A note about the high school science curriculum
Some science classes will have dissection activities. If your child does not want to participate in a dissection activity, you have the right to request an alternative option. Talk to your child's teacher for more information.
- PARCC: Students enrolled in English 10, English 11, Algebra I, and Algebra II take these tests, and in most cases must earn a passing grade (or complete a “bridge” project) to graduate. Ask your school counselor for more information about requirements.
- American Government High School Assessment (HSA): In most cases, students must pass (or complete a “bridge” project) to graduate. Ask your school counselor for more information.
- Maryland Integrated Science Assessment: In most cases, students must pass to graduate.
- PSAT: Students in 10th and 11th grades take this test in math and language arts at school in the fall. It is not required for graduation, and results don’t count toward final grades—but it’s a great way to see if a student is on track for being accepted to college, and great practice for the SAT.
- SAT: Students in 11th grade take this test at school in the spring. Scores are important for getting into many colleges. (It’s not unusual for a student to take the SAT more than once. This 11th-grade opportunity comes early enough that students still have time later in 11th grade or early in 12th grade to take the test again and try to earn a higher score. The SAT is given on several weekends throughout the year, and many students qualify for fee waivers. Ask your school counselor for more information. You can also ask your counselor about the ACT test, which is sometimes required for college acceptance.)
- Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams: Students enrolled in these courses can take exams in the spring. Passing grades are sometimes accepted for college credit.
Get ready for next steps
High schools offer many different programs to add to regular classroom learning. Athletics, clubs, music, tutoring, internships, and other activities teach important skills — and help students find their own voices through activities that matter to them. Ask at your school about what’s available and take advantage of every opportunity!
All high school students use Naviance, an online tool for planning next steps after high school. Naviance supports students in thinking about their strengths, what careers might be right for them, and how to set and meet college and career goals. When it’s time for college applications, Naviance can help students identify which colleges may be right for them and keep applications on track.