The Secondary School at ISKR includes grades 6 through 12. Grades 6, 7 and 8 make up the Middle School, and Grades 9 through 12 are in the High School. There are different educational approaches and expectations for students according to their age and academic level. The core curriculum of the Grades 6-10 program is built around skill-based standards, and the courses build toward a robust set of Advanced Placement courses for Grades 11 and 12. All students graduating from the High School earn a CIS-accredited high school diploma and many choose to take AP examinations to earn credits toward university.
Secondary Core Curriculum
The secondary program includes four core subjects – Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies – that are taught by specialized teachers within the secondary school. Additional courses allotted the same time as the four core subjects include French and/or Spanish classes offered at several levels, English for Language Learners, and Physical Education. Middle School students also take courses in the co-curricular program, including 1) four quarter-length courses: Study Skills, Computers, Health, and Rwandan Studies and 2) two semester-length courses: Art and Drama. Grade 8 students have the option of choosing certain high school electives in lieu of Art and/or Drama. In high school, in additional to the four core subjects, a World Language, and Physical Education, students choose two elective courses each semester offered by teachers in the Secondary and Co-Curricular programs. These courses include creative options such as Art, Drama, or Creative Writing, or academic options such as Model African Union or a second World Language.
For a more detailed program overview and course descriptions, view the Secondary School Guide.
Framework for 21st Century Learning
For the 2014-2015 academic year, the secondary program is using Partnership for 21st Century Skills’ Framework for 21st Century Learning to improve its program and ensure that 21st century skills, themes, and competencies are embedded in the curriculum and in classroom instruction. For this year, each core subject has been assigned a skills focus area. For Language Arts, the area is Communication and Collaboration; for Mathematics, the area is Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; for Science, teachers will focus on Creativity and Innovation; and Social Studies teachers will integrate ICT and Media Literacy into their curriculum. As the program continues to work for improvement, these and other skills outcomes will be systematically embedded.
Assessment and Reporting
Assessment at ISKR is both formative (assessing the developmental progress) and summative (assessing the final outcome). A student’s progress is evaluated and reported using a variety of assessments, including projects, presentations, tests and quizzes, essays, journals, homework, and class work, among others. Grades are based on a combination of these assessments. However, dispositions such as participation, while assessed and reported each quarter, are not included in the percentage grade for each course.
The following assessments are used across the secondary program:
In core subjects, including World Languages, Grade 8-12 students sit a comprehensive examination during a designated exam week in order to ascertain their learning throughout the semester and year. The Semester One and Semester Two examination scores constitute 20% of each semester grade. Students in AP courses that have sat the AP exam may be exempt from the Semester Two final, provided they have maintained a grade of at least 75% in that course.
Measures of Academic Progress
MAP determines a student’s instructional level and measure academic growth throughout the school year, and from year to year, in the areas of Mathematics, Reading and Language Usage. MAP tests are unique in that they are adaptive tests your child will take on a computer. That means that the test becomes more difficult the more questions your child answers correctly. When your child incorrectly answers a question, the test becomes easier. Therefore, your child took a test specifically created for his or her learning level in the above mentioned subject areas.
Student portfolios have been implemented for the 2014-2015 academic year. Students will be responsible for maintaining and updating their portfolios – with teacher assistance in the younger grades – over the course of their time at ISKR. Portfolios are a tool used by students for self-assessment and for teachers to assess student mastery of AERO standards and to compile meaningful data and student work for communicating with parents about student progress over time and with other teachers to evaluate individual student needs, provide classroom differentiation, or demonstrate the need for learning support or enrichment. Portfolios also facilitate student goal setting and reflection in order to engage students in their own learning. See the Middle School Portfolio Checklist and High School Portfolio Checklist for more information.
Report Cards are sent home at the end of each quarter, and final report cards issued at the end of the academic year will reflect the semester one and two grades and semester examination grades. Teachers report percentage grades for each course, examination grades in the first and second semesters, and write comments about student progress. Dispositions are also reported separately from academic grades on the reports.
The following grading scale is used to calculate GPA and create student transcripts, which are available upon request:
|ISKR Grading Scale|
In order to earn a High School Diploma, ISKR students must earn a minimum of thirty Carnegie Units of High School credit (a semester course consists of 60 hours of instruction and earns 0.5credits; a one year course earns 1.0 credit) in the following subject areas:
*Students must have a total of 7.0 credits between Math and Science.
**Credit requirements in World Languages, Arts and/or Technology may be amended in order to accommodate individual student needs (e.g. in the case of English language support or if a student is going to later transfer into a school with specific requirements).