Like many things at Cotting School, there are different paths to achievement, paths that are chosen to fit the strengths of the student. These are two paths to diploma that our students have followed:
1. MCAS test & credit completion
Students who pass the MCAS test, with or without accommodations, and fulfill Cotting’s credit requirements will earn a Cotting diploma. Some students, in addition to receiving a Cotting diploma, also earn a diploma from their home district. 87% of students who chose to pursue a high school diploma received one.
Other students, however, may require more intensive support to receive a diploma. Krista Macari, Cotting’s Chief Academic Officer, believes in Cotting’s ability to help those students for whom more support is needed: “If students at or near grade- level need more support to earn their diploma, we have the staff expertise and resources to help them successfully complete a Competency Determination Portfolio.”
2. Completion of a Competency Determination Portfolio
Working closely with a Cotting staff member, a student must demonstrate competency at a 10th grade-level, over a period of time, in Math, Science, and English Language Arts by submitting a portfolio of collected work. Why might a student opt for the competency portfolio route? Upper School teacher Jeanine Meredith has worked with students for whom this path was successful. “For a student with access difficulties, or test anxiety, this method has proved successful on the path to diploma.” While it bypasses the traditional on-demand MCAS test, it is not an “easy option.” Meredith adds, “This is often a multi-year, 10 hour per week commitment with additional homework. It requires the student to prioritize and make sacrifices.” Not only does this path require hard work and dedication on the student’s end, but the staff ’s as well. A team of teachers and tutors partner with each student to complete the competency portfolios, which often go through a series of corrections. We are proud to say, however, that Cotting has a 100% success rate for Competency Determination Portfolios!
For other students, neither of these two options are a good fit. If the goal for one student is to pass a partial MCAS, we’ll help them get there. If the goal for another is to complete their course of study and graduate, we’ll help them get there, too. All students receive a certificate of completion from Cotting School at their graduation ceremony, and we are proud of each and every one. But for those who set their sights on the path to diploma, the reward deserves to be celebrated.