The policy of Project MEGSSS is to challenge students to explore and love mathematics. If a family decides that their student needs to withdraw from the program because of the difficulty of the coursework, they should first discuss this with the Academic Director to determine the best course of action. Because of the difficulty of MEGSSS material and the wide variety of material covered, especially in the first year, a low grade in one topic is not necessarily indicative of difficulties in all topics.
Project MEGSSS makes a year long commitment to its teaching staff each year, and as a result, withdrawals put stress on the finances of the organization. Because of this, we ask that families who commit to the after school program consider their commitment to be a full year.
However, we have a general policy of allowing withdrawals at the semester break without financial penalty. This means that a family commits to paying the full semester tuition whether their student is enrolled for the full semester or not.
A request for withdrawal form should be submitted to our office, along with any remaining tuition due at the time of the request. The student will be considered enrolled until all tuition and fees are paid.
Approved by the Board on April 14, 2009
Grade Reporting Policy:
Grades are one way to gauge understanding of the materials presented in the standard MEGSSS curriculum. Grades reflect whether a student is participating in homework assignments, asking questions to further their understanding of the material (particularly about homework assignments) and appropriately preparing for major tests.
For summer and first year after-school students, generally there are one to two major tests for a given book within the curriculum (ex., Book 0-1, 0-5, etc.). These tests comprise about 90% of the student’s final grade for that topic. We return graded tests to students and ask that they be signed by a parent and returned. For Book 0 courses, we report final grades at the end of the semester in which the book is completed. For Book 1 (logic), we report progress grades at the semester breaks. The report card also makes a comparison to the semester class average for each course in which the student is enrolled.
For second and third year MEGSSS students, MEGSSS courses last for the full school year. Progress grades are reported at the end of each semester. A class average is provided for comparison purposes.
Grades are reported to schools and non-custodial parents upon written request, which must be withdrawn in writing by mail or e-mail. MEGSSS Staff is not responsible for contacting a parent prior to mailing a report that has previously been requested. In addition, upon written request (letter or e-mail), we will provide e-mailed copies of a student’s grades to a school to which the student has applied for admission.
The MEGSSS Grading Scale is as follows:
3.5 or below: F
Approved by Project MEGSSS Board on September 20, 2011
Weather Cancelation Policy:
MEGSSS classes may be cancelled if weather conditions warrant or other dangerous conditions arise. To determine whether or not classes are cancelled, do one of the following:
Check radio or television listings in the morning. If our site school (Nerinx, DeSmet, the Academy or McKinley) is closed, then we will not have classes that day.
If regular classes at Nerinx, DeSmet or the Academy are not cancelled during the day, but weather is threatening to worsen, the Academic Director will make a decision by 10:00 a.m. about whether or not to cancel MEGSSS classes at these sites, based on weather forecasts. Recognizing the travel complexities of families bringing students to Nerinx, DeSmet and the Academy MEGSSS classes, cancellations under these circumstances will be posted in the Newsflash on the home page, and a message will be sent through our email lists. There will also be a message on the MEGSSS voice mail at 314-842-5968 stating that the class is cancelled.
If classes are not canceled, but you feel the driving conditions are dangerous, please make the decision to have your student miss class that day. Use your judgment as weather conditions may be different in your part of the metropolitan area.
Financial Assistance Policy
Project MEGSSS’ Board supports providing financial aid to qualified students for its programs to the degree there is funding to support such assistance. Project MEGSSS will implement this policy in such a way as to include as many qualified students as possible and to strive to make the program attainable for any motivated student with financial need.
The program will provide financial assistance in the form of scholarships to students based on the amount of scholarship funding awarded contributed by concerned individuals, corporations, and foundations. In addition, it is the general intent, although not an obligation, that Project MEGSSS will budget for potential support in the range of 10% of program revenues, assuming that grantor funding targeted to financial aid remains at approximately 80% of total aid awarded.
An Assessment Committee will be appointed by the Board of Directors to review requests and make final decisions on awards, in coordination with the Executive Director. Aid requests will be made online where possible, and priority will be given to families with a complete application, filed by the financial aid deadlines. Decisions will be based on the funding available for each type of application, and the Committee’s judgment of need. The amount of any award may vary from year to year depending upon the size of the revenue pool and the number of requests. Prior scholarship awards are not indicative of future awards. IRS regulations require that students re-apply for financial aid each year. The decision of the Assessment Committee will be final.
Project MEGSSS has two different financial aid programs: a traditional program requiring a formal application and verification of family income, and an educator-directed program allowing for a simplified application, designed to target students whose family incomes make them eligible for federal lunch programs within their schools. Financial assistance is also available by request through extended payment plans.
The board directs that priority be given to educator-directed financial aid as well as currently enrolled students, but a wide degree of discretion is given to the Assessment Committee in allocating awards between the various requests. Generally, full funding of tuition is awarded only to students who qualify within the income levels covered by the educator-directed guidelines, and this can apply to students in both programs. Lower priority is assigned to students enrolled in any courses that are outside the Elements of Mathematics curriculum offerings, unless specifically funded by donations or grants. Aid may be awarded for any program fees, to include testing fees, tuition, and special program fees, but may not be applied to late fees. If accepting an award, sibling discounts may not be applied to further reduce tuition. Other costs may be covered (supplies, transportation reimbursements) at the Assessment Committee’s discretion, if funded by the Board or by grant or other donation.
Admissions and Retention Policy
Admissions:Students are admitted to Project MEGSSS based their test scores. The general guideline for participation in testing includes being a 5th or 6th grade student scoring in the 98th percentile in math and 95th percentile in reading on standardized testing; however, we recognize exceptions to this guideline and allow parents leeway to decide what is in the best interest of their child. We recommend that a parent and child attend an information meeting and consider the child’s interest level prior to testing and enrolling the child.
Students scoring a composite score of 450 on the testing are admitted without provisions to the program. Students scoring between 400 and 450 will be admitted provisionally. This means that they may attend the summer course, and a recommendation will be made upon completion as to whether they should continue in the program. Course grades are not the only determining factor; consideration is always given to the student’s desire to continue as evaluated by the Academic Director. Regardless of the student’s decision to continue in the after-school program, the student is welcome to return for any succeeding summer programming as enrichment, if they meet the qualifications for the given course.
Students scoring under 400 are typically recommended to retest in a future year. If there are extenuating circumstances (test conditions not ideal for the student, student was feeling ill, etc.), a decision will be made for provisional enrollment by the Academic Director in consultation with the student’s teacher or parents. As regards the decision, it is our policy for the introductory summer course to be as inclusive as possible, while maintaining a student population that has demonstrated math talent at a very high level.
Our testing process is based on years of experience, and we require that a student take the test if at all possible. On occasion, this is not feasible due to extremely late nominations or other circumstances. Decisions about admission in these cases are made by the Academic Director, again in consultation with parents and teachers. We do require that all students pay the testing fee (and late fee, if applicable) or qualify for a fee waiver.
Retention: At times, it is in the best interest of the child and the program to recommend that a student withdraw. This is a very rare occurrence. Such a request will not be made for trivial reasons, and a parent should consider this when contacted to discuss retention. Inappropriate behavior in the classroom, damage to school property, and an ongoing lack of interest in the program as evidenced by a student’s participation level and grades are examples of reasons retention may be addressed.
Our Program Manager will make retention decisions, based on input from the staff and parents.
Approved by Project MEGSSS Board on September 20, 2011