Academic Support Policy
The school wishes to be clear with parents and students about the curriculum adjustments or curricular opportunities that are available to help students. No waivers of academic graduation requirements will be granted to students. The Governor’s Academy offers the following academic support to all its students:
- Group and individual extra help sessions are made available during the school day and evening by the school’s classroom teachers. All students are encouraged to attend these sessions when concepts are unclear.
- Additional time on examinations conducted in class may be offered by classroom teachers for students who have extended time documentation. A student must request additional time, and the student and teacher must negotiate an appropriate time period and venue.
- Students with documented learning differences may request preferred seating at semester and final examinations. Those arrangements must be made one week in advance of exam; up to 50% additional time is allowed for those students with extended time testing documentation.
- Students may request individual adult tutors at an additional expense to the family. Tutors are requested after students have availed themselves of extra help with appropriate classroom teachers.
- If a student is unable to pass a year of English during a school year, the student will be expected to enroll for an additional year at The Governor’s Academy to make up the year of English.
- Students with learning differences that necessitate a nonstandard administration of the PSAT, SAT-I and SAT-II: Subject Tests and/or Advanced Placement Examinations must submit written evaluations with clear and documented diagnosis from qualified educational specialists upon matriculation. The evaluations must have been conducted within three years of the request for extended time. The Academic Office provides certification for extended time for Academy testing to those students who regularly avail themselves of extended time on examinations given within the school’s curriculum after it has received written documentation by certified learning specialists. Certification by the Academy, however, does not guarantee extended time permission from the College Board. The Academic Dean will assist students and their parents in submitting necessary forms to the College Board to request extended time.
- The school has two computer laboratories, each offering individual work stations, Microsoft Word word processing software, and printers for students to use in preparing writing assignments.
- The Governor’s Academy provides a supervised evening study hall program limited to those students who are placed on Academic Probation, those students with a GPA below a 1.7 and those students who elect placement in the supervised study hall. Any student may be recommended for an additional Saturday morning study hall by his or her teachers or advisor.
- Courses completed in the summer will not count toward The Governor’s Academy graduation requirements or a student’s grade point average. The school may require a student to do academic work during the summer to master content or skills not completed during the school year.
- The Governor’s Academy employs a certified learning specialist skilled in the area of learning differences and diagnostic evaluations. Our learning specialist does not perform diagnostic evaluations, however. Families in need of such testing must arrange diagnostic testing in conjunction with the Academic Dean. Any adjustments in academic programs recommended by such testing would be limited to the academic support services outlined in this policy.
- The Governor’s Academy reserves the right to make all final determinations regarding support services for its student body.
The Governor’s curriculum does not utilize "ability grouping" or "tracking by ability" as traditionally understood, especially in its younger classes. There are ways in which differences of background or ability are addressed, and there are special sections in each field of study to present more challenging opportunities for the student with outstanding strengths and high motivation.
Accelerated sections exist in the foreign language program. Similar to honors sections elsewhere, these special sections indicate greater challenge and competition compared to regular sections. Accelerated designation must be earned by selection.
Honors sections in upper-level mathematics and science signify more demanding sections of these courses. The "honors" designation in mathematics and science must be earned by selection. Honors sections of introductory biology indicate a full year of chemistry has already been studied, thus the course assumes more than do the regular sections.
Advanced Placement Policy
The Advanced Placement Program of the College Board, designed to offer greater challenges through rigorous course work to able and ambitious students, encompasses the most demanding coursework that we offer. Such courses include an additional 90-180 class minutes/week. Students have additional work over vacation periods, including the summer. All students who take advanced placement courses must sit for the AP exam in May.
Each academic discipline offers at least one Advanced Placement course, for which there might be multiple sections. Students are selected for Advanced Placement courses based on past achievement, evidence of commitment to learning, tested ability, and departmental recommendations. While a student might desire to take an Advanced Placement course, the Academy reserves the right to select students for our Advanced Placement courses. The Academy also reserves the right to remove a student from an AP course at the semester break if the quality of that student’s work and work ethic does not meet the challenging caliber of these intensive and extensive courses.
It is our goal to place students in classes at all levels for which they are appropriately prepared and at which they are sufficiently challenged.
College Entrance Requirements
Because our students plan to attend college, entrance requirements for college must be kept in mind when selecting courses. In many instances, especially at the highly selective colleges to which many of our students aspire, these requirements may exceed the Academy’s minimum requirements for graduation. A college’s website is a good source of information in addition to the departmental notes throughout this guide.
In general, the more selective colleges and universities are looking for breadth and depth in the academic preparation of their applicants. Hence, it is important for the student with high aspirations to continue the study of mathematics and foreign language beyond the minimum, to take the extra history course, to be sure to include a lab science in the junior and senior years and, when possible, to qualify for inclusion in accelerated, honors, or AP sections.
The individual testing requirements for each college can be found in the Admission section of each college’s website. Our most competitive colleges will require two or three different SAT Subject Tests or the ACT (American College Testing) as part of the admission requirements. Because many colleges require candidates to take the SAT Subject Tests in addition to the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT by December of the senior year, courses should be chosen with this in mind. Our students normally take the SAT Subject Tests two times, in June of the junior year and in the fall of the senior year. Some sophomores enrolled in accelerated courses (i.e. Honors Algebra II) are advised by their teachers to take one or two SAT Subject Tests upon completion of the appropriate courses.
Choosing a Program of Study
Decisions concerning the selection of courses - made in consultation with the student's advisor - must account for the factors mentioned above. Choices made at the end of the ninth and tenth grades have a very important impact in the two crucial years -junior and senior - in the college admission process.