Upper School Grades 8-12

Roanoke Catholic’s Upper School (Grades 8-12) strives to instill in our students a lifelong commitment to learning, to Christian values, and to community service. Our fundamental task is the education of the whole person, blending learning with faith and faith with daily life.

Our Upper School operates on an eight-period day from 7:45 AM to 3:00 PM.

Sequence of Courses

English Mathematics Sciences Social Sciences Theology Fine Arts, Career & Technical 
English 08 Algebra I Earth Science Civics and Economics Theology 08 – Creed and Prayer Art I: Exploring Visual Design
English 09 Geometry Biology World History and Geography I Theology 09 – Revelation of Christ in Scriptures and Who is Christ? Art II: Exploring Clay
English 10 Algebra II Chemistry World History and Geography II Theology 10 -The Mission of Jesus Christ and Life in Jesus Christ Art III: Studio Art and Digital Portfolio
English 11 Algebra II Advanced AP Biology VA/U.S. History Theology 11 – Jesus Christ’s Missions Continues and Encounters with Christ Steel Drum Band
AP English Language Advanced Algebra with Trigonometry AP Chemistry American and Comparative Government & Politics* Apologetics I & II Photojournalism
*DE English Pre-Calculus AP Physics Psychology Advertising
English 12 Calculus Anatomy and Physiology Sociology Management Principles*
AP English Literature AP Calculus AB/BC Astronomy (.5 credit) Personal Finance Foreign Languages Marketing Principles*
Statistics Analytical Chemistry (.5 credit) French I, II, III, IV or V Accounting Principles*
National Parks Experience (.5 credit) Spanish I, II*, III*, IV* or V* The Entrepreneur*

* Denotes dual enrollment course through Virginia Western, Richard Bland College or Mary Baldwin University.


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.

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.

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

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.

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 5- 9 minute speech is presented to the school community.


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. The students must have attended RCS for a minimum of junior and senior year, and achieved a cumulative average reflecting the highest point average with most depth in major subject areas.

Academic Honors

  • First Honors: Overall quarterly average of 90 or above
  • Second Honors: Overall quarterly average 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.