Academic Regulations

Our academic policies and practices, which are governed by the Academic Regulations, are the responsibility of the head of the upper division, who reports to the President.

Though teaching and learning permeate every facet of our engagement with students, the classroom sits at the heart of this institution. We define the classroom as a space where capable, intrinsically motivated students, guided by critically reflective teachers, deepen their capacity for learning and enhance their appreciation of learning undertaken by others.

Each student is required to know and comply with our Academic Regulations. No one should expect to be preemptively warned to adhere to them, and one’s assertion of ignorance of a rule will not be accepted as an excuse for one’s violation of it. Rules and policies may be modified or amended during the school year. Such changes, if and when they are made, are publicized to the community.

Daily Information

Students are expected to check Canvas and their Stevenson email account at least daily. They are responsible for being aware of the information in the weekly bulletin (posted the Resources tab of students’ Pirate Pages), for the information on the PB Activities Google calendar, and for information conveyed through announcements made in assembly.

Daily Schedule

The upper division schedule was implemented at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year after 18 months of research and collaboration among faculty, department heads, and the upper division leadership team. This schedule format allows us to optimize all that we know about adolescent learning and better attend to our students’ well-being.

The key features of our schedule worth noting are as follows:

  • Classes meet for 70 minutes, with four classes per day. Longer class periods allow for greater depth of study, time for a variety of activities in a single class, and the opportunity to reflect and review at the end of each lesson
  • By reducing the number of classes per day, with classes meeting every other day, we have reduced the amount of homework due on any given day. On average, students will have three classes per day, and will subsequently have three homework assignments per night
  • The rotating, eight-day schedule results in classes meeting at different times and on different days each week. This eliminates the inequitable impact on certain classes of early athletics dismissals and a disproportionate number of Mondays and Fridays with no school (for national holidays, in-service days, etc.)
  • There are no direct transitions from one class to another. Research shows that a significant amount of instructional time is lost when students have to adjust to a new class immediately after leaving a different subject. An absence of direct transitions also eliminates time lost to designated “passing periods”
  • With only one class meeting after 1:30 p.m., fewer classes will be impacted by early athletics dismissals
  • The dedicated extra help period gives all students access to teachers, regardless of whether they have a free period that aligns with their teacher. This slot in the schedule can also be used for individual advisory meetings.
  • Fifty minutes each day is dedicated to non-academic, social-emotional, and community curriculum (e.g. advisory, assemblies, clubs, activities, senior forum).
  • The school day starts at 8:30 a.m., which better aligns with adolescent sleep schedules.


Diploma Requirements (course map)

To qualify for a diploma, students must be currently enrolled and in good standing in the school, and must satisfy the various departmental requirements regarding level of study and proficiency.

Teachers, advisors, and the registrar will work with students to make sure they meet Stevenson diploma requirements and complete a challenging, comprehensive course of study that complements their interests and talents.

Students should have:

  • Completed four or more years of high school
  • Earned 20 full course credits, where:
    • Yearlong course = 1 credit
    • Semester-long course = 0.5 credit
  • Participated in after-school activities each season
  • Earned a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Spent their Grade 12 year on campus

Subject Requirements (course map)

To qualify for a diploma, students should have grades of D- or better in:

Department Requirement Notes
Arts One Credit Those applying to UC or Cal State colleges must choose both semesters in the same discipline (dance, music, radio, theater, or visual arts).
English Four Credits English must be taken at Stevenson each semester.
History Three Credits The requirement includes one year of US History.
Mathematics Three Credits Those applying to UC or Cal State colleges must have a year of geometry, or the equivalent in integrated courses.
Science Three Credits  
World Languages Level 3 Students entering Stevenson in Grade 11 or Grade 12 who are not on track to complete a level 3 world language course by the end of Grade 12 will be asked to fulfill the requirement as best they can, which may mean completing only level 1 or level 2 of a world language. Students with language-based learning disabilities may have this requirement waived but still need to meet the overall credit requirement.

Accommodations for Students with Language-Based Learning Disabilities

A student with a documented, language-based learning disability may receive accommodations specific to the world-language graduation requirement, up to and including a waiver of the requirement. A student requesting such accommodations must submit a written request to the dean of academic life, who may grant an accommodation or waiver in consultation with the School’s Learning Center. This process involves review of the student’s educational psychometric testing, and consideration of performance in previous world language classes. The student’s transcript must note the granting of a waiver.

General Academic Accommodations

Students with an identified and documented learning difference may be entitled to specific academic accommodations. Management of student academic accommodation is coordinated by the School’s Learning Center, and the Learning Center communicates any accommodations to the student’s teachers.

Course Load Requirements

Students must meet these course requirements:

  • Five or six courses per semester. While a student may petition for a seventh, no student may take eight courses in a given semester (See Academic Load Review for more information).
  • English each semester.
  • No more than three honors/AP courses per semester. While a student may petition for a fourth, no student may petition for five (See Academic Load Review for more information).
  • Grade 9 and 10 students participate in support courses. Grade 9 students participate in Community Forum and either Skills for Academic Success or Collaborative Study Hall during some of their open study periods, and grade 10 students participate in Health & Life during some of their open study periods.

Honors and AP Courses

Honors and AP courses are more challenging than regular courses. Stevenson limits the number of honors and AP courses that a student may take at a time. Students are not required to take any honors or AP courses at Stevenson.

Students taking an AP course are expected to take the AP exam or submit the AP portfolio in May. Students are not permitted to take an AP exam at Stevenson if they are not enrolled in that AP course.

Independent Study

With the permission of the dean of academic life and the relevant department head, a student or small group of students may work in close collaboration with a sponsoring teacher to design an advanced course that is not part of the School’s regularly offered curriculum. Though students must take such courses for credit, they are voluntary additions to a teacher’s assigned workload. Proposals should include a syllabus that lists regular meeting times and describes assessments. These courses are full-year commitments of five to seven work hours per week (including meeting or class time). In considering such requests, the dean of academic life and relevant department head must ensure that the teacher’s time, the student’s time, and the integrity of academic credit are equally protected. Such an independent study cannot be taken in addition to a full load of classes without approval from the dean of academic life.

Course Eligibility

Eligibility in a course is determined by the relevant department head in consultation with the classroom teacher following the eligibility criteria detailed in links from each department’s course listing in the Curriculum Guide. These guidelines are also communicated to new students by the registrar and to returning students by their classroom teacher. More information about eligibility can be found in our updated Curriculum Guide.

Petitions for Exceptions to Academic Policies

Student programs of study are guided by established academic policies and our diploma requirements. To seek permission for an exception or accommodation to an established academic policy, students must submit a petition to the upper division head.The petitioning student completes a form (found on the Schedule subtab of the Classes tab of their Pirate Page) clearly stating the grounds on which the exception or accommodation is sought.

The head of the upper division consults with the dean of academic life, the advisor, the relevant department heads and with other relevant colleagues before rendering a decision. The head of the upper division or the dean of academic life documents the School’s decision. While awaiting the decision, the student should continue attending and doing the work for all courses, including any for which the student is seeking an exception. If and when the granting of the student’s request would:

  1. establish a significant precedent;
  2. require an amendment to established academic policy;
  3. argue for the institution of a new one, or
  4. in any other way produce a moment in which broader consultation is warranted,

the head of the upper division may choose to refer the matter to the department heads group for deliberation.

The registrar maintains a file of all student petitions and supporting materials, whether or not they are approved, and reviews it with the head of the upper division, dean of academic life and the department heads, so those responsible for the School’s academic oversight are regularly engaged with the project of refining academic policies and practices.

Academic Load Review

If a student wishes to take more than six courses or more than three honors/AP level courses, the student must petition the dean of academic life for approval before the next year’s academic schedule is constructed. The petition consists of a written statement from the student stating the rationale behind their request. Before deciding whether to approve the petition, the dean of academic life will solicit the opinion of the student’s advisor, contact the current teachers if indicated, and consult with the head of the upper division and the registrar, as well as the School’s Health & Wellness Team. In reviewing each petition, the head of the upper division considers the student’s academic record, the work each proposed course requires, the student’s anticipated co-curricular obligations, and the student’s general well-being, including such factors as sleep and stress.

Stevenson does not support students wishing to prepare independently for AP exams during the school year. We strongly discourage this practice, as it distracts students from full engagement with their Stevenson curriculum. We do not register students for AP exams other than those associated with courses taken during the school year. Exceptions to this policy may be made in exceptional circumstances after a review of a student petition by the dean of academic life. A petition will be denied if it is felt that the student’s request is deemed excessive, unrealistic, arbitrary, or unhealthy.

Approval of a petition does not constitute a requirement that a student take the requested courses or AP exams. It is also possible that even if the petition is approved, not all of the requested courses will actually fit into the schedule. Thus, an approval is not a guarantee that the student will be able to take all of the courses.

Academic Integrity

Our commitment to academic integrity—a principle built on honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility—is both an absolute and an imperative given the nature of our scholarly enterprise. Academic integrity promotes and protects our community and its mission, hones student learning skills, trains them for higher-education standards, and helps them form a respect for the bond between character and intellectual pursuit.

Simply put, it is always wrong to pass off someone else’s work as one’s own, regardless of intent; it is always wrong to seek to gain an unfair advantage over one’s peers. AI tools may be used to aid in research, analysis, and comprehension of course materials explicitly permitted by the teacher. However, the use of AI tools must be disclosed and properly cited in all academic work. All students are obligated to review the School’s policy on academic integrity, and to speak with their teachers and faculty advisors about confusing situations as they arise, before potentially problematic work is submitted for evaluation. Each academic department has its own academic integrity guidelines, which faculty review with students at the start of each academic year.


Cheating, plagiarizing, and unauthorized collaboration are the most common violations of academic integrity. Students will be reported for formal disciplinary action if they are dishonest in their work. Specific examples of academic integrity violations can include but are not limited to the following:


  • Using AI tools to do the work of learning without citing, verifying or being allowed to use on any given assignment.
  • Using generative AI tools in any class without explicit permission from relevant teacher/faculty member
  • Using generative AI tools without proper citation
  • Using generative AI tools in any subject in Stevenson’s curriculum without prior authorization
  • Giving or receiving information about the content of a quiz, test, exam, or other assessment.
  • Giving or receiving answers during a quiz, test, or exam.
  • Using a test key or previously administered copy of a quiz, test, or exam.
  • Unauthorized collaboration; consulting with others or outside resources when instructed not to do so.
  • Creating or changing data, inventing outside sources, falsely attributing quotations, or inventing quotes and crediting them to real or fictitious sources.
  • Doing someone else’s work, or claiming ownership of someone else’s work.
  • Submitting the same paper, or largely the same paper, in more than one course.
  • Referring to notes, outlines, timelines, calculators, or translators during quizzes, tests, essays, and exams, unless told to do so by the teacher.
  • Using a calculator or any other electronic device in a manner inconsistent with guidelines provided by the teacher.
  • Helping another student complete (or being helped by another student to complete) assigned work in a manner not permitted by the teacher.


  • Intentionally or unintentionally using words, images, or ideas without proper citation. This includes the use of generative AI tools (ChatGPT, DALL-E, Midjourney etc.)
  • Paraphrasing a source without proper citation.
  • Misrepresenting in any way someone else’s intellectual property.

Roles and Adjudication Process

The roles played by people in the adjudication process for violations of the academic integrity policy are essentially the same as for violations of any major School rule.

  • Teachers who suspect students of a violation must immediately consult with their department heads. If the teacher and department head suspect the student of academic dishonesty, the teacher must meet with the student to discuss the situation. After meeting with the student, if the teacher still suspects the student of an academic integrity violation, the teacher must inform the department head, the student’s faculty advisor, and the dean of students.
  • Department heads are expected to help teachers respond to suspected academic integrity violations. They will consult with teachers before teachers reach out to students suspected of academic integrity violations. Department heads will also provide guidance if a teacher, after speaking with a student, believes an academic integrity violation has occurred. Department heads may consult with the head of the upper division and/or the dean of students at any point.
  • The dean of students meets with the student and then confers with the head of the upper division to determine whether or not to send the case to the JC. If the case goes to the JC, the dean of students will explain the adjudication process to the student.
  • A full description of the Judiciary Committee is provided in § 4, Community Regulations, “Judiciary Committee.”
  • The faculty advisor will accompany the student to the JC, provide the members of the JC with a sense of the student’s character and condition separate from the charge, and support the student after adjudication.


The disciplinary consequences for a violation of the School’s academic integrity policy are formulated with each individual case in mind. Egregious acts of cheating or plagiarism or repeated acts of academic dishonesty have the most serious consequences up to and including dismissal from the School. Students will receive no credit for the assignment in question and may be asked to complete an alternative assignment. Either of these scenarios is likely to have a significant impact on a student’s overall grade in that course. If the violation is considered significant enough for referral to the Judiciary Committee, it must be reported by the student on the College Common Application in accordance with Common Application requirements.


In order to promote consistency in workload across classes and assign an appropriate amount of homework, faculty has been issued the following guidelines for homework. The guidelines refer to the “average student,” knowing that certain assignments will take some students longer than others (which we control for by monitoring course signups and overall load).

Workload guidelines are given per cycle, rather than per night—when students have longer projects, they often decide to complete the work in one longer chunk (often at the weekend), and this is a choice available to them. There will, during the course of a school year, be a natural variance in workload, and this is to be expected. If, however, a student feels like a teacher is consistently setting work that exceeds the guidelines, they should raise concerns with their advisor, the relevant department head, or the dean of academic life.


Class Homework guidelines Avg. nightly assignment
Grade 9 classes 120 minutes per cycle 30 minutes
Regular-level, non-Grade 9 classes 180 minutes per cycle 45 minutes
Honors and AP classes 240 minutes per cycle 60 minutes
  • Each class may set one homework assignment per class meeting in preparation for the next class; teachers are not permitted to set homework for nights when their class does not meet.
  • The guidelines above refer to the level of the class, not the grade of the student; if a Grade 9 student is in an honors or advanced class, they will be expected to take on the workload of that class.
  • Homework may not be set over our three major vacations (Thanksgiving, winter, and spring breaks) with the exception of honors and AP classes, which may set one night of homework. Each class may set one night of homework over Family Weekend break due the next time the class meets (i.e. an assignment that will take 30 minutes to one hour to complete, depending on the level of the class).

No-Homework Nights

No-homework nights occur when we have community-wide evening events that all students are required or expected to attend. No major test, paper, or project may be due the day after a no-homework night. Teachers are not permitted to assign a double load the day before a no-homework night to compensate for the homework-free night.

Multiple Major Assessments for One Day

If a student has three or more tests, papers, or projects due on the same day, the student has the option of postponing the paper or test that was the last to be assigned until the next day. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the teacher whose assignment is being postponed at least 24 hours in advance. It is not acceptable to inform the teacher on the day of the test.

Make-up Work

Make-up classes, quizzes, and tests are matters of faculty judgment. Students are expected to notify teachers well in advance any time they know they are going to miss class. They are also responsible for work missed because of illness, planned absences, athletic trips, field trips, etc. Zeroes may be given for work missed due to an unexcused absence, as long as the graded exercise was previously announced.

Work During Summer Vacation

During summer vacation, students are expected to do summer reading assigned by the English department. Students may be required to complete additional reading assignments for other courses depending on their course selections. All students receive a copy of their summer reading requirements from the registrar before the beginning of summer, or on completion of requesting courses if they enroll during the summer. Summer reading lists are posted on the School website.

Final Exams

Teachers have the option of setting a final exam at the end of the fall semester, though they are not obliged to do so; each class will have a final assessment to end the marking period, which may be a project, paper, or written exam. At the end of the spring semester, each class will have a two-hour final class during which the teacher may set a final exam, though again they are not obliged to do so. The weighting of any final exam on a student’s overall grade will be communicated at the start of the course.

Postponement of a Final Exam

Only the dean of students or the dean of academic life may authorize the rescheduling of a final examination. Student end-of-term travel plans are not a basis for rescheduling a final examination. Permission to reschedule a final examination does not also carry authorization for a student to reschedule other due dates in the course. If the student believes they have a legitimate reason to postpone an exam, they must be in contact with the dean of students and must complete a planned absence form well ahead of time. Medical excuses may be approved through the dean of students.

Grade Reports

Stevenson grades on a traditional scale: A the highest grade, F a failing grade. The upper division reports on a student’s academic progress seven times during the following marking periods:

  • Fall Transition reports, available three weeks into the school year
    These are comments from courses where the teacher has feedback on scholarly habits and behaviors that need addressing early in the year. This is not sent to all students. There are no grades issued at this time.
  • Fall Midterm, available immediately prior to Family Weekend
    Grades and comments are submitted in all courses, which can be further discussed during Family Weekend.
  • Fall Term, available at the end of the first semester
    Grades are submitted in all courses, with comments only in courses with a grade in the C range or below, or in which the teacher has a concern to share. Students receive Pass/Fail grades and comments in fall sports.
  • Spring Midterm
    Grades in all courses, comments only for courses with grades in the C range or below, or in which the teacher has a concern to voice.
  • Spring Term, available at the end of the school year*
    Grades and comments are submitted in all courses, with Pass/Fail grades and comments for athletics. Spring term subject reports are accompanied by an end-of-year student reflection and advisor response for all students.
    * Only these end-of-term grades appear on a student’s transcript.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students receive letter grades for their academic courses with the associated grade point average value:

A (4.0) A- (3.7)
B+ (3.3) B (3.0) B- (2.7)
C+ (2.3) C (2.0) C- (1.7)
D+ (1.3) D (1.0) D- (0.7)
F (0.0)

An F is a failing grade. D+, D, and D- grades are not college-recommending and will subsequently not meet admission standards at many colleges. Students may be required to take credit recovery classes in courses in which they are awarded a grade in the D range. Please see Failed Courses.

Only with consent from the department head and dean of academic life a teacher may give a student an incomplete (Inc) grade when circumstances are beyond the control of the student to complete assigned work in the normal course of events. Such circumstances include prolonged injury or illness, or instances when the student has been called away from campus during a period of final assessment. Prior to the close of a marking period, the teacher should inform the student how unresolved work will affect the student’s grade. In consultation with the teacher, and the dean of students if appropriate, the dean of academic life will set a deadline for the unresolved work.

Music lessons, Learning Center classes, some after-school co-curriculars, and some sports are assigned either Pass or Fail grades.

In calculating GPA for a midterm or semester, only courses in which the student receives a letter grade are considered. Honors and AP courses add 0.3 to the GPA for that course.

We also provide a cumulative GPA, the calculation of which includes all semester grades from Stevenson courses taken for credit after Grade 9 (we do not include Grade 9 in our cumulative GPA). This GPA is reported at the end of every semester from the fall of Grade 10 onwards at the bottom of the student transcript.

Viewing Grades and Transcripts Online

Grade reports and transcripts for the current year can be viewed and printed at any time during the school year. Directions for access are available on student and parent/guardian Pirate Pages. Departed students may obtain transcripts and reports from previous years by contacting the office of the head of the upper division. Middle division transcripts may be requested from the middle division registrar.

Revisiting Course Grades Once They Have Been Submitted

Teachers are always permitted to correct errors of calculation. However, teachers will not agree to a student’s request to regrade work unless that same accommodation is granted to all students enrolled in the course.

Failed Courses

An F grade in a course may cause a credit shortfall for a student (Please see “Diploma Requirements,” above). A missing credit due to a failed class can be addressed in two ways: in some circumstances, the credit may be recovered through course work at Stevenson in a future year, or students can complete coursework elsewhere if approved by the registrar in discussion with the head of the corresponding academic department.

Grades in the D range, while a passing grade and eligible for credit towards a Stevenson diploma, may not be accepted by colleges as meeting their matriculation requirements. Depending on the course, students may be required to recover credit in the way outlined above for a failed course. If a student is awarded a semester grade in the D range, the registrar will contact the student and their family to advise on an appropriate course of action.

Students Earning Consistently Low Grades

The faculty convenes at the end of each semester to review student progress and to discuss students whose recent academic performance warrant concern. These discussions are structured to ensure the dignity of the student being considered, and intended to help teachers achieve a comprehensive understanding of the student’s challenges and needs so that the student can be better served by the School. Often, as teachers share their perceptions about a student’s approach to academic challenges and assess the student’s results, they develop a shared sense of what the student needs in order to be more effective and successful. The head of the upper division then writes the student of concern, copying their parents/guardians, to alert them to any concerns.

The minimum GPA for graduation is a 2.0. In any academic term, students unable to achieve a 2.0 or C average in their GPA for that semester are automatically identified as students of academic concern. Any student who falls into this category may be placed on academic probation, and their future enrollment in the School will be in jeopardy. Any student ending the year on academic probation, or whose year-long GPA is below 2.0, may only return the following year by invitation of the School.


Teachers are expected to provide individualized help to students outside of class meetings at no additional charge, but they are not permitted to tutor Stevenson students during the academic year, though they may sometimes be permitted to tutor Stevenson students in the summer after consulting with relevant division heads.

When a student needs support beyond that which a teacher can reasonably provide through such help, the Learning Center will collaborate with the student, student’s family, and the teacher to consider supplementary help, such as private tutors.

Towards that end, the School maintains a list of private tutors familiar with our culture, curriculum, and pedagogy. Though these tutors must pass background checks, they are independent contractors; student families make their own financial and logistical arrangements with them.

In consultation with the School, tutors are permitted to use specified common areas on both campuses to meet with students. Dormitory rooms and common rooms may not be used for tutoring. Tutors are instructed to check in at the reception desk in Douglas Hall when they arrive on campus.

Tutors are instructed not to contact teachers directly, unless such connection is recommended by the Learning Center. Students are responsible for providing tutors with a syllabus and class information. All electronic communication between tutors and teachers is copied to the Learning Center.

Private Athletics Coaching

Stevenson employees (including those who only coach and perform no other work for the School) may not charge students for extra coaching, aside from the cost to participate in School-sponsored programs. As a courtesy to student families and to help protect student safety, private outside coaches may sometimes be granted limited permission to use Stevenson facilities to provide private lessons to our students. Such arrangements must be approved by the director of athletics, the relevant division head, and the chief financial officer.

Adding, Changing or Dropping Courses

Requests for adding, changing or dropping courses may be addressed to the registrar. All changes must abide by diploma and enrollment requirements, and departmental placement requirements.

During the summer, students may freely add, drop, or change courses by contacting the registrar. Once classes start, students must seek permission from the appropriate faculty member(s) to add or drop a course. The registrar facilitates the process of seeking permission. After classes begin, students may request an add, drop, or course change by completing a form on their Pirate Page.

Semester electives in the arts, English, history, math, science, and world languages are capped. Students will be asked to rank their preferences in the spring and will be placed with consideration to those choices and other scheduling constraints. Once placements are made, students may request a change and will be granted this change if the class has not reached its capacity. If a class is full, students will be placed on a waitlist. For semester electives in English (English 4), the waitlist closes and choices are finalized the day before the first day of class. For all classes other than English 4, students may request to change subjects, or to add or drop a course until the Friday after transition reports are released.

To add a course or move to a higher level within a subject, the deadline is the Friday three and a half weeks after the start of school. To drop a course or change to a lower level within a subject, the deadline is the Friday following Family Weekend. This deadline allows for discussion during Family Weekend conferences. A change in level might entail moving to or from an honors or AP level class, or changing levels of a world language. After this deadline, the next opportunity for students to change levels will be at the end of the fall semester; there is no opportunity to change levels during the spring semester of a yearlong course (unless you successfully complete a Petition of Exceptional Change of Course Schedule—see below).

For semester courses in the spring, students may request to add, drop, or make a change by the end of the second eight-day cycle of the spring, with the exception that it is not possible to add or change an English 4 course after the end of the fall semester.

A course dropped during a semester prior to these course-change deadlines does not appear on the transcript for that semester. Additionally, in the case of exceptional circumstances (such as medical leave or personal crisis), students may complete a Petition for Exceptional Change of Course Schedule on their Pirate Page to drop a class and remove it from their transcript. Approval of such a petition is granted by the head of the upper division. More information and a table of these guidelines is available in the Curriculum Guide.

Other Schedule Changes

The registrar will not consider requests to change from one section to another within the same course to seek or avoid a particular teacher, a particular period, a particular day, a particular classmate, or any other reason.

Absences for PSAT, SAT and AP Exams

The PSAT is given during a school day morning in the fall to all Grade 10 and 11 students. Students are registered for the PSAT by the School. Classes are canceled that morning so that students taking the test do not fall behind in their classes. Grade 9 students attend school for the full day and take part in a class activity, and Grade 12 students attend school for a full day of college admissions preparation work, which includes taking an optional School Day SAT. Grade 11 students will have the opportunity to take the SAT School Day during a school day morning in the spring semester. AP exam dates and times in May are established and administered by the College Board. Students enrolled in an AP course are expected to take the AP exam. Students are excused from other classes that take place during an AP exam. If an exam finishes during the middle of a period, the student may decide whether to join that class in session or not, and if an exam coincides with a student’s only lunch period, the student may miss part or all of that class to eat. Students are responsible for assignments and assessments in all of their classes during an AP testing season.

Summer Study

Students interested in taking courses outside of Stevenson should consult with the registrar. Stevenson supports summer study for three purposes:


Students who wish to take a summer course in order to accelerate through a department’s sequence of study must first inform the registrar and receive advance approval from the relevant department head and head of the upper division.

Credit Recovery

Students who are seeking to recover credits due to a course failure or withdrawal may consult with the registrar before proceeding to enroll in summer programs at other institutions or online.


Students take courses at other schools during the summer for their own enrichment.

If a student successfully completes a summer course taken for a grade and credit at an accredited school, Stevenson will include a note on the student transcript indicating the title of the course, the school at which it was taken, and the grade and credit earned.

Note that the successful completion of summer courses taken elsewhere does not count as Stevenson course credit and cannot replace a low grade in a Stevenson course. However, these courses can count for placement. Students taking a summer course are still expected to take a full academic load during the school year.

Students Separated from School

A student who is withdrawn from School for disciplinary reasons or withdraws from School prior to disciplinary action is ineligible to receive credit from Stevenson for classes in progress during the semester in which the withdrawal occurs. The dean of students, dean of academic life, and registrar will coordinate with the student and their family to facilitate the transfer of earned credits to any subsequent school. In the case of Grade 12 students, the director of college counseling will also be consulted.

Separated Students and Readmission

Readmission of students dismissed for disciplinary reasons is exceedingly rare. A student seeking information regarding readmission should contact the dean of students. Formal requests for readmission, accompanied by required supporting materials, should be submitted by February 15; applications for readmission received after this date will be considered on their merits and in terms of available space in a given class.

Purchasing Assigned Course Books

Stevenson partners with BNC K-12, a division of Barnes & Noble, though families will be provided with ISBN numbers for all books and are welcome to purchase from any vendor. Students will receive instructions via email from the registrar after the course signup process is complete.

College Counseling

A full description of the Stevenson School college counseling program is available here.

Semester Programs or Academic Years Away

Rising Grade 10 and 11 students may apply to be considered for a leave of absence to attend an approved semester or year-long program (such as High Mountain Institute or Island School). Requests for such leave must be submitted to the head of the upper division by January 15 of the academic year preceding the intended period of leave. Students interested in this option must meet with the head of the upper division, dean of academic life and registrar after submitting their request in order to review academic and financial considerations. Students and families will be notified prior to the re-enrollment release in February if their request has been approved. Applicants need not have been accepted into their chosen semester- or year-away program at the time of their request. Please note that no more than four such requests will be approved in any one academic year, and priority may be given to requests for programs in the spring semester of one’s junior year, as, in our experience, this is the least disruptive to a student’s academic sequence. We discourage a full year away but will receive full-year requests. If approved for a yearlong experience, Stevenson will retain a student’s place in the class and the family will be responsible for 15% of net tuition for the year-away. If approved for a semester experience, a family will be responsible for 60% of net tuition for the year.

Learning Commons

The Learning Commons offers students and faculty a dedicated space to meet the academic and intellectual challenges standing at the core of our mission. It provides a dynamic and accessible home for learning, innovation, and collaborative inquiry. The Learning Commons Canvas page, found on all student dashboards on Canvas, provides a range of resources pertaining to scholarly research and includes access to a number of subscription databases.

Students are expected to use the Learning Commons for academic purposes. Though one is not expected to be silent, one must respect the right to work without disruption. Students who struggle to comply with this expectation will be asked to leave for the remainder of the day. Persistent disruptive behavior will result in suspension of access to the Learning Commons for a period of time determined by the head of the upper division. In the case of such a suspension, the head of the upper division will write to the student and their parents/guardians to explain the reasons for—and duration of—the suspension.

Food is not permitted in the Learning Commons, though students are welcome to bring water bottles or drinks in containers. The Learning Commons is accessed through the main doors facing Reid Hall only; the doors facing the Talbott academic building are for emergency exit only.

The Learning Commons is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each weekday. It is also open on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Learning Commons is unsupervised from 7:30-8:00 a.m. on weekdays and all weekend hours, and the head of the upper division reserves the right to close the Learning Commons during unsupervised hours if there is evidence that the space has been used inappropriately.

Technology Center

The Technology Center, located in Rosen Family Student Center, is responsible for all computing and networking services. For more information, and the School’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), please visit the Laptop Program page.

Concussion Management

The School employs a concussion management protocol that includes preseason baseline assessment tools to provide concussion education and procedures for students, parents/guardians, and all School employees to follow in managing student head injuries. Our protocol is managed by a team that includes the School nurses, athletic trainer, the Learning Center, and the Director of Counseling. We follow the California Interscholastic Federation’s Return to Learn and Return to Play guidelines. If a student suffers a concussion during the school year, the Learning Center will collaborate with the Health Center to communicate a recovery plan to teachers as per guidance from the student’s physician. Please direct additional questions to the dean of students.