• Principal's Message
    The Program of Studies is published annually as a catalog of courses offered at Marlborough High School.  It also contains detailed information and guidance to support you in choosing a course program that interests, challenges, and inspires you.  Please take the time to read through the Program of Studies provided and consult with your teachers, your counselor, and your parents or guardians to make informed decisions as you progress toward meeting the graduation requirements of Marlborough High School. 
    Marlborough High School offers a wide variety of courses at a number of different academic levels to stimulate your curiosity, challenge your thinking, and promote your development as a 21st-century learner.  The course offerings that follow are designed and articulated to provide you with the depth and breadth of a comprehensive academic program while supporting your growth and progress toward college and career readiness and our learning expectations.  Choose courses that allow you to balance the rigor of a challenging academic course load with opportunities to immerse yourself in our school through our many clubs, activities, and athletics. 

    In the spring, students in grades 8, 9, 10, and 11 will be selecting courses for the 2016-17 school year.  Course offerings and staffing for the courses will be developed based upon student requests.  Since the scheduling process only occurs once per year, it is critical for you to choose your classes and level of difficulty wisely.  After this period of selecting classes, changes to student schedules cannot be made except in rare circumstances.  In addition, our scheduling process occurs concurrently with the school budgeting process.  As a result, some of the courses in this program may be modified or may not be offered as a result of student requests and/or budgetary constraints.  In situations like these, you will be able to enroll in classes required to meet graduation requirements.  Making additional elective choices that can serve as alternates with your counselor will help expedite this process. 

    We look forward to working together with you as you plan for your future at Marlborough High School and beyond.  As a fairly large school, we have numerous opportunities for you to explore.  In addition to fulfilling MassCore requirements, we have numerous other offerings such as AP courses, dual-enrollment courses, STEM Early College High School classes, and Virtual High School classes.  Take advantage of this opportunity to create a schedule that challenges you academically; broadens your horizons; stimulates your own curiosity, maturity, and growth; and provides you with the opportunities to be fully involved in Marlborough High School. 

    Charles D. Caliri
    MHS Principal

    Marlborough High School is a respectful and comprehensive 21st-century learning environment. We communicate effectively, think critically, collaborate productively, and solve problems efficiently. We provide equal access to educational rigor and commit to success for all students. 
    • Communicate using verbal and written skills for a range of purposes. 
    • Gather, analyze, and evaluate information from a variety of sources.
    • Collaborate to achieve a common goal.
    • Apply knowledge to solve problems in conventional, creative, and innovative ways. 
    • Demonstrate media and technology literacies.
     SOCIAL EXPECTATIONS Students will:
    • Demonstrate respect for self, peers, staff, and environment. 
    • Be responsible for their own decisions and behavior. 
    CIVIC EXPECTATIONS Students will:
    • Participate in school and community life. 
    • Understand local and global implications of civic actions. 
    Approved by the Marlborough Public Schools School Committee on March 8, 2016

    Course Selection Information

    COURSE SELECTION The course selection process begins with the distribution of this Program of Studies and the Course Selection Sheet during a class meeting. Students will meet with their current teachers to discuss next year’s course recommendation. Course recommendations are based on a student's current achievement, performance on standardized assessments (where applicable), work habits, and readiness for next year's coursework.  Students are then provided with a verification sheet listing all recommended courses. This form must be signed by a parent and the student, and then returned to the appropriate guidance counselor. The guidance counselor meets with each student to discuss teacher recommendations and review the student’s future plans. Any conflict between a teacher’s recommendation and a student’s request will be resolved with a meeting between the student, parent, teacher and department coordinator. 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, coordinator or assistant principal. Counselors will be available during the summer by appointment through the guidance secretary. Once school opens in August, it is expected that each student will continue with the schedule that has been developed during the course selection process from the previous spring/summer. A quality education depends on a full 90-day (semester) or 180-day (full year) presence in a class. Although the school does its best to provide every student with every course he or she wishes to take, scheduling conflicts sometimes make this impossible and alternate course choices must be made. At times, course offerings may be closed due to budget constraints or period/section availability. Students should select a program that will enable them to reach personal goals that are consistent with their abilities and interests.
    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  give all of our students the opportunity for academic success in an appropriately challenging, rigorous, and enriching environment.   All of our courses are designed to prepare our students for success in both college and career paths.  Although current grades are not the only indicator to be considered in placement decisions, current performance in a course or sequence of courses can serve as a reasonable indicator of future success.   Therefore, teachers and students will discuss the most appropriately challenging level for the student.  As a general guideline for course selection, students earning grades in the A and B range should consider continuing in the same level or potentially advancing a level, whereas students earning grades in the D range may not be able to continue in the same level unless recommended by the teacher.  The following course-level descriptions are provided as a general guideline for students and parents to assist in this determination.  More detailed information can be found within the specific course descriptions on the pages that follow.

    Within each of our course-level descriptions, you will also find a brief explanation of the amount of homework that is expected or assigned each week in each of these classes.  Homework is study and learning that takes place outside the classroom, but is not necessarily limited to the home. Since there is no relationship between the length of time necessary for completion of homework and the quality of learning which takes place as a result of the assignment, hours of required homework per week should be left up to the discretion of the teacher. There are, however, some general guidelines that parents, teachers and students can follow.  Homework assignments are intended to expand classroom activities, not to replace them. (MPS Policy 7.700)  
    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 demonstrate they have the work ethic to be successful with a demanding college 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 than the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, and require significant independent work, both inside and outside the classroom. Students who take AP courses are required to complete a great deal of preparation outside of the classroom. Students taking these courses are required to take the culminating assessment, the AP examination, at the end of the course. To enroll in an AP course, a student must complete the following five steps: 
     Attend a meeting of all potential AP students
     Meet with the teacher of the AP course
     Have parents sign the course verification sheet 
     Meet with his/her guidance counselor
     Attend a meeting where the course expectations are delineated
    HONORS (H) Honors courses are rigorous courses designed for students who can thrive in an independent learning environment.  Students will work with advanced topics and progress at a rigorous pace in these accelerated courses. Students are expected and required to complete a great deal of preparation outside the classroom.  Students should plan on three (3) hours of homework per week for an honors course. 
    COLLEGE PREP (CP) College Preparatory courses are designed for students planning to attend a four-year college program or to pursue post-secondary education opportunities after their high school graduation. College Prep-level courses develop subject-area skills that are the prerequisite for any future college work. In the ninth and tenth grades, the curriculum in these courses will also provide the comprehensive preparation every student needs to succeed in the state MCAS testing program. Students will work with challenging topics, and they will be expected and required to complete daily preparation outside the classroom for an average of two (2) hours per week for a CP Course.  
    UNLEVELED ACADEMIC CLASSES (No Level Notation) Unleveled academic classes are designed for students looking to meet particular academic interests, specific needs, and their course distribution requirements. These courses will be varied among departments. Students will complete work specified in the course description and, depending on the type of course, may be expected and required to complete daily preparation outside the classroom. Students should plan on one to two (1-2) hours of outside work per week for an unleveled course.  These courses are not weighted for class rank/GPA. 
    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 administrator. The drop/add form is available through the Guidance Department and it is the sole responsibility of the student to meet with the teacher, department coordinator, 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. The student, teacher, and parent should have communicated with an attempt to rectify the academic issue. Students will not be permitted to change levels based upon non-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). If a senior drops or withdraws from a class after transcripts have been sent out to colleges, Marlborough High School will notify all colleges of the change in the student’s schedule.
    MINIMUM GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS In addition to meeting the MHS course requirements listed below and satisfying the MassCore requirements articulated in the next section of this document, 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 tests, 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 tests (i.e., Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics, or Technology-Engineering).
     English  4 years
     Mathematics  4 years 
     Science and/or Technology/Engineering 3 years
     History/Social Science 3 years (must pass US History II)
     World and Classical Languages  2 years (sequence in one selected language) 
     Wellness 4 half years (1 semester per year)
     Information Technology (ECS/IT) 1 half year*
     Arts 1 year**
    *Students who pass an Information Technology (ECS/IT) competency exam may waive this class. Additionally, STEM students may waive this requirement as they will have the Information Technology (ECS/IT) curriculum integrated into their classes.
    **Can be fulfilled through Music Department and Visual Arts Department 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 = 8 credits (F8)                         Semester (1/2 year) course = 2 credits (S2)
    Full year course = 4 credits (F4)                         STEM Project Course = 1 credit (F1)

    Seniors should carry 24 credits and must earn a minimum of 22 credits to meet graduation requirements.

       9th grade – 24 credits 
     10th grade – 24 credits     ( 9th Grade promotion to 10th Grade – 20 credits accumulated*)
     11th grade – 24 credits     (10th Grade promotion to 11th Grade – 44 credits accumulated)
     12th grade – 22 credits     (11th Grade promotion to 12th Grade – 68 credits accumulated)
    *Includes passing English and Mathematics starting with the Class of 2018. 
    9th Grade     
    English 9 (H or CP) 
    Algebra 1 (H or CP) 
    Biology (H or CP) or Exploring Engineering (H or CP) *
    World History II (H or CP) 
    World Language (H or CP) - Spanish, French, Latin or Mandarin Chinese 
    Wellness 9 (semester) / Information Technology (semester)
    **Electives – 4 credits – Visual Art, Media & Textiles, Business/Information Technology, Music, 
    or doubling up on a specific content area
    10th Grade  
    English 10 (H or CP) 
    Geometry (H or CP) or Algebra II (H or CP) 
    Chemistry (H or CP) * 
    US History I (AP, H or CP) 
    World Language (H or CP) - Spanish, French, Latin or Mandarin Chinese
    Wellness 10 (semester course)
    **Electives – 6 credits – Visual Art, Media & Textiles, Business/Information Technology, Music, or doubling up on a specific content area
    11th Grade 
    Communication and Composition for Juniors (H or CP) or AP Language & Composition 
    Algebra II (H or CP) or Pre- Calculus (H or CP) 
    Physics (CP) * 
    US History II (AP, H or CP) 
    World Language (H or CP) - Spanish, French, Latin or Mandarin Chinese
    Wellness Elective (semester)
    **Electives – 6 credits – Visual Art, Media & Textiles, Business/Information Technology, Music, or doubling up on a specific content area 
    12th Grade 
    AP Literature & Composition, World Literature (H or CP) or Communication & Composition (H or CP) 
    Pre-Calculus (H or CP), Topic of Mathematics (H or CP) or AP Calculus AB or BC 
    Science - AP Biology, Chemistry or Physics, Earth Science (H or CP), Environmental Science (H or CP), Anatomy & Physiology (H or CP), Science Technology & Robotics (H or CP), Biotechnology (H or CP) or Architecture/ Tech Drawing (H or CP)* 
    History/Social Science - AP Psychology, Economics, American Government, Psychology (H or CP), Sociology (H or CP), Legal Issues (H or CP), Economics (H), Personal Finance (CP) * 
    World Language - (AP, H or CP) - Spanish, French, Latin or Mandarin Chinese 
    Wellness Elective (semester)
    **Electives – 6 credits – Visual Art, Media & Textiles, Business Information Technology, Music, or doubling up on a specific content area 
    *The Science and Technology/Engineering Department and the History and Social Science Department have many options for courses. Junior and senior year offer more flexibility in their schedules. 
    **Information on department offerings are listed in each department section.

    9th Grade STEM
    English 9
    Algebra 1
    Introduction to Physics
    World History 2
    STEM Project-Based Learning Course
    World Language
    Wellness 9

    **Additional Courses and Electives – Engineering/Technology, Visual Arts, Media & Textiles, Business Information Technology, Music, Health & Wellness, Chemistry, Computer Science
     **Information on department offerings are listed in each department section


    10th Grade STEM                           

    English 10
    US History 1 (H) or US History 1 (AP)
    STEM Project-Based Learning Course
    World Language
    Wellness 10
    **Additional Courses and Electives – Engineering/Technology, Visual Arts, Media & Textiles, Business Information Technology, Music, Environmental Science, Chemistry, Computer Science
    **Information on department offerings are listed in each department section

    Grades 11 & 12  See early college and STEMbassador offerings in STEM Early College program section

    TESTING All Massachusetts students will be required to pass the grade 9/10Science and Technology/Engineering MCAS in order to graduate from high school, in addition to the grade 10 ELA and Mathematics tests. 
    Contact the College and Career Counselor at 508-460-3500, Extension 7255, for further information about the MCAS, SAT, PSAT, or ACT. 
    Marlborough High School offers the following tests to its students:
    Grade 9 MCAS Science and Technology/Engineering
    Grade 10 MCAS (Required) ELA, Math, Science and Technology / Engineering, PSAT, Preliminary SAT, SAT I (Optional), SAT II Subject tests (Optional) ACT (Optional) ACCUPLACER (offered to all 10th graders to determine college readiness)
    Grade 11 PSAT/NMSQT, Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (required Junior year to be eligible for National Merit Scholarship Program), SAT I (Optional), SAT II Subject Tests (Optional), ACT (Optional), ACCUPLACER (offered to all 11th graders to determine college readiness)
    Grade 12 SAT Reasoning Test (Optional), 14 SAT Subject Tests (Optional), ACT (Optional)
    It is highly recommended that all students planning to attend a four-year college complete their SAT or ACT testing requirements before the end of their junior year. Students planning to apply to highly competitive private four-year colleges may also be required to take SAT subject tests. Students should refer to the college’s handbook and consult with their guidance and/or College and Career Counselor for specific requirements. 
    EDUCATION PROFICIENCY PLAN Students who passed MCAS ELA and Math with a Needs Improvement score are required to complete an Education Proficiency Plan (EPP). The guidance counselor and assistant principal monitor the EPP to ensure that the student is taking appropriate course work to demonstrate they are working towards proficiency. The principal will determine whether a student should receive a diploma based on the successful completion of the EPP. An alert for the EPP will be used in the Student Information System to inform teachers. 
    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 advising services that support the school mission statement and promote civic and social responsibility. The guidance curriculum is delivered in classes that focus on the following goals: to identify and define problems, gather and analyze information, draw and apply conclusions, and draw upon organizational skills, as well as write, speak, and read effectively as a secondary responsibility.
    Grade 9 curriculum class 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 curriculum class 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, and introduction to the College and Career Center. 
    Grade 11 curriculum class 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, and College and Career Center resources. 
    Grade 12 curriculum class 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 the College and Career Center to assist with all post-secondary planning. The College and Career Center maintains an extensive file of career information and college catalogs. 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 The Work Internship program is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to prepare for the future by gaining work-based experience in an area of particular interest. Internships are both paid and unpaid and will usually begin after school. Students may earn one credit for every 60 hours spent in the internship, with a maximum of 2 credits per year allowed. Interested students should contact their work coordinator or the College and Career Center Counselor for further information. Staff support for this program is provided by the state-funded Connecting Activities grant through Metro Southwest Regional Employment Board. 
    COMMUNITY/SCHOOL SERVICE Community Service opportunities exist both within Marlborough High School and within the city. Interested students should seek details from their guidance counselor. No credits will be granted for such placements.
    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 see an assistant principal for the details regarding this program.