Option II: A Guide for Students & Parents


In order for a student to graduate and receive a high school diploma from Hunterdon Central, he/she must:
  • Pass the state-mandated high school assessments
  • Fulfill the minimum 120-credit graduation requirement.
  • Fulfill the requirements as described utilizing one or both of TWO options: (1) Earn a minimum of 120 credits by successful completion of the prescribed subject area requirements listed on the chart, below. This requirement may be met in whole, or in part, through a traditional program where a “credit” means the award for student participation in the equivalent of a class period of instruction (commonly referred to as "Option 1"). “Credit” means the award for the equivalent of a class period of instruction which meets for a minimum of forty minutes, one time a week, during the school year (N.J.A.C. 6A:8-1.3). Therefore, in the traditional Hunterdon Central “A/B Block”, a class that meets on alternating days routinely for one class period, per year, shall yield 5 credits. Courses meeting for a portion of a year, or a portion of a week shall be prorated accordingly.

Click to view: HC Graduation Requirements Chart


A student may meet the 120-credit requirement through one or a combination of pathways.

I. OPTION I (Traditional Path of Studies)
A student earns credits by successful completion of the required courses. Credits are awarded for student participation in a class period of instruction. This is called “in-the-seat” class time. A class that meets routinely for one year, for one block on alternate days, yields 5 credits.

II. OPTION II (Alternate Path)
This option permits a student to earn credits in a more personalized and independent manner— rather than “in the seat.” Option II offers alternative paths to credits that meet or exceed the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and are based on student interest or career goals. Students may elect to apply for HCRHS credit or advancement of a course level through distance learning, independent study, college coursework or coursework taken outside HCRHS. All learning opportunities as allowed by Option II must be pre-approved by the counselor, academic area supervisor, the Supervisor of Counseling, the Director of Curriculum, and the Principal, under N.J.A.C. 6A:8-5.1(a) 1.II. Several stipulations exist for students wishing to complete high school course work in an academic setting other than HCRHS.

Option II Courses Must be Pre-Approved:
A completed Option II approval application must be submitted, along with syllabus/curriculum to HCRHS. The student must have received approval prior to the first instructional meeting of the course. Late application forms will not be accepted.


If the deadline falls on a weekend, school holiday or snow day the deadline will be moved to the next scheduled school day. There are no extensions for coursework end dates for course transcript/verification dates.

For course work in:

Application due date:

Coursework end date:

Course transcript/ verification due date:


June 1

August 15

August 30

Summer Institute

June 15

August 15

August 30


August 15

January 15

January 30


January 15

June 15

June 30

Course Completion:
It is expected that each Option II opportunity will be completed during the time specified. Deadlines are firm. If a student does not complete the course before the deadline, a grade of an “F” will be reported on the transcript.

Option II Courses Must be from an Accredited Institution:

The accreditation must be from a United States Department of Education recognized national, regional, specialized and/or professional accrediting organization. For distance learning, the accreditation must be from a United States Department of Education recognized national, regional, specialized, and/or professional accrediting organization.**Advanced Placement courses must be approved via an AP Audit conducted by the College Board.

Option II Courses Must Meet NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards:
Learning opportunities based upon specified instructional objectives must meet or exceed the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards and be certified by the Principal. Core curriculum content standards may be accessed here.

Students Must Show Minimum Proficiency to Earn HCRHS Credit:
A student must earn a minimum grade of 65% in any Option II course and show proficiency on the designated HCRHS assessment with a minimum grade of 65% to earn HCRHS credit. If credit is awarded through Option II, the student may not enroll in the equivalent HCRHS course. HCRHS must receive an official transcript clearly showing successful completion of the course work. Final credits and a transcript grade will be awarded based on the number of instructional hours per week.

Students can apply for a maximum of five credits per academic year (July 1- June 30). Note: Several Option II programs consist of 2 parts and may require a student to take two (2.5 credit) online courses to meet the full 5.0 credit requirement. Example: Hunterdon Central Algebra 2 requires a student to complete two University of Nebraska courses.

In addition, students are limited to a maximum of 5 credits per subject area/graduation requirement throughout their entire high school career.

The Following Requirements Apply to All Option II Coursework:

  • Course extensions will not be granted.
  • Successful completion of an Option II course is only awarded if the student passes both the course and the HCRHS Equivalent Assessment (if an assessment is stipulated).
  • Passing an Option II course does not guarantee that a student is well equipped to pass the equivalent District course assessment. Please be familiar with the HCRHS curriculum of the content equivalent course and recognize, based on recent statistics, that not all students pass the District final exam.
  • Students should appropriately pace themselves to complete Option II courses, in order to sit for any necessary HCRHS assessments, earn appropriate credits, complete graduation requirements and make needed schedule changes.
  • Students may take a higher level Option II course, provided they met the criteria for that level course during the regular academic school year. For example, if a student qualified for an Honors course, by way of their semester one course average or through the review process during the regular academic year, they may take an Honors level Option II course in the summer.
  • Reminder- Option II courses are not calculated into the GPA, nor do they have any weighting.
  • Option II coursework cannot begin until a student has successfully completed 8th grade.
  • Successful completion of an Option II course does not guarantee placement.
  • Passing an Option II course, as well as the HCRHS final exam in that course, does not guarantee that a seat will be available in the next course. It is possible for an Option II student not to have a seat in the next sequential course, due to master schedule limitations.
  • Option II courses cannot be retaken. If a student fails an Option II course or a HCRHS assessment, they cannot retake the course or a like course via Option II. They may, however, take a similar course offered by the District.
  • NCAA Eligibility Rules have changed with regard to software-based credit recovery, virtual, online, independent study and correspondence courses, effective August 2010. These types of courses, which are identified by the NCAA Eligibility Center as non-traditional courses, must meet new guidelines in order to be used for college-bound student athletes who are planning to attend an NCAA Division I college or university. The rule change was enacted to ensure that acceptable non-traditional courses provide opportunities for students to demonstrate that their work was completed in a manner consistent with the intent and design of the core-course curriculum requirements. This legislation will allow the NCAA Eligibility Center to determine which courses and institutions are acceptable to satisfy initial-eligibility standards, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that prospective student athletes are enrolled in quality courses that satisfy the intent of the core-curriculum requirements and prepare prospective student athlete for college academic work.


The Following Subject Area Requirements Apply to All Option II Coursework:

  • World Language courses must include a regularly scheduled speaking component.
  • Science courses must include a regularly scheduled laboratory component.Only site-based distance learning courses will be approved for lab sciences.
  • Language Arts courses must include a regularly scheduled writing component.
  • Art/Music Courses must include the creation of a portfolio, including multiple works of art / music.

All non-traditional courses (e.g. online) must include ongoing access between the instructor and student, as well as regular interaction for purposes of teaching, evaluating and providing assistance.This may include, for example, exchanging of emails between the student and teacher, online chats, phone calls, feedback on assignments and the opportunity for the teacher to engage the student in individual instruction.


As a student and his/her parents engage in discussion about Option II, there should be conversations about the number of Option II courses and studies a student should take, and the additional academic responsibilities that a student will feel as a result of these decisions. Students are limited to one Option II experience per school year.

Option II Approval Process:

  1. The student completes the online application through ASPEN and includes course descriptions and syllabus, when applicable. The directions to submit an online application in ASPEN can be obtained from the school counselor.
  2. The counselor reviews the online application with student and, if all is in order, forwards the application to the supervisor.
  3. The content area supervisor examines the application, based on the student’s rationale and the criteria outlined in the instructions. Once approved by the supervisor, the application is forwarded to the Supervisor of Counseling and Director of Curriculum.The application is then forwarded to the Principal for final approval.
  4. Upon final approval, the student and parent/guardian will receive an email advising them of the decision. A student may appeal the decision by providing a thorough explanation to his/her counselor. The counselor will review and share the explanation with the Supervisor of Counseling and the academic supervisor. The Director of Curriculum will have the final approval. The student will be contacted after all parties review and a decision is made.
  5. If approved, the student completes the work during the time specified in the timeline listed in the chart. Please note that some courses require additional assessments. One example is Capstone for World History courses.
  6. If students are required to complete a final assessment, the student will be notified prior to the final assessment testing date and must confirm that they can attend the testing date (see chart for testing dates). Students must make certain they are available for final testing date prior to submitting Option II for approval.
  7. Finally, the student provides the supervisor with the proof of experience by the dates indicated.


Many “online” high schools require that the applicant identify a proctor who agrees to supervise examinations and is responsible for maintaining a secure testing environment. If a proctor is required, then the following may apply:

  • Prior to completing the Option II application, the student must secure a proctor.
  • The student can contact the supervisor for a proctor recommendation.
  • A student must receive the teacher-proctor’s permission before designating him/her as the proctor and enter the name on the online application.
  • A proctor must be a certified teacher or education professional.
  • Note: The proctor may be required to complete a proctor certification form online and agree to HCRHS policies and procedures.


Please click to view:  Pre-Approved Option 2 Courses

If students would like to apply for a subject area that is not listed, they should contact their counselor directly. Please note that some online courses require completion of two parts.


In addition to passing the course, the student will also need to pass the HCRHS final exam/assessment and achieve the mastery score established by the department supervisor. Note: A Group Proctor fee of $10 per student will be assessed.

  • Students must pre-register for testing by emailing Jackie Sullivan at: jsullivan@hcrhs.org. Upon registration, students will be notified of the testing time and location.
  • Students will need a photo ID and two No. 2 pencils.
  • A graphing calculator will be needed for math and science exams.
  • Most final exams run 90 minutes with science exams taking up to 2 hours including lab setup.
  • You will be notified of the testing results by the appropriate academic supervisor as soon as possible.
  • Counselors will complete schedules changes if and when necessary, and the parent and student will be contacted when schedule changes are completed. The final transcript must be received before changes are completed.


Student must provide the final transcript. Final transcript must be provided to Hunterdon Central no later than two week from the completion of the course.

  • Grade is recorded as a Pass/ Fail.
  • Course and grade are listed on student’s transcript.
  • Credits are counted toward graduation requirements ( 3-college credit course = 5 credit high school course).
  • Grade is not included in the GPA.
  • Students will not receive Honors or AP weight for any courses taken outside of HCRHS.
All fees and any necessary transportation arrangements are the responsibility of the student and his/her family.


When the Option II coursework is completed, the student exits the program by logging into ASPEN and marking the course as completed.The student will provide a transcript to the supervisors before the deadline listed on this webpage. When the supervisor forwards notice of completion to Counseling Services, the grade will be inputted onto the student’s HCRHS transcript.