Online Pathway to Graduation Program

The Online Pathway to Graduation (OPTG) is a school-year-long program, divided into two sessions, that enables current Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students to meet some of the academic requirements for a Maryland high school diploma. OPTG courses feature required synchronous (real time, virtual) instruction delivered by content-certified, MCPS teachers, alongside robust asynchronous curriculum. OPTG students have access to a virtual support center where they can receive additional synchronous support, as well. All unit tests are proctored in the virtual support center.

OPTG students have some flexibility in the pace at which they complete their work, but will be expected to spend approximately 40 hours working asynchronously, in addition to the synchronous instructional requirement. Students will earn credit as they complete their coursework, and credits are applied to student transcripts upon course completion. Participants are responsible for completing all Maryland and MCPS graduation requirements, including High School Assessments and student service learning requirements.

Overview

Eligible participants must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Current MCPS high school students no longer enrolled, who have completed at least one year of high school.
  • Passed the Maryland High School Assessment (HSA) for any online HSA course needed; HSA-related OPTG courses may be taken for credit recovery only and not for original credit.
  • Have not earned a General Equivalency Diploma (GED).

Private school students and students who have never attended an MCPS high school are not eligible to participate in this program.

MCPS students who are currently enrolled in an MCPS high school do not need to pay tuition. The cost of the program is $300 for students not enrolled in an MCPS high school.

The advantages include:

  • Students can work at home, school, or their assigned support center.
  • Students can access academic support from teachers at their assigned support center.
  • Students can earn credits to meet high school academic credit requirements.

Meet with your counselor to discuss OPTG program requirements and eligibility. Complete the online registration form with your counselor.

You can find out more about the OPTG program by:

  • Contacting the counseling office at your current high school or at the high school you last attended.
  • Contacting the Student Online Learning office at elearning@mcpsmd.org.

Courses

English:

  • English 9A/B, English 10A/B*, English 11A/B, English 12A/B
  • Honors English 9A/B, Honors English 10A/B*, Honors English 11A/B, Honors English 12A/B, AP English Literature and Composition A/B

Math:

  • Algebra 1A/B*, Algebra 2A/B, 2Yr Algebra 2A/B, 2Yr Algebra 2C/D, Geometry A/B, Precalculus A/B, Quantitative Literacy A/B
  • Honors Algebra 2 A/B, Honors Geometry A/B, Honors Precalculus A/B, AP Calculus AB A/B

Science:

  • Biology A/B, Chemistry A/B, Physics A/B
  • Honors Biology A/B, Honors Chemistry A/B, Honors Physics A/B, AP Biology A/B, AP Chemistry A/B
  • Forensic Science A/B

Social Studies:

  • Modern World History A/B, NSL Government A/B*, U.S. History A/B
  • Honors Modern World History A/B, Honors NSL Government A/B*, Honors US History A/B, AP US History A/B
  • Personal Finance

World Languages:

  • American Sign Language 1A/B, French 1A/B*, French 2A/B*, Spanish 1A/B*, Spanish 2A/B*, Spanish 3A/B

Fine Arts:

  • Photography 1A/B

Technology:

  • AP Computer Science Java A/B

* Courses that can only be taken to replace a failing grade or for the purpose of grade improvement.

Support Centers

In addition to mandatory weekly course meetings, OPTG support centers are available, via Zoom, for students. OPTG support centers are available Monday through Thursday when MCPS has a full day of school. The Zoom link for the support meeting is shared during orientation and by OPTG teachers.

Support Staff

OPTG Administrative Staff:

Brian Beaubien, Supervisor
or Phone: 240-740-4042

Cynthia Cunningham, Registrar
or Phone: 240-740-3945

Brian Anders, Communications Specialist/Web Producer
or Phone: 240-740-3946

FAQs

Are there mandatory course meeting times?

  • Yes, each course meets for one hour per week at the same time every week (when regular school is open).
  • Session 1 runs from October 10 through February 2; Session 2 runs from February 22 through June 15.

How long will it take me to finish my course(s)?

  • Most students finish a class in 3 to 4 months by working a few days a week (some take less time and some longer). OPTG does not follow the semester designation of MCPS; as soon as a student finishes a course, they will receive a final grade and credit, if applicable, for that course. AP courses have predetermined start and end dates, and students should expect to adhere to the schedule and complete work on a more regimented basis.

What if I need help from my content teacher?

  • Email your teacher. INCLUDE YOUR FULL NAME, COURSE TITLE & UNIT/ASSIGNMENT YOU ARE WORKING ON (ex., John Doe, Algebra 1A, 1.1.3).
  • Remember that the virtual support center is available Monday through Thursday from 4:00-8:30 pm when MCPS has a full day of school. Students can seek additional help, even if their specific teacher is not available. Check the virtual support center's schedule for when each of the content teachers will be available.

What do I do if I’m locked out of a mastery?

  • Students have three attempts to take each mastery test, but need to re-engage with the preceding tutorial before re-taking the mastery test. After taking the mastery test, click back to the tutorial, review the materials again, and then click “Play” on the mastery test again.
  • If students have taken the mastery test three times, but still feel unprepared, they can email their course teacher. The teacher may ask the student to complete additional work or meet with the teacher for support.

When can I take a unit test (post test)?

  • You must have completed all the work for the unit prior to taking the test.
  • Visit the virtual support center Monday – Thursday, 4–8:30 pm (please arrive by 7:45 to test); your content teacher does not need to be present in order for you to test. Can I take an online unit test at my school?

Can I take an online unit test at my school?

  • No, you must take unit tests at your support center during the hours above.

How often do I need to work online?

  • Students should plan to spend between 1 and 3 hours per week, per course.
  • Complete all unit materials and attend a session at the support center to take a proctored unit test every two weeks (per course).

What about snow days?

  • Inclement weather policies for MCPS will be followed. If schools have early dismissal or cancellation, the support center is NOT open and synchronous lessons are not held; if MCPS cancels afternoon/evening activities, the support centers is NOT open and synchronous lessons are not held.

What if I have a question that was not addressed here?

  • Email the Student Online Learning office at eLearning@mcpsmd.org.
  • For specific content questions, email your OPTG teacher.