FCPS requires a minimum of 25 credits to graduate. This includes the minimum 21 credits beyond the 8th grade that the Maryland State Board of Education requires and 4 additional credits that FCPS requires: 1 in math and 3 career pathway credits. Credit requirements are outlined in the chart to the right.
The Maryland State Department of Education requires state-level, end-of-course exams aimed at raising academic standards and preparing students to compete in the workplace and post-secondary education. These requirements were updated in the fall of 2017. The state’s transition to new assessments in Algebra 1 and English 10, a change to the state’s Biology assessment, and the elimination of the incremental cut scores prompted the new requirements. Despite these recent changes, a student must still meet graduation assessment requirements in four content areas—Algebra 1, English 10, Government and Science.
The transition may seem confusing because requirements are different for each of the tests and are different depending on when a student took the assessment. The following guidelines will assist in determining whether a student has met each requirement.
English 10 and Algebra I
- Students who took the Algebra I or English 10 High School Assessment (HSA) exams or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams during the 2015-2016 school year or earlier have met the assessment graduation requirements by simply taking the assessment, regardless of the score earned.
- For any student taking the assessment who is in the 8th through 12th grade during the 2018-2019 school year, the cut score has been set at 725.
- For any student taking the assessment who is in the 6th or 7th grade or below during the 2018-2019 school year, the cut score has been set at 750.
|Fine Arts (Music, Art, Drama)||1|
|Choose one of the following:|
|State-Approved Career and
|Electives from student’s career pathway** (including 1/2 credit in Personal Financial Literacy)||3|
*In the same language
** The FCPS High School Planning Guide lists career pathways, and the Course Offerings Guide has detailed course information.
***Math or a related approved course must be taken each year of high school.
- A PARC combined score option is available for students who have taken Algebra 1 or English 10. Students may use a higher passing score on one assessment to offset a lower score on the other exam as long as the combined score is 1450 or higher (1500 for current 6th and 7th graders).
- There is no current plan to allow students to use passing scores on PARCC English 10 or Algebra I to offset lower failing scores in Government.
- Students who have passing scores on the old Algebra I or English 10 HSA exams may continue to use these scores (combined scores) to offset a lower failing score in Government.
- Students may use the Algebra 1 or English 10 Bridge Program to meet graduation assessment requirements. Maryland’s Bridge Program is an alternative for some students who are unable to pass the exams despite receiving additional support. Students should discuss this option with the school counselor.
- The HSA in Biology was last administered during the 2016-2017 school year. Students who took the course for the first time last year or students who had not yet passed Biology were required to take the assessment during the 2016-2017 school year in order to meet graduation assessment requirements. Students met the requirement by simply taking the assessment, regardless of the score earned.
- Students who earned passing scores on the HSA in Biology may continue to use the combined score option to offset a lower failing score in Government.
- Students who take the Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA) in the 2017-2018 and 2018–2019 school years, only need to participate in the assessment.
- Beginning in school year 2019-2020, students will be required to pass the MISA exam by obtaining a cut score that has yet to be determined.
- Students who entered the 9th grade during or after the 2013-2014 school year are required to pass the HSA in Government with a 394 cut score.
- Students who earned passing scores on any of the old HSA exams may continue to use the combined score options to offset a lower failing score in Government.
- Students may use the Government Bridge Program to meet graduation assessment requirements. Maryland’s Bridge Program is an alternative for some students who are unable to pass the exams despite receiving additional support. Students should discuss this option with the school counselor.
More information may be found in the Maryland State Department of Education’s “Graduation Requirements for Public High Schools in Maryland.” If you have specific questions pertaining to your child’s graduation assessment requirements, please contact your child’s school counselor.