Academic Procedures Middle School
The school year is divided into two semesters, 2 quarters each. Within each semester, three types of instructional days are scheduled to maximize learning.
1. Regular instruction days
2. Revision days.
3. End-of semester exam days.
The academic year also contains holidays and breaks.
Regular Instruction Days
Typically 9-8 weeks of each quarter are devoted to regular instruction. This is the lengthiest segment of the quarter and is the time when students are given new material to learn each subject. Homework is assigned frequently to help students reinforce concepts and to give them the opportunity to apply what they have learned. Homework is a tool for practice, for gaining, fluency, and for independent problem solving.
Throughout the quarter, students are given periodic tests. At the beginning of each semester, an exam schedule for the semester is set and distributed to students. Notification concerning the dates and material covered on these tests is communicated to parents/guardian of students via student's email. We encourage our students to view testing as an opportunity for learning and for optimum performance. In a sense, it is a time to "show off" the knowledge they have acquired.
Progress reports are designed to inform parents of potential academic problems the student(s) may be experiencing. The reports are issued to all students. Failing and borderline students need to make the effort to catch up so they can do well the remainder of the quarter. Progress reports may also be used to acknowledge students who are doing outstanding work, such as a student who maintains an A+ average or a student who is making significant progress due to exceptional effort. For those students who are working very hard and making significant progress, the grade is not the issue, since the student is being measured against his/her own potential.
The week prior the end-of semester exams is assigned for revision. During this type of instructional day, no new material is taught. Instead, students have an intensive and comprehensive review of the material they covered in individual classes throughout the term. Revision packets are often part of this instructional experience.
End of Semester Exam Days
The last week of semesters one and two is devoted to comprehensive exams that cover the work of that term. It is important to remember that final exams given at the end of the year although focus on material taught that term are comprehensive, covering material over the full academic year.
Holidays and Breaks
The school is closed on several holidays that occur during the academic year. In addition, the school calendar includes a winter and a spring break. All holidays and breaks are clearly marked on the school calendar that is sent home at the beginning of the year.
The official school day for all students is from 8:00 AM to 2:45 PM. classes at the school begin promptly at 8:00 AM . It is essential that all students be present for the opening activities, which are scheduled from 7:50 AM to 8:00 AM prior to the first period. At this time announcements are given. SCIS's approach to education rests on a firm belief in the "building block" method of knowledge acquisition. Initial units of knowledge are acquired and then additional units are built upon this foundation to advance further learning. To prevent gaps in knowledge acquisition, regular testing is administered.
Diagnostics tests assess students' knowledge and are used primarily for placement purposes or for detecting specific learning gaps that may be impeding student progress.
Quizzes and tests cover set material covered over a short period of time. They are given often to assess students understanding of material taught and are typically objective and short answer questions. They may not be announced.
Unlike quizzes, periodic tests are comprehensive and use a variety of formats to assess knowledge and long-term retention. These tests are cumulative and require more production on the part of students. Students who miss a test are required to make it up within the set time constraints.
In addition to locally written quizzes and exams by each teacher, the school administer MAP standardized test on a regular basis.
MAP is designed to measure student achievement in the moment, and growth over time, regardless of grade level.
MAP gives quick feedback to teachers, administrators, students and parents. Teachers receive immediate results with MAP that show what students know and what they are ready to learn. The results can be used to help personalize lessons at the appropriate level for the students. Results of these exams will be discussed with individual teachers to help identify areas of weakness and work on methods of improvement.
End of Semester Exams
Comprehensive exams are given at the end of each semester. Exams at the end of Semester 1 assess mastery of the material taught during that semester. End of year exams, or finals, measure a student's achievement over the course of the entire academic year. Communication between home and school helps bind the student, parents, teachers, and administration into a team working toward a common goal. The following section explains some of the means by which the school attempts to report student progress.
Starting after the 3rd week of each semester, any student who receives one or more "F's or 3 D's will be placed on probation status for one week. If the grades are not brought up the following week then they will be ineligible to participate in school activities during or after school for the following week. This would be from Sunday through Thursday. Once the student raises his/her grades, then he/she would be able to participate/attend in the following week's activities. Students will remain ineligible if they fail to comply with this policy. (Exceptions could be made for sickness; appointments will be evaluated on INDIVIDUAL basis.) Activities that are included are soccer games, career days, college representative visits, field trips, contests, and other related activities. This is under premise that the activity is not counting toward the student's grades. The principal or Counselor will be responsible for calling students' parents and advising them for At Risk Program requirements. Teachers are responsible for telling students he/she is failing their class.
Students in the high school are required to complete four (4) years of study at the high school level and successfully complete the requirements for graduation.
Upon successful completion of the graduation requirements, students will be awarded an American High School Diploma.
Students who do not receive credit for required courses may need to repeat the year or take substitute courses. Students who are not able to satisfy graduation requirements within four years may need to attend additional course time.