P.O. Box 334
Basseterre, St. Kitts, West Indies
Phone: 869-465-4161 Ext. 401-1133
The academic program at the RUSVM Preparatory School, based on an enriched United States curriculum, is designed to develop within students an awareness of the international environment in which they live. The academic year is divided into trimesters.
COURSE OF STUDY
Teachers use and follow the guidelines provided in the curriculum for the preparation of their written lesson plans. There are specific standards listed for each subject and grade level and the grading system is based on these standards.
FOUR THEMES FOR A GLOBAL CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK
Parents, educators, and business leaders worldwide were asked to give feedback about the abilities they believed young people graduating from high school should possess. Ideally, they agreed graduates would be:
- Critical thinkers and problem solvers
- Responsible, productive citizens
- Self-directed learners
- Effective communicators
Because of the importance of these global themes to all areas of learning, the RUSVM Preparatory School has purposely woven elements of these four themes into the mission, goals, standards, and benchmarks of the curricula.
- Provide a well-rounded program of instruction using the best educational practices appropriate to the cultural, intellectual and social needs of our students.
- Provide a U.S.-based, non-sectarian, college preparatory, PK-8 curriculum with English as the language of instruction.
- Provide educational resources for a safe, challenging, tolerant, and supportive environment in which students are actively encouraged to participate.
- Prepare students to be independent thinkers, skillful communicators, and lifelong learners.
- Foster a sense of individual responsibility, self-discipline, self-reliance, and respect for self and others.
- Promote a creative, active lifestyle.
- Orient students to the world of technology and media, developing familiarity, competence, and awareness of the tools they will need as they continue their learning process.
- Encourage students, teachers, administrators, and parents to play an active role in promoting educational excellence at the Prep School.
- Recruit highly qualified and motivated faculty and staff members.
- Provide opportunities for families and friends of the Prep School to strengthen community bonds through a range of inclusive activities and programs.
- Encourage acceptance and tolerance of the diversity of moral, traditional, and religious values.
- Have all of our students choose to demonstrate social responsibility through active involvement in serving the community.
Standards-based grading is utilized by the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) Preparatory School. Standards are clearly stated for each subject at each grade level. Students are assigned a number that indicates where they are in meeting each standard as follows:
1 = Below Standard (acceptable at the beginning of the year)
2 = Approaches Standard (expected during the academic school year)
3 = Meets Standard (our goal for all students at the end of the year)
4 = Exceeds Standard (used in rare instances when a student demonstrates ability beyond the stated standard)
Standards are stated for each specific grade level. Students are expected to meet these standards by the end of the school year. Therefore, students are expected to get ones and twos in the beginning of the school year and threes by the end of the year. Fours are given only when students have surpassed the standard and it occurs rarely. Through the use of assessment and evaluation, teachers are able to monitor student progress, identify and meet individual student needs, and enhance instruction in the classroom.
Assessment and evaluation are defined as follows:
- Assessment determines student knowledge or learning progress at one specific time.
- Evaluation assigns a ranking, grade, or score to student learning.
It is important for teachers to engage in ongoing assessment of their teaching and of student learning. Specifically, teachers will endeavor to:
- Use multiple teaching methods and systematically gather data about student understanding and ability.
- Analyze assessment data to guide teaching.
- Guide students in self-assessment.
- Use student data, observations of teaching, and interactions with colleagues to reflect on and improve teaching practice.
- Use student data, observations of teaching, and interactions with colleagues to report student achievement and learning opportunities for students, teachers, parents, policy makers, and the general public.
Assessment will be consistent with goals:
- Assessment tasks will be authentic and valid.
- Assessments will be fair.
- Assessments will be based only on what has been taught in the program.
- Assessments will be weighted according to the importance of the learning outcomes being assessed (large-scale assessments will be statistically sound).
- The inferences made from assessments about student achievement and opportunity to learn will be sound (data will be used to make instructional decisions).
At any time during the school year, if a student’s progress is not satisfactory, the teacher will contact his or her parents and ask them to come in to work together with the teacher to develop a plan of action that will promote success for the student.
RUSVM uses a web-based reporting system with standards-based grading. Report cards are issued at the end of each trimester. Teachers keep accurate records to support the grades given to their students. Parents are requested to sign the report cards and return them within three days.
Although we do our best to accommodate parents unless there is an emergency or special circumstance, our policy is that report cards are not issued before the last day of school for these reasons:
- Our academic program continues through the last day of the school year.
- Our system is set up to finish classes and turn grades in at a specific time each trimester.
The Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) Preparatory School emphasizes the interrelatedness of all forms of communication and the importance of the processes involved and has adopted an integrated language arts instructional program with the following parameters:
- Reading and writing must be taught together.
- Reading, writing, speaking, and listening must be integrated.
- Students should write for a variety of purposes and audiences.
- The writing process should include pre-writing, drafting, revising, and editing.
The school's mathematics curriculum is grounded in the philosophy of learning described below:
- There is a mathematician within each of us.
- Experience with models for math concepts helps us understand, invent, and remember important math ideas.
- Learning mathematics is a social activity.
- Learning mathematics is an ongoing process of knowledge construction.
- Disequilibrium stimulates new learning.
- Mathematics is a fascinating world of its own.
Science is taught using a hands-on discovery and evaluation approach through classroom discussions and the conduction of experiments whenever possible. The RUSVM Preparatory School science program is grounded in the philosophy of learning described below:
- Science is for all students.
- Less content is more.
- The predominant objective of our science program is to present to students the wonder of science and joy of exploration through inquiry.
We particularly strive to foster students’ understanding and appreciation of the natural world by integrating science with other fields of study.
The goal of the social studies program at RUSVM Preparatory School is to prepare students to demonstrate responsibility and leadership as citizens of a global society. In addition to a study of history and geography, we endeavor to impart to our students knowledge of:
- Social systems
- Political systems
- Economic systems
- Comparative religions
Whenever possible, we focus upon our host country and the West Indies region
In the music class, students sing, play percussion, and participate in a variety of activities to develop and strengthen musical skills. Students are given the opportunity to experience the music of today and yesterday as they learn to appreciate different types of music, and to enjoy the music of other cultures.
Students are encouraged to express themselves through their artwork as they use a variety of art media. Students are instructed in art appreciation and art history as part of the total art program. The art teacher designs the program to coincide with current activities in core subjects at each grade level.
The goal of the health and fitness program is to create healthy, physically educated individuals who are intrinsically motivated to be involved in health-enhancing decisions and physical activity for a lifetime.
Standards are stated for classes at each grade level at the RUSVM Preparatory School and our grading system is standards based. Teachers address the individual standards throughout the school year and student grades are based on where an individual student is in meeting each of those standards.
STRATEGIES AND PARAMETERS
Strategy 1 - Communications
- We will improve internal and external communications and clarify decision-making roles and procedures in order to promote an atmosphere of high morale and trust among the various School partners.
Strategy 2 - Curriculum
- We will develop, articulate, and implement an integrated curriculum, which sets achievement standards at all levels and defines appropriate assessment indicators.
Strategy 3 - Instruction
- We will develop and implement plans to ensure high-quality instruction in order to achieve our objectives.
Strategy 4 - Community Service
We will develop and implement programs to encourage and facilitate participation by all students in meaningful and appropriate community service.
We will accept no new program or service unless:
- it is consistent with the school’s plan;
- its benefits clearly justify costs;
- it includes provisions for staff development and program evaluation;
- it has sufficient funds for effective implementation.
We will retain no program or service unless:
- its benefits continue to justify costs;
- it makes an optimal contribution to achieving the mission.
We will always insist on a high standard of performance by faculty, staff, and students. We will not tolerate any behavior that diminishes the dignity or self-worth of any individual or group.