Academic Policies

Academic Integrity

In accepting the privilege of a college preparatory education, students bear the responsibility to use this opportunity with care, submitting themselves to the rigors of intellectual discipline. This responsibility also involves certain ethical demands regarding academic integrity.

At the heart of this ethic is the value of intellectual life: ideas are important, and the exchange of ideas is the central and cherished activity of the academic enterprise. One assumes responsibility for one’s own ideas and is entitled to credit for the hard work by which original thought is produced. While learning is its own reward, academic recognition (in the form of grades and honors) is awarded in proportion to the quality of one’s work.

The following are examples of behaviors contradictory to this ethic, are forms of intellectual theft, and will not be condoned, tolerated, or overlooked at Saint Joseph Academy:

All of these activities are considered serious violations of academic integrity. They are grounds for both academic and disciplinary penalties. Any student suspected of cheating will be referred to the Asst. Principal for Student Affairs or the Dean of the Middle Division.

By accepting enrollment at Saint Joseph Academy, each student promises as a matter of personal honor to act at all times in accordance with these standards of academic integrity. Each year the student renews this promise in writing.


Technology Acceptable Use Policy


Saint Joseph Academy's computer facilities provide excellent opportunities to explore and use a varied and exciting set of educational resources including computer programs and access to the Internet.  
The school recognizes that the Internet's greatest strength, largely unregulated and unregulatable access to virtually limitless sources of information, also poses a hazard. Some Internet sites contain materials that are sexually explicit, offensive, or contrary to the school’s educational mission. Saint Joseph Academy attempts to limit access to sexually explicit websites through the use of so-called “filters,” but these measures cannot be guaranteed to be effective in deterring an individual who is intent on accessing such sites. The school does provide supervision wherever computers are in use, but the student bears primary responsibility for using the school’s computer facilities for appropriate means only.

Specific expectations of students who use or access Saint Joseph Academy's computers:


• No person will deliberately or willfully cause damage to computer equipment or software or assist others in doing the same.

• No person will deliberately access sexually explicit or other educationally inappropriate materials or show others how to do the same.

• No person will re-post personal communications without the original author’s prior consent.  Messages in a public forum (e.g. newsgroups or list serves) may be copied in subsequent communications with proper attribution to the author.

• Anonymity and impersonation are not permitted. Users must use their own real names; pseudonyms are not allowed.

• For reasons of personal safety, no person should reveal his/her own or anyone else’s personal address or phone number.

• Each person will use language appropriate to the educational setting, avoiding offensive or profane language.

• All school rules as listed in the Student and Parent Handbook apply to the use of technology.

• Each person will respect the rights of others to the privacy of the files they store on a computer or a disk and will not view those files without the owner's permission or alter or damage such files.

• Each person will respect and uphold copyright laws.

• Each person will follow any regulations posted in the computer facility he/she is using.

• Each person will follow the directions of the adult in charge of the computer facility.

• Failure to meet any of these expectations may result in revocation of the student's permission to use the school’s computers and/or other disciplinary action.

Success in Studies

The responsibility for school success lies principally with the student. Students must be well organized, keeping aware of and abreast with the short-term and long-term requirements of each of their courses.

In order to be achieving at full potential, a student should be dedicating a minimum of two hours every school day to home study. Completing the next day’s homework assignments may comprise only a part of that two-hour period of study. The balance of time should be spent reviewing for upcoming tests, preparing extended assignments, and working on long-term projects. In this sense, there are always at least two hours of homework to be done.


EDLINE

EDLINE is the electronic communication system for students, parents, and school. Email through the EDLINE system will be the primary means of communication from school to families throughout the year; therefore, all students and parents are required to maintain active EDLINE accounts. Students and parents may check EDLINE for information about a student’s classes. Weekly lesson plans and current grades are posted regularly. All parents are strongly urged to activate their individual EDLINE accounts promptly in order to receive communications from the school by email.


Master Notebook System

As part of its mission as a college-preparatory school, Saint Joseph Academy strives to provide its students with the organizational and study skills necessary for success at all academic levels. As a part of that effort, the Master Notebook System is used in all classes in grades seven and eight. This system is designed to help students learn to organize their notes and other schoolwork so that they will be prepared for class and enabled to study efficiently for tests and semester examinations. The papers for all of a student’s classes will be consolidated into two binders, one for the morning classes and another for the afternoon classes. Maintenance of the notebooks in good order is an important part of the student’s academic responsibility.


Student Planner

The Student Planner, which is sold through our on-campus bookstore, is required in grades 7 – 11 and optional in grade 12. As a part of developing good study habits, students are expected to use the Student Planner daily to record information about assignments, due dates, and upcoming tests.


Assignment of Courses

During the third quarter, the Dean of Academics initiates procedures by which students are assigned courses for the upcoming school year. Students and parents are advised to attend the appropriate grade level course selection meeting to consult with administrators and guidance counselors and select courses for the upcoming year.

Honors and Advanced Placement Courses. Saint Joseph Academy is proud of its rigorous curriculum in the arts and sciences and offers opportunities for students who seek advanced study through our Advanced Placement and Honors courses. Placement in an Honors or AP course is based on the student’s academic history, teacher recommendations, and departmental approval. Students not currently enrolled in an Honors level course but who would like to be considered for such placement may apply through their current subject area teachers. Applications for Honors and Advanced Placement classes require parent approval. Once the application has been submitted, the request will be reviewed by the school administration, and a decision about placement will be made. Because of the increased difficulty of Honors and Advanced Placement courses, semester grades are weighted as follows: Advanced Placement: 1.10; Honors & Dual Enrollment: 1.05.


Grading

Numeric grades on a 100-point scale are used. The minimum passing grade is 70. To pass a course, a student must earn a minimum of 70 as the final grade in that subject. The highest grade which a student may receive for a quarterly, semester, or yearly course grade is 100.

A grade, whether a test grade or a report card grade, may be contested by a student, parent, or legal guardian only within five days of the scheduled distribution of report cards.

EDLINE. Student’s grades are posted regularly to EDLINE, which can be accessed through the school’s website. All new students and parents receive EDLINE access codes at the beginning of the school year. Returning students keep the same access code each year. Students and parents are advised to check EDLINE regularly to keep up with students’ progress in their courses.

Progress Reports. In the middle of each quarter, progress report grades will be posted to EDLINE to make parents aware of a student’s academic status and notify both parents and students of possible deficiencies in a student’s work or subject mastery. If a student’s progress report indicates that the student is failing a course, the progress report will also be mailed to the parent. Because it is possible that a student may perform satisfactorily up to the middle of the quarter in a subject, but may do poorly in the second half of the same quarter, a progress report grade does not guarantee a passing grade in a course for the quarter.

Report Cards. Report cards are issued four times each year. The first report card is issued following the first nine-week quarter. The second nine-week quarter is followed by the first semester examinations. The second report card lists the results of the second quarter and the semester examination; it also lists the semester grade for the first semester. The third report card is issued following the third nine-week quarter. The final report card lists the results of the fourth quarter and the semester examination; it likewise lists the semester grade for the second semester and the final grade for the year.

Semester Grades. Semester grades are derived as follows:

If no semester examination is given, the semester grade is the average of the two-quarters.

Final Grades. For full-year courses, final grades are the average of the two-semester grades. For one-semester courses, the semester grade and the final grade are identical.

Course Weighting. Courses are weighted as follows:


ABSENCES

Absences present an impediment to academic success, resulting in lost instruction and missed work. While absences due to illness or emergencies are understandable, avoidable absences should not occur.  Absence during Semester and Final Exam(s): Absences during semester exams are not permitted. Exams missed due to an absence may be given a grade of “0”.

Missed Work. Primary responsibility for work missed during an absence rests with the student.  Students are responsible for knowing and adhering to each teacher’s policies on absences for tests, absences on days when tests are announced, and on work missed. During an absence, students should check EDLINE or contact classmates to learn of assignments that have been given. All missed work must be made up within the time set by the teacher. If a student desires special arrangements with a teacher regarding deadlines for missed work, etc. it is the student’s responsibility to request such arrangements. Teachers, at their convenience, may assist students in making up missed work.


Academic Honors

Quarterly Honors. Honor Roll students are recognized at the quarterly Principal’s Breakfast. First Honors are awarded to students who in a given quarter have earned a grade of 90 or higher in every course. Second Honors are awarded to students with a minimum quarterly average of 90 and who have no course grade below and 85. In the case of Honors, Advanced Placement, and Dual Enrollment courses, the weighted quarterly grade is used to determine First and Second Honors.

Annual Honors. In the fourth quarter, an Awards Assembly is held to recognize distinguished academic performance. A gold medal of excellence is presented to the student in each grade with the highest average for the year; a silver medal is presented to the second-ranked student in each grade. Students who have earned honor roll membership in two of the three completed quarters are also recognized.

Graduation Honors. At graduation, the class valedictorian and salutatorian are honored. To qualify for this honor, a student must have attended Saint Joseph Academy for the entirety of sophomore, junior and senior years. The valedictorian is the student with the highest cumulative average in the class; the salutatorian is the student with the second-highest cumulative average in the class. The ranking of these students is determined on the basis of all courses taken during the four years of high school, up to and including the third quarter of senior year.


Transfer Credit

Acceptance of Credit: Upon occasion, new Upper Division students will enter Saint Joseph Academy having taken courses for high school credit while they were in the 7th or 8th grade. In order to ensure that all of our Upper Division students have the solid foundation necessary for academic success, Saint Joseph Academy reserves the right to withhold credit for high school courses taken at another junior high school and require that students re-enroll in those courses at Saint Joseph Academy, if it is deemed that the student would benefit from this course of action. Such decisions will be made by the school administration, in consultation with the appropriate department chairperson.

Assignment of Grades: Appropriate credit will be recorded on the Saint Joseph Academy permanent record for any student who enrolls after his/her first semester. Grades transferred as numeric values from accredited schools in the United States will be accepted at face value. Grades transferred as “passing” will be awarded credit, but these grades will not be used in determining the student’s cumulative average or class rank. Grades transferred as letter grades will be assigned numeric values as follows:

The following will be used to assign values to grades earned in the Mexican school system:


Academic Eligibility

Interscholastic activities: Participation in interscholastic activities is governed by the rules of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.

  1. To be eligible for participation, a student must currently carry 7.0 credits.
  2. Two failing grades in a single quarter render a student ineligible.
  3. Eligibility is determined on the day report cards are issued or at the beginning of the tenth day after report cards are issued with the approval of the Administration.
  4. Ineligible students may attend scheduled practices but may not participate in any competition until eligibility has been restored.
  5. An ineligible student remains ineligible until the next progress report or on the tenth day following the date the next progress reports are issued; if the progress report indicates that the student is failing no more than one of the courses which had rendered him/her ineligible, eligibility is restored.
  6. If eligibility is not restored at the time of the progress report, it will be reviewed at the next report card (see 2 and 3 above).
  7. Passing summer school courses may remove a student’s ineligible status incurred during the previous school year. Eligibility would begin ten days following the date report cards are issued.

Other extra-curricular activities: Participation in other extra-curricular activities will be governed by the same rules as interscholastic activities with the exclusion of Missions and other service and spiritual growth activities sponsored by campus ministry. Due to our school’s commitment to religious and moral formation, eligibility for participation in these activities will be subject to the discretion of the administration.


Tutoring Program

After-School Tutoring Program. Saint Joseph Academy provides students the opportunity to receive subject-specific tutoring by faculty members for a reasonable per-session rate. Tutoring services are available after school Monday through Thursday. Students or parents who are interested in the tutoring program may contact the Program Coordinator for further information.


Academic Probation

The Dean of Academics, in consultation with the Administrative team, may place a student on academic probation. The parent or guardian will be notified of the student’s probationary status and the conditions attached to it. If the student fails to meet the conditions of the probation during the specified time, the student will be required to withdraw from school.

A student who gives evidence of consistently poor performance during the school year -- as reflected, for example, in quarterly grades -- and whose performance gives little indication of probable improvement, may, in the student’s best interest, be asked to withdraw from Saint Joseph Academy.


Academic Failures

A student who fails one or two full-year courses (or the equivalent) must successfully complete these courses in summer school before being readmitted in the fall. A student who fails more than two full-year courses (or the equivalent) may not return to Saint Joseph Academy for the next school year.


Summer School

Students who fail one or two courses for the year may be given the opportunity to successfully complete that course in summer school, thereby making possible their continued enrollment in Saint Joseph Academy. Students needing summer school are required to take those courses at Saint Joseph Academy. Only when a summer school course is not offered at the Academy is a student allowed to take it elsewhere. Saint Joseph Academy will only recognize and accept for credit those summer school courses pre-authorized for that particular student by the Dean of Academics. Note: To ensure a firm foundation in mathematics, seventh-grade students who fail Pre-Algebra and eighth-grade students who fail Algebra I will be required to repeat the course(s) during the following school year, rather than attending summer school for this purpose. All policies, procedures, and dress code regulations are in effect during summer school.


Shortage of Credits

Students are required to make satisfactory progress toward graduation in order to remain enrolled in Saint Joseph Academy. If students are found to be short of the number of credits for graduation, either because they have failed a course or because they have transferred to Saint Joseph Academy, it is their responsibility to make arrangements to make up the loss of credit either through a summer program or by other arrangement such as a correspondence course. Such arrangements must be made with the approval of the Dean of Academics. A student may make up only a total of 2 credits in this manner.


Incompletes

A student may be assigned an incomplete grade at the end of a marking period. Normally this is done when the student has been unavoidably out of school due to illness or unable to complete school work due to some unusual circumstance. School policy requires that students make up incompletes within the first two weeks of the next marking period. If the student does not make up the incomplete within the time allowed, the missing work will be assigned a grade of zero, and the course grade will be averaged accordingly. Any exception to this rule must be approved by the Principal.


Release of Student Information

Release of Student Grades: Saint Joseph Academy will send to colleges, scholarship programs, and other entities an official transcript of the student’s courses, as well as the grades received in those courses, only with the written permission of the parent. By signing the Student/Parent Handbook Contract, parents give their consent for Saint Joseph Academy to release and/or share grades, class rank, and other information about their son/daughter with colleges and/or their representatives. It is understood that this information, relevant to the college admissions and/or scholarship application process, is to be used solely for educational planning and placement purposes.

In accordance with Texas State law, neither parents nor students may deliver an official transcript. Regulations require that official transcripts be sent directly from the school. However, parents and/or students may deliver unofficial transcripts. Seniors pay a College Application Processing Fee of $25.00, which covers the cost of all official and unofficial transcripts. For underclassmen, the processing fees are $5.00 for each official transcript and $3.00 for each unofficial transcript.

Release of College Entrance Test Scores and AP Test Scores: Recent changes in the policies of testing agencies such as the College Board and ACT, Inc. allow students the option of withholding SAT, ACT and/or AP Test scores from colleges and/or electing to send only selected scores. In accordance with this change, Saint Joseph Academy will not send SAT, ACT, or AP scores to colleges as a part of the student’s official transcript unless requested to do so in writing by the student. Students applying to college will have the following options for submitting test scores:

  1. For the many colleges and universities that require scores be sent directly from the testing agency, it is the responsibility of the student to ensure the required scores are sent to colleges. Students may send scores at no charge at the time they register for the test. After that, there is a fee that will be charged by the testing agency for each college to which scores are sent. Since colleges look for the highest test scores, students are advised to take advantage of the option to send scores to colleges and universities when they register for the test.
  2. In order to accommodate students applying to colleges which continue to accept scores reported on an official transcript, Saint Joseph Academy will submit them upon request. If a student wishes his/her test scores to be sent as a part of the transcript, the student must request this option in writing at the time the transcript is ordered. The student will understand that in selecting this option, he/she is authorizing Saint Joseph Academy to send all SAT, ACT, and/or AP scores that have been reported to the school. The student will not be given the option of requesting the school to submit only selected scores.

Release of Disciplinary Information to Colleges: Students and parents understand that teacher and counselor recommendations are confidential documents and waive access to them during the application process. It is the policy of the school, as a member of the National Association of College Admission Counseling, to inform colleges, if requested to do so, of serious disciplinary matters which result in probation, out-of-school suspension, or dismissal from Saint Joseph Academy. It is the student’s obligation to be honest with the college counselor and with the colleges to which the student is applying if serious incidents of academic or behavioral misconduct exist.


Graduation

Diplomas are only granted to those students who have successfully completed the graduation requirements of Saint Joseph Academy. If a senior is short of the requirements at the time of graduation, the student will be allowed to participate in the commencement exercise, but will not receive a signed diploma until such time as the necessary credits have been completed.


Learning Center

In order to be successful in their post-secondary studies, students must be independent learners. The mission of Saint Joseph Academy’s Learning Center is to help students with learning differences develop skills in self-motivation, with emphasis on setting goals, taking risks, monitoring performance, making adjustments, when necessary, and assuming personal responsibility. The Learning Center provides college preparatory support services which encourage students to use individual strengths to improve academic performance. Reasonable classroom accommodations are offered to students with diagnosed learning differences who meet the guidelines set by Saint Joseph Academy.