How to Use the Program of Studies

The Program of Studies Guide contains information to provide students and parents with knowledge pertaining to school courses, programs, and graduation requirements. This guide is intended to answer questions that may arise and to provide a necessary resource to make informed decisions in relationship to courses, programs and opportunities at Pelham High School. It is important to carefully read and comprehend each course sequence and requirements for graduation. Meanwhile, here are some considerations during the planning process:

Review the graduation requirements

Decide on the courses that you want to take next school year - There are several ways you can get information on courses:

            • Course Tables/Flow Charts by Departments
            • Course Descriptions
            • Career Pathways
            • Alternative Methods of Earning Academic Credit
            • College Credit Opportunities
            • New Hampshire Scholars Program
            • Career and Technical Education Programs

What courses are needed if I plan to attend a 4-year competitive college (such as Dartmouth)? A 4-year college (such as UNH)? A 2-year college?

If you want to attend a college of your choice, your best course of action is to work hard throughout high school and to pick the right courses. The most competitive colleges will review your transcripts to recalculate your GPA (by removing elective courses), as well as the reviewing the number of college and AP classes you've completed. If you have excellent SAT or ACT scores, your chances of being accepted will be even much better. However, even with your best efforts, you may not get in due to the volume of applicants.

In any case, students are strongly encouraged to take as demanding a schedule as possible where they will be successful. Additionally, we recommend students to read specific college catalogs to be certain of their particular requirements especially in areas such as engineering and medical careers. The courses you choose each year in high school may have an impact on getting accepted into your college of choice. Here are our recommendations:

How will I know what college or career path to follow?

Everyone has strengths they are born with but few students know what these are. The new graduation requirements enable you to take 9 Personal Choice Electives to provide you with the opportunity to explore your strengths and career interests. During your high school years you should focus on taking classes that may interest you and work with your strengths.

Pelham High School also provides students and families with the opportunity to use NAVIANCE, a comprehensive website that provides a unique individualized experience for our students to engage in early college/career readiness activities. School counselors will be working with your student(s) on their college/career planning throughout their four years.

What is a 4-year Plan?

College and career exploration is an investment of your time and money. Preparing for college and careers during high school will allow you to make well-informed choices to help you meet your goals after high school graduation. 4-Year planning is an important step to plan your coursework based on your personal goals. Students are encouraged to sit down with their parents/guardians and develop a 4-year plan prior to course selection. Upon completion and each year of high school, the 4-year plan should be modified/adjusted to meet your individual college and career goals as they evolve. 4-Year Planning worksheets were handed to students, available in the PDF version of the Program of Studies and can be found on this website.

How will I know which course to choose?

Note the level of difficulty of the course such as College Course (CC); Advanced Placement (AP); Honors; Level 1; and Non-Leveled. Additionally, many courses have prerequisites and core courses require recommendations from the current teacher for placement. If a student has a question on selecting courses they are encouraged to contact their teacher or school counselor. Students should discuss levels with their current teachers or core class instructors to ensure correct placement. This practice also helps to prepare students for responsible and self-managing skills necessary after high school. Additionally, we encourage parents and students to inform educational personnel of special situations or circumstances in order to obtain assistance to ensure academic success.

Can I override a teacher recommendation?

Experience has established our belief that a student’s current teacher is the most qualified person to make recommendations based not only on the student’s performance, but also on the teacher’s evaluation of a student’s potential and ability. At times, parents may disagree with the teacher’s recommendation. When this occurs, we strongly encourage you to discuss the course selection with your student, the teacher, and your school counselor. Parents and students are highly cautioned about requesting a course level change. If a parent changes a teacher recommendation and the student begins to experience difficulty in class, moving the student to a lower level may not be possible. Additionally, your child’s transcript to college will permanently reflect the grade and the grade will be calculated in the student’s GPA.

How and when do I select my courses?

Courses are selected online with the selection process being open for a two week time period in February. Students must make their class selections during this open enrollment period. Parents and students will be notified by the administration and the College and Career Guidance Department to provide ample time to make appropriate course selections.

What are NCAA Course Requirements?

Prospective Student/Athletes who plan to play sports while in college may refer to specific eligibility rules and guidelines at the NCAA Clearinghouse website at for further information.