Academic Information

OVERVIEW  
The academic program at Sem is a comprehensive and rigorous course of study that is designed to prepare students for academic success in college while exposing them to a broad based liberal arts education. Students and parents should refer to the course catalog for detailed information about graduation requirements and course descriptions. Please see the academics section of our website for more details or to download the academic bell schedule.

 


IMPORTANT DATES  
Fall Trimester
October 3, 2016: Midterm grades and comments due for all courses 

November 21, 2016: Final grades due and comments for grades of D+ or lower, efforts of "2" or lower, or incompletes.

Winter Trimester
January 16, 2017: Midterm grades due with comments for term courses, grades of D+ or lower, or incompletes.

February 27, 2017: Final grades due and comments for grades of D+ or lower, efforts of "2" or lower, or incompletes.

Spring Trimester 
April 17, 2017: Midterm grades and comments due for all courses.

May 30, 2017: Final grades for spring and the year, with comments for grades of D+ or lower, efforts of "2" or lower, or incompletes.

 


HONOR CODE

Teaching and promoting academic honesty is a three-way partnership among the school, the family, and the student. The faculty of Wyoming Seminary believes that mutual trust is a cornerstone of its program and that any violation of this trust is a serious disciplinary matter. Parents are urged to support our unalterable position on all matters of academic honesty.

   Academic dishonesty: refers to forms of cheating and plagiarism which result in students giving or receiving unauthorized assistance in an academic exercise or receiving credit for work which is not their own.

    Cheating: intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise. The term “academic exercise” includes all forms of work submitted for credit. 

    Facilitating academic dishonesty: intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate academic integrity.

    Plagiarism: the deliberate adoption or reproduction of ideas, data, language, or statements of another person as one’s own without proper acknowledgement.

Faculty members are expected to involve the Dean of the Upper School and Honor Council Chair Jill Stretanski in each case of academic dishonesty. Although there are no automatic penalties with respect to violations of academic integrity, students are to understand that cheating in any form is considered a serious breach of conduct and will be dealt with accordingly. 

THE OFFICIAL WYOMING SEMINARY HONOR CODE

1. Rationale:
Wyoming Seminary is an academic community based on trust. Honesty in the execution and presentation of graded work is vital for real learning and fair evaluation.

Cheating, facilitating cheating, or plagiarism impede learning and creativity, undermine meaningful and just grading, and subvert trust between and among students and faculty.

Each faculty member has the responsibility to delineate clearly to students which assignments should be completed without assistance and what citations are appropriate. Students are expected to sign an Honor Code Statement on tests, papers and reports: “I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this work.”

2. Each Student Agrees:
  •  I understand and will support and follow the Honor Code.
  •  I will not personally use unauthorized materials, and I will not participate with others in cheating.
  •  I will not facilitate cheating, and, if I become aware of violations of academic integrity, I understand that I have a responsibility to the community and should at least say something to the student involved or discuss the situation with a teacher or an Honor Code Council member.

3. The Honor Council:
The Upper School Honor Council contains six to eight students and four to six faculty members. Formal Honor Council student hearings are held with the student, the student's advisor, the Council Chair, two students, and two faculty from the council. Violations of the Code will be brought to the committee by the Chair of the Council in consultation with the Dean of Upper School, upon report of classroom teachers or members of the Council. The Council will recommend to the Dean of Upper School appropriate action which could include grade reduction, warning, censure, probation, suspension or dismissal (dismissal requires approval by the President). Actions taken by the Honor Council will be promptly reported to parents.

Subsequent repeated actions that warrant an Honor Council may be referred to a full disciplinary board. The student's parent/guardian would receive formal contatct to clarify expectations.

 


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS  
Who is in charge of the academic program?

The Academic Dean has oversight of the school’s academic calendar, courses of study and student academic records. Working in close association with the Academic Dean are the Director of Scheduling, and the Class Deans, who, along with faculty advisors and classroom teachers, make up a team of caring individuals who monitor and guide each student’s course of study at Wyoming Seminary.

How long is the academic day?
Sem follows an eight-period bell schedule (class periods are called “bells”) starting at 8:00 a.m. each morning and concluding with the end of bell 8 classes (anywhere from 2:15 to 2:55 p.m.). Each day follows the calendar of letter days that allows Sem to incorporate a variety of meetings within the school day while preserving class times that are 40 to 50 minutes in length. Letter days are published on our calendar and on the daily Knight & Day bulletin.

How many courses may a student take?
Students generally take between four and six core courses each day, with five being the most common class load. These must include four courses in the “core” subject areas (English, language, history/social science, mathematics and science) at any one time.

How does the grading system work?
Wyoming Seminary uses a letter grade system for reporting academic achievement and a number grade system for a subjective evaluation of student effort. A system of grade weighting for honors and AP level courses ensures that students be given appropriate transcript credit for work well beyond the normal high school expectation.

Students may receive an “I” grade for incomplete work in a course. All incompletes must be made up within ten school days of the end of the grading period. Students who are unable to make up the unfinished work in that time period run the risk of receiving a “0” for the assignment(s) in question, with a corresponding reduction of grade in that course.

International students in their first year at Wyoming Seminary may be given an “R” grade in courses where their teacher believes their adjustment to working in English is having an adverse affect on their academic average. All “R” grades signify that the school “reserves” the right to assign a credited letter grade during that time period. The “R” grade has no GPA equivalency assigned on the report card, so receiving the “R” neither helps nor hurts the student’s overall average. Teachers may use “R” grades in each report period until spring midterm, at which time all students will receive grades that bear GPA credit.

GradeNumerical EquivalentRegular CoursesHonors CoursesAP Courses
A+100-974.34.75.0
A96-934.04.34.7
A-92-903.74.04.3
B+89-873.33.74.0
B86-833.03.33.7
B-82-802.73.03.3
C+79-772.32.73.0
C76-732.02.32.7
C-72-701.72.02.3
D+69-671.31.72.0
D66-631.01.31.7
D-60-620.71.01.3
F and below600.00.00.0

 

What are effort grades?
Teachers write subjective evaluations of student effort that appear on report cards (not transcripts) according to the scale below.

5 - Outstanding effort in and out of class
4 - Well above average effort noted
3 - Satisfactory and appropriate effort for this student in this class
2 - The teacher judges this student to be working below ability
1 - An unsatisfactory effort in and out of class

Are there honor rolls?
Interim grade-point averages (GPA) are calculated at each reporting period card during the school year. Two levels of academic honor are recognized:
   Dean’s List High Honors: GPA of 3.80 and above, no grade below C
   Dean’s List: GPA of 3.30 and above, no grade below C

How much homework should I expect?
Students in college prep, independent schools like Sem are exposed to an academic program that covers more material in a shorter period of time than do students in many public or independent schools. As a result your teachers will assign homework on both weeknights and weekends, and perhaps even over school breaks. Teachers are guided by the standard of 30-45 minutes of work each night. How long homework will take each student, however, varies with the abilities, energies, and organizational approaches that each student can apply to this important and routine part of a Sem education. Judicious use of time, whether in the school day, after school, and at night, is essential to be successful in a curriculum as rigorous as Sem’s.

Students who find themselves not able to keep up with the homework load should discuss this with their teacher, advisor, and/or Class Dean. Sometimes a change in overall course-load, or a lessening of extra-curricular or social commitments can be an effective solution to academic overload.

Are there study halls, and how does one get assigned?
Wyoming Seminary teachers regularly grade their students on homework and labs or through quizzes, tests, papers, projects and class presentations. Sem students are therefore engaged in academic work on a daily basis, hence the report that “I have no homework” is a rare occurrence, especially given the value of routinely reviewing class notes well in advance of upcoming tests. The school therefore believes that students need to learn how to organize their efforts for best advantage in keeping up with their academic obligations. Non-class time during the school day provides students with one important opportunity to do so.

All new Sem students and those returning students whose academic progress needs more attention are assigned to study halls during their free bells at the opening of the school year.  This gives them the added structure to get their year off to the best possible start. After the first report cards are issued only students* on the D & F (at least 2 grades of D or at least 1 grade of F) will remain in study hall. Advisors will meet with students and discuss the responsibility that being released from study hall obligations necessitates. This freedom will be considered an earned privilege but one that can be revoked if not used effectively and respectfully.

*Class Deans reserve the right to assign students who are not on D & F list to study hall if the extra structure is warranted.

When are grades reported?
Grades and/or comments will be uploaded to the Parent Portal approximately five school days after the dates listed below. If you have not received grades one week after the due date, please contact the Academic Office.

Please note that midterm grades are not official recorded grades in any course. They are intended to give students an accurate assessment of progress and achievement at the approximate mid-point of the term. End-of-term grades are likewise not official transcript grades for year-length courses, although they are important in calculating the end of the year final grade.

Can students change their schedules during the year?
Academic schedules may need to be changed during the school year, and these changes may be initiated by a classroom teacher, an advisor, the Class Dean, or the student. While such changes are sometimes for elective reasons, most happen in response to an inappropriate course or class placement. All class or course changes must be processed through the Class Dean for that student’s particular class. Contact information for class deans can be found on the Important Contacts page.

Can students make changes anytime?
Sem gives students a limited grace period to add or drop a course according to the schedule below.

  •  Students may not add a full-year course later than September 9, 2016.

    Students may not add a fall term course later than September 2, 2016.

    Students may not add a winter term course later than December 2, 2016.

    Students may not add a spring term course later than March 17, 2017.

    Seniors may drop a full-year course without transcript penalty until October 11, 2016, provided that their total program fulfills curriculum requirements.

    All other students may drop a full-year course without transcript penalty until December 2, 2016 provided that their total program fulfills curriculum requirements.

    Drops without transcript penalty, for all students, may be made no later than:
Fall term course: October 11, 2016
Winter term course: January 23, 2017
Spring term course: April 24, 2017 

Any requests for drops after the stated dates require consultation with the course teacher, the advisor, and the Class Dean. Drops after the no-penalty period will be noted on the student’s permanent transcript with a “W/P” for withdrew/passing or a “W/F” for withdrew/failing.

Please note that no course may be dropped within two weeks of the first day of the examination period, or within one week of mid-term deadlines.

What should students do when they need academic help?
Students are encouraged to work through academic problems with their classroom teacher who knows both the student and the curriculum. All Sem teachers are expected to be available for conferences with students during the school day and after school in the bell 9 conference time. Many faculty members live on campus and also give generously of their time during the evenings and on weekends.

Sometimes students benefit from tutorial assistance. Qualified teachers as well as peer tutors may be engaged once the need is identified, and the school maintains lists of those available for specific subject remediation. Faculty advisors, Class Deans, or the Academic Dean may be contacted to help assess the need and, if necessary, make referrals.

Does Sem give final examinations?
Wyoming Seminary believes that final examinations are excellent learning instruments that allow students opportunities to synthesize a significant body of work and to demonstrate understanding, interpretation and application of the work. Furthermore the taking of examinations is a necessary preparation for doing well in similar examinations that will be given in college. Exemptions for final examinations may only be granted in upper level courses when students meet the criteria set by the academic department for such exemptions. It is imperative, therefore, that students prepare well for their exams and make plans to be on campus during the exam periods. All students are expected to take their exams on the dates and times when scheduled for their particular classes. No students will be expected to take more than two exams in one day. The Academic Dean manages a process for rescheduling exams when there are conflicts. Students who miss an exam will have to make it up to prevent earning a grade of “0” for the exam and possibly failing the course.

Exam Schedule:

Fall
History and English - November 15, 2016
Science and Math - November 16, 2016
Math and Language - November 17, 2016
Language and makeups - November 18, 2016

Winter
Trimester course exams only - February 24, 2017 

Spring
Math and Language - May 22, 2017
History and Science - May 23, 2017
Language and English - May 24, 2017
Math and makeups - May 25, 2017

May students study abroad during their Sem career?
While most students choose to follow Seminary’s curriculum throughout their careers, students may occasionally choose to enhance their education by studying abroad. This may take place as part of a Wyomings Seminary-sponsored travel opportunity during the summer or trimester break, or in a longer (trimester or year-length), in-residence experience in another country. Students who wish to pursue a course of study in a certified educational institution in another country, and who expect to receive credit leading to a Wyoming Seminary diploma, must make their intentions known to the Dean of the Upper School at least one trimester in advance of enrolling in that program. Students may not study abroad during their senior year.

Must students have computers at Seminary?
While Seminary students are not required to own a computer, they will be expected to be proficient in the use of computers for word processing, internet research and presentation software like PowerPoint. The school maintains one computer lab as well as a number of computers in the library, Nesbitt Hall, and Sprague Hall. Many boarding students bring desktop or laptop machines for their use, and most day students have access to computers for the completion of assignments and for internet and e-mail communication with the school community (For more information on the use of computers at Seminary, please read the acceptable use policy).

What should the parent’s daily involvement be?
Deciding when and how to get involved in your child’s day-to-day school life can be difficult. Although Sem’s teachers and administrators respect each parent’s wish to make his/her child’s school experience the best it can be, we encourage parents to let their children take on more of the responsibility for the academic, social and athletic aspects of their lives. We believe most Sem parents adopted a common sense approach when questions arose in elementary and middle school and will agree that the following suggestions are equally reasonable, particularly for parents of day students.

We suggest that parents do not:
   do their children’s homework for them
   write or phone in excuses for student absences significantly motivated by the desire to avoid or postpone a test
   call a coach about playing time.

We suggest that parents do:
   question a student who claims to have finished all homework during free bells
   help their student set up a regular work/study schedule, away from TV, phone and “instant messaging”
   initially, let their children work out academic or social problems on their own
   call their Class Dean or advisor if problems persist
   e-mail teachers with important questions
   contact Julie Strzeletz at (570) 270-2140 or jstrzeletz@wyomingseminary.org to volunteer for Parents Association events

  • LOWER SCHOOL
    1560 Wyoming Ave, Forty Fort, PA 18704
  • UPPER SCHOOL
    201 North Sprague Ave, Kingston, PA 18704
  • GENERAL INQUIRIES: 570-270-2100
  • ADMISSION INQUIRIES: 570-270-2160

© WYOMING SEMINARY

Wyoming Seminary is an independent college preparatory private school and boarding school in Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley. Sem strives for success in academics, athletics, STEM, fine arts and performing arts. Boarding school, day school and summer program options available. Affordable tuition & scholarships offered.

Wyoming Seminary - About Us, Independent School in PA
Wyoming Seminary - Admission, Tuition and Financial Aid
Wyoming Seminary - Academics in Northeastern PA
Wyoming Seminary - Campus Life in PA
Wyoming Seminary - Athletics in NEPA
Wyoming Seminary - Arts, PAI, Performing Arts Institute
Wyoming Seminary - Summer Programs, ESL, English as a Second Language
Wyoming Seminary - Alumni from NEPA
email page print page small type large type
powered by finalsite