Serious academic preparation for post-secondary pursuits requires that each student develop habits of organization, inquiry, perseverance, self-motivation, and independence.  The program of studies at St. Peter

"Read until your eyeballs fall out; then put them back in and read some more!" ~Fr. Connell, SJ

Claver High School assumes an interested and serious student. About students, St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, wrote, ‘They can do nothing more pleasing to God at this time in their lives than to devote themselves completely to study.’ Without such devotion to their studies, students cannot hope to achieve the goals of the school’s academic program. It is incumbent upon parents to realize that if their son or daughter is not applying himself or herself to serious study, that student is failing in his or her primary responsibility.

1. Curriculum Offerings and General Academic Requirements

There are nine class periods during the course of each weekday and three class periods on Saturday morning, during which testing usually takes place. In addition to history, civics, Kiswahili, English, geography, chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics, all students in Form I and Form II also study bookkeeping/commerce, introduction to computer skills, and agriculture. In Form II some students will take additional mathematics. Also, in addition to required classes in religion, Form I students take study skills, and public speaking. These classes do not receive a letter grade but are rather pass/fail.

Upon completion of Form II, each student along with school officials – in consultation with parents – will review his/her academic strengths and weaknesses; the result of this review and the associated discussions will be a determination by the School regarding what areas of study the student should concentrate on during the ensuing two years.

2.  Homework

Homework is a means to apply what is taught during a class period; it is meant to provide students with an opportunity to delve more deeply into concepts introduced during the class periods and serves as a means both of practice and formative assessment of student understanding both for the teacher and the student. There are different sorts of homework: written exercises, projects, papers, etc. Each sort requires different planning and execution. As a boarding school, Saint Peter Claver High School provides ample time for students to attend to their homework. Homework — “Preps” — is not optional.

3. Examinations

At the end of Forms II, IV, and VI, registered candidates write national examinations.

For the purposes of assessment of student progress, the school conducts frequent tests. During the course of each term, there will be at least four tests in each subject that meets on average 4 or more times per week and at least 2 tests in each subject that meets fewer than 4 times per week. Additionally there are comprehensive mid-term exams in each term, and comprehensive final examinations at the end of each term.

4. Marking System

The following is the marking system for the Ordinary Level of the School:

A

100-81%

B

80-61%

C

41-60%

D

40-26%

F

25-0%

For promotion to the next year, students must have an average minimum grade of “C” with no more than 2 “D’s” and no “F’s”. Students not meeting this minimum standard as well as students receiving grades below 41% in either mathematics or English will be advised to repeat the year for their own academic welfare. Saint Peter Claver High School ascribes to the policy of continuous, formative assessment. This approach to assessment is reflected in the marking. Student progress will be reported to parents/guardians at regular intervals during the school year.

Grades for each term are formulated according to the following scheme:

Continuous Assessment (tests, quizzes, homework, projects, etc.): 30%

Mid-term Examination: 30%

Final Examination: 40%

The grade for the year is calculated by averaging the two terms.

Please note that except where required by law the School does not publish student rank. This is part of the school’s philosophy of the magis, Latin for “the more”. “More” does not imply comparison with others or measure­ment of progress against an absolute standard; rather it is the fullest possible development of each person’s individu­al capacities at each stage of life, joined to the willing­ness to continue this development throughout life and the motivation to use those developed gifts for others. Students should acquire an intrinsic motivation to strive to do the best they can, not in relation to others’ performance but in relation to a more profound notion of excellence. However, from time to time as part of their ongoing advisement, students might be shown where they are situated on an anonymous bar graph.

5. Academic Honesty

St. Peter Claver High School will have failed it students if they do not graduate realizing the importance of personal integrity. Students will reach their full potential as human beings only by being honest.

There are different sorts of assignments and assessments that serve different purposes at various times during the year. Some assignments are meant to be done in groups; others are meant to be done individually. Teachers will make certain that students know the nature of each assignment. When a student signs his or her name to work, whether homework, a quiz, or an exam, he or she is confirming that the work being submitted is his or hers alone. Group work will bear the signatures of the members of the group; individual work will bear that individual’s signature. In the case of individual work, students are expected to submit original work for all assignments. Practically, this means that copying is an act of cheating; likewise, allowing another to copy one’s work is cheating.

It is important to note that it is not inappropriate to get assistance from another student in understanding a concept. In fact, students are encouraged to assist one another in their understanding. What is not encouraged – what is, indeed, forbidden – is for students to help one another in such a way that the hard work of actually struggling with the material is short-circuited and replaced with simple copying. It is the difference between seeking the help of someone in understanding a maths problem and simply copying the answer to the problem.

Teachers and the school administration will neither condone nor ignore cheating. Anyone discovered cheating will be subject to disciplinary action and academic consequences.

Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to the following

Nothing replaces hard work and commitment to studies.

  • Submitting work, or any part thereof, that is not one’s own;
  • Copying another student’s work or class assignment;
  • Allowing another student to copy one’s own work or class assignment;
  • Putting one’s name on another’s paper/project;
  • Using a “cheat sheet” or any other unauthorized means of saving information to be used to answer quiz, test, or examination questions;
  • Assisting another student to answer quiz or test questions at any time (during classtime or otherwise);
  • Using teacher manuals, solutions manuals, or answer key;
  • Plagiarizing; that is, using the material of another author (named or not) from the internet, books, magazines, etc., without giving proper credit to the author by means of citation. [Note the definition of plagiarism: Plagiarism is taking the ideas and work of someone else and presenting them without giving the original author proper credit. Academic writing has different rules than we have in everyday life. When we tell a story, we don’t give credit to the person who first told it – we often don’t even know who it was. But in school, we have to give credit to people for their ideas and contributions when we use them; otherwise, it is considered intellectual theft.];
  • Tampering with teachers grade records, tests, or other assessments;
  • Stealing and/or selling quizzes or tests;

The last two items are offenses of such seriousness that they are grounds for expulsion. Otherwise, for the first offense students involved in cheating receive no credit and one week internal suspension. A second offense is grounds for expulsion from the School. Cheating on a term exam results in the cancellation of all the terms’ exams.

The principal purpose of homework, papers, projects, quizzes, tests, and examinations is to assess the students’ understanding for both the students’ benefit and the teachers’. Cheating serves to misrepresent what a student understands, and in that regard it compromises the integrity of the very nature of a school. Nothing can substitute for hard work, for asking for assistance early on, and for integrity of character.

6. On the Use of English

The linguistic medium of instruction at St. Peter Claver High School is English, and the School expects its teachers and students to use English.

At the same time, the School takes seriously its duty to foster student understanding, and for that reason realizes there are times when the use of Kiswahili is not only appropriate but also even necessary. For instance, after classes have finished for an afternoon a student could appropriately ask for help in understanding a physics problem in Kiswahili; however, he or she should be able to articulate his or her understanding in English by the end of the tutoring session.

In order to help students perfect their English, they are required to speak it every day until the evening meal and encouraged to speak it at other times as well. Recognizing that addition (fluency in English) does not happen by subtraction (abandoning Kiswahili) and wishing to give proper respect to the dignity of Kiswahili, which has been an important source of pride and unity for Tanzania, the School will at times provide formal, public programs in Kiswahili.

7. Assemblies

Students are required to attend morning assembly as scheduled in the daily order. The purpose of the daily assembly is to communicate any information to the student that is vital to their welfare at the School. Attendance is not optional.

Class teachers will take role and students will be inspected to ensure that they are clean, smart looking, and ready to start the day.

In addition to announcements, students will recite the school prayer and sing the national and school anthems with enthusiasm, pride, and respect. Additionally, students will be required on a rotating basis to give a five-minute oration to the school community on a subject of interest to the school community.

Students will extend courtesy to all speakers and to all present during an assembly.  Assemblies are not optional; they are a part of the educational program of the school.

There is a brief evening assembly before students retire to their rooms.

8. Baraza & School Debates

In order to function as a community, there must be opportunities for the community to come together to discuss concerns of the various members and constituencies. These meetings serve as “safe-spaces” for students to bring forth grievances, but more generally they are important occasions for all members of the community – students, administration, faculty, and non-teaching staff – to figure out ways we can best live together in order to accomplish the mission of the school. The baraza takes place at least monthly at the end of classes on Friday; during the alternate weeks, students gather with their student leaders to discuss what issues they think should be taken up the following week and address any issues that surfaced the previous week. During the course of the ensuing week, before the next scheduled baraza, the student leaders together with the headmaster discuss the issues put forward by students and other members of the community and develop an agenda for the following Friday. There is also a monthly school debate.

9. Community Service

“In all things to love and to serve.” These words were spoken by Saint Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. The sentiment is reflected in the School’s motto to learn, to love, to serve.

"In all things to love and to serve."

As reflected in the mission and vision statements and school prayer listed in the first section of this handbook, Jesuit education strives to educate the whole person; mind and body, providing knowledge that comes from books and wisdom that comes from our attempts to understand the world around us. The school desires to form men and women who have the welfare of others always in mind. As Mwalimu Nyerere noted in “Education for Self-Reliance,” “[Education] must ensure that the educated know themselves to be an integral part of the nation and recognize the responsibility to give greater service the greater the opportunities they have had.”

There are two sorts of service: extramural and intramural. For extramural service, students will be transported to different sites in Dodoma, where they will serve our brothers and sisters. They may be sent, for instance, to help in Saturday afternoon tutorial programs at primary schools or to help in the recreation program of an orphanage. Intramural service is meant to be service to the St. Peter Claver High School Community; students will spend time in the shamba or elsewhere on campus contributing to our common life. This service is in addition to the daily service necessary for the smooth running of the school community (sweeping and cleaning common areas of the dormitories, cleaning classrooms, cleaning the multipurpose hall and kitchen, etc).

10. Visitation Days

During each year, there are three Saturdays during which families may visit their students. All families are expected to limit their visits to these scheduled days, including those living in close proximity to the school. They should inform the school beforehand. Parents who wish to see the Headmaster during such a visit should schedule a meeting prior to their arrival on campus.

The School may insist that some parents/guardians come to campus during visitation days in order to attend more immediately to matters relating to either student academic progress or their behaviour. In such cases, the Headmaster will contact families well in advance in order to schedule a meeting to discuss the welfare of the students.

Included in the program for these days are opportunities for parents/guardians to learn more both about their child’s context and about how they as parents can best help their child plan for his or her future. All parents are expected to attend and should note the days as they are indicated on the official school calendar.