A credit unit at Gonzaga is normally granted for the successful completion of a full‑year course. One-half credit unit is normally granted for the successful completion of a semester course.
Every Gonzaga student is required to complete successfully at least twenty‑five credit units in order to qualify for graduation. Each year, in addition, has a minimum credit level for successful completion. Informed and professional guidance is given to every student in the selection of his courses.
Every student must earn a minimum of six credits each year, except freshman year. All freshmen must earn seven credits.
To earn six credits, a student must take no fewer than six courses per semester.
For a student to receive academic credit for a semester's work, he must earn a passing grade for that semester. No credit is given for a year course if a student fails or withdraws from that course in the second semester. See the section on Grading for details.
Letter grades in all courses mean the following:
A = outstanding achievement
B = very good achievement
C = satisfactory achievement
D = unsatisfactory achievement
F = failure
Although the passing grade in each subject is “D”, this is not a college recommendation grade. The college recommendation grade is “C”.
A semester average is determined by the average of two quarter grades and the exam grade. No plus or minus grades are given for the quarter grades or for the exam marks. A plus or minus grade may be the average for the semester and it is only this average that is recorded on the transcript.
If the first semester average is an “F”, the student must earn at least a “C–” average for the second semester to pass for the year.
In a full year course if a student earns an “F” in the second semester, he fails for the year no matter what his first semester average was.
A student, who has failed a course for the year, must retake it in Gonzaga’s summer session to earn credit for that course. No student will be allowed to return for the following year if he retains an “F” on his record. Therefore, all failures must be rectified in summer session. There is one exception that can be made for seniors at the discretion of the Headmaster. If a senior has earned enough credit to allow him to graduate, has met all course requirements and has failed a non‑required course, at the discretion of the Headmaster that senior may graduate. The failed grade will simply be placed on the transcript and summer school, while advised, will not be required.
A student who has received one or two “D” grades at the end of the year who is not eligible for academic dismissal (see section on Academic Dismissal) will be strongly urged to repeat the subject(s) in the Gonzaga’s Summer School so that he may be better prepared to do next year's work and give evidence on his transcript to college admissions personnel that he has remedied the “D” grade(s).
Absentee Policy and Credits
Academic credit may be withheld if a student fails to meet the conditions of our absentee policy. Please see the student handbook for details.
Study At Home
It is expected that at least three hours of study each day will be needed for a student to prepare his class work. Although some of that preparation may be done during free periods at school, most of it will be done best at home. It will involve reading and writing assignments.
Written final examinations are regularly scheduled at the conclusion of each semester. At times, oral examinations, term papers, or projects substitute for or supplement final written examinations. Examinations count for one‑third of the semester grade.
A senior will be exempted from the final exam in the second semester of a course if he maintained an “A” average in both the third and fourth quarters. This exemption does not apply to AP courses. Students who take an AP course must take the AP exam at the end of the year. Exemptions from the AP exam are given at the Headmaster's discretion in the case of illness or other extenuating circumstance.
No student will be allowed to return to Gonzaga if he has failed more than two courses. Those students whose academic records are unsatisfactory will be considered for dismissal by the Headmaster after consultation with teachers, the student's counselor and other administrators. Students with two “F's”, one “F” and two or more “D's” or more than three “D's” will be eligible for dismissal at the discretion of the Headmaster. Students will not be allowed to repeat the year.
Students who are in academic trouble will be placed on probation for the following year. The probation will last for the entire next year. Under this probation a student must maintain a 2.0 average or, at least, a final report with no “F” average for any course. Students who fail to meet the conditions of the probation will be eligible for dismissal. Dismissal decisions are made at the discretion of the Headmaster.
Extended Time Testing
With proper documentation, students will be granted extended time on Gonzaga semester and final exams (not to exceed 50%). Gonzaga's academic schedule does not allow for untimed testing. Gonzaga will make reasonable attempts to accommodate students who require more time to complete tests on a case-by-case basis. For standardized tests like the SAT, ACT and AP exams, we will work with the student and his family to submit applications and documentation necessary for extended time testing, which is administered on national test dates at national test centers. Questions regarding this can be addressed by calling your son's counselor.
A grade point average (GPA) is calculated for each student at Gonzaga. For comparison purposes, a distribution of GPA’s for all the students in a particular class appears on each student's transcript. Although no ordinal rank is computed, using the distribution one can determine approximately how a student compares with his peers.
GPA’s are based on all courses taken at Gonzaga and no others. For these courses, the GPA is calculated (based on A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0) with AP courses earning an additional one point and Honors an additional 0.5. In the event a course is re-taken in summer school, the summer school grade is averaged with all school year grades.
Students are advised to consider Honors and Advanced Placement courses. Advanced classes challenge the student to learn at an accelerated level.
Interim reports are mailed to a student's parents or guardians toward the middle of each marking period. These reports may be either teacher warnings about possible failure or teacher commendations for outstanding work during that marking period. Parents and guardians are asked to give prompt and serious attention to these reports.
A report of school work is distributed to students four times a year. Parents of those students having academic difficulties are urged to consult with the appropriate teacher or counselor. Parent‑Teacher Conference evenings are scheduled on the calendar just after the first three marking periods to facilitate this communication.
A course can be changed without notation on the permanent transcript if the change occurs within the first two cycles of the semester.
After the second cycle is over, a student may change a course only at the beginning of the second quarter. Changes will be made by the Academic Dean when extraordinary circumstances exist.
If a student withdraws from a course after the first two cycles, a “W” will be placed on the transcript. There is one exception. If a student changes level in a course, e.g. from or to an honors or AP level course then no mention will be made on the transcript of the course changed from. Only the course changed to will be listed on the transcript. The grade from the old course is carried over into the new course
Deadlines for withdrawals are as follows: October 15 for a one semester fall course, March 15 for a one semester spring course and January 15 for a full year course.
Procedure for Course Changes:
After discussing potential course changes with his parents or guardians, the student should then see his counselor. If a switch is deemed appropriate, the student should see the Academic Dean to finalize any changes.
No change is official until approved by the Dean. In some cases, signatures of counselors and parents may be required.
Gonzaga's official transcript provides several different types of information pertinent to a student's academic record. It records semester grades for all of the courses a student has studied at Gonzaga. It also provides a cumulative grade point average and a distribution of GPA’s, which helps colleges to determine how a particular student's academic record compares with those of his classmates.
The Counseling office will process up to 10 transcripts for college application purposes. If a student wishes to apply to more than 10 colleges, he must first have the written permission of the Headmaster, and a fee of $5.00 will be charged for each additional transcript. Transcripts will be processed within three business days of a formal request.
Policy on College Admission Test Reporting
Colleges use several different types of standardized test scores to evaluate students for admission. The Educational Testing Service of the College Board administers two tests, the SAT Reasoning Test and SAT Subject Tests. American College Testing administers a third test, the ACT. The SAT Reasoning Test, a measure of critical thinking skills, is designed to measure how well a student applies the knowledge he has gained during the high school years. The ACT is also a cumulative knowledge exam, which tests students in four areas: English, math, reading, and science reasoning. All colleges and universities in the United States accept either ACT or SAT Reasoning Test results. We encourage students to take both tests.
The SAT Subject Tests are a set of specific area tests that measure mastery of subjects like English (literature), math, history, science and languages. These tests should be taken in June of the academic year immediately following the student’s completion of specific courses. It is also important to recognize that colleges do not use SAT Subject Tests and Advanced Placement exam results in the same manner. Advanced Placement exam results are never used to determine whether to admit a student to a particular college. Rather, they are typically used to award the student advanced standing or exemption, with or without college credit, from university courses at the introductory level.
SAT Reasoning, SAT Subject Tests and ACT scores are not recorded on the transcript because students may elect not to send these scores to particular colleges. The senior counseling staff will help each student decide where to send his various standardized tests scores. Arrangements to send these scores to colleges are made directly with the testing services.
The Dean's List
Honors are determined by a student's GPA. First Honors are awarded to those students who have earned a GPA of 3.9 or higher; Second Honors, 3.6 to 3.89; Third Honors, 3.2 to 3.59. Names of students meriting Honors are displayed on the Dean’s List Display Board.
Gonzaga sponsors a summer school for students who need extra assistance. Incoming 9th graders are sometimes asked to take summer courses to prepare them for the coming year. Enrolled students sometimes need to take summer work to make‑up credits or to master material they missed during the regular session. Because of the intense nature of work in summer school, students will be allowed to take only two courses. With the approval of the Headmaster and the appropriate Department Chairman, a student may take a summer course in a program other than Gonzaga's.
When a student takes a summer session course to make‑up credit or to improve on a poor grade, we will note the grade from summer school on the student's transcript along with the grade from the regular session. The grade from the summer session will be used with the regular session grade to calculate rank. While students may take courses in other summer programs, only grades from Gonzaga's summer school will be used in the calculation of rank.
Each year a limited number of Gonzaga seniors are permitted to take GeorgetownUniversity courses for college credit. This credit is generally transferable to the college the student will attend. Georgetown charges only a nominal tuition for these courses when the courses are taken through the Bridge Program. If a student chooses to take a course outside of the Bridge Program, he must pay the full tuition. Students must have the written permission of the Academic Dean to enroll in the Bridge Program.
Application must be made in the spring of junior year. While the Counseling Department coordinates the process for Gonzaga, each student must meet requirements set by the Director of Admissions at Georgetown for acceptance into the program. The students are scheduled for courses in the Bridge Program only if the Gonzaga course schedule permits. If you have further questions about this program, please call your son’s counselor or the Academic Dean.