QSI Policy for Class Placement by Age

  1. In all QSI schools students are assigned to classes according to their birthdays. QSI classes do not use the traditional American terms of pre-school, kindergarten, first grade, fourth grade, sophomore, senior, etc. For elementary classes the terms used are four-year-old class, five-year-old class, six-year-old class, nine-year-old class, Secondary II, Secondary IV, etc., respectively. 
  2. Normally a student is assigned to the eight-year-old class if he has completed eight years before the first of November. 
  3. Students born in November or December would normally be placed in a class where they would tend to be the oldest students in the class. Thus a student who completes eight years of age in November or December would be placed in the seven-year-old class. 
  4. Exceptions may be made for November or December birthdays, in consultation with teachers and parents, to assign student with a November or December birthday to a class where they would tend to be the youngest students in the class. 
  5. Any exceptions can only be made through a meeting of the school Director, Director of Instruction, Teacher or Teachers involved, Counselor or Resource Teacher, and Parent or Parents. If an exception is made (either to place above or below age level), the meeting must be documented. 
  6. Secondary-age students are placed into the Secondary I class by age (14 years old by 1 November), but some may yet be engaged in mostly elementary outcomes. Progress through the Secondary levels is determined at the beginning of each school year by the number of credits attained (a minimum of 50 for Secondary II, 100 for Secondary III, and 150 for Secondary IV). A student normally in the 13-year-old class may in some cases be assigned to the Secondary I class if he or she is engaged in all Secondary courses.  

Student Admissions Policy

The schools of  Quality Schools International  (QSI) have been founded in order to provide a quality English medium, North American, international education for expatriates. Local citizens who want their children to be educated in English are also accepted. Admissions to QSI schools are aligned to the QSI mission, vision, and values. 

English Language Requirements 

  • QSI schools accept students with no previous experience with English from preschool through 13-year-old class (US Grade 8). 
  • Secondary students must demonstrate increasing levels of language proficiency, as determined by an English language assessment administered at the schools. 
  • Older students with little or no English experience may expect to spend additional years enrolled in Secondary in order to graduate with a QSI diploma. 

Special Needs 

  • QSI admits students with limited learning needs, challenges, or disabilities once it has been determined that the student can succeed at the school. 
  • For students with moderate to severe disabilities, the school will review additional information including evaluations, reports, IEPs, or school referrals required to help the school assess whether a program can be provided to meet the academic needs of the applicant. 
  • Students identified with challenges the school is unable to effectively address can be denied admission to the school.  

Interscholastic Activities

Participation in interscholastic activities is a privilege. Participation is not a requirement for graduation, and those who participate must give extra effort and time.  

Because interscholastic activities are voluntary, and because those participating represent the school, it is mandatory that academic, citizenship, and sportsmanship standards be uncompromised. It is expected that each participant will be a good student and school citizen. He/she has the privilege of participating in a well-organized program that is of special interest to him/her and for which the school provides coaching, equipment, and facilities. Therefore, the selection process must not be based solely on performance, but must include scholarship, attitude, conduct, and cooperation. Each participant has an obligation to himself/herself, his/her school, his/her coach, and his/her team. Therefore, the selection process will deny participation to those who fail to meet the established standards. Interscholastic activities are not intended for rehabilitation, retraining, or reforming. Rather, the privilege of participation should be extended to those who have earned it in the classroom as well as on the playing field, court, track, or stage. 

Ethics of Interscholastic Activities Program 

It is the responsibility of all concerned with interscholastic activities: 

  1. To offer an opportunity for students to apply the Success Orientation skills to an extra-classroom activity. 
  2. To emphasize sportsmanship, ethical conduct, and fair play. 
  3. To eliminate those factors that would destroy the values to be gained from participation in the activity program. 
  4. To show courtesy to visiting teams, officials, and spectators. 
  5. To respect the integrity and judgment of officials. 
  6. To understand and uphold the rules of the game. 
  7. To enforce school policy regarding eligibility and conduct. 
  8. To encourage student leadership and skill development. 
  9. To recognize and promote the purpose and intent of the activities program. 
  10. To establish and maintain a mutually pleasant relationship between visitors and hosts. 
  11. To maintain the perspective that a contest is not a matter of life or death for coaches, players, or schools. 

Homework Policy

Philosophy 

The purpose of homework is to practice skills taught in school or to prepare students for future skills. There are three acceptable categories of homework: practice (reinforcement), preparation, and extension or enrichment activities. Homework may be a prerequisite to taking a test for assessment. 

Homework Will 

  1. Be well-planned and complement classroom learning. 
  2. Have immediate or timely feedback. 
  3. Incorporate available resources, if research is assigned. 
  4. Be meaningful and challenging. 
  5. Include clear procedures and due dates for accomplishment. 
  6. Be assigned in writing as well as verbally. 

Specific Considerations 

  1. If students feel overburdened with homework assignments, a “staffing” with teachers and administration may be used to determine homework guidelines for the school or individual student. 
  2. Coordination should be maintained administratively so that excessive amounts of homework assignments are not given on any particular day. 
  3. Homework assignments are legitimately used to qualify a student for preparation of mastery assessment. 
  4. Parents are to be notified in writing (copy to the student folder) when it appears assignments are not being consistently completed. 
  5. A homework assignment notebook is required for all students in the 9 year old class and above through Secondary IV. 

Homework Should Not 

  1. Require extensive teacher or parent direction or help. 
  2. Repeatedly exclude students from joining family activities or other forms of childhood socialization. 
  3. Be given as punishment. 

QVS Distance Learning

Distance learning online can be an effective option for QSI schools when onsite instruction is not available. Prior to registering students for online courses, QSI administrators need to consider the following: 

1. There is a valid need for distance learning. 

2. The student possesses the qualities necessary to be successful in a distance learning course. 

3. The school is able to provide all necessary conditions for success to support students enrolled in distance learning courses: 

  1. Technology and procedures for monitoring the learning process 
  2. Procedures for monitoring and reporting student progress 
  3. Procedures for safety-netting when needed 

Quality Schools International has established procedures to provide QSI schools with necessary online courses through QSI Virtual School (QVS). QSI Schools are required to follow these procedures when there is a need for distance learning. The use of the distance learning courses is based on two principles: Non-competition and Non-enablement

Non-competition means that online courses are not meant to compete with onsite courses and will not be approved if an onsite course can meet the course need. 

Non-enablement means that online courses are not designed to allow students to catch up when they are either not performing or falling behind in required onsite courses. (These students may remain in school another year to make up the courses they need to graduate.) 

QSI identifies eight valid needs for a distance learning program. 

  1. A QSI school lacking a complete Secondary program may need to offer an accredited Secondary course for a small number of Secondary students. 
  2. A QSI school newly establishing a Secondary program with a small staff may have course needs that cannot be provided on site. 
  3. A QSI school with a Secondary program may need to utilize a distance learning provider when there is not staff to provide instruction for a specific course. 
  4. A QSI school having a Secondary program with complete staffing may face a scheduling conflict, whereby a student needing a specific class is unable to take the class when it is offered through no fault of the student. 
  5. A QSI Secondary student that has finished the courses offered at the school, who is in need of an advanced course not now offered at the school. 
  6. QSI students scheduled for graduation in the following academic year may qualify to take an overload online course in order to graduate on time. 
  7. Some students may have health circumstances that do not allow daily face to face classroom instruction. 
  8. There are other reasons why a QSI student may qualify for distance education. Special situations are considered case by case and have to be discussed with the QVS Director prior to registration. 

QSI requires the following conditions for success of the school when offering distance learning courses. 

  1. Only QSI approved providers and courses may be utilized. All QVS courses follow the QSI mastery learning curriculum. The courses use the same essential units and outcomes. 
  2. A period for each approved online course is scheduled into the student’s regular daily class schedule. Students are not to work on the online courses from home only. 
  3. An onsite monitor must be appointed to be with the student during the scheduled periods. The onsite monitor will be required to complete a short QVS orientation course prior to students beginning their coursework. 
  4. The monitor will be in regular contact with the online teachers and online students, and will regularly report the progress of all online students to the school administration and to the student’s parents. 
  5. Only students who are on track for the general, academic, or academic with honors diplomas may register for these courses. There may be rare cases where an exception is made. 
  6. In order to meet a QSI graduation requirement, distance courses may be offered as an elective when the school does not offer the elective. 
  7. Appropriate technology, including a computer and all needed peripherals, must be available at school during the scheduled online periods. 
  8. In countries where internet access is regulated, a QSI school offering distance learning must have a VPN. 

Student Status Reports

The “Student Status Reports” are distributed to parents five times per year (at the end of each quintile), but can be printed at any time. The reports keep a continuous record of a child’s progress during the school year in each of his/her courses. The following are answers to common questions regarding the reports. 

Q-1 How are Status Reports different from traditional reports? 

Ans. Traditional report cards give parents a general idea how their child is performing in class. When a student receives a ‘B’ in mathematics, it means he/she is doing well in mathematics; however, it gives no information as to what the student has specifically learned. 

The Status Report provides grades in mathematics; however, it breaks up the course into “essential units” (outcomes). Teachers evaluate students for mastery of each essential unit and this becomes part of the report. Therefore, the parents not only have a better idea of what their child has learned, but they know what their child has actually mastered. This ensures that the child does not miss learning important concepts. 

Q-2 What is Mastery Learning? 

Ans. Each learning area or subject is broken up into essential units (outcomes). Teachers provide a program of instruction for each of these essential units. Teachers evaluate each student for mastery of the concepts and skills. A variety of evaluation tools are used including written tests, projects, direct observation, and student activities. Students who do not completely master an essential unit are given additional instruction directed at a variety of learning styles to effect students’ progress toward mastery. The process of re-teaching and evaluation continues until the essential unit is mastered. 

Q-3 What is the difference between an ‘A’ and a ‘B’? 

Ans. We believe all children can and do learn. Our teachers teach and re-teach until the essential unit is mastered. Therefore, a ‘B’ denotes the student has mastered the material and knows it well. The grade of ‘A’ not only indicates that the student has mastered the material well, but is able to consistently demonstrate higher order thinking and performance skills such as problem solving, analysis, creativity, etc. This also implies in depth applications of the content of the essential unit (outcome). 

Q-4 What is the difference between a ‘D’ and an ‘H’? 

Ans. An ‘H’ means the essential unit (outcome) has been placed on hold. The teacher may determine it best for the student not to pursue this outcome at the current time. It may be that the student needs other background knowledge or skills before he/she continues to work on this unit or it is interfering with the progress the student is making with another unit. At the right time the teacher will have the student re-engage in the outcome. A ‘D’ is given when the student has not made a reasonable effort and is thus not attaining mastery of the unit. This grade is temporary and is changed to a ‘P’ (in progress) when the student returns to an acceptable work pattern or to an ‘A’ or a ‘B’ when the student demonstrates mastery of the unit. 

Q-5 What are Success Orientations? 

Ans. In the traditional report card teachers often include student behavior and attitudes as part of the grade. We believe grades our students receive should be based on knowledge and competencies they have actually mastered. The “Success Orientations” are generally accepted values that include trustworthiness, responsibility, kindness/politeness, concern for others, group interaction (how well we work with others), aesthetic appreciation (respect for our environment and appreciation of our surroundings), and independent endeavor (how well we learn and study on our own). A grade of ‘S’ (success) in these areas means the student has demonstrated that he/she has been successful in the orientation. A grade of ‘E’ (exemplary) means the student has been observed to have demonstrated an unusually high standard in the orientation. A grade of ‘N’ (not yet) means the student is still working on being successful in a particular orientation. 

Q-6 What does the bar graph below the Competencies and Knowledge section on the Status Report mean? 

Ans. This area of the report lists information with reference to the three skill areas of instruction found in the elementary program: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Our computerized data bank compiles mastery of these core area outcomes and expresses them as a bar graph and as a percentage of outcomes that are mastered through the nine years of elementary school. 

Q-7 Does this type of reporting system cause problems when my child returns to a school that uses a traditional report card? 

Ans. No! Even though many schools use traditional types of report cards, there are many differences in the reports from one school to the next. Many schools no longer use the A, B, C, D method of grading. When our students transfer to a new school we send copies of the status reports and a brief school profile that describes the curriculum. Students who transfer while they are in our secondary program receive an official transcript that is standardized to meet the needs of other secondary schools and universities. 

Completion of Outcomes

QSI administration agrees that deadlines are acceptable and subject to the following consequences. 

Students who are late in completing an essential unit will have 7 days after the deadline to complete it. If the student has not completed the essential unit after 7 days, the teacher will enter an H, D, or W on the Status Report. 

  • H is for students who are struggling with the work and are not progressing. The essential unit is put on hold, and students may reenter the unit at a later date. 
  • D is for students who are deficient, meaning they put in very little effort and are not progressing. 
  • W means a student is withdrawn and can only be readmitted with teacher approval. 

It happens that secondary students abuse the assessment procedure by taking multiple versions of assessments to demonstrate mastery of an outcome. Some do not study for the first assessment, find out what it covers, then complete the second assessment and sometimes multiple others in order to show mastery. To discourage these practices, here are guidelines: 

  • Students will be allowed to complete two assessments
  • If a student does not pass or misses assessment A, the student must take assessment B. 
  • To encourage students to master the first assessment, the teacher may require students to complete an extra assignment relating to the outcome before they are allowed to complete assessment B. 
  • If a student does not pass assessment B, he or she must file a petition, which must be approved by the teacher and the Director/Director of Instruction before being given the third assessment. 
  • This does not apply to struggling students who take multiple tests; in this case, the student may be misplaced and should be referred for placement evaluation or extra support. 

Some secondary students let uncompleted essential units accumulate until their Secondary IV year. Here are some guidelines for Secondary IV students to keep in mind: 

  • Students must formally declare candidacy for the type of diploma they are working toward at the beginning of their Secondary III year. 
  • Staff must approve the diploma choice by October 15. 
  • Student progress will be monitored throughout the year by faculty advisers. 
  • Formal review of student progress will take place during the third quintile. If the student is making adequate progress (all work current and no incomplete essential units), the student may proceed. If not, the student must declare candidacy for the lower diploma. If the student is aiming for a general diploma and is not on target by the third quintile, a conference will be held to inform the parents that the student will probably not graduate on time. 

Assessing Success Orientations

There are three ratings a student can receive for each of the seven success orientations. 

  • “S” – This is the most common rating which indicates “Success”, not “Satisfactory”. QSI expects all students will show success in each orientation. 
  • “E” – Sometimes a student shows consistent “Exemplary” behavioral patterns in one or more of the success orientations. Given staff consensus, the student is eligible to receive an “E”. 
  • “N” – If a student exhibits consistent patterns of poor behavior in a success orientation, the student is eligible to receive an “N” “Not yet” with staff consensus.  

Student Evaluations

Evaluations and rewards for student progress should take place as soon as possible after mastery is demonstrated for each unit outcome. 

The three basic premises of performance-based education are: 

  1. All Students can succeed. 
  2. Success breeds success. 
  3. It is the school’s responsibility to provide the conditions for the student’s success. 

With this in mind, Quality Schools International does not accept mediocre (grade of “C”) or poor (grade of “D” or “F”) work. The grades of “A” and “B” are considered to be mastery grades. “Mastery” may have variations of interpretation from one course to another. However, teachers are encouraged to use professional judgment in evaluating mastery or non-mastery. 

In view of the above comments, the evaluations issued in the written status reports are defined as follows: 

  • A = All essential parts of the outcome were mastered at an appropriately high level. The student consistently demonstrated noteworthy achievement of a high quality, particularly in the higher order thinking or performance skills. 
  • B = All essential parts of the outcome were mastered at an appropriately high level in which the student successfully engaged in higher order thinking or performance skills. 
  • P = The student is “In progress” in the outcome (normal status). 
  • H = This outcome is “on hold” for a legitimate reason. (The student has begun the outcome but is not currently pursuing it.) 
  • D = The student has not made a reasonable effort and is therefore “deficient” in attaining mastery of the outcome. 
  • E = “Exposure”. The student made a reasonable effort in the outcome and attained a level of mastery consistent with his/her capabilities. (Elementary classes only, but not in mathematics, reading, or writing.) 
  • W = The student has withdrawn from this outcome. 

In Secondary school, students are granted one credit for mastery of each unit outcome which is credentialed “A” or “B”. Thus, ten credits correspond to one “Carnegie Unit” as used by many American secondary schools. In a given course, some students may not attain mastery in all ten essential unit outcomes, earning credits only for those outcomes mastered. This will be reflected on their status reports. On the other hand, some students may have demonstrated mastery of some selective unit outcomes for a course and may have more than the ten essential unit credits.  

Because Quality Schools International encourages continued learning, if students receive an evaluation of “B” on a unit outcome, they may continue to work independently in that outcome and request another opportunity to demonstrate a higher level of mastery. If demonstrated, the evaluation may be changed from a “B” to an “A” within the same school year. 

Evaluations, called status reports, are issued to all students five times each year (at the end of each “quintile”). If there is a need or reasonable request, a status report can be issued for a particular student at any time. 

QSI Diplomas

Quality Schools International (QSI) offers a secondary program that leads to a Secondary School Diploma. Most graduates of QSI schools attend a college or university upon completion of their studies. Previous graduates of the Quality Schools International educational system have been very successful in obtaining admission to colleges or universities of their choice. Some QSI schools may also offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program or the Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone Diploma Program.

Academic Diploma

This diploma is a college or university preparatory course of study. Students who satisfactorily complete this program should expect admission into an American college or university, or universities in other countries.

A total of 240 Credits (including electives) is required for this diploma.

Minimum Requirements by Department

English (80 credits)

  • 20 – Literature (Literature I & II)
  • 20 – Writing (I & II) or demonstrated competency
  • 10 – American Literature
  • 10 – British Literature
  • 10 – Research Project
  • 10 – Technology

Mathematics (30 credits)

  • 10 – Algebra
  • 10 – Geometry
  • 10 – Mathematics elective

Science (30 credits)

  • 10 – Biology
  • 10 – Physical Science
  • 10 – Science elective

Cultural Studies (40 credits)

  • 10 – World Geography
  • 10 – Modern World History
  • 10 – US-History
  • 5 – World Governments
  • 5 – Economics

Personal Health (20 credits)

  • 10 – Wellness
  • 10 – Physical Education elective

Languages Other than English (20 credits)

  • 20 in one language or demonstrated competencies in a second language

Creative and Applied Arts (10 credits required)

  • These can be a collection of credits from secondary courses such as: Art I & II, Music, Photography, Drama, etc.

Academic Diploma with Honors

This is the most advanced diploma offered by Quality Schools International. Requirements are the same as The Academic Diploma but with the condition that the credits include at least two Advanced Placement (AP) courses (ten credits each) or at least two International Baccalaureate (higher level) courses.

A total of 240 credits (including electives) is required for this diploma.

General Diploma

This is available to students experiencing time restraints or other challenges that make it impractical to pursue an academic diploma. It is only available to students who are in their fourth year of secondary studies or who will turn 18 years old no later than 30 October following their graduation. This diploma is designed for students requiring a sound general secondary education.

A total of 220 credits (including electives) is required for this diploma.

Minimum Requirements by Department

English (50 credits)

  • 20 – Literature (Literature I & II)
  • 20 – Writing (I & II) or demonstrated competency
  • 10 – Technology

Mathematics (20 credits)

  • 10 – Algebra
  • 10 – Mathematics elective

Science (20 credits)

  • 10 – Biology OR Microbiology / Environmental Science
  • 10 – Physical Science OR Science Applications

Cultural Studies (30 credits)

  • 10 – World Geography
  • 10 – Modern World History
  • 10 – Cultural Studies electives

Personal Health (20 credits)

  • 10 – Wellness
  • 10 – Physical Education elective

Languages Other than English (20 credits)

  • 20 in one language or demonstrated competencies in a second language.

Creative and Applied Arts (10 credits required)

  • Ten units of credit will be required in the area of Creative and Applied Arts. These ten units can be a collection of credits from secondary courses such as: Art I & II, Music, Photography, Drama, etc.

Substitutions

Substitutions for required courses are possible within certain limits. Courses which can be used this way are listed in the Advanced Placement (AP) Program Policy (See I.C.2.d.i). International Baccalaureate (IB) courses for schools with an IB Diploma Program that meet or exceed the level of the course to be substituted may also be used as substitutes.

Cultural Studies Requirement

A substitution change takes place in the Cultural Studies requirements for students engaged in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. For an IB student to fulfill the QSI Academic or Academic with Honors Diploma program, the student will now be required to select a two-year IB Cultural Studies course (IB group 3) to meet the QSI requirement of USA History, World Government, and Economics. To be eligible for the QSI Cultural Studies graduation requirement substitution the student must:

  • Be engaged in successful completion of the IB Diploma Program (based on IB requirements).
  • Take QSI Economics E01 Investment Unit from the QSI Economics course.

This decision will allow for an IB student engaged in the IB Diploma Program to complete all the IB Diploma Program course requirements without an overwhelming challenge of having to fit in two additional QSI Cultural Studies courses within the student’s Secondary III and IV years.

The QSI/IB Cultural Studies graduation requirement will NOT apply for an IB student engaged in the individual IB course certificate program. A student engaged in an IB certificate course must meet all the QSI Cultural Studies requirements for the Academic or Academic with Honors diplomas currently required.

Waivers

Languages Other than English (LOE) Requirement

To qualify for a QSI secondary graduation diploma, each student is required to attain mastery of at least twenty unit outcomes (in the same language) in the Languages Other than English program. Mastery of two years of the student’s native language other than English, at the secondary level, can also meet this requirement. The Languages Other than English (LOE) requirement may be waived if a student can meet one of the following criteria:

  • The student is able to provide documentation of competency equal to year II (secondary level) of the student’s native language other than English.
  • The student was placed in Intensive English classes during any part of their secondary enrollment in a QSI school.

Waiver of the requirement will mean the student has not earned the 20 Language credits towards graduation and will need to take other elective courses to insure the necessary total credits requirement for QSI school graduation. Native language waiver documentation needs to be placed in the student’s permanent records.