2021 - 2022 MCPS High School Course Bulletin
- Maryland Diploma Requirements
- College and Career Readiness
- Courses and Credits
- Immunization Requirements
- Maryland High School Comprehensive Assessment Program
- Promotion Regulation
- Maryland High School Certificate of Program Completion
- Montgomery County Public Schools Certificate of Merit (CM)
- Maryland Seal of Biliteracy
- Student Service Learning (SSL)
- High School Credit for Middle School Students
- Honors, Advanced-Level, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate Courses
- Course-Related Information
- Student Withdrawal from a Course
- Other Provisions for Earning Credit
- Alternatives to Four-Year Enrollment
- Taking Courses Not Available at the Student’s Home School
- Grading and Reporting
- Procedures for Grading
- Districtwide Assessments
- Reporting Student Progress
- Technology Education Requirement for Graduation
- Personal Financial Literacy and Environmental Literacy
- Credit/No Credit Grading Option
- Grade Point Average (GPA) and Weighted Grade Point Average (WGPA)
- Repeating a Course to Earn a Higher Grade
- School Library Media Program
- Academic Eligibility for Participation in Extracurricular Activities
- National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Eligibility Center
- MCPS Countywide Programs
- Local School Programs
- Career Readiness Programs of Study (POS)
- MCPS Regional Career Readiness Programs
- Regional College and Career Programs
- Foundations Programs
- The Visual Art Center (VAC) at Albert Einstein High School
- High School Science/Mathematics/Computer Science Magnet Program at Montgomery Blair HS and Poolesville HS
- The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programs in MCPS
- International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IB CP)
- International Baccalaureate/Middle Years Programme (MYP)
- Blair/Poolesville Magnet Courses and IB Courses
- Other Application Programs
- Student Online Learning/eLearning
- Online MCPS Courses
- Online AP Courses
- Online Pathway to Graduation
- MC Ensembles Partnership Program
- Student Online Learning/eLearning
- Summer School Sites and Schedules
Maryland Diploma Requirements
The state of Maryland authorizes one diploma for all high school graduates, based upon successful fulfillment of four categories of requirements: enrollment, course credit, student service learning (SSL), and Maryland assessments. Students must satisfactorily complete four years beyond Grade 8 to meet the enrollment requirement. All other requirements are summarized in the table below. Please consult the online MCPS course bulletin for 2021-2022 at http://coursebulletin.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/Home/PlanningTools your school counselor for further information.
College and Career Readiness
In 2013, the Maryland General Assembly passed the College and Career Readiness and College Completion Act (CCRCCA), aimed at ensuring that all students are prepared for credit-bearing course- work in college and for living-wage careers. The CCRCCA includes the requirement that all students be assessed for college and career readiness in English and mathematics by the end of Grade 11, using one of several college and career readiness assessments. Students who do not meet the college and career ready standard in English and mathematics by the end of Grade 11 will be required to enroll in a transition course or other instructional opportunity during Grade 12, in preparation for reassessment. After completing the transition course or instructional opportunity, students must be reassessed by the end of Grade 12. School counselors and staff will work closely with students to determine the best assessment to take in Grade 11 as well as transition course options and reassessment during Grade 12, if necessary. More information about college and career readiness for the graduation class of 2025 is available at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/info/CCRCCA/.
Students shall be enrolled in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and have earned a minimum of 22 credits that include the following (unless a preapproved MCPS alternative is satisfied):
|MCPS Graduation Requirements|
|FINE ARTS||1 credit designated (FA). Courses in art, dance, drama/theater, and music that satisfy the FA requirement are designated in the course bulletin.|
|HEALTH EDUCATION||0.5 credit|
4 credits, including 1 with instruction in algebra aligned with the Maryland High School Assessment for algebra or one or more credits in subsequent mathematics courses for which Algebra I is a prerequisite, and 1 with instruction in geometry aligned with the content standards for geometry.
NEW STATE REQUIREMENT FOR STUDENTS GRADUATING IN 2018 AND LATER: Students graduating in 2018 and later must be enrolled in a math course in each year of high school. This may result in students earning more than 4 credits in math for graduation.
|PHYSICAL EDUCATION||1 credit|
|SCIENCE||3 Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) credits, including 1 life science credit (BC) and 1 physical science credit (PC). Courses satisfying this requirement are designated in the course bulletin.|
|SOCIAL STUDIES||3 credits, 1 U.S. History credit; 1 World History credit; and 1 National, State, and 1 Local Government credit required.|
|TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION (TE)||1 credit designated TE. Courses satisfying this requirement are designated in the course bulletin.|
|HEALTH EDUCATION||0.5 credit|
The additional credits required for graduation may be fulfilled by 1 of the following three options
|STUDENT SERVICE LEARNING (SSL)||75 service-learning hours The SSL requirement is prorated for students enrolling in MCPS for the first time after Grade 6.|
Up-to-date graduation requirements by class may be found at
Students must satisfactorily complete four years of school beyond Grade 8. (For exceptions, see Alternatives to Four-year Enrollment.) Beginning with students entering ninth grade for the first time in the 2014-2015 school year or later, each student shall enroll in a mathematics-based course each year the student attends a Maryland public high school, up to four years. This requirement is not waived for students enrolled in high school mathematics courses in middle school. MCPS courses that satisfy this requirement are published annually in this course bulletin. Students may also fulfill this requirement via dual enrollment, as set forth in MCPS Regulation ISB-RA, High School Graduation Requirements, at https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/isbra.pdf.
Beginning with students who entered Grade 7 in the 2020–2021 school year, or who were new to MCPS and in Grades 8–12, must receive one dose of the Tetanus-diptheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccination and one dose of the Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccination (MCV4) before the first day of school. These vaccinations are required by the state of Maryland State for school attendance. Acceptable proofs of vaccinations are a computer-generated vaccination record from the student’s healthcare provider or the Maryland Department of Health Immunization Certificate (Form 896), found at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/forms/pdf/mdh 896.pdf.
Maryland High School Comprehensive Assessment Program
The Maryland High School Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) consists of tests developed for or adopted by MSDE that are aligned with and measure a student’s skills and knowledge as set forth in the content standards for specified courses. The term “MCAP” covers state and federal mandated assessments in English Language Arts/Literacy, Mathematics, Science, and Government at the high school level. Students take these assessments as they complete the corresponding courses. MCAP also includes the Alternate Assessments for select students
MARYLAND HIGH SCHOOL COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT PROGRAM (MCAP)
HIGH SCHOOL ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS1,2,3,4 For Students Graduating in 2024
The MCAP requirements are subject to change by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).
Course credit earned in Algebra 1 AND
Course credit earned in English 10 or equivalent, or English 10 for ELs AND
Course credit earned in National, State, and Local Government or equivalent, AND
Course credit earned in Biology or equivalent, AND
For additional information regarding MCPS graduation requirements visit www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/graduation-requirements.aspx
MCPS Regulation JEB-RA, Placement, Promotion, Acceleration, and Retention of Students, (http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/jebra.pdf requires that high school students earn 5 credits each year in order to be promoted, including specific required credits in English, mathematics, science, and social studies, as indicated in the chart below.
|End Of:||Total Credits Needed for Promotion to Next Grade||Total Credits in Required Courses|
|Math||English||Science||Social Studies||Other Courses - See Options Required for Graduation|
Maryland High School Certificate of Program Completion
This certificate is awarded only to students with disabilities who cannot meet the requirements for a diploma, but who meet the standards set forth in the Code of Maryland Regulations §13A.03.02.09, and MCPS Regulation ISB-RA, High School Graduation Requirements found at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/isbra.pdf. All students will be considered diploma-bound and will be assessed and graded accordingly, unless and until an Individualized Education Program (IEP) team determines that a student will be instructed, assessed, and graded on Alternative Learning Outcomes that are aligned with the MCPS curriculum, leading to a Certificate of Program Completion. The IEP team must obtain written consent from the parent/guardian of the student with a disability if the IEP proposes to enroll the student in an alternative education program that does not issue or provide credits toward a Maryland high school diploma.
Montgomery County Public Schools Certificate of Merit (CM)
In addition to the Maryland high school diploma, students who meet the following requirements may be awarded the MCPS Certificate of Merit, a diploma endorsement:
a. Advanced Courses
Students must earn at least 12 credits in advanced courses designated by MCPS as applicable to the Certificate of Merit (CM). CM courses contribute to a weighted grade point average only when the course also is identified as Advanced Level (AL). All courses to be counted toward the Certificate of Merit must be taken for a letter grade.
b. Mathematics Requirement
Students must successfully complete and/or receive credit for an MCPS Algebra 2 course.
c. Cumulative Grade Point Average
Students must obtain at least a 3.0 unweighted cumulative grade point average.
Maryland Seal of Biliteracy
Maryland Seal of Biliteracy is awarded to high school graduates who can function in two or more languages and are equipped with the knowledge and skills to participate successfully in college, careers, and a diverse 21st century society. The Maryland Seal of Biliteracy is a diploma endorsement, authorized by Maryland law, that recognizes a student’s high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages other than English. To receive a Maryland Seal of Biliteracy, a student must do the following:
- Pass the Maryland High School Assessment in English 10; AND
- Demonstrate Intermediate High proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in a language other than English, as measured by assessments that are aligned to ACTFL (the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) proficiency guidelines.
Courses and Credits
Each MCPS high school provides a comprehensive program of studies that enables all students to earn required graduation credits. All high school courses are one semester long. All courses satisfying graduation requirements must be taken for a letter grade. Upon completion of each semester’s work, students earn credit in each course taken—0.5 credits for successful completion of a single-period course, 1 credit for a double-period course, and so on. Year-long courses usually have the same name for the two semesters with the title of the first semester followed by “A” or “1” and the second by “B” or “2.” Generally, the first semester of a course is a prerequisite for the second semester
Student Service Learning
The Student Service Learning (SSL) program in MCPS promotes a culture of student involvement and student responsibility through civic engagement. Service learning is a graduation requirement in Maryland. MCPS students must complete a minimum of 75 service-learning hours to graduate. They may begin fulfilling this requirement in the summer after Grade 5 and continue to accrue SSL hours through high school. Students who earn 260 or more SSL hours receive a Certificate of Meritorious Service at the time of graduation. Preparation, action, and reflection are the three phases of service learning that distinguish SSL from traditional volunteering and community-service efforts.Service learning hours are earned through the following:
- School Courses— Successful completion of specific courses identified in this course bulletin where the three phases of SSL achieve curricular objectives.
- School Clubs— Fully participating and completing the three phases of service learning in activities promoted by school-sponsored clubs and organizations.
- Community Organizations and Opportunities (must meet MCPS SSL guide- lines)— Fully participating in opportunities with community organizations following the MCPS SSL guide- lines listed on the MCPS SSL website, found at www.mcps-ssl.org MCPS SSL opportunities are identified on the Montgomery County Volunteer Center (MCVC) web page with the MCPS SSL icon, found at www.montgomeryserves.org. Students also may seek approval for other types of service learning by submitting MCPS Form 560-50, Individual Student Service Learning Request
All activities for which SSL hours are desired must occur in a public place, be secular in nature, and be supervised by an adult representative from a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. Parents/guardians and relatives may not supervise a student directly. One SSL hour is awarded for every one hour of service outside of the instructional day, with a maximum of 8 hours in a 24-hour period. MCPS Form 560-51, Student Service Learning Activity Verification, is required to document all activities for which SSL hours are desired. SSL FAQs and more information is available at the MCPS SSL website www.mcps-ssl.org and the MCVC website www.montgomeryserves.org. For individual SSL questions, please contact the SSL coordinator in any middle or high school.
High School Credit for Middle School Students
Beginning with students who entered Grade 6 in the 2018–2019 school year and will be entering high school in 2021-2022:
Grades and credit earned for high school courses taken in middle school will be included on the high school transcript, but the grade points will not be automatically calculated into the cumulative GPA unless requested by students and parents/guardians. Students and parents/guardians will be notified of procedures to opt to include such courses in the cumulative GPA once they are in high school, no earlier than after the first semester of Grade 9 when a cumulative GPA has been established with multiple courses. This approach will help students and families see the impact of including such courses on the cumulative GPA once a greater sample of courses and grades has been established. Students and parents/guardians will also have the opportunity to hold off on making the request until at least Grade 11, so has to consider the full impact with multiple years of high school courses.
Additional information about secondary grading can be found here: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/info/grading/report-cards-secondary.aspx
Middle school students must meet the same requirements as high school students by earning a final grade of A, B, C, or D each semester. Additional information is in MCPS Regulation IKC-RA, Grade Point Averages (GPA) and Weighted Grade Point Averages (WGPA), found at https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/ikcra.pdf
Honors, Advanced-level, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Courses
Honors (H), Advanced-Level (AL), Advanced Placement (AP), ), and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses provide opportunities for students to pursue rigorous and challenging studies. Students seeking an IB diploma or participating in a certificate program must meet the requirements of the program in addition to the MCPS requirements for graduation. Teachers, counselors, and parents/ guardians will work together to support each student’s progress in these challenging courses.
Honors courses provide expectations and opportunities for students to engage in more rigorous and complex content and processes and to develop authentic products that reflect the student’s understanding of key concepts. The curriculum in each Honors course includes appropriate adaptations for enriched learning to pursue in-depth studies that require abstract and higher-order thinking skills.
AL courses are based on previous achievement in a sequence of study. Advanced-level courses include appropriate adaptations for accelerated and enriched learning to pursue in-depth studies that require abstract and higher-order thinking skills.
Advanced Placement (AP) Courses
MCPS has developed courses that meet College Board guidelines to accompany the AP examinations. A qualifying score on an AP exam may earn the student college credit or advanced standing in the subject in college. All MCPS AP courses meet the requirements of and are approved by the College Board Audit Committee and include concepts and skills that help students prepare for the AP exams.
Process Changes for AP Exams
Students will register for exams in the fall, the College Board is implementing exam fees for ordering late or canceling your exam:
Fall exam ordering
AP exams must be ordered no later than November 15.
Fees for late orders or canceled exams
The AP Exam fee will stay the same, but a $40 fee will apply for exams ordered after November 15 or canceled by March 1.
Criteria for Enrollment in Honors, Advanced-level, and AP Courses
Multiple criteria such as mastery of course prerequisites, willingness to complete challenging assignments, previous grades, student interest, and teacher/counselor recommendations will be used to admit high school students to H, AL, AP, or IB classes. All students with the capability, motivation, or potential to accept the challenge of such a program will have an opportunity to do so.
Student Withdrawal from a Course
A student-initiated withdrawal may occur when the student and parent/guardian determine that withdrawal will be beneficial to the student. Additional information is in MCPS Regulation JEC-RA, Student Withdrawals from Classes and School, found at https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/jecra.pdf. An eligible student’s withdrawal (one who is 18 years of age or older or is emancipated) must be reviewed by the counselor and may be discussed with the parents/guardians. An eligible student’s withdrawal (one who is 18 years of age or older or is emancipated) must be reviewed by the counselor and may be discussed with the parents/guardians. If the student is not an eligible student, the student’s withdrawal request must be approved by the parent/guardian in writing, reviewed by the counselor, and discussed with the student to ensure that the student understands that withdrawing from the course may result in a possible delay in meeting graduation requirements. Then, the counselor’s recommendation is forwarded to the principal for approval.
The student must be presented with alternatives to withdrawing from a course. The student may transfer into another course within the same subject area for which the student has had adequate academic preparation. If no such alternative is available, the student may transfer into an appropriate elective course. Administrators/ designees have discretion to adjust student schedules if necessary and as appropriate.
- If a student withdraws from a course before the end of the 25th day of the semester, no notation is made on the student’s permanent record or report card.
- If a student withdraws after the 25th day of the semester, the date of the withdrawal and the achievement attained at the time of withdraw
Additional information about withdrawal and student eligibility for extracurricular activities is in MCPS Regulation IKC-RA, Grade Point Averages (GPA) and Weighted Grade Point Averages (WGPA), found at https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/ikcra.pdf and in MCPS Regulation IQD-RA, Academic Eligibility for High School Students Who Participate in Extracurricular Activities, found at https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/iqdra.pdf.
Other Provisions for Earning Credit
In addition to earning credits during the regular school day and year, students may earn high school credits through summer school, extended-day learning opportunities, work-experience programs, online courses, and college courses. Advance permission from the principal or designee is required in all cases involving other provisions for earning credit.
Online courses must be approved by MSDE and MCPS. See the list of online courses approved by MCPS for credit toward graduation at http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/onlinelearning.
It is critical that students and their parents/guardians consult with academic advisors/ counselors prior to registering for courses for which they intend to obtain credits to meet high school graduation requirements. More information about other provisions for earning credit are discussed in MCPS Regulation ISB-RA, High School Graduation Requirements, found at http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/isbra.pdf.
Alternatives to Four-Year Enrollment
In recognition of the fact that four-year enrollment in a public high school may not serve the best interests of some students, alternatives are available. Requirements include advance permission from the principal or designee; an alternative plan developed, with enough lead time to allow a decision to be made at least one full semester prior to anticipated enrollment in a specific course or program; and a waiver. Approval may be made contingent on the student’s acceptance to an approved college, vocational, technical, or other postsecondary school program. Required forms, reasons for which waivers are approved, and additional information about alternatives to four-year enrollment are discussed in MCPS Regulation ISB-RA, High School Graduation Requirements, found athttp://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/isbra.pdf
Taking Courses Not Available at the Student’s Home School
Students who wish to take courses not available at their home school must apply through the counseling office at their home school.
A commitment to school attendance, on the part of both students and parents/guard- ians, is an essential component of a high-quality learning experience. Parents/guardians and school personnel are expected to do everything possible to ensure each student’s regular attendance. Students should attend all scheduled classes and approved educa- tional activities and are responsible for completing all assigned work on time. Students should be enrolled in a full-day program or spend a comparable period of time in an alternative education program or activity approved by the student’s parent/guardian and principal. See MCPS Regulation JEA-RA, Student Attendance, at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/jeara.pdf and Guidelines for the Continuing Education for Pregnant and Parenting Students, at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/ioera.pdf.
Grading and Reporting
The Board is committed to maintaining rigorous performance and achievement standards for all students and to providing a fair process for evaluating and reporting student progress that is understandable to students and their parents/guardians and relevant for instructional purposes. Board Policy IKA, Grading and Reporting www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/ika.pdf and accompanying MCPS Regulation IKA-RA, Grading and Reporting (www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/ikara.pdf) set forth expectations and guidance. The Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs publishes procedures at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/info/grading/.
Procedures for Grading
Grading procedures will be applied consistently within and among schools. Grading practices must include clear and timely communication, alignment with curriculum, accurate reflection of student achievement, and fair representation of student performance. Grading practices must be fair and manageable and support effective teaching and learning. Grades on report cards reflect academic achievement in relation to course expectations, as outlined in the MCPS curriculum. Extra credit may not be used. Course specific procedures for grading are defined, used consistently, and explained clearly to students and parents/guardians in writing at the beginning of a semester or school year. Additional information about grading and reporting can be found at https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/ikara.pdf.
Districtwide AssessmentsRequired assessments administered districtwide are one component of the body of evidence.
- A districtwide assessment is required to be given at designated times in identified grade levels and identified middle and high school courses.
- In middle and high school courses for which there are districtwide assessments, selected assessments may be calculated as 10 percent of the marking period, as directed by the Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Programs office.
Reporting Student Progress
Teachers will provide students and parents/guardians with information about achievement throughout the marking period. This feedback may take several forms, including the following:
- Report cards
- Interims/progress reports
- Online grade reports
- Parent conferences
- Informal methods of communication
- Teacher feedback
Credit/No Credit Grading Option
- The Credit/No Credit grading option may be used only in courses not specifically required for graduation by MSDE or MCPS.
- Courses taken using the Credit/No Credit option cannot be applied toward a Certificate of Merit.
Grade Point Average (GPA) and Weighted Grade Point Average (WGPA)
Only final course grades and credit reported on high school transcripts are used in determining GPA and WGPA, in accordance with the procedures set forth in MCPS Regulation IKC-RA, Grade Point Averages and Weighted Grade Point Averages (http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/ikcra.pdf). To determine WGPA, an additional quality point will be added to grades of A, B, and C in all Honors, AL, and AP courses only.
A Marking Period Average (MPA), used in determining academic eligibility, is shown on student report cards. The MPA is not cumulative and is not used to establish the GPA or WGPA.
MCPS does not rank students. Additional information about grading and reporting is available at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/info/grading/.
Repeating a Course to Earn a Higher Grade
Any student who completes a high school course may retake the course for a replacement grade. Grades and credits for courses retaken will be treated as follows, for computing the GPA and WGPA: a) a course may be retaken, no matter the final grade; b) the highest of the grades received shall be entered on the student’s transcript and shall be used for the purpose of computing GPA/ WGPA; c) students may only replace a course with a course of the same or comparable course code, as authorized by the Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Programs; or d) if space in a class is limited, students taking a course for the first time have priority for placement in the class over students retaking the course. Upon completion of the course, their official transcript and GPA/WGPA will reflect only the higher mark earned. Further information can be found in MCPS Regulation IKC-RA, Grade Point Averages (GPA) and Weighted Grade Point Averages (WGPA), found at http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/ikcra.pdf, and MCPS Regulation IKA-RA ,Grading and Reporting, found at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/ikara.pdf or by contacting the student’s counselor or College and Career Readiness and Districtwide Programs, 240-740-3941.
School Library Media Program
As a teacher and collaborator, school library media specialists
contribute to the development of students who are equipped with
the knowledge and skills to read, evaluate, and utilize print and
digital resources for curricular and personalized learning needs.
The guiding principles for an instructional approach to a robust school library media program:
- School library media specialists support literacy and student achievement
- School library media specialists are teachers and instructional partners
- School library media programs provide unique virtual learning environments
- School library media staff members advocate for equity and foster connections
School library media specialists enrich the learning environment by expertly vetting and sharing award-winning books and appropriate approved digital tools by providing updated collections and embracing the integration of innovative technologies. In addition, school library media specialists share information related to emergent issues in regard to accessibility, privacy, digital ethics, and copyright guidance.
A well-rounded school library media program maximizes student and teacher access to resources, programming, and instruction and provides opportunities to immerse all students in literacy-rich environments. School library media programs support students with the access and use of online resources, including eBooks (Sora, Capstone Interactive, Montgomery Public Library eBooks, etc.).
Whether independently or in collaboration with other teachers, school library media specialists must continue to ensure that students are able to efficiently, effectively, and ethically access and utilize print and digital resources for lifelong learning in multiple literacies. Instruction and collaboration must continue in distance learning, hybrid models, or in person.
Information literacy standards are embedded in content areas. Information literacy skills are grounded in classroom content because, when taught in isolation, they do not provide an authentic learning experience that is relevant to students. School library media specialists can be added as co-teachers to the classrooms in order to support any content area with information literacy standards. Digital citizenship is a component of information literacy and should be taught in the context of a larger lesson that requires practice in safe searching, safe sharing of information, etc. for Grades 6–10, with a minimum of 3.75 hours of instruction for the year.
Academic Eligibility for Participation in Extracurricular Activities
As a district committed to nondiscrimination, equity and cultural responsiveness, the Board of Education seeks to balance the state and collegiate expectations with its interest in making extracurricular activities including interscholastic sports, accessible to as many students as possible. Policy-IQD Academic Eligibility for Extracurricular Activities is currently under review. Additional information about Policy IQD can be found here https://news.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/staff-bulletin/board-seeking-comment-on-two-policies/.
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Eligibility Center
The National Collegiate Athletic Association established the NCAA Eligibility Center to serve as the authorizing group for the final review and approval of core courses for freshmen college students who want to participate in intercollegiate athletics in NCAA Division I-A, I-AA, and II colleges and universities. The NCAA Eligibility Center Approved Core Courses are identified in the course bulletin with the symbol NCAA. In all cases, the list of eligible courses available on the NCAA Eligibility Center website represents the final determination of acceptable core courses. To learn more about NCAA Approved Core Courses or about NCAA Freshmen Eligibility Standards, contact the local school resource counselor and visit the NCAA-IEC website at http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future. Students may want to download the NCAA student document at http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/CBSA17.pdf.
MCPS Countywide/Regional Programs
MCPS offers a range of high school programs to meet the unique interests or programmatic needs of students. Programs are offered at the local high school level or through an application process at the regional or countywide level. These programs may include enriched/
Local School Programs
In addition to offering a comprehensive high school program, a number of high schools have created programs that integrate a specific focus or distinguishing theme with skills, concepts, and instructional strategies of some portion of a school’s curriculum. The theme or focus becomes the vehicle for teaching the traditional high school curriculum in a fresh, interesting, and challenging way. All high schools offer a wide range of robust college and career programs that prepare students for college and the workforce. For additional information about local programs offered at a student’s home school, please visit the home school website.
Career Readiness Programs of Study (POS)
Programs of Study (POS) are state-approved programs that satisfy the Career Readiness graduation option requirements and are designated by POS in this bulletin. Each program is designed to help students acquire the specialized knowledge, skills, attitudes, and work habits required for employment and postsecondary education.
Students seeking to enroll in a POS with a work-based learning component may be required by the employer or sponsoring organization to provide appropriate documentation that may include a social security number and/or proof of citizenship/green card. Please review program information and POS requirements carefully for specific work-based learning component guidelines.
MCPS Regional Career Readiness Programs
Some career readiness POS are offered to high school students through a regional choice model, to ensure access to programs when not offered in the student’s home school.
These programs are available at designated high schools and offer limited seats to students from designated regions of the county. Student participation is determined by an application process. Grades 8–11 students from designated regions of the county are eligible to apply to the following application programs:
- Fire Science and Rescue—Home School and MC Public Safety Training Academy
- Flight and Aircraft Systems at Col. Zadok Magruder HS
- Network Operations & Information Technology (P-TECH) at Clarksburg HS
- Project Lead The Way Biomedical Sciences at Gaithersburg HS
- Project Lead The Way Biomedical at Wheaton HS
- Project Lead The Way Engineering at Wheaton HS
- Seneca Valley Regional Programs
- Wheaton/Edison Regional Programs
Extensive information about MCPS career readiness programs of Study is available online at and https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/career-readiness/. For more information about special programs visit www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/specialprograms/high/.
Regional College and Career Programs at Wheaton/Thomas Edison High School of Technology (TEHST) and Seneca Valley High School
Regional College and Career programs provide all MCPS students with the opportunity to co-enroll in advanced academic, technical, and career programs. The mission of college and career readiness programs is to provide students with state-of-the-art technological, academic, and interpersonal skills needed to achieve excellence in their chosen fields of study. The variety of career readiness programs offered allow students to explore and experience traditional and nontraditional career options and to prepare for college and a wide range of expanding and challenging postsecondary options. Students enroll in college and career readiness programs through their home school and take courses at both the home school and at the Regional College and Career Program location. Students may also be eligible to apply to a full-time comprehensive regional program at a college and career readiness programs location. Bus transportation is provided. All programs offered at Regional College and Career Program sites are state-approved and meet the career readiness graduation option requirements for students.
The Montgomery County Student Foundations Office serves as a liaison between the business/professional community and MCPS, by coordinating four separate nonprofit educational foundations that prepare students for a wide range of postsecondary options within the automotive, construction, information technology and computer science, and the hospitality and restaurant management industries. Programs provide instruction in classroom and laboratory settings with state-of-the-art technology and authentic, real world experiences for students through rigorous curriculum, career programs of study, industry certification opportunities, community business partnerships, entrepreneurial projects,scholarships/ awards, SSL hours, and articulation agreements through which students may earn college credit. Additional information is at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/foundations/ or contact the Foundations Office at 240-740-2050.
Automotive Trades Foundations Programs
The following high schools offer Automotive Trades Foundation programs: Damascus, Gaithersburg, Seneca Valley, and TEHST. Three student-run car sales per school year are held, selling more than 2,000 renovated vehicles to date. Students donate one renovated vehicle yearly to a deserving Montgomery County charity organization.
Construction Trades Foundations Program
Construction Trades Foundation programs are located at TEHST and Seneca Valley HS. Students design, construct, and market student-built houses. Forty-one houses have been built and sold thus far in Montgomery County. Students currently are constructing the 42nd home.
Information Technology and Computer Science Programs
Information Technology programs in computer repairs and networking (Network Operations) are located at Clarksburg High School, TEHST, and Seneca Valley High School in the 2020- 2021 school year. Students in these programs refurbish, market, and sell donated computers to the community and donate a lab each year to a deserving Montgomery County nonprofit organization. Cisco Networking Academies are located in seven high schools: Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Damascus, Gaithersburg, Quince Orchard, Seneca Valley, Springbrook, and Wootton. Students in all programs can earn valuable industry-standard CompTIA certifi cations and college credits and can obtain internships in the IT field. The Computer Science pathway, which includes a robotics unit, is offered in 25 high schools. Students can take two AP courses in the pathway as well as earn college credits and obtain internships. The Clarksburg Pathways in Network and Information Technology Program (P-TECH) is a dual-enrollment program that allows students to earn both an MCPS high school diploma and an Associate of Applied Science (ASS) degree from Montgomery College, at no cost, while in high school. This program is offered exclusively at Clarksburg High School, and the only entry point for this program is at the beginning of ninth grade.
Hospitality and Restaurant Management Program
In 2019, the Foundation for Hospitality & Restaurant Management (FHRM) was established to develop and engage the hospitality and restaurant industry to partner with MCPS in support of the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism POS and the Professional Restaurant Management POS. In collaboration with the business community, the Foundation is in the process of reviewing and updating curriculum material, and identifying career-enriching experiences for students who want to study and learn about career opportunities within the hospitality industry.
Career Readiness Education Academy (CREA)
The Career Readiness Education Academy (CREA) is an academic and career readiness program for older English Language Learners (ELLs) in MCPS. Students in CREA have the opportunity to prepare for the GED exam and earn industry certifications in their chosen field of study. Students are referred to CREA if they are at least 18 years old and unlikely to meet graduation requirements before turning 21 and/or if they are interested in pursuing an alternative pathway to a high school diploma via GED preparation. CREA offers both full-day and evening programs at Thomas Edison High School of Technology and Seneca Valley High School.
The Visual Art Center (VAC) at Albert Einstein High School
Established in 1974, the VAC is a nationally recognized visual art
program and offers students a broad perspective of the visual arts
and deepens their understanding of the opportunities for art-related
careers through exposure to art history, contemporary artists,
and artwork. Any student who resides in Montgomery County and is
currently enrolled in Grades 8–11 is encouraged to apply for acceptance
into this magnet program, if they are interested in a rigorous
portfolio-development program. The VAC program is open to applicants
from all high school clusters in the county. Students may opt
to take a combination of courses at their home high school and the
VAC, or they may opt to transfer to Albert Einstein High School.
Downcounty Consortium (DCC) resident students who have been
assigned to Einstein through the choice process and have been
accepted into the Visual Arts Center will be provided transportation
from Consortia neighborhood stops. Students not assigned to
Einstein HS are responsible for providing their own transportation.
For more information, contact t the MCPS Visual Arts Center at 240-740-2700 or go to http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/schools/vac/.
High School Science/Mathematics/Computer Science Magnet Program at Montgomery Blair HS and Poolesville HS
Recognizing that education is an individual experience that depends on the unique talents and interests of each person, the mission of the MCPS High School Science/Mathematics/Computer Science Magnet Program is to provide an environment in which each student’s education is maximized by emphasizing the interrelationships among the disciplines, developing a repertoire of problem-solving techniques and pursuing both independent and collaborative research projects.
To realize this mission, the staff nurtures the special talents of its students, challenging them through a unique, diversified curriculum that fosters individualism, independent thinking, and self-confidence. Students construct their own knowledge base, learn problem- solving strategies that foster a multidisciplinary approach, and develop the ability to think precisely and creatively.
The curriculum is designed to enable each student to build a solid foundation in Grades 9 and 10. Core courses in these first two years include physics, chemistry, Earth science, biology, two years of computer science, two years of mathematics, and an interdisciplinary course—Research and Experimentation for Problem Solving. During their junior and senior years, students have opportunities to go beyond traditional high school offerings with more than 25 special courses and independent research projects, while still meeting MSDE requirements (e.g., enrollment in mathematics).
Program descriptions, brochures, and applications are at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/specialprograms/high/magnet-science.aspx.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programs in MCPS
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a rigorous two-year program that challenges students to think critically, excel in their studies, and develop as global citizens, leading to a qualification that is recognized by universities around the world. To earn an IB diploma, students must take a challenging liberal arts course of studies and pass examinations in six academic subjects.
The IB Diploma program is offered at
- Albert Einstein High School (for students in the Downcounty Consortium)
- Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School (for students in the B-CC area)
- John F. Kennedy High School (Regional)
- Richard Montgomery High School (Countywide)
- Rockville High School
- Seneca Valley High School
- Springbrook High School (Regional)
- Watkins Mill High School (Regional
- Richard Montgomery High School (Countywide)
- John F. Kennedy High School (Regional)
- Springbrook High School (Regional)
- Watkins Mill High School
International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IB CP)
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Career-related Programme (CP) is a framework of international education that incorporates the values of the IB into a unique programme addressing the needs of students engaged in career-related education. The CP is designed to prepare students for higher education, an internship or apprenticeship, or a position in a designated field of interest.
In addition to the IB Diploma Programme, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Career Programme is offered at
- Watkins Mill High School
- Rockville High School
- Seneca Valley High School (IB candidate school)
International Baccalaureate/Middle Years Programme (MYP)
The MYP is designed for students ages 11 to 16. It provides a framework of learning that encourages students to become creative, critical, and reflective thinkers. The MYP emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world. It fosters the developmental skills for communication, intercultural understanding, and global engagement—essential qualities for young people who are becoming global leaders. Students engage in research and acquire critical-thinking skills through all subject areas, as well as study a second language. MYP is authorized and offered as a whole-school program for Grades 9 and 10 at
- Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
- Seneca Valley High School (IB candidate school)
- John F. Kennedy High School(IB candidate school)
- Richard Montgomery High School
- Springbrook High School, and
- Watkins Mill High School
The MCPS IB program website, www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/specialprograms/high/ib.aspx, contains links to each school’s program and admission process. Each high school offering an IB programme has individualized its program, providing unique selections from the IB electives and languages. Local school course listings will indicate those courses available at a given school.
Blair/Poolesville Magnet Courses and IB Courses
Courses are listed at the end of each departmental listing in this bulletin and the Interdisciplinary and Research Courses section.
Other Application Programs
There are other competitive programs offered to MCPS students, with a limited number of seats that require students to complete an application and meet specific admission criteria. Programs include the Communications Art program at Blair HS, Global Ecology and the Humanities programs at Poolesville HS and the Leadership Training Institute at Kennedy HS. Some programs accept applications countywide, while others accept applications from designated regions of the county. For more information about application programs offered in MCPS, visit www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/specialprograms. Parents/guardians of current Grades 8–11 students are able to access and review all eligible high school application programs on the Synergy ParentVUE. Each application program may have its own application. Private school students may visit the special programs website to apply.
Student Online Learning/eLearning
The MCPS Student eLearning program provides opportunities for students to take selected high school courses outside the traditional classroom setting. The program allows students access to online courses for acceleration, flexibility in scheduling, or to retake previously failed courses. Courses taught by MCPS teachers follow a blended learning model, requiring attendance at scheduled face-to-face meetings, in addition to online instruction. More information about student online learning/elearning is at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/onlinelearning/.
Students can choose to take coursework for original credit, retake a course or retake a portion of a course (credit recovery). Additional information about procedures for credit recovery can be found here: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/ikara.pdf.
Online MCPS Courses
MCPS offers three online courses: Comprehensive Health, Foundations of Technology, and Foundations of Computer Science, which follow a blended model of online and face-to-face (f2f) learning. Each course satisfies both MCPS and Maryland state graduation requirements. Registration and cost information for these classes is available on the Student eLearning website.
Online AP Courses
Approved AP courses, offered by vendors outside of MCPS are delivered solely online. Courses have an associated fee. Registration information is available on the Student eLearning website. As with all courses offered by institutions other than MCPS, advance permission from the principal or designee is required for courses for which the student seeks high school credit. Additional information regarding eLearning is at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/onlinelearning/.
Online Pathway to Graduation
The Online Pathway to Graduation (OPTG) is a year-long program, split into two sessions, that enables current and former MCPS high school students to meet the academic requirements for a Maryland high school diploma. Students who have completed at least one year of high school are eligible to participate in the program. Instruction in OPTG courses is of a blended nature, and student both access instruction online and from teachers at one of three support centers (Albert Einstein, Gaithersburg, and Northwest high schools) who monitor participant progress and provide instruction. All unit tests are proctored at the assigned support center. Participants progress through their courses, accessing both digital and in-person instruction. As participants successfully complete each course, credit is awarded, thus helping the participant progress toward earning a high school diploma. Also, participants are responsible for completing all Maryland and MCPS graduation requirements, including MCAP and SSL requirements. These courses are free for current MCPS students.
To learn about the Student eLearning program, see your counselor, contact the Student eLearning team, or visit the Student eLearning website, www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/onlinelearning/.
MC Ensembles Partnership Program
The MC Ensembles Partnership gives talented MCPS high school instrumental music students the opportunity to participate in the MC Wind Ensemble. For additional information, speak with your school’s instrumental music teacher or contact Dr. Jay Crowder, Montgomery College Music Department chair, at 240-567-7554, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Learning Opportunities
George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academies
Twelve MCPS schools host The George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academy, Inc. programs on Saturday mornings (Saturday School), providing enrichment, tutoring, and mentoring for students in Grades K–12. The George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academy, Inc. was established in 1986 by the Mu Nu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, as an outgrowth of the Saturday School Initiative of Blacks United for Excellence in Education. Saturday Schools are open to all students, regardless of their home school. High school sites include Blair, Clarksburg, Einstein, Gaithersburg, Magruder, Northwest, Paint Branch, Rockville, Springbrook, Watkins Mill, and Wheaton. There is also a location at Strathmore ES. For more information about Saturday School tutoring and the George B. Thomas, Sr. learning academies, contact your local school or visit https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/gbtla/, or www.saturdayschool.org.
Summer School Sites and Schedules
A wide range of high school summer course offerings will be available in Summer 2021 through the MCPS Summer School Program. Online courses in all subject areas will be offered for both original and repeat credit. More information will be available in spring 2021 at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/extendedhours/.