Goals and Academic Expectations

SMMS’s curriculum exposes students to a rigorous college curriculum in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), medicine, and Vietnamese Dual Language Immersion Program.

High School Goals
Our goals are for students have the opportunity to graduate with STEM, Medicine, Biliteracy, Career- and College-Ready in pursuing: BA/MD and BS/MD programs (joint-degree) admissions; or top national universities admissions.

BA/MD and BS/MD Admissions
BA/MD and BS/MD are dual undergraduate and medical school degrees. Check individual medical school for complete requirements. General requirements are:

  • GPA: 3.5-4.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • SAT: 1950-2400 (minimum of 1300 in critical reading and math)
  • SAT II: 600-800 Math and Science (Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Physics), or
  • ACT: 30-34 (English, Math, Reading and Science)

Top National Universities Admissions
National universities may be defined as those offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s, doctoral programs, and groundbreaking research. What are top colleges seeking from high school applicants? “The majority of applicants have taken the following courses: 4 years of English, 4 years of Mathematics (calculus), 4 years of Social Science, 4 years of Laboratory Science, and 4 years of a Foreign Language. Here’s what we want to know: Given the courses that your school offers, have you enrolled in a challenging curriculum?” (Dartmouth College). We adopt five of six Harvard Graduate School of Education recommends for admissions:
1. De-emphasize standard testing (we will continue prepare our student for SAT and ACT)
2. Quality over quantity with extracurricular activities and advanced placement classes, with students showing sustained commitment to a community service rather than just listing a bunch of things they have done.
3. Factor in family and community responsibilities to level the playing field in admissions by capturing the contributions of low-income and working-class students.
4. Include an essay question on college applications for students to write about their contributions to their families and others.
5. Broaden criteria to include public service that consistently contributes to the common good as part of the admissions process instead of just “brag sheets” listing two-week community service projects.
6. Widen the net by emphasizing a good fit for each student rather than the notion that there are only a few elite colleges that matter.

Instructional Delivery Methods
Seattle Mini Medical School is a blended learning school using both traditional and online classrooms. Traditional classrooms require students to attend classes in person and on campus. Online classrooms use audio, video, slideshow, interactive discussion, and written text as main medium of communication between students, their peers, and teachers. At least 12 credits of the minimum 30-credit graduation requirements must be earned in regularly scheduled course.

Earn High School Credit Prior to Ninth Grade
Washington State Board of Education requires 24 credits for graduation. SMMS requires a minimum of 30 credits for graduation. Middle school students are advised to take as many dual high school and middle school credit courses as possible. RCW 28A.230.090 defines the circumstances for earning high school credit prior to ninth grade. Section 4 of the law state: If requested by the student and his or her family, a student who has completed high school courses before attending high school shall be given high school credit which shall be applied to fulfilling high school graduation requirements if:

(a) The course was taken with high school students, if the academic level of the course exceeds the requirements for seventh and eighth grade classes, and the student has successfully passed by completing the same course requirements and examinations as the high school students enrolled in the class; or

(b) The academic level of the course exceeds the requirements for seventh and eighth grade classes and the course would qualify for high school credit, because the course is similar or equivalent to a course offered at a high school in the district as determined by the school district board of directors.

Section 5 of the law state: Students who have taken and successfully completed high school courses under the circumstances in subsection (4) of this section shall not be required to take an additional competency examination or perform any other additional assignment to receive credit.

Dual High School and College Credits
Our students are encouraged to take as many college courses as possible. WAC 180-51-050 establishes equivalencies for college credit and high school credit, specifying that five-quarter or three-semester hours of college and university course work designated at the 100-level or above shall equal one high school credit.

Course Planning and Academic Procedures
For most students the expectation would be up to 2-3 hours a day 7 days a week. Teachers may assign homework to aid students in the progress of their studies. It is useful to reinforce daily lessons, to build good study habits, and to provide opportunity for parent involvement in student learning. Therefore, we encourage parents to provide a suitable environment for the completion of daily homework. Parents are urged to monitor their child’s work daily. The parent should help the child to become responsible in returning the homework completed and on time. Parents should make a point to find time each day to discuss what their child has learned at school. To reduce stress levels, we ask that all teachers not assigning homework over Thanksgiving, winter break, midwinter break, and spring break.

Independent Study
Students may take an independent study (graded as credit/no credit) under the supervision of a teacher.

Honors Courses
Honors courses offer additional challenge to students who shows special interest in and aptitude for learning in a particular subject. In honors classes, students must be able to master material quickly and learn from their own mistakes. A student interested in taking an honors class must have compiled a record of success in his or her previous class and demonstrate the ability to keep up with the accelerated pace and work independently. Generally this means a grade of at least an A- in a regular class. A grade of C+ or lower in an honors course suggests that a student is not achieving at the expected level and should consider moving to a regular section.

Placement in Math, Science, and Language Courses for New Students
The goal of math placement is that each student enrolls in the course that is most appropriate to his or her level of skill and knowledge at the moment. We consider each new student’s test scores and academic background to decide an appropriate starting level. A placement exam is available and can be requested by families.

Course Changes
Students may request course changes at the beginning of each semester within two weeks. To request a change, a student needs to fill out a course change form. Administration has final approval. The school does not change courses to accommodate teacher preference or sports and other outside activities. There is an extended course change period for necessary course changes such as moving from an honors section to a regular section or dropping a course because of a heavy load. Students have until the end of the fourth week of classes to request these changes without the change being reflected on the transcript. If a student drops a course after the designated period, the notation on the student’s transcript will be W/P (Withdraw While Passing) or W/F (Withdraw While Failing).

Grades for the course will be based upon the following percentages of the total number of points possible. Adopted from WAC 392-415-050, OSPI HS Transcript FAQ June 2014. Grades below 70% (C) do not satisfy minimum course requirements for credit. To prevent this from happening, students will need to retake any tests score below 70%.

Academic Probation and Dismissal

Our goal is that each student will have a GPA: 3.5-4.0 (on a 4.0 scale) to meet one of the requirements for BA/MD or BS/MD. Student will be placed on academic probation if he/she has TWO C’s in any grading period. To prevent this from happening, student will be required to retake any tests score below 75%. Do your best the first time. Students on academic probation, teacher, and parents will be required to meet with the principal to discuss the student performance and to devise a plan for improving their performance. We will discuss: factors that are negatively impacting the student’s academic performance e.g. activities, learning problems; steps will be outlined for dealing with each of the factors identified, and goals will be established to measure the student’s progress. As a result of this discussion, an academic contract will be written, which the student/parent/guardian will sign. If a student receive all A’s and B’s in the following grade period, he or she will be removed from academic probation. If they do receive all A’s and B’s, but fulfill the goals in their academic contract, they will remain on academic probation and student will need to retake the course. If a student remains on academic probation for more than two consecutive semesters, he or she may be dismissed from SMMS or held back a grade (case-by-case basis).

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