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Graduation Requirements, Promotion & College Admission

Information on this page is taken directly from the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School Program of Studies.

Link Coming Soon: 2016-2017 Program of Studies

Credit Requirements for Promotion and Graduation

Graduation Requirements at a Glance

Minimum Credits



Math (Including completion of Algebra II, and required math class during senior year)




Social Sciences (US History I and II and World History for 2018 and beyond)


Foreign Language (2 courses in the same language)


Physical Education






Additional Core Electives




Please Note:  Students enrolled in alternative high school programming such as the Integrated Learning Center, PM, and dual enrollment programs may be exempt from the standard graduation requirements based on individual student programming needs.  Record of a student’s exemption(s) will be on file in Student Services.  (Criteria for exemptions will be specified.) Some students who are on an IEP may require a second language exemption.  The need for this exemption must be determined and granted through the IEP process.

Minimum Credit Requirements for Promotion

Semester I

Semester II

Grade 10



Grade 11



Grade 12



140 (must pass 35 credits during final year*)

Note: Students will not be promoted after the start of an academic year unless they reach 120 credits to become a senior.

* Does not apply to fifth year students

Loss of Credit due to Absence

If a student is absent from a class, or from school, ten (10) times a semester (5 for an every other day class), he/she will lose credit for that class or those classes, even though he/she earns a passing course grade. If a student misses more than fifteen (15) minutes of a class period he/she is considered absent. Cutting a class is an absence and will result in disciplinary action.  If a student violates this policy, he/she may need an additional course or courses to meet graduation requirements.

If a student has an acceptable, documented excuse such as an illness certified by a doctor, or a documented situation that made attendance impossible, he/she must submit the appropriate documentation to the school’s office within ten (10) business days following his/her absence.  Any documentation submitted later than ten (10) days following the student’s absence will not be accepted.

A half-way point letter will be sent to the parent/guardian of a student who has been absent five (5) times from an every-day class, or three (3) times from an every-other-day class.  The letter will include a warning of credit loss as well as an invitation to meet with the Dean of Students or guidance counselor.

School to Work Graduation Requirement

Students must have a supervised work experience for a minimum of the 35 hours in order to fulfill the School to Work Requirement.  Jobs, internships or volunteer experiences whether they are part-time, summer, or after-school may count.  An Out of school CO-OP - while not a requirement itself - would also satisfy this requirement.

Note:  Students are required to contract with the school and their supervisor, prior to beginning the experience and have their supervisor complete an evaluation at the end.

Options for fulfilling School-to-Work Requirement

Wage Earning

Earns H.S. Credit





Outside School Day

Work for business or individual



Outside School Day

Recognized Community Project



Outside School Day

Recognized Social Agency



Outside School Day

Out of School CO-OP Experience *

Yes or No


During School Day

*Only Students in grades 11 and 12 are eligible to participate in the CO-OP program.

College Admission Standards

The admission standards for the University of Massachusetts and the state universities emphasize a strong academic high school background so that students enter college ready to learn. These standards are minimums; each campus may choose to consider additional factors in its admissions decisions. Further, the standards do not apply to the state's community colleges, which admit any high school graduate.

Freshmen Applicants

If you plan to enter the University of Massachusetts or a state university as a freshman, you wil1 need to:

1) take 16 college preparatory high school courses,

2) earn at least a "B" (3.0) grade point average in your college preparatory courses, and

3) take the SAT I or ACT test.

Academic Course Requirement

Sixteen college preparatory courses (each course is equivalent to a year-long high school class) are required:

  • English 4 courses

  • Mathematics 3 courses (Algebra I & II and Geometry or Trigonometry, or comparable coursework). Starting with the class of 2016, applicants must complete a mathematics course in the senior year of high school.

  • Sciences 3 courses (including 2 courses considered col1ege lab courses). Starting with the class of 2016, applicants must have completed 3 courses with laboratory work.

  • Social Sciences 2 courses (including 1 course of U.S. History)

  • Foreign Languages 2 courses (in a single language)

  • Electives 2 courses (from the above subjects or from the Arts & Humanities or Computer Sciences)

Minimum Grade Point Average in Required Courses

The grades you earn in college preparatory courses will be averaged into a grade point average (GPA). In calculating your GPA, you will receive extra credit for accelerated courses from the college (for example, honors or Advanced Placement courses).

Highly selective or more competitive colleges will be looking for more than minimum state standards such as four math, four science, (especially for math, engineering, or science related majors), three social studies and three foreign language courses.