Academics

St. Helen Catholic School (SHCS) is accredited by the Texas Catholic Conference under the auspices of the Texas Education Agency (T.E.A.). SHCS also holds an additional accreditation from AdvancED (formerly the Southern Association of Schools). Our school strives to provide an exemplary learning environment to educate the whole child: body, mind, and spirit. We attempt to provide students with opportunities for success by fostering a positive learning atmosphere, providing a supportive atmosphere from all members of the school community, nurturing a Christ-like community, and celebrating our Catholic traditions through a solid program of religious studies. Curriculum is enhanced with fine arts, foreign language, and other extra-curricular activities, as well as offering multi-dimensional experiences in physical education, self-esteem building activities, and culturally diverse programs.

Academic Progress
Any student not maintaining a 78% average or above may be placed on academic probation for a period of time designated by the principal. Lack of improvement may result in withdrawal. The principal and teachers will monitor grades closely.

Mastery of Curriculum
When 60% of the class has achieved passing grades on tests, assignments, or on individual averages, the class is considered to have “mastered” the unit or lesson. If 60% of the class does not have passing grades (70% or higher), the teacher will re-teach and re-assess the class. Some students may be referred for tutoring in a specific subject area.

Advanced Placement Classes
AP classes are available to high achieving junior high students in grades 6, 7, and 8. AP classes are offered in a Literature/Social Studies block and a Science/Math block. Students have to meet high report card (minimum of 86 averages in AP classes) and achievement test standards to be recommended for placement by their teachers. Dependent upon student achievement records, they may be invited to be in all four AP classes or in just two classes. Students will be invited to join AP classes in the beginning of the new school year or at the end of the previous school year. The JH teachers will make the decision to place students in the AP classes with input from the principal. Newly enrolled students will not be placed in AP classes until they have been monitored for a 6-9 week period. The decision is non-revocable and may not be appealed.

Promotion and Retention
A student is promoted to the next grade pending satisfactory completion and mastery of the work of the current grade. Promotion shall be based upon the student accomplishing the required essential curriculum elements, as well as his/her progress in social, emotional, and physical growth. Just as the principal reserves the right to place a student, the principal also reserves the right to recommend retaining a student who does not show developmentally appropriate social or academic skills for promotion to the next grade.

If a student receives a grade of below 70 for the year, the student fails the subject. If two major subjects are failed, the child is recommended for retention. The major subjects are Religion, Reading, English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. If a returning student fails one academic subject for the year, he/she must attend a summer school program or tutoring in the area failed and complete the remediation/summer school with a passing grade. If parents of a child, recommended for retention, do not agree with the recommendation of the teacher(s) and administrator(s), they have the option of withdrawing their child and placing them in another educational environment.

Retesting – Individuals
If a student receives a poor grade that is failing, it is at the teacher’s discretion to allow the student to “retake” the test. Generally, the highest grade the student may achieve on the “retake” assignment is a 70. However, the final decision to retest is the teacher’s.

Student Placement
School Board Policy Effective April 14, 2004:
“Student-to-class placement decisions are made by the administrator/principal of the school. In the case of special needs students, the principal may consult with the parents or guardian before placing the student with a particular teacher who has proficiency in the area of the student’s needs. The principal reserves the right to change any student from class to class, also according to the student’s needs, if necessary, during the course of the school year.”