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Frequently Asked Questions


In addition, there are a series of Technical Assistance Advisories that are more specific.

Can a course in Humanities count as a credit in English or History?

The local school board shall adopt a policy relative to counting credits for course work earned in one content area toward meeting any graduation requirements in another content area through the awarding of interdisciplinary credit. Any graduation requirement in a subject area may be earned through interdisciplinary credit, subject to the following conditions:

1. Graduation requirements met by interdisciplinary credit shall be clearly designated on student transcripts;
2. Interdisciplinary credit shall be counted only once in meeting graduation requirements; and
3. The high school principal may approve a particular course for interdisciplinary credit if he/she determines that:

a. The course has been adopted by a faculty team; and
b. The course addresses the objectives for the subject area in which the credit is to be counted. ED 306.27

Is community service a requirement for all NH students to receive their diplomas? How many hours?

Yes, as determined at the local level. The standards do not specify number of hours. They do, however, indicate that each school district should have a policy in place that addresses community service.

Ed 306.04 Policy Development.
Ed 306.06 Culture and Climate.

Do the school districts still need to submit "In-service Time Requests" for rescheduled school weeks (professional development early release days)?

It is no longer necessary to submit "Staff Planning and In-Service Request" forms. These forms were created for school districts, as well as the Department of Education, to ensure compliance with the intent of Ed 306.05 Alternative School-Year and School-Day Scheduling Patterns in accordance with the Minimum Standards for Public School approval in effect prior to July 1, 2005.

Ed 306.20 addresses alternative school year scheduling patterns which are not in compliance with Ed 306.18 (and does not include school-day scheduling patterns.) The state law is RSA 189.2 which requires 180 days of school.

The Minimum Standards for Public School Approval ask that schools add an additional ten (10) days to the school calendar to address staff development/in-service activity needs as well as days lost due to inclement weather and/or unexpected circumstances.

What training do food service workers need to have in order to work in an approved public school?

All food service employees shall, within their first year of employment, obtain a certificate of completion for an approved sanitation course. (Ed 306.11) Food and Nutrition requirements, including guidance regarding approved sanitation courses, will be further addressed in a future advisory.

What is the standard school year for high schools?

It is the same as for middle schools. (306.18 school year) The state law is RSA 189.1 which requires 180 days of school.

Are there requirements for off-site programs?

Yes, they must be designed to meet the personalized needs of students, including but not limited to dropout prevention and be approved by local school board. The plan must state the goals of the program, specify the procedures for assessing and implementing its program plan consistent with RSA 193-c:3,III; and specify when the program will be offered which may be at a time other than during the regular school day.

An off-site program for students with disabilities shall meet the requirements of Ed 1119. Prior to implementing an off-site program, a school administrative unit shall submit to the department a copy of the local school board's approval including the plan submitted and the location of the off-site program. Each student participating in an off-site program shall participate in the state assessment exam when applicable.

For information about Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) visit the NH High School Redesign section of the Web site.

What are the requirements for computer education?

In the standards that is referred to as ICT (information computer technology). Ideal ICT Literacy Program in grades K-8 weaves technology experiences into all content areas and all grade levels, so that a student can demonstrate ICT competency at the end of 8th grade. The ideal ICT Literacy Program in high school provides courses which allow students to focus on technology experiences that match their career aspirations. Please visit the NHEON Web site to see detailed information about this school standard.

The school board should have a policy for K-8 instructional time in ICT Literacy, and have a policy to provide an ICT literacy program in high school which includes portfolio development. The district must provide a 7/8th grade student the opportunity to demonstrate competency by submitting a digital portfolio. This submission of an assessment portfolio (7/8 Grade) does not qualify the student to meet the ½ credit for ICT Literacy required for high school graduation. If they have met the middle school standard, a student may move into an advanced course in high school to meet the ½ credit requirement. A student may demonstrate high school proficiency (a more advanced level than 8/9 grade literacy) through their portfolio development and meet the requirements of the ½ credit of ICT.

Have the required credits for graduation changed?

Yes, the minimum credits needed for graduation has increased from 19 ¾ to 20 credits. The required subjects and credits are reconfigured. There is an additional ¼ credit in health. In mathematics, 3 credits are required including algebra credit that can be earned through a sequential, integrated or applied program. In the social sciences, a ½ credit must be earned in World history, global studies or geography. There are 14 content specific requirements and six open electives for graduation in the minimum standards. The required subjects are found in Table 306-2 Required Subjects and Credits for High School Graduation, and are effective for the Graduating Class of 2009, (Freshmen Class of 2005).

May a student graduate from high school as a result of demonstrating competencies?

The local school board must adopt a district policy regarding awarding of credit through competencies. The policy shall require students to meet both state and local standards. ED 306.27. The New Hampshire School Boards Association is developing comprehensive policy statements for local school boards to review.

How does the school year (180 days) requirement change as a result of the new (2005) school approval rules?

School Districts choosing a calendar based on hours must account for all of the hours of instruction. When planning for a calendar based on hours, the total number of hours in the school calendar must not be less than the comparable number of days of instruction, as required by law. The Law requires that NH Public Schools offer 180 days of instruction. Districts wishing to adopt a Calendar based entirely or in part on hours should forward a letter to the Commissioner for review, detailing the proposed plan. Further guidance on School Year and School Calendars will be addressed in a future advisory.

(b) Each school with a school year option based on hours shall be subject to the following requirements:

  • The school shall maintain in each elementary school, a school year of at least 945 hours of instructional time;
  • The school shall maintain in each middle and senior high school, a school year of at least 990 hours of instructional time;
  • The school day of an individual student shall not exceed 8 hours of instructional time; and
  • The school shall have in its school year an additional 10 days of at least 6 hours in duration to provide for instructional time lost due to inclement weather or unexpected circumstances, staff development, and parent-teacher conferences;
  • A school may close before its scheduled closing time when an emergency condition exists which might adversely affect the health and safety of students, provided that the number of hours of instructional time originally planned for the day shall be credited to the number of hours of instructional time in the school year, if:

    a. On that day, the school would normally have had at least 5.25 hours of Instructional time; and
    b. The school remained open for at least 3.5 hours of instructional time.
    c. Each school with a school year option based on days shall be subject to the following requirements:

    (1) The school shall maintain a standard school year of at least 180 days of instructional time;
    (2) The school shall have in its school year an additional 10 days of at least 6 hours in duration to provide for instructional time lost due to inclement weather or unexpected circumstances, staff development, and parent-teacher conferences;
    (3) For each elementary school:

    a. The regular school day shall be 6 hours in duration with at least 5.25 hours devoted to instructional time;
    b. No more than 30 minutes of recess or break time, or both, shall be counted toward the 5.25 hour requirement in a. above;
    c. Lunch time and homeroom periods shall not be counted in meeting the 5.25 hour requirement in a. above; and
    d. Kindergarten sessions shall be at least 2.5 hours in duration;

    (4) For each middle school:

    a. The regular school day shall be 6 hours in duration with at least 5.5 hours devoted to instructional time; and
    b. Lunch, passing time, recess, breaks, and homeroom periods shall not be counted as instructional time;


New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711