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    Academic Policies

     

    Academic Credit

    Admission to Metro Academic and Classical High School is competitive and based on evidence of advanced academic achievement. A Metro High School diploma represents a level of rigor and achievement above and beyond other high schools and is recognized as such by major universities nationwide.

     Metro ‘s graduation requirements fulfill Missouri state graduation requirements for students in public schools, as well as the SLPS district requirements for graduation. Completion of Metro’s rigorous academic program also makes students eligible for the College Preparatory Studies Certificate from the State of Missouri. To be eligible for the certificate students must:

    •          Earn  a 3.0 average GPA on a 4.0 scale in the combined subject areas of English/language arts, mathematics, science and         social studies
    •          Score above the prior year’s national composite average mean on the ACT or SAT
    •         Maintain an attendance rate of at least 95 percent in grades nine through twelve and complete a strong academic program.

     

    Metro requires that all coursework be taken at Metro. Courses taken at other locations will not count as meeting the Metro graduation requirements nor will they earn high school credit, with the following exceptions.

        A.     Students who receive a semester grade of “F” in class taken at Metro must make up the class during the summer following the             academic year in which the F is earned.  Students may make up the failed course in the following way             

    1.      Attend summer school at an accredited high school and earn a grade of “C” (i.e. 70%) or higher in the class;
    2.     Enroll in Virtual School offered by St. Louis Public Schools
    3.    Complete and pass a correspondence course accredited by the State of Missouri (example, from the Center for Distance  and    Independent Learning at the University of Missouri) at the student’s expense.
    4.    Enroll, at student expense,  in Missouri Virtual Instructional Program (MO VIP)

     

       B.      Students who are unable to fit a course into their student schedule or who wish to study a subject that is not offered at Metro may,             with prior approval from the principal, enroll in one of the Missouri colleges or universities with whom St. Louis Public             Schools participates in a Dual Enrollment Program (e.g. Harris Stowe State University, St. Louis University, the University of             Missouri St. Louis, and the St. Louis Community Colleges).  Upon successful completion of courses at these institutions, students             will be eligible for both high school and college credit.

    There are a wealth of summer enrichment programs offered through colleges and universities, through other school districts and through other educational organizations, and Metro students are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities to expand their learning. However, high school credit is not awarded for participation in these programs. Students who transfer to Metro, and such transfers are permissible only during ninth and tenth grade, will  receive transfer credit consistent with the guidelines outlined in the January, 2007 Graduation Requirements for Students in Missouri Public Schools, published by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 

     Metro’s Grading System

    Student grades in each course are based, in part, on test, homework, and project scores, but they are also strongly influenced by class participation, individual student initiative, punctuality, attendance, and class preparedness. It is the student’s responsibility to be fully aware of the course requirements and grading system described in each teacher’s class policy or course outline.  Metro uses the standard 10-point percentage scale (based on 100%) for grading (100-90 = A, etc.), and has no grade of D.  Therefore, in order to pass and receive credit for any course, the entire grade (based on all of the above criteria), must fall at 70% or higher.

     Advanced Placement and Advanced College Credit Programs

    Advanced Placement (AP) courses are usually offered at Metro in Biology, Calculus, English Language, English Literature, European, World, and United States History.  Students enrolled in AP courses will receive credit toward graduation from Metro, while also earning college credit if they score a grade of 3 or higher on the AP examination provided by the Educational Testing Service. (Some colleges only accept a 4.)  There is no cost for the course; however there is a $93 cost for each examination.  See our guidance counselor or the teacher in charge of the course if you feel that you might qualify for fee reductions which can lower the cost.

     

    Dual credit courses are also offered at Metro, in the form of 1-8-1-8 courses through Saint Louis University, or Advanced College Credit courses through UMSL. These programs are intended for those students who have the ability, motivation, and maturity to begin their college education in advance of high school graduation.  Saint Louis University’s 1-8-1-8 program is restricted to juniors and seniors, and is available in higher level Spanish courses, and in Latin. UMSL’s Advanced Credit program is available in French III and IV. Both programs have grade requirements for consideration as participants, and require a fee based on (though far below) the tuition cost at either university. For these courses, you receive Metro credit, as well as college credit.

     Course Requirements for Graduation from Metro

     Metro requires a total of 25 units for graduation (one unit = one year of work; .5 unit = one semester of work), as well as satisfactory completion of the U.S. and Missouri Constitution tests. All 25 units must be earned between 9th and 12th grade.

    Included in these 25 units are the required .5 - unit courses in Art History and Music History, taken during senior year, and the .5 unit courses in English Testing and Math Testing, taken during the sophomore year.

            

                   English:                 4.5 units                 Social Studies:                  3 units

                    Math:                    4.5 units                 Science:                             4 units

                    Fine Arts:             1 unit                      Foreign Language:          2 units (of same language)

                    Phys Ed:               1 unit                      Health                                .5 unit

                    Practical Art:       1 unit, including Personal Finance .5 unit     

                    Electives:             3 units

    Students must be enrolled in seven classes per semester from 9th to 12th grade and take a minimum of one unit of Math, English, and Science every year.

    The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program

    The International Baccalaureate Organization was founded in 1968, establishing its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. This private organization offers a two-year curriculum culminating with a secondary school diploma known as the International Baccalaureate, which is based upon international standards, critical thinking skills, and reflective evaluation. Originally, this program was designed to ensure children of career diplomats and international corporation employee’s equal access to an integrated education which would be recognized world wide by various institutions of higher learning. To offer this curriculum and the corresponding examinations, schools need to be authorized by IBO. 

    The authorization process begins with a formal application and includes the training of teachers, the writing of curriculum, and the school evaluation by a visiting team. Approval of each of the above components results in affiliation status followed by full participation.

    Metro Academic and Classical High School was awarded affiliation status with The International Baccalaureate Organization in July, 2001.  The Diploma Programme commenced in August, 2002, and the first diplomas were awarded in 2004.

    Our program features ten IB classes:  World Literature, Spanish, French, Biology, Physics, Film Studies, History of the Americas, Math Studies, and Art.  The Extended Essay, the Theory of Knowledge, and CAS (Creativity, Action, and Service) complete the program. To earn the IB Diploma, students must subscribe to six of the offerings, choosing either Spanish or French as their second language, and complete the 4,000 word Extended Essay, the Theory of Knowledge course, and the required 150 hours in out-of-school CAS activities. Each of the external assessments is worth a possible seven points; students must acquire 24 points on the external assessments and complete the extended essay and TOK paper to receive the International Baccalaureate diploma.

    The features which make this particular program so unique are its breadth, its in-depth approach to curriculum, its use of direct experience, its emphasis on reflection, its international focus, and its assessment system.  The benefits to students who partake of the rich, academic culture support acceptance into selective universities.  Many U.S. universities will award sophomore standing for students who earned sufficiently high scores on their IB examinations.  Major universities around the globe admit students simply on the basis of their having earned the IB Diploma.

     Senior Responsibilities and Graduation

    Senior year is a special time, which brings with it special events and special responsibilities and costs.  Remember that you must have your first 225 hours of community service performed and documented by August 15th in order to be accepted into Metro as a senior.  You must also have all required underclass credits and courses finished, with a grade of C or better.  This also applies to summer school and correspondence courses, whose grades must also be officially documented by August 6, 3:00 p.m.   IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO BE SURE THAT YOU UNDERSTAND AND CORRECTLY PREPARE FOR THIS DEADLINE.

    There are also numerous costs involved in senior year, and to cover those which Metro organizes for you (such as your luncheon, graduation theater rental, cap and gown, prom, yearbook, etc.), we impose a dues requirement which usually is set at approximately $250.  Be sure to begin saving for this early on in your high school years, as it must be paid early in your senior year.  You may also want to be saving for additional costs you may incur, such as senior pictures.

    Graduation Ceremony                                                                                                                                                                                   

    Please remember that your graduation from high school is a special moment... and it is also a special moment in the tradition of our school.  Remember that it is a ceremony, not a party.  One thing that sets Metro apart from other schools is its graduation ceremony, which has a long tradition as a dignified, enjoyable, important event.  We expect that you honor your predecessors, your senior sponsor, Metro’s history, and your own accomplishments, by following the aforementioned rules of polite behavior during ceremonies of this caliber.  Please save your exuberant partying for after the ceremony, and opt out of attending graduation if a dignified ceremony is not for you.

    Preparing for College and Scholarships    

    Two National College Fairs are in St. Louis in the fall at St. Louis University and in the spring at Maryville University.  All students are given information about these fairs and are encouraged to attend.  Start looking early!  Fairs provide great information for the beginning of a college search.  Juniors and seniors are invited to meet with college representatives that visit Metro and underclassmen if the visit corresponds to their “Quiet Study.” Parent meetings with college reps are often available in the community. These meetings are listed on the Metro bulletin board.  Visit college campuses whenever possible. Call ahead to the admissions office for an appointment.  Visit college campuses during the junior year and during the summer after the junior year.  Do not narrow your list too early.  Do not let the price tag scare you. Many private schools generously give scholarship monies that make them affordable. As a general rule, a senior student should have a minimum of a “safe school” and a “reach/dream school” on his/her list. You may apply to as many schools as you wish.  Many students make a second round of visits during the senior year or when they get their acceptances. Your counselor works very closely with seniors and their parents throughout this process.  Students should keep a resume’ on file in their computer.  Your counselor will ask for information from both parents and student at the beginning of the senior year.  Remember to give your counselor one week to write a letter or recommendation and faculty members two weeks.

     Scholarships

     Merit/talent/trait scholarships and need-based scholarships are the two basic types.  Merit/talent/trait includes monies awarded for gear grades and test scores talent includes athletic talents, music talents, trait includes ethnicity, multiple birth, left-handedness, height challenged, etc.  Need based money is driven by filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in January of the senior year.  Private scholarships are rare for juniors.  Your counselor publishes a “Scholarship Bulletin” monthly for seniors.  During the summer after the junior year, an internet search is appropriate.  www.fastweb.com or www.wiredscholar.com are good sites.  Or, just “Google” a word.             

    Academic Probation

    Admission into Metro is competitive. You can be proud of yourself for the accomplishments and qualities which gained your acceptance. We have every hope that your accomplishments will continue.  Remember, upon admittance into Metro, you committed to keeping your grades up, or to ceding your spot if you were unable to do so, as per our Academic Probation policy, which is:

    •         2 F’s  at the end of any semester,  places you on Academic Probation for the following semester
    •         1 F  at the end of the semester following the semester you earned 2F’s , and you may not return to Metro the following year
    •         3 F’s or more in a school year results in not being able to return to Metro the following year

    Should you pass all of your classes at the end of the semester during which you were on Academic Probation, you are no longer on Academic Probation. The classes in which F’s were received must be made up in summer school. Only a grade of ‘C’ or better is acceptable for summer school classes.

    Summer School and Correspondence Courses 

    Remember that you may only make up to two courses during summer school, and that each semester of a year-long course (such as Biology or a Foreign Language) is considered a course in itself. Therefore, should you fail, for example, both semesters of first-year Spanish, that would make two courses to be made up during summer school, and you would have no room for another course.

    Remember, also, that summer school courses taught at schools other than Metro may only be taken to make up for failed academic courses... they may not be taken in advance of taking the course at Metro, in the hope, for example, of avoiding taking the course at Metro. Summer school courses are meant as refresher courses, to make up for your gaps in learning during the taking of the initial course at Metro. The same is true for correspondence courses.

    Please note that, though summer school courses are free, correspondence courses are not. They average $300 each. 

    Policy on Failure

    Students with class grades of F at the designated weeks listed below will abide by the following policy:

          5th week:        1 (one) F               -- Study Hall

                                  2 (two) F’s            -- Study Hall and Closed Campus

        10th week:        1 (one) F               -- Study Hall

                                   2+ (two+) F’s       --Study Hall, Closed Campus, Exclusion from extracurricular activities

       15th week:         1 (one) F               -- Study Hall

                                   2+ (two+) F’s       --Study Hall, Closed Campus, Exclusion from extracurricular activities

       20th week:         1 (one) F               -- Study Hall

                                  2+ (two+) F’s         -- Study Hall, Closed Campus, Exclusion from extracurricular activities,

                                                                      Academic Probation (throughout the entire following semester)