Academic Procedures for Lower school
The Academic Year
SCIS school year is divided into two semesters made up of, four quarters. Within each semester three types of instructional days are scheduled to maximize learning; regular instruction days, revision days, and final exam days.
Each quarter typically consists of 9 to 10 weeks of regular instruction days. This is the lengthiest segment of the term during which students are given new material to learn in each of their subjects.
To reinforce concepts taught in class and to give students the opportunity to apply and to practice what they have learned, students are expected to complete homework.
During the week prior to the final exams, which is called Revision, no new material is taught.
Instead, students have an intensive and comprehensive review of the material they covered in individual classes throughout the term.
Primarily the important concepts, facts, and skills are selected and reviewed. Revision week shows students how much they have learned in a set period of time.
Teachers truly believe that all students can learn and students know they are expected to do the work.
Each semester ends with a shortened week.
The End of Semester exams which are cumulative are critical to assessing a student's progress. Every effort is made by the staff to ensure that students perform at an optimal level during this week.
We acknowledge the students have worked hard for three months, have gone through a week of intensive revision, have studied on the weekends, and are expected to show the results of their work in four/five days.
This may be stressful for some students, especially those in the primary grades. Therefore, this time is approached with great sensitivity.
Holidays and Academic Breaks
All Egyptian national and religious holidays are observed in addition to a winter and a spring break.
School calendars are distributed at the beginning of the school year and are available any time thereafter from the administrative offices or on the school website.
Students are given schedules for the year on the first day of classes. Schedules cannot be issued in advance of the school year due to the variability in student enrollment at the start of the year.
During the first week, or two, a class schedule may be adjusted slightly.
Extra Curricular Options
Activities are planned for all students during school day hours, special activities and classes, such as music lessons, art, dance, drama, basketball, handball, volleyball and soccer, are available.
Continuous evaluation of student learning is an integral part of the instructional process. Assessment of student learning is done in many ways, depending on the subject area, but, in general, the school utilizes a systematic testing program.
Below is a short description of the specific in-house evaluation instruments.
End of Semester and End of Year Exams
End of term exams are given at the end of each semester to determine mastery of concepts taught over a full semester.
The end of year exam measures student achievement over the course of the academic year.
The results of the end of semester exams account for up to one third of a student's first semester grade.
The results of the end of year exams account for up to one third of a student's second semester grade.
Reporting of Student Progress
Interim (Progress) Reports.
Interim reports are quick way to inform parents of potential academic problems that students may be experiencing.
Interim reports are issued primarily for failing students and for students who are borderline and need to make an effort to be able to catch up and well for the remainder of the term. Interim reports may be used as well to acknowledge students who are doing outstanding work.
This means a student who maintains an A+ average, or a student who is making significant progress due to an exceptional effort.
The grade does not matter for the latter, since it is measuring the student against his/her own potential.
Interim reports are sent out approximately 4 weeks into each quarter.
SCIS recognizes the importance of supporting student’s social, emotional, physical, and spiritual development.
In addition to caring teachers and a curriculum that includes character education, SCIS has a specific team of educators whose focus is to support student needs in these important areas.
The team consists of learning support specialists, counselors (Elementary, Middle School, and High School), school doctor and coaches.
This team works alongside teachers and administrators to assist and encourage students in reaching their full academic and personal potential. For example, the high school guidance counselor provides each student with the information and skills necessary to make appropriate academic choices, prepare for standardized testing, and fully understand the college admissions process, as well as providing social and emotional support, as needed.
At SCIS, we recognize that each person is cared for and valued. Our school endeavors to build character and stimulate students to develop and use their gifts, while recognizing, appreciating, and encouraging the gifts of others.
At SCIS, students can learn and grow in a diverse environment that fosters respect for all.
Homework is a very important part of a child's education in that it helps to consolidate the learning that has taken place during the day.
It gives parents the opportunity to see the kind of work their children are undertaking and allows them to share in their child's education.
It also acts as regular feedback for the teacher; enabling the teacher to evaluate their students comprehension/understanding of what has been taught.
We aim to encourage our students to become independent learners therefore we request that parents do not study with their children at home.
If your child cannot complete the homework assigned alone he or she must return the homework unfinished to the teacher that has assigned it so as the teacher has the opportunity to re-teach and clarify what needs to be done.
We will not overburden children with large amounts of homework as we believe that although children need to be educationally challenged if they are overburdened with academic work outside of school they may well lose their motivation and interest in the subjects they are studying.
We also believe in developing rounded students and wish our students to become actively involved in recreational activities.
If homework is not handed in on the specified due date and there has been no excuse note signed by the parent then the child will be given the opportunity to complete the homework at home the following day and a note 'homework not done' slip will be sent to the parents to inform them of the situation.
If homework is still not completed then the child will be required to complete homework during the break.
Guidelines for homework per subject:
Grades 1 to 3 10 minutes per subject
Grades 4 & 5 15 minutes per subject
In some cases, as with Arabic homework for example, the time given may be in excess of this but it should not exceed a daily average of these times.
We will be giving out language practice sheets for children to study from at home but these will be kept to a minimum and their purpose is to practice what has been taught in class and not for material to be learnt by heart. It is important not to kill our young children’s interest and enthusiasm for learning by stifling them with lots of repetitive and uninteresting study sheets. We will also be giving written work and reading to do at home. If you would like to further support your child at home with extra English study we strongly encourage that you help your children to do further reading in English, watch English films or cartoons, or to do internet research in English.
If you have any concerns or queries about these issues please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to good communication between home and school and hope to be able to make you feel confident that we are trying to develop your child’s full language potential.
Every child is issued a homework diary in which teachers and students will write their daily homework requirements. Any memos from school will be placed inside this diary for parents to receive any new information regarding activities and events in school. Parents are encouraged to write any notes of concern to teachers in this diary and teachers will respond through the diary. All school memos and some homework will be sent home via our on-line learning management system that each student has access to. Report cards, grades and exam results will also be accessible on this system.
Before the academic year begins, SCIS will hold an Orientation Day. Parents will meet the School Principal and learn about the program goals and objectives.
They will also meet their child's teacher and see the environment where their child will spend many hours of the coming year.
This is a very informative and important event. Parents are warmly invited to attend.
Every week, your child’s Homeroom teacher will publish a newsletter informing parents of what their child has covered in the classroom in core subjects. This newsletter will include themes, topics, academic skills being taught, special projects and events. There will be space provided for parents to make comments that can be returned for the teacher to read. This will enable parents to better follow their child’s progress.
Three formal parent-teacher conferences are scheduled each year.
All Teachers will be available to meet with parents to discuss the child’s areas of strength and weakness and offer suggestions for possible courses of action.
The teacher may initiate additional meetings at other times. Parents may be called, for example, if a child displays moderate to severe behavior problems, academic difficulty, or if a change in the child’s normal behavior occurs.
Parents may request an additional conference by means of a note or call to the School Administration to make an appointment.
Teachers have very engaging and busy days and cannot be made available to meet with parents without a prior appointment.
SCIS encourages our parents to communicate with us at all times to voice their comments and or concerns.
We have different methods that we may be reached:
- The first and general method that we encourage is to communicate with the teacher through the students’ channel book. Teachers are required to verify the students channel books daily and to respond to the messages within a timely manner.
- If the issue has not been addressed by the subject teacher or the matter is more pressing and urgent then parents/legal guardians may present themselves in person to the reception where they will be asked to fill out a complaint form.
- If a parent cannot attend personally they can call the reception where the complaint or comment will be recorded for them.
Once the complaint has been received it is then transferred to the appropriate department to be investigated and then resolved.
We have a 3 categories system when recording complaints:
- Green – Minor issues or general comments or concerns
- Yellow – The issue is of greater importance and or other channels were used to try to resolve the issue without success.
- Red – Urgent Matters
Response times per category:
- Green – Allow for 48 working hours to communicate with you.
- Yellow – Allow for 24 working hours to communicate with you
- Red – Communication will be received no later than the end of the same working day.
Retention of Recorded Complaints:
Each complaint received is forwarded to the appropriate department to be resolved.
A comment section is included on the form for the individual responding to the issue which is required to be completed and then forwarded to Student Affairs to be filed in the students secured file.
Promotion is not automatic. Although there are specific requirements listed below, a decision not to advance a student to the next grade level is made after very careful consideration of the student's academic standards and of the various factors that resulted in the failure to achieve minimum requirements of promotion.
Each case is examined individually.
The academic administration carefully examines the student's grades, teacher evaluations on the class performance, behavior records to determine attitude and effort, student life records of participation in academic activities, and any other data available.
The final decision on retention rests with the Principal based on the recommendation of faculty & HODs and following all laws and regulations stipulated by the Ministry of Education.
As a student starts failing behind in the course of the year, parents are contacted and informed of the seriousness of the situation and the remedies that may be employed to prevent the retention, remedial sessions, differentiating learning instruction provided in class, out of class training sessions with our specialist and academic objective plans which are discussed, prepared and implemented with regular follow up.
This process is decided upon mutually by school administrators, faculty members, and parents.
As a general policy, the school requires that all students pass English and Mathematics. In the case of a student failing two or more of the core subjects, the student must repeat the grade level. The academic administration is charged with making the decision it deems is in the best interest of the student.
Decisions may include intensive classes, summer school, or re-taking a final exam and passing it as a condition for promotion. If a student attends summer school, he/she may have the opportunity to be promoted to the next grade level. However, participating in summer school does not automatically mean promotion. A student's final year-end grades for the school year and his/her final summer school grades in Math and English must average at least 60% to be considered for promotion into the next grade level and students are required to have an attendance of 90% during the summer school program.
Students are required to attend a minimum of 85% of the scholastic year to be considered for promotion for the following academic year. Students who did not meet the requirements are obligated to attend summer school for promotion.