Scheduling Policies & Procedures
St. Joseph's Catholic School (SJCS) is fully accredited by Cognia/AdvancEd (formerly the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges) and is a member of the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA).
To receive an SJCS diploma, students must take and complete twenty-five and one-half (25.5) credits which include:
Students will not be allowed to schedule more than one study hall per semester. St. Joseph’s recommends that students take a full slate of academic classes every year to take full advantage of our college preparatory curriculum. Colleges and universities often consider the strength of schedule as an important indicator of student success and motivation.
All students must take either the SAT or the ACT (by the start of the spring semester of their senior year) and apply to at least one college or university as part of their graduation requirements.
2. Math credits must come from the list of courses that satisfy the requirements identified in this catalog. Most colleges require students to take a Math course every year in high school.
3. Students are required to take 4 credits in History, including a full credit in U.S. History and half-credit each in Government and Economics. The History Department’s curriculum reflects this course of study.
4. Many colleges and universities now require 3 years of the same World Language.
5. PE credit may be earned by taking an SJCS class or participating in an SJCS team sport. Each season played at either the JV or Varsity level while in grades 9-12 earns .5 credits. If the requirement is not fulfilled by the end of 1st semester senior year, students will be placed in a PE class.
6. Credits earned beyond the minimum requirements listed in each subject area will fulfill the Additional Credit requirement.
7. Some colleges require 4 years of Lab Science. SJCS requires 3 Lab Science credits that include Biology, Chemistry, and 1 other full year Lab Science class.
College Board School Code: 410902
SJCS offers a full-service College Counseling Office that is available to help students with course scheduling, college selection, college applications, standardized testing, and transcripts. Students and parents are introduced to the services provided by the College Counseling Office as freshmen, with formal and individualized services beginning in the second semester of the junior year. Upperclassmen should see their counselors regularly as they begin to make their college selections.
Grading and Promotion Requirements
SJCS uses a numerical grading scale ranging from 0-100 that is reflective of our college preparatory curriculum. Each course is graded on the 100-point scale, with the grades from all courses averaged together at the end of each academic year to calculate the Cumulative Weighted GPA. Advanced courses are weighted with an additional 3 points for courses at the Honors level and 7 points for Advanced Placement courses. The weighted scores are ONLY used in calculating the GPA and are not reflected in individual course grades. SJCS employs the Uniform Grading Policy required by South Carolina UGP GPA for all in-state scholarships, including Palmetto Fellows, Life Scholarships, and Hope Scholarships.
St. Joseph’s Catholic School is a college preparatory school. As such, one of our primary academic goals is to ensure students are prepared for college-level work. Our students demonstrate that readiness by achieving a mastery score of 70 or better in all classes required for graduation. Any student with a score between 60 and 69 in a class required for graduation is required to complete a St. Joseph's program of subject-specific remediation as determined by individual departments. The original average earned in the class will still be recorded on the transcript. For freshmen, sophomores and juniors, remediation must be completed by the end of summer in order for students to progress to the subsequent grade level. For seniors, remediation must be completed in order for students to receive a diploma from St. Joseph’s Catholic School. Students who earn 59 or below in a course required for graduation must retake the course either through an approved summer school program or at St. Joseph’s Catholic School the following year. Courses retaken through an approved summer program will show on the transcript but are not calculated into the GPA.
A semester average of 90 or above in each class is required for placement on the High Honor Roll, and an 85 or above is required for the Honor Roll.
Pass/Fail grades and grades earned in high school courses during the middle school years are not included in the Cumulative Weighted GPA.
Dual Department Courses
For some courses, credit can be earned in different departments, e.g. Modern Dance can be counted for either PE or Fine Arts credit. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the Registrar which school requirement one of these courses is intended to satisfy.
Course Scheduling Process
- Grade Level Meetings will be held in February to distribute information and detailed instructions regarding the course scheduling process.
- Students will make their course requests for classes through Family Portal in FACTS in mid-February.
- Students should determine their eligibility for courses based upon prerequisites in the Course Catalog.
- Sophomores and Juniors will meet with a College Counselor to review their selections after they have been made. A Student Support Counselor will meet with 8th and 9th graders in group meetings during the school day. Individual meetings with parents of 8th and 9th graders are also available.
- All appeals must be submitted no later than the meeting between the student and their counselor
- All Honors and AP course requests will be reviewed by department chairs and/or teachers for final approval.
Course Scheduling Conferences
Current Sophomores and Juniors should schedule a meeting with a College Counselor to review their course requests and make any necessary changes. Completed Course Appeal Request Forms must be submitted at this meeting. A Student Support Counselor will review the course request process with current 8th graders and Freshmen in one of their classrooms. Students are free to schedule an appointment with a counselor if they choose. However, 8th graders and Freshmen with Course Appeal Request forms must meet with a Student Support Counselor and bring their completed forms with them.
Schedule Change Policies
When a student chooses his/her courses, the student is making a commitment to that proposed schedule. The master schedule of courses takes requests into account, so every student request impacts the available options for other students. Therefore, once students have completed their course requests, schedule changes are not generally made. Class schedule changes for legitimate reasons can be made in accordance with the following:
- Each semester there is a designated Add/Drop window for courses beginning that semester. Students seeking to make a change should consult with the College Counseling Office and the instructor. Full-year courses cannot be modified at the second semester and switching between sections of the same course at the semester change is not permitted. Students seeking to take advantage of the Add/Drop should begin with the College Counseling office. After Add/Drop, course changes are possible only after the completion of a Placement Review. Placement Reviews can occur in one of the two following ways:
- Teachers who believe a student is misplaced may request a Placement Review by the department chairperson or the Academic Dean. This includes a review of the student’s performance in the course as well as a meeting with the student and their parents. With parental and department approval, the student may enroll in a lower level of the same course (for example, from the Honors Algebra II to CP Algebra II). Students may not enroll in an entirely different course after Add/Drop. A “W” will be recorded on the student transcript. Placement Reviews can extend until three school days past the release of the first quarter progress reports.
- Students and/or their parents who wish to enroll in a lower level course (see above) may request a Placement Review by the specific teacher. If approved, a “W” will be recorded on the student transcript. Placement Reviews can extend until three school days past the release of the first quarter progress reports. Other scheduling requirements noted in the Handbook remain in effect.
- If the request for Placement Review is initiated by the students and/or their parents, changes will not take effect until the beginning of the following quarter.
- Students who have appealed into a course are not eligible to request a Placement Review.
Course Appeal Request
Course placement will be determined by successful completion of a prerequisite course and achieving a minimum grade average in a previous class. The prerequisites for each course can be found in the Course Catalog. Students may petition to appeal course placement, in which case they must bring their Appeal Form to their meeting with a College Counselor or a Student Support Counselor, depending on the grade level, to discuss enrollment in a higher-level course. Students’ online course requests will be reviewed by faculty in each department, who will determine if the request is appropriate, and placement will be made accordingly. Department chairpersons or their designees may request a meeting with the student and their parents before approving an Appeal. Students seeking placement into Honors or AP courses must perform exceptionally well in the subject (or prerequisite subjects); they must demonstrate a strong work ethic and show a passion for the subject. Be aware that the class will move at a brisk pace and that significant additional work on your part may be necessary to ensure your success. Course Appeal Requests are not a guarantee for admittance into a course. All courses are subject to class size and scheduling conflicts. The High School Director will make the final decision as to whether or not a student’s appeal is approved.
The Appeal Process follows:
- Obtain a Course Appeal Request Form available from the Registrar.
- Appeal forms must be submitted at the time of the course scheduling meeting with your College Counselor (current sophomores and juniors) or your Student Support Counselor (current eighth graders and freshmen.) Appeal forms received after this meeting will not be considered.
- Students are limited to 2 Course Appeal Requests per school year.
- The High School Director will make a final decision.
- Taking two core classes in the same subject area at the Honors or AP Level automatically requires a Course Appeal Request.
Auditing a Class
St. Joseph’s does not permit students to audit classes.
High School Credit for Eighth Grade Courses
Credits for high school courses taken during middle school are only awarded in the subject areas of Math and World Language. In regards to these courses, students must meet the following requirements to be placed in the next level and receive credit in the related discipline. While credit will be awarded for these classes and appear on the high school transcript, the grade will not factor into the student’s high school GPA.
All students seeking credit for a high school course taken before matriculation into ninth grade must take St. Joseph’s subject specific placement tests. St. Joseph’s Middle School students will take the tests as part of their regular Algebra and/or World Language curriculum.
Course Placement for 9th Grade Students
All other incoming students will take placement tests on one of the specified testing days in the late spring before the start of their ninth-grade year. For all students, St. Joseph’s will consider the following in determining placement:
- Final report card grades as part of their application packet. (In most cases, a minimum score of 77 is required for a student to move on in the course of study.)
- Subject-specific teacher recommendations addressing the student’s readiness to advance to the next level course in the department.
- Placement test results.
SJCS students in Algebra I A will have the option of taking a placement test at the end of the year. If they pass the test they will receive high school credit and a “P” on their transcript for Algebra I. SJCS students in Algebra I B who pass the course will receive a grade and high school credit on their transcript for Algebra I. In either case, the grade will not be calculated into the student’s GPA.
Course Placement for High School Transfer Students
Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors must take placement exams in World Language and Math classes to ensure accurate placement. The results of the SJCS placement exam cannot be overturned.
If a student takes the World Language placement test and places in a level beyond the first year and they have not actually taken the class, they can either begin at the higher level with no credit issued for earlier levels or they can opt to start at the lower level.
Courses Offered Outside St. Joseph’s
For students enrolled at SJCS, no credit will be issued for courses taken outside of SJCS, with the exception of courses that are retaken through an approved summer program as a result of a failed grade (59 or below). As such, they do not appear on the transcript and should be considered the equivalent of an outside-the-school extracurricular activity. All courses necessary for graduation from SJCS must be taken at the high school. Students are not permitted to alter their course requirements within St. Joseph’s in order to take coursework outside the school. Students wishing to enroll in the Fine Arts Center during their senior year may be granted a schedule modification at the discretion of the High School Director in conjunction with the College Counseling Office, but all graduation requirements remain in place. Other policies regarding coursework and graduation requirements also remain in effect. Enrolling in the FAC must be worked out with SJCS teachers to ensure student schedules are not negatively impacted. Students must be enrolled in at least 4 credit hours during the school day at SJCS.
Students who have to take an Incomplete have 2 weeks from the date report cards are issued to contact the teacher and begin working to resolve the Incomplete. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the teacher and to work with him/her to set up a workable 2 week schedule for the remaining assignments. It is in the student’s best interests to finish the Incomplete within 2 weeks, so contacting the teacher should be done at the earliest possible opportunity. When the Incomplete is not resolved, the student will take a 0 for the assignment. In the case of ongoing illness, injury, or extenuating circumstances, contact the Dean of Student Support to create a work plan for resolving Incomplete work in a timely manner.
Summer School for Failed Courses
Students who have received a 59 or below in an academic course may repeat this class in a pre-approved summer school program or may repeat the class at SJCS the following school year. The Dean of Student Support must approve a summer school program in advance. Credit for approved summer school courses will be accepted by St. Joseph’s and the grade will appear on the transcript, but the grade will not be factored into the high school student’s GPA. The original grade earned in the St. Joseph’s course will remain on the transcript and be factored into the GPA. If the course is repeated at SJCS the higher grade will be factored into the GPA. Any theology course in which a student receives a 59 or below must be made up at St. Joseph’s Catholic School. Information on summer school is available from the Dean of Student Support. All summer coursework must be completed prior to the start of the fall semester or the student will be required to retake the course that school year.
Advanced Placement (AP) Courses and Exams
Any SJCS student enrolled in an AP course is required to take the AP exam given in May. Depending upon space and availability, students who did not enroll in an AP course may be permitted to take the AP exam depending on teacher recommendation as well as the reason the student was not in the AP class. Non-AP enrolled students, if they are permitted to take the exam, will do so under the homeschool code. The cost of this exam will be billed to the student’s account and must be paid by March 31st.
Summer coursework in an AP class is necessary to ensure that students progress through the curriculum at a pace that ensures they are thoroughly prepared to succeed on the AP exam. Students who fail to complete summer assignments prior to the fall semester due date will automatically be moved to a lower level class based on availability. Alternative arrangements may be made with students who have enrolled at St. Joseph’s after July 15.
All students are expected to participate in minimester by signing up for and participating in a faculty-led minimester offering. While not graded, high school students do receive .25 academic credits for minimester, and these are counted in each student’s earned Additional credits.
- Though a course may be listed in the catalog, student interest and instructor availability are the determining factors in whether or not a course will be scheduled in a given academic year.
- It is recommended that SJCS families look at the High School portion of the 7-year course of study (available on the Academics tab on the school website) to see possible course sequences and elective options.