Academic Policies

Course Offerings

Not all courses are offered every semester or every year. Courses not offered this year are listed at the end of each department’s current offerings. Offered courses must enroll a sufficient number of students in order to run.

Schedule Changes

Students may begin the schedule change process one week prior to the start of the semester, continuing through the first week of the new semester. Generally, course changes are made only after consultation with the student, his or her advisor, parents/guardians, and the appropriate division director. Schedule changes made during this period will not be reflected on the student’s transcript. After the first week of the new semester, a student may not add a new course unless a teacher initiates a change from one level of a course to another. Course additions during the first week of a semester are subject to scheduling limitations. No schedule changes will be made as a result of teacher preference.

Grading

In the Upper School, letter grades and written comments are sent to parents/guardians midway through each semester. In addition, parents/guardians receive report cards at the end of each semester indicating quarter grades, the permanent semester grade, and a brief narrative explanation. We believe that an accurate assessment of academic progress is an important part of helping students, parents/ guardians, faculty, and administrators identify each student’s strengths and weaknesses. University Prep uses A through E marks with pluses and minuses. Grades are based primarly on student mastery of learning goals as provided by the faculty. In Fine Arts classes, student work is assessed based on multiple-criteria grade reports, portfolios of student work, and narrative comments. The grade report assesses skills, technique, and artistic expression using the terms E = exceeds expectation, M = meets expectations, W = works to meet expectations, or N = does not meet expectations.

Grades for Fine Arts classes are reported on student transcripts as Pass/Fail.

GPAs are used nearly exclusively in-house for such purposes as determining eligibility for school honors or awards; they are not generally reported to colleges or universities. We compute GPA’s by assigning a numerical equivalent to each grade, multiplying the numerical value by the number of credits the course carries, adding these grade points, and then dividing by the number of credits. Pluses and minuses add or detract from the grade below by .3 points. University Prep does not recognize a GPA of more than 4.0 regardless of numerical points.

A - 4 points
B - 3 points
C - 2 points
D - 1 point
E - 0 points
P - no points
I - no points

Incompletes

A grade of I is used to denote incomplete work for the quarter and/or the semester. For each incomplete grade, an agreement will be made between student, advisor, and teacher regarding the due date for the completed work. This due date is to be no more than four weeks into the next quarter; for Quarter 4 and Semester 2, the due date must be no later than four weeks into the new academic year for returning students. Graduating seniors earning an incomplete for Quarter 4 or Semester 2 must complete their work no later than the last day of teacher in-service at the end of the academic year. Work not completed before the agreed due date will be given a grade of E, which may or may not result in a grade of E for the class. Exceptions to these guidelines may be made at the discretion of the division director.

Pass/Fail

During the first week of the semester, with permission of the instructor and after consultation with parents/ guardians, personal advisor, division director, and (if applicable) the College Counseling Office, a student may elect to take one class on a pass/fail basis.

Occasionally, extenuating circumstances require a student to request a pass/fail designation after the first week of a semester. In these cases, the Division Director will determine approval of the request in consultation with the student's teacher and advisor.

If circumstances require a student to drop a course after the first week of a semester, the student’s transcript will reflect either a WP or WF, indicating a withdraw passing or withdraw failing as determined by the division director in consultation with the teacher.

Repeated Courses

If a student repeats a course, the grades for both the repeated and the original courses will appear on the transcript. However, only certain courses may be repeated for credit.

Graduation Requirements

A student’s course of study includes minimum diploma requirements in English, history, math, and science, one of three world languages, fine arts, and physical education. To graduate from University Prep, a student must be enrolled at the school as an “on campus” student during senior year.

Subject Credit
English (must be taken every semester) 40
History (include two years of world history,
one year of U.S. History and Civics)*
35
Mathematics (three years, through statistics) 30
Science (laboratory sciences only; must include
one year each of physics, biology, and chemistry)
30
Languages (three years of one language or
two years of one language and two years of another)
30**
Fine Arts (must include one class from at least two
of the four disciplines and a total of four classes)
20
Physical Education (three semesters plus health) 20
Electives 20
Total Credits 225*

* Credit completed during Middle School does not count toward graduation, with the exception of Washington State history. Washington State history at grade seven or after is a state requirement for graduation from high school. University Prep offers the class in seventh grade.

** In the case of completing the language requirement through two years of study of one language and two years of another, the language requirement equals 40 credits, and the total credits required for graduation equals 235.

Students must complete 20 hours of community service per year in the Upper School. School-wide community service days count toward that total. Students who do not earn at least 20 hours of service per year have a note “community service requirement not met” on their transcript for that academic year. Students who earn at least 20 hours of service receive a P each year. Students can graduate from University Prep without having earned P’s for every year of high school.

Students in grades 9 – 11 have a 12-month window to earn service hours for a particular grade level, which includes the summer following each completed year. Their forms must be turned in by mid-September. Seniors must complete their service during the school year to earn a P. Their forms are typically due two weeks prior to graduation.

Enrollment Requirements

Students may earn a University Prep diploma only after completing four academic years of high school study and meeting all University Prep graduation requirements. While a portion of a student’s graduation requirements may be earned elsewhere, students must be enrolled and on campus for their senior year to graduate from University Prep.

Transferred Credits

Credits earned at an accredited institution prior to enrollment at University Prep will be translated into University Prep equivalents on a student’s transcript. Once enrolled, students are expected to meet graduation requirements through University Prep. The appropriate department head, in consul-tation with the director of Upper School, must pre-approve requests for additional credit earned outside of University Prep. The student must arrange for transcripts to be sent from the off-campus institution to the registrar. The course will then appear on the University Prep transcript, reflecting the name of the sending institution.

Independent Study

If an Upper School student wishes to pursue a topic beyond the offerings at University Prep, he or she may arrange an independent study with a University Prep faculty member. Students are eligible to request independent study only after graduation requirements have been met in the department of interest. Written arrangements must be made with the appropriate department, and the proposals must be completed no later than one week after the start of a semester. Forms are available in the registrar’s office.

Semester Away

Students enrolled at University Prep may study away in recognized semester programs and receive credit toward graduation. Programs that are less than a semester in duration will not be considered for credit. General information about our policies regarding student, financial, curricular, and program requirements for receiving credit while away from University Prep is available below. Further information can be obtained from the director of Upper School and the director of Global Programs.

Semester Away General Information

Senior LaunchPad

LaunchPad challenges each senior at UPrep to spend the last 2 weeks of their senior year on an experience in the city. This experience speaks to their personal passions, to their professional, vocational, or academic curiosities, and/or to a new challenge in a new environment beyond this campus. They will choose where they go; they will get ample support in finding a community partner; and they will ultimately embark on an adventure that will help them bridge the gap between high school and college.

Audit

Upon special request, teachers may give permission to audit a class. Students taking courses for credit will take precedence over those wishing to audit. Credit is not awarded for auditing a class, and no permanent record of the audit is maintained.