Academic Program Expectations
Distribution Requirements (subject to a student’s grade-level of enrollment; table illustrated below represent enrollment at EPS from grades 5 to 8)
|Two trimesters (one in grade 7 and one in grade 8)
|Three trimesters in grades 6-8
Academic Accommodations and Assistance
We recognize that some students need additional support in areas such as study, organizational, and other executive functioning skills in order to access our academic program most effectively. The Guided Study Hall (GSH) program is available to students who need extra support in these areas to fully take advantage of our rigorous academic program. As is the best practice, GSH incorporates the teaching of these skills into our school curriculum to assist in internalizing them. We provide a 4:1 student to faculty ratio in Guided Study Hall. To learn more about GSH and the fees associated with the program, contact the Asst. Director of Student Well-Being.
The integrity of one’s academic work is of the utmost importance. As such, the school considers as very serious any incidents of academic cheating or plagiarism. Examples of cheating include:
- Unauthorized use of notes or other material on a test
- Copying work from another student with or without their permission
- Asking for or giving information about a test
- Turning in materials without citing the source of the information
- Copying information from internet resources
The inappropriate use of the internet or other resources, such as using online translators to translate blocks of texts rather than single words, is also not allowed.
Academic dishonesty is unacceptable. Consequences may include a lower grade and/or disciplinary action such as suspension or expulsion, even for a first offense depending on the severity of the academic dishonesty. The imposition of any consequences is at the discretion of the Division Head and/or Head of School, and students are not entitled to any compulsory hearing or grievance process. The Head of School reserves all rights to enforce academic policies as if those rights were expressly set forth in this handbook.
Positive academic progress is an expectation of a college preparatory school. Every effort is made to support students such that they remain in good academic standing throughout their Eastside Prep career. In situations where there is academic concern, the school follows the procedures outlined in the following section.
In each trimester, any student who earns a grade point average below 2.0 (C = 2.0) or receives two or more course grades of D+ or below will participate in an Academic Review. A student who misses more than 30% of class time in any trimester may also undergo Academic Review.
Academic Review automatically triggers measures to help the student regain academic standing. The first step is a meeting with the student, parents/guardians, Advisor, learning support staff and Middle School Head to identify areas of success and challenge, and to develop a plan for the upcoming trimester.
Following the Academic Review, students will need to earn a GPA of greater than 2.0 in the following trimester (with no more than one grade of D+ or below) to be reinstated to good academic standing. Students who fail to meet this goal will undergo another Academic Review. Previously enacted measures will likely remain if they are believed effective. Additional measures will be taken as deemed appropriate by the student’s support team and may include modification of course schedule and suspension of participation in other school activities.
If a student does not regain academic standing, the decision to offer a re-enrollment contract and the timing of such an offer will be considered on a case-by-case basis. A student’s readiness for the Upper School program is the primary factor in a decision to counsel a student out of EPS.
Academic Work Outside Eastside Prep
At times, students will desire to take coursework outside of Eastside Preparatory School. The reasons may include and are not limited to remediation, advancement, or supplementation of our curriculum.
Repeating a course or doing supplemental summer work for remediation is encouraged in certain cases. A grade earned in such cases does not replace or erase the grade initially earned in the class on our transcript with the following exception: with prior permission from the Division Head, students who fail a class may raise the grade to a D* thereby earning credit. D* will indicate an initial failure, raised to passing credit through supplementary work.
Advancing to the Next Level of a Discipline
In most cases, successful completion of the preceding course will automatically qualify a student to move forward in each discipline. For instance, a student who passes 7th grade Historical Thinking 2 (HT2) is then qualified to enroll in 8th grade HT3.
In some cases, the achievement level in a preceding class may be a predictor of future difficulties. In these cases, EPS may counsel students and parents/guardians toward remediation over the summer before the upcoming school year. Because of the cumulative nature of the material, this happens most commonly in Spanish and math, but may be recommended in any discipline.
Criteria for making this recommendation are variable and based on the insights and expertise of the teacher. Generally, consideration for remediation will be given when students earn grades of C- and below. However, the grade earned is not the primary concern, rather whether deficits exist in a student’s skills and/or understanding, such that they will hamper achievement in the next class.
In all cases, the recommendation for summer study will be determined in consultation with the Middle School Head. Only the Middle School Head can make a formal recommendation for summer study to a family.
When a student is unable to complete the requirements of a course by the end of a term, a teacher may record the course grade as Incomplete (IN) until such time as the student completes missing assignments or assessments. An Incomplete should only be considered when a student experiences a significant set of circumstances that impedes their ability to conclude a course of study. It should not be used as a routine way to grant an extension or improve the quality of a summative assessment. If a student wishes to request an IN, they should contact the teacher before the end of the term to explain their circumstances, discuss options, and make a formal request. If the teacher agrees that an IN is warranted, they should inform the Division Head prior to the deadline for grade submission. Students must then submit missing work by the end of the subsequent term (or the end of summer break in the case of a spring course) after which time the IN will be replaced with a letter grade derived from the work submitted.
Close communication and personalized assistance are hallmarks of Eastside Prep. Therefore, one of the most important facets of the Middle School is the Advisory Program. While Advisors are counted on to provide strong academic counseling, they also take broad interest in each advisee’s life. Each Advisor will serve foremost as an advocate for the student, helping them make the most of the opportunities here at EPS and beyond. This may involve discussing large decisions, or simply checking in with the student on small day-to-day issues. The Advisor also serves as the primary conduit of communication between school and family.
Assessment and Grades
To implement our mission to guide students to Think Critically, Act Responsibly, Lead Compassionately, and Innovate Wisely, academic performance assessments for students are intended to document progress toward meeting academic, artistic, and physical objectives. Such documentation is useful only as it conveys information that can be used by the recipient to improve performance, regardless of the level of achievement already reached, and within a period of time that assessment information can be used to enhance future performance.
Students receive both grades and narrative comments throughout their career at Eastside Prep. When written, comments focus on the progress thus far in the trimester and steps to improve for the second half. The grades reported at mid-trimester serve as an indicator of progress and are not maintained on the school transcript. The transcript contains final trimester grades only. During winter trimester, Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences are offered at the mid-term.
|Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences and Indicator grade (not on transcript) from each teacher in each class.
|Official term grade and Student Self-Reflection
|Progress Report with Comments and Indicator grade (not on transcript) from each teacher in each class.
|Official term grade and Student Self-Reflection
|Parent-Advisor-Student Conference and Indicator grade (not on transcript) from each teacher in each class.
|Official term grade and Student-Self Reflection.
Attendance and participation in class are seminal components of the Eastside Prep experience. Repeated absences will be cause for reconsidering the appropriateness of allowing the student to complete the class for credit. When a student’s absence from class becomes a significant concern, the Division Head and the Head of School will automatically review the student’s achievement, as well as any unique circumstances, to decide whether the student will be allowed to complete the class. When continued progress in the class is allowed, it will be contingent upon expectations determined at that time. If a student is absent for 30% or more of the trimester’s class meetings, credit may not be granted.
As mentioned in a previous section, while occasional tardiness may be reasonable to expect, repeated tardiness is not. If a student is tardy for 30% or more of the trimester’s class meetings, credit may not be granted.
Coaches at Eastside Prep seek to guide student athletes through an experience which serves to further the mission of the school:
-Lead compassionately, and
Tryouts & Cuts
All teams at Eastside Prep have a “no-cut” based on ability policy. While teams may hold traditional “tryouts,” every student who turns out for a sport is guaranteed a spot on a roster. Tryouts are for the sole purpose of determining leveled rosters (e.g. Division 1, Division 2).
Assuming good standing with the team (demonstrates commitment, communication, sportsmanship, etc.), all Middle School athletes should have the chance to participate in every scheduled contest. While everyone should get an opportunity, playing time does not need to be equitable.
Teaching commitment is one of the most valuable attributes of interscholastic athletics. Coaches should clearly communicate expectations to athletes. At minimum, Eastside Prep athletes are expected to:
- Attend all scheduled practices and games; and
- Communicate any unavoidable conflicts in a timely manner.
Breach of commitment expectations will be communicated to the athlete’s parents/guardians, Division Head, and Athletic Director.
Student athletes are expected to be in good academic standing. A student on Academic Review at the end of a term, or on track to be on Academic Review at a mid-term grading period, may lose eligibility to participate in athletics. In the event of an academic issue as described above, a meeting will be scheduled with the student, parents/guardians, coach, and Athletic Director. The purpose of this meeting is to determine whether the student may begin or continue a season, and what academic steps will be necessary to continue participation.
EPS complies with the WIAA policy for the management of concussions and head injuries in youth sports. A youth athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time. An athlete who has been removed from play may not return to play until the athlete is evaluated by a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussion and receives written clearance to return to play from that health care provider.
Concussion Management Policy
Students who are diagnosed with a concussion generally require a minimum of three days of complete rest. Since students should not have screen time and should not read or be otherwise intellectually stimulated during those three days, students should not attend school during that time. EPS student-athletes who have sustained an injury and may have a concussion must be evaluated by the EPS trainer for an initial assessment and, if necessary, referred to their personal physician. The student may not return to EPS until cleared by the student’s physician to do so.
Fine & Performing Arts Requirements
Fine & Performing Arts faculty at Eastside Prep seek to guide student artists through an experience which serves to further the mission of the school.
After-school drama productions require student performers to audition for a part. While not every student is promised a role, every effort is made to find the correct fit for a student performer as part of a production. Many factors guide the casting process and one of the largest is the availability of the student performer. Participation in other after-school activities concurrent to a production rehearsal schedule can limit and possibly eliminate any roles available to student performers. Other factors include readiness, fit and roles available.
Teaching commitment is one of the most valuable attributes in the performing arts. Directors should clearly communicate expectations to student performers. At minimum, Eastside Prep student performers are expected to:
- Attend scheduled rehearsals and performances; and
- Communicate any unavoidable conflicts in a timely manner.
Breach of commitment expectations will be communicated to the student performer’s parents/guardians, Division Head, and Director of Fine & Performing Arts.
Student performing artists are expected to be in good academic standing. A student on Academic Review at the end of a term, or on track to be on Academic Review at a mid-term grading period, may lose eligibility to participate as part of an after-school drama productions. In the event of an academic issue as described above, a meeting will be scheduled with the student, parents/guardians, play director, and the Director of Fine & Performing Arts. The purpose of this meeting is to determine whether the student may begin or continue being part of an after-school drama production, and what academic steps will be necessary to continue participation.
Students entering EPS for 5th and 6th grade will take a minimum of two visual arts, two theatre, and two music classes over the course of their MS career. Students entering as 7th graders must take one course from each Fine & Performing Arts area. Students entering as 8th graders must take one course from two different areas (e.g. one course from visual arts and one course from theatre).
All free periods for Middle School students will be conducted as supervised study halls. Students are expected to engage in purposeful work during this period, and the completion of homework and class assignments is prioritized over other pursuits.