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Instruction Division » Testing Information » GSSMD

GSSMD

Golden State Seal Merit Diploma
 
Program History

The Golden State Diploma Seal Merit Diploma (GSSMD) was established in 1997 and provides recognition to public school graduates who have demonstrated mastery of the high school curriculum in designated areas. If the student meets the qualifications the GSSMD insignia will be attached to a student’s diploma and transcript.

Eligibility Requirements

To receive the GSSMD, students must be eligible to receive a high school diploma and have demonstrated the mastery of the curriculum in at least six subject matter areas, four of which are English-language arts (ELA), mathematics, science, and U.S. history, with the remaining two subject matter areas selected by the student.

The approved GSSMD eligibility requirements for the class of 2017 are as follows:

1. English language arts - students must have earned one of any of the following:
  • A grade of B+ (or numerical equivalent) or above in a single course (each semester) completed in grade nine, ten, or eleven
  • An achievement level of "Standard Met" for the high school Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment
 
2. Mathematics - students must have earned one of any of the following:
  •  A grade of B+ (or numeric equivalent) or above in a single course (each semester) completed in grade nine, ten, or eleven
  • An achievement level of "Standard Met" for the high school Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment
 
3. Science - students must have earned one of any of the following:
  • A grade of B+ (or numerical equivalent) or above in a single course (each semester) completed in grade nine, ten or eleven
  • A qualifying score that demonstrates mastery of the subject as determined by the LEA for an examination produced by a private provider or the LEA
 
4. U.S. History - students must have earned one of any of the following:
  • A grade of B (or numerical equivalent) or above upon completion of the required U.S. history course (each semester)
  • A qualifying score sthat demonstrates mastery of the subject as determined by the LEA for an examination produced by a private provider or the LEA
 
5. Two other subject matter areas - students may choose from any of the following:
  • Any additional qualifying grade or score listed above earned for the subjects of ELA, mathematics, science, or U.S. history not already used to meet eligibility
  • A grade of B (or numerical equivalent) or above upon the completion of high school courses in other subjects
  • A qualifying score that demonstrates mastery of other subjects, as determined by the LEA, for an examination produced by a private provider or the LEA
 
What will eligible students receive?

Each student who meets the criteria will receive a gold, embossed insignia to be affixed to the student’s high school diploma, and a black-and-white insignia to be affixed to the student’s transcript.
 
Do Students Apply for the GSSMD?

Individual students do not apply to the state for the GSSMD; rather, school districts submit the Insignia Request Forms for eligible students once the district has verified that students have met all eligibility requirements.

Deadline for Submitting Insignia Request Form to the CDE?

There is no deadline for submitting the Insignia Request Form to the CDE; however, the form should be sent far enough in advance of the graduation ceremony date to allow time for the CDE to process the request and for school staff to place the insignias on the diplomas.

For further information visit the following web page:
updated May 2017