juniors and seniors to attend the Portland State University for part-time advanced study. Students submit applications by May 31 every year to start at PSU in the following academic year. To qualify for the program, students must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average and have exhausted all available course offerings in a particular subject area.

    Brigham Young University-Independent Study

    BYU Independent Study is a nonprofit online educational program. Enrollment is open to anyone, any time of the year, with a full year to complete most courses. Wilson Counselors can proctor their own students for BYU exams for a $10 fee. To have your exams proctored at Wilson, be sure to include the code for Wilson (380937) when you sign up for your course. Contact your counselor a few weeks in advance of when you plan to take your exam to make sure he or she is available to be your proctor. When you enter the code, your counselor’s name will show up at the BYU website on the list of approve proctors. Pay the fee at the bookkeeper’s office before taking your exam.

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    Wilson Tutor Time

    Teachers are available in their classrooms to provide extra help to students or administer make-up exams during Tutor Time (9:36-10:36 am on most Thursdays and either Wednesday or Friday).


    Khan Academy

    Khan Academy is an educational non-profit with an extensive library of content, covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history, and including interactive challenges, assessments, and videos accessible for free from any computer with access to the web.


    Private Tutors

    Your counselor may be able to provide tutor referrals, and they may also be found through local colleges, Craigslist, or word of mouth.

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    Community Service and Service Learning


    Community Service (CS): Volunteering in your community to help people, organizations, agencies make the community a better place.

    Service Learning (SL): Making community service into a learning opportunity, as part of a larger unit of study. Students might participate with a group or they may create their own SL project.

    Why: We often tell students that all citizens have the responsibility to use their gifts to contribute to making the world a better place. It is never too early to start. It is an excellent opportunity to integrate classroom learning in the community.

    If a student also wants to use his /her experience as a resume builder, taking initiative and creating a new project or taking major responsibility within an existing agency show a greater level of commitment than doing a job that someone else has thought of. Obviously, we need people to take all roles to get all the work done that is needed in the world.

    Where: Ideally, find a place that inspires your passion! You might want to volunteer at several places until you find a place that seems to really “fit” you. Start with your interests, but don’t be limited by them. You may find a new passion that you would have never dreamed of! Listen to our daily bulletin announcements for opportunities. Search the internet for non-profit organizations in Portland in your area of interest, i.e. animals, environment, politics, social services, business, construction, et cetera. Pick an activity to which you can devote yourself and where you can deepen your skills. This can also be an opportunity to learn about another culture, in your own city! You can learn how others solve problems and also how some people only have resources to just survive. Research the agency prior to calling. It’s important to know something about the organization, before you volunteer.

    Results: Learn to talk and write about your experience. What were your challenges? How did you change? How were you able to take initiative? How was your passion inspired?

    Warning: Here are a few ideas of places to serve; check them out to see if they are right for you. We have not personally checked out these agencies. Talk to your parents, teachers and counselors if anything seems odd or uncomfortable in any situation.

    General volunteer search options

    Congressional Service Award: Apply online, preferably early in your high school career. If you are willing to set goals and document your participation in four areas, you can earn this prestigious award.


    Friends Library Store, 801 SW 10th
    Portland'5 Centers for the  Arts, 32 NW 5th Ave; Theatre companies: Portland Center Stage, Third Rail Repertory, Artists Repertory, Interstate Cultural Theatre, Firehouse Theatre, Tears of Joy Theatre.
    KBOO Radio
    Oregon Public Broadcasting


    Oregon Humane Society, NE Columbia Blvd.
    PAW Team
    Cat Adoption Team
    Dove Lewis
    Feral Cat Coalition
    Pixie Project

    Community Services:

    Community Warehouse
    Growing Gardens
    Q Center
    Write Around Portland
    Giving Tree
    Community Cycling Center
    Neighborhood House
    Oregon Food Bank
    Big Brothers, Big Sisters
    Habitat for Humanity
    Western Farmworkers Association. Work in English or Spanish to help local farmworkers get services.



    Friends of Trees
    Oregon Wild
    Rebuilding Center
    Tryon Creek State Park
    Leach Botanical Garden
    Student Conservation Association
    Plastics recycling



    Living Yoga
    North by Northeast Community Health Center
    Local hospitals all have volunteer programs.
    Planned Parenthood
    Wallace Medical Concern


    Volunteer at local elementary and middle schools.
    Offer to tutor other high school students in your strong subjects.
    Friends of the Children
    Chess for Success
    Free Geek

    Social Action:

    American Friends Service Committee
    Sisters of the Road
    Center for Intercultural Organizing
    Bicycle Transportation Alliance


    Seek out opportunities with locally, regionally or nationally elected officials. Be prepared with a resume detailing your interests and experiences.
    Bus Project Foundation

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