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General Information



Students need to accumulate a minimum of twenty (20) credits in order to graduate in accordance with New Hampshire Minimum Standards ED306.27(k). Freshmen and sophomores are encouraged to carry a minimum of six (6) credits per year while juniors and seniors are encouraged to carry a minimum of five (5) credits per year in order to be considered full-time students. Credits are accumulated at the rate of one-half credit per semester.


Students in the Manchester School District are eligible for a Diploma with Distinction when they meet the following criteria:

  • Student must have more than 25 credits
  • Student must be eligible for class rank (ie, student should have completed a minimum of four consecutive semesters)
  • Student must have an unweighted GPA of a 3.0 (B average) or better.


The Seal of Multiliteracy is awarded in recognition of students who have studied and gained proficiency in two (2) or more languages by the end of high school.  The award acknowledges the rich cultural and linguistic assets of our multilingual students and the district and acts as an indicator to potential employers and institutions of higher education. The award supports the district’s commitment to prepare every student with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully participate in 21st Century college and career pathways.



“It is the policy of the School Board, in its actions, and those of its employees, that there shall be no discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, age or handicap, for employment in, participation in, or operation and administration of any education program or activity in the Manchester School District.”



The New England Association of Schools and Colleges accredits schools and colleges in the six New England states. Membership in one of the six regional accrediting associations in the United States indicates that the school or college has been carefully evaluated and found to meet rigorous standards agreed upon by qualified educators. Colleges and universities support the efforts of public school and community officials to have the secondary school meet the standards and high expectations of membership. Manchester high schools are charter members of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and maintain full accreditation with active membership in that group.



A student will achieve the grade level listed when the corresponding credits have been earned.


4 credits


9 credits


15 credits


The opportunity to make class schedule changes exists at the beginning of each semester through various orientation programs and often by discussing options with teachers, guidance counselors, or administrators. Thorough and careful planning of a schedule is vital to a student’s success.



  1. The student should obtain a schedule change form from his or her guidance counselor or teacher.
  2. The student will need to get signatures from his or her teacher, the department head, and a parent.
  3. The student  contacts the guidance counselor for an appointment.
  4. The student must obtain a new schedule from guidance, and the student must follow that schedule carefully.



The Board of School Committee supports early graduation as a means to earning a high school diploma. Parental involvement for students under the age of 18 is required. Students wishing to participate in early graduation must:

  • Submit a written request to his/her school principal no later than one academic semester prior to the desired date of graduation.
  • The written request shall include a statement of reason for early graduation as well as the student’s post-secondary plan.
  • Meet all local and state requirements for graduation as determined by the school principal.


A student who has successfully met the criteria established above, at the discretion of the principal, shall receive his/her diploma.  S/He shall be eligible for all graduation activities and events for his/her year of graduation.  Pending the issuance of diploma, early graduates shall be given a letter certifying completion of graduation requirements.


Any student approved for early graduation in three (3) or fewer years has the option of participating in the graduation exercises of the current year or in the student’s class year.


Early graduation requests will be granted by the principal provided that the above requirements are met and the early graduation plan is related to educational or career goals or there are other reasons sufficient to justify the request. A student who has met the early graduation requirements shall receive his or her diploma in June with the currently graduating class and will be eligible for all graduation activities and events, including applications for scholarship aid. Prior to June, for official purposes, the student may request a letter from the principal verifying the completion of graduation requirements.



Manchester Adult and Community Learning is available to any person 16 years of age or older who wishes to complete the requirements for a Manchester School District high school diploma. ACL is an innovative and flexible program for students who seek to satisfy their high school graduation requirements in an alternative fashion.

A high school student seeking to take an adult high school class while retaining his or her status as a day student at his or her high school shall be allowed to take diploma classes on the recommendation of the counselor and principal. A written  recommendation will be presented when registering for the class. A student can obtain an In-School Form from his or her guidance counselor.  

The fee for a full-credit class is currently $150. Half-credit classes, when offered, cost $100. The ACL staff can work with students who require flexible payment options. Manchester School District students are allowed to transfer a maximum of 4 credits earned from the Adult High School Program to their high school for the purpose of graduation.


The NJROTC program is motivational in encouraging cadets to graduate from high school and continue to higher education. Approximately 60 percent of the NJROTC cadets who are graduating seniors continue to higher education. Cadets learn the value of teamwork and individual accomplishments from belonging to NJROTC.

The character education in NJROTC teaches values, principles, and self-discipline promoting positive, productive behaviors and provides a support structure that is critical not only in helping cadets avoid the use of drugs, but living a healthy and fit lifestyle. NJROTC provides the opportunity for high school students to learn the basic elements and need for national security and their personal obligations as Americans.

NJROTC is headquartered at Manchester High School West and is open to all Manchester high school students. Students choosing to participate in NJROTC enroll as full-time students at West High School.

Cadets accepted for enlistment, who provide evidence of successful completion of at least 3 years of NJROTC, are entitled to advanced promotion to pay grade E-3 upon initial enlistment in an active or reserve component of the Army, Navy, or Air Force, and pay grade E-2 in the Marine Corps; or completion of 2 years are entitled to E-2 (except in the Marine Corps and Air Force).


The College Access Program, previously known as the High School Partnership Program, is a partnership between Southern NH University and Manchester Central High School. A similar program exists at Memorial and West with St. Anselm College. The programs have been developed in collaboration with the high schools’ guidance departments and the Extended Learning Opportunities Programs to support high school students in taking their first steps toward higher education. The colleges’ service-learning students work with underrepresented high school sophomores and juniors to develop a college timeline, to help them understand the admissions and financial aid processes, and to explore college majors and much more. Participants will visit the college campuses and meet with staff and interact with current students. Upon completion of the program, the high school student will present what he or she has learned to his or her school and parents and will receive one-half (½) credit. Ultimately participants will complete the program feeling prepared, informed, and ready to begin their college experiences.

Contact: Sarah Jacobs, Assistant Dean, Center for Community Engaged Learning, or Dan Forbes, Director at St. Anselm College

Email: or

Phone: 314-7965 or 641-7108


VLACS is an online charter school offering New Hampshire middle and high school students free courses. The courses can be taken to augment course offerings, to make up missed or failed work, or to help with scheduling conflicts. Courses can be taken from home or at a school’s computer lab. VLACS courses are fairly rigorous and require disciplined work habits. An interested student should see his or her guidance counselor or, to learn more, go to the VLACS website.


In order to assist students in staying on track after having failed a class, Manchester high schools offer an electronic credit recovery program (CRP). This program is a self-paced, computer-based curriculum opportunity for English, science, mathematics, social sciences and health/physical education. Due to limited availability of courses and computer space, students must apply for CRP with their guidance counselors. Teachers, administration, and parents must approve all applications for the credit recovery program and will do their very best to accommodate all students. This approval can be waived due to special circumstances.


Alternative Learning for Freshmen (ALF) seeks to reduce the number of profiled “at-risk” students by providing enhanced student support and a modified curriculum during the crucial transitional freshman year of high school. The program includes group counseling, performance tracking, vocational exploration, self-esteem building, behavior shaping and life skills development. Students are scheduled for four classes, two electives, lunch, and a study. Students are recommended for the program by the sending middle school. (West High School)


A student may earn 1/2 credit over one school year for 75 documented hours of community service. Pass/Fail credit toward an elective will be awarded. Interested students should see a club advisor for further information.


ETS, a TRIO program, encourages limited income students from New Hampshire to consider and pursue education beyond high school in two- or four-year programs of study. ETS is 100% funded by the US Department of Education and is offered at no cost to eligible participants. ETS counselors assist and motivate students to succeed in secondary school, to explore career options, and to research college and vocational programs for post-secondary study. Financial aid information for all students and parents is an important component.


The ELO Program in the Manchester School District is an opportunity for students to explore and receive credit for extended learning activities outside the traditional classroom, including, but not limited to, internships, community service, independent study, private instruction, work-based learning, and various other activities.  The granting of credit shall be based on a student’s demonstration of course competencies, as approved by certified personnel.  Through reflection activities, students will examine their personal goals, skills, and values relating to the world of work.

The ELO program is open to everyone. Students must be able to commit to completing hours and activities that are outside their regular school hours.  Students participating in the ELO program are required to meet regularly with their cooperating teacher, community partner, and/or ELO Coordinator.  Each student must also keep a regular journal and complete a final project presentation. To learn more, a student should speak with his or her guidance counselor or ELO Coordinator.


In 2012, MST-HS opened its doors to a group of freshmen who wanted an alternative to the traditional high school approach to learning. MST-HS uses competency-based education providing rigorous academics in combination with career and technical education (CTE) classes to engage each learner in an individualized manner. All grading at MST-HS is competency based, meaning students do not receive the traditional A-F grade, but rather are assessed based on their demonstrated understanding of each competency. Grades at MST-HS are reported on a 1-4 scale, where students begin at a level 1 (not yet proficient) and move towards proficiency throughout the year. Students are able to progress at their own pace, which allows for extra time for students who are struggling with concepts and advanced learning for those who move faster through the material. MST-HS also focuses on project-based and interdisciplinary learning through enrollment in CTE programs. All students at MST-HS have access to Chromebooks during the school day.


This program provides opportunities for the student who has a strong interest in a particular career area to explore in depth what the field has to offer him or her in relation to future career goals. Along with the internship experience, the student will need to attend meetings throughout the semester and will need to complete a portfolio capturing the experience.

Students interested in applying for an internship must complete an application and interview prior to placement. Applications are available in the student Support and Career Center.


Since 1990, the city of Manchester has had a sister-city relationship with Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Germany. As part of the relationship, academic exchanges take place between the three Manchester high schools and the three high schools in Neustadt.

Students from Manchester have the opportunity to live with host families in Neustadt for periods as short as three weeks (group exchanges) or for as long as one year (individual exchanges). In return, the family of a participating student agrees to host a student from Neustadt for an equivalent period of time. Information regarding student exchanges may be obtained from the high school German language teachers.


Peer tutors who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency in a major subject area volunteer their time to assist students having academic difficulty. Many students take advantage of this opportunity to enhance their skills and to improve their grades. Tutoring is used to supplement the extra help provided by the teachers on their make-up nights. Students meet with their tutors in the library two or three times a week during a study or a free period. Tutoring is also provided before and after school. Students can sign up for this in the main office or see their guidance counselor.


The New Hampshire Running Start Program is a unique higher education initiative for high school students. Specifically this program enables high school students to enroll in approved courses at their high school that will also give them college credit through Manchester Community College at a significant reduction in tuition.


Southern New Hampshire University in the High School Dual Enrollment Program allows high school students the opportunity to earn college credits while in high school. At the high school, designated courses have been aligned to meet the same content, rigor, and learning outcomes as those of the University. The high school teachers instructing these courses have met the University’s adjunct faculty requirement and have been approved by the University. Students will have the opportunity to take advantage of the dual credit opportunities at the beginning of the courses by completing an application and submitting the course registration fee for each class. Once the registration period closes, students will not be allowed to register for college credit. Since these courses are college courses,  grades earned are recorded on a SNHU transcript. Portability and transferability of credits rests solely with the individual colleges and universities as they have varying policies on accepting transfer credits; thus, it is the student’s responsibility to consult with higher educational institutions to determine whether the SNHU course(s) can be transferred. Additional information regarding the program can be obtained from a high school administrator or guidance counselor.


The Student Assistance Program is a comprehensive, school-based counseling and

education program. The primary goal of this program is the prevention, early intervention, and treatment of alcohol- and other drug-related problems. Services are provided for students who have stresses in their lives that interfere with their academics and/or could lead to substance use. Examples of such stresses include being affected by another’s use of substances, the loss of a loved one, being in a difficult relationship, and dealing with abuse.


The Upward Bound program at the University of New Hampshire works with high school students to help them fulfill their dreams of going on to college. Students who participate in Upward Bound live at UNH for six weeks during the summer, take college-preparatory classes, and engage in workshops, activities, and trips. During the academic year, UB students participate in college trips, receive tutoring, and meet twice monthly with an advisor to get assistance with the college selection and application process, financial aid, and SAT preparation. Interested freshmen and sophomores should see guidance about attending an informational slide show at the school in February. Upward Bound is free to eligible students who are chosen to participate.


A student is invited to be a New Hampshire State Scholar by meeting the following rigorous core course of study criteria. Students should work toward the High School Diploma with Distinction to best meet the requirements for the NHSS program.

  • 4 credits of English
  • 3 credits of math (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II)
  • 3 credits of lab-based science (beyond Physical/Earth Science) including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Biology II, Anatomy & Physiology, Chemistry II, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, Ecology, and Biotechnology
  • 3.5 credits of social studies (All credits are accepted, including ½ credit for two years of NJROTC and Marketing I.)
  • 2 credits of the same world language

Level 2, 3, and 4 and AP courses are eligible to meet the above criteria. At the conclusion of a student’s senior year, if criteria for New Hampshire State Scholar have been met, the student will receive a medallion of distinction at Class Day ceremonies, and a New Hampshire State Scholar Stamp will be placed on the diploma and transcript.

For more information, students should visit