About Academics and Courses

Academic Load Review
Placement in Courses
Honors & AP Courses
Summer Courses

Academic Load Review

If a student wishes to take more than six courses or  more than three honors/AP level courses, the student must petition the head of the upper division for approval before the next year’s academic schedule is constructed. The petition consists of a written statement from the student stating the rationale behind their request. The head of the upper division will solicit the opinion of the student’s advisor, contact the current teacher if indicated, and consult with the associate head of the upper division and the registrar before deciding whether to approve the petition. In reviewing each petition, the head of the upper division considers the student’s academic record, the work each proposed course requires, and the student’s anticipated extracurricular obligations. 

 

Stevenson does not support students wishing to prepare independently for AP exams during the school year. We strongly discourage this practice as it distracts students from full engagement with their Stevenson curriculum. We do not register students for AP exams other than those associated with courses taken during the school year. Exceptions to this policy may be made in exceptional circumstances after a review of a student petition by the head of the upper division. A petition will be denied if it is felt that the student’s request is deemed excessive, unrealistic, or unhealthy. 

 

Approval of a petition does not constitute a requirement that a student take all of the requested courses or AP exams. It is also possible that even if the petition is approved, not all of the requested courses will actually fit into the schedule. Thus, an approval is not a guarantee that the student will be able to take all of the courses.

Placement in Courses

Placement in a course is determined by the department head in consultation with the classroom teacher following placement requirements detailed in links from each department’s course listing below. These guidelines are also communicated to new students by the registrar and to returning students by their classroom teacher.

Honors & AP Courses

Honors and AP courses are more challenging than regular courses, to the extent that Stevenson limits the number of honors and AP courses that a student may take at a time. Students are not required to take any honors or AP courses at Stevenson.

Students taking an AP course are generally expected to take the AP exam or submit the AP portfolio in May. Students are not permitted to take an AP exam at Stevenson if they are not enrolled in that AP course.

Summer Courses

Students interested in taking courses outside of Stevenson should consult with the registrar, Mrs. Liz O’Hara (lohara@stevensonschool.org). Stevenson supports summer study for three purposes.

Acceleration

Each academic department has its own policies regarding course acceleration. Students who wish to take a summer course in order to accelerate through a department’s sequence of study must first inform the registrar and receive advance approval from the appropriate department head and the head of the upper division.

 

Credit Recovery

Students seeking to recover credits lost to course failures or withdrawals should consult with the registrar before proceeding to enroll in summer programs at other institutions or online.

 

Enrichment

Students often choose to take courses at other schools during the summer for their own enrichment. 

 

If a student is successful in a summer course taken for a grade and credit at an accredited school, Stevenson will include a note on the student’s transcript indicating the title of the course, the school at which it was taken, and the grade and credit earned. 

 

Note that the successful completion of summer courses taken elsewhere does not count as Stevenson course credit and cannot replace a low grade in a Stevenson course. However, these courses can count for placement. Students taking a summer course are still expected to take a full academic load during the school year.