Academic Guidelines and Procedures

ACADEMIC YEAR 2016-17
The academic school year at The Bolles School is divided into two semesters of two quarters each. Ends of Interims and Quarters are:

End of First Quarter Interim:

September 16, 2016

End of First Quarter:

October 20, 2016

End of Second Quarter Interim:

November 18, 2016

End of Second Quarter:

January 13, 2017

End of Third Quarter Interim:

February 17, 2017

End of Third Quarter:

March 16, 2017

End of Fourth Quarter Interim:

April 28, 2017

End of Fourth Quarter:

May 26, 2017

Grades are available through My BackPack with a password each interim and quarter. The dates for report card access online are:

First Interim:

September 22, 2016

First Quarter:

October 31, 2016

Second Interim:

November 29, 2016

Second Quarter (including First Semester):

February 1, 2017

Third Interim:

February 24, 2017

Third Quarter:

March 31,2017

Fourth Interim:

May 4, 2017

Fourth Quarter (including Second Semester):

June 13, 2017

First semester exams will be given during the week of January 17-20, 2017. Students in grades 6-8 will have exams May 30-June 2, 2016, with makeup exams on June 6, 2017.

ACADEMIC BANQUET
Each year, the top scholars in each grade are honored at an Academic Banquet. The top 10% of each grade is invited based on Grade Point Average computed at the end of the third quarter. Students are invited to this event by mail. Invitation is based strictly on academic achievement. No other factors are considered.

ACADEMIC HONORS
Students achieving First and Second Academic Honors during a quarterly report period receive certain privileges:

1. First Honors is determined as follows:

Taking 5 Major Academics:

Taking 4 Major Academics:

3 courses minimum A-

3 courses minimum A-

2 courses minimum B

1 course minimum B

No grade below B

No grade below B

2. Second Honors is determined as follows:

Taking 5 Major Academics:

Taking 4 Major Academics:

3 courses minimum B

3 courses minimum B

2 courses minimum B–

1 course minimum B–

No grade below B–

No grade below B–


ACADEMIC LOAD Bolles Middle School seeks to recognize outstanding students in many ways. Following are explanations of some of the awards given:

1. STUDENT OF THE DAY—Student of the Day is given from time to time a student who exhibits a simple act of kindness, courtesy and consideration. Nominations are made by any student or faculty member.

2. PRESIDENT’S LIST— The purpose of the President’s List is to recognize students who have, in the preceding quarter, made significant contributions above and beyond the level of performance expected of the Bolles student to create a positive impact in the Bolles community or greater Jacksonville community at large. Students are nominated for this award by teachers, club and class sponsors, or fellow classmates. There is no minimum or maximum number given each quarter. A committee of administrators and advisors then makes recommendations to the Head of the Middle School for his approval. The awards are presented at convocations, and a letter is sent home to announce the student’s selection.

3. HONORS—First and Second Honors are given based entirely on academic achievement. No other factors are considered. A full explanation is above.

5. AWARDS DAY—Each year in the spring, numerous awards are given to various students. There are two basic types of awards given. Academic Awards are given in each discipline and are chosen by the members of each department based on grades, attitude, and interest shown in the subject. Recognition awards are given for outstanding contributions in a variety of areas and are nominated by faculty. Parents of award winners are invited by phone or email.

EXAMINATIONS
Semester examination schedules are posted one month in advance. Students are responsible for knowing their schedule. If a family emergency necessitates rescheduling of an examination, the middle school Head should be contacted immediately to make other arrangements. Buses will operate on their regular schedule during exam week.

GRADES
The academic grading system is determined on a letter basis as follows:
A Excellent
B Good
C Satisfactory
D Poor
F Fail

Credit is given only for a grade of C- or better. Students who receive a grade below C- for the year will be required to attend summer school. Students who receive more than one grade below C- for the year may be withdrawn from school. Number grades are not reported. The use of a plus (+) or minus (–) designation will help to determine more exactly the degree of progress. HOMEWORK Homework serves an important role in the educational process. Homework is generally designed to be done outside of class time and independent of teacher assistance, although Zero Hour is an ideal opportunity to seek help for difficulties encountered when completing homework. Homework may be assigned for many purposes, including: pre-reading or previewing content to be discussed in class; investigation, reinforcement, or expansion of course material presented in class or in readings; long-term projects requiring planning and consistency; and reviewing for assessments. Homework assignments for the sixth grade average 15 to 20 minutes per class per evening. Seventh and eighth grade assignments range from 20 to 30 minutes per class per evening. Regular homework is not assigned over the Winter or Spring Break holidays, although a long-term assignment may be due after a break but with the assumption that students have had ample time to complete the assignment before the break. All teachers provide exam review guides before the Winter holiday to be used at the student’s discretion. A normal one night’s worth of homework is the guideline for other holiday breaks during the year. Students who miss work for religious holidays should follow the guidelines for Class Attendance on page 9 in the Handbook.

Teachers provide information about homework expectations and guidelines as a part of the Parent Night presentations in the fall. Parents are encouraged to attend this important informational evening, or may contact the student’s advisor or teacher(s) at any point during the year if questions or concerns arise in reference to student homework policies.

SCHOOL POLICY ON PARTICIPATION
Several areas of student activity place great demands on a student’s time. While it is the philosophy of the School to encourage such involvement, a student who represents Bolles on an athletic field, in a performance, or in other activities must first satisfy the academic demands of the School. Participation in either extracurricular or interscholastic art, athletic, and academic performances and competitions requires attendance in at least half of the student’s classes on the day of the event with no unexcused absences. Academic obligations (i.e. tests, papers, etc.) must also be fulfilled.

Students’ grades are monitored with regard to continued participation at the end of each grading period. At four weeks into each academic quarter, all grades are reviewed. Any student with two Ds or one F is placed on participation warning. Participation in the activity may continue, but warning status alerts the student, the family, the advisor, and the coach or sponsor that potential exists for the student to lose the privilege of participation in contests or performances for a period of four weeks and that determination will be made at the end of each quarter. A student who is placed on participation restriction at the end of a quarter will remain on that restriction until the student’s grades improve appropriately, as measured by subsequent interim or quarter grades. Participation status for the first four weeks of the second semester is based upon first semester grades.

The list of those students who have not met the above standards for participation and are therefore unable to participate becomes official seven calendar days after grades are distributed to students. Any student who wishes to make an appeal concerning his participation status must do so within a week of this date or remain unable to participate in contests or performances for the remainder of the four week period. Appeals must be made in writing to the Head of the Middle School and include statements from the student, coach or sponsor, and the student’s advisor.

The student may be asked to make a personal appearance before the committee that reviews such appeals and/or produce other supporting material such as weekly progress reports or comments from teachers. Coaches or activity sponsors may, of course, establish their own policies regarding the level of participation of students relative to their academic performance if these are consistent with the above stated policy.

SCHEDULE COURSE CHANGES
Schedules will be mailed to students in August, preceding the opening of School. Occasionally, schedule changes are needed. Students needing changes should obtain a Schedule Change Form from their advisor and should turn it back in to the office when completed.

After the opening of School, students should do the following concerning a schedule change: consult the teacher of the course involved for recommendations and suggestions; consult your advisor for information concerning alternatives; and bring the request to the Middle School Office. Schedule changes can only be made by the Middle School Office after the proper authorization is obtained.

Schedule changes are not made to accommodate personalities, personal preferences, or other non-educational reasons. Parents may not request specific teachers either before or after schedules are developed. However, parents may request, when possible, that their child not have the same teacher in the same subject area in successive years. In such cases, the replacement teacher will be based upon the student’s schedule and space availability, not by parental request.

TUTORING
Many opportunities exist during the school day for a student to receive additional help for academic concerns. Regular use of Zero Hour and Activities Period can meet the needs of most students. In addition, other appointments with teachers may be possible at mutually agreeable times. If students avail themselves of these opportunities, it should be possible to avoid the expense of hiring a tutor. We believe that the teacher who teaches the course of study is the person best equipped to provide extra assistance.

Tutoring outside normal classroom and extra help arrangements should be viewed as a temporary measure designed to address a specific situation, not as a long term substitute for appropriate course placement or responsible student effort. If the services of a tutor are deemed necessary, professional considerations do not allow Bolles faculty to receive extra compensation to tutor students who are currently enrolled in their class, nor should teachers be expected to offer tutoring during the school day.

Of primary importance is close communication among parents, student, teachers, advisor, and tutors. Students benefit most from extra help if it is consistent with the expectations and standards of their regular courses. It is vital, therefore, that a Bolles teacher be made aware that his or her student is being tutored outside of class. If a tutor is hired for any reason, please notify the advisor, who will facilitate cooperative interaction between the School and the tutor.

ZERO HOUR
Zero Hour is a daily program of special help before regular classes each academic day. The block of time from 8 - 8:40 a.m. provides an opportunity for immediate help in any subject area, an uninterrupted and “sacred” block of time for academic assistance and/or individual research. Additionally, Zero Hour offers parents an excellent opportunity to meet with a teacher or advisor in order to solve a problem together. All teachers will be in their classrooms to meet with students at 8 a.m. Until the first bell rings at 8:40, all students must be in either the cafeteria, one of their classrooms or the library. They may not gather in other areas. Additional time to meet with teachers will be available each day during Activities Period.



Copyright The Bolles School 2015

Co-ed Day and Boarding College Preparatory School from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12

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