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Academic FAQs

In Grade 9, only Math courses are leveled as College Preparatory (CP) or Honors; all other courses are not leveled. Freshmen also have the ability to test into a higher level World Language course depending on their prior coursework. Beginning in Grade 10, courses are offered at the College Prep and Honors levels. Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered across all academic disciplines. Cheverus encourages students to challenge themselves and take the most rigorous good-fit course offered. Students who earn a year-end grade of an A- or higher in a College Prep level course can enroll in an Honors and/or AP course. Students already enrolled in an Honors or AP course and who earn a final grade of a B or higher can maintain their enrollment in an Honors and/or AP course. Honors and AP courses earn an additional increment of 0.25 in the student grade point average.

At the AP level, students are required to move quickly through college-level material. Students must satisfy the course prerequisites and minimum grade requirement for enrollment in an AP course. Each department has its own prerequisites and requirements for enrollment. Please consult individual course descriptions found in the Program of Studies. AP courses are a year-long commitment culminating in May with the AP Test, which is currently optional for all students enrolled in AP courses. Students who wish to take the AP Test are responsible for the associated fees.

A two-week add/drop period at the beginning of the school year enables a student to fine-tune their academic program without a record on a student’s transcript. Without the express consent of the Assistant Principal for Academics, after the first Progress Report is released, a W or withdrawn will appear on the student’s transcript for a dropped course. Students with extenuating circumstances who would like to add a course in exchange for a dropped course after Quarter 1 Progress Reports may make an administrative appeal with the Assistant Principal for Academics.

Cheverus has four quarters where Report Cards are issued. There are also four mid-quarterly Progress Report opportunities. Parents/guardians and students have continual access to monitor grades through the Family Portal. Conferences are scheduled in the late fall, but teachers are available by phone or email to discuss a student at any other time. Questions about academic progress should always be brought to the attention of the teacher first. The student’s assigned Guidance Counselor can also provide assistance. 

At Cheverus, students are encouraged to be independent learners and advocating for themselves is an important component of this. The opportunity for frequent personal consultation between a student and teacher has long been a hallmark of the Cheverus experience. On one afternoon every week, each teacher is available from 2:20-3:00 p.m. to provide extra help for students. Any student who wishes may make use of this consultation period.

Cheverus offers resources that may assist students with diagnosed moderate learning disabilities. However, the demands and design of the curriculum, in conjunction with the school’s schedule, do not permit us to implement all recommendations in a student’s IEP. Cheverus is committed to providing certain accommodations to students with documented learning disabilities. Please note that these are accommodations and not modifications. Modifications indicate a change in the requirements of the class, such as requiring a student to complete half as many math problems. Cheverus offers a variety of student support services, such as Instructional Support, which can be further explored in our Program of Studies. We encourage families to submit a copy of their student’s IEP or 504 plan to his/her Guidance Counselor for review.

Academic honors are awarded twice during the academic year on the basis of cumulative GPA points earned for the first and second semesters. High Honors recognition is awarded to those students who earn all A’s for semester grades. Honors recognition is awarded to those students who earn a 3.0 average or better and do not have any grades below a C+ among their semester grades.

A total of 25.5 credits are required for graduation. Freshmen are required to take a minimum of 7 full credits during their first year; sophomores, juniors, and seniors are required to take a minimum of 6 full-credit courses each year. The following requirements must be fulfilled for graduation:

4 credits in English

4 credits in Mathematics (1 credit each year)

4 credits in Theology

3 credits in History (including History I, History II, and History III)

3 credits in Science (including Global Science, Biology, and Chemistry)

3 credits in World Language (three successive years of the same language)

1 credit in Fine Arts

½ credit in Computer Science

3 credits in Electives


Additional requirements include:

Retreats (one per year)

Community Service (55 hours plus Arrupe Service Project)

College Advising (one semester each in junior and senior years)

Cheverus offers a STEM Diploma to signal the necessary coursework and co-curricular experiences to become college and career-ready in STEM. This designates that a student has elected to concentrate their studies in science, technology, engineering, and math. These requirements, which highlight the STEM offerings at Cheverus, may encourage a student to stretch beyond their natural comfort zone. Each student can tailor the STEM requirements to their specific interests. Additional requirements for the STEM Diploma include, but are not limited to, extra credits of science and math, presentation of student-generated research to an external body such as through the Maine State Science Fair, service, and leadership in STEM

Students may take online courses through the Arrupe Virtual Learning Institute (AVLI). AVLI is staffed by Jesuit school teachers, including our own Cheverus faculty. Students with strong independent study skills and expectations of commitment similar to an onsite course (estimated at 7+ hours per week) will be most successful. AVLI courses may require digital online conferencing, including active participation on discussion boards, blogs, wikis, and other projects. While Cheverus encourages students to take courses on campus with live teachers, we recognize that there are students who have an interest beyond our course offerings and have the motivation that exceeds what is possible to take in our daily schedule. AVLI courses can fulfill elective requirements for graduation.

Through an agreement with St. Joseph’s College of Maine, select courses from Cheverus High School can be granted college credit with an additional administrative fee. Those students taking courses for college credit will do so on our campus during the regular school day. The teachers of these college credit courses are members of our own faculty. Courses that offer dual enrollment credit are noted in our Program of Studies.

All students have a required summer reading assignment as part of their English courses. As part of our Community Read Program, all students and faculty read a book that unites the community and animates the mission of our Jesuit school. Additional summer coursework may be required as part of other courses and can be viewed here.

The mission of the Community Read Program is to promote critical reading, community discourse, and action to be people for and with others. Every summer, the Cheverus community reads a book that unites the community and animates the mission of our Jesuit school. This shared read provides our community a chance to deliberately build a culture that promotes social justice and service. It is a conversation starter that is also intended to unite all of our academic studies. Students, staff, faculty, and administration will participate in the read and support the focus with programming throughout the year. Small cross-grade discussion groups and independent student projects follow the summer read in the fall. To see what we’ve read in previous summers, please visit the Program of Studies.