Academic Guidelines and Procedures

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 15, 2017

End of First Quarter:

October 17, 2017

End of Second Quarter Interim:

November 17, 2017

End of Second Quarter:

January 16, 2018

End of Third Quarter Interim:

February 9, 2018

End of Third Quarter:

March 15, 2018

End of Fourth Quarter Interim:

April 20, 2018

End of Fourth Quarter:

May 25, 2018


Grades are available through My BackPack with a password each interim and quarter. Reviewing grades with your child regularly can often alleviate later problems. The dates for report card access online are TBA.

First semester exams will be given December 13-15, 2017. Second semester exams for seniors will be given May 21-24, 2018. Students in grades 9-11 will have exams May 29-June 1, 2018, with makeup exams on June 4, 2018.

Students honored at the Academic Banquet in the spring are those who are in the top 10% of each grade level, 9-12, based on the weighted grade point average computed at the end of the third quarter. In the senior year, students who have maintained a cumulative top 10% rank are also honored.

The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) requires student athletes meet specific academic standards at the conclusion of each semester of high school. Failure to meet these standards at the end of any semester of high school results in a student's ineligibility for the subsequent semester. The School will use the FHSAA standards to determine a student's eligibility status twice a year, at the completion of each semester. Students who are ineligible by FHSAA standards following semester review will not be allowed to represent the School in interscholastic athletic competition for the entire subsequent semester. Student athletes who have satisfied FHSAA Academic Eligibility standards must also maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to represent the School in interscholastic competition.

Bolles recognizes students' academic achievement in a number of ways. One of these is the designation of First and Second Honors. Students qualify for this recognition based upon quarter grades according to the following criteria:

First Honors:
Taking 4 or 5 academic courses:
4 grades minimum A- in Academic courses
No grade below B in any course

Taking 6 academic courses:
4 grades minimum A- in Academic courses
1 Honors or AP course B-
No other grade below B in any course

Second Honors:
Taking 4 academics:
All courses minimum B

Taking 5 academics:
1 academic course minimum B-
All others minimum B
Taking 6 academics:
1 Honors/AP course may be a B-
1 other academic course may be a B-
All other courses must be minimum B

The following are not considered academic courses: Driver's Education, Life Management, Turris, Bugle, Physical Education and any pass/fail course. A grade below a "B" in these courses will disqualify a student from Honors recognition.

The normal academic load for students in grades 9-11 consists of seven classes, which may include physical education and/or a study hall. At least four of the courses must be academic subjects.

Seniors take five but not more than six courses each semester, four of which must be academic subjects. Seniors are capped at six courses to provide ample time both to meet with their college counselor and to devote time to college applications. It is also important for seniors to learn how to manage unstructured time prior to enrolling in college.

This pattern ensures both appropriate structure in earlier grade levels and optimum flexibility for seniors, leading to the breadth and depth of study which are necessary for sound college preparation.

The Advanced Placement Program of the College Board gives students the opportunity to pursue college-level studies while still in secondary school and possibly to receive advanced placement and/or credit upon entering college. The program currently provides courses and examinations in the following areas: biology, chemistry, physics, modern European history, American history, American government and politics, comparative government and politics, calculus, statistics, computer science, English language and English literature, French, Latin, Spanish, portfolio art, and art history.

An AP course is a college-level learning experience. It is challenging and thought-provoking and compared to other high school courses, it takes more time, requires more work, and gives greater depth. Recommendation by the current year's teacher, level of student's motivation, and test scores are used in the screening process to ensure that students are well suited for completing college-level course work and are enrolling for sound educational reasons. The Program is administered through the Educational Testing Service (ETS), an independent, nonprofit agency in Princeton, New Jersey.

AP examinations are administered in May. The current fee for each examination is $92 (subject to change according to College Board). In early July the grades are sent to the students, their designated colleges, and their schools.

Advanced Placement Testing for 2018: TBA. View the AP calendar on the AP website.

Awards such as those presented at the end of the year are determined by criteria set in each academic department. Service awards are given for participation in various school and community projects. While seeking to recognize students for their accomplishments, a pattern of inappropriate behavior, Honor Court convictions, or disciplinary concerns may affect granting of awards and recognition.

The School recommends that faculty cooperate among departments so that the daily testing load on students is reasonable. While every attempt is made to rotate the days of major tests, there can be no guarantee that a student may have only a certain number of tests on any given day. When inevitable variations in the schedule occur because of holidays, special school programs, or unexpected class cancellations, teachers will generally give students sufficient advance notice as to changes in the testing schedule. Homework, quizzes, and class presentations can, of course, be scheduled at any time. If a student has a concern about his or her schedule of tests, he or she should contact the advisor, department chair, or Head of Upper School/San Jose Campus.

(Units Awarded for Courses in Grades 9-12)*
English: 4
Fine and Performing Arts: 1
Language - Two credits of the same language: 2
Mathematics - Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry: 3
Life Management Skills: 1/2
Physical Education/Fitness: 1
Sciences - Biology, Chemistry, and one additional Science: 3
Social Studies - World History, U.S. History, and one additional credit: 3
Additional electives: 4 1/2

*Students entering from other schools will have their transcripts evaluated to see what courses are equivalent to our requirements and what needs to be taken to complete the requirements listed above.


Semester examination schedules are posted well in advance. Students are responsible for knowing their schedule. Students should plan their departure from Bolles to allow for exam week. Early exams compromise the testing situation and are allowed only for official school absences. If necessary, make-up exams will be scheduled following the regularly scheduled exam time slot. Students who fail to take an examination at the scheduled time for any reason other than documented illness or with the prior approval of the Academic Office may face the consequence of not being permitted to make up the exam and could receive a grade of "incomplete" in the course. There may be an administration fee required for taking make-up examinations.

For computing cumulative G.P.A., Honors courses and Advanced Placement courses are assigned an intermediate or a maximum weight respectively. Therefore, students taking Honors and/or Advanced Placement courses are compensated for the additional work and difficulty involved in their programs.


Letter Grade
Honors Advanced Placement
A+ 12 13.5 15
A 11 12.5 14
A- 10
11.5 13
B+ 9 10.5
B 8 9.5
B- 7 8.5 10
C+ 6
7.5 9

For the class of 2018, as is the standing policy, students taking more than 5 academic classes in a semester will receive a three-point bonus for each additional academic course. Beginning with the class of 2019, students taking more than 5 academic classes in a semester will receive a three-point bonus for the first additional academic course only.

A student may take a maximum of 7 academic courses in a semester. The bonus points are used in computing cumulative G.P.A. Certain courses are not computed in G.P.A.: Physical Education/Fitness, sports, Turris, Life Management, Driver Education, Office Assistant, Literature and Composition, and English as a Second Language.


The Bolles School utilizes an alpha system of grade reporting, (A, B, C, D, F). The minimum college certifying grade is C-. The use of plus (+) or minus (-) more clearly defines the specific level of achievement attained. Students who receive an incomplete in a course have two weeks from the end of the grading period to make up the work. Failure to do so may result in a failing grade in the course.

If a student receives a year-end average of C- or below in an English course, he or she will be required to attend and pass Summer Session to receive credit toward graduation. It may be possible to make up credits in other disciplines for classes in which a student receives a year-end average of C- or below.

Bolles does not post grades from previous schools attended to the Bolles transcript, nor do those courses compute into the Bolles G.P.A. A notation is made on the Bolles transcript showing previous school(s) attended. When applications are made to college, a copy of a transcript from a previous school is attached if it shows credits required for graduation.

To qualify for graduation and a Bolles diploma, a student must be in full-time attendance for his or her entire senior year. A senior must take and pass at least four academic subjects and one other course during each semester, regardless of the total number of credits previously earned. Successful completion of a course requires taking the semester examination (except when a senior is exempt from an exam). It is the student's responsibility to make sure he/she is properly enrolled in the correct courses. A senior who is deficient in one subject, meaning the final average was below C-, may make up the deficiency during the summer, thereby qualifying for graduation at the end of the credit completion. Please refer to Diploma Requirements above.

Homework serves an important role in the educational process. 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 regular courses average about 2 ½ hours per week, per class. A typical daily assignment will average about 30 minutes. Honors and Advanced Placement courses usually require significantly longer. Regular homework is not assigned over the Winter or Spring Break holidays, although a long-term assignment may be due after a break 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 homework guidelines for Anticipated Absences.

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 and 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.

A committee composed of administrators, teachers, advisors, and college counselors participates in the selection process for membership of the National Honor Society. Students must have met all four criteria of scholarship, character, leadership, and service. Extensive discussion and research from faculty who teach those being considered are the focus of the process. Students become eligible for consideration during the junior year. In the senior year, additional students who meet the four criteria are selected. Following the tapping of those chosen in the second semester, students are inducted at an evening candlelight ceremony. Bolles' Alpha Chapter of the National Honor Society was chartered in 1944.


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 any other activity must first satisfy the academic demands of the School. Participation in either extracurricular or interscholastic art, athletic, and academic performances, practices 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 the day grades are distributed or he or she will remain unable to participate in contests or performances for the remainder of the four week period. Appeals must be made in writing to the academic dean 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.

1. Each student in grades 9-11 will be scheduled for 7 courses.
In all cases, at least 4 of the courses must categorized as academic. Seniors are required to schedule a minimum of 5 classes each semester, 4 of which must be academic, and must pass all classes during their senior year in order to graduate. This pattern ensures optimum flexibility for breadth and depth, both of which are necessary for sound comprehensive college preparation.

2. English must be taken each year. A student with a final average below C- is required to repeat English in summer school in order to advance to the next grade.

3. Mathematics is required in grades 7-11, and is strongly encouraged in grade 12. Florida Universities require 4 years of mathematics for admission, beginning with Algebra I.

4. At least two levels of one language is required. Many colleges require more than two years of a language; therefore, we encourage additional study.

5. Three years of science is required. Biology, Chemistry, and one other science. It is recommended that students complete a third year of lab science.

6. World History, U.S. History, and one other social studies elective are required in grades 9-11. At least one academic elective credit in social studies is encouraged in the senior year.

7. One credit in Fine Arts is required. This may be taken as two semester courses or one full year course.

8. One credit of Physical Education/Fitness is required. Life Management Skills is required for one semester, typically in grade 9.

9. Re-enrollment and promotion to the next grade is determined using final grades in each course. A grade of C- or better is considered passing. Successful completion of a course requires taking the semester examination (except when a senior is exempt from an exam). In some cases failure in a single course may be made up during the summer, but each student's academic status is evaluated individually with respect to re-enrollment.

10. All subjects are graded on a scale of A-F, except for Office Aide which is Pass/Fail.

11. Minimum enrollment for a course has been established at 10. Enrollment of fewer students may result in cancellation of the course.

12. Special fees: Driver Education requires a fee, billed during the semester in which a student is registered.

13. Certain courses are labeled HONORS or ADVANCED PLACEMENT. These courses are accelerated or college level courses designed for the highly qualified and ambitious student. Enrollment in most of these courses requires recommendation of the department.

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 at large. Students are nominated for this award by teachers, club and class sponsors, or fellow classmates. A committee of administrators and advisors then makes recommendations to the president for his approval. The awards are presented at convocations, and a letter is sent home to announce the student's selection.

The preparation of a student's academic schedule is a very important undertaking and presents a number of opportunities for consultation among student, family, advisor, and academic office. We urge your careful consideration of the requirements and options and strongly recommend a plan that outlines the entire high school career well in advance. Please refer to the curriculum guide for specific information and do not hesitate to ask for assistance.

Our commitment to small, balanced classes means that requests for individual teachers or specific periods cannot be accommodated.

1. Course Changes
Schedules are mailed to students prior to the opening of school in August. In the event of a conflict or obvious error, students should call the Registrar's Office immediately. If the schedule requires a class or level change, students should call the Academic Office.

Once school begins, students should contact their advisor for all schedule changes. See the following Drop/Add guidelines.

Schedule changes cannot be made for non-educational reasons. Students and or parents should not request specific teachers or attempt to resolve temporary personal conflicts by changing classes.

2. Drop/Add
When a valid reason exists for a schedule change, there are guidelines based on the timing of the request.

a. Students who receive authorization for a class change from the advisor and all teachers involved may initiate a schedule change during the first week of the semester for semester courses and during the first two weeks of the semester for a year-long course. New classes may not be added after these deadlines.

b. Level changes may be made without petition up until the end of the first interim. Students who petition to move from an Honors or AP class to a regular section may make such a change at any time, but the transcript will reflect enrollment in the regular section and there will be no special weight assigned in the computation of grade point average for students who do not complete the semester in the Honors or AP class.

c. All requests for schedule changes after these deadlines require a formal petition.

d. If a petition is approved for a student to drop a class after the first interim for a semester course or after the first quarter of a year-long course, the transcript will reflect WP or WF (Withdrawn Passing or Withdrawn Failing), and the student will not be eligible for first or second honors during that term.

Note a "W", indicating that a student has withdrawn from the course, is not used in the computation of grade point average. Courses taken from other institutions do not count toward the calculation of grade point average.


1. In-School Testing:

PSAT for sophomores and juniors: Wednesday, October 11, 2017.
Juniors: Periods 1 - 4; Sophomores: Periods 5 - 8.
Results of the PSAT are returned to Bolles in late December or early January, depending on when they are received and analyzed. Both sophomores and juniors will receive these test results as a group.

Junior Guidance Testing:
The Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are used in the college placement process and will be administered on Junior Days which will be scheduled for January 2018.

2. Saturday Testing: Tests for which Bolles serves as a testing site and testing for college admissions. Bolles' High School Code for both SAT and ACT is 100745. Registration booklets may be obtained from the Williams Guidance Center. All registration is done by the testing agencies and not by The Bolles School. Bolles has no authority in the placement of test candidates at testing sites. Early registration is encouraged as our Test Center fills quickly.

View testing dates and registration information on the College Board website.

View testing dates and registration information on the ACT website.

Juniors are encouraged to take the SAT Reasoning Test in the spring, usually beginning in March. A conference with his or her college counselor (assigned in early February) is advised regarding the number of opportunities of which a student should take advantage and what SAT Subject Area Tests should be taken, if any.

OTHER TESTING INFORMATION: TOEFL TEST (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
The Test of English as a Foreign Language is for our international students. Bolles is not a testing site for this test. International students in grades 11 and 12 will want to consult with an international advisor regarding the TOEFL. Materials for registration may be obtained from our College Counseling Office.

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 need to work 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. Non-Bolles tutors may not tutor Bolles students on campus without prior permission from the Campus Head. Any approved tutors must complete the appropriate pre-employment requirements through the Human Resources Office.

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.

Traditionally, Bolles honors a valedictorian and salutatorian of each graduating class based upon the cumulative weighted grade point average through the third quarter. A student must have attended Bolles for three consecutive years (6 semesters) in order to be considered for these honors. The School may choose to honor more than one top scholar and designate co-valedictorians or co-salutatorians if GPAs are equivalent.

Zero Hour is a daily program of special help before regular classes each academic day. The block of time from 8 - 8:30 a.m. provides an opportunity for immediate help in any subject area, an uninterrupted block of time for academic assistance and/or individual research. Additionally, Zero Hour offers a parent an excellent opportunity to meet with a teacher or counselor in order to solve a problem together. All campus facilities are open for student use at 8 a.m., including the Student Center for light breakfast and the Library for research and/or study.

Copyright The Bolles School 2015

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

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