Course Selection and Enrollment
Upper School students generally enroll in a minimum of six and a maximum of seven classes each trimester. Students enrolled in the zero-hour Instrumental Music course may take it as a seventh or eighth class. Ninth grade students may not enroll in more than six classes in the fall trimester. Unassigned periods for 9th grade students in the fall trimester will be conducted as supervised study halls. Otherwise, Upper School students are in charge of monitoring their time and behavior during free time. In some cases, when deemed necessary for academic and/or disciplinary reasons, students will be assigned to supervised study halls. This will be done at the recommendation of the faculty and the sole discretion of the Upper School Head.
The first week of each trimester will be considered an open enrollment period. Students may add classes at the discretion of the Upper School Head and with teacher permission. Students may drop classes through the open enrollment period without penalty or record, as long as they meet the minimum course requirement. In the case of year-long classes, the grades recorded in previous trimesters will be retained in the record. Any student who adds a course within this period remains responsible for the work assigned from the start of the class or term. If, in the judgment of the teacher, fulfilling those assignments is not possible, entry into the class may be denied. After the open enrollment period, students may no longer add a course without direct permission of the Upper School Head. Students who wish to drop a course outside the open enrollment period are subject to the following policy: Record of the course will remain on the transcript with either the designation WP (withdrawn passing), WF (withdrawn failing) or W*(withdrawn for medical reasons).
Advancing to the Next Level in 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 9th grade Biology is then qualified to enroll in 10th grade Chemistry.
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 in any trimester. 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 Upper School Head and/or Learning Support Coordinator. Only the Upper School Head can make a formal recommendation for summer study to a family.
At times, students will desire to take coursework outside of EPS. The reasons may include, but are not limited to, remediation, advancement or supplementation of our curriculum. EPS supports and encourages outside academic work but does not grant credit for this work or record it on an EPS transcript. An external transcript will be attached to the EPS transcript as a supplement at the student’s request.
If a student is seeking to do supplemental work for enrichment, and desires that work to count toward graduation, distribution, or enrollment requirements, EPS will consider such a request. However, the school will grant such a request only in unique cases, under the following conditions:
- The student submits a petition, which outlines the student’s objectives and provides a rationale for pursuing study outside of EPS.
- Petitions must be received and approved in advance. Students should submit petitions to the Upper School office at least two weeks prior to the trimester in which the program modification is to occur.
- If a student seeks to fulfill an academic requirement with coursework taken outside EPS, it will generally only be granted if the coursework offers advancement beyond the level or scope of classes taught at EPS.
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 Upper School 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.
Coursework in Alternative Language
Eastside Prep offers world language coursework exclusively in Spanish. EPS believes that a single- language option benefits students by providing opportunity for advanced literacy, multi-disciplinary work, and cultural travel or experience. EPS also recognizes that in some cases a student’s alternative language interest may be so strong as to warrant approval of a course of study in a language other than Spanish. While EPS will not grant credit for coursework pursued outside of the EPS program, students who study a world language other than Spanish may petition to have the Spanish language distribution requirement fulfilled with external coursework. In most cases, coursework in an external language will not reduce the overall graduation requirement of 72 credits or the 6-course per trimester minimum enrollment.
To do so, a student must complete an EPS Alternative Language Study application and include a syllabus detailing substantive, academic course of study with a target of significant language development sponsored by an accredited institution.
A year-long course of study equals three trimester credits.
Applications must be submitted to the EPS Head of School, Upper School Head, and Director of Academic Design and Integration.
- EPS cannot guarantee adjustment of a student’s schedule to pursue such a course of study during the regular school day (8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.). Students should arrange to pursue alternative language study outside of school hours.
- Colleges and universities recommend that a student complete language study to the highest level possible. For example, a student who completes three years of study in one language is considered a stronger applicant as compared to a student who completes three years of study in three different languages.
- Any student failing to complete the approved course of study and/or the requirements provided by an accredited institution is still required to meet the Spanish language distribution requirement needed for graduation (three years in total).
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.
Advanced Placement (AP) Program at EPS
Eastside Preparatory School believes that the best way to fulfill our mission to cultivate critical thinking, responsible action, compassionate leadership, and wise innovation is to design courses that prioritize depth over breadth, flexibility over a predetermined body of knowledge, and authentic assessment over standardized test-taking.
EPS faculty, as experts in their fields and specialists on the needs of each individual student, design learning experiences that fuel a love of learning by promoting curiosity, collaboration, deep exploration, and personalized expression. Since its inception, Eastside Preparatory School has chosen not to offer AP courses as part of its curriculum. We have made this choice with intention and careful consideration, weighing the merits of the College Board’s AP program against the best interests of our students.
The history of the Advanced Placement program dates to the 1950s. Its foundational purpose is to make college level coursework available to high school students. AP course syllabi are audited by The College Board, which also administers summative examinations for each course. Since the late-twentieth century, AP courses have become ubiquitous in American secondary education and are now widely available at both public and private high schools. Some colleges and universities accept AP exam scores in fulfillment of undergraduate requirements, awarding either placement or credit to students.
We acknowledge that some benefits do accrue to students when they enter college with strong scores on AP exams and that some of our courses introduce much of the content covered on those exams. For those reasons we make AP exams available to EPS students on our campus each spring. We encourage students to choose AP exams carefully and in consultation with a teacher, advisor, or college counselor, recognizing that the preparation required may detract from the time available for EPS coursework. Teachers are available for consultation on AP curriculum and alignment with EPS courses, but do not tutor or provide specialized instruction to prepare students for AP exams.
While AP coursework once provided a measure of distinction for leading independent schools, many such schools have dropped AP courses from their catalogs in recent years. Their reasoning varies, but most recognize that the broad scope of a survey course and the demands of a comprehensive exam at the end push teachers and students to skim the surface of a broad body of information, prioritizing memorization of facts and practice of test-taking skills over deep understanding, conceptual thinking, and meaningful application of ideas.
Seminars | Independent Study | Senior Thesis
The Seminar, Independent Study, and Senior Thesis options are exciting components of the EPS college preparatory curriculum. They provide students the opportunity to expand the dimensions of their program of study as broadly and as deeply as they wish to go.
Seminars | Grades 10-12
Seminars ask students to: 1) explore academic discipline topics in depth, 2) make connections across discipline boundaries, and 3) apply learning to relevant, contemporary contexts. These courses run for six weeks in the middle of each trimester, meeting one hour per week as a class. Each seminar is facilitated by one or two faculty members and has an enrollment of 3-6 students, with preference given by seniority. Students are expected to complete 4-5 hours of preparation work for the next week’s meeting. This more closely approximates a college-level schedule and expectation and serves as good preparation for that experience.
Independent Study | Grade 11(spring), Grade 12
A hallmark of EPS’s most engaged and self-motivated students and one of the most challenging options offered, independent studies provide juniors (spring term only) and seniors the opportunity to extend their academic exploration into topics that are not currently covered in the EPS course offerings. These efforts also give students practice working one-on-one with faculty members, similar to collaboration that will be expected by many of their professors in the college setting.
Because of the importance of Independent Study in our curriculum, the process for reviewing proposals is rigorous and requires serious thought on the part of the student submitting a proposal. EPS does not guarantee the acceptance of any proposal, regardless of how well-researched or well-supported it might be. The creation of the course is the responsibility of the student. Mentors are to perform in an advisory role, helping students identify resources that might best aid in both the development and implementation of the course. Consequently, the student proposing an Independent Study accepts complete responsibility for the course from initiation to completion. The quality of the proposal and proposal presentation reflects the care with which students will work throughout the course.
- Interested students identify a topic or subject area that they would like to examine and find a faculty mentor.
- Students conduct substantial research to construct a ten-week curriculum which includes weekly meetings with their faculty mentor.
- Weekly assignments and a culminating product (e.g. website, blog, paper) of appropriate complexity is required for all independent studies.
- Both initial proposals and final presentations are heard by the EPS faculty, staff, and Upper School community.
- The Independent Study Proposal Form can be found at following link: http://eastsideprep.org/PDF/Independent-Study-form.pdf (and when completed needs to be submitted on the Independent Curriculum Page on Canvas).
Proposal and Course Progression
|Written Proposal||Proposal Presentation Senior Program Leadership||Mid-Term Progress Report Grade||Final Presentation to EPS Faculty, Staff, and Upper School Community||Final Grade|
|1 to 2 Meetings with Faculty Mentor||10 Weekly Meetings with Faculty Mentor|
- Course progress is reviewed by the mentor during the course of the term.
- A final grade (A-F) is determined by the mentor based on the percentage distribution assigned to each of the standard grading categories agreed to by the student and mentor at the start of the term. (see proposal form)
- Upon completion, the senior thesis is represented as one credit on the EPS Transcript and awarded a grade of A-F.
- Students need to be prepared to forgo other elective options to ensure that both they and their mentor share a free period during the term(s) in which the independent study is being completed.
Senior Thesis | Grade 12 (spring)
The Senior Thesis is the most rigorous research opportunity in the EPS academic program, providing students the time and support to build on the work of previous independent studies to produce a substantive research product. The thesis is designed to be both a culmination of work in an individual academic discipline (or an inter-disciplinary domain), and preparation for intensive research as an undergraduate. As part of the Senior Thesis, students may:
Option 1 Expand the scope of research from a previous independent study or studies
Option 2 Engage in new, original research related to a previous independent study or studies
Option 3 Combine elements of Options 1 & 2
Duration, Credit, and Scheduling
- Students are required to have completed two independent studies of exceptional quality as a prerequisite for proposing a Senior Thesis.
- a minimum of two independent studies over the course of Grade 11 (spring trimester) and/or Grade 12 (fall, winter trimesters)
- The Senior Thesis follows a two-term progression with seniors proposing an Independent Study for the winter trimester and indicating an intention to propose a Senior Thesis for the spring trimester.
- Senior Thesis mentors are invited as part of the Independent Study proposal process for the winter trimester.
- Upon completion, the senior thesis is represented as one credit on the EPS Transcript and awarded a grade of A to F.
- Students need to be prepared to forgo other elective options in the senior year to ensure that both they and their mentor share a free period during the term(s) in which the thesis is being completed.
Exchange Programs/Study Abroad
Students may become interested during their Upper School career in study away from EPS. In most cases, the school will guide students to pursue such study outside the regular academic year.
Students interested in an alternative program of any type during the school year are asked to follow this process:
- Submit a proposal outlining the purpose of pursuing the program including a description of the learning objectives that will guide the experience, and the ways the program will provide learning experiences unavailable at EPS.
- Submit the proposal no later than the last school day in January of the year preceding the year you wish to experience the exchange/program.
- Meet with the Upper School Head to answer clarifying questions about the proposal.
- Within two weeks of receiving the proposal, the Upper School Head, in conjunction with the Head of School, will respond to the proposal.
- Communicate plans for the upcoming year to the EPS Admissions Office.
EPS students are required to meet graduation requirements in three categories:
- Total course credits
- Distribution requirements
- Participation requirements
Total Course Credits
All EPS students are expected to earn a minimum of seventy-two total trimester credits (equivalent to six courses per trimester for a full four years). These trimester credits must be earned in enrollment at EPS. Work completed outside of EPS may be completed to earn advanced placement in specific subject areas, but not toward the total credit count. In all circumstances, the awarding of course credit is at the sole discretion of EPS. Enrollment and re-enrollment contracts neither guarantee the awarding of course credit nor the opportunity to correct deficiencies in the pursuit of course credit.
In addition to the total credits required, coursework must be distributed between the following academic disciplines in the manner charted below:
|Arts||five trimester credits in grades 9 to12|
|English||twelve trimester credits taken one per trimester in grades 9 to12|
|History||nine trimester credits required in grades 9 to 11|
|Spanish||nine trimester credits in grades 9 to12 (unless fewer are required to complete Spanish 4)|
|Math||nine trimester credits required in grades 9 to 11|
|Physical Education||five trimester credits in grades 9 to12, including PE Wellness in grade 9|
|Science||nine trimester credits required in grades 9 to 12, including Biology, Chemistry and Physics|
Students who enter EPS at a grade level of 10th or higher, with previous high school credit earned, will be allowed to have that work considered toward the total course credits and distribution requirements. In general, course requirements for the total course credits will be pro-rated over the remainder of the student’s high school career (e.g. an entering 10th grader will be expected to earn 3/4 of the remaining credits or 75% of 72 = 54). All students new to the Upper School, who enter in the 10th grade or above, will receive from the Upper School Head a formal declaration of awarded credits for work done prior to enrollment at EPS. This declaration will be received around the close of the first trimester, and after the student (and family, if desired) has met with the Upper School Head to discuss and clarify previous work. The determination of prior credit will be made by the Upper School Head.
Physical Education Credits
To graduate from EPS, students must accumulate five trimester credits in Physical Education (PE). One credit must be earned in the PE Wellness class in the 9th grade. In this area, students do have opportunity to meet the graduation requirement in several ways:
- A student may take five (or more) trimester courses during normal school hours.
- A student may play an EPS sport at the Upper School level, reducing the distribution requirement by one trimester credit per season.
- A student may apply for a PE waiver in recognition of an outside sport or athletic endeavor. Students may reduce the PE distribution requirement by up to three credits with this option but not in addition to credits earned in an EPS sport.
In the case of point three above, students must submit a written application obtained through the Athletic Director. This application must be filed before the start of the trimester in which the student is seeking credit.
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 in order to make a decision about whether the student will be allowed to complete the class for credit, or whether withdrawal is necessary. When continued progress in the class for credit is allowed, it will be contingent upon expectations determined at that time. In any case, if a student is absent for 30% or more of the trimester’s class meetings, credit will only be granted by decision of the Division Head and Head of School.
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.
EPS values participation in a variety of programs outside the classroom. These include but are not limited to the Fall orientation, Service Learning Days, and all Education Beyond the Classroom (EBC) activities; no portion of the program is optional. Attendance at these events is expected of all students. While illness or other unforeseen causes may be inevitable, a pattern of non-participation will jeopardize a student’s eligibility to graduate.
In some cases, students may wish to apply for modification of one or more of the class expectations or graduation requirements. EPS will consider all such requests but is unlikely to allow such a request except with extraordinary circumstances. In all cases, these requests should be made well in advance of the planned graduation date.
It is important to recognize two points of caution regarding EPS graduation requirements. While these represent a minimum number of courses required to graduate, they do not reflect the standard required for admission to all colleges. Many colleges and universities will expect students to take full advantage of the academic opportunities available, going well beyond required minimums in most subject areas. In addition to meeting—and exceeding—minimum requirements, the Eastside Preparatory School diploma will be awarded only after completion of the senior year and following a vote by the faculty with approval from the Head of School.
Daily Academic Work
Assessment and Grading
As students complete course work, teachers share feedback to chart progress and measure the development of knowledge and skills. Informal feedback may come in the form of written comments on assignments or verbal commentary within the class. More formal feedback is referred to as “assessment” and is assigned a letter or numerical grade. Feedback and assessment are both important components of the learning process and help students reflect on their effort, performance, and progress. Grades are a quantified measurement of a learning outcome.
EPS teachers employ a range of assessment strategies. Assessment like homework, quizzes, components of an essay, or preparatory work for a project or presentation, and are typically coded as classwork (CW), homework (HW) or quick assessment (QA) in Canvas. These kinds of assessment enable teachers to monitor student progress within a unit of study and are typically more frequent and carry smaller point values. Other summative assessments measure a student’s proficiency at the conclusion of a unit of study and typically comprise a larger percentage of the course grade (10-15% for a unit assessment, or 15-25% for a cumulative final is common) and are coded as major assessment (MA). In all cases, teachers are asked to communicate grading criteria in advance through the course syllabus, a rubric, or assignment explanation in Canvas.
While we recognize the importance of earning high marks, we encourage students to think of assessment as a form of feedback and focus their energy and attention on the learning process—the practice, preparation, review, and performance that goes into a course—rather than the letter grade that comes at the end of it. Teachers welcome and encourage conversations with students about their performance on assessments and are happy to help students understand how the work was scored. However, in most cases such conversations will not change the grade earned. Rather students are encouraged to reflect on their work and implement changes for improvement on future assessments.
Students receive both grades and narrative feedback throughout their career at Eastside Prep. Near the mid-way point of the fall and spring trimesters, students receive narrative feedback from teachers at conferences. In the middle of the winter trimester, students receive written comments from each teacher. This feedback focuses on progress made to that point of 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.
|Mid-Trimester 1||Progress Report and indicator grade (not on transcript) from each teacher in each class, and Mid-Trimester Conferences.|
|End of Trimester 1||Official term grade and student self-reflection.|
|Mid-Trimester 2||Progress Report and indicator grade (not on transcript) from each teacher in each class and written narrative comments.|
|End of Trimester 2||Official term grade.|
|Mid-Trimester 3||Progress Report with comment and indicator grade (not on transcript) from each teacher in each class, and Mid-Trimester Conferences.|
|End of Trimester 3||Official term grade and student self-reflection.|
Computation of Grade Point Average
Grade Point Average (GPA) is computed in the EPS Upper School and reported on the transcript using the following standards:
|A = 4.0||A- = 3.7||B+ = 3.3||B = 3.0||B- = 2.7|
|C+= 2.3||C = 2.0||C- =1.7||D+ = 1.3||D= 1.0||F = 0|
The GPA is not weighted and uses trimester grades for each course. This would include three separate trimester grades for year-long courses, and one grade for trimester-length courses. Each trimester-long class earns one credit. The EPS GPA includes only coursework completed at EPS. Other work will be recognized by attaching outside transcripts with our records but will not be computed in the school’s reported GPA.
The Eastside Preparatory School academic program includes work completed outside of class as an important part of the learning experience. Homework assignments may include elements of class preparation, content acquisition, content application, skills practice, and both formative and summative assessment. While a good amount of planning, organization, and time management are needed for academic success, and important life skills as well, the primary purpose of homework is to build knowledge or skills. EPS teachers eschew “busy work,” and recognize that adolescents require time for rest, exercise, and social activities outside of school. A healthy lifestyle requires balance, and we aim to take a measured and holistic approach to homework.
As a general guideline, we think it is reasonable for Upper School students to spend about half as much time on work outside of class as they spend in class. A quick calculation, given an 80-minute class period, means that this target is about 40 minutes per class. If a student maintains six classes in their schedule (three classes and one free period per day), they may have about two hours of homework, but could reasonably complete one hour of work during the school day in their free period. However, three important caveats apply:
- Students work at different speeds, on different kinds of tasks. It is virtually impossible to assign meaningful work that is connected to class activities that all students could complete in any fixed amount of time. Any given assignment might take one student 20 minutes to complete, and another 45. A particular student may complete math homework more quickly than an English reading, or vice versa.
- As a college preparatory school, we aim to help students practice and prepare for a collegiate academic experience. College programs typically expect students to spend equal or double the amount of class time on reading and other assignments (15 hours per week in class, 15-30 hours per week outside of class). So, we expect students in advanced, upper-level coursework in grades 11 and 12 to devote more time to homework. There our target is closer to 75% of the amount of time between in-class and homework (60 minutes per 80-minute class period).
- Some of the most meaningful assignments are larger in scope and completed over the course of several days or weeks. In these instances, which tend to be more frequent in the upper grades, teachers may not break every assignment down into a series of 40- or 60-minute chunks. We expect students to develop the ability to plan and execute over longer time periods as they advance through the program. Spending an hour or two on homework at a regular time each school day (even if no assignment is due the following day) is the best way to practice this skill. Teachers are asked to be mindful of long-term projects when assigning daily work so that the two do not combine to exceed the time estimates outlined above.
These are general guidelines to keep workload manageable for most students. Teachers continuously innovate by developing new projects and assignments, and there are natural rhythms to the academic calendar inherent in a college preparatory program that mean workloads may vary. We ask teachers to share the amount of time they anticipate assignments to take when they post to Canvas, and to solicit feedback from students after assignments are completed. If a student’s experience varies significantly from these guidelines, we would like to hear about that. Teachers, Advisors, Counselors, Learning Support Specialists, and the Division Head are all eager to help students as they navigate the Upper School academic experience.
Late and Missing Work
The expectation is that students will complete homework and all other assignments on time. From time to time, due to illness or emergency, a student may request an extension of a homework deadline. A request for an extension of the deadline on any assignment should be made directly to the teacher who has assigned the homework via email or in person. Requests for extended deadlines may be granted or denied by the teacher. Each teacher is responsible for determining the extended due date. In all cases, the teacher’s deadline is the official deadline.
The policy of Eastside Preparatory School is that no assignment may be turned in beyond seven calendar days from the date it was due (or seven calendar days after the student has returned to school if the assignment was missed due to an absence). If that date falls within a school holiday/break, work will be accepted on the first school day after that break. While no teacher may extend the deadline beyond these dates, the teacher may elect to require an earlier deadline.
In cases of extended illness or other extraordinary circumstances, alternative deadlines may be created in cooperation with the teacher and by permission of the Upper School Head.
Another important aspect of preparation for college-level work is the cumulative exam. Most courses at EPS will offer some type of culminating exam or project at the finish of each trimester. Teachers determine the weighting of these assessments, but generally they will count for 15-25% of a student’s trimester grade. The value of the assessment will be referenced on the course syllabus. In the case of year-long courses, while the exam contributes only to the current trimester grade, material covered on the exam may date back to the beginning of the year.
All 10th and 11th grade students will sit on campus for the PSAT in October. College Board Subject Tests and SAT testing are scheduled by each individual student, with the guidance of the college counselors. These tests are taken at test center of the student’s choice. Generally, students begin the SAT in the spring of the 11th grade year. Subject Tests can be taken during any academic year, most commonly at the end of a specific subject. A practice ACT will be made available to 10th grade students in the spring. Students then also elect to schedule and take the ACT in their junior or senior year. This, too, should be done in consultation with the college counselors.
Some students qualify for accommodations on College Board and ACT testing. The Learning Support staff will help students apply for these accommodations as both require confirmation that the student has utilized accommodations provided through an EPS learning plan. Please note, however, that our requirements for placing a student on a learning plan differ from the College Board and ACT requirements; receiving accommodations at Eastside Prep does not guarantee accommodations for College Board or ACT testing. Students need to apply to College Board and ACT separately; once a student has been approved, the accommodations are in place for the duration of the student’s tenure at EPS.
The ACT requires psycho-educational testing to be less than three years old and College Board less than five years old. Additionally, students need to demonstrate they have been using those accommodations at school for at least four months. The deadlines for applying for accommodations are prior to regular test deadlines so please contact the Learning Support Coordinator well in advance of the testing date to ensure the student receives the appropriate accommodations.
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 following policies will apply.
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 be placed on Academic Warning. A student who misses more than 25% of class time in any trimester may also be put on Academic Warning.
Academic Warning automatically triggers measures to help the student regain academic standing. Those measures include more formal and frequent communication between all parties (student, teachers, Advisor, parent/guardian, learning support staff and Division Head).
Once placed on Academic Warning, 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 be placed on Academic Probation. A student already on Academic Warning who is absent for 20% or more school days during the next trimester also may be subject to placement on Academic Probation, regardless of GPA.
The primary goal when a student is on Academic Probation remains the return to good academic standing. 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.
The decision to offer a re-enrollment contract and the timing of such an offer, for a student on Academic Warning or Probation, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Advising, Support and Counseling
Close communication and personalized assistance is a hallmark of EPS. Therefore, one of the most important facets of the Upper School is the Advisory Program. Most Upper School faculty members will serve as an Advisor to 10-15 Upper School students. Advisors are counted on to provide strong academic counseling, and also take broad interest in each advisee’s life. Each Advisor will serve foremost as an advocate for the student, helping the student make the most of the opportunities at EPS and beyond. This may involve working with 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. Advisory groups are organized by grade level. Students will be with an Advisor for the 9th and 10th grade years and then switch to a new Advisor for the 11th and 12th grades.
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 Learning Support Services Coordinator.
Counseling support at EPS is available to any student or parent/guardian, or faculty/staff member who is concerned about a student. Our school counselors are involved in a variety of formal and informal conversations about students in all aspects of their school lives. Specifically, services offered in the counseling center are: individual counseling, group counseling, parenting groups, sharing of resources, assessment and referral, advising/problem solving/supporting, and crisis management.
The EPS College Counselors are available to students throughout their Upper School career. Any student or parent/guardian is welcome to consult with them as questions arise. Through the 9th and 10th grade, students will receive Information on a variety of topics related to college counseling in grade-level meetings. Individual, personalized counseling starts formally in the 11th grade year. Those assignments are made in the spring of 10th grade. The EPS College Counseling team is devoted to empowering each student to research and identify strong matches for their prospective application list, and successfully navigate the college admissions process.