Handbook » Student Handbook - Academic Information and Policies

Student Handbook - Academic Information and Policies



Student Handbook


Academic Operations and Policies

The following should provide students and parents with the information needed to build a solid academic plan for the high school years, with the dual goals of meeting graduation requirements and designing a program that challenges each student to meet his or her full potential. Good planning requires ongoing communication among students, parents, teachers, and school counselors. 
The Ashburnham Westminster Regional School District prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, homelessness, age, disability, military/veteran status, and any other class or characteristic protected by law and ensures that all students have equal rights of access and equal enjoyment of the opportunities, advantages, privileges, and courses of study. The Ashburnham Westminster Regional School District complies with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations, including but not limited to: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and Massachusetts General Laws, c. 151B, c. 151C, c. 76, § 5, and c. 71B. 
MCAS Requirements
The Massachusetts Department of Education requires that students achieve competency determination on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, or MCAS, to be eligible to receive a high school diploma. 
Students must achieve a passing score on the MCAS Mathematics, English Language Arts, and Science and Technology Tests to be eligible for a Massachusetts high school diploma. However, students who score in the Needs Improvement or Failing achievement levels in Mathematics or English Language Arts must participate in an Educational Proficiency Plan, which requires that the student continue to take courses in the deficient subject area until the student reaches a Proficient MCAS score or its equivalent. 
The preliminary MCAS Testing Schedule for the 2022-2023 school year was released in August. As of that time, the following was proposed: 
Biology MCAS: February 6, 2024 & February 7, 2024 
English MCAS: March 26, 2024 &  March 27, 2024 
Mathematics MCAS: May 14, 2024 & May 15, 2024 
Biology MCAS: June 4, 2024 & June 5, 2024
For further information about MCAS, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Education website at: http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/
Graduation Requirements
Students must earn 26-course credits and meet the MCAS requirements for their year of graduation to receive an Oakmont diploma. The table below shows the minimum 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.
Image of Oakmont Graduation Requirements
Graduation Ceremony
The Oakmont Regional High School graduation ceremony for the class of 2024 will take place on Friday May 31st 2024.  The ceremony will be moved inside to the gymnasium or rescheduled to an alternate day or time if the weather is uncooperative. Complete details will be provided to Seniors and their family members before the end of May. 
The class president will address parents and classmates at the commencement ceremony. Other speakers will be determined by the administration and faculty. 
Students will be seated and receive their diplomas in alphabetical order by last name.
Grade Level Promotion Requirements
Students must earn the following minimum credits by the beginning of the academic year to be considered a member of each academic class: 
  • Freshman Class (9th Grade) Successful Completion of 8th Grade 
  • Sophomore Class (10th Grade) 6 Credits 
  • Junior Class (11th Grade) 12 Credits 
  • Senior Class (12th Grade) 18 Credits
Report Cards and Progress Reports
Students and parents can monitor student progress at any time via the online portal. Even though students and parents can check grades 24 hours a day / 7 days a week, teachers will be expected to update their grade books periodically.
Students will be issued numerical grades on report cards. Grades between 60 and 100 are considered passing and will allow a student to earn credit for the course. Any grade between 0 and 59 is considered failing and will not earn the student credit for the course. 
  • I - Incomplete 
  • P - Pass 
  • X - No Grade 
  • W - Withdrawn
Report cards and progress reports will be available on the portal at various times during the semester. The table below provides an approximate timeline of when grades will be reported: 
Semester 1: September-January 
Day 22: Progress Reports posted online 
Day 45: Semester 1 Term 1 Report Cards posted online 
Day 67: Progress reports posted online Day 90:
Semester 1 Term 2 and Final Course Grades posted online 
Semester 2: February-June 
Day 112: Progress Reports posted online 
Day 135: Semester 2 Term 1 Report Cards posted online 
Day 157: Progress reports posted online 
Day 180: Semester 2 Term 2 and Final Course Grades posted online 
Please refer to each course syllabus for specific details on how grades are determined in each class.
Incomplete Course Work
In case of incomplete coursework, the following will apply:
  • An “I” will be recorded on a report card when a student has not completed any part of the required term coursework. 
  • The student will be given two weeks (10 school days) after report cards are issued to make up the missing work at the end of the first semester only. If the work is not made up within the two-week time frame, all missing work will earn a zero and the course grade will be changed accordingly. 
  • In extraordinary circumstances, the teacher, school counselor, and the student will design a makeup contract if work cannot be completed within the ten-day timeframe outlined above. All work must be made up and completed by this schedule, or missing work will earn a zero. 
  • Under special circumstances, a student may make arrangements with their teachers along with guidance and administrative approval to complete work during the summer vacation or to attend summer school. 
  • All senior work is to be completed and submitted to senior teachers by the deadlines teachers announce in individual courses. No Incompletes will be issued to Seniors except for special circumstances approved in writing by the Principal.
  • All incomplete grades must be resolved by the last day of the school year. No incomplete grades will be issued except for special circumstances approved in writing by the Principal. 
Summer School
Students who have failed a course and want to retake it in summer school must have a semester average of 50-59% to be eligible to take the course in summer school. Only summer schools that have classes that meet for a minimum number of hours as approved by School Counseling and Administration may be approved to replace a failure. Summer school enrollment must be approved by the School Counseling before a student begins classes. For a student to receive credit for a summer school course, the student must earn a final grade of C- (70% or higher). While a summer school grade of C- or better may restore the academic credit for a failed course, summer school grades are not factored into grade point average (GPA). All summer school costs will be incurred by the parent/guardian. 
GPA (Grade Point Average)
Course grades are un-weighted and are based on a 4.3 scale. A copy of the GPA system is available in the school counseling office upon request. 
Honor Roll

The honor roll exists to recognize academic achievement.  A student must have a minimum of three (3) blocks of academic credit from courses offered at Oakmont Regional High School to qualify for the Honor Roll.

Honor Roll eligibility for grades 9-12 is as follows:
  • Highest Honors - Students having all "A" range grades (No grades less than a 90)
  • High Honors - Students having all "A" range grades (90 or above) with no more than one "B" range (80 or better) grade. 
  • Honors - Students receiving all "A" or "B" Range grades (80 or better)

Communication Between Parents and Teachers 
Good communication between parents and the school will improve a child’s chances for success at school. Parents are encouraged to contact teachers whenever they have a question or concern about their child’s experience or progress. Oakmont Regional High School believes that parent concerns, issues, and complaints are best handled and resolved as close to their origin as possible and that professional staff should be given every opportunity to consider the issues and attempt to resolve the problem before the involvement of the administration. Therefore the proper channeling of concerns or complaints regarding instruction, discipline, or learning materials should be as follows: 
  1. Speak to your child first. Have your child speak to their teacher for clarification. 
  2. Parent/Guardian may send one email or call the teacher and expect a response promptly. 
Parents should seek to have their concerns or questions addressed by the classroom teacher. In most cases, this communication with the teacher is enough to resolve any question or concern. If for some reason the concern is not addressed to the parent’s satisfaction, they should then contact the department team leader of the particular discipline in which the concern arose. If the concern is still not addressed to the parent’s satisfaction the principal should be contacted regarding the concern. If the principal does not address the concern to the parent’s satisfaction they may then address the concern with the superintendent of schools. 
Course Offerings and Academic Opportunities
Course Selection
Students in grades 9 through 11 will be contacted by the School Counseling Department during the second semester to select courses for the following year. At that time each student will be given instructions on how to access the “Program of Studies” guide and complete the online course selection sheet. Students shouldcomplete this online process with their parents/guardians. When preliminary schedules are available, counselorswill review them with their students. If a course change is academically necessary, it can be made at that time. Parental concerns should be directed to the school counseling office before the master schedule is finalized inmid-May. 

Course Changes
We strongly recommend that parents and students carefully choose courses because changes during the school year limit options and jeopardize academic success. Fall and winter course changes will be limited to computer errors, incorrect academic placement, or course failures and must be done within the first five days of the semester. Course availability is limited. Therefore the following students will receive priority for course changes: 
  • Students who are scheduled for fewer than 8 courses. 
  • Students who have failed a course and did not attend summer school. 
  • Students who are scheduled for courses out of sequence. 
  • Students who are scheduled for a course they have already completed. 
Student requests to change a course for any other reason will require parental approval. Courses dropped after ten (10) school days in a semester will be recorded as withdrawal on the student’s permanent record at the discretion of the Principal. 


Dual Enrollment

Dual Enrollment programs are educational programs that 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:
The student meets the following prerequisites before enrolling:
A student in 11th grade must: 
      • 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. 
      • Passed the ELA, Math, and Science/Technology MCAS exams prior to enrollment. iii. Be enrolled in the Oakmont grade 11 curriculum in 20th Century US/WorldHistory, English, & two other full-credit electives at Oakmont.
A student in 12th grade must:
      • Have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.0. The 3.0 GPA must be maintained to remain eligible for the program.
      • Passed the ELA, Math, and Science/Technology MCAS exams prior to enrollment. iii. 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.
      • 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 one year.
      • Have completed all courses necessary to fulfill all graduation requirements at Oakmont or enroll in courses at the college to fulfill the requirements. 
    • 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 before 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 the Counselor and Administration. College course enrollments that are not approved by school counselors may not be awarded Oakmont graduation credit.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • All tuition and fees shall be paid by the student/parent.
    • 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.
    • 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 School Counseling Department no later than five days before the end of each Oakmont semester and ten days before 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.
    • 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.