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Concord Academy

02.0 Academic Program: Policies and Guidelines

 

2.01 Academic Year Calendar

 

August

30

New student registration

 

31

Orientation for all new students

September

1

Boarding orientation

 

2

Labor Day

 

 

Returning student registration

 

 

Athletic preseason begins

 

3

Convocation

 

 

First day of classes

 

29

Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown

 

30

Rosh Hashanah; school in session

October

 1

Rosh Hashanah; school in session

 

 9

Yom Kippur; no classes; houses open

 

10-12

Family Weekend  

 

14-15

Fall Break; no classes; houses open

 

16

Classes resume

November

23

Thanksgiving vacation begins; houses close at noon.

December

1

Houses open at 4:00 p.m., boarders return by 8:00 p.m.

 

2

Classes resume

 

20

Winter break begins; boarders depart at 9:00 a.m.

January

6

Houses open at 4:00 p.m., boarders return by 8:00 p.m.

 

7

Second semester begins

 

20

MLK Day; school in session; special programming

February

17

Presidents' Day; no classes; houses open

March

6

Spring break begins at noon; houses close at 2:30 p.m.

 

22

Houses open at 4:00 p.m., boarders return by 8:00 p.m.

 

23

Classes resume

 

27

Senior Transition Seminar

 

27-28

Junior Leadership Retreat

April

8

Passover begins at sundown

 

10

Good Friday; school in session

 

12

Easter

 

20

Patriots' Day; no classes, houses open

May

25

Memorial Day; houses open

 

28

Baccalaureate

 

29

 

Commencement 10:00 a.m.

Students depart beginning at 12:00 p.m., houses close at 2:00 p.m.

Calendar information changes frequently. For the latest and most up-to-date information, check Concord Academy’s Web calendar at concordacademy.org/calendar.

2.02 Daily Schedule

7:15–8:15 a.m.    Breakfast

8:20 a.m.    Student houses close for the school day

8:40 a.m.    School day begins with chapel or announcements

10:15–10:30 a.m.    Mid-morning break

11:50 a.m.–1:05 p.m.    Lunch block, dependent upon student schedule and day of week

3:10 p.m.    Classes end; student houses open

3:20–6:15 p.m.    Athletics and after school activities

5:30–7:00 p.m.    Dinner

7:30–9:30 p.m.    Study hall—all visitors should be off campus; day students remaining on campus are subject to study hall rules and must sign in with a proctor

10:00 p.m. House check-in for boarders Monday through Thursday: (9:30 p.m. on Sunday)

11:00 p.m.    House check-in for boarders Friday and Saturday

 

2.03 Absences

Students are expected to attend school when classes are in session. Leaving early for school breaks and vacations is not permissible. Students who do leave early without prior permission from the student life office or academic dean are likely to be assigned two hours of work jobs for each unexcused day.

With the exception of emergencies or illnesses, absences from school must be approved in advance. The student must make a Special Pass request, and get that cleared by all faculty/staff whose classes/commitments will be affected by the proposed absence. The Special Pass must be approved by all, including the Student Life Office one day prior to the proposed absence. Special Passes are used for doctor and dentist appointments, religious holidays, and significant family events. In the event of emergency or illness, direct permission for an excused absence may be granted by the health center staff or the Student Life Office. Seniors are eligible for four days of missed classes for the purpose of traveling to and visiting colleges. College-visit absences must be approved by the College Counseling Office before travel arrangements are made. Specific college-visiting days are on the CA Event calendar.

Day students who are unable to attend school due to emergencies or illnesses must have their parents call the Attendance Office at (978) 402-2202 by 8:40 a.m. each day they are unable to attend classes, or send an email to student_life-office@concordacademy.org. A student who is absent 5 or more times in a semester may have a conversation with the academic dean and the student's advisor to check on the student's academic progress.

All students who become ill during the school day must check in with the Health Center. It is the responsibility of the student to make up all work missed during absences.

When a student is absent on the day a significant paper or project is due, it is the student’s responsibility to deliver the paper or project to the class teacher.

Any student who misses more than half of their academic commitments in a single school day will not be allowed to participate in after school activities on that day unless extenuating circumstances merit an exception by the academic dean or the dean of students.

2.04 Attendance

Student attendance at classes, chapel, announcements, athletics, assigned kitchen and recycling duties and community assemblies is compulsory. Unexcused absences will likely result in the assignment of workjobs by the Student Life Office.

Work jobs are assigned as a response to a student’s action (or inaction) that negatively impacts the school community. Work jobs are a way for a student to give back to the school for missing commitments or otherwise negatively impacting the community.

Workjob assignments are completed on designated Saturday mornings starting at 9:30 a.m. The student will get an email from the Student Life Office detailing the community violation and the assignment of workjobs. A student may defer a work job assignment one time if there is a relevant reason for deferral. Following that one-time deferment, students are expected to show up for the assigned slot. If they fail to do so, the hours will be doubled and the work job assignments must be completed on the next designated Saturday morning, regardless of a student’s other commitments.

A student who accumulates three unexcused absences from class in one semester will be referred to the academic dean, and may receive a dean's warning. If there is any work assessed during a time when a student has an unexcused absence, there may be a significant academic penalty (e.g., a “zero” for the day or a “zero” on a test, quiz, paper, or exam with no chance to make up the work). Any additional unexcused absences from class will be referred to the dean of students and may result in a Discipline Committee meeting.

Any student who accumulates five hours of work jobs will be referred to the Dean of Students.

Workjobs are assigned as indicated below:

Class Cut (Includes PE classes)     1 hour of work jobs

Community Assembly      1 hour of work jobs

Recycling      1 hour of work jobs

Chapel/Announcements     1 hour of work jobs

Class Meeting (short block)      1 hour of work jobs

Class Meeting (long block) 2 hours of work jobs

Community Weekends     2 hours of work jobs

Kitchen Duty

Weekday    4 hours of work jobs

Weekend    4 hours of work jobs per meal missed

Late to Chapel/Announcements    

3 instances of under 5 minutes late are treated as a cut and result in 1 hour of work jobs. Each subsequent lateness is also considered a cut with an additional 1 hour of work jobs assigned for each instance. A lateness after 5 minutes is considered a cut.

In addition, excessive late arrivals, whether excused or unexcused, may be referred to the dean of students.

Late to class 1/2 hour work jobs

2.05 Religious Holidays

In an effort to support the diverse backgrounds of our students, a Special Pass for the observance of religious holidays will, in most cases, be authorized using the normal procedures. The school will attempt to avoid scheduling athletics and other special events on the eve and first day of significant religious holidays. Faculty and students are reminded each year about academic expectations on religious holidays.

2.06 Athletics and Physical Education Programming

The Athletics Department follows a Code of Conduct, which is a detailed guide of policies and procedures; this document is presented to all students in team sports and PE classes at the start of each season by the Director of Athletics.

All students are required to meet the published athletic graduation requirement each year. Students can earn athletic credit in team sports, intramural sports, physical education classes, mainstage productions, select CA dance classes, community service, and in approved external programming in those sports not currently offered at the school.

Team and intramural sports, as well as physical education classes, meet during weekday afternoons. Since participation in athletics is a graduation requirement, athletic commitments take precedence over noncredit extracurricular activities. Athletic game and class schedules are posted electronically at the beginning of each season and then updated as changes occur during the season; all students are responsible for knowing the schedule of their athletic commitment. Students who have a significant unavoidable conflict (e.g., a family wedding) should inform their coach as soon as the conflict is known and should submit Special Pass to the dean of students. Whenever possible, appointments (dentist, doctor, etc.) should be scheduled outside of scheduled game and practice times. More information about the athletic attendance and participation policy is available in the department Code of Conduct.

Students who are ill must see a member of the Health Center staff to be excused from practice or class. A student who is excused from afternoon athletics due to illness is not permitted to participate in any other activities that day. A student must be in attendance for at least half the school day in order to participate in athletics unless excused by the academic dean or the dean of students. A student who has an injury should see the head athletic trainer, who will assess the injury and determine what should be done so activity can resume in a timely manner. The athletic training room is located on the lower level of the Student Health and Athletic Center (SHAC).

The Athletic Department and the Performing Arts Department collaborate to determine policies for athletes and performing artists. Athletic and performing arts schedules are carefully crafted to offer a wide range of opportunities to students with multiple interests and abilities. However, safeguards are in place to prevent students from over scheduling themselves.

Students must be dressed in appropriate clothing to participate in athletics and provide most of their own athletic attire and gear. The Athletic Department lends out some equipment for physical education classes and for recreational use, and some athletic apparel and gear is available for purchase. The athletic equipment room, which is located on the lower level of the Student Health and Athletic Center (SHAC), supplies uniforms for team sports. Students are accountable for all issued gear and clothing. Further information regarding issued gear and uniforms is available in the Athletics Department Code of Conduct.

2.07 Library Policies and Procedures

The J. Josephine Tucker Library at Concord Academy is a place for individual study, collaborative work, and research. Patrons are expected to abide by the following rules:

  • Work quietly and be respectful of others.
  • Check out ALL materials at the circulation desk before leaving the library.
  • Take personal belongings with you when leaving the library.
  • Drinking water in bottles only - no food or other beverages.
  • Violations of these rules are subject to the student losing library privileges and/or disciplinary action.

Borrowing Policies and Loan Periods

  • Circulating books and older periodicals can be loaned for the semester;
  • Sound and video recordings and current periodicals can be loaned for seven days;
  • Chromebooks, projectors, and audio equipment can be loaned for the academic day or study hall hours. Students should not rely on school issued chromebooks for their tech needs, and are expected to have their own portable device.  
  • Materials for class assignments and reserve copies of textbooks can be loaned for up to two hours.

Fines and Fees

Although there are no overdue fines, patrons are responsible for all materials borrowed and will be charged for the full replacement cost of lost or damaged materials. The Library staff also work with the Circulation Supervisor at the Concord Free Public Library to assist in getting seniors to return materials, pay overdue fines and/or replacement fees prior to Commencement.

2.08 Study Skills

The Academic Support Center (ASC) is designed to offer help with study skills to all students (e.g., organization, reading efficiency, construction of a study schedule, and limited content-specific help). Help from members of the ASC is offered to all students, but is a limited resource. Triage of student needs occurs during the busiest times of the semester, though the ASC tries to meet all requests. If a student’s need of one-on-one tutoring exceeds the ASC’s ability to meet it, we will work with the family to engage an outside tutor at the student's family’s expense. Financial aid is available for tutoring in situations where the ASC cannot meet a financial aid student’s needs. Basic study skills also are part of the 9th grade health and wellness curriculum.

2.09 Academic Accommodations

Information about the school’s policies and resources regarding academic accommodations is available from the Director of Studies.

The Academic Office  will work with students and their families to accommodate cognitive and health situations that arise before or during a student’s time at the school. Accommodations that would require a significant change in CA’s program cannot be granted. Students whose ability to engage with schoolwork changes during a semester may need to change their schedule, or change status in a course to reflect their situation.

Before allowing academic accommodations, the school requires that neuropsychological testing be conducted by a licensed psychologist. The school’s consulting psychologist can refer families to professional resources off campus and will supply a list of tests that are expected to be part of a thorough neuropsychological evaluation. Written results of educational testing are reviewed by the consulting psychologist and the Director of Studies. With permission of parents, a summary of those results is shared with faculty to enable them to best serve the student. Students meet with the Director of Studies or a member of the Academic Support Center about appropriate study strategies moving forward. The school’s grading practices and expectations for completion of work will not be affected by academic accommodations.

Students with significant medical issues that interfere with academic functioning may request a medical leave or request that their course load be reduced below 14 credits for one term. The goal of this reduction is to allow those students to function successfully in fewer classes while tending to their recovery. A student is not permitted to keep a full course load if unable to adhere to standard expectations including deadlines, taking tests, and participating in class. It is not possible to remain in school while unable to function within the standard expectations of the academic program.

Students who are diagnosed with a concussion are afforded temporary accommodations until their symptoms subside. CA follows physician guidelines following a concussion. Given the school’s limited ability to supervise boarders who are recovering from illness or concussion, less flexibility is available to students living on campus. Severe concussions or delayed recovery may require alteration of a student's academic program. The student's advisor and the director of studies will work with families to create a realistic recovery plan.

On rare occasions, a student may request a waiver of a Concord Academy graduation requirement. Such a request must be supported by recent and sufficient testing, the consulting psychologist, and the director of studies.

The head of school, will make a decision after considering recommendations from the school specialists and the director of studies. In all cases, the school reserves the right to evaluate whether Concord Academy is an appropriate school for the student, pending success in their academic program. More information about the waiver process is available from the Academic Office.

The College Board/ACT have specific documentation requirements for accommodation requests. They require that all learning disabilities be professionally documented within three years prior to standardized testing. The documentation must specifically mention the type of accommodation necessary (e.g., extended time), and Concord Academy must have made the same accommodation for the student prior to test registration. Because the College Board/ACT have strict deadlines for considering students who need accommodations, parents should request accommodations from the Academic Office as early as possible. The registrar helps families make requests to the College Board/ACT for accommodations.

2.10 Advisor Program

The advisor is the primary liaison between the student, the student’s family, and the school*.

The advisor is the individual with whom parents/guardians should have direct contact. As is typical of most high schools (and perhaps different from primary and middle schools), families are asked to refrain from being in direct contact with teachers. The advisor’s principal responsibilities include overseeing a student’s academic progress and achievements, as well as offering advice and support. The advisor's additional responsibilities include helping a student plan their courses and extracurricular activities, approving changes in course registration, and approving all excused absences. At the end of each semester, the advisor will write a summary report that accompanies the student’s grades. The advisor is the first person with whom faculty members will consult when a student is experiencing difficulty. Likewise, parents should communicate with the advisor when there are questions or concerns about their child’s life at school, or something which may impact their life at school.

New students are assigned an advisor over the summer, and will learn who that is at registration. At the end of each school year, returning students may either retain their advisor or request a new advisor. In order to change advisors, a student must submit four new advisor choices to the dean of students. These choices must be faculty or staff members listed on the advisor list provided to students. The dean of students and the academic dean, will consider the choices and assign the most appropriate choice as the student’s new advisor.

*Note: If a family would like to put the school in touch with a student’s therapist or any health professional, we ask that they contact either the director of student health and support services, or the academic dean.

2.11 Course Withdrawals

Students may withdraw from a class after speaking with the director of studies and their advisor. Please refer to the Concord Academy Course Catalogue for policies about academic credit, course withdrawals, and taking a course on a pass/fail basis. Withdrawals appear as a “W” on the transcript after Family Weekend in the fall semester, and after Spring Break in the spring semester.

2.12 Diplomas Out of Course

At the discretion of the head of school, a senior who is not able to meet the requirements of the school by the last academic day of the year can be granted a diploma out of course. A student pursuing a diploma out of course must complete academic classes at another institution or with a CA-approved adult and present written evidence of success in that work to Concord Academy. A diploma achieved in this way is a “diploma out of course,” and is marked with the date the diploma is awarded. Arrangements for completion of academic requirements are determined with the head of school, and appropriate members of the faculty. If the student has come close to meeting requirements and has a satisfactory record of citizenship, they may be allowed—at the discretion of the head of school—to participate in graduation ceremonies with their class. Students are not eligible to participate in any other graduation ceremonies in later years. Seniors not in attendance at the conclusion of the second semester of their senior year may not participate in graduation or other end-of-year ceremonies.