Academics » Curriculum



The school curriculum is designed to prepare the students to successfully satisfy the high school graduation requirements and to be fully ready for the challenges of higher education.

The elementary and middle schools offer a comprehensive curriculum that is aligned fully with California State standards.  Apart from the core subjects of Social Studies, English, Mathematics, Science, Fine Arts, students also take classes in Physical Education, Computer, Dance, Music and Visual Arts. Moreover, Armenian Language and Armenian Studies are also taught in a sequential manner from Kindergarten through 12th grade.  Technology is both integrated in subject areas and is taught as separate course included in the curriculum.

High School graduation requires three years of Social Studies, four years of English, one year of Grammar/Composition, four years of Mathematics, three years of Laboratory Sciences, four years of Armenian language, two years of Armenian Studies, two years of Physical Education, one year of Fine Arts and additional elective courses.

As such, school graduation requirements exceed California State graduation requirements as well as University of California and California State University admissions requirements. Almost all courses required for graduation from Ferrahian are officially approved by the University of California system and overall meet the requirements of colleges and universities in the United States.

Furthermore, the high school curriculum offers the students three paths for graduation:

AP/Honors, Intermediate and Regular.

There are 182 instruction days, comprised of two semesters with two quarters per semester and two semi-quarters per quarter. The schedule of the academic program varies between grade levels. The requirements are as follows:

  • Grades K-2 and 6-8 are enrolled in seven periods a day.
  • Grades 3-5 are enrolled in eight periods a day.
  • Grades 9-11 take seven courses per semester.
  • Grade 12 students have the choice to take 5-7 courses per semester..
  • To graduate a student must complete a minimum of 26 units (260 credits) of high school coursework. Each unit is equal to two semester courses and each course is 5 credits.

The curriculum at Holy Martyrs Mary Cabayan Elementary & Ferrahian High School is not designed to meet the needs of students with special educational, psychological, and emotional limitations.



The high school curriculum, in addition to satisfying Ferrahian graduation and UC/CSU admission requirements, offers school-designated advanced courses, UC/CSU Honors Courses and College Board approved Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Advanced, Honors and AP courses improve students’ academic skills and enhance their college standing.  The following are the courses offered in respective categories:

School-Designated Advanced Courses
Grade Math Science English
8 Algebra I Adv.    
9 Geometry Adv. Biology Adv.
10 Algebra II Adv. Chemistry Adv.
11 Pre Calculus Adv.    


Honors Courses
Grade Armenian English
12 Armenian Literature Honors

English Literature Honors

World Literature Honors


College Board AP Courses
Grade Math English Social Studies Science Electives
9     Human Geography AP  
10     World History AP Biology AP Psychology AP
11   English Lang AP U.S. History AP Chemistry AP Studio Art AP
12 Calculus AP* English Lit. AP U.S. Government AP  


Weight and College Credit

School-designated Advanced courses carry additional weight in GPA calculations for school graduation purposes only. They are not weighted by the UC/CSU systems.

Honors and AP courses carry additional weight in GPA calculations both for school graduation and college admission purposes. Furthermore, AP courses are given college credit. For more information about the AP program, please visit



Advanced Placement (AP) courses provide the students the opportunity to conduct college-level studies while still in high school. AP students must be prepared to be involved in critical reading and writing practices, analysis of material, synthesis of ideas and problem solving.

AP Guidelines

  • An AP course will be offered only if five or more students are enrolled in that class.
  • If a student enrolled in an AP class fails to maintain a grade of C, the enrollment in that AP class will be terminated and the student will be assigned to another class.
  • Students enrolled in AP courses are required to take the corresponding College Board exams. If a student enrolled in an AP class fails to take the College Board administered exam, the AP grade received in school will not be weighted.
  • The grade received for the College Board administered AP exam has no bearing on the grade earned in school. The grade recorded in the report card is final.
  • All AP curricular instruction must be completed before the AP exams.
  • Teachers may utilize after-school hours and weekends for additional instruction.
  • AP teachers are not allowed to borrow time from other teachers.

All AP classes resume regular instruction after the AP exam administration and students take school-administered final exams as scheduled. This time period is also utilized to

AP Prerequisites

Placement in AP courses requires:

  1. Completion of the prerequisites with a grade of B or better.
  2. Overall GPA of 3.00 or better
  3. Instructor’s recommendation and administration’s approval
  4. Students may petition for reconsideration if not considered for AP placement.
Course Prerequisite Teacher Recommendation
AP Biology Grade of B or better in Biology. Biology teacher’s recommendation.
AP Chemistry Grade of B or better in Chemistry. Chemistry teacher’s recommendation.
AP Calculus Grade of A in Pre-Calculus. Pre-Calculus teacher’s recommendation.
AP English Language Grade of B or better in 10th grade English. Satisfactory results on the AP Language Diagnostic Exam. English teacher’s recommendation
AP English Literature Grade of B or better in 11th grade English/AP Language. Satisfactory results on the AP Literature Diagnostic Exam English teacher’s recommendation.
AP Human Geography Grade of B or better in 8th grade English. Social Studies and English language teachers’ recommendations.
AP World History Grade of B or better in AP Human Geography or English language. Social Studies or English language teacher’s recommendation.
AP US History Grade of B or better in World History. World History teacher’s recommendation.
AP US Gov. Grade of B or better in US History. US History teacher’s recommendation.
AP Studio Art Grade of B or better in Studio Art Art Teacher's recommendation



Armenian Language Development

Armenian Language Development (ALD) is a program for students who need special attention in the Armenian language and is offered to students in grades 1-10. A student in ALD must complete the program in three years.  After completion of the ALD program, students are placed in their respective grade-level regularArmenian language classes.

Concurrent Enrollment

Upon approval of the Academic Director and upon completion of the necessary forms, students in grades 9-12 may attend other high schools and/or colleges when the following conditions exist:

  • To repeat a failing course (the new course must be identical to the old one)
  • To make up credit deficiencies
  • To complete college admission requirements
  • To take courses for college credit