Students and parents should have access to multiple assessments based on performance of authentic tasks.
SAS students receive frequent opportunities to “strut their stuff" whether it is on traditional tests and papers, group projects, exhibitions, or presentations. After all, when was the last time your work required you to “bubble in" your responses? Teachers provide students and parents with meaningful feedback through a combination of grades, qualitative comments, and opportunities to see presentations and final projects.
The academic year is divided into semesters, and grade reports or comments are sent to parents eight times a year. The grading scale is 0-100.
The SAS Upper School uses a combined 45-minute/90-minute schedule format which is designed to facilitate a hands-on learning environment. Upper School classes meet three times weekly (two 90-minute periods and one 45-minute period). Science classes are built around laboratory and field experiences that are easily integrated with instruction in the longer class periods.
Students whose grades require it must attend required work periods. Residential students have required evening study hours and may be required to attend Supervised Study Hall. Students often meet with teachers by appointment or at the teacher's request during work periods during the day or during evenings or weekends.
Kids love learning at SAS...Perhaps it is the experiential learning, the constant communication with teachers at meals, walking about campus where you mingle with the teachers, or simply sitting by a bonfire talking to faculty on a Friday night... [My] child was excited about Macbeth, wanted to please her Algebra teacher because he loved math and made it fun, went to Greece with her history teacher and has now been reading mythology all summer, and lived on an island for six days studying marine life with the academic dean."
Stephanie Wright, current parent
I never felt I could make anything of beauty until I started my SAS English courses. I am quite blessed that my teachers disagreed. They forced me to write. They showed me that I could produce something of worth. They gave me an ability to create and love my creations.
Spencer Fugate '14, Macalester College '18
Students thrive in small schools and classrooms, where teachers and students know each other well and work in an atmosphere of trust and high expectations.
St. Andrew's-Sewanee is very intentionally a small school, eschewing the trend towards “super-sized" private schools. Every child is known and contributes, whether it's in the classroom, on the stage, or on the playing field. Teachers engage with and challenge students in the classroom and out. To best meet the challenges faced by an individual student, groups of faculty, residential staff, advisors, and coaches work together as a team to create an academic plan.
Does it work?
When SAS students co-enroll in courses at the University of the South, the faculty members there tell us that our students are the stars in their classrooms. Our students publish and present original research. They are named National Merit Scholars and receive national recognition for their writing, art work, and foreign language abilities. The majority of our students get into their first choice college. Perhaps, most importantly, we pride ourselves on producing thoughtful and well-rounded graduates for whom learning is an on-going adventure, not just the means to a grade or a diploma.