2018 - 2019 MCPS High School Course Bulletin


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 assessments developed or adopted by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), collectively referred to as the Maryland High School Assessments (MHSA). All requirements are summarized in the table below.


Course Credits – Students shall be enrolled in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and have earned a minimum of 22 credits that include the following (unless a pre-approved MCPS alternative is satisfied):

>>> Maryland Graduation Requirements <<<

Enrollment – Students must satisfactorily complete four years of school beyond Grade 8. (For exceptions, see Alternatives to Four-Year Enrollment.)


Promotion Regulation

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
Grade 9 5 1 1 0 0 3
Grade 10 10 2 2 1 1 4
Grade 11 15 3 3 2 2 5


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 coursework 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 graduating class of 2022 is available at the website www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/info/CCRCCA/.


Maryland High School Assessments

Maryland High School Assessments (MHSAs) are those 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 “MHSA” encompasses both the High School Assessment (HSA) developed for Maryland, tests developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), as well as other tests that MSDE may develop or adopt in the future. Students take these assessments as they complete the corresponding courses.

Maryland High School Assessment (MHSA) Requirements
HSA and PARCC Assessments
The MHSA requirements are subject to change by Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).
Algebra 1

Course credit earned in Algebra 1 AND

  • Take Algebra 1 PARCC prior to 2016–2017, OR
  • Pass Algebra 1 PARCC
Maryland Integrated Science

3 course credits earned in Science, AND

  • Pass HS-MISA as or after student earns third science credit

English 10 Course credit earned in English 10 or ESOL 3 or higher, AND
  • Pass English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA/L) 10 PARCC
Government Course credit earned in National, State, and Local Government, AND
  • Pass Government HSA

For additional information regarding MCPS graduation requirements visit www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/graduation-requirements.aspx


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 MCPS Curriculum 2.0, 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

At least 12 credits must be earned in advanced courses designated by MCPS as applicable to the Certificate of Merit (CM). CM courses only contribute to a weighted GPA when the course is also 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 un-weighted cumulative grade point average.


Maryland Seal of Biliteracy

High school graduates who can function in two or more languages 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.
  • For more information about the approved assessments, please visit the website marylandpublicschools.org/about/Pages/DCAA/World-Languages/Biliteracy/index.aspx


    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 in length. 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 credit 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”. In general, the first semester of a course is a prerequisite for the second semester.


    Technology Education Requirement for Graduation

    To satisfy MSDE high school graduation requirements, students are required to take a state-approved technology education course. MCPS technology education courses that meet this requirement are designated TE. AT courses do not satisfy the requirement for one credit in TE. Note that MCPS eLearning offers Foundations of Technology A/B in an online format during the summer.

    AT courses satisfying graduation requirements for electives, Option 2, must also meet state approval. Courses meeting these requirements are designated AT. TE courses do not satisfy the requirements for AT courses in OPTION 2 .


    Personal Financial Literacy and Environmental Literacy

    In addition to the content standards that provide the framework for what students will learn in their courses, MSDE has also established Personal Financial Literacy and Environmental Literacy standards for all students at elementary, middle, and high school levels. In Montgomery County, these standards are embedded into existing curriculum, thereby extending student learning in meaningful ways. Personal Financial Literacy standards are taught in selected social studies courses primarily, while the Environmental Literacy standards are embedded mostly into science courses.

    All of the teaching and learning that addressed the (MSDE) K–12 Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards during the K–8 years is built upon in specific high school science and social studies courses. Students meet the Maryland Environmental Literacy Graduation Requirement when they successfully complete those courses.


    Student Service Learning

    The 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 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:

    School Course

    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 be preapproved for SSL

    Fully participating in opportunities with community organizations pre-approved by MCPS and listed on the MCPS SSL website, found at http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/ssl/ MCPS SSL approved opportunities are identified on the Montgomery County Volunteer Center webpage with the SSL icon found at http://www.montgomeryserves.org/volunteers/student-service-learning-ssl Students may also seek approval for other types of service learning by submitting MCPS Form 560-50, Request for Student Service Learning Preapproval.

    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 directly supervise a student. 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. More information is available at the MCPS SSL site, http://mcpsssl.org, or the SSL FAQ pages at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/ssl/faqs/faq.aspx For individual SSL questions, contact the SSL coordinator in any middle or high school.


    High School Credit for Middle School Students

    High school courses completed successfully while in middle school will be included in the GPA calculation at the beginning of Grade 9. 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 www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/ikcra.pdf and MCPS Regulation ISB-RA, High School Graduation Requirements, found at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/isbra.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

    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 for pursuing in-depth studies that require abstract and higher-order thinking skills.

    Advanced-Level Courses

    Advanced-level courses are based on previous achievement in a sequence of study. Advanced-level courses include appropriate adaptations for accelerated and enriched learning for pursuing 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 have met the requirements of and been approved by the College Board Audit Committee and include concepts and skills that help students prepare for the AP exams.

    Criteria for Enrollment in Honors, Advanced-level, and AP Courses

    According to Montgomery County Board of Education Policy IOA, Gifted and Talented Education, and accompanying MCPS Regulation IOA-RA, Gifted and Talented Education, 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 Honors, Advanced-level, AP, or IB classes. All students who have the capability, motivation, or potential to accept the challenge of such a program will be provided an opportunity to do so. Board Policy IOA and MCPS Regulation IOA-RA can be found at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/ioa.pdf and www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/ioara.pdf.


    Course-Related Information

    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. 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 there is understanding that withdrawing from the course may result in a possible delay in meeting graduation requirements. The counselor’s recommendation is forwarded to the principal for approval.

    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 the student withdraws after the 25th day of the semester, the date of the withdrawal and the achievement attained at the time of withdrawal will be entered on the report card and permanent record.

    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 http://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 www.montgomeryschoolsmdorg/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. The list of online courses approved by MCPS for credit toward graduation is 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 to four-year enrollment are available. Advance permission from the principal or designee is required, an alternative plan must be 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 must be obtained. Approval may be made contingent upon 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 at http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/isbra.pdf


    A commitment to school attendance, on the part of both students and parents/guardians, 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 educational 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 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.


    Grading and Reporting

    Basis for Grading

    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, and accompanying MCPS Regulation IKA-RA, Grading and Reporting, set forth expectations and guidance, found at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/ika.pdf and www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/ikara.pdf. 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.

    Districtwide Assessments
    Required 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 Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs (OCIP).

    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 Portal
    • 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 is added to grades of A, B, and C in all honors, advanced-level, and Advanced Placement 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 for computing the GPA and WGPA as follows: 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 Office 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 GradePoint Averages (WGPA), found at http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/ikcra.pdf, or by contacting the student’s counselor or High School Programs in the MCPS Department of Career Readiness and Innovative Programs, 301-279-5632.


    School Library Media Program

    Information literacy is a major component of college preparedness and workforce readiness and is central to the academic achievement of all students. The school library media program supports student achievement by collaborating with classroom teachers to integrate instruction of information literacy and information technology skills into the content curriculum and to ensure that students and staff are effective users and creators of ideas and information. The program is aligned with and inte- grated into the improvement plan at each school. The program includes the following:

    • Collaboration with classroom teachers and other staff to develop and implement lessons that teach and assess information literacy skills in the context of the curriculum, by incorporating the inquiry process to address an information need and/or a research question
    • Equitable and timely access to ideas and information by students and staff members
    • A school library media collection selected and evaluated consistent with MCPS Regulation IIB-RA, Evaluation and Selection of Instructional Materials and Library Books
    • Materials in the collection that support curricular requirements and instruction, engage students in free choice and independent reading, and are diverse in content and format, in response to stakeholder feedback.


    Academic Eligibility for Participation in Extracurricular Activities

    Students who have a 2.0 average with no more than one failing grade in the previous marking period will be academically eligible to participate or practice during the next marking period in any extracurricular activity requiring academic eligibility. Further information, including additional provisions that apply to withdrawn courses, can be found in MCPS Regulation IQD-RA, Academic Eligibility for High School Students Who Participate in Extracurricular Activities, found at http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/iqdra.pdf.

    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 at 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/eligibility-center. Students may want to download the NCAA student document at http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/CBSA17.pdf.

    Taking Courses Not Available at the Home School

    Students who wish to take courses not available at the home school must apply through the counseling office at their home school.


    MCPS Countywide Programs

    Career and Technology Education (CTE) Programs of Study (POS)

    Programs of Study (POS) are state-approved programs that satisfy the Career Technology Education (CTE) graduation option requirements and are designated by POS in this bulletin. Each of these programs 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 that includes 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.

    Extensive information about MCPS CTE Programs of Study is available at the website http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/careerprograms and www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/career-readiness/.

    Thomas Edison High School of Technology (TEHST)

    Thomas Edison High School of Technology (TEHST) provides all MCPS students with the opportunity to co-enroll in advanced academic, technical, and career programs. The mission of TEHST 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 CTE programs offered at TEHST allows 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 TEHST programs through their home school and take courses at both the home school and at TEHST. Bus transportation is provided. All programs offered at TEHST are state-approved and meet the CTE graduation option requirements for students.
    Registration packets are available from Thomas Edison, from local school counselors, and at http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/schools/edison/.

    Foundations Programs

    The Montgomery County Student Foundations Office serves as a liaison between the business/professional community and MCPS, by coordinating three separate nonprofit educational foundations that prepare students for a wide range of postsecondary options within the automotive, construction, and information technology and computer science 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 pathway programs, 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/.

    • 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 also donate one renovated vehicle yearly to a deserving Montgomery County organization.

    • Construction Trades Foundations Program

      Construction Trades Foundation programs are located at TEHST. Students design, construct, and market student-built houses. Forty houses have been built and sold thus far in Montgomery County. Students are currently constructing the forty-first student-built home.

    • Information Technology and Computer Science Programs

      Information Technology programs in computer repairs and networking (Network Operations) are located at Clarksburg High School and TEHST. 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 both programs can earn valuable industry-standard CompTIA certifications and college credits and can obtain internships in the IT field. The Computer Science pathway, which includes a robotics unit, is offered in 24 high schools. Students can take two AP courses in the pathway as well as earn college credits and obtain internships. Six MCPS high schools are affiliated with NAF Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) and offer pathways in computer programing, computer science, networking, and information resource design.

    The Visual Art Center (VAC) at Albert Einstein High School

    The Visual Art Center (VAC) is a challenging and rigorous portfolio development program with a competitive application process consisting of an interview, portfolio assessment, scholastic achievement record review, and teacher recommendations. Students develop a broader perspective of the fine arts and a greater awareness of opportunities in art careers through studio activities, group critiques, assigned research, lectures, demonstrations, slide presentations, and gallery visits. An important outcome of the program is the assembly of a strong portfolio for AP studio exams, college admissions, and scholarship applications.

    Grades 9 and 10 students attend the VAC for a double-period morning session (90 minutes each day). Grades 11 and 12 students can chose to attend the morning or afternoon session for a triple period (135 minutes each day) to pursue the AP studio art curriculum. Students may choose to transfer to Albert Einstein High School fulltime once they have been accepted into the program. Students/parents/guardians must provide transportation.

    For more information, contact the MCPS Visual Arts Center at 301-962-1027 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 http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/specialprograms/high/magnet-science.aspx .


    The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programs in MCPS

    The IB Diploma program is offered at
    • Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School (for students in the B-CC area)
    • Albert Einstein High School (for students in the Downcounty Consortium)
    • John F. Kennedy High School (for students in the Downcounty Consortium)
    • Richard Montgomery High School (for students who are selected through a competitive county-wide application and selection process during their eighth grade year)
    • Rockville High School (for students in the Rockville area)
    • Seneca Valley High School (for students in the Seneca Valley area)
    • Springbrook High School (for students in the Northeast Consortium)
    • Watkins Mill High School (for students in the Watkins Mill area)

    The IB countywide program at Richard Montgomery High School is designed for highly gifted students in Montgomery County and has an application process that takes place in Grade 8.

    The International Baccalaureate (IB) Career Certificate Programs in MCPS

    The IB Career Certificate Program (IBCP) is offered at Watkins Mill High School and Rockville High School

    The International Baccalaureate (IB) Career Certificate Program in MCPS is offered at

    • Watkins Mill High School
    • Rockville High School

    The IB Career Program is a framework of international education that incorporates the values of the IB into a unique program addressing the needs of students engaged in career-related education. The program leads to higher education, apprenticeships, or employment.


    International Baccalaureate/Middle Years Programme

    The MYP is designed for students aged 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, 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 program 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.

    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/.

    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 online at 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 online at 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 that enables current MCPS seniors and former MCPS high school students needing 3 credits or fewer, in addition to their daytime classes, to meet the academic requirements for a Maryland high school diploma. The instruction is delivered online. In addition, a teacher is in a centrally located computer classroom who monitors participant progress and facilitates individual instruction when needed. All diagnostic and unit tests will be proctored at the MCPS Center for Technology Innovation.

    Participants progress through the courses, completing assignments and taking assessments to demonstrate mastery of course objectives. 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 MHSA 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/.


    MCPS, Montgomery College and The University System of Maryland Partnership Programs

    College Course Opportunities and Dual Enrollment

    Students may enroll dually at institutions of higher education for high school and/ or college credit while they are enrolled in MCPS; subject to certain requirements. The college course Dual Enrollment option allows students who take and successfully complete qualifying college-level courses to receive advance-level high school credit on their high school transcript. Dual Enrollment allows students to earn college credit, save money on college education, and possibly graduate high school early. Parents who prefer not to have the college credit posted on the high school transcript may speak with their child’s counselor to opt out of this opportunity.

    • Students may enroll in college courses offered at select high schools, online, or on a college campus
    • Credits for these courses are fully transferable to the providing institution
    • Students must check with the college of their choice to ensure transferability to other institutions of higher education
    • Financial aid is available for all students; however, the amount will vary based on eligibility
    • For addition information regarding college course options and dual enrollment, see your counselor or the Dual Enrollment program assistant at your school

    MC Ensembles Partnership Program

    The MC Ensembles Partnership gives talented MCPS high school instrumental music students the opportunity to participate in the MC Symphony Orchestra or MC Wind Ensemble. For additional information, speak with your school’s instrumental music teacher or contact Dr. Jay Crowder, Music Department chair, at 240-567-7554, jay.crowder@montgomerycollege.edu.

    College Credit Available at Montgomery College for MCPS Students Who Complete Programs of Study

    MCPS graduates who successfully complete select programs of study may earn free college credit after receiving grades of A or B in courses articulated with Montgomery College (MC). Earned credits may be used toward an associate’s degree at MC. For more information regarding the MC articulated credit for programs of study, contact your school counselor. MC offers financial aid to help pay fees for qualifying students. Call 301-279-5000 at MC for college-related information, including information from the Financial Aid Office and an application packet.

    Students are advised that there are additional options for earning college credit while an MCPS student. More information about early college credit opportunities are at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/partnerships/college-credit.aspx


    Additional Learning Opportunities

    George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academies

    Twelve MCPS schools host The George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academies programs on Saturday mornings (Saturday School) providing enrichment, tutoring, and mentoring for students in Grades 1–12. 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, Einstein, Gaithersburg, Kennedy, Magruder, Northwest, Paint Branch, Rockville, Sherwood, Springbrook, Watkins Mill, and Wheaton. For more information about Saturday Schools tutoring and the George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academies, , contact your local school or visit http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/gbtla/.


    Summer School 2018

    The Regional Summer School Program provides an alternative for students to receive credit for select courses during the summer. The courses taught follow the same curriculum guidelines as those taught during the regular school year. Brochures for the 2018 Regional Summer School program will be available in all schools by the last week of April 2018. Registration forms, tuition-reduction waiver vouchers, and a copy of the summer school brochure also will be available on the MCPS website.

    Summer School Sites and Schedules

    Summer School locations and schedules will be advertised as soon as they are available. The sites for the Regional Summer School program are selected to serve the needs of all students.

    Also, high schools can develop their own Local School Program (LSP) to serve the needs of their specific population. The LSP operates independently of the Regional Summer School Program.

    Questions regarding LSPs should be directed to individual schools. Questions regarding the Regional Summer School Program should be directed to 301-279-3202 or
    Regional Summer School Program
    Carver Educational Services Center
    850 Hungerford Drive,
    Rockville, MD 20850
    Fax: 301-279-3747


    Career Readiness Education Academy (CREA)

    CREA is a career readiness program for older English Language Learners (ELLs) in MCPS. Students are referred to CREA if they are unlikely to meet graduation requirements by the time they age out at 21 years old. CREA is an evening program in which students study a career pathway and participate in an ESOL class, math class, and GED preparation class. Students enroll at their home school but do not actually attend classes there. They attend the CREA program at Thomas Edison High School of Technology, Monday–Thursday evenings from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Students in CREA can earn industry certifications in their chosen field of study and receive a wide array of social-emotional support in Spanish.

    Students Engaged in Pathways to Achievement (SEPA)

    Students Engaged in Pathways to Achievement (SEPA) SEPA is a career readiness program for older English language learners in MCPS. Students are referred to SEPA by their home school counselor if they are unlikely to meet graduation requirements by the time they age out at 21 years old. SEPA is a half-day program, based at Thomas Edison High School of Technology. Students in the SEPA program are enrolled in an ESOL, math, and literacy classes for the first three periods in the morning at their home high school. They then receive MCPS transportation to go to TEHST.

    Students study a career pathway at TEHST and have the opportunity to earn industry certifications as well as receiving bilingual paraeducator support in their classes. All fees are paid by the SEPA program, including accident insurance. Students receive bilingual counseling support and vital wraparound services.