Program of Studies » Program of Studies

Program of Studies

 

December 2021

Dear parents and students:

We are pleased to offer the Oakmont Regional High School 2022-2023 Program of Studies.  Selecting a demanding but appropriate course of study is essential to set you up for success in high school and impacts not only your experience in high school but your preparation for your plans beyond ORHS.  In addition to the courses you must take to meet the requirements for graduation, you will see we also offer a variety of electives that are designed to offer you courses that will help you explore areas of personal interest and help you with your future goals.  Please take time to review this document, spend time preparing questions for your teachers and school counselors, and also discuss these decisions as a family.

The courses have been designed to follow the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks which are also aligned with the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS).  While due to the pandemic, some of the MCAS requirements have been adjusted, this is still an expectation for graduation and an important indicator of your academic readiness and success as a student.

As we review course offerings each year, we do so through the lens of our Learner Expectations and Core Values.  (See pages 4-5) These ideals are what we are striving to achieve and are broken up into Academic, Social, and Civic expectations and address the skills (Responsibility, Self-Direction, Communication, Problem-Solving, and Respect) we hope are being taught in all our courses and that all Oakmont students will achieve by graduation.

The time you spend here at Oakmont is filled with opportunities.  Do not be afraid to push yourself academically and take advantage of the talented faculty we have here.  Oakmont has always prided itself on having exceptional elective programming for a small school.  We want you to be able to explore, learn and grow, and to discover your strengths, talents, and interests so you feel prepared to make decisions about your next steps after graduation.

Oakmont has achieved wonderful scholastic, artistic, musical, and athletic awards and honors. We are a caring community that sponsors many service projects and charitable donations to help those who are less fortunate. We take pride in creating a strong sense of community and FAMILY.  We are able to do this because of our talented faculty, the strong support from our community, and because our amazing students like you who agree to work hard to challenge themselves,  and encourage those around them to strive to be their best.  Whether you are a resident of our two towns or a school choice student,  an incoming 9th grader, or a transferring upperclassman, we welcome you into the Oakmont family and look forward to helping you reach your goals, and guiding you to your highest potential.

If, at any time, we can be of assistance, please contact us at [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Signatures

 
ASHBURNHAM WESTMINSTER REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
VISION AND MISSION
 
The Ashburnham Westminster Regional School District prepares all students to be contributing citizens of local and global societies in an ever-changing world.
 
 
At Ashburnham Westminster Regional School District, we focus on doing what is best for students to meet their academic and social-emotional needs to thrive in a global society through:
 
    • academically challenging curriculum;
    • community and civic engagement;
    • continuous, responsible use of all resources and evolving technology;
    • high quality, ongoing, focused professional development for staff;
    • real-world applications;
    • reflection for continuous improvement;
    • research based and data-driven instructional practices;
    • resilient, solution-based mindsets; and
    • student input and ownership.
 
 
OAKMONT CORE VALUES AND LEARNER EXPECTATIONS
 
 
In our pursuit of academic, technological, and personal excellence, the Oakmont learning community will act responsibly, be self-directed, communicate clearly and appropriately, address and solve problems, and practice respect.
 
Responsibility
 
We are responsible when we
  • account for our actions, attitudes words and their consequences;
  • consider others’ needs;
  • reflect on our actions and respond accordingly;
  • accept constructive criticism;
  • use technology ethically;
  • contribute fully while collaborating with peers.
 
Self-Direction
 
We are self-directed when we
  • prioritize academic tasks and manage time effectively;
  • make decisions in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle including nutrition, physical fitness, and preventative care;
  • make informed, thoughtful decisions regarding our emotional, physical and mental health;
  • conduct ourselves appropriately in a variety of social situations;
  • work diligently, independently or within collaborative groups.
 
Communication
 
We communicate clearly and appropriately independently or collaboratively when we
  • read actively and critically for information and understanding;
  • write clearly and accurately for a variety of purposes;
  • speak clearly and appropriately for the audience;
  • listen attentively and openly to others;
  • use multiple modes of creative expression;
  • demonstrate cultural and digital age literacy.
 
Problem-Solving
 
We address and solve problems independently or collaboratively when we
  • adapt to ever-changing learning environments;
  • look for analytic and/or creative ways to identify, describe, and solve real-world problems;
  • research, interpret, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize information from verbal, printed, and digital sources;
  • demonstrate curiosity and intellectual risk-taking
 
Respect
 
We practice respect when we
 
  • accept others with kindness and openness;
  • expand our awareness of and appreciation for the global community;
  • treat others ethically with honesty and integrity;
  • accept diversity and recognize the different ways we learn, think, look, and live.
 
Academic
  • Critical Thinking: Reading, listening, and research skills to gather, interpret, synthesize and evaluate information while using a variety of methods and technologies.
  • Communication: Demonstrate learning through creative, multiple modes of expression which include but are not limited to various technologies.
 
Social
  • Responsibility: Demonstrate responsibility by being flexible and adaptable while working independently and collaboratively to accomplish tasks.
  • Decision-Making: Plan for and make healthy lifestyle decisions.
 
Civic
  • Citizenship: Understand the rights and responsibilities of a citizen in a diverse democratic society and be thoughtful, accepting, reflective, and active citizens in the school and larger community.
 
 
SCHOLASTIC INFORMATION
 

Proper course selection requires communication and cooperation among the student, the parent or guardian, and the school.  As a student proceeds through high school, the student’s abilities, interests, and future plans must all be considered to select appropriate courses in preparation for post-secondary study or employment. Students must consider their strengths and weaknesses, recognize their levels of achievement, and develop clear goals for their future as they select their courses. Students should seek the advice of their teachers, counselors, and parents in making course selection decisions. 

Teachers can provide a student with valuable information about his or her level of achievement as observed during daily classroom performance. Counselors help students review graduation requirements and provide careful, long-range planning to ensure that the students select a meaningful educational program.  Parents should follow the progress of their students as they prepare for the years beyond high school.

The courses listed in the Program of Studies vary in difficulty and are intended to serve the needs of students with a wide variety of aptitudes and interests. All students must schedule eight (8) blocks per year.  Course selection begins with the rising 8th graders in January and continues with Sophomores in February, followed by Juniors in March and Freshmen in April.  This is accomplished with the help of school counselor interviews and with consultation and approval of parents and teachers.

Students must earn 26 course credits and meet the MCAS requirements for their year of graduation to receive an Oakmont diploma. For further information about MCAS, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Education website at: http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/. The table below shows the minimal credits needed to meet Oakmont requirements, but all students have the ability to earn 32 credits. The needs, abilities and future plans of high school students vary widely. As a result, programs for students should be developed individually with each student receiving a balanced program, which entails some study in each of the fundamental areas of language arts, social studies, science, and mathematics.  Students intending to pursue post-high school educational opportunities should consider taking the additional recommended courses listed in the table as a minimum for admission to most colleges, universities and technical schools.
 
 
Graduation Requirements Sheet
 

Seniors in good academic standing may receive .5 credit to meet their Grade 12 fitness participation requirement by participating in a supervised athletic or fitness activity outside the normal school day. An athletic or fitness activity must meet the following conditions to qualify:

  • Be supervised by a licensed fitness professional or coach
  • Result in increased physical fitness
  • Extend for at least 60 hours
  • Take place during first semester
 

Participating seniors must fill out a senior fitness waiver form and return it to their school counselor before the end of the second week of the fall semester. Seniors who do not complete the activity or fail to meet the participation hours will be scheduled for a fitness class during the second semester.

Students must earn the following minimum credits by the beginning of the academic year to be considered a member of each academic class:

 In order to enter:  You must have completed or earned:
   Freshman Class (9th Grade)    8th Grade
   Sophomore Class (10th Grade)
   A minimum of 6 credits
   Junior Class (11th Grade)
   A minimum of 12 credits
   Senior Class (12th Grade)    A minimum of 18 credits

 

All students are encouraged in their sophomore year to begin gathering information on college/universities and exploring a college major based on personal interest and ability.  Online resources may be accessed through our website http://oak.awrsd.org/, by clicking on the school counseling tab. Naviance, a web based career and college resource, is introduced in the 10th grade Business Applications and Career Explorations course. This resource is available to all students as they manage their future college or career plans.

College bound Sophomores and Juniors may take the PSAT/NMSQT in October. Juniors may take the SAT test or the ACT test in March, May or June. It is important to note that almost all colleges are SAT or ACT optional at this time.  Students should research individual colleges to determine whether or not standardized test scores are needed.  Additionally, students are advised to begin their college visits with their parent/guardian during the spring and summer vacations of their Junior year.

During the Senior year, students should complete four-year college applications online by December 1st and may retake the SAT or ACT tests, typically in October, November or December. Students must use their Naviance accounts to request transcripts, letters of recommendation, and manage their college applications.  

DUAL ENROLLMENT
 

Dual Enrollment programs are educational programs which afford high school Juniors and Seniors who meet Oakmont Regional High School qualifications the opportunity to enroll in college-level courses. Juniors are only eligible for part-time study at a college, and must carry a total of 4 courses each semester. Seniors, however, may participate either part-time or full-time in the program.

The student and their parents/guardians must agree to the following conditions for participation in Dual Enrollment with participating colleges and universities: 

  1. The student meets the following prerequisites before enrolling:
    1. A student in 11th grade must:
      1. Have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.2 at the end of 3 semesters for fall enrollment and 4 semesters for spring enrollment. To continue in the program,  a 3.0 GPA must be maintained in the college courses.
      2. Passed the ELA, Math and Science/Technology MCAS exams prior to enrollment.
      3. Be enrolled in the Oakmont grade 11 curriculum in  20th Century US/WorldHistory, English, & two other full-credit electives at Oakmont.
    2.   A student in 12th grade must: 
      1. Have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.0. The 3.0 GPA must be maintained to remain eligible for the program.
      2. Passed the ELA, Math and Science/Technology MCAS exams prior to enrollment.
      3. Be enrolled in English 12 at Oakmont unless enrolled as a full-time Dual Enrollment student, in which case an English course must be taken at the college.
      4. Enroll in courses equivalent in number to those carried by all Oakmont seniors (4 each semester), a minimum of eight courses (4 each semester) or 24 college credits over a one year period. 
      5. Have completed all courses necessary to fulfill all graduation requirements at Oakmont or enroll in courses at the college to fulfill the requirements.
  2. The college or university has accepted the Oakmont student into its Dual Enrollment Program.
  3. Student schedules must be approved by his or her school counselor prior to the start of classes.  Schedule changes are not allowed unless approved by the counselor.  Any exceptions, due to an extenuating circumstance, must be approved by Guidance and Administration. College course enrollments that are not approved by school counselors may not be awarded Oakmont graduation credit.
  4. Students are required to carry a minimum of 4 three credit classes each semester and will not be allowed to drop a course unless it is replaced - during that same semester - by a course of at least equal credit value.
  5. The student must earn an equivalent number of total credits to meet Oakmont graduation requirements. Seniors must take and pass a full semester of English and remain enrolled in the equivalent of 8 “full credit” courses.  
  6. All tuition and fees shall be paid by the student/parent.
  7. Full participation in Oakmont athletics and activities, including clubs and senior activities, is encouraged and will be permitted provided that the student can meet the requirements for that activity and any additional M.I.A.A. requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to remain informed of class activities and deadlines. Seniors are responsible for keeping themselves updated regarding deadlines and requirements for graduation.
  8. A total not to exceed 4 courses each semester will be included in the Oakmont GPA and Honor Roll.
  9. It is the responsibility of the student and/or parent to have official transcripts of their college work sent to the Oakmont Guidance Department no later than five days prior to the end of each Oakmont semester and ten days prior to Oakmont's graduation ceremony in June for seniors seeking a diploma. Failure to comply with these timelines may result in course failure, exclusion from the Honor Roll, ineligibility to participate in graduation ceremonies for seniors, or denial of permission for further participation in Dual Enrollment for juniors.
  10. Should an Oakmont senior fail a Dual Enrollment course that is an Oakmont graduation requirement, the student will have to make up needed credits before an Oakmont diploma is granted.
An independent study is a course that is not offered as part of the school’s regular curriculum.
 
Conditions:
  • Students must be a junior or senior and have a minimum 2.8 GPA.
  • Students are limited to two independent studies in the course of the two years.
  • The student’s guidance counselor must recommend the scheduling of an independent study.
  • Course must be approved by the administration.  Approval must be made during the course selection process.
  • All independent studies will be granted college prep credit.
  • Honors credit may be granted by the administration if ALL of the following conditions are met:
    1. The student applied for honors credit when registering for the course. 
    2. The student demonstrates work above and beyond college prep expectations.
    3. The supervising teacher and the faculty committee that viewed the presentation recommend that honors credit be granted.
  • All final grades will be assigned by the supervising teacher following a presentation to the faculty committee.