Academic Policies

Credits

Utah International awards academic credit by the quarter (.25) for passing grades (D- and above).  If a student fails a class in one quarter but shows marked improvement the next quarter in the same class (during the same academic year), the teacher may average the two quarter grades in order to allow the student to earn credit for both quarters.

Grading Categories

Grades for core subjects (English, math, science, and social studies)  are weighted in three categories as shown on this table:

Growth in English

Daily Assignments

Mastery

Total

Description

opportunities to speak, listen, read, and write in English

opportunities to learn and practice skills and concepts in the content area

opportunities to show what you know

7th/8th grade

20%

50%

30%

100%

9th/10th grade

20%

40%

40%

100%

11th/12th grade

20%

30%

50%

100%

Electives and non-core classes may use these categories or may use a different grading system.

Grading Scale

94% and up = A

90% and up = A-

87% and up = B+

84% and up = B

80% and up = B-

77% and up = C+

74% and up = C

70% and up = C-

67% and up = D+

64% and up = D

60% and up = D-

0% and up = F  (no credit)

Graduation Requirements

Beginning in 2015-16, students typically  earn 7 credits per year.  Beginning with the graduating class of 2018, twenty-eight credits are required for graduation for students who attend Utah International for grades 9 to 12, with adjustments made depending on the student’s year of entry.  Students who transfer from other schools must earn the required credits for each year they are at Utah International, and their total credits must equal at least 24 and meet other specific requirements of the state of Utah.    (Total credits at UI in 2013-14 were 6.25; in 2014-15 total credits were 6.75).

Students earn 1.0 credit for each course taken all year, 0.5 credit for advisory (.25 in 2014-15), 0.5 credits for each course taken for two quarters (typically art, music, and PE), and 0.5 credit per year for digital studies (formerly computer literacy), which is integrated into the other courses.  The digital studies  grade is recorded as .25 credit at the end of each semester, with a grade of P(pass), which does not affect the grade point average.  Students with a grade of F in half or more of their classes do not receive the computer literacy credit.  This integrated credit meets the state’s information technology credit requirement.

Graduation requirements are outlined below and are subject to change with notice.  Credits may be waived or awarded for competence under special circumstances, with the principal’s approval.

English language arts:  1 credit per year, total of 4 credits

Mathematics:  1 credit per year, total of 4 credits

Social studies:  1 credit per year, total of 3.5 credits

Financial literacy: Total of 0.5 credit

Science:  1 credit per year, total of 3.5 credits

PE:  1.5 credits        Health:  .5 credit

Fine arts:  1.5 credits

Digital studies:  2.0 credit (up to 1.5 may be other CTE for transfer students)

World language:  2 credits  (ELL students are exempt from this requirement but must replace it with other electives)

Electives, including advisory/basic academic skills:  5 credits

Credit for Competence in First Language

Eleventh and twelfth graders who are literate in a language other than English may earn up to 2.0 credits in that language by completing one or more essays and presentations in that language.  Interested students should see the principal or their advisory teacher for rubrics and instructions.

Driver Education

As a school focused on English learning and academic preparation for college and careers, we do not offer driver education during the school day.  Students may enroll in driver education at Cottonwood High School (or their local high school) during the summer, or may take lessons from a private driving school.  We will schedule an after-school drivers’ education course when we have enough interested students to support it, usually twice each year.  This class will have a fee of $150 or more, which must be paid before the class begins.

Bilingual Seal on Diploma

Students who demonstrate written and oral competence in a language other than English, as well as competence in written and oral English  will receive a bilingual seal on their diploma.  Students can earn the seal in one of the following ways:

  1. Achieve a score of 5 or above on the WIDA ACCESS test and earn one credit for competence in a first language as described above;
  2. Achieve a score of 3 or above on the WIDA ACCESS test and earn two credits for competence in a first language as described above.

 

Online Courses

Utah International is an in-person school with a focus on collaborative learning.  Online courses typically require a high level of English literacy.  We can connect students with Electronic High School if they need to recover credits and have sufficient English skills.  Students interested in courses not available at Utah International can be connected to Utah’s Statewide Online Education Program and can substitute some of these online credits for Utah International courses.

Assessment Plan

Teachers assess student learning daily with authentic assessments and traditional tests as appropriate to the subject area.

Students assess their own progress in each class at least quarterly through portfolio assignments.

Students produce a portfolio presentation evaluating their work and learning throughout the year, during the final week of each school year.  Parents and community members participate in the presentation of portfolios.  Portfolio standards and expectations are tied to the UI curriculum and will be published elsewhere on this website as they are developed.

Students classified as English learners (scoring under 5.0 on last year’s test) take the WIDA ACCESS test in February and March, assessing English speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  Scores are shared with parents and students each fall, and teachers analyze student data in order to improve instruction.

All students except those very recently arrived in the U.S. participate in Utah’s SAGE tests in April and May,  assessing knowledge of English, writing, science, and math compared to other Utah students and the Utah Core standards.  Scores are shared with parents and students each fall, and teachers analyze student data in order to improve instruction.

Students with sufficient English (ACCESS score of 2.0 and above and native English speakers) participate in the ACT in March of 11th grade, in the PLAN in November of 10th grade, and in the EXPLORE in November of 9th grade.   These are tests of college readiness in comparison to Utah and U.S. students.  Scores are shared with parents and students, and teacher analyze student data in order to improve instruction.

Math students are regularly assessed using the ALEKs math system, and teachers analyze student assessment data in order to improve instruction.

Credit Recovery

These policies apply to student in grades 9 to 12 who are missing credits required by Utah International or the state of Utah  for graduation.

A. Category A:  Students who have been in the USA since the beginning of 9th grade.

  1. These students can continue as students at UI until the end of the school year during which they turn 19.  Students who age out before completing their credits or who do not wish to return to UI as retained seniors should transfer to an adult high school completion program, such as Granite Peaks.

  1. Students who have attended Utah International since the beginning of 9th grade must earn all 28 required credits (27 for the class of 2017; 26.5 for the class of 2016) in order to graduate on time.

  1. Students who have transferred to Utah International from other US schools after the beginning of 9th grade must earn all required UI credits for the quarters they attended UI, and all required credits for their previous schools for the quarters they attended those schools.  Other school’s elective requirements, where they are in excess of Utah International’s elective requirements, do not have to be made up if missing.

  1. Credits can be recovered by grade improvement in the same course the next quarter (see grade improvement policy), by contracted work in the after school program, by contracted work in summer school, by returning to UI after one’s class has graduated, by passing Electronic HIgh School courses, or by completing “packets,” which the student must purchase from a school that provides this service.   UI does not provide packets and does not recommend packets or Electronic High School classes for students who are not fluent in English or not extremely self-motivated.

B.  Category B:  Students who started school in the USA sometime after the beginning of 9th   grade.

  1. These students can continue as students at UI until the end of the school year during which they turn 20, according to their official birthdate document.  A student can be a retained senior for no more than one year.  Students who age out before completing their credits or who do not wish to return to UI as retained seniors should transfer to an adult high school completion program, such as Granite Peaks.

  2. Families should provide UI with records of any high school (secondary school) work completed in other countries.  UI will make every effort to award equivalent credits for this work.   If the student attended high school but records are not available, the UI guidance counselor will meet with the student and parent to reconstruct a transcript, if possible.

  3. If the category B student missed one or more quarters of high school for any reason, these are the preferred options (in order) for making up the missed credits:

  4. Enroll the student in the grade below what is normal for his/her grade level in the US.

  5. Return to Utah International as a “retained senior” following graduation by the student’s class.

  6. Complete and present two essays in the student’s first language to earn two full credits in this language, which can count as elective credits and in some cases as a 12th grade English credit.

  7. Contract for summer school and after school credits. Summer school and after school credits can realistically account for about 2.0 credits per year at most.  It takes about 30 hours of work time to earn 0.25 credit.

  8. Electronic High School and “packets” are not recommended for these students because they are not adapted to the needs of English learners.

C.   Category B students (only) can earn up to six retroactive 9th, 10th, or 11th grade credits for competence if they meet all of the following requirements.   The credits are not awarded or shown on the transcript until all requirements have been met:

  1. Earn grades no lower than B- in all 12th grade classes, and no lower than C- in any US classes.

  2. Reach their 18th birthday by their class’s graduation day.

  3. Complete both first language essay credits.

  4. Achieve a composite score of 5 or higher on the WIDA ACCESS test (given in March).

  5. Achieve a scaled score of 543 or higher on the SAGE Secondary Math II test (This is the state average from the previous year, and may change from year to year).

  6. Achieve a scaled score of 836 or higher on the SAGE Physics test (This is the state average from the previous year, and may change from year to year).

  7. Have parent or guardian approval for this action, following a conference with the guidance counselor or principal.

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