SSIS Link Handbook Compendium DA Student Handbooks 03 HS Section 4: Academic Policies and Information SSIS Graduation Requirements

SSIS Graduation Requirements

    SSIS graduation requirements are designed to meet accreditation standards and minimum university entrance requirements. To be eligible for high school graduation, a student must:

    •  Earn a minimum of 24 semester credits over four years in grades 9 through 12.

    •  Complete at least eight semesters of high school in grades 9 through 12 (therefore no student may graduate “early”).

    •  Not attend high school for more than four years. Should a student not meet graduation requirements at the end of four years, students will receive a Certificate of Attendance. In certain cases, transfer students may be allowed to graduate with five years of study on their HS transcript.

    More detailed requirements for an SSIS Diploma are

    Academic Discipline Required Credits
    English 4 -­ must include one core English course at each grade level
    Mathematics 3 -­ must include Geometry and Algebra II
    Science 3 -­ must include at least one science course in grades 11 or 12
    Social Studies 3 -­ must include at least one Social Science
    Modern World Language/ESL course in grades 11 or 12
    Health and Physical Education 2 -­ two consecutive years in the same language
    Fine Arts 2 -­ must include core PE/Health classes
    TOTAL 24

    Note that 1.0 credit equals a year­long HS course.

    Credit Exception

    In exceptional circumstances, one or more semesters of attendance may be waived as well as requirements for Fine Arts, World Language and Physical Education/Health. This would only occur in situations where a student comes to SSIS in Grade 11 and 12 and it is simply not possible for them to schedule the required courses due to IB or other requirements, and it would cause long term educational disadvantage. In such cases, the high school principal will solicit input from parents, the counselor, faculty, and any other relevant sources, but is solely responsible for the final decision.

    Students must take core classes at SSIS to fulfill credit requirements. If scheduling conflicts prevent this, then the student may then be allowed to take an approved online course while under the supervision of an SSIS faculty member (see relevant guidelines).

    Grade Level Placement

    1.  Grade placement and graduation are totally dependent upon the accumulated credits earned during high school.

    2.  Students who successfully complete the British IGSCE examinations or an equivalent examination system may receive two credits for each examination up to a maximum of 12 credits and be placed in grade 11.

    3.  Before a student is “officially” accepted for enrollment, all high school records, (or middle school records for grade 9 applicants), must be submitted to the Office of Admission and will be reviewed by the principal. Students will be placed into a grade level in accordance with the following credit requirements:

    Grade 9 (Freshmen)-­in general, students who have earned fewer than six (6) high school credits.

    Grade 10 (Sophomores)-­in general, students who have earned six (6) or more high school credits.

    Grade 11 (Juniors)-­in general, students who have earned twelve (12) or more high school credits.

    Grade 12 (Seniors)-­in general, students who have earned eighteen (18) or more high school credits.

    Promotion in Grades 9-­12

    Permitting advancement in a subject without an understanding of the foundational concepts is counterproductive. In many subjects, success in mastering the content of one year is frequently dependent upon successful completion of the previous year’s work.

    The credibility of the SSIS High School Diploma, student success in IB/AP courses, and acceptance by universities worldwide is dependent upon our maintenance of high standards. The following promotion procedures, awarded on a course-by-course basis, have been developed to ensure that these standards are consistent.

    •  Course credit will be granted to students who achieve a final score of D-­or above. No credit will be awarded for a final grade of F. If credit for a required course is not earned, students must repeat the course as a part of graduation requirements.

    •  As a general rule, the availability of an alternative course may permit students to move into the subsequent year without earning course credit in the previous year’s course. The final decision to permit advancement will be made by the high school principal in consultation with the parent, counselor, and subject teacher.

    •  In general, a grade of C or above is the minimum prerequisite to move to the next course in sequence. While SSIS credit is earned for a C-­, D+, D, D­, those grades are generally not sufficient for advancement in courses that depend on a requisite foundation for continued success in that subject (e.g.  Mathematics, Modern World Languages.) See the 2016-17 HS Program of Studies for more information related to course prerequisites.

    •  Should a student be minimally passing a class in a subject area and because of it is not recommended by their current teacher for a course for the following school year, the teacher will make this recommendation to the high school counselor prior to the start of the school year in August. The final decision to permit advancement will be made by the high school principal in consultation with the parent, counselor, and subject teacher.

    Achievement is Reported Using an A-­F Scale

    Achievement Level Descriptor
    A+(Excellent) A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them almost faultlessly in a wide variety of situations. There is consistent evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate. The student consistently demonstrates originality and insight and always produces work of high quality.
    A, A-­(Very Good) A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a wide variety of situations. There is consistent evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate. The student generally demonstrates originality and insight.
    B+, B(Good) A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a variety of situations. The student generally shows evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate and occasionally demonstrates originality and insight.
    B-­ (Satisfactory to Good)

    A consistent and good understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a variety of situations. The student usually shows evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate and occasionally

    demonstrates originality and insight.
    C+(Satisfactory) A good general understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them effectively in normal situations. There is occasional evidence of the skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
    C(Mediocre) Limited achievement against most of the objectives, or clear difficulties in some areas. The student demonstrates some understanding of the required knowledge and skills and is only able to apply them fully in normal situations with support.
    C-­(Poor) Limited achievement against most of the objectives. The student has difficulty in understanding the required knowledge and skills, and is unable to apply them fully in normal situations, even with support.
    D+, D, D-­ (Very poor) Minimal achievement in terms of the objectives.
    F (Failure) Has not met the objectives for the course. Will not be promoted to the next level in Math, Science, or World Language until course credit in failed course is earned.

    Grading Scale and Reporting of Student Progress

    High school students at SSIS are graded on the following scale:

    Equivalent (GPA) value
    Percentage Grade Point
    A+ 96.5 -­100.00  4.33
    A 92.5 -­96.49  4.00
    A-- 89.5 -­92.49  3.67
    B+ 86.5 -­89.49  3.33
    B 82.5 -­86.49  3.00
    B-- 79.5 -­82.49  2.67
    C+ 76.5 -­79.49  2.33
    C 72.5 -­76.49  2.00
    C-- 69.5 -­72.49  1.67
    D+ 66.5 -­69.49  1.33
    D 62.5 -­66.49  1.00
    D-- 59.5 -­62.49  0.67
    F < 59.5  0.00

    To calculate the grade point average (GPA), add the numerical equivalent of each letter grade earned and divide by the total number of grades issued.

    In cases where health, or other administration-­approved, circumstances have prevented a student from completing required coursework prior to grade reporting, the student will be given an “INC” grade (Incomplete). Student grade records will be amended only after the work has been submitted by an agreed-­upon deadline. A similar circumstance may occur when a student has withdrawn after a period of time. In this case, a “W” grade will be reported on the report card as “WP” (Withdraw Passing) or “WF” (Withdraw Failing).

    Grade Change Procedures

    At times a grade may be entered or determined incorrectly and a quarter or semester grade may need to be changed. Because of the importance attached to grading, the following procedure is followed to provide for accuracy and security.

    1.  A Grade Change Form needs to be completed by student or teacher (available from one of the counselors or located on the school website or Moodle).

    2.  Once the Grade Change Form is completed and approved, the grade will be changed in PowerSchool by an administrator or one of the high school counselors.

    3.  The Grade Change Form will be filed in the Guidance Office.


    The revised Program of Studies Handbook for the following academic year is posted and available online to parents and families prior to course registration each school year. Students are asked to choose their courses for the following year after engaging in discussion with their teachers, counselor, parents, and the IB and AP Coordinators as appropriate.

    Please note: While every attempt is made to give each SSIS high school student all of their desired courses/schedules, this may not always be possible. Unavoidable schedule conflicts and full classes may be realities that prevent students from getting their first choice of courses. In these cases, the high school counselors will meet with students to discuss other options.

    During the second semester of each year, or upon acceptance to SSIS, students receive a Program of Studies Handbook and are asked to choose courses for both semesters of the next school year. During the registration process, teachers and counselors will offer advice as to which courses are appropriate based upon each student’s ability, performance and future plans. Final decisions on courses approved remains the prerogative of the high school administration in consultation with the student, their parents, the counselors, and the appropriate department head or faculty member.

    Class Load

    Grade 9 and 10 students must be enrolled in seven courses each semester in addition to Study Hall. Grade 11 and 12 students should ordinarily be enrolled in seven academic courses. While it is rarely recommended or beneficial, in very unusual cases a student may request permission from the high school to take eight courses. A waiver request form is available from the counseling office in this case. Students are not permitted to enroll in more than one Study Hall block per semester.

    In general, course changes will be considered the exception rather than the rule. Therefore, students should plan their courses carefully, bearing in mind that their choices will have an impact on the building of the master schedule and that their initial choices may make changes impossible.

    Schedule Changes

    SSIS students must remain in their assigned courses for the first day of the school year. This allows the high school counselors to focus on assisting students who are new to SSIS.  Returning students who have a schedule problem should go the the HS Guidance Office after school, during break or at lunch to meet with their counselor. 

    Students are expected to remain in all requested courses unless the placement is clearly inappropriate. In this event, the high school counselor will work with students and families to provide counseling on other choices. Requests to add, delete, or change a course must be made to the counselor by the end of the 1st full rotation cycle of classes.  All requests must be for educationally sound reasons and approved by the student’s counselor.

    Students who feel a change is required should discuss the issue with the teachers of both classes (the one being dropped and the one newly joined) and the counselor. If it is agreed that a change is appropriate, an “add/drop” form will be completed by the counselor and given to the student. The student must turn in any books or materials from the dropped class to the book room. Once both teachers have signed the form, the form must be returned to the HS Guidance Office before the change is made. Changes to a schedule can only be made by the student’s counselor and must be reflected in PowerSchool. The high school principal will make the decision on class changes in the event that consensus on a schedule change cannot be made.

    Changes After the Add/Drop Period

    Students may drop or change a class beyond the end of the first full rotation of classes at no penalty under the following circumstances and with counselor approval:

    •  If a teacher recommends a change in level (e.g., Spanish 3 to Spanish 2 or 4).

    •  If the High School Support Team (HSST) recommends that a student drop a course and add a support class (e.g. ELD, Learning Strategies, Study Hall).

    •  Generally, students who withdraw from a course beyond the 6th full week of school will have a semester average grade of “F” recorded. Only in exceptional cases (e.g. hospitalization), and with approval from the high school principal, is a student allowed to withdraw from a course beyond the sixth week for the semester with a Withdraw Pass (WP) or Withdraw Fail (WF).

    Course Override

    If a student, in consultation with their parents, wishes to “override” a teacher recommendation for a course, the student must see their high school counselor in order to review the process and pick up the appropriate form for documentation in the high school office. The high school administration reserves the right to review the request and withhold approval.

    Mid-­Quarter Updates

    Mid-­quarter Updates (also referred to as progress reports) are posted to PowerSchool to the individual accounts of parents of all High School students near the end of the fifth week of the first quarter, and may be posted at each mid-­quarter thereafter in the following situations:

    1.  Students in danger of earning a C-­or below

    2.  Students suffering a significantly negative change of grade

    3.  Other teacher concerns

    4.  A significant improvement in a grade

    5.  If a student is on academic probation

    6.  A student beginning school during that quarter for the first time

    These reports provide students and parents with notification of achievement in time to improve a grade before report cards are sent home. Information and parent account access codes for PowerSchool and Moodle will be given during the first few weeks of school during new student orientation, and/or sent home prior to our first reporting period.

    Report Cards

    Report cards are issued to students at the end of each quarter. Letter grades for academic achievement are given in the High School.

    There are two reporting periods during each semester, quarters 1 and 2 for the first semester and quarters 3 and 4 for the second semester.  There are final examinations for most courses at the end of each semester.  Final semester grades are calculated by adding each together each quarter at 40% and final exam grade at 20%.  For example, the final first semester grade is calculated by adding quarter 1 (40%), quarter 2 (40%) and final exam (20%).  If there is not a final exam in a given class, each quarter will have an equal weight of 50% when calculating the semester grade.

    Mid-­term or final exams are required for all courses in core subjects (Mathematics, Social Science, English, Science, and Modern World Language). Non-­core classes are not required to have these culminating exams (but may) and so for these classes, 100% of the semester grade may be based on the coursework for that semester only.

    Reporting Procedures

    Electronic copies of report cards are issued throughout the year at the end of the 1st quarter (October), 1st semester (December), 3rd quarter (March), and 2nd semester (June).

    Teachers may also contact parents by email or telephone to report on student achievement or to inform parents of changes in student progress. Parents are also encouraged to contact teachers, should they have any questions or concerns regarding student progress or welfare at school.

    Back-­To-­School Night (Curriculum Night)

    Early in the school year, a Back-­To-­School Night is held to introduce parents to their child’s teachers, classrooms, and the program of studies. The Back-­To-­School Night is an opportunity for parents to see their child’s learning environment, understand teacher expectations, and gather strategies to help ensure a successful year. All parents are encouraged to attend this important event.

    The date of this event is shown on the HS Google calendar, and shared via email and eNews. 

    Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences (Fall & Spring)

    Parent participation in conferences is highly encouraged as it gives students an opportunity to reflect jointly with parents and teachers on successes and achievements in the classroom. Additionally it provides a forum to discuss any concerns in the class along with strategies to address those concerns. Conferences also provide an excellent venue to establish goals for the remainder of the year. It is important for at least one parent of the student to attend these conferences to accomplish the above.

    Parent/Student/Teacher conferences are scheduled in both semester one and semester two.  The dates of these events are shown on the HS Google calendar, and shared via email and eNews.  Additional conferences can be scheduled at the request of parents or teachers any time during the school year through the individual teacher or the counseling office.

    Letters of Academic Concern and Academic Probation

    To be in good academic standing, SSIS high school students must meet the school’s minimum academic standard. Although SSIS will provide help and guidance to students placed on Academic Concern and Academic Probation, students must take an active role in improving their grades to get themselves out of probation. A Learning Intervention Plan (LIP) will be drafted and implemented by the high school Student Support Team (SST) for every student placed on Academic Probation. Academic Probation is serious; if a student fails to move out of probation after two successive semesters, the student may be asked to withdraw from SSIS.

    A student is of Academic Concern/Academic Probation when earning the following grades on any official report whether hardcopy or electronic:

    •  One (1) F and/or two (2) or more D’s (whether + or -­)

    •  An overall GPA below 1.67

    When a student does not meet SSIS’s minimum academic standards on an official report (see below) for the first time, the student is placed on Academic Concern for the following quarter. A Letter of Academic Concern will be sent to the parents of the student by the high school counselor and kept in the student’s school file.

    When a student does not meet the SSIS minimum academic standards on an official report for a second consecutive quarter, the student is placed on Academic Probation for the following two quarters. A student must perform at or above the minimum standards (as indicated above) for two (2) successive quarters in order to be removed from Academic Probation.

    Students receive official reports four times a year via PowerSchool.

    When a student is placed on Academic Probation, the following actions will be taken by the school:

    1.  The student’s guidance counselor will notify parents by phone, conference, or e-­maill

    2.  Parents will receive a Letter of Academic Probation from the high school administration.

    3.  A phone or personal conference with parents, students, and counselor will be scheduled.

    During the period of Academic Probation, the school will provide help and guidance for the student. However, if over these two quarters of Academic Probation, the student continues to earn failing grades or perform below the 1.67 overall GPA level (as determined at the end of each quarter), the student may be asked to withdraw from SSIS.

    Any high school student on Academic Probation is not eligible to take part in or attend student activities that require missing school, without the express permission of the high school principal, in consultation with MS/HS Associate Principal, teachers, counselor, Athletic Director (if applicable), and parents. Students on Academic Concern may take part in student activities/athletics in accordance with the SSIS Eligibility Policy.

    Please note: In cases where students are repeatedly being placed on academic probation (in cases in which probation periods are not consecutive), the high school principal may convene a meeting with the student’s family to address this issue and determine the student’s enrolment status. Should a student be successfully taken off on Academic Probation anytime during the two quarters of this period and then be at academic risk again following the next official report, the student will be placed on Academic Probation (not Academic Concern.)


    Page last modified 09:28, 27 Oct 2016 by trho?