At St. Andrew's the student-teacher ratio is five to one. The average class size is 11 students; the actual size of individual classes depends on the subject and the level at which it is pursued.
The School requires the following yearlong course credits for
graduation: four credits in English; four credits in mathematics; two credits in history, including one in United States history; three credits in a laboratory science; two credits or
through the third level, whichever is more advanced, of the same classical or modern language (at least three consecutive year credits is strongly recommended). Students must also take a half-credit course in Health and Wellness in the IV Form year, religious studies courses in the IV and VI Forms, and must participate in a curricular or co-curricular aspect of the arts program before graduation.
The minimum course load for
the various forms within the School is as follows:
- Introduction to the Arts
one-credit courses, including History and Literature of Old and New Testaments
- Health and Wellness
- Introduction to Philosophy / Religious Studies
Petitions for exceptions to
the above requirements may be made to the Academic Committee.
Course Planning and Placement
In the early spring, a student and his or her advisor plan the course schedule for the next and succeeding school years. After consultation with parents, advisors, members of the faculty and a college counselor, students submit their class selections to a committee composed of the Academic Dean, the Director of College Counseling and the academic department heads for final review.
Courses at the upper levels of each department throughout the academic program are labeled "Advanced Study" to denote the quality and rigor of college-level instruction. "Advanced Topics Tutorials" are individualized and often student-directed courses allowing further advanced study in particular disciplines.
St. Andrew's expects new students to take School placement tests in mathematics and languages. The Registrar sends such tests to any person or agency capable of administering them.
Students take examinations in their courses at the end of the first and second semesters. In addition, they take such standardized tests as the School recommends for their college search. All IV Form and V Form students take the PSAT, which for the V Form serves as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. In their V and VI Form years, students generally take the SAT Reasoning Test, the ACT and at least two SAT subject tests. Students may take Advanced Placement examinations in various subjects; some Advanced Study courses will prepare for these tests, but in most cases students will have to prepare some topics outside of general class instruction.
St. Andrew's is also the leading independent school in the country
in the use of the College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA), an innovative
written exam that eschews a traditional multiple-choice format.
Developed by the Council for Aid to Education, this exam, a version of
which is used at over 200 colleges and universities across the
country, helps schools measure the quality of their instruction in
writing, problem-solving, analysis, and calculation; it assesses
students' readiness to think critically, adjudicate between
competing hypotheses, and present their conclusions in a clear and
compelling way—skills crucial to college, work, and civic life
and prominent in a St. Andrew's education. Students take this
exam within the first month of school and near the end of their VI
Reports and Grading System
The School reports grades in percentages: 85 or above represents honors work, 60 is passing, and below 60, failing. The School sends reports home in November, February and April. In October and March, each student's advisor writes a letter noting the student's mid-term performance. In June, the student's advisor writes a complete review that accompanies final grades and teacher comments. The Academic Dean and academic advisors may also write letters in special instances.
The Academic Program makes effective use of modern information technology in all subject areas. The nearly 100 networked computers located in classrooms and laboratories across campus provide students and faculty with Internet access, e-mail accounts, internal campus messaging, file storage, printing services and specialized academic software.
Science laboratories utilize computer-interfaced measuring probes and spreadsheet programs for data analysis. In mathematics classes, students work with mathematical modeling and statistical analysis programs, as well as programmable graphing calculators. Students hone their listening and speaking skills in modern languages by working with interactive audio and video clips accessible through the campus computer network.
The mission of the Irene duPont Library is to encourage academic excellence by providing service and instruction to the School community, to collaborate with faculty in designing learning opportunities with resources, information and technology, and to promote effective and discriminating users of ideas and information.
Built in October 1956 and renovated in 2008, the Library features ten individual study carrels, a computer lab, five group study rooms, a periodical and reference room, and a collection of approximately 35,000 volumes and 125 periodicals. The print collection grows by about 700 books each year. Additionally, the Library has over 30 electronic reference sources and full-text article databases covering a wide variety of
subject areas. The Library also loans cameras, iPods, video cameras, Kindles, iPads and videos (2000 fiction and nonfiction) for student and faculty use. In an attempt to reach out to patrons on campus and beyond, the Library maintains a presence on Facebook and Twitter to inform students, faculty and alumni on topics such as plagiarism, information literacy, research and the School archives. While the Library strives to provide the best technology and access to information in a secondary school setting, the Library itself remains a serene, casual and academic environment.
With a new and ever expanding library website,
http://libraryweb.standrews-de.org, the Library facilitates student access to information and provides formal library instruction. This work, begun during orientation classes for new students and continuing in other academic classes throughout a St. Andrew's career, affords students the library research skills for the academic environment of this school and beyond. The library website is also an access point for the School Archives, which offer numerous primary research opportunities for students, faculty, and alumni. The Web site also provides access to numerous class syllabi, a compilation that allows for greater collaboration within the community and enables the librarians to support the curriculum and intellectual growth of our students, faculty, and staff.