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What does my high school child need to graduate?

For those parents who home school their children or whose children attend public schools, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis presents a great deal of uncertainty, especially as we wait for what public schools will do to reopen during the fall. If you are wondering what your high school child needs to graduate with a diploma, most Massachusetts public schools require the MassCore, a program of study developed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Below is an overview of what is required for your son or daughter to graduate with a high school diploma.

Course Work:

• English Language Arts: 4 full-year courses

• Mathematics: 4 full-year courses, including Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II

• Social Studies: 3 full-year courses; 1 year of world history and 2 years of U.S. history

• Science: 3 full-year courses in a lab-based science; biology required

• Foreign Language: 2 full-year courses in the same language

• Physical Education/Wellness: 2 full-year courses; 1 half-year required each year

• The Arts: 1 full-year course

• Additional Core Courses: 5 full-year courses; electives can be used


• Meets or Exceeds Expectations in English Language Arts

• Meets or Exceeds Expectations in Mathematics

• Needs Improvement or better in Biology

Ensuring that your high school child earns the necessary credits and earns a passing score on the MCAS is challenging for any parent. To help bridge the gap, Innovative Education Solutions is here to help provide budget-friendly consulting, private tutoring, and test preparation. If you need help with designing your child’s high school program, private tutoring, or preparing for the SAT and ACT, we are ready to assist you. Please give us a call or complete an inquiry form on our website to schedule a free consultation.

About The Author:

John Marderosian is the founder, owner, and operator of Innovative Education Solutions. He has more than 15 years of experience improving student outcomes and closing achievement gaps, as well as increasing the capacity of teachers to accomplish the same with their students.

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