Academic Policies

MARKS AND REPORT CARDS
A student’s marks should reflect participation (including regular class attendance), outside work, level of interest and tests.  If a student fails all subject tests, regardless of any other work submitted, she is subject to an automatic failure. Students must complete all required work in order to receive a passing grade. Stress is placed upon the fact that classroom presence has a great effect upon a student’s marks.  This presence should have high priority in a student’s life.

Any mark which is INCOMPLETE on the student’s report card must be made up and changed in the office within one week of the close of the marking period.  This is a mutual responsibility of teacher and student.

Student progress will be updated, regularly on PowerSchool. Report cards will be distributed to students in homeroom at the end of the first, second and third marking periods, and mailed home for the fourth marking period. Also they will be posted on-line at the end of each marking period. Dates when report cards will be posted are available on the school calendar. Parents are asked to check days absent and lateness as well as academic progress. When a student receives a failure, the parents and student should discuss the reason for the failure with the subject teacher. In November, there is an opportunity for a scheduled parent-teacher conference. Upon request, other appointments can be made throughout the year through the Guidance office.

Failures must be made up in a sixty hour summer session before a student may return to Saint Dominic Academy in the fall. The administration reserves the right to discontinue the enrollment of any student who fails two or more courses in a year.  The decision whether any student will be dismissed by reason of academic failure shall be at the discretion of the administration.

If a student is failing any subject, she will not be allowed to participate in any extracurricular activities until she has maintained a passing grade. Permission must be received from the Administration to be reinstated.

GRADING SYSTEM

 A+ 4.0 Outstanding
A 3.5 Excellent
B+ 3.0 Very Good
B 2.5 Good
C+ 2.0 Satisfactory
C 1.5 Passing
D 1.0 Minimum Grade for Credit
F 0.5 Failing
I Incomplete

 

All courses will receive a 4.0 as the highest possible grade. The grade will then be converted to quality points according to a weighted grading scale. The following courses are not included in calculation of the overall grade point average: all levels of Physical Education, all levels of Health Education/Driver’s Education, Art & Music Appreciation (9th grade elective).

EXPLANATION OF GRADING

  • A+ to A (4.0 – 3.5) is an honor grade. It is not automatically given to a student who ranks highest in the class, but it is reserved for accomplishment that is truly distinctive and decidedly outstanding. It represents a high degree of attainment and is a grade that demands evidence of originality, independent work, an open and discriminating mind, completeness and accuracy of knowledge, as well as an effective use of that knowledge.
  • B+ to B (3.0 – 2.5) is a grade that denotes achievement considerably above the acceptable standard. It involves excellence in many aspects of work, such as initiative, serious and determined industry, the ability to organize work, to comprehend and retain subject matter and to apply it to new problems.
  • C+ to C (2.0 – 1.5) indicates a satisfactory degree of attainment and is the acceptable standard for graduation.  It is the average grade that may be expected of a student of normal ability who gives a reasonable amount of time and effort to the work.
  • D/1.0 denotes a limited mastery of subject matter. It signifies work which in quality or quantity falls below the acceptable standard. It is, however, of sufficient weight to be counted in the hours for graduation if balanced by superior work in other courses.
  • F/0.5 indicates inadequate or unsatisfactory attainment. It signifies that the student lacks adequate understanding of the work or has made little or no effort to do so.

HONORS
First and Second Honors are given to recognize outstanding achievement in academics. Honors are announced semi-annually at the end of each semester.  To achieve First Honors a student must receive an average of at least 3.75 in major subjects and without failures in all other subjects, and to achieve Second Honors a student must receive an average of at least 3.50 in major subjects and without failures in all other subjects. The following courses are not included in calculation the Honor Roll; all levels of Physical Education, Art and Music Appreciation.

ABSENCE POLICY
The Administration and Faculty of SDA share the belief that regular class attendance is essential. It is the responsibility of the student to attend all scheduled classes and to obtain class work missed as a result of absence within one week from the time the student returns to school.  Such class work would include lecture notes, information papers, assignments, tests, quizzes, and other types of materials. Prolonged absence due to serious illness or hospitalization will be handled on an individual basis.

LESSONS MISSED THROUGH ABSENCE

Faculty need to make clear, measurable expectations of all assignments. Students must make up the work missed as a result of absence within one week from the time the student returns to school.  Tests will be made up at the convenience of the instructor on the first day of return or as near to that date as is realistically possible.

For extended absence parents should contact their daughter’s Guidance Counselor who will give the proper forms to the teachers of the student, who in turn, will assign missed work.  Within two days parents may come and pick up this assigned work for their daughter.

PLAGIARISM / CHEATING
Teachers need to be vigilant to uphold the integrity of written work in their classrooms.  If there is reason to suspect that a student has submitted work that is not her own, the teacher must pursue this immediately with the student. If it is ascertained that indeed the student is guilty of plagiarism or cheating, the paper in question must be graded a zero and the matter will be brought to the Academic Dean/Dean of Students for appropriate disciplinary action, which may include suspension.

COMPUTER USAGE
Students and faculty are expected to make responsible, ethical and appropriate use of the computer and information services which are available to them.  Conditions governing student use of computers at school are spelled out in the Acceptable Use Policy, which is included in the Parent/Student Handbook.  This agreement is signed by the parent the first year the student is enrolled in the school; any student whose parent has not signed the agreement is excluded from access to technological devices.

EXAMINATIONS
A student will not sit for the semester examinations unless financial obligations have been met. Any student taking an AP course is expected to take the AP exam, provided they meet the course grade requirement by the end of the first semester.Any student who takes the AP exam in May is exempt from taking the final exam on the subject. If a student is absent for an exam, a doctor’s note must be presented before the exam may be taken. All exams must be completed by that exam month (i.e. January/June). The student’s exam grade will be calculated as a 0.0 after that time.

EXAM PROTOCOL DRESS

DRESS: Students are to be in uniform. – NO BLAZERS OR HOODIES.

CLASSROOM:  No books, backpacks or pocketbooks are to be at the student’s desk.  These items must be placed in the front of the classroom during the exam.

Students may leave the room only in case of emergency. The exam will be taken and completed under the Academic Dean’s supervision.

Absolutely no cell phone, iPad or technological device is to be brought to the student’s desk. If a cell phone or any such item is discovered, it will be confiscated and the student will be dismissed from the exam, given a grade of 0.0 and suspended from school after a meeting with parents and the Academic Dean/Dean of Student Life. The student will not be allowed to retake the exam.

EXEMPTION POLICY
Students need the experience of being able to put together a whole body of material which has been learned over a period of time.  Therefore, all students, except Seniors, will take semester exams in January and June. Seniors may be exempt from an exam in June if they have maintained a 3.5 average for the four quarters.

EXTRA CREDIT POLICY
Students must fulfill the requirements of any course offered at S.D.A. Extra credit work may not be substituted for stated requirements nor used to compensate for failure.

ACADEMIC PROGRESS 
Students’ academic progress is available on PowerSchool, parents may login to their account to review grades at any time and are encouraged to do so regularly.   At the midpoint of each marking period, Guidance Counselors will contact family of students who have a 0.5, 1.0 or a 1.5. At the completion of each marking period, Guidance Counselors will call parents of any students who have a 0.5, 1.0, or 1.5, to schedule a conference.   Any student, who has a yearly average of 1.0 or lower, at the completion of the third marking period, will receive notification in writing from the Academic Dean. Parents are also encouraged to regularly check student progress on PowerSchool. Ultimately, the responsibility for failure lies with the student.  Students in danger of failing for the year will be notified in writing by the Academic Dean at the start of the fourth marking period.

TUTORING

Teachers demonstrate their concern for the individual student as well as their passion for their subject matter by making themselves available for tutoring outside of class hours. Private tutoring is not recommended, however, if a student is being tutored privately, that teacher should be in conversation with the primary teacher through the student’s Guidance Counselor.

Students who are in need of extra help in any subject area should plan to come before school, remain after school or avail of the Teacher Help Hours in between, to secure assistance from the teacher.  A student may secure additional help from the tutorial program of the National Honor Society. The student is responsible to avail herself of these opportunities for further help.

CLASS RANK
Due to the rigorous academic demands at Saint Dominic Academy, rank is not computed.

HOMEWORK

Each major subject teacher is entitled to give assignments consuming as much home time as the teacher feels is warranted.  Long range assignments are given in order to teach the student how to budget time and to delve more deeply into the subject matter.  Consistent work is encouraged. Homework includes written assignments, reading, research, review of class notes and study. Students should be engaged in homework approximately 2/12 to 3 hours each school night.

Students in grades seven and eight should be engaged in homework approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours each school night.

TEXTBOOKS
Students are held responsible for all textbooks issued to them and they are responsible for keeping textbooks in good condition. All books must be returned at the end of the year. If a student loses a book she will be charged the full cost of the book to replace it. The student’s name and book number must be printed on the inside cover. Textbooks are to be neatly covered at all times. Spot checks will be made during the year. If a second book (or books) is necessary for home use, for medical reasons or other reason they will be provided by the school, if available, or purchased online from sources such as amazon.com. or barnesandnoble.com.  Textbooks (new and used) from these providers can generally be purchased less expensively, with prompt delivery.  

 

VIRTUAL SCHOOL DAY

Overview:

In the event that Saint Dominic Academy is closed for more than ONE consecutive school day, the following implementation plan will go into place, so that students/teachers do not lose a day of instruction.  

Possible Types of Assignments:

In the event we are out of school for 2 consecutive days consider some of the following assignments for work MAY BE GIVEN:

  1. Type I or Type II Writing (all content areas) responding to a question, statement, or quote posed by the teacher.
  2. Type I or Type II Writing (all content areas) responding to a media clip, video, or article reading sent by the teacher.
  3. SAT Review questions, problems, readings (English and Math areas)
  4. Practice or sample AP tests via website links sent by the teacher. The College Board has links to sample tests that can be taken by students.
  5. Continued reading, writing, questions and answers as would have taken place within the day’s classroom setting, provided students have the necessary textbooks/materials at home.

Duration of Assignment:

  1. Each assignment should take students between 25-30 minutes to complete, thus ensuring that the student is engaged for most of the day.
  2. Assignments will be, approximately, 30 minutes long as students will be getting assignments in each class area