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Graduation Requirements and Grading

For Classes 2019-2021

 In order to qualify for the Saint Mary’s School diploma, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete a total of 20 units with a cumulative weighted grade point average (GPA) of not less than 1.700
  • Earn at least four units in the 12th grade at Saint Mary’s School
  • Within 20 units, have the following distribution of subject matter:
    • English | 4 units 
      Includes English I, II, III, and IV
    • Humanities and Social Studies | 4 units* 
      One unit of World History I, one unit of World History II, one unit of U.S. History, one-half unit of Religion/Philosophy, and one-half unit of Government
    • Science | 3 units 
      Includes one unit of biology and one unit of a physical science
    • Mathematics | 3 units**
      Includes Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II or the equivalent, plus one unit beyond Algebra II
    • World Languages | 2 units *** 
      Includes two consecutive units of the same language
    • Visual and Performing Arts | 1 unit ****
    • Electives | 3 units

*Students entering after 9th grade are required to have completed 4 units of Humanities and Social Sciences; specific named courses will be determined based on transcript.

**Mathematics units must be taken in a high school or college program.  A student who enters the 9th grade with math credits for Algebra I or beyond will need 3 units beginning at the next level.

***For students interested in attending a selective college or university, Saint Mary’s School recommends 4 units of the same World Language.

****Students entering in the 11th or 12th grade without Visual and Performing Arts credits will be required to take one-half unit of Visual and Performing Arts.

New Graduation Requirements:
Beginning with the Class of 2022

In order to qualify for the Saint Mary’s School diploma, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete a total of 22 units with a cumulative weighted grade point average (GPA) of not less than 2.000
  • Complete 20 hours of community service as a 9th grade student
  • Within 22 units, have the following distribution of subject matter:
    • English | 4 units 
      Includes English I, II, III, and IV
    • Social Studies | 4 units*  
      One unit of World History I, one unit of World History II, one unit of U.S. History, one-half unit of Religion/Philosophy, and one-half unit of Government
    • Science | 3 units 
      Includes one unit of biology and one unit of a physical science 
    • Mathematics | 3 units**
      Includes Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II or the equivalent, plus one unit beyond Algebra II 
    • World Languages | 3 units / 1 language*** | 2 units / 2 languages***
    • Visual and Performing Arts | 2 units **** 
    • Electives | 3 units

*Students entering after 9th grade are required to have completed 4 units of Humanities and Social Sciences; specific named courses will be determined based on transcript.

**Mathematics units must be taken in a high school or college program.  A student who enters the 9th grade with math credits for Algebra I or beyond will need 3 units beginning at the next level.

***For students interested in attending a selective college or university, Saint Mary’s School recommends 4 units of the same World Language.

****Students entering in the 11th or 12th grade without Visual and Performing Arts credits will be required to take one-half unit of Visual and Performing Arts.

Fulfillment of Requirements
Generally, a candidate for the diploma must be enrolled as a full-time student during her 12th grade year. If there are unusual circumstances, the Dean of Teaching and Learning may give her permission to enroll part-time. 

Required Courses
Required courses must be attempted at Saint Mary’s School or through school-approved alternates.  Normally, credit from summer courses outside of Saint Mary’s School is not accepted, but may be used for student placement, remediation, or acceleration.  Generally, students must complete graduation requirements in four years and comply with the requirements stated in the Student-Parent Handbook at the time of their graduation. In unusual circumstances, with the prior approval of the Dean of Teaching and Learning, exceptions may be made. 

Grading System and Progress Reports

Academic progress reports are made available electronically to all parents at regularly scheduled intervals and posted on the parent portal. Report cards will be available after the end of each semester.  Saint Mary’s School students earn a numerical grade in each course taken for credit.  In addition, faculty provide narrative feedback that details more specific information about a student’s proficiency in the curriculum. These narratives address accomplishments, make suggestions for further growth, and are essential to understanding the progress.

The evaluation of all academic work at Saint Mary’s School rests with the teacher.  Grades will be determined by the means considered to be most appropriate by the faculty member, in consultation with the academic department, and subject to the approval of the department chair and the Dean of Teaching and Learning, to measure accurately, fairly, and consistently the quality of students’ academic work. The teacher will explain the grading policy to the class at the beginning of each course.  A student’s cumulative GPA is determined by the grades earned only at Saint Mary’s School.  Each of the semester grades and a final grade are reported on a student’s transcript.  If a student’s grade is an F in either semester but her year-end grade is passing, credit is earned, but remediation may be required by the school before a student may progress to the next level.

Grade Weighting: Through 2020-2021 academic year

Grade

College Preparatory

Honors

Advanced Placement

A

 4  grade points per unit

5

6

B

 3  grade points per unit

4

5

C

 2  grade points per unit

3

4

D

 1  grade points per unit

1

1

F

 0  grade points per unit

0

0

 

Grade Weighting: Beginning with 2021-2022 academic year 

Grade

Scale

A

4  grade points per unit

B

3  grade points per unit

C

2  grade points per unit

D

1  grade points per unit

F

0  grade points per unit

 

All academic work will be evaluated according to the following grading system:

Letter

%

Descriptor

A+

A

A-

100-97

96-93

92-90

Excellent:

The learner consistently demonstrates complete mastery of both the content and skills of the course. The work produced by the student often exceeds the requirements of the course.

B+

B

B-

89-87

86-83

82-80

Proficient:

The learner demonstrates a strong command of content and skills of the course.  The work that the student produces meets the primary requirements of the course.

C+

C

C-

79-77

76-73

72-70

Satisfactory:

The learner demonstrates an adequate command of content and skills of the course. This learner creates a foundation to build on to master more complex content and develop deeper skills.  The work that the student produces shows evidence of accurately focused and consistent effort even if it does not meet all the requirements of the course.

D

69-65

Tenuous:

The learner demonstrates an unreliable or weak grasp of the content and skills of the course.  She does not have a strong foundation and though credit is earned, she may not be prepared or recommended for further work in the discipline.  Remedial work or intervention may be required by the school for a student with a grade of D.  The work that the student produces shows some evidence of effort even if it does not meet the requirements of the course. 

F

64-below

Failing:

The learner does not demonstrate a grasp of the content and skills of the course.  The work that the student produces may show some evidence of effort yet fails to meet the requirements of the course.  No credit is issued.  Remedial work or intervention may be required by the school for a student with a grade of F. 

WP      Withdrawal from a course while passing
WF      Withdrawal from a course while failing
WM     Withdrawal from a course for medical reasons
INC*   Incomplete – Indicates that some part of the class work has not been completed

* The time permitted to erase an incomplete is negotiable between teacher and student, in coordination with the Dean of Teaching and Learning. Any incompletes after the second semester must be resolved by July 1.

Academic Policies 

Policies concerning academic matters such as classes, class schedules, grading, academic expectations, and academic support may be found in the Academics section of the Student-Parent Handbook.