• Course Selection Information


    The course selection process begins with the distribution of this Program of Studies and the Course Selection Sheet during class meetings. Students will meet with their current teachers to discuss next year’s course recommendations. Course recommendations are based on a student's overall achievement, performance on standardized assessments (where applicable), work habits and readiness. Students are later provided with a verification sheet listing all recommended courses. This form should be signed by the parent and student, and then returned to the student’s guidance counselor.

    Guidance counselors meet with each student to discuss teacher recommendations and review future plans. Any conflict between a teacher’s recommendation and a student’s request will be resolved with a meeting involving input from the student, parent, teacher and department supervisor.

    Schedules will be provided to students prior to leaving school in June. Any adjustments to student schedules must take place over the summer prior to the first day of school via communication with the guidance counselor, supervisor and/or assistant principal. Guidance counselors will be available prior to the start of school by appointment through the guidance secretary’s office. Once school begins in late August, it is expected that each student will continue with the schedule that has been developed during this course selection process.

    A high quality education depends on a full 90-day (semester) or 180-day (full year) course experience. MHS does its best to provide every student with every course he or she wishes to take. However, scheduling conflicts sometimes occur and alternate course choices might need to be made. At times, course offerings may be closed due to budget constraints, staffing changes and/or availability. We encourage every student to choose a schedule that challenges them academically and broadens their horizons.

     

    MASSACHUSETTS INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (MIAA) COURSE REQUIREMENTS

    The MIAA requires that all student-athletes must carry and pass the equivalent of four full-year core subject courses every year. A student must carry and pass four full-year courses (two semester courses do not equal a full-year course.)

     

    COURSE LEVELS  

    Course levels give all of our students the opportunity to experience success in an environment that is appropriately challenging, rigorous, and enriching. All of our courses are designed to prepare students for success after high school. Although past grades are not the only indicator to be considered when placement decisions are made, they can serve as a reasonable indicator of future success. The following course-level descriptions are provided as a general guideline for students and parents.  

     

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP)

    At Marlborough High School we encourage all students to challenge themselves. This means that students must be able to provide evidence that they are capable of handling AP course work. The best indicators of this work are final course grades, assessment grades, and standardized test scores such as MCAS, PSAT and SAT scores. Students must also demonstrate they have the work ethic to be successful with a demanding college-level curriculum. Students should plan on a minimum of three (3) hours of homework per week for an AP Course. AP courses are recommended for highly motivated students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement. Frameworks for each AP course are designed by the College Board. As such, the courses are designed to move at a faster pace, cover more breadth and depth, and require significant independent work, both inside and outside the classroom. Students taking these classes are required to take the the course-specific AP examination towards the end of the school year. To enroll in an AP course, students must:

    • Attend a meeting of all potential AP students
    • Meet with the teacher of the AP course(s)
    • Have parents sign the course verification sheet with AP course(s) listed
    • Meet with his/her guidance counselor and discuss enrollment in the AP course(s)
    • Attend a meeting where course expectations are delineated

     

    Beginning in fall of 2019, the Advanced Placement Program will require students to commit to taking AP Exams by early November, at which time payment will be collected at Marlborough High School. Students may qualify to receive assistance for this payment.

    Marlborough High School will formally recognize students that take AP courses and achieve qualifying scores with the following AP Scholar awards:

     

    • AP Scholar

    Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams.

    • AP Scholar with Honor

    Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.

    • AP Scholar with Distinction

    Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.

     

    HONORS (H)

    Honors courses are designed for students planning to attend a four-year college program or to pursue post-secondary education opportunities after high school graduation. In the ninth and tenth grades, the curriculum in these courses will also provide the comprehensive preparation every student needs to succeed on the state’s MCAS exams. Students will work with advanced topics and progress at a rigorous pace in these courses. Students are expected and required to complete a great deal of preparation outside the classroom.  

     

    COLLEGE PREP (CP)

    College Preparatory courses are designed for students planning to attend a college program after high school graduation. College Prep-level courses develop subject-area skills that are the prerequisite for any future college work. Students will work with challenging topics and be expected to complete daily preparation outside the classroom.  

     

    UNLEVELED ACADEMIC CLASSES

    Unleveled academic classes are designed for students looking to pursue academic interests, graduation requirements, and ensure a full schedule. These offerings vary by department. Students will complete work specified in the course description and, depending on the type of course, may be expected to complete daily preparation outside the classroom. These courses are not weighted for class rank/GPA purposes

      

    WEIGHTED GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA)  

    GPA is calculated as a weighted average using a four-point system.  A student's performance in a class is weighted based on the course level, according to the following chart:

    Letter   

    Numeric Range

    AP   

    Honors

    CP

    A+

    97-100

    5.3

    4.8

    4.3

    A

    93-96

    5.0

    4.5

    4.0

    A-

    90-92

    4.7

    4.2

    3.7

    B+

    87-89

    4.3

    3.8

    3.3

    B

    83-86

    4.0

    3.5

    3.0

    B-

    80-82

    3.7

    3.2

    2.7

    C+

    77-79

    3.3

    2.8

    2.3

    C

    73-76

    3.0

    2.5

    2.0

    C-

    70-72

    2.7

    2.2

    1.7

    D+

    67-69

    2.3

    1.8

    1.3

    D

    63-66

    2.0

    1.5

    1.0

    D-

    60-62

    1.7

    1.2

    0.7

    F

    50-59

    0.0

    0.0

    0.0

     

    Any student who scores less than 50 for the final grade will not be eligible for summer school.

    NC (No Credit) - Final Grade below 50 for Final Grade only.

     

    LEVEL CHANGES/COURSE CHANGES

    Course changes after the first two weeks of the new school year or a new semester course will require written approval from an assistant principal. The drop/add form is available through the Guidance Department and it is the sole responsibility of the student to meet with the teacher, guidance counselor and assistant principal to complete the form. In order to facilitate a level change, a student must have sought out the teacher for extra help as needed to address the academic issues. Before a course is dropped and/or a level changed, the student, teacher and parent should have already communicated with an attempt to rectify the academic issue. Any student who withdraws from a course after the first quarter will receive a grade of Withdrawn Passing (WP) or Withdrawn Failing (WF).

     

    MINIMUM GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

    In addition to meeting the MHS course requirements listed below and satisfying the MassCore requirements, all students in the Commonwealth are required to meet certain performance criteria on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). To receive a high school diploma, students must earn scaled scores of at least 240 on the grade 10 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics exams or earn a scaled score between 220 and 238 on these tests and fulfill the requirements of an Educational Proficiency Plan (EPP). Students must also earn a scaled score of at least 220 on one of the Science, Technology, Engineering MCAS exam in either Biology or Introductory Physics.

     

    English

    4 years

    Mathematics

    4 years

    Science and/or Technology/Engineering

    3 years

    History/Social Science

    3 years 

    World and Classical Languages

    2 years (sequence in one selected language)

    Wellness

    4 half years (1 semester per year)

    Music and Visual Arts

    1 year** (2 semesters or full year)


    **Can be fulfilled through Music and/or Visual Arts courses, including Video Production and Textiles.

     

    PROMOTION AND GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

    In order to graduate, a student must accumulate a minimum of 94 credits (MPS Policy 7.950) in grades 9-12, must carry and pass the minimum number of credits per year as noted below, and must meet Program of Studies requirements as outlined, regarding CORE subjects and electives.

    Full year course = 4 credits 

    Half year (semester) course = 2 credits 

     

    MINIMUM CREDIT REQUIREMENT FOR PROMOTION

    9th Grade promotion to 10th Grade       20 credits accumulated*

    10th Grade promotion to 11th Grade     44 credits accumulated

    11th Grade promotion to 12th Grade     68 credits accumulated

    12th Grade promotion to Graduate        94 credits accumulated

    *9th Grade students must pass English and Mathematics to be promoted to Grade 10.

     


     

    TYPICAL FOUR YEAR SCHEDULE FOR COLLEGE-BOUND STUDENT AT MHS

     

    9th Grade Thematic Teams 

    Please note: All 9th Grade students have access to our full year performing groups (Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, String Ensemble, Mixed Chorus, and A Cappella).

    Students who are participating in Music Ensembles, English Language Development Classes, or support classes (e.g., special education, reading, mathematics, etc.), will have these full year courses substituted for up to two (2) half year courses.

     

    STEM

    FINE ARTS

    BUSINESS

    Honors English 9

    Honors English 9

    Honors English 9

    Honors Algebra I

    Honors Algebra I

    Honors Algebra I

    Honors World History

    Honors World History

    Honors World History

    Honors Introductory Physics

    Honors Introductory Physics

    Honors Introductory Physics

    World Language (H/CP)

    World Language (H/CP)

    World Language (H/CP)

    Wellness (Half Year)

    Wellness (Half Year)

    Wellness (Half Year)

    Robotics (Half Year)

    Art Foundations (Half Year)

    Entrepreneurship

    CAD (Half Year)

    Media Arts (Half Year)

    Information Technology (Half Year)

    Manufacturing Technology (Half year)

    Music Production (Half Year)

    Video Production I (Half Year)

    Please note: Students who are participating in Music Ensembles, English Language Development Classes, or support classes (e.g., special education, reading, mathematics, etc.), will have these full year courses substituted for up to two (2) half year courses.

     

    10th Grade - Thematic Teams

    Beginning in the 2019-20 school year, students have a choice of selecting courses based on a theme of STEM, Fine Arts, or Business.

    STEM

    FINE ARTS

    BUSINESS

    Honors English 10

    Honors English 10

    Honors English 10

    Honors Geometry

    Honors Geometry

    Honors Geometry

    AP/Honors US History I

    AP/Honors US History I

    AP/Honors US History I

    Honors Biology

    Honors Chemistry

    Honors Biology

    World Language (H/CP)

    World Language (H/CP)

    World Language (H/CP)

    Wellness (Half Year)

    Wellness (Half Year)

    Wellness (Half Year)

    Electives (up to 3 semesters)

    Electives (up to 3 semesters)

    Electives (up to 3 semesters)

    Please note: Students looking to pursue a life science pathway (AP work in Biology and/or Chemistry) should include H/CP Chemistry as part of their schedule during 10th grade. This will ensure you meet all prerequisite requirements for AP Biology and/or Chemistry.

     

    11th Grade

    The following table captures many offerings but not all scenarios are listed. In addition to the courses listed below, students will have availability for additional electives listed in the Program of Studies.

     

    DEPARTMENT

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP)

    HONORS (H)

    COLLEGE PREP (CP)

    Mathematics

    Not available for most Grade 11 students

    Algebra II (includes Pre-calculus coursework)

    Algebra II (does not include Pre-calculus coursework)

    English

    Composition

    Comp I and II (Early college courses)

    Com & Comp

    History/SS

    US His I (Part 2) or

    Economics or

    Psych (Full year) or

    American Gov & Pol

    US History II or

    Principles of Econ or

    Soc (Half year) or

    Psych (Half Year)

    US History II or

    Soc (Half year) or

    Psych (Half Year)

    Science

    Biology or

    Environ Science or

    Chemistry or

    Physics

    Biology or

    Environ Science or

    Anatomy & Phys or

    Biotech or

    Chemistry or

    Earth & Space or

    Physics or

    Engineering (Variety)

    Biology or

    Environ Science or

    Anatomy & Phys or

    Biotech or

    Chemistry or

    Earth & Space or

    Physics or

    Engineering (Variety)

    World/Class Lang

    Not available for most Grade 11 students

    Levels I through IV of Latin, Spanish, and Mandarin

    Levels I through IV of Latin, Spanish, and Mandarin

    Wellness (Half year)

    Not leveled

    Not leveled

    Not leveled

     

    12th Grade

    The following table captures many offerings but not all scenarios are listed. In addition to the courses listed below, students will have availability for additional electives listed in the Program of Studies.

     

    DEPARTMENT

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP)

    HONORS (H)

    COLLEGE PREP (CP)

    Mathematics

    Calculus or

    Statistics

    Intro to Calculus

    Pre-Calculus or

    Topics

    English

    Composition or

    Literature

    Comp I and II (Early college courses) or

    Media Lit or

    World Lit

    Media Lit or

    World Lit

    History/SS

    US His I (Part 2) or

    Economics or

    Psych (Full year) or

    American Gov & Pol

    Psych I/Soc I (Early college courses) or

    US History II or

    Principles of Econ or

    Soc (Half year) or

    Psych (Half Year)

    US History II or

    Soc (Half year) or

    Psych (Half Year)

    Science

    Biology or

    Environ Science or

    Chemistry or

    Physics

    Biology or

    Environ Science or

    Anatomy & Phys or

    Biotech or

    Chemistry or

    Earth & Space or

    Physics or

    Engineering (Variety)

    Biology or

    Environ Science or

    Anatomy & Phys or

    Biotech or

    Chemistry or

    Earth & Space or

    Physics or

    Engineering (Variety)

    World/Class Lang

    Latin or

    Spanish or

    Mandarin

    Levels I through V of Latin, Spanish, and Mandarin

    Levels I through V of Latin, Spanish, and Mandarin

    Wellness (Half year)

    Not leveled

    Not leveled

    Not leveled

     

     


    TESTING

    Marlborough High School offers the following exams to students in addition to the state’s required MCAS exams:

    • Preliminary SAT (PSAT) exam - offered to all 10th grade students at no cost
    • QCC College Entrance Exam for writing - offered to all 10th grade students at no cost
    • AP exams - required of all AP students at a cost
    • SAT exam - optional and offered at a cost
    • SAT Subject tests - optional and offered at a cost
    • ACT exam - optional and offered at a cost

    It is highly recommended that all students planning to attend a four-year college complete SAT and/or ACT testing requirements before the end of junior year (11th grade). Students that plan on applying to highly competitive four-year colleges may be required to take SAT Subject tests. Students should refer to the college’s handbook and consult with their guidance counselor for specific requirements.



    EDUCATION PROFICIENCY PLAN

    Students who pass MCAS ELA and Math with a score of Needs Improvement are required to complete an EPP. The guidance counselor and assistant principal monitor the EPP to ensure that the student is taking appropriate coursework and working towards proficiency. The principal will determine whether a student should receive a diploma based on the successful completion of the EPP.



    GUIDANCE SERVICES

    Guidance services consist of the College and Career Readiness Program, coordination of state and national assessments, parent outreach, social/emotional student support, and other counseling and/or advising services that promote civic and social responsibility. The guidance curriculum is delivered in classes/presentations and focuses on the following goals: (1) to identify and define problems, (2) gather and analyze information, (3) draw and apply conclusions, and (4) draw upon organizational skills while writing, speaking, and reading effectively.

    Grade 9 topics include: adjustment as a ninth grader, graduation and credit requirements, cumulative record and transcript, GPA and class rank, Naviance and “Do What You Are” personality survey, goal-setting and time management skills, decision-making strategies, and expectations from student/counselor relationship.

    Grade 10 topics include: review of transcript and MHS graduation requirements, MCAS performance and Adams and Koplik scholarships, state college/university guidelines, standardized tests and personal timetable, update on strategy for attaining personal goals, career values and Career Pathways, Naviance update.

    Grade 11 topics include: review of graduation and post-secondary planning, PSAT, SAT, and ACT timetable, college fair and visit timetable for junior and senior year, recommendations, Naviance update.

    Grade 12 topics include: review of graduation and post-secondary planning, overview of department policy regarding college application process, transcript requests, financial aid applications, career internships, military and other post-secondary options, interview tips, financial planning, and Naviance graduation survey. Students should utilize Naviance frequently as well as work with their counselor to identify career goals as early as possible. Students should access the resources of their counselor to assist with all post-secondary planning. If a student's goal is immediate employment after graduation, counselors can assist in constructing an educational program that can meet this goal. In addition, the School-to-Career specialist can also assist students with skills to prepare to enter the workforce and assistance with finding internships and jobs.

     

    SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES

    In accordance with state regulation, prior to a referral for special education, every effort must be made to meet students’ needs within the general education setting. Some methods of achieving this are through consultations with teachers, the Student Support Team (SST) process and accessing the District Curriculum Accommodation Plan (DCAP) and the school Building Curriculum Accommodation Plan (BCAP). If concerns still exist, then a referral for evaluation may be deemed appropriate. Massachusetts Special Education Law and the federal Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) require specially designed instruction or related services to all students who are found to be eligible. Students qualify for special education services after exploring three areas. First, a determination of a disability is made. Next, the team must determine if there is a lack of effective progress. Lastly, the team must determine if the lack of progress is due to the student’s disability and if the student requires specially designed instruction in order to make effective progress in school or needs related services in order to access the general curriculum. If it is determined that a student is eligible for special education services, an Individual Education Program (IEP) is written. This IEP will either call for specially designed instruction or related services as deemed appropriate by the team. State and federal laws continue to call for the provision of services in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) to the greatest extent possible.

     

    WORK INTERNSHIPS

    Internships organized through our Career Center help prepare students to enter the world of work. The Career Specialist and Case Manager in the Career Center will engage students in discussions about professionalism and other skills such as organization, timeliness, presentation and communication. In addition, students will develop other important skills such as professional networking, creation of cover letters, interview, résumés, and career planning. A Work Based Learning Plan would be completed at intervals to monitor student progress on the worksite. Course credit may be awarded with administrative approval.  

     

    COMMUNITY/SCHOOL SERVICE

    Community Service opportunities can be accessed through Marlborough High School, the City of Marlborough, and surrounding communities. Students interested in community service should consult with their guidance counselor. Participation in community service can serve to strengthen a student’s college application. No credits will be granted for community service participation and/or projects.

     

    ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL

    The Marlborough Public Schools offers specialized programs at the Hildreth School as an alternative high school placement for students with particular educational needs. Parents should contact an assistant principal for additional details regarding this program.