Parents must register on our registration system each year their child attends Beyond Academics. Summer school requires a separate registration. We cannot guarantee placement or hold openings; in the interest of fairness, we do stagger registration so that returning students and new siblings may register first, followed by those on the waiting list, and finally the general public.
One excused absence and one make-up class are allowed per trimester (the three-month periods of Sep.–Nov., Dec.–Feb., and Mar.–May).
An excused absence is one for which we are given prior notice—by at least 2:00 p.m. on the day that your child is unable to attend class. It is recommended for make-up classes to be taken the week of the absence or the following week.
Note that tuition cannot be refunded for unexcused absences; class credit is granted only for excused absences and only once per trimester.
Failure to show for a scheduled make-up is considered an unexcused absence; parents are charged for the class whether or not the student shows. To avoid this fee, as with an excused absence, parents must notify the office by 2:00 p.m. the day of the make-up.
Each trimester’s make-up will incur a $10 processing fee.
If a make-up class is scheduled late (after 2:00 p.m. the day of the absence), there will be a $20 charge for the make-up.
Any additional make-ups will incur a $20 processing fee. Any further absences or make-up requests will be taken into individual consideration; however, such requests do make your child susceptible to dismissal. We take our goals and your child’s progress seriously. Frequent absences and/or make-ups hinder our ability to meet these goals. The surest way for your child to get the most out of the curriculum at Beyond Academics is to attend every class session with her/his assigned class. Frequent absences and make-ups jeopardize the benefits gained from steady work in a consistent environment.
The cost for each 90-minute session is $50. Payments are made on a monthly basis, which generally includes four classes, give or take a session due to a holiday or extra day in the month. Each parent has the responsibility to submit payment within the first two sessions of the month. Payments made on the third session or after will include a $7 late fee per child. Siblings receive a 10% discount. Notice of termination of enrollment must given at least one week before the student’s last class. There will be a $50 fee for cancellation with less than a seven-day notice.
Homework is distributed each week with the exception of the week prior to a holiday. However, extra credit may be offered for the holiday season when school is not in session. Throughout the year, we also offer school-wide challenges and contests as opportunities for students to synthesize the skills they are learning here at Beyond Academics. If you’d like your child to get more practice, encourage participation in our contests and the learning activities on our Portal site! https://portal-beyond.com/
Our school’s system differs a bit from the public school system in that requests for information regarding student progress are typically responded to by the Communications Director. Our teachers’ prep time is wholly dedicated to the thorough studying and planning of the day’s lesson; it thus becomes the Communication Director’s task to investigate parent concerns and report back. We also communicate with parents through our comments on student work, test results, and progress reports. Please see the link here to see strategies for navigating through your child’s Google classroom: https://www.beyondacademicsinc.com/see-your-child-s-work
All of our teachers are qualified to teach either in the public or private school sector. Some teachers have an English or Creative Writing degree, some have professional writing experience, some have a teaching credential, and some are published authors. When applying for a position at Beyond Academics, hopeful teachers are given an extensive, rigorous grammar and writing exam. Throughout the year, we hold in-service sessions where we polish our teaching methods. We also all adhere to a strict accountability system: both teacher and student work are analyzed by a master teacher throughout the year.
Our curriculum is designed entirely by Beyond Academics and meets the qualifications of the Unified School District and the Common Core standards. We teach a journalistic style of writing that is semi-formal and is required at school and in college applications. Thinking takes time and contemplation. Your child may come home from class having written only ten new sentences, but those sentences were composed after time spent drilling, analyzing, and revising in order to reveal the strongest work.
Progress is regularly assessed through quizzes and tests as well as one major exam each year. Progress reports are given twice a year. We do not use letter grades here; instead, a child’s standing is communicated via comments on student work. Narrative feedback helps us convey the principle that learning flourishes when discussed rather than just measured and judged. By doing away with a subjective letter grade, we foster communication about outcomes and expectations, working to strengthen your child’s writing ability.
Some of the skills we work to sharpen are:
Vocabulary that grows in sophistication and is applied in every lesson, drill, homework assignment, and essay
Progressively refined sentence structures
Different types of compositions
Research skills to avoid plagiarism (including note-taking, paraphrasing, quoting, and citing properly)
Academic motivation, which we reinforce through “games” that engage students in writing activities wherein students apply the skills taught in class—our games are designed to be assessment tools
Since our dominant concern is the academic advancement of our students, we are unable to spend valuable class time addressing behavioral concerns. If a student’s behavior is actively and consistently disruptive to the class, we will need to consider alternatives to their placement at Beyond Academics. We hope that both parents and students understand that just as it is our honor to instruct so many children, it is a privilege to attend our school. We reserve the right to discontinue a family’s enrollment for the safety and growth of our students.
Because we are a school and not a tutoring center, we are better able to motivate student engagement as we work with students on the foundation of their writing and reading skills. A student may claim that s/he “already knows” something, but this usually does not translate to mastery. This is why we have chosen to repeat some of the same techniques every year—but always at a more sophisticated level and applied to more sophisticated issues. We work hard to encourage academic growth but understand that learning to write, just like learning to play the piano, is a highly individual process. Some students are naturals, while others may have to apply themselves for years in order to gain fluency. Thus, we always encourage students to apply the skills learned here at their regular schools, and this is also why we urge students, teachers, and parents to work together. Students show the most growth when they can see that everyone around them is invested in their progress.