Totino-Grace

Academics

Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome to Totino-Grace, a Catholic comprehensive college-preparatory high school in the Lasallian tradition. We are committed to teaching the minds and touching the hearts of the young men and women entrusted to our care.  Founded in 1966 and accredited by AdvancED, Totino-Grace provides a rich secondary education to our students in the tradition of the Christian Brothers and their founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle, Patron Saint of Teachers.

We have a rich and challenging curriculum with passionate faculty and staff who inspire students to achieve academic excellence.  With a broad range of distinctive programs and activities, Totino-Grace challenges and nurtures young people in a safe, supportive environment. 

Totino-Grace is a welcoming community that inspires students to perform to the best of their ability and prepares them to live lives of accomplishment and service. Ours is a proud and time-tested tradition of caring for the whole student and raising up leaders and learners for life.

I look forward to getting to know many of you during your four years at Totino-Grace. Please call, email or stop by any time.  My office door is always open!

Mrs. Cheri Broadhead
Principal

Course Selection, Credit Options, Registration

Registration Process

Totino-Grace freshman, sophomore and junior students register for classes in the spring of the academic year. Incoming students will register for courses following the completion of the admissions and enrollment process. 

Students have a variety of options and opportunities to complete their required courses and enroll in electives throughout their high school years. The following information and guides are provided to help students and parents consider the available options and enroll in courses that are appropriate for academic success.

Our Academic Office staff and School Counseling staff are available to provide guidance and support throughout the course selection and registration process.

Course Selection and Planning Forms

Totino-Grace offers a wide variety of courses to meet the diverse needs and interests of our students. Specific courses are required and students may select from a available elective courses to complete the academic expectations for their grade level. The following registration planning forms are available to assist students and parents in preparing for the course selection process and mapping out graduation requirements

Freshman Course Planning and Preparation

The Totino-Grace curriculum is designed to develop specific skills, concepts and thought processes, and to broaden students' base of knowledge. 

Each year students will be enrolled in a number of required courses designed to develop specific skills, concepts and thought processes, and to broaden each learner's base of knowledge. 

At the same time, students will be able to choose electives allowing them to explore and develop their own interests and talents as well as prepare them to meet future goals. In choosing electives, please keep academic aspirations and abilities in mind so that the overall course load is well rounded to allow for successful results.

All incoming students will take a placement exam to determine Science, Math and English levels for ninth graders. Qualified and interested students may take an English, Math or World Language test to determine more specific placement in those areas. 

Course Registration Planning and Preparation
Once a student has completed their application file and the enrollment contract and fee have been submitted, parents will receive a link to the 9th grade Academic Preference Form. The Academic Preference Form allows students to select their course preferences for their ninth grade academic year.

To successfully complete the form, we encourage parents and students to utilize the following documents to guide course selection:

Students are encouraged to select courses with care. Schedule changes should be avoided if at all possible. Please note that courses are filled as students submit their registration. If a course is already filled when the Academic Preference Form is submitted, the request will not be honored. We encourage prompt submission of the Academic Preference Form to ensure enrollment in preferred courses.

Thoughtful planning will support successful future education and career planning. Academic advisors, including admissions staff, academic staff and school counseling staff, are available to discuss course options and assist with the process.

Honors, Advanced Placement, College Credit

Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses are designed to meet the needs of our most capable and highly motivated students by providing a more rigorous and challenging curriculum.  Honors and AP courses are more demanding in effort and time than standard courses, and follow a weighted grading system.  Material in these courses is covered in greater depth and complexity and at an accelerated rate.  Each academic department determines its own criteria for enrollment in an Honors or AP course, as well as establishes a grade requirement for continuation in the course.

Honors Courses
Totino-Grace offers 18 Honors courses in English, Mathematics, Music, Religion, Science and World Language. Honors and AP courses are similar to one another in academic rigor, but different from one another in that the AP courses follow a prescribed curriculum dictated by the College Board.

AP Courses and College Credit
Totino-Grace offers 14 AP courses and exams in Art, English, Math, Science, Social Studies and World Language.  AP courses give students the opportunity to pursue college-level studies while still in high school and to receive advanced placement and credit upon entering college.  More information on AP courses and AP exams may be found at www.collegeboard.com.

Each spring, the College Board offers students across the country the opportunity to take AP exams.  Students receive a score of 1-5 on each exam; a score of 3 or higher may qualify them for college credit, advanced placement, or both in the subject area.  Each college and university has its own policy on whether or not to accept AP exam scores for credit or placement. 

According to the College Board’s brochure entitled, Frequently Asked Questions about the AP Program, “an AP experience that culminates in an exam grade of 3 or higher has a significant impact on a student’s likelihood of college success.  Simply said, a high-quality AP course in high school does an excellent job of fortifying students for a successful transition into the battery of college courses they’ll experience in their first semester at college.” (3)

College Co-Registration
Students may earn college credit through St. Mary’s University of Minnesota for successful completion of certain high school courses.  Through St. Mary’s Program for Advanced College Credit (PACC), students may earn 3 or 4 college credits per course. College credits earned are recognized by St. Mary’s University, as well as many other institutions.  College policies vary in regard to transfer credit, but usually colleges will accept courses in which students earned a C or above that are good matches for those they would have taken on that campus. The cost of a PACC credit is $60, so a three-credit class will be $180.  St. Mary’s requires payment for courses to be made in full at the beginning of the semester in which they are taken. Totino-Grace will assist students in the registration process.  More information on the PACC program is available at www.smumn.edu/pacc.

Courses at Totino-Grace in which students may earn college credit are Honors Introduction to Theology (3 credits), Honors Calculus (4 credits), College Prep Writing (3 credits), and AP Spanish Language (3 credits).

Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO)
Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) is a state program for juniors and seniors that allows them to enroll in courses at eligible colleges and universities for both high school and college credit.  Students must meet the requirements of the post-secondary institution they wish to attend, as determined by the college or university.  Students considering the option are expected to be responsible, motivated, and independent learners.

Please Note: Due to Totino-Grace’s rotating schedule, students are required to enroll in PSEO course(s) after the TG academic day. Special permission must be obtained from an Academic Administrator if a student requests to take a PSEO course during the TG academic day. In those instances, changes in a TG schedule, to accommodate PSEO, will be made only if there is room in classes.

Students must apply by the annual May 30 deadline for enrollment in PSEO courses for the following school year and work with a Totino-Grace Counselor during this enrollment process. A PSEO Student TG Agreement form is required for all requests to be considered. For more information, contact the School Counseling Department.

Totino-Grace will accept post-secondary credits for graduation under the following circumstances:   

  • All required courses must be taken at Totino-Grace. Only elective courses taken through PSEO are counted for credit at Totino-Grace. Generally, a three credit college course will earn a student one high school semester credit.
  • A maximum of four high school elective credits taken in the PSEO program will be counted toward a Totino-Grace diploma.
  • The PSEO credits counted toward graduation must be taken for a letter grade (not Pass-Fail).
  • Credits will be reported on the student’s high school transcript and figured into the GPA on a 4.0 scale.  
  • The combination of Totino-Grace and PSEO credits must meet our seven credits per semester minimum.
  • Any needed TG schedule changes must be made by the first Eagle Round-Up session (early August).
  • All other graduation requirements (e.g., retreat, graduation fee, etc.) will be required of PSEO participants.
  • For each high school semester credit taken through PSEO, tuition may be reduced 5% if parents make a request to the Totino-Grace Business Office.  Financial aid will be reduced by the same amount.

Students are required to turn in a signed copy of the PSEO contract to be considered for PSEO. Click HERE for a printable copy of the PSEO contract.

Foundational Courses

Totino-Grace also offers foundational level courses in most core subjects designed for those who need additional practice in learning concepts or frequent review to maintain their skills. Topics are taught in an introductory manner with concentration on the basic concepts and skills.  Students are enrolled in these courses based on test scores and teacher recommendation.

Electives

Because high school students have many different interests and many different abilities, Totino-Grace offers students variety and choice in their class selections. The comprehensive Totino-Grace academic program is designed to meet the many needs of our community of learners. In addition to required and elective courses in our core subjects, we offer courses in Industrial Technology, Business, Art, Music, Theater, Physical Education, Spanish, French, and Chinese.  The combination of required and elective courses provides students a solid foundation in core subjects, excellent preparation for college, and a chance to pursue areas of special interest.

Graduation Requirements

Fifty-four Semester credits are required for graduation. All stduents are required to carry a minimum of fourteen credits per school year -- seven each semester. To maintain satisfactory progress toward graduation, students should have completed the following:

9th grade: 14 credits
10th grade: at least 25 credits
11th grade: at least 36 credits

The following credits, per department, are required to graduate:

  • 8 semester credits of English
  • 8 semester credits of Religion
  • 6 semester credits of Social Studies
  • 6 semester credits of Science
  • 6 semester credits of Mathematics
  • 2 semester credits of Physical Education
  • 1 semester credit of Health
  • 1 semester credit of Fine Arts
  • 4 semesters of a World Language
  • 12 semester credits of elective courses
     

College Requirements
Colleges have a wide range of admission requirements. Therefore, it is advisable to check with Totino-Grace School Counseling Services and/or the college of your choice for specific requirements. School Counseling Services can help students learn the specific requirements for the college they plan to attend or the course of study they plan to follow. We encourage students to take advantage of the many resources located in School Counseling Services.

Many colleges in Minnesota and surrounding states recommend at aminimum:

  • Three years of Science.
  • At least one year each of a biological science and a physical science. Both must include laboratory experiences. Chemistry and Physics are considered physical sciences.
  • Three to Four years of Mathematics. Most schools require at least three years of math consisting of two years of Algebra and one year of Geometry.  The University of Minnesota, however, now requires four years of math for students seeking admission in fall, 2015.  Generally, selective colleges and universities require four years of math.
  • Four years of English; this should include both literature and writing courses.
  • Three years of Social Studies; this should include one year each of U.S. History and Geography. The geography requirement is fulfilled by taking Global Studies and Geography that includes a geography component.
  • Two years of a single World Language.
  • One year of Visual and/or Performing Arts.

Schedule Changes

Students should plan their academic program carefully so that schedule changes can be avoided. Students are encouraged to take advantage of teacher and parent assistance in making choices. If a student or parent requests a schedule change, it will be governed by the following rules. Students who do not complete these procedures will not receive credit for classes. 

  • Once a semester has begun, parents and teachers involved must give written approval for a schedule change. Schedule Change Request Forms are available in the Academic Office.
  • If a class is already filled, the request will not be honored. Totino-Grace remains committed to keeping class sizes small and will not accommodate a schedule change request if it means overcrowding a class.
  • A $50 processing fee is assessed whenever a course is dropped. This must be paid before the change is processed. 
  • Students must follow their current schedule until they receive notification of the schedule change.
  • Schedule changes generally will not be made to accommodate requests for specific teachers.
  • A Junior or Senior who wishes to be a Teacher Aide or a Physical Education Aide and receive credit for the course must complete a Schedule Change Request Form during the first week of the semester.
  • Courses dropped before mid-semester will not appear on a student’s transcript. Any course that is dropped after mid-semester will appear on the transcript with a "WF" (withdraw failing) notation but does not count toward a student’s GPA.
  • A student will receive an "F" for any course that is dropped because of discipline, poor attendance or skipping. This grade will appear on a student’s transcript and will count toward a student’s GPA.  

The Totino-Grace Academic Office reserves the right to cancel any course that has an insufficient number of registered students or where changes in personnel require it. If a course is cancelled, it is the student's responsibility to register for a new course to complete his or her schedule.

Course Signature Requirements

Students in grades 10-12 may take more than 14 credits per year only with special permission from the principal or assistant principal. Before a studet receives approval for 15 or 16 credits, Mrs. Broadhead or Mr. Vandermyde will meet with the student, his/her counselor, and possibly the student's parent/guardian regarding the potential for a demanding course schedule.

Qualified students wishing to take 15 credits may register for one additional single semester elective (beyond the required 14 credits). These stduents will have an open period the other semester during the school year.

Those with an interest in registering for 16 credits may only do so if they take a full-year elective course or have other special circumstances such as a credit recovery.

Students who wish to take two electives that are both single semester courses will be asked to choose ONE of them at the time of registration (bringing their total credits to 15).  They will then have the option to increase their total credits to 16 next fall if there is space available in the other course.  

Click HERE to access a copy of the Signature Requirement worksheet, outlining the courses for which students must obtain one or more signatures in order to enroll.

Additional Credit Options

Credit Recovery for a Failing Grade
If a student receives a failing grade in any subject at Totino-Grace, he or she may make up the credit to meet graduation requirements by retaking the course at Totino-Grace. Students seeking credit recovery should work with their School Counselor to carefully plan their four-year academic program to meet all graduation requirements.

Teacher Aide Option for Juniors and Seniors
A Junior or Senior may earn credit as a Teacher Aide, assisting teachers in the classroom (e.g., setting up equipment, leading a discussion) or with academic paperwork. Teacher Aides are not allowed to enter student grade information into PowerTeacher Gradebook. Students receive a credit and a letter grade for their work as a Teacher Aide; the credit counts toward the 50 needed for graduation, but does not count toward the minimum fourteen credits needed each year. Additionally, the letter grade is not factored into a student’s GPA. Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and may earn a maximum of two semester credits as a Teacher Aide.

If a student wishes to be a Teacher Aide, they do not register for that until the first week of the semester. Teacher Aide enrollment is done by adding this to a student’s schedule during an existing Open Period. The Academic Office will not alter a student’s schedule in order to accommodate a request to be a Teacher Aide during a particular period.

Learning Lab Teacher Assistant
This course is for students who excel academically and who would like to share their knowledge and leadership skills with students needing additional help to become more successful in their classes. While working with underclassmen, the daily tasks of a Learning Lab TA may include reading with a student, proofreading writing assignments, studying for tests and quizzes, helping with organizational skills, and reading a test orally. Students may also receive assistance with homework in subjects that the Learning Lab TA feels comfortable tutoring in such as English, mathematics, and science. This course is geared toward students who feel confident in their academic skills and who may want to explore the teaching profession. Prerequisite: 3.5 Cum GPA