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School FAQ

Are there any tests required to apply to the school?

Prospective students will screened by the age-appropriate teacher.  This allows us to assess a student’s knowledge base.

What is Differential Instruction?

Differential instruction is a principle we hold dear to our hearts. Not every student is the same, not every student learns the same way, and not every student will benefit from the same homework. Therefore, each teacher works to meet the student at their learning level and challenge them appropriately. We like to start and build on the last point of success as opposed to the first point of failure. Core common principles are taught, and then tasks are assigned accordingly to the student’s ability. When those different tasks are handed in, the teacher is looking for those core common principles and how well they were incorporated into the task.

What if my child is behind or ahead of most of his / her potential classmates in a certain area?

This is why the initial screening and differential instruction is so important. Our teachers work hard to accurately develop a picture of your child as a whole. In the upper school, some classes like math are divided based on knowledge. It is not unheard of for a 6th-grader to be in class with an 8th-grader. In the lower school, our teachers will work one on one with your child to help bring them up to speed if they are behind, or challenge them to reach the next level if they are ahead.

What is the SAT 10?

The SAT 10 (Stanford Achievement Test Series 10) is a national standardized test taken over a week period of time usually administered in April. First published in 1926, the test is now in its tenth incarnation, or “Series.” Although in many states it is being replaced by state-created tests (mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001), it is not equivalent to most of these tests, in that the Stanford series are more comprehensive in scope than the newer assessments. The test is available in 13 levels that roughly correspond to the year in school. Each level of the test is broken into subtests, or strands, covering various subjects such as reading comprehension, mathematics problem-solving, language, spelling, listening comprehension, science, and social science. BJAMS has used this test series since the inception of the school. This test allows us to compare our students to their peers across the nation.

How does the SAT 10 compare to the NECAP?

We believe that SAT 10 gives us a more comprehensive assessment across many areas of the curriculum while comparing students to their peers across the nation (please also read our blog post on the comparison).

The SAT 10 (Stanford Achievement Test Series 10) is a national standardized test in which students are assessed against peers across the nation. It covers the following areas: reading comprehension, mathematics problem-solving, language, spelling, listening comprehension, science, and social science. The SAT 10 provides us with a grade equivalent score allowing us to assess a student’s grasp on concepts and to develop a plan to augment the areas that are deficient.

The NECAP (New England Common Assessment Program) tests are criterion-referenced tests, as opposed to norm-referenced tests. Thus, your child will only compete against him or herself, rather than be compared to the group and only to students across NH, RI, VT, and ME. NECAP covers the following areas: reading, math, science, and writing proficiency. NECAP provides schools with a rating system of Proficient with Distinction, Proficient, Partially Proficient, and Substantially Below Proficient.

Why do you have uniforms?

In 2010, the University of Houston published a study, “Dressed for Success: Do School Uniforms Improve Student Behavior, Attendance and Achievement?” which showed that students who wear uniforms have an improved rate of attendance, high academics, and good behavior. Other studies have showed increased graduation rates and lower suspension rates.

Besides, it makes getting ready in the morning a whole lot easier, it costs less than most back-to-school clothes shopping, and eliminates jealousy on the playground!

Do the students ever wear other clothes?

Throughout the year, the school has “Dress-down days” where students are able to wear regular clothing. But please note that uniforms don’t squash our students’ personality. Our students express themselves and stand out in their choices of shoes, stockings, socks, and hairstyles.

Can I have my child change into other clothing before leaving to attend non-school events?

Yes. We have many events both at the school and off campus that our students attend in which they need to change prior to leaving the school. Whether it is on-campus karate or off-campus dance, there are times that the line for the bathroom is long.

Why is there such a late dismissal time as compared to other schools?

Our school day begins at 8:00 am and ends at 3:00 pm. Our religion component adds an additional half hour to the school day, thus accounting for the later dismissal.

Can I pick up my child early to attend a non-school activity?

Yes, we do have students that are picked up prior to dismissal for activities or events outside the school community. Please make prior arrangements with your child’s teacher to limit disruption to the rest of the class.

What if we aren’t Catholic?

Well, first, welcome and thanks for considering us. It would probably make you a little more comfortable to know that 45% of our students come from non-Catholic households. We teach children of all faiths. Check out our Student Formation Tab for Other Faiths.

Do you accept students mid-year?

Yes. We accept students Pre-K through 8th grade on a rolling enrollment, first-come and first-serve basis.

My child is new to the school, how can I be sure that they will feel comfortable?

Teachers and staff strive to make the transition to the new school as smooth as possible. Most of the time, the class welcomes the newest student with open arms. If you feel that there are any issues, contact the teacher. But it is not unheard of that a teacher lets you know who your child is becoming friends with, so that you can help foster that relationship, and even introduce you to their parents.

What is your discipline policy?

It is our expectation as a school is that students will strive to be virtuous. We want for them to ask of themselves about an action, not “Is it permitted?” but, “Is it just, or wise, or fair?” In other words, “Is it right?” We want students to relate to one another, to parents, and to faculty, in the spirit of agape, the Greek word the early Christians used to describe the love for each other towards which Christians are supposed to strive. In this way, each of us can have as our end the betterment of each person in the community.

Students learn self-discipline best when they know what is expected of them, and such expectations are clearly and consistently upheld, in practice and by example. As teachers, we do our best for our students when the expectations we set for them at school are in line with what parents insist upon at home. We ask that parents take careful note of the Code of Conduct, and that they are supportive at home of our efforts at school. The school is in a partnership with the parents of each child who attends Bishop Marshall School. At different times, each student, teacher, and parent will almost certainly have need to consult the four cardinal virtues (courage, wisdom, temperance, and justice) and the three theological ones (faith, hope, and agape).

Would my child be visiting the grade they would enter or their current grade?

During discussions at the meeting with the Head of School, it will be determined which situation best suits your child.


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