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Scheduling Policies & Procedures

Saint Joseph’s Catholic School (SJCS) is fully accredited by Serving and Accrediting Independent Schools (formerly Southern Assocation of Independent Schools), and is a member of the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA). 

Graduation Requirements

To receive an SJCS diploma, students must take and complete twenty-five and one-half (25.5) credits which include:

Theology 4.0


Mathematics 4.0
Science 3.0
History 4.0
World Language 3.0
Physical Education 1.0
Computer .5
Fine Arts 1.0
Additional Credit 1.0
TOTAL 25.5


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. Parents and students should balance strength of schedule considerations with extracurricular activities, outside-of-school obligations, and overall student well-being. 

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.

1. Most colleges and universities require students to take an English and Math course every year.
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. Students are required to take 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 Counseling

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 Grade Point Average (hereafter 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. Note--SJCS employs the Uniform Grading Policy required by South Carolina for all in-state scholarships, including Palmetto Fellows, Life Scholarships, and Hope Scholarships. 

SJCS 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 SJCS 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 SJCS. 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 SJCS the following year. Courses retaken through an approved summer program will show on the transcript but are not calculated into the GPA. Regardless of grade level, students who need to remediate three or more courses may not be allowed to continue on in their studies at SJCS. Additionally, SJCS students are required to complete their high school course of studies in no more than four years (not including high school credits earned in middle school).
Pass/Fail grades and grades earned in high school courses during the middle school years are not included in the GPA.

Attendance and Seat Time Recovery

SJCS believes that attendance is critical to academic success and a personal skill that students should cultivate. We recognize that absences will occur, but these should be kept to a minimum. Students missing more than 17 days of full-year class or 9 days of a semester class may not be able to receive credit for that class regardless of the final grade. Please see the Student Handbook for the full attendance policy. Students will be expected to complete 45 minutes of seat recovery time for each absence from a class period after exceeding 10 missed days or periods for any reason (or five missed days from a semester class). 
Recovery hours can be completed during the following times:

  • Designated Saturdays
  • Any after-school detention period
  • Mandatory study-help period
  • Makeup Exam periods

Students who are required to complete seat recovery time will be notified directly by the Academic Dean or Dean of Student Support.

Summer School for Failed Courses

Students who have received a 59 or below in an academic course will be required to repeat the class at SJCS the following school year. In some cases, students may have the opportunity to take the course during the summer through an outside institution. The Dean of Student Support must approve a summer school program in advance. Credit for approved summer school courses will be accepted by SJCS 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 SJCS 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 SJCS. 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.

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. 


Students who have to take an Incomplete have two weeks from the date report cards are issued to complete their coursework and MUST meet with the Dean of Student Support before credit will be issued. After meeting with the Dean of Student Support, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the teacher and to work with him/her to set up a workable schedule for the remaining assignments. In cases where an Incomplete remains unresolved, the student will receive a zero for the assignments in question. 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.

Course Scheduling Process

  • Grade Level Meetings will be held early in the second semester to distribute information and detailed instructions regarding the course scheduling process.
  • Students will make their course requests for classes through Blackbaud in February.
  • Students will only be able to register for those classes for which they meet the prerequisites.
  • All 8th through 11th grade students will meet with a counselor to discuss their requested schedule. Students wishing to appeal into advanced classes for which they have not met the criteria will do so at this meeting. A parent must sign the appeal form in all cases or be available by phone while the student is meeting with the counselor. The school may request a meeting with departmental representatives before an appeal is approved.

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 will fill out the appeal form in their meeting with their counselor. 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. School personnel will make the final decision as to whether or not a student’s appeal is approved.

The Appeal Process follows:

  • Meet with a school counselor and indicate your request for an appeal.
  • If approved, the counselor will provide an agreement for signature by the student and their parent or guardian. 
  • The counselor will process the appeal. This may include meeting with departmental personnel.
  • Students are limited to 2 Course Appeal Requests per school year. 
  • Taking two core classes in the same subject area at the Honors or AP Level automatically requires a Course Appeal Request.
  • Taking 4 or more AP classes requires a Course Appeal Request. This request does not count towards the appeal limit.
  • Students who meet the requirements for the course have scheduling priority over those who have requested the course on appeal.  

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 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 have passed the course in middle school and met other criteria identified by the school. 

Course Placement for 9th Grade Students

All incoming students seeking credit for previous coursework 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, SJCS will consider the following in determining placement:

  • Final report card grades as part of their application packet.
  • Subject-specific teacher recommendations addressing the student’s readiness to advance to the next level course in the department.
  • Placement test results as requested by the school.

8th grade SJCS students in Algebra I  who pass the course will receive a grade and high school credit on their transcript for Algebra I, but 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 classes to ensure accurate placement. Results of the placement exam will be discussed with the family, but SJCS strongly recommends that families respect the recommendation made by our faculty. 

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. Students who are advanced are still required to obtain three World Language credits in the same language.

Courses Offered Outside St. Joseph’s

For students enrolled at SJCS, no credit will be issued for courses taken at outside institutions, 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 SJCS 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 Academic Dean 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.

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. 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 SJCS 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.