Upper School Overview
MGA Upper School offers:
- Classes in four core areas: Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts.
- Critical teaching support in math and sciences, areas where many parents do not feel qualified to teach;
- Additional accountability for the students – to teachers other than their parents;
- Grades - a third-party measure of a student’s work product and comprehension;
- Class discussions over challenging ideas and questions, in the Humanities classes; labs and demonstrations, in the Science classes;
- In-class support for “homework” from the teacher, as per the “flipped classroom” model.
- our own version of the “flipped classroom” model, and it’s an important distinction from the traditional model of the teacher delivering all the class content to the students in a lecture format. In a flipped classroom approach, the students MUST engage in self-study at home, and the class time is devoted to support activities, review, questions, and assistance with ‘homework.’ Homework is essentially the application of the content; if the student has difficult applying the concepts, his/her learning is halted. Our classes allow time for a student to do some of the work IN class with a teacher present to help with concepts.
2013-14 Course descriptions – schedule, teacher, texts – are listed on the Upper School Class Information page.
Upper School Classes require:
1. Preparation for class. Success in Upper School depends upon student preparation. As in any school environment, what is gained from the experience will be dependent upon what is invested. Teachers prepare class activities and lessons designed to support self-study. We make the assumption that ALL students will come to class prepared unless we hear from a PARENT that a student is exempt. Parents always have that option, when necessary due to extenuating circumstances or learning challenges; otherwise, we strongly encourage parents to facilitate their student’s commitment to all the required work.
2. Increasing amounts of self-study as the students promotes through the levels. To prepare for classes, Logic-level students will have 15-18 hours of at-home work; Rhetoric-level students will have 20-25 hours of at-home work.
Grading and Assignment Policies:
1. Grades are awarded for assigned work, and can be accessed at www.engrade.com. Students and parents receive a confidential log-in ID to access their grades.
2. Missing assignments earn a zero. Assignments are considered Missing if they are not submitted in person to the teacher during the MGA day, or if permitted by the teacher, emailed to them by midnight of that same day. No exceptions.
3. Late assignments will not be accepted. Late work creates too great a burden on teachers to track assignments.
If the parents have exempted a student from an assignment, they are free to re-calculate the grades without that zero.
When considering grades it is important to remember the following:
Parents remain the primary educators of their children. MGA grades serve as feedback for them. Parents will prepare transcripts for their high school students; under Texas law, a homeschooling family is a private school. Therefore, parents do have the option of offering additional instruction and assignments; having their child do extra work to work toward mastery; and awarding a final grade that takes the additional work into consideration. The benefit of grade reporting is that it gives an objective, third-party measure of the student’s performance, and provides additional accountability for the student.