Roanoke Catholic’s academic program is centered on a core curriculum of traditional subjects in a college preparatory setting. A student graduating from Roanoke Catholic will have completed, in most cases, the requirements for the Advanced Studies Diploma as outlined by the Board of Education of the Commonwealth of Virginia plus the specific credit requirements of Roanoke Catholic School. The Roanoke Catholic Upper School Curriculum Guide contains detailed information about the requirements for the diploma, additional graduation requirements, course offerings, and other information related to academics.

School Day

Roanoke Catholic School operates a seven-period day from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Students must enroll in a minimum of six, optimally seven, classes.

Honor Code

Roanoke Catholic fosters a Christian atmosphere of trust, fairness, honesty, and individual responsibility. As disciples of Christ, students are expected to conduct themselves as responsible individuals in all phases of student life. Tests, homework, and long-term assignments are the personal responsibility of students. They should be completed with the honor that is always expected of a Roanoke Catholic student.

Writing Policy

The goal of the writing policy of Roanoke Catholic School is to raise the consciousness of students concerning the importance of clear and effective communication. Maintaining the clarity and vigor of language is fundamental. The student’s responsibilities on all written assignments include the following:

  1. To write legibly
  2. To use correct spelling
  3. To use standard grammer and punctuation
  4. To structure all essays with a clear beggining, middle and end

Both teachers and students must understand the necessity of proofreading and revision for clear and effective communication in all subject areas.


To assist students in managing their assignments and their time, the school provides planners. Students should use these planners to record both short-term assignments and long-range projects.


Roanoke Catholic students are expected to perform satisfactorily in a college preparatory program. Most teachers assign homework every day; homework is an extension of the curriculum. Accordingly, homework includes reviewing the day’s lessons, completing short-term assignments, working on long-term assignments, and studying for quizzes and tests. Students are expected to spend a minimum of two hours each night on homework. Students are expected to turn assignments in on time; students should consult each teacher’s course syllabus regarding policy. Each student will have a school-issued planner in which to record homework assignments.

Class Tests

Subject-area evaluations are administered at the discretion of the teachers. Teachers attempt to coordinate evaluations so that students are not responsible for more than two major tests per day. Students should refer to the test calendar in the multi-purpose building where teachers post scheduled tests. In the case of absence, on the day a scheduled test is given, tests will be made up upon a return to school. In the case of absence prior to and the day of a test, the test should be made up within two days of a student’s return to school. The times and locations for make-up tests are scheduled at the discretion of teachers.

Scholastic Integrity

Plagiarism is representing the work and ideas of others as one’s own on research papers, projects, assignments, etc. without proper acknowledgment. Cheating includes: copying homework, using notes during testing, giving or receiving answers, copying information verbatim from the Internet or printed sources. Students who manifest such behavior will be subject to academic discipline. Cheating in any form will result in a zero for the assignment, quiz, etc. and parents will be notified. All incidents are to be reported to the school administrator immediately.

Grading System

In accordance with the Office of Catholic Education of the Diocese of Richmond, Roanoke Catholic School uses the following grading scale:

Grading Scale Unweighted Honors AP/DE
A+ (97-100) 4.3 4.8 5.3
A (96-93) 4.0 4.5 5.0
A- (92-90) 3.7 4.2 4.7
B+ (89-87) 3.3 3.8 4.3
B (86-83) 3.0 3.5 4.0
B- (82-80) 2.7 3.2 3.7
C+ (79-77) 2.3 2.83 3.3
C (76-73) 2.0 2.5 3.0
C- (72-70) 1.7 2.2 2.7
D+ (69-67) 1.33 1.8 2.3
D (66-63) 1.0 1.5 2.0
D- (62-60) .07 1.2 1.7
F (59-below) 0 0 0

Class Rank

A differential of 3% is added to each quarter grade and each exam grade earned in designated upper-level courses. Grades over 100 are recorded for these courses. Exam grades over 100 may be recorded for any class.

Roanoke Catholic School, like other rigorous college preparatory schools, does not rank students. Class rank can be misleading since only a college preparatory curriculum is offered and each graduating class is small.

GPA and Weighted Courses

Because of the level of difficulty of their subject matter, Physics and Calculus are considered weighted courses.

Senior Project

Satisfactory completion of the senior research project is a requirement for graduation. This project combines the formal research paper and the senior speech. The paper must be 2000 –3000 words written according to MLA guidelines; the 3-5 minute speech is presented to the school community. The grade for this project is recorded separately on students’ transcripts.


Roanoke Catholic believes that service to school and community is an integral part of a Christian education; all students are involved in service projects. Each student in the Upper School is required to annually contribute a minimum of 40 hours of service.


Examinations are administered at the end of each semester. The examination grade counts 20% of the semester average; each quarter grade counts 40%. (2 x 1st Quarter) + (2 x 2nd Quarter) + (1 x Exam) divided by 5 equals the Semester Grade.

Seniors may earn exemptions from exams. For one-credit courses, no exam exemptions are offered for the first semester. In order to be exempted from a second semester exam of one credit courses, a senior must be in good standing with the school, have the concurrence of the teacher, and meet the following criteria:

  • a cumulative average no lower than 90 for the second semester;
  • no more than nine (9) absences from school for the second semester; teacher approval.

In order to become exempt from a semester course of 0.5 credit, a senior must be in good standing with the school, have the concurrence of the teacher, and meet the following criteria:

  • a cumulative average of no lower than 90 for the semester;
  • no more than nine (9) absences for the semester; teacher approval

Any senior who exceeds the number of absences because of prolonged illness or family emergency may request a waiver from the administration at least one week before exam week.

Valedictorian and Salutatorian

The honor of Valedictorian and Salutatorian will be decided by the administration. Candidate selection is aided by:

  • Attendance – the student must have attended RCS for a minimum of junior and senior year and cumulative average reflecting the highest point average with most depth in major subject areas.

Academic Honors

At the end of each quarter, students achieving first and second honors are recognized at an Honors Assembly.

  • First Honors: all grades of 90 or above
  • Second Honors: all grades of 80 or above

Students who demonstrate consistent academic excellence as well as character, leadership, and service may be considered for membership in the National Honor Society (grades 10-12).

Academic Letter

A student who achieves Honor Roll status four consecutive quarters, with eligibility beginning in ninth grade, will be awarded an academic letter. Four consecutive quarters may be in a single year, or a combination of quarters between two years, provided they are consecutive. After a letter is earned, a pin will be awarded for subsequently qualifying. This letter may be worn on the Roanoke Catholic letter jacket as part of the uniform option.