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HCPSS Curriculum is:

  1. Deep: Mastery of essential skills is emphasized at each level, so students build the skills and confidence to tackle more advanced concepts.
  2. Broad: Instruction crosses content areas – for example, science and social studies curriculum incorporates reading, math, and writing skills
  3. Relevant: Classroom lessons are reinforced through hands-on activities and real-world experiences.
  4. Active: Students learn by exploration, using creativity, critical thinking and analysis to discover answers to problems, and practice collaboration and effective communication.

The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) is nationally recognized as a leader in teaching and learning. Our rigorous instructional program engages students in learning through relevant, real-world classroom experiences. The HCPSS curriculum is written by Howard County teachers and is designed to provide students a thorough grounding in essential knowledge and skills that will give them a leading edge in tomorrow's global environment. Our curriculum challenges students to think strategically, solve problems, innovate, collaborate, communicate effectively, and achieve goals.

The HCPSS curriculum is aligned to the Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards. These standards for literacy and mathematics education resulted from a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The Standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce. Additional information about the Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards.

What Your Child Will Learn

What Your Child Will Learn is an overview of goals and expectations of students throughout the school year. Specific student programs may differ depending on instructional needs.

Middle School Course Review

It is the goal of the Howard County Public School System to prepare students for lifelong learning by taking the most challenging courses in which they can be successful. Recommendations are based on multiple criteria including classroom performance, students expressed interest, and results on standardized measures.

Middle School Courses

2018-19 School Year

Middle School Course Reviews

2017-18 School Year

High School Courses

2018-19 School Year

View archived copies of high school catalogs →

Curriculum by Subject

Tests and Assessments

An overview of the standardized tests given in the Howard County Public School System including the HSA, MAP, PSAT, SAT, ACT, and Advanced Placement tests.

New Law Offers Dual High School/College Enrollment at Reduced Tuition

A new Maryland aims to improve college readiness and completion. Effective July 1, 2013, the College and Career Readiness Act requires public school systems to collaborate with public colleges in offering dual enrollment programs that provide reduced tuition for college courses. Dual enrollment allows eligible students to take college courses while still in high school.

HCPSS is working closely with Howard Community College to provide this program. Contact your school counselor for more information.