Academic Policies and Procedures

The courses listed in the Department section of the website are provided to aid in the course selection process for students in the upper and middle schools. Listings provide the student with an opportunity to estimate a four-year plan of study in the upper school.

Below, please find select academic policies and procedures germane to the preregistration process.  Additional policies may be found in the Parent/Student Handbook. 

Preregistration Instructions and Policies

With parent and advisor approval, students indicate a preferred course of study for the coming year based on our graduation requirements, course interest, and the appropriate degree of rigor. Final approval is granted by the Upper School Director and the academic department chairs. The Middle School Director oversees all middle school course placements. The instructions below should assist you in this process.

Course Offerings: Read all of the available course offerings. Discuss them as a family, as well as your interests, academic needs, goals, college plans, and potential career aspirations.

Yearly Planning: If you are entering grades 9-11, begin to complete your Upper School Course of Study Worksheet with a pencil. Fill in the courses that you have taken in previous upper school years and this year. Compare these courses with the graduation requirements.  Next on the Upper School Course of Study Guidesheet, pencil-in or circle the courses you want to take during the remaining years, based on our offerings. Please ensure you include the amount of credit for each course and that you have checked for prerequisites. Keep a copy of this plan for reference.

Preregistration: Complete the preregistration online signup for next year’s classes. Be sure to include any alternate choices. Review all of these forms with your parents and write down any questions you may have. Go over any questions that you may have with your advisor, counselor, or division director. Print two copies of your form—one for your records and one for your parents to sign.  Submit the printed parent signed form to the appropriate division office before the due date.  You have not completed preregistration until this form is on file in the appropriate division office.

Students Not Returning: Students not returning to St. George’s for the forthcoming year may go through advisement and preregistration or write “not returning” on the form.

For Your Files: St. George’s advises each family to maintain a cumulative file which contains copies of forms, progress reports, teacher comments, and letters concerning academic or conduct standing.

Course Placement Policy

St. George’s reserves the right to place the student in an alternative course than the one selected for the following reasons: 1) insufficient enrollment for the course; 2) faculty availability; 3) the requested course is incommensurate with the student’s previous academic performance and learning characteristics; or 4) too high a demand for the course.

Final decisions are determined by individual departments  and the Division Director. Decisions are based on the student’s mastery of basic skills, previous academic performance, level of organizational maturity, and observed effort, among other variables. The process is detailed, but, of course, we always appreciate parental input. Please keep in mind, however, that the school is generally in the best position to make an appropriate placement.

Advanced Course Placement: As a college preparatory school, all of St. Georges courses are academically challenging. Placement in Advanced Placement (AP), honors, or accelerated courses have varying requirements by department. A student interested in being considered for an advanced course should discuss this interest with his or her current teacher in the subject, as well as his or her advisor.

Students recommended for accelerated, honors, or AP courses must have displayed superior interest and ability in the subject and prerequisite skills necessary for achievement in the course. In addition, course enrollment is often based on observed effort in the subject. Interested students should be highly motivated, possess keen organizational skills, and demonstrate commitment toward investing more time for independent study than other courses. Sometimes the selection process may include an assessment item, consideration of standardized test scores, and extracurricular commitments. Previous enrollment in accelerated, honors, or AP courses does not guarantee enrollment in future courses.

Once selected for an accelerated/honors or AP course, the student is expected to maintain superior interest, effort, and performance as determined by the instructor. Students may change to a standard section only at the request of the instructor.

Students new to St. George’s are carefully monitored if enrolled in an AP, accelerated, or honors course. Adjusting to the academic rigors at St. George’s can be quite demanding. If the instructor sees that a new student is overburdened, action may be taken to alleviate the academic load of the student at the conclusion of the trimester. Generally, new students need the approval of the Department Chair or the Division Director for honors/accelerated/AP enrollment.

AP students are required to take the AP exam in the spring trimester of the year enrolled in the course, unless excused by the instructor and Upper School Director for extenuating circumstances. The cost of the AP examination is not included in the student’s tuition. With the approval of the teacher and Department Chair, a student may take an AP exam even if he or she is not enrolled in the course.

In certain disciplines and for certain courses, when a section cannot be designated AP, the Upper School Division Director and Department Chair may designate an individual student as an AP student. The student must then satisfy the AP requirements as listed in this guide or those given to the student by the instructor. These students are required to take the AP exam.

Specific Courses Required of all Upper School Students


English I, English II, English III: American Literature (or AP equivalent), and English IV: British Literature (or AP equivalent).


Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Precalculus or Advanced Topics in Applied Mathematics. If Algebra I is taken in the eighth grade, a student must enroll in an additional math course for his or her senior year.

Laboratory Science:

Physics I, Chemistry, and Biology I (or honors/AP equivalents), in that order.


Three levels of one language are required for graduation, two of which must be taken in the upper school. Passing the equivalent of the first level of a language in the middle school satisfies one year of the graduation requirement. Students beginning language study at level I in grade nine must complete three years of the same language in the upper school.

History/Social Science:

World History I, World History II, and U.S. History, in that order (or AP equivalents).


All students must be swim proficient and take one semester of wellness in upper school.

Fine Arts:

Two semesters are required during the upper school.


One year is usually taken during the sophomore, junior, or senior year.

Senior Independent Study:

Two semesters of intensive research and project-based learning during the senior year.

Required Course Load per Year

Ninth grade: Six academic courses

Tenth grade: Six academic courses

Eleventh grade: Six academic courses

Twelfth grade: Six academic courses and the senior independent study

Exceptions must be approved by the Upper School Director and the Director of College Guidance in the
case of juniors and seniors.

Request for Course Changes and Drops

Students have the opportunity to initiate a course change within the first two weeks of the course. After this date, a student may not request to drop a course unless a teacher initiates the need for a change.

Course Withdrawal: If a student withdraws from a course after the third week in the course, a letter designation will be applied to the transcript indicating the student's academic standing at the time of withdrawal. If the student's current grade is below a 65, a WF (for Withdraw Failing) will be assigned. If the student's current grade is above a 65, a WP (for Withdraw Passing) will be assigned.

Preregistration Forms and Resources

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