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Concord Academy

Academic Program

 

Academic Program

Graduation requirements; grading and credit policies; procedures for course drops, additions, withdrawals, and waivers; and guidance around off-campus study can all be found in the general section of the Concord Academy course catalog.

 

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 (9:00 p.m. on Sunday)

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

 

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 dean of academic program and equity are likely to be assigned 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 departure for 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 dean of academic program and equity 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. Please see the school’s policy on communicable illness for steps the school will take should the school be concerned that a student is showing symptoms of Covid-19.

 

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, unless illness prevents the student from doing so, in which case parents or the health center should be in contact with the teacher to make alternate arrangements for completing the assignment.

 

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 dean of academic program and equity or the dean of students.

 

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 work jobs by the Student Life Office. Patterns of repeated absence will be referred to the dean of students and may result in a disciplinary response.

 

Work jobs are assigned as a response to a student’s action (or inaction)—like being late—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.

 

A student who accumulates three unexcused absences from class in one semester will be referred to the dean of academic program and equity, and may result in a disciplinary response. 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.

 

Work jobs

Assigned as indicated below, for either being late or missing a commitment altogether

 

Class Cut                                     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

Community Weekends                2 hours of work jobs

Kitchen Duty

Weekday                                      4 hours of work jobs

Weekend                                      4 hours of work jobs per missed shift

Late to Chapel/Announcements   

  • 3 instances of under 5 minutes late are treated as a cut resulting 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                                3 late instances lead to 1 hour of work jobs

 

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.

 

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 are ill must see a member of the Health Center staff to be excused from practice or class. A student who is excused due to illness from afternoon athletics is required to remain in the health center until their scheduled athletic session is over and may not participate in any other activities that day. Day students should remain until they can be picked up by a parent/guardian. A student must be in attendance for at least half the school day in order to participate in athletics unless excused by the dean of academic program and equity 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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Academic Support Center

The Academic Support Center (ASC) is designed to offer help with study skills (e.g., organization, reading efficiency, construction of a study schedule, and limited content-specific help) on a free and temporary basis. 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. Members of the ASC prioritize student requests based on two sets of criteria:  a student’s class level (intro level classes are prioritized over advanced level classes) and the complexity of a student’s need for support. If a student’s need for 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 family’s expense. The ASC does provide ongoing support for students on financial aid; where this is insufficient, students on financial aid may work with the director of studies to explore other options. Basic study skills also are part of the 9th grade health and wellness curriculum.

 

Academic Accommodations

Information about the school’s policies and resources regarding academic accommodations is available from the director of studies. The school does not discriminate against qualified applicants or students on the basis of learning differences or medical challenges that may be reasonably accommodated. Please see Appendix G for the school’s non-discrimination policies.

 

The Academic Office will work with students and their families to accommodate cognitive and health situations that arise during a student’s enrollment at the school. Families who present the school with appropriate documentation of a learning difference will be granted those requested academic accommodations, provided they are supported by the documentation and considered feasible and sustainable in this educational setting. 

 

Before allowing academic accommodations, the school requires that neuropsychological testing be conducted by a licensed psychologist. The school’s consulting psychologist and the director of studies 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 neuropsychological testing are reviewed by the consulting psychologist and the director of studies. Based on this review, the school’s consulting psychologist and the director of studies would determine which accommodations can be supported by Concord Academy. With permission of parents, a summary of those accommodations 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. If in the school’s judgment, a student is exhibiting symptoms that make the student unable to participate in required academic or extracurricular activities without imposing an undue burden on the school’s resources, the school may recommend that the student be evaluated and subsequently placed on a medical leave. Please see the section on Student Support Services for the school’s personal leave policy.

 

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 dean of academic program and equity will work with families to create a realistic recovery plan.

 

In rare circumstances, a waiver may be granted to a student who is unable to fulfill a department or graduation requirement or to complete a course in the specified way. Comprehensive neuropsychological testing is needed in order for the school to consider a waiver. The group that reviews any request and makes a recommendation to the head of school includes the director of studies, the student’s advisor, and the instructor and department head concerned. 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 differences be professionally documented (for the College Board within five years and for the ACT 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.

 

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 (though 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 will submit five 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 dean of academic program and equity, 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, the dean of students, or the dean of academic program and equity.

 

Course Withdrawals

After the drop/add deadline, students who wish to drop a course taken for credit or as an audit must consult with the director of studies. Dropping a semester course after the drop/add period in that semester and dropping a year course after the fall drop/add period are considered course withdrawals. For students who need to change to a different level of a subject such as modern and classical languages or mathematics, the drop/add period may be extended (for first-semester or year courses) through Family Weekend, or (for second-semester courses) through January 31, or by permission of the director of studies. Course withdrawal forms must be signed by the instructor, advisor, and director of studies. A student who withdraws from a semester course, or who withdraws from a year course during the first semester, receives no credit for that course. If a student withdraws from a year course during the second semester, the first-semester grade appears on the student’s transcript, and if the first semester was completed with a passing grade, the student receives credit for the first semester. With certain exceptions determined by the school, a course withdrawal appears on the transcript with the date of withdrawal and the grade W (Withdrawn) for the semester in which the withdrawal occurred.

 

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 may 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.