IKF: Conditions to Receive a Falmouth Diploma
The Falmouth Public Schools will grant differentiated diplomas to students in alignment with their levels of accomplishment. Students will only be granted a diploma if they meet the outlined graduation requirements of both the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Falmouth High School. The Falmouth Public Schools will grant differentiated certificates to students in alignment with their levels of accomplishments – levels that are different from those specified in the granting of a diploma. The various differentiated diplomas and certificates are outlined in the content of this policy.
Students being granted a Falmouth High School diploma must have been enrolled in the Falmouth Public Schools and remained in good standing for a minimum of one semester of their final year in order to be eligible to receive a Falmouth diploma or certificate. Credits may be applied to the Falmouth requirements from other school systems, from dual enrollment courses, from home schooling arrangements with appropriate correspondence and course verification, through pre-approved virtual opportunities, and from other experiences if structured through approved independent study. With the approval of the high school principal, students may graduate with three (3) or three and one half (3 1/2) years of high school experience if requirements have been met (refer to Policy IKFA, which immediately follows).
All students who meet the requirements for a diploma or certificate specified below are eligible to participate in the graduation ceremony.
Diplomas with Graduation
Being granted a Falmouth High School diploma with graduation means that a student has acquired a competency determination, in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, in English language arts, mathematics, and science and technology/engineering and has met the local graduation requirements of Falmouth High School. Both the diploma and the student’s transcript will specify the differentiation according to levels of accomplishment outlined in items one through three.
- Diploma/Graduation with Honors: This diploma applies if the student has fulfilled all Falmouth credit requirements, the conditions for Massachusetts competency determination, and the criteria of the National Honor Society. (Fulfillment of requirements of subject-based honors organizations, approved by the principal and superintendent, will be acknowledged at graduation but not on the diploma or transcript.)
- Diploma/Graduation with Massachusetts Mastery: This diploma applies if the student has met all the requirements set by the State for the Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Award, which represents high academic achievement as measured by MCAS scores and other accomplishments. Full definition of state requirements will be available through the principal and guidance counselors.
- Diploma/Graduation with Massachusetts Competency Determination: This diploma applies if the student has fulfilled all criteria set by the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education for attendance, completed Falmouth High School graduation requirements, and met conditions for Massachusetts competency determination.
Certificates without Graduation
Being granted a Falmouth High School certificate without graduation means that a student has not acquired a competency determination, in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, in English language arts, mathematics, and science and technology/engineering and may or may not have met Falmouth High School graduation requirements. Both the certificate and the student’s transcript will specify the differentiation according to levels of accomplishment outlined in items four through six.
- Certificate of Completion of Falmouth Local Standards: This Certificate, which signifies completion of Falmouth High School graduation requirements only, is available for special needs students with prior parental notification and consent through the individualized education program team process.
- Certificate of Attainment: This Certificate signifies that the student has met Falmouth School Committee minimum course credits listed below as well as other criteria set by the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education for attendance and participation in the standardized assessment process but has not achieved state established competency determinations. Full definition of state requirements will be available through the principal and guidance counselors.
- Honorary Certificate: This Certificate signifies that the student deserves acknowledgement in the graduation ceremony for conscientious effort and significant accomplishment but has not, because of unique conditions, met the levels of achievement that allow a Certificate of Attainment or a diploma signifying graduation from high school.
Students granted the Honorary Certificate have unique conditions that have been reviewed and approved by the Principal and by the Superintendent of Schools. Such students may participate in graduation ceremonies to acknowledge the completion of their prescribed programs even though they may not have fulfilled all graduation credit requirements or other Falmouth graduation standards. These students may include, at the discretion of the Principal and Superintendent, students who have demonstrated conscientious effort that meets or exceeds their classmates, students with severe disabilities who have conscientiously fulfilled their responsibilities without having achieved levels of performance that qualify them for one of the other diplomas or certificates (with prior parent/guardian notification and consent through the individualized education program process), and other students designated by the Principal and Superintendent.
In order to receive any but the honorary certificate, the student must have earned a minimum number of course credits as follows.
Minimum Course Requirements
Number of Credits
4 year-long courses
4 year-long courses
3 year-long courses
3 year-long courses (including
U. S. History I and II)
2 year-long courses in the same
Art & Design, Music, Business and/or Life Skills
1 year-long courses or 2 semester courses
(Including First Aid)
1 semester course per year of
The number of credits required in each discipline is aligned to the recommended college and career readiness guidelines issued by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in the Massachusetts Recommended High School Core Program of Studies, also referred to as MassCore. Full definition of state requirements will be available through the principal and guidance counselors.
- Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
- Online Course Experience
- Framework for 21st Century Learning prepared by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (21stcenturyskills.org)
- Senior Project
These additional requirements reflect the ideological shift occurring both in the global community as well as in our classrooms. Though the structure of each of these requirements is still evolving, it is imperative that they be recognized as vehicles of preparation for our students.