Because Academically Talented Youth Program classes meet only one day per week, attendance at every class is essential. Each class covers content that is at least equivalent to a week of regular school classes. The fast pace of instruction, necessary to provide sufficient challenge and depth of understanding, results in each student learning more than a year's content by the end of the year. Further, each class session builds upon the content material of the previous session; therefore, missing a class leaves a considerable gap in the student’s knowledge base. To meet all learning expectations, we ask our students who enroll in the program (and their families) to understand the following rules regarding attendance and homework:
- Class attendance is expected at every class. If you are very ill, you should not come to class; you, or your family, must notify the instructor or the program office at (269) 387-3553 of your pending absence prior to class. You may not send the message with a friend.
- If a student has not arrived to class by 1:40 p.m. and has not checked in with the the program office, then the student’s family will receive a phone call to determine where that student should be. Please make sure the contact information the program office has for your student is up to date.
- Students who miss two to three consecutive classes will likely, at the discretion of the instructor, need to drop out of the program. This would be equal to missing two or three weeks of school work, and it would be very difficult for all but the most determined student to make up the work.
- Family vacations should be planned during regular school vacations (i.e., winter and spring breaks). Extending family vacations into the week before or after the break is not fair to the student who is already greatly challenged by attending this accelerated class, and will likely result in the student falling behind and being asked to withdraw from the program. It is also not considerate of the other class members who have made the decision to attend each class and expect (correctly) that content of each class will move at its usual rapid pace.
- Homework may not be turned in late. Exception: If you are ill or grieving the loss of an immediate family member and not at class, it is your responsibility to get your homework to the teacher not more than 24 hours after the missed class. Whether you must email or drop off the work that was due for the class you’ve missed is up to the instructor’s preference; it is also your responsibility to obtain accurate details about the next week's assignment and bring it, completed, to the next class session.
- English 9/10, English 11/12 and AP English only: If you are experiencing difficulties with a printer, you should save your paper to a disc or USB jump drive so that you may print it elsewhere before coming to class. If the work is done in a timely fashion, trouble-shooting a printer issue should not be a problem. Homework is an essential tool in your understanding of the course content. A missing assignment may be recorded as a zero.
- Two or more missed assignments could result in your being dropped from the program. Students sometimes underestimate the purpose, seriousness, and importance of homework in the program classes. You should think carefully about why you have decided to commit to this class and how you will complete the assignments on time. This will likely mean learning new habits about managing study time.
- If an assignment is difficult for you, help is available. It is your responsibility, however, to take the initiative to work through your dilemma or confusion with someone: your instructor, a student assistant (in math), a fellow student, or occasionally, a mentor with content expertise. Weekend help sessions will be available.
- The first six to eight weeks of the class are a probationary period for us as well as for you to see if you and the class are a good match. By the end of this time, we will make a decision, usually mutually agreed upon, about whether you will likely succeed with the the program class or should return to the most appropriate class in your school.