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Course Catalog

Course Requirements for All Students

Freshman Seminar (Required for all 9th Graders)

Course Number:  2010                      

Credit: 2 Elective Credits

Grade 9

Students will learn to navigate high school, develop self-advocacy skills, and expand the academic and social language necessary for success in high school and college. Students engage in long-range projects, cooperative learning activities, and reflective journal writing. Units of study will focus on note-taking, time management and study skills, technology, social and human relationships, career exploration and post-secondary decisions, and creating student portfolios. Students will learn more about themselves and their futures in the world of post-secondary education and careers. 


Junior Planning (DE - University of Maine INT193)

Course Number: 2012

Credit: 1 Elective PHS credit, 2 College Credits if signed up on:

Grade: 11

As a School Counseling team, we are committed to helping all students build good plans for their futures. To this end, we have created two experiences in addition to our normal Guidance curriculum: Junior Planning and Senior Planning. Juniors begin to meet with counselors weekly during block 5 second semester for Junior Planning, which then transitions to weekly meetings also during block 5 with Seniors in the fall. Our curriculum will focus on “What are my plans for my future?”. The weekly presentations will include topics on: college and career planning, standardized testing options, extended learning opportunities (ex. Early College courses and PATHS), graduation planning and senior course selection.  In addition, we will work with students on prepping for the job application, military or college admissions process. Students have the opportunity to earn TWO COLLEGE CREDITS as part of this curriculum. Students should be prepared to complete the assignments on the syllabus and attend classes regularly. Students should only sign up for the college credit experience if they are prepared to complete the work and take on this extra responsibility. If a student does not want college credit, we still expect them to attend Junior Planning.


Senior Planning

Course Number: 2011

Credit: 0 Elective credits

Grade: 12

During the fall of senior year, School Counselors will meet weekly with 12th graders to work on the college application process (CommonApp), financial aid, and planning for after high school.



Course Number: 2020

Credit: 0

Grade 11 or 12

Courses that offer a capstone may change year to year.

The Portland Public School Committee mandates that any student graduating from a public high school in Portland must complete a Capstone Project. This project requires students to engage in deep and meaningful research that answers an essential question developed by them. At Portland High School, students will work with a teacher to develop an open-ended research question, create a plan to investigate and explore, and then reflect upon the learning process. Students will present their learning experiences to an authentic audience. The audience will include people with an interest in or knowledge of the topic from the school and the community at large. Capstone Handbook

Designated Capstone Courses where a student may complete the requirement are:



Social Studies

Math & Computer Science



Fine & Performing Arts

Creative Writing II

Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology

 Honors Statistics

Advanced Placement (AP) Biology

Latin Prose & Latin Poetry

Drama Workshop

ESOL English III

American Government

Personal Finance

ESOL Biology

French History and Culture

Digital Photography

Family Genealogy


Intro to Coding (College Prep and Honors)

Honors Anatomy & Physiology


Band or Orchestra

Your College Voice


Honors Web Development

Honors & College Prep Physics


Intermediate Piano & Guitar

Digital Media



Engineering Product Design (College Prep and Honors)






Sustainable Solutions to Environmental Problems



Additional Capstone Opportunities

Internship, Life After PHS, JMG, Academic Support, Functional Academics, Capstone Experience, PATHS (with teacher approval)


Capstone Experience

Course Number: 2020Q

Prerequisites: None

Credit: .5 Elective Credit

Grade: 12

The Capstone experience is designed to showcase a student’s strengths, skills, and interests in a particular academic area and should demonstrate the student’s ability to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information and communicate significant knowledge and understanding to an authentic audience. Through the experience, students will be required to apply learning to real life situations and explore knowledge in an area of specific interest and will demonstrate an understanding of the concept of lifelong learning. This course is required for all 12th Graders who will not complete a capstone experience in a designated course.