Academic Policies

Academic Credit
Academic credit for high school courses taken at Doctors Charter School is awarded only after the student successfully completes the course (final grade of "D" or better). Semester courses are awarded 0.5 credits and full year courses are awarded 1.0 credit. A grade of "D" in Mathematics or English will require remedial work during the summer months prior to going on to the next level.

Academic Probation
If a student’s un-weighted GPA is below a 2.000 at the end of the first or third quarter, he/she will receive a letter of warning. If a student’s un-weighted GPA at the end of any semester is below a 2.000, he/she will be placed on academic probation for the following semester. It will be expected, as a condition of the probation, that the student raise his/her un-weighted GPA above a 1.999 by the end of the probationary semester. Students whose cumulative un-weighted GPA at the end of a school year is below a 2.000 will also be placed on academic probation for the first semester of the following school year. Co-curricular and extracurricular activities will be restricted at the discretion of the Executive Director until academic improvement is shown. The student and his/her parents must meet with the Academic Counselor, the Executive Director, Director of Curriculum, Lead Teacher, and/or other staff members as deemed appropriate who will develop an individualized academic prescriptive for remediation. 


Students who wish to take a summer school course for acceleration must receive written approval from the Academic Counselor before they begin the course. Students successfully completing such courses will receive credit, but the letter grade will not be computed into their GPA. When a student has permission to attempt early graduation, special arrangements are made concerning both elective and required courses. This is done only for exceptional students who have an overriding need or reason to ask for special exemptions.     

Course Failures: Final Credit Make-up Policy
When a student fails a required course or is deficient in the number of credits needed for graduation, the following options are open to his/her:

1. He/she may repeat the course the next year.

2. He/she may, with the permission of the Academic Counselor,

a. go to summer school (6 weeks minimum).

b. receive private tutoring (30 hours minimum).

In the case of an elective course failure, approval by the Academic Counselor must be obtained before a replacement course is begun. In the case of a required course failure, make-up credit will be given only upon passing a make-up exam at Doctors Charter School. Those students passing the make-up exam will receive credit for the course and be awarded a passing grade of “D.” In the case of a failed art course, a portfolio may be presented in place of a make-up examination. In the case of P.E., a student needs to meet the requirements of a program approved by the Academic Counselor. If a student takes his/her remediation course at Doctors Charter School, he/she need not take a make-up credit examination. His/her grades for Doctors Charter School summer school will appear on his/her transcript and the grade will be computed into his/her GPA as a “D.”

Course failures must be made up before the beginning of the next school year. Final failing grades which are not made up as prescribed will be used in year and cumulative GPA calculations, even if the course is made up at a later date.


Reports to Parents
There are two types of reports we send home during the school year. The school year is divided into 2 semesters with 2 quarters in each semester; so the school year has 4 quarters, each approximately 9 weeks long. The first type of report sent home is the Progress Report. This report is used to communicate to parents a significant change or a deficiency in a particular subject area. This report is issued approximately 3 weeks before report card grades are distributed. The second type of report sent home is the Report Card. The grades on the report cards are a permanent part of a student’s record. .Progress reports and report cards will be mailed home. These reports must be signed by the parents and returned to the teacher who issued it by the date specified on the report. If the Progress Report or Report cards are not returned, the student will be subject to disciplinary action and parent will be contacted by the school.


Honors and Advanced Placement Courses
Science class     Recommendations for Honors or A.P. courses are based on a student’s demonstrated ability, performance in class, standardized test scores and teacher recommendations. Students who are recommended to take an Honors or A.P. level course may decline to accept the offer and take the regular level of the same course. However, doing so will likely prevent the student from being accepted into the Honors or A.P. level of the next course in that sequence.

These recommendations, normally made at the end of the 3rd quarter are tentative. If specific criteria are not met by the end of the 4th quarter, the Executive Director or his/her designee reserves the right to rescind the invitation. If a student or his/her parents believe an error has been made in a particular course recommendation (or otherwise desire reconsideration) they must request a review. A review committee will be convened by the Executive Director to resolve appeals. The general criteria for Honors/A.P. recommendations are the following:

1. "B" or better average in the current prerequisite course. Students who are currently in an honors/A.P. course and are being considered for the next course in the sequence must have an academic average in the course of a “B-" or above and in the teacher's professional opinion should be performing satisfactorily and should be able to handle the demands of the new course (the minimum "B-" requirement may be set aside by the Executive Director in extraordinary circumstances.) Students hoping to move into an honors class from a regular class must demonstrate both strong ability and willingness to work hard. The teacher's recommendation will be critical to the review of a student's application.

2. An applicable standardized test score in the 85th percentile or above. 3. A teacher recommendation.


Transfer Students
Students who transfer to Doctors Charter School during the school year from another Dade County Public school will have their transfer grades included with their Doctors Charter School grades in the computation of marking period grades, final grades, and GPA. Insofar as possible, transfer students from any other school will have their current year semester grades and earned credits listed separately from their Doctors Charter School grades on the transcript.


Homework Policy (See Code of Conduct)
Art class     The purpose of homework is to provide practice or review of skills previously taught. All students are required to complete homework. Homework at the DCS directly impacts the daily lesson and transfer of learning. It is the student’s responsibility to write all assignments and the parent’s responsibility to check their child’s assignments. Homework plays a very important part in our curriculum.

Doctors Charter School considers homework to be an essential part of the academic program. It is assigned to accomplish the following objectives:

1. students prepare for the next lesson

2. students review and reinforce previous lessons

3. students extend knowledge and expand on concepts

4. students analytically or creatively synthesize information

5. students learn the value and skills of time management and pacing for achieving long-range goals, as well as solid learning habits

Homework will include written and non-written assignments. Assignments are given at the discretion of the teacher of each course of study. This includes daily assignments, research projects, book reports, independent study and team assignments. Homework left at home is not to be delivered during the school day. Late homework may be accepted at the individual teacher’s discretion. A student will normally have approximately 2-3 hours of homework each night. In addition to specific homework assignments, students should review class notes prior to the next class and on weekends. Homework will not be required to be accomplished over the Thanksgiving, winter break, and spring breaks. This does not include projects that are assigned well in advance of the completion date. Policies for evaluating homework are indicated by each instructor in the course syllabus. For homework to be effective parents must play an important role. They should provide a proper environment free from distractions. While we encourage parents to show an interest in the subject matter of the homework assignments it is imperative that the students maintain independence of thought, process, and product. It is the responsibility of the student to find out his/her homework when he/she is absent. In cases of prolonged illness, homework must be made up in a timely fashion in consultation with the teacher. Parents can request to pick up homework for students who will be out of school with an appropriate excuse. The Academic Counselor will oversee the student in these instances.


Doctors Charter School recommends that students who need assistance beyond classroom instruction exhaust the following resources before engaging a tutor:

1. wise use of classroom time and instruction

2. completion of all homework and other assignments

3. see teacher during office hours, or as arranged with faculty, attend help sessions with members of the National Honor Society, or with peer tutors

4. institutional response to varied learning needs, as specified and documented by professional testers

Although there are advantages to one-on-one instruction, sustained tutoring tends to inhibit the development of self-initiated learning skills. It is imperative that tutors assist students; never should they do the work for the student. Tutors should contact faculty so they may collaborate on a proper strategy which will develop the student’s ability to learn independently. According to the code of ethics of the teaching profession, faculty may not be engaged as paid tutors of their own students during the school year.

Doctors Charter School offers tutoring services after school. Please contact the office for further information.

Last updated 8/2/2006

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