Student Life

Student Handbook: Upper School

Guiding Principles

In the Upper School, we seek to honor the unique needs and contributions of each student through a continuing process of challenge and self-reflection. We utilize a wide variety of teaching practices and learning opportunities to cultivate respect, understanding and compassion for others. The success of our students also depends on close collaboration with parents and families. We expect our students to work with teachers, students and other members of the community to become independent, life-long learners. Because the hallmarks of a Bullis education include honesty, integrity and responsibility, we place great importance in the Bullis Honor Code. In educating our students, we seek not only to prepare students for success in higher education, but also to equip them with the skills needed for a balanced, fulfilling and meaningful life.

Academics

The Bullis curriculum not only provides students with the academic background necessary for their success at the college level, but also acts as the cornerstone for an entire range of co-curricular and extracurricular activities that help develop well-rounded individuals. Our goal is to graduate good students who are good people.

Bullis helps students establish this cornerstone by presenting them with a curriculum that generates reasonable challenges for all students. Each student’s schedule is tailored to meet his or her academic needs.

In keeping with this goal, Bullis is concerned with the quality of students’ work and the effort and integrity that go into producing that work, especially as noted in the “Bullis Code of Academic Honesty.”

Curriculum

The Bullis Curriculum Guide, which we make available each spring, details the school curriculum. Refer to it and the school’s website for specific information about courses, scheduling, special academic programs and diploma requirements.

Students play an active role in the process of course selection. Midway through the third trimester, Upper School students receive instruction and materials for use in planning the following year’s schedule. Their classroom instructors and faculty advisors discuss departmental choices with them. Students work out tentative course selections with their parents and advisors. The advisor gives the tentative schedule to the academic staff for review. Final scheduling is done in June and July, and students are notified of problems and conflicts during the summer and at registration.

Scheduling

Course Load: A normal Upper School course load consists of six subjects per day. Students wishing to carry more or less than a normal load must receive approval from the academic dean.

Schedule Changes: Because of the care taken to create appropriate schedules for each student, changes are rarely necessary. However, should a schedule change be necessary, the student must secure the approval of the academic dean.

Grading

Tests and Final Examinations: Student performance is evaluated and graded on a regular basis in all courses. Quizzes may be announced or unannounced, a practice that helps students maintain a consistent pattern of work by encouraging day-to-day preparation. Teachers instruct students in the best way to prepare for their examinations, and they notify their classes several days in advance of major tests. Make-up tests and quizzes are administered as needed at the discretion of the teacher. Courses include two-hour final examinations at the end of the first and third trimesters. Final examinations represent 20 percent of the total grade for the trimester. Students who qualify for extended time are allowed up to time and a half the scheduled time and must complete all work on that day. Completion of a test or exam takes precedence over all after-school activities. A modified exam schedule is provided for students having more than two final exams on the same day. No trimester or final exam may be administered prior to the originally scheduled time without the approval of the academic dean.

Department Testing Weeks: The school encourages departments to observe the following testing weeks based on the Blue/Gold schedule so that students do not have more than two major tests (not quizzes) on one day.* A test is usually distinguished from a quiz by the following: a test usually covers work done over a period of time greater than two weeks and is planned to take an entire period to finish.

Blue Week: math, social studies, technology, health and visual and performing arts

Gold Week: science, English, foreign language, Entrepreneurship

*With advanced warning to the necessary grade-level team, a teacher may schedule a test during an off week if it does not result in more than two major assignments on any one day.

Reports and Grades: The Bullis school year is divided into trimesters. All students receive progress reports at the midpoint of each trimester. Report cards are sent home at the end of each trimester. Students with grades below 70 and those whose grades have changed dramatically also receive interim reports at different points of each trimester. Copies of report cards, progress reports and interims are kept in the student’s school file.

Students receive numerical grades in all academic subjects according to the following system:

90-100—Excellent performance within subject matter. Has
demonstrated excellent knowledge and mastery of skills and their application.
80-89—Very good performance within subject matter. Has
demonstrated facility with skills and their application.
70-79—Adequate performance. Has demonstrated basic knowledge and grasp of skills and their application.
60-69—Poor performance. Has not fully met course objectives, but has demonstrated sufficient knowledge and familiarity with skills to pass the course, indicating concern in cases where course is sequential.
Below 60—Inadequate performance. Has demonstrated inadequate knowledge and little or no grasp of skills and their application. Failure, no credit.

Incompletes: Students who have not completed all assigned work during any marking period may receive a grade of incomplete at the discretion of the teacher. Students have ten days from the end of the marking period to make up all unfinished work. Work will not be accepted after the grace period has expired.

Effort Grade Criteria:

  • Student accepts responsibility for school work
  • Student displays perseverance in the pursuit of academic excellence
  • Student produces consistently prepared work

Effort grades range from 4 (strongest effort) to 1 (weakest effort). What effort grades mean:
1 = Student does not demonstrate
2 = Student sporadically demonstrates
3 = Student often demonstrates
4 = Student consistently demonstrates 

Honors and Advanced Placement Courses

Honors and AP courses receive a five point “weight,” which is reflected in a student’s cumulative Grade Point Average on his or her transcript. It should be noted that grades in Bullis’s AP courses reflect the expectations of the College Board’s grading policies for that course’s exam.

If a Bullis student takes an AP course, he or she is required to take the AP exam.

The Bullis School Code of Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is critical to the education of individual students and to the integrity of the Bullis community. Students who misrepresent their own work or present the work of others as their own deprive themselves of the benefits of the learning process.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the presentation of the words or ideas of another as one’s own. While plagiarism is generally associated with research papers, other assignments may also be plagiarized. These include homework assignments, essays, written labs, oral presentations and visual presentations. In order to avoid plagiarizing, a student must appropriately cite any source used in preparing or completing an assignment. Because of the seriousness of this issue, students are encouraged to ask their teachers for clarification if there is any doubt as to whether a source must be cited. A student may not reproduce his or her own work for a different class.

Cheating: Cheating is related to plagiarism. A student who utilizes another student’s work, copies from another student, shares information about a graded assignment, copies from his or her own notes during a graded assignment or in any way misrepresents his or her knowledge during a particular assessment is cheating. Cheating may occur on tests, quizzes, homework assignments, labs and other graded work. As policies can vary in some cases by department, teacher and assignment, students are encouraged to clarify any questions about the expectations pertaining to specific assignments.

Consequences: A student who plagiarizes or cheats appears before the assistant principal. The assistant principal determines whether the student is responsible and will usually refer the student to the Conduct Review Board (CRB). The CRB conducts a hearing and recommends consequences based on the following guidelines:

  • A first offense typically results in the student being required to re-do the assignment without unauthorized assistance. The resulting grade is entered with a 50% deduction. This grade cannot be dropped. A Disciplinary Warning is issued.
  • A second offense typically results in a suspension of 2-5 days and a specified period of Disciplinary Probation. No credit will be given for the work in question.
  • A third offense at any time during the student’s career at Bullis will most likely result in the student being permanently separated from the community. No credit will be given for the work in question.

Steps will also be taken to ensure that the student understands the severity of his or her actions and learns from the experience. Given the violation of community trust implicit in academic dishonesty, a student’s participation in certain school activities may also be restricted.


Academic Standing

Academic Honors: At the end of each trimester, an honor roll is posted. The Upper School awards certificates to students who have distinguished themselves academically. A student whose average grade is 88 or above earns Honors designation; those whose average grade is 92 or above earn High Honors.

Academic Difficulty: If a student has a grade average below 70 in any course, he or she should see his teacher as soon as possible. If the student is having serious difficulty in a class, the teacher may require that he or she attend extra instruction for that subject.

Extra instruction may take place immediately after school or at mutually free times. Extra instruction takes precedence over all activities except science labs and scheduled athletic contests.

Academic Improvement Plan: A student with a failing grade or with grades below 70 in two or more courses is placed on an academic improvement plan for a maximum of two trimesters. Specific guidelines, including a daily academic checklist, for improving work and for judging improvement are established so that the student and parents understand the school’s expectations. The improvement plan is designed to help students achieve at a high level and to experience academic success. The progress of students placed on an improvement plan is reviewed at regular intervals during the school year, and a student is removed from an improvement plan if he or she has no grades below a 70 at the end of the trimester. Unweighted grades are used when determining whether a student is on an improvement plan.

Academic Probation: A student with any grade below 70 after two trimesters on an improvement plan is placed on academic probation, which constitutes a major change in a student’s status and results in a contract hold for the following school year.* Specific guidelines, including a daily academic checklist, for improving work and for judging improvement are established so that the student and parents understand the school’s expectations. The progress of students placed on academic probation is reviewed at regular intervals during the school year, and a student is removed from academic probation if he or she has no grades below a 70 at the end of a trimester. Failure to satisfy requirements of academic probation may hinder a student’s ability to return to Bullis the following year. Unweighted grades are used when determining whether a student is on academic probation.

*Once a student has been placed on two improvement plans during his or her time in the Upper School, he or she will be placed directly on academic probation if any of the following conditions occur:

  • He or she has at least one unweighted grade below a 70 while on an improvement plan;
  • He or she has one failing grade (unweighted) while not on an improvement plan;
  • He or she has two unweighted grades below a 70 while not on an improvement plan.

Homework: Homework is given regularly in all courses at Bullis. Students have 20 to 45 minutes of homework for each class each night, depending on course and level. Students are responsible for all homework. When homework is collected, it is evaluated and returned in a timely fashion. While a single homework assignment of normal length is usual over a weekend or short (three-day) holiday, students may be assigned (and should expect in honors-level courses) lengthier assignments for longer holidays or vacations.

Students have time to do homework in study hall during the school day. Making good use of this time can reduce the amount of time spent studying in the evening. In the case of a prolonged excused absence from school, students will be helped in getting assignments and materials. In all other cases, students are responsible for getting all missing homework assignments and materials from teachers. Upon returning to school, students are responsible for checking with teachers to see that work is up-to-date and for making up any missed quizzes or examinations as soon as possible.

Study Halls: Study halls are intended for studying and completing school-related work. Students should arrive with all materials so that they can make use of the entire period. Proctors insist on quiet, especially in the ninth- and tenth-grade study halls, so work can be completed and proper study habits developed.

To leave study halls for extra instruction or to do research in the library, students need a written pass from the appropriate teacher. Study hall proctors do not write notes for students. Students are expected to get passes in advance. Upperclassmen have more independence in this area and are to exercise greater responsibility.

Summer School: Students who fail any course during the regular school year must make up that course in summer school at Bullis or at another institution. Students who earn grades of 60-69 in any course may be required to attend summer school to prepare for the following year’s work in that subject. The academic dean must review and approve the syllabus for any summer school course from another institution to be taken for Bullis credit.

  • Juniors and seniors, please note: Graduation requirements are published in the Curriculum Guide and on the school’s website. Please understand what is expected. Check with the academic dean if you have any questions or problems.

National Honor Society

Bullis annually selects students to its chapter of the Senior National Honor Society in accordance with the society’s national by-laws. “Membership in the National Honor Society is a privilege, not a right, based on the four criteria of scholarship, character, service and leadership” (N.H.S. Constitution).

Selection Process: Students possessing a cumulative weighted average of 91.5 percent are nominated for membership. The difficulty level of the student’s course load is a consideration of nomination. Students wishing to pursue their nomination complete a student activity form detailing information on their service to the school and community, participation in school life and areas of leadership. The N.H.S. advisors compile a file on each student, which includes his or her activity form, transcript, conduct record and a faculty evaluation based on the four criteria.

A faculty council is responsible for electing students to membership. Members of the faculty council evaluate anonymous copies of each student’s file. A student must receive at least three positive votes to be accepted for membership. After a final tally of the votes, the advisors inform the faculty council of the students they elected. The N.H.S. advisors then send letters to all nominees informing them of the decision of the faculty council.

Membership: A student must maintain a cumulative average of 91.5 percent and participate actively in N.H.S. activities to remain a member. Any student who fails to meet the society standards comes before the faculty council to discuss the situation. The faculty council may dismiss any student who violates the by-laws of the society or the rules of the school.

Members of the National Honor Society develop and execute Community Service projects, and work collaboratively with the Community Service Club.

Peer Tutoring: Through peer tutoring, Upper School students help other students with studies. The program helps match students and schedule meetings. Tutoring may be arranged through the Upper School Learning Support office.

Communicating with Faculty/Administrators

Parents of Upper School students with academic, athletic, extracurricular, health or disciplinary concerns should contact the first person listed in the appropriate category below. If you are unable to resolve the matter, you should then proceed to the next person.

  • Academics: Teacher, Advisor, Department Chair, Academic Dean, Principal
  • Athletics: Coach, Boys’ or Girls’ Athletic Director, Upper School Assistant Principal
  • Extracurriculars: Advisor, Upper School Assistant Principal, Principal
  • Health: Nurse, Advisor, Upper School Assistant Principal, Principal
  • Disciplinary: Upper School Assistant Principal, Principal

Athletics Eligibility Criteria

Participation in athletics at Bullis is both a privilege and a responsibility. As members of a Bullis athletic team, student-athletes are expected to make a personal commitment to represent Bullis in an exemplary fashion and to follow rules of training and conduct necessary to maintain strong, healthy minds and bodies. Because student-athletes are in a highly visible position requiring leadership and responsibility, they are held to a higher accountability of conduct and behavior than students who choose not to participate in interscholastic athletics. Athletic consequences, therefore, are implemented independently of and in addition to any recommended through the disciplinary process.

The following rules apply to all students participating in interscholastic athletic activities or attending team-related activities, including out-of-season camps or tournaments. These rules apply at all times throughout the school year, beginning with pre-season tryouts, extending to the last day of school, and including any summer team-related activities.

Loss of athletic eligibility applies to games only. For the purposes of this eligibility policy, a game is defined as a single interscholastic contest, match or meet. Student-athletes will be expected to practice with their team during the period of suspension. If the loss of athletic eligibility occurs prior to the final game of the season, the student-athlete will be suspended for the subsequent week (one or two regular season games) of the current season of play. If the loss of athletic eligibility occurs during or after the final game of the season, the student-athlete will be suspended for the first two weeks (one or two regular-season games) of the next season of play, whether in the same school year or the following school year. If the loss of athletic eligibility occurs during the final game of one’s senior season, the student-athlete will be required to serve community service or other assigned activities as determined by the athletic directors and/or the dean of students.

Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco

Student-athletes shall not use or possess tobacco products, drugs, alcohol or performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids, whether it occurs on or off school property or at a Bullis School function.

Consequences for violations of the Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco Policy:

First Offense:

  • The student-athlete will be suspended from interscholastic competition for one week (one or two games).
  • The student-athlete will lose any leadership position on the team for the remainder of the season.

Second Offense:

  • The student-athlete will be dismissed from interscholastic competition for the remainder of the season
  • The student-athlete will be required to attend substance-abuse counseling as recommended by the school. 

Academic Eligibility

Student-athletes must maintain a cumulative average of 70 and have no failing grades in a marking period. Grades will be reviewed by the Upper School Principal after the official submission to the Upper School office at each mid-trimester and again at the end of each trimester, a total of six times each year. All student suspensions will be initiated on the day that grades are reviewed.

Consequences for violations of the Academic Eligibility Policy:
  • The student-athlete will initially be suspended from interscholastic competition for a minimum of one week. During that time, the student-athlete cannot attend practice or attend away games. He/she may attend home games at the discretion of the coach and the athletic director, but he/she may not be in uniform.
  • During the suspension, the student-athlete will be placed on an academic improvement plan by the Upper School Principal that will include a daily checklist as well as mandatory extra instruction meetings. The student-athlete’s academic performance will be reassessed after one week by the Principal and will be based on grades, effort, teacher comments, and other necessary indicators of progress. Once the week is complete, students will become eligible when they have demonstrated through grades, effort grades and teacher comments progress towards improving his/her overall performance.
  • Sportsmanship

    Bullis student-athletes are expected to display appropriate conduct and sportsmanship at all times throughout the season.

    Consequences for violations of the Sportsmanship Policy:
    • If a student-athlete is ejected from a game, he or she will be suspended from the next interscholastic competition.
    • If a student-athlete is ejected from a second game for unsportsmanlike behavior during the same season, he or she will be suspended from the next two interscholastic competitions.
    • Any player ejected from more than two games for unsportsmanlike behavior during one season will be suspended for the remainder of the season and will lose the opportunity to receive any post-season honors.

    Individual league policies in boys’ soccer (IAC) and boys’ ice hockey (IAC) meet or exceed the consequences detailed above and thus supersede the Sportsmanship Policy in the case of a single ejection. The Sportsmanship Policy applies to all student-athletes in cases of two or more ejections in a single season.

Attendance Policy

Consistent daily attendance is vital to the academic and social development of Bullis students. Attendance is also directly linked to success in the classroom. Please follow the set procedures when a student will be absent from school. These procedures help us meet our responsibility to be aware of your child’s whereabouts and to ensure his or her safety.

Unexcused absences without notice are unacceptable and may lead to serious disciplinary consequences. Bullis School encourages parents to support our efforts to promote honesty and responsibility in our students and to support our attendance and lateness policies by making sure that students only miss school for appropriate reasons.

Bullis follows the attendance policy of the State of Maryland, which defines the following as appropriate reasons for absence from school.

  • Illness of the student
  • School approved out-of-school activity
  • Death in the immediate family
  • Physical incapacity (documented)
  • Mental incapacity (documented)
  • Quarantine
  • Court summons
  • Violent storms
  • State emergency
  • Religious holiday

Bullis regards days or classes missed for the above reasons as excused absences, for which any missed work may be made up for full credit.

All other absences are considered unexcused absences. Teachers will provide make-up opportunities for students who have missed assignments, tests or quizzes during an acknowledged unexcused absence. However, students can only earn up to 80% credit for the assignment. It is important to note that teachers will not be expected to re-teach material that a child missed due to an unexcused absence. Any student with an unexcused absence without notice (class cut) will not be eligible for 80% credit, and will receive 0% credit. A pattern of unexcused absences or a flagrant initial offense is handled within the discipline system and may lead to work detail, Saturday detention, probation or dismissal. Students who miss school for false or misleading reasons, regardless of who supplied the reasons, may be required to appear before the Conduct Review Board for participating in a lie.

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Absence from School: If a student will be absent and is unable to notify the school ahead of time, a parent or guardian must phone the Upper School Office by 8:15 a.m. so that the absence can be verified as excused by the time first-period attendance is collected. If a student is not in class and no call has been received, the absence may be considered unexcused. Please call the Upper School Attendance Hotline at 301-634-3630 or send an e-mail to US_attendance@bullis.org.

In the case of all anticipated excused or unexcused absences, Upper School students must inform the school one week ahead of time with a signed letter from home that states the reason for the absence and when it will occur. They will then receive a Notified Absence Form from the Upper School Office. The form is to be signed by the teachers of classes that will be missed and by the principal at least two days before the day of the absence. Mandatory suspensions from school for disciplinary purposes will be considered excused absences. The principal may require a physician’s note for continual absences due to illness.

Unexcused absences without notice from class, assembly, or meetings (cuts) are not permitted. These offenses will result in Saturday morning detention and two disciplinary points. An egregious offense may result in more serious disciplinary action, including an appearance before the Conduct Review Board.

Absence and Credit: Excessive absences impede a student’s ability to participate fully in the classroom environment. Students who are frequently absent from class will inevitability suffer academic consequences. Any student who attends 85% or less of class meetings will be denied credit for the course whether the absences are excused or unexcused and regardless of mathematical average. The student must submit a written petition to the principal requesting credit and attend a meeting to discuss the requests. Three late arrivals count as a missed class under the 15 percent rule.

Attendance Probation: Any student who misses 10* or more classes in one trimester will be placed on Attendance Probation. If a student is placed on Attendance Probation, arrangements must be made ahead of time with the assistant principal for all absences in the following trimester. Any senior on Attendance Probation in the third trimester will forfeit their exam exemption regardless of mathematical average.
*School-sponsored trips, athletic contests and religious holidays will not be included when calculating the total number of absences.

Early Dismissal:  If a student must leave school before the end of the normal school day, he or she must check out at the Upper School Office. A student will be dismissed early only if a parent phones or sends in a note in advance, explaining the reason for leaving early. Early dismissal will be marked excused or unexcused using the Attendance Policy Guidelines.

Late To School Policy: It is the responsibility of Bullis Upper School students to report to school by 8:00 a.m. If a student arrives at school late or is late to a class, he or she must check in at the Upper School Office and get a pass to be admitted to class. Lateness to school is disruptive to teachers and to fellow classmates. If a student is consistently late to school, he or she may be subject to the following consequences: detention, a parent conference with the dean of students and the Upper School principal and, if the behavior does not improve, an appearance before the CRB.

Late To Class Policy: If a student is late to class he or she must report to the Upper School Office for a late slip, or have a note from the prior teacher explaining the lateness. Each late arrival after the third one may result in a one percent reduction in the student’s trimester grade in that course. The teacher will fill out a Student Comportment Form to notify the student, the parents, the advisor and the principal that this academic consequence has been imposed. The maximum penalty in a course is the loss of five percent of the grade for that trimester. At that time, the principal must be informed before any further penalty is assessed, and a parent conference may be required.

College Visits: For college visits, juniors and seniors are allowed (with advance notification given to the principal) to miss a combined total of six days of school for college visits. All missed assignments must be completed.

Juniors are discouraged from visiting colleges while school is in session, and we recommend that visits take place during weekends, spring break and summer vacation between junior and senior years.

Clubs and Activities

The following list includes some of the current clubs and activities at Bullis. Students may get more information about a club by talking with a club member or advisor.

Community Service Club

The Community Service Club is one of the largest and most active clubs on the campus.Students participate in several long-standing service traditions, including the Thanksgiving basket project and Pie Bake, an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, and a Cereal Drive.In addition, members are involved in ongoing service projects including visits with the elderly at Manor Care, a reading buddy program at The Deiner School, and regular Saturday volunteer sessions at A Wider Circle.

“It’s Academic” Team

Selected students compete against one another in contests requiring rapid recall in art, history, literature, mathematics and science. Competition against other schools may be arranged. Students also prepare for appearances on the “It’s Academic” television show.

Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)

Members of SADD work to inform other students of making destructive decisions, and of practical ways to combat this problem. The group provides literature and sponsors speakers and discussion groups about their concern.

Diversity Awareness at Bullis (DAB)

DAB promotes cultural awareness amongst Bullis’s diverse community. The club sponsors dinners, films, speakers, participation at conferences and other activities. DAB is open to all Upper School students who seek to promote and support our mission of Diversity and Equity at Bullis. Each year, Bullis supports a delegation of students who attend the Student Diversity Leadership Conference sponsored by NAIS. There, DAB leaders receive training and return to our campus ready to conduct workshops on diversity-related issues with fellow students, coordinate speakers and assemblies, and network with students at area independent schools.

Bullis Ambassadors

Bullis Ambassadors are affiliated with the Admission Office. Ambassadors are trained to give tours not only to prospective students and their families, but also to school visitors such as alumni, trustees and other school officials. Ambassadors’ training educates selected Upper School students about the school’s history and traditions and about how to show the school’s facilities. Ambassadors are also taught how to communicate with parents and other adults in a comfortable manner.

Peer Mentors

All freshmen are involved in the Peer Mentor Program, which is designed to help ease the transition to the Upper School. Peer Mentors are juniors and seniors, chosen through a rigorous selection process, and are responsible for leading weekly discussion groups, planning special activities and hosting guest speakers on today’s issues.Peer mentors are expected to participate in a retreat.

Bullis Student Tutoring

Bullis supports student tutoring services for students by providing a supervised meeting space and time for students to work with trained and qualified peer tutors. Our student tutors receive community service hours for their work. They are selected through an application process and receive tutoring training. Our tutors  have demonstrated a consistently high level of success in the areas they tutor. For more details please contact your divisional learning specialist. Students interested in applying to become a tutor can speak with the Upper School learning specialist.

Publications

Students create and edit several school publications. To start helping with a publication, see the advisor.

Bullis Bulldog

The school newspaper, Bullis Bulldog, published several times each term, describes important events in the life of the school and provides students with an opportunity to address the entire community on issues of importance. Lower, Middle and Upper School students are encouraged to become involved in the publication.

Roll Call

Roll Call is the Bullis School yearbook. Its publication is the responsibility of a committed staff of student editors under the direction of an advisor. Students interested in photography, layout and business affairs are encouraged to become involved.

Logos

Logos is the school journal of art and literature. Any student may submit poetry, prose or artwork for publication.

College Counseling

Statement of Philosophy

The College Counseling Office supports all Bullis students as they navigate the college admission process. Our overall goal is to provide our students with the necessary tools to make good, informed decisions. We want each senior to get to the decision-phase of the process with options—options among a list of schools that fit his or her academic, social, athletic and extracurricular needs. Fit is our primary criterion for choosing a college. We are not driven by a manufactured list based on prestige or “name,” but by the hope of helping each individual student find schools that are right for him or her. We strive to help students find places where they will be happy and productive throughout their entire college experience

We recognize the college process, when approached most effectively, must be a team effort. Parents and counselors certainly should be a part of this team, but the student must play the central role. Parents assist, encourage and act as sounding boards; a counselor listens, recommends and serves as a vital resource for information, but when the student actively engages and takes ownership of the process, they benefit the most. Students who take charge actively seeking information and assistance fare best while learning a lot about themselves.

We hope to empower our students to:

  • fully embrace the self-examination that precedes the college search process;
  • locate and use quality resources;
  • ask provocative, informing questions;
  • write and speak about themselves with pride and confidence; and
  • make good, informed decisions.

The College Counseling Office has resources (guidebooks, college publications and software) available for students and parents. We also maintain a link on the Bullis Web site with announcements about upcoming college visitors and standardized test dates.

College Evaluation Goals and Policy

As a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the Bullis School adheres to the policies governing communication between schools and colleges endorsed by the association. These are spelled out in the association’s “Statement of Principles of Good Practice.”

  • Provide, in a timely manner, for colleges and universities accurate, legible and complete official transcripts for the school’s candidates.
  • Provide colleges and universities with a description of the school’s marking system.
  • Provide a school profile that clearly describes special curricular opportunities (e.g., honors, Advanced Placement courses, seminars) and a comprehensive listing of all courses with an explanation of unusual abbreviations and any information required for proper understanding.
  • Provide accurate descriptions of the candidates’ personal qualities that are relevant to the admission process.
  • Report any significant changes in candidates’ academic status of qualifications between the time of recommendation and graduation, consistent with federal, state or local regulations.
  • Urge candidates to understand and discharge their responsibilities in the admission process. Candidates will:
    • Comply with requests for additional information in a timely manner.
    • Respond to institutional deadlines and refrain from stockpiling acceptances.
    • Refrain from submitting multiple deposits or making multiple commitments.
    • Respond to institutional deadlines on housing reservations, financial aid, health records and course prescheduling, where all or any of these are applicable.
  • Not reveal, unless authorized, candidates’ college or university preferences.
  • Advise students and their families not to sign any contractual agreement with an institution without examining the provisions of the contract.
  • Exercise their responsibility to the entire educational community.
  • Counsel students and their families to file a reasonable number of applications.
  • Counsel students and their families to notify other institutions in writing when they have accepted an admission offer.

The Bullis Upper School administration, head of school and Board of Trustees endorse the following guidelines for use in formulating an accurate assessment of a candidate’s personal characteristics, for measuring these characteristics’ relevance to college admission consideration and for determining whether a change in a student’s status after the initial evaluation should be reported.

Assessing Personal Characteristics: The college counselors will write school evaluations for all Bullis students. We will present accurate, balanced appraisals of students’ academic achievement, potential, character and personal contributions. Evaluations are primarily based on the relationships we develop with students and supplemented by progress reports and discussions with faculty and administrators.

Relevance for College Admission Consideration: The relevance of character and conduct assessments are measured by the degree to which they have affected an applicant’s academic progress, the progress of others or the order and integrity upon which the school community depends. Any single violation of a major school rule or chronic pattern of lesser violations, therefore, may be relevant. Breaches of integrity, lying, cheating or plagiarism in the senior year will be communicated to colleges.

Significant Change in Status or Qualification: Significant changes in academic qualification are apparent to college admissions officers because they request trimester and final grades for the senior year as a matter of course. Bullis communicates any relevant change in the conduct of a student, and all cases of suspension, dismissal or withdrawal, to all colleges to which a student has applied, as required by the principles of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors, of which Bullis is a member.

Standardized Testing

Bullis sophomores and juniors are required to take the PSAT in the fall. Students are also encouraged to take the SAT I and II exams as well as the ACT exam when appropriate. We are a national test center for the ACT and offer it here twice a year (September and April), but do not offer the SATs on campus except for non-standard administrations. The College Counseling Office will advise about when best to take the exams, guide students through the registration process, as well as answer questions about test formats, scoring and what can be learned from results.

Please visit the College Counseling section of this website for more information.

Conduct

Each Bullis student is expected to be honest and courteous, to show respect for the rights and opinions of others and to conduct himself or herself as a good community member. This often means going beyond a simple commitment to abide by stated rules. In all situations—on or off campus—Bullis students are to display the good judgment, behavior and attitude that are cornerstones of constructive relationships with others and that reflect positively on the entire school community. Bullis students are to abide by the Honor Code at all times.

Day-to-day rules are needed in any community to set identifiable standards and to ensure fair treatment of community members. The basic rules at Bullis are supported by traditional conduct systems designed to meet the educational needs of Upper School students. A good conduct system is educative, not solely punitive. Our aim in personal discipline, as in academic discipline, is to help students understand that their choices in behavior have consequences. To this end, Bullis seeks to provide students both formal and informal guidance on attendance, academics, athletics, extracurricular, network use and other day-to-day rules and expectations. No policy can address every conceivable situation, therefore Bullis utilizes a range of interventions as determined necessary to meet the needs of students and the community.

In the Upper School, students have greater responsibility for their conduct. Every student should evaluate his or her behavior as a member of a learning community. Faculty hold and enforce expectations for appropriate behavior in their classes and throughout the school day. The assistant principal handles problems dealing with excessive tardiness, repeated dress code problems and serious or continued rule infractions.

Students are encouraged to take action whenever they observe a peer in an improper or wrongful act. It is possible to bring an incident to the attention of a faculty or staff member in confidentiality if the student makes that intention clear from the start.

Bullis reserves the right to immediately suspend or dismiss a student for serious conduct which compromises health or safety or for taking any action that may be judged prejudicial to the school, whether at school or elsewhere, that brings discredit or embarrassment to the school.

Statement on Bullying and Harassment

Bullis School is committed to giving each member of the school community the full measure of dignity and respect to which he or she is entitled. Diverse religious, ethnic, racial, economic and cultural back­grounds, sexual orientations, and gender identities, as well as different learning styles and abilities, are represented within the student body and faculty, staff and administration.

Bullis strives to create and maintain a caring and safe learning and teaching environment in which everyone can learn and develop to his or her fullest potential without feeling fear or intimidation. To this end, our school community will not tolerate bullying or harassment. We consider unacceptable all forms of bullying, which we define as a repeated conscious, willful, mali­cious and/or deliberate activity that excludes, harms, induces fear, threatens further aggression, or creates terror. Furthermore, we will not allow harassment of any sort based on race, color, sex, sexual orienta­tion, gender identity, national origin, religion, age, physical ability, economic status, personal qualities or learning differences. We define harassment, which can be intentional or unintentional, as unwelcome, harmful behavior based on a personal characteristic of the person harassed. Unacceptable behavior, whether involving bullying or harassment, includes, but is not limited to, verbal abuse, physical bullying/harassment or the threat of physical bullying/harassment, gossip, and the use of technology (including but not limited to the Internet, cell phones, e-mail, instant messaging, iChat, blogging, web sites and photography) which affects any member of the community’s comfort level, behavior or performance in school.

Any student who believes that he or she has been the target of bullying or harassment or has witnessed the bullying or harassment of another student by any member of the school community should contact his or her advisor, classroom teacher, counselor, assistant principal or division principals.

At the discretion of the assistant principal, instances of bullying or harassment may result in disciplinary action including, but not limited to, an appearance before the Conduct Review Board or Administrative Review Board.

Upper School Student Comportment Forms

Student Comportment Forms (SCF) are used to notify students when they display a lapse in judgment or develop a pattern of poor behavior. Copies of the SCF are distributed to a student’s advisor and the principal through Bullis email. It is the student’s responsibility to share the SCF with their parents. SCFs emphasize behavior, attendance and honor code infractions. The SCF serves to initiate a disciplinary response. At the discretion of the assistant principal a comportment form may result in a warning, detention or an appearance before the Conduct Review Board. Students who are assigned to after-school detentions may be required to miss all or a portion of their after-school activities at the discretion of the assistant principal.

Upper School Point System and Detention

The Upper School follows a point system to monitor uniform violations, lateness, and truancy. Students will earn one point for each dress code infraction and for each tardy, as well as two points for each unauthorized absence. After earning a set number of points, students will face the following consequences:

5 points: 3:00 p.m. detention
8 points: 3:00 p.m. detention
10 points: 3:00 p.m. detention
12 points: Saturday detention
14 points: Saturday detention and a meeting with assistant principal and Upper School principal to discuss further consequences
15 points: Conduct Review Board or Administrative Review Board

Detention is held Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. The exact time of Saturday morning detention is determined by the assistant principal. Detentions take priority over all other school events with the exception of games or performances, and an unexcused absence from a detention will be treated as an unauthorized absence. Students begin each trimester with zero points.

In addition to the point system, students may be placed in a detention by the assistant principal after receiving a comportment form for any of the following reasons: an unauthorized absence; excessive absences; or a rule infraction deemed egregious by the assistant principal. A student may receive more than one detention for a single comportment form at the discretion of the assistant principal.

Immediate Suspension or Dismissal

Bullis may administratively suspend or dismiss a student immediately for any of the following offenses:

  • Possessing, using or selling alcohol or illegal drugs on campus or during a school-sponsored event, including being present at school or school activities while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs (1)
  • Possessing, brandishing or using a weapon on campus
  • Taking any action that may be judged prejudicial to the school, whether at school or elsewhere, that brings discredit or embarrassment to the school (2)
  • Lapses in integrity such as lying, misrepresenting, cheating or plagiarizing
  • Stealing
  • Vandalizing
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Abusing, harassing, intimidating, bullying, or physically harming another person
  • Displaying any form of racial, ethnic, sexual or religious prejudice
  • Displaying gross disrespect to members of faculty and staff
  • Other disruption to the educational environment

(1) Determination of whether a student is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs will be made by one of the following means: direct observation by school representatives, testimony of witnesses or use of a breathalyzer device. Bullis reserves the right to use a breathalyzer at school events if there are suspicions that a student is under the influence of alcohol. If a student is suspected of drinking, he or she will be removed from the event, and, in a private space, may be asked to take a breathalyzer test. If the test reveals that a student has been drinking, the student’s parents will be called to take the child home, and he or she will face disciplinary consequences.

(2) A private party held off campus is not a school-sponsored event. The school cannot be responsible for supervision or enforcement of its rules on substance use at private parties. Supervision and enforcement at such events is the responsibility of parents and police. Bullis reserves the right to take disciplinary action, however, when a student’s actions or conduct at a private party or anywhere else bring discredit to the school. Examples would be vandalism, property damage, violence or illegal behavior that gives rise to a medical emergency or a police response. The host of a private party where such behavior occurs, as well as other involved students, will be subject to disciplinary action if the matter comes to the attention of the school.

If a student is caught under the influence of alcohol at a school event or if the Bullis administration becomes aware of a confirmed instance of alcohol use at an off-campus party, the School will implement the following consequences:

1. The student must undergo a medical evaluation at a School-sanctioned treatment program at the family's expense.

2. The student must enroll in a drug and alcohol program recommended through the medical evaluation.

3. The student must successfully complete the program.

4. There must be open communication between the program and Bullis.

A student will be forced to withdraw from Bullis if he or she does not successfully complete the program or if there is another instance of drug or alcohol use during his or her time at Bullis.

Hearing Officer

At all times the assistant principal has the option of referring a student to a Hearing Officer who will determine disciplinary consequences. Referral is typically made for conduct which grossly violates Bullis expectations (including, but not limited to, conduct for which the school may immediately suspend or dismiss the student), conduct which is outside the purview of the Conduct Review Board or Administrative Review Board, or for conduct which violates a previously-imposed term of warning or probation. The Hearing Officer is the assistant head of school, or designee. A decision by the Hearing Officer, or designee, to impose disciplinary consequences (except dismissal) is final. A decision by the Hearing Officer to dismiss a student is subject to review by the Head of School, if requested.

Conduct Review Board

An Upper School Conduct Review Board composed of faculty and students recommends consequences for conduct involving lapses in integrity, bullying, and accrual of 15 or more points. Appearing before the Conduct Review Board should be considered a serious institutional response, which can affect a student’s standing in the community. The function of this board is to help a student who has breached community expectations to understand the poor decision he or she has made and to think about ways to make better decisions in the future; the board also serves to recommend appropriate consequences to the principal. It should be noted that the Conduct Review Board is a recommending body only, and its recommendations are not binding. In some situations, the principal may choose to suspend a student for one or more academic days in order to arrange a Conduct Review Board meeting.

The principal, taking into consideration a Conduct Review Board recommendation, determines disciplinary consequences. One common consequence is that a student is placed on disciplinary probation. Being placed on probation is a serious change in status for a student. It means that unless behavior changes, or if there is another serious infraction while on probation, the student may be dismissed from school. If a student’s behavior substantially disrupts the educational environment, the Conduct Review Board would then consider whether to recommend suspension or expulsion to the principal, who may accept, decline, or change the recommendation. A decision by the principal to suspend a student is final.

Administrative Review Board

An Upper School Administrative Review Board is available as an alternative to the Upper School Conduct Review Board upon request of either the student or the assistant principal. The Administrative Review Board consists of the assistant principal, moderator, principal, and a fourth adult member of the Bullis community designated by the principal. Like the Conduct Review Board, the Administrative Review Board recommends consequences for conduct including lapses in integrity, bullying, harassment, and accrual of 15 or more points. The Administrative Review Board reviews all sexual misconduct. The function of this board is to help a student who has breached community expectations to understand the poor decision he or she has made and to think about ways to make better decisions in the future; the board also serves to recommend appropriate consequences to the principal. It should be noted that the Administrative Review Board is a recommending body only, and its recommendations are not binding. In some situations, the principal may choose to suspend a student for one or more academic days in order to arrange an Administrative Review Board meeting.

The principal, taking into consideration an Administrative Review Board recommendation, determines disciplinary consequences. One common consequence is that a student is placed on disciplinary probation. Being placed on probation is a serious change in status for a student. It means that unless behavior changes, or if there is another serious infraction while on probation, the student may be dismissed from school. If a student’s behavior substantially disrupts the educational environment, the Administrative Review Board would then consider whether to recommend suspension or expulsion to the principal, who may accept, decline, or change the recommendation. A decision by the principal to suspend a student is final unless the student requests review by the assistant head of school. A written request must be made within two school days of notification, provide any additional information to offer in writing, and note specifically if any procedural error is alleged to have occurred. The assistant head of school reviews all available information to determine whether any procedural error materially affected the outcome of the decision and whether the professional judgment of the principal was arbitrary or capricious. Review by the assistant head of school is typically completed within three school days. The decision is final except in cases of dismissal.

Review of Dismissal

If a student is dismissed from the Bullis community, parents may request that the head of school review the decision. A written request must be made within two school days of notification, provide any additional information to offer in writing, and note specifically if any procedural error is alleged to have occurred. The head reviews all available information to determine whether any procedural error materially affected the outcome of the decision and whether the professional judgment of the principal or assistant head of school was arbitrary or capricious. Review by the head is typically completed within two weeks.

Daily Life

Cars on Campus

Driving to school is both a privilege and a responsibility. Students must register their cars with the Upper School Office and display a valid parking pass on their rear-view mirror. Students may not move their cars during the school day without specific permission, and they are not allowed in the parking lots during school hours. Parking or driving violations, and especially any reckless activity with an automobile, may result in losing privileges to bring a car onto campus and/or an appearance before the Conduct Review Board. Students who park illegally are subject to disciplinary consequences.

Announcements and Messages

Announcements are posted on monitors throughout the entire school each day. After getting the approval of a faculty member, students may submit announcements a day in advance to the Upper School Office.

To reduce interruptions to class, only emergency messages are delivered to a student while he or she is in the classroom. Students should periodically check monitors throughout the day.

Lunch

Lunch is provided daily. All members of the school community are expected to be present for lunch. Students share the responsibility of serving and clearing tables. Students may not leave campus for lunch.

Lockers

Lockers are assigned during registration each year and locks are available in the Upper School office. Lockers are school property and should be kept neat and undamaged. No permanent decoration is permitted, and students may be charged if stickers, posters or paint must be removed from the inside or outside of their lockers. Lockers should be locked at all times to protect personal property. The administration of the school reserves the right to search or inspect lockers.

Cigarettes and Tobacco

Smoking, chewing or possessing tobacco and tobacco products on campus or at school-sponsored events is against Bullis School policy and is subject to disciplinary action.

Cell Phones and Music Players

Because cell phones pose a threat to academic integrity, potentially hinder a student’s ability to concentrate during class, and impede the personal interactions we want to foster as a community, cell phones can only be used during academic classes as a teacher approved academic tool. When not being used, phones must be turned off and students must place them at the front of the classroom at the start of each class.

Students will be allowed to check their phones during break (10:05-10:15) and after they depart lunch each day until their next class begins. During the approved times, they can send text messages but they cannot make phone calls.Phone calls should be made from the Upper School office. After the approved times, phones must be turned off.

If seen and used outside of the acceptable time periods, cell phones will be immediately confiscated and returned to students or parents once a detention has been served. If a cell phone is confiscated during a class, quiz, test or exam, the student may be subject to more serious disciplinary consequences.

CD/MP3/music download players cannot be used during the academic day. Students, may, however use headphones connected to their computer to listen to music during study halls, in the library, in the Commons, and in the classroom at the teacher’s discretion.

Items of Value

Bullis does not require students to bring personal items of value to school. These items are best left at home, and the school is not responsible for them.

Student Visitors

Students who have applied to Bullis may arrange campus visits through the Admission Office; otherwise, students from other schools are not permitted on campus during the school day without approval of the principal.

Guidance Counseling

Advisory

Each student has a faculty advisor who follows his or her progress throughout the year. Students are permitted to request four teachers, one of whom becomes the advisor. New students are assigned advisors. In the Upper School, advisor-advisee meetings occur twice weekly throughout the year.

A student’s advisor serves a number of functions. Advisors try to remain aware of their advisees’ progress and are available whether a student has a personal problem or needs information about a school activity. Advisors may accompany students who appear before the Conduct Review Board and may sit in on conferences with parents. When an advisor cannot help, he or she will try to direct a student to someone who can. In short, if a student has a problem of any kind and is not sure what to do, the faculty advisor is a good person to see.

Upper School Learning Specialist

A trained learning specialist supports Upper School students and teachers to optimize the learning experience. Of particular assistance to students with different learning styles and able to guide teachers toward a broad array of teaching methods, the learning specialist can offer strategies to enhance the cognitive and academic performance of all students.

Upper School Counselor

Available to any student on a drop-in basis, the counselor assists individual students with psychological, emotional or social issues that may arise. Often such issues have a direct impact on a student’s academic experience. Parents may contact the Upper School counselor directly with specific concerns or with information about sources of stress that may arise in the life of any student. The Upper School counselor serves as an advisor to the Peer Mentor Program.

Student Government

Student Council

The student council serves as a liaison among students, faculty and administration. The student council meets to address student concerns, plan all-school activities, including Homecoming, and organize committee work that may effect school policy. The secretary/treasurer posts minutes of these meetings for community review.

Executive Officers

Ninth through eleventh graders elect executive officers of student council from the junior class in the spring before the year of service. Executive officers work closely with the student council advisor and assistant principal. They are responsible for determining student council agenda items, running Upper School assemblies, supervising class elections and meeting with the Upper School administration to discuss upper school policy and community issues.

Class Officers

Class officers, who serve as the standing body of the student council, represent the interests of each class in grades 9-12. These officers work with class advisors to plan fundraising, community service and social activities. Officers are elected in the spring of the year prior to service for grades 10-12; ninth grade elections take place in the fall.

Class Advisors

Each grade has its own faculty representative, or grade level coordinator, who assists with activities for the class, organizes class meetings and works closely with class officers.

Student Council Advisor

An appointed member of the faculty serves as advisor to the student council. The advisor is expected to work closely with executive officers, class representatives and the assistant principal on matters that could influence policy changes in the Upper School.

Criteria

Holding a student council office is a position of honor and responsibility; thus, no student may run for class or student council office if he or she has any significant honors violations or if he or she is on disciplinary probation. Likewise, a student may be dismissed from office by a majority vote of the council for these and other reasons. The Constitution of the Bullis School student council includes all governing rules.

Administrators

Andrew Delinsky, Upper School Principal 
B.A., Franklin and Marshall College
M.A., Middlebury College Bread Loaf School of English

Bobby Pollicino, Assistant Principal 
B.S., Washington College
M.A. Ed., The College of William and Mary

Constance Giles, Director of Curriculum & Institutional Research 
B.A., Muskingum College
M.A., University of South Alabama
Ph.D., University of Florida

Molly Chehak, Academic Dean
B.A., New York University
M.A., Georgetown University

 

 

 

Graduation Requirements

A student must fulfill the following distribution of credits to receive a Bullis diploma:

  • 4 credits of English
  • 3 credits of Math (through Algebra II)
  • 3 credits of Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology)
  • 3 credits of Social Studies (including U.S. History)
  • 2 credits of Foreign Language (through Level II)
  • 2 credits of Visual and Performing Arts
  • 1/3 credit of Health
  • 2 credits of Physical Education

Students must take a minimum of five credits each trimester; however, students typically carry six courses each trimester.

In their senior year, students must successfully complete six units of credit for two trimesters and five units of credit for one trimester, and must pass all courses in the third trimester. Course selections must be approved by the Academic Dean to ensure the appropriate Bullis rigor for all students. 

Graduation Honors

Graduating seniors will be recognized with High Honors for achieving an overall academic average of 92 or higher (cumulative average based on Bullis courses only).

Graduating seniors will be recognized with Honors for achieving an overall academic average of 88 or higher (cumulative average based on Bullis courses only).

Course Selection/Change

Course Selection

In the spring, each student will have access to a Curriculum Guide, receive a course request form and a course-requirements worksheet and will work with his or her advisor to plan a course of study for the following year. Each student and his or her advisor consider course offerings, teacher recommendations and graduation requirements when selecting an appropriate schedule.Completed course request forms must be signed by each student’s parent or guardian and returned to his or her advisor for final approval.

Course Changes

Course changes are not encouraged. Changes must be approved by the appropriate teachers, the student’s parent or guardian, the student’s advisor and the academic dean. A student who would like to drop or add a course must first obtain a course change form from the academic dean. Specific deadlines are detailed on these forms. The following general guidelines apply to course changes and are discussed as part of the approval process:

  • Any yearlong course dropped after the third week of the first trimester will be indicated on the transcript as “withdrawn/passing” or “withdrawn/failing.”
  • A student may not drop a yearlong course after the beginning of the second trimester.
  • No partial credit will be given for a yearlong course not completed.
  • A student may not drop a trimester course after the fourth week of the trimester.
  • Any trimester course dropped after the deadline will be indicated as “withdrawn/passing” or “withdrawn/failing.”

Program Models

The following are program models for each grade. At higher grade levels, variations occur because of differences in a student’s prior program of study.Each student must work out a proper sequence with his or her academic advisor.

Grade 9

  • English I
  • Geometry, Advanced Geometry or Algebra I
  • Physics
  • World History
  • Foreign Language (Level I or II)
  • Arts Electives
  • Physical Education

Grade 10

  • English II
  • Algebra II, Geometry or Honors Algebra II
  • Chemistry or Honors Chemistry
  • Modern European History
  • Foreign Language (Level II or III/III(H))
  • Arts Electives
  • Technology Electives
  • Health
  • Physical Education

Grade 11

  • English III
  • Pre-Calculus, Advanced Algebra or Functions (H)
  • Biology, AP Chemistry or AP Physics
  • U.S. History and/or Social Studies Electives
  • Foreign Language (Level III/III(H)) or an elective (Level IV, Level IV (H) Introduction to Literature)
  • Arts Electives
  • Technology Electives
  • Physical Education

Grade 12

  • English IV—Senior Seminars
  • AP Calculus, AP Statistics, Pre-Calculus, Calculus or Finite Math
  • AP Science Course or Science Electives
  • Social Studies Electives
  • Foreign Language Elective (Introduction to Literature, Level IV, Tour de Monde Francophone, Level V (H), AP
    Literature (H))
  • Arts Electives
  • Technology (AP Computer Science)
  • Physical Education

Class Standing/Grade Distribution

In order to provide an informative summary of a student’s academic record, Bullis maintains student transcripts which reflect the cumulative Grade Point Average for each individual. Honors and AP courses receive a five point “weight,” which is reflected in a student’s cumulative Grade Point Average. It should be noted that grades in Bullis’s AP courses reflect the expectations of the College Board’s grading policies for that course’s exam. Additionally, if a Bullis student takes an AP course, he or she is required to take the AP exam.

Bullis does not determine a single rank in class for its students. Because our students do not take the same program and because grade distributions vary among teachers, a cumulative ranking system based on raw or weighted grades is arbitrary and may not fairly represent a student’s relative achievement.

To complement our transcript, a curriculum chart is attached to allow for an assessment of the difficulty of each student’s program.

AP and Honors Workload Ceiling

  1. Students may not take more than four Honors and/or AP courses in one trimester unless the Academic Dean grants permission to exceed this limit.
  2. Students must direct petitions for exemption from this ceiling to the academic dean.

Independent Schools Consortium

Bullis is a member of the Bethesda Independent Schools’ Consortium, which includes the following schools: Connelly School of the Holy Child, Holton-Arms School, Landon School, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and Stone Ridge School. Bullis seniors are eligible to take consortium courses.

While each Consortium school has its own specific admission policy, all schools have agreed that admission is dependent on an excellent academic standing, strong recommendations from appropriate teachers and academic deans, a stellar attendance record, well developed writing and reading skills, intellectual curiosity and a committed work ethic. These courses commence the week after regular classes begin and meet at one of the member schools three times a week from 7:00 to 7:50 in the morning and one or two evenings per month; attendance at all class meetings is mandatory. For 2011-12, Consortium courses offered are AP Economics, Multivariable Calculus, AP Psychology and AP Art History.

Interested seniors must be approved for enrollment in Consortium courses by the academic dean.

Independent Study

Seniors and juniors with specialized interests or abilities may request approval to explore, under the supervision of a teacher, topics outside of those available in the published curriculum. Though specific arrangements and expectations will vary, all independent study will include a final project and a presentation. The presentation will be made to a group of teachers and administrators, including the academic dean, the principal, the department chair and others the student wishes to invite.To request approval for independent study, students must submit a written proposal to the academic dean a minimum of two weeks in advance of the trimester or year of proposed study. This proposal should be designed through discussions with the supervising teacher. Specific guidelines for written proposals may be obtained from the academic dean.

Summer Study

Students are encouraged to pursue summer coursework in areas that interest them. Summer courses do not need to be approved unless they are taken for the purpose of earning Bullis credit. In these cases, each course must be approved in advance by the academic dean. Credit is noted on the Bullis transcript upon receipt of an official institutional transcript indicating successful completion of the course.Bullis graduation requirements may not be satisfied through summer work. Exceptions to this policy are made at the discretion of the academic dean for students who are required by Bullis to take a specific summer course and for students who are taking a summer course to advance the level of their coursework at Bullis.