Academic Policy


  1. A course that emphasizes high levels of thinking and involves a more in-depth study of the subject matter.
  2. An advanced level course that may (or may not) use a college-level text and pre-supposes foundation in a given subject.

Currently, there are eleven such courses.

  1. Advanced Placement English
  2. Advanced Placement Spanish
  3. Advanced Placement Calculus AB
  4. Advanced Placement Biology
  5. Advanced Placement Chemistry
  6. Advanced Placement U.S. History
  7. Advanced Placement U.S. Government
  8. Advanced Placement Psychology
  9. Advanced Placement Art History
  10. Anatomy and Physiology Honors
  11. Pre-Calculus Honors


  1. Any student taking an A.P. course is required to take the A.P. exam.
  2. An additional $90 per course is added to the tuition of students taking AP courses in order to cover the cost of the required national examination.

Admission to an Advanced Placement, Honors or IB course is based on superior academic achievement and requires the recommendation and approval of the academic department.

All courses will receive a 4.0 as the highest possible grade. The grade will then be converted to quality points. The final semester grade in each subject will be multiplied by 1.2 for an advanced placement course, 1.1 for an honor course, and 1.0 for a regular course.

Grade Quality Points
Advanced Placement Course 4.0 (x 1.3) 5.2
Honors Course 4.0 (x 1.1) 4.4
Regular Course 4.0 (x 1.0) 4.


The school reserves the right to drop any course in which a sufficient number of students is not enrolled. The Guidance counselor has the authority to make an adjustment of subject choice. Some course selections require signatures of approval from Department Chairperson and Guidance Counselors.

Course changes requested by the student after scheduling has begun depend on available space and require parental approval. Payment of $20 change-of-registration fee is required after the close of the registration period. All schedule changes must be approved by the guidance department and signed by a parent.

Students are encouraged to take a long-range view of their course options in light of college choices and career interests. Academic planning takes place with close consultation with the student, parents, and guidance counselors.

The Saint Dominic Academy Honor Code was promulgated during the 2001-02 academic year at the initiation of the student body and remains in effect. A copy of the full document has been separately circulated. It calls for commitment to the values of respect, pride and honor and for the defense of these values through appropriate review by the Honor Council when these values appear to have been violated by a member of the school community.

It calls for each individual: to maintain the integrity of the learning and testing process, both within and outside the classroom; to honor the work, possessions and ideas of others; and to show to one another the respect that each person deserves. Three faculty members and two administrators are members of the Honor Council, along with three students from each class year.

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 three calendar weeks of the close of the marking period. This is a mutual responsibility of teacher and student. Mid-way through each marking period progress reports will be available on line to parents. Report cards will be on-line at the end of each making period. Dates when report card and progress reports 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. Upon request, in November and April there is an opportunity for a scheduled parent-teacher conference. Parents will be notified of the finalized conference time In November and February there is an opportunity for a scheduled parent-teacher conference. Upon request, conferences will be scheduled and parents will be notified of the finalized conference time. 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.


 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.


  • 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.

First and Second Honors are given to recognize outstanding achievement in academics. First and Second Honors are announced semi-annually at the end of each term. 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 3.25 in major subjects and without failures in all other subjects.

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.

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.

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 Vice Principal for appropriate disciplinary action, which may include suspension.

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 parent and student each year; any student whose parent has not signed the agreement is excluded from access to the Computer Lab or computers in the Media Center.

Any student taking an AP course is required to take the AP Exam.

EXAM PROTOCOL DRESS: Students are to be in uniform. – NO BLAZERS OR HOODI

CLASSROOM: No books, backpacks, pocketbooks are to be at the student’s desk. These items must be placed in the front of the classroom during the exam. You may leave the room only in case of emergency. Absolutely no cell phone, I-Pod 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 and suspended from school after a meeting with parents and the Vice-Principal. The student will not be allowed to retake the exam.

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, freshmen will take semester exams in January and June. Sophomores, juniors and seniors may be exempt from an exam in June if they have maintained a 3.5 average for the four quarters. Students who take semester/quarter courses may be exempt in January/June if they have maintained a 3.5 average for the semester.

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.

Progress reports are posted to Edline, our online parent/student interface, continuously during the marking. Parents and students can review current grades as well as specific course and school information.

The student’s cumulative average establishes her rank-in-class. She may learn her class rank by consulting her Guidance Counselor at the beginning of the senior year.

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.

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 may be purchased on-line from sources such as or Textbooks (new and used) from these providers can generally be purchased less expensively, with prompt delivery.