Graduation Requirements & Grading

The Montgomery Academy's Upper School curriculum prepares students to enter some of the finest colleges and universities in the nation. The academic year is divided into two semesters. The typical student will be enrolled in six courses per year. Each year-long course is equal to one unit of credit; semester electives are equal to one-half unit of credit. A yearly average of 70 must be earned in order to advance in a core academic discipline. Twenty-three units, all of which must be earned in grades nine through twelve, are required for graduation. The following are requirements for graduation:

English 4 units
History 3 units including Human Geography or AP Human Geography, The Modern World or AP World History, and US History or AP US History
Mathematics 3 units including Algebra II
Science 3 units including Physics I or Physics I Honors, Chemistry or Chemistry Honors and Biology or AP Biology
Language 3 units of one language: Latin, French or Spanish
Health & Physical Education 1 unit
Fine Arts 1 unit
Electives 5 units
1 unit of Math or Science required during senior year

Numerical Grade Standard

90-100 Excellent
80-89 Good
70-79 Fair
65-69 Poor (may not advance in core discipline without remediation/course repetition)
Below 65 Failure

*Advanced Placement and Honors Courses are weighted an additional five points for grade average calculations on the transcript.


It is assumed that all Montgomery Academy students will have a high degree of motivation and that their approach to all aspects of their work will demonstrate a positive effort and attitude toward learning. Students are expected to turn in assigned work on time. Where applicable, such work will be organized, accurate, clearly expressed, and/or indicative of both analytical skills and the ability to apply the course work and its components to a larger and sometimes multidisciplinary context. Clarity and consistency of process, logic of analysis, and originality of thought are often more important than the "correct" answer.

It is further expected that Montgomery Academy students will contribute regularly to class exercises and discussion in an active, coherent, and proficient manner. Students are expected to work constructively, both independently and in groups, to be respectful of the contributions of their peers, and to assist their classmates in understanding the ideas and principles being presented.

Grade Scale and General Standards

In the Upper School, grades are measured on a 0 - 100 scale, with 65 as a passing mark. A final mark of 70 or higher is required to advance to the next level in designated "sequential" courses. Each academic department has developed explicit grading standards; these are distributed to students at the beginning of the year and are also posted prominently in classrooms. While the wording of these standards will differ from department to department, the fundamental expectations are the same. In general, grades in the Upper School can be characterized as follows:

  • Grades in the 90s indicate performance that is of exceptionally strong quality and shows a thorough understanding of the factual, theoretical, and conceptual aspects of the course.
  • Grades in the 80s indicate performance that is of good quality and show a solid understanding of the factual, theoretical, and conceptual aspects of the course.
  • Grades in the 70s indicate performance that is of adequate quality-at times lacking in accuracy and/or conceptual understanding.
  • Grades in the 65 - 69 range indicate performance that shows a marginal understanding of the main aspects of the course and raise concerns about the student's future success in that academic discipline at The Montgomery Academy.
  • Grades below 65 indicate work that fails to meet the minimal standards. A final failing grade in the course work will result in loss of credit for the year and will require summer remediation or course repetition.