901 Boalsburg Pike | Boalsburg, PA 16827 | (814) 808-6118 | admin@stjoeacad.org

Curriculum

A school-wide commitment to excellence, combined with encouragement from administrators, faculty and peers, sets apart our approach to academics at Saint Joe’s. Our curriculum is designed to deliver a complete education, emphasizing personal excellence in mind, body and spirit. Students graduate prepared to at leading colleges and universities.

RequireD COURSES

Each student is required to carry a course load of 6.5 to 7 credits in each of their four years. The following courses are required in each year. The remaining electives may be selected from the elective courses offered in the various departments.

*Rotation of the following ½ credit courses: Who is Jesus Christ?, The Paschal Mystery, Stewardship & The Sacraments, World Religions, Morality, Catholic Social Teaching, Old Testament, New Testament

COURSE CHANGE POLICY

Each student should expect to remain in the courses selected at the time of registration. Changes after this time may not be possible because of schedule and class size limitation.  Once a semester has begun, changes, when permitted, must be authorized in writing by the student as well as the student’s parent/guardian, teacher and the appropriate school official.  The latest date for a schedule change is two weeks from the start of the semester.

Course selections shall not be made on the basis of the instructor of that course. Schedule changes with the intent of achieving an assignment with a particular teacher will not be considered.

It is not always possible to schedule every course listed in this curriculum guide. Elective courses for which few students register will not be offered. At times it may be necessary to rearrange the typical sequence of courses when those courses are not academically sequential.

The administration reserves the right to make changes in the courses that are offered and in policies related to them without notice. Every effort will be made to maintain the integrity of the program as it was designed and presented, but efficiency and logistics may require unanticipated modification.

GRADING SYSTEM

The following scale indicates the equivalents for Percentage/Letter Grade/Quality Point:

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  • Report cards are issued quarterly and will be viewed online via PowerSchool. Parents will receive a log-on password in order to view their student’s progress.

  • An “I” (incomplete) is assigned when a student fails to meet one or more requirements for the course work because of extraordinary circumstances.  All work must be completed within two weeks of the end of the grading period. Exceptions may be made based on extended illness.

Graduation Requirements

A full course, taken for one year, gives the student one unit of credit. Courses not taken for a full year are given partial units of credit in accordance with the time frame of the class. Successful completion of the graduation requirements will equal a minimum of 27 units of credit. Each student must complete satisfactorily the following:

  • A four-year sequence in Theology, English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies
  • A World Language to a third-year level. This is the minimum requirement. Please see the Higher Education Admissions section for more information. It is desirable that students enter SJCA with one unit of World Language credit.
  • Health and Driver Education; fifty hours of Physical Education per year for two years
  • Two credits of electives
  • A minimum of twenty-five service hours each year with a written reflection

COURSE LEVELS

Every level of courses is designed to meet the specific needs of the individual student at his/her ability.

The distinguishing criteria between Standard, Honors and Advanced Placement include the following: strategies of presentation, amount of content material, assignments, degree of independent work and testing.

For the average/above college-preparatory student who can also assume some responsibility for working independently.

For the student who is capable of learning beyond the ordinary content of a course and who assumes the responsibility of working independently. This designation is also used for students who successfully complete an Advanced Placement course but elect not to take the AP exam for that course.

intended for those subjects for which advanced standing or advanced placement may be given in college. Students enrolled in these courses may choose to take the AP exam at their own expense. Those who successfully complete the course but do not take the exam will be credited with the course as an Honors-level course. Credit at the higher-education level is determined by the score earned and by the policy of the institution, not by the AP program or by Saint Joe’s.

Course Levels and Higher Education Admissions

Students should be aware that admission requirements and practices vary among institutions. It is important that students along with their parents begin early in the high school career to become aware of the requirements and policies at the colleges and universities at which students may apply.

Honors and/or AP courses are preferred. Requirements for competitive colleges, universities and military academies include:

  • English: 4 years
  • Mathematics: 4 years
  • Science: 4 years
  • Social Studies: 4 years
  • World Language: 4 years *

*World Language expectations vary widely from institution to institution. Students must verify the expectations of any potential institution of higher education. Some colleges may require academic exposure to more than one language.

Accommodations

Accommodations will be provided for those students who show a learning disability. These accommodations must be in a reasonable arena. Reasonable accommodations may be in the arrangement of exam settings and extended time, scheduling, alternative directions, format and assistance.

Accommodations will not change what is expected of a student; accommodations only change the way the student gains access to learning. Accommodations do not lower the difficulty level of expectations for the student’s achievement, although there may be changes in teaching materials, instructional environment or instructional strategies.