• 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 or guardian 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 the 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 they wish 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 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 reviewed

     

    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. 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. Assistance is provided through intervention courses for freshmen and sophomore students struggling to meet with success in our all-honors program in ELA and mathematics.  

     

    COLLEGE PREP (CP)

    College Preparatory courses are designed for students planning to attend a college program after high school. 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 approval from an assistant principal. The add/drop form is available through the Guidance Department and it is the 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 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 academic issues. 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, all students in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are required to meet state-determined performance criteria on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). To receive a high school diploma, students must (a) earn a score of “Meeting Expectations” or “Exceeding Expectations” on the grade 10 English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics exams or (b) earn a score of “Partially Meeting Expectations” and fulfill the requirements of an Educational Proficiency Plan (EPP). In addition, all students must earn a score of “Partially Meeting Expectations” or higher on one of the science MCAS exams (either Introductory Physics or Biology).

     

    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.

     

    GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

    In order to graduate from Marlborough High School, a student must accumulate a minimum of 96 credits (MPS Policy 7.950) in grades 9-12.

    Full year course = 4 credits 

    Half year (semester) course = 2 credits 

     


    TYPICAL FOUR YEAR SCHEDULE FOR A MARLBOROUGH HIGH STUDENT

     

    9th Grade Thematic Teams 

    Students have a choice of selecting courses based on a theme of STEM, Fine Arts, or Business. 

    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)

     

     

    10th Grade - Thematic Teams

    Students have a choice of selecting courses based on a theme of STEM, Fine Arts, or Business.

    Please note: All 10th 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 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 (students may be eligible for financial assistance)
    • SAT exam - optional and offered at a cost (students may be eligible for financial assistance)
    • 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 receive a score of “Partially Meeting Expectations” on the state’s ELA and/or mathematics MCAS exam(s) are required to complete an EPP. The guidance counselor and assistant principal monitor the EPP to ensure that the student is taking appropriate courses and working towards meeting the benchmarks required to receive a high school diploma. The principal will determine whether a student should receive a diploma based on successful completion of an 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 focused 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 transition to high school, introduction to Naviance, self-interest surveys, goal-setting, time management skills, decision-making strategies, and student/counselor communication. 

    Grade 10 topics include MHS graduation requirements, MCAS performance, Adams and Koplik scholarships, state college/university requirements, PSATs, time management, setting and attaining personal goals, career pathways, and Naviance resources.

    Grade 11 topics include review of progress towards graduation, post-secondary planning, PSAT, SAT, and ACT timelines, college search, college recommendations, and Naviance resources.

    Grade 12 topics include review of progress towards graduation, post-secondary planning, college application process, transcript requests, financial aid applications, career internships, military and other post-secondary options, job interview skills, financial planning, and Naviance resources. In addition, the school’s Career Specialist can assist students with resources, skills and opportunities to enter the workforce immediately following high school.

     

    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)/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, then an Individual Education Program (IEP) is created. This IEP will either call for specially designed instruction or related services as deemed appropriate by the IEP 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 experience the world of work. The Career Specialist will engage students in discussions about professionalism and skills such as organization, timeliness, presentation and communication. In addition, students will develop other skills such as professional networking, creation of cover letters, interview, résumés, and career planning. A Work-Based Learning plan will be completed at intervals to monitor 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 credit will be granted for community service participation and/or projects.

     

    ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL

    The Marlborough Public Schools offers a specialized program 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.