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Office of The Commissioner

Graduation Requirements for Displaced Puerto Rico High School Students

To:Superintendents, Charter School Leaders, and Assistant Superintendents
From:Jeff Wulfson, Acting Commissioner
Date:March 9, 2018

Thank you for all you have done and all you continue to do for the student evacuees from Puerto Rico. We have received confirmation of graduation requirements for displaced Puerto Rican high school juniors and seniors to substantially complete the Puerto Rico high school curriculum and earn a Puerto Rico high school diploma if they choose this option.

Eligible Students

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will request that Massachusetts public school districts provide students with an option to earn a Puerto Rico high school diploma if the student

  1. is enrolled in a public school in Massachusetts;
  2. was enrolled in a public school in Puerto Rico;
  3. has been displaced by Hurricane Maria; and
  4. had attained the 11th or 12th grade in Puerto Rico by the time Hurricane Maria made landfall in October 2017.

Requirements for Earning a Puerto Rico High School Diploma for a Student Who is Currently a Junior or a Senior in High School

  • In order for a student to earn a high school diploma from Puerto Rico, the student must complete a minimum of 18 credits, 20 hours of occupational experiences (which may include mentoring, internship or work experience, or a combination thereof) and 40 hours of community service.

  • The 18 credits required for a student to earn a Puerto Rico high school diploma must include the following:

    • Spanish — 3.0 credits
    • English — 3.0 credits
    • Mathematics — 3.0 credits
    • Social Studies — 3.0 credits
    • Science — 3.0 credits
    • Physical Education — 1.0 credit
    • Art — 0.5 credit
    • Health — 0.5 credit
    • Technology, Family Science, Agriculture or another elective — 0.5 credit.

  • There are no specific courses required for the credits in mathematics, English, Science, or Social Studies.

  • There are no requirements for a student to earn a minimum grade point average or satisfy standardized assessment requirements.

If you have any questions regarding the Puerto Rico graduation requirements you may direct them to

Student Transcripts

The Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDOE) is developing a secure portal to provide a system to transfer transcripts between MA local districts and the PRDOE. At this time PRDOE is piloting the system with data management representatives from the Springfield and Worcester Public Schools. We will send you information to access the system once it is available.

In order to request or share student transcripts with the PRDOE, school or district staff must be recognized as an authorized user in the PRDOE student record exchange system. To designate school or district staff as authorized users, assign the function called "Displaced Student Coordinator" to their username in Directory Administration. This function is available at the district and school level.

Enrollment Reporting

If a student chooses to submit their Massachusetts transcript to the PRDOE and receive a Puerto Rico diploma they should be reported with an enrollment status of '22' indicating transferred out of state. Students reported with this status will not be included in the calculations for graduation and dropout rates.

If you have any questions please contact Helene Bettencourt, Chief of Staff, at 781-338-3120.

Thank you for your support.

Last Updated: March 15, 2018

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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