FAQs for School Classes

What is the difference between group and school classes?
School and group classes are similar and defining the two can be confusing. See our Class distinction chart to get a better idea!

What is perfect attendance?
We know that all of our students have busy, chaotic lives. Hey, we all do! We also know that many students put out extra effort to attend every class. For that reason, we honor those who do.
Students who do not miss any classes throughout the term are eligible for a “perfect attendance” award. The award covers book and registration fees for one class during the subsequent term.
Students who only miss one class (and call to excuse it) throughout the term are eligible for an “almost perfect attendance” award. This award covers the registration fee for one class during the subsequent term.
The first and last day of class are “official” class days and count towards perfect and almost perfect attendance.

What do I do if I’ll miss a class?
By committing to teach a school class, you are also committing to find a sub for yourself when you will miss a session.The sub list is provided to you at the beginning of the term and updates are emailed periodically. When you find a sub, you are also required to make arrangements for getting your sub the materials. Please let Rachel or Debbie and the school coordinator know when you will have a sub and who will be covering for you. Subs can view teaching materials on our website: www.unitingresources.org/sample_gallery/

What happens on the last day of class?
We use the last day of class to celebrate the achievements you and your students have earned over the term. You will have class for 30-45 minutes and then we will all gather in one room for a celebration which includes a potluck dinner and the passing out of certificates.

What is the report card procedure?
Near the end of the term, we will hand out two types of report cards. The first type of card looks like the attendance sheet and tells us simply which levels your students should be in next term. Because we offer “A” and “B” levels on alternating terms, students cannot stay in the same level. The second type is a half-page note that gets filled out and turned in directly to your students. We don’t need to see these.

What is the class schedule?
Each school runs on a different schedule. We offer “A” and “B” books on alternating terms at each school site.

Do you ever cancel class?
While specific cancellation procedures depend on the school site, we typically cancel class when schools are closed due to weather. If there is ever a question about cancellations, please contact us. We will notify of a cancellation as soon as we know. We may ask that you notify your students of a cancellation and request that you check your email regularly. We update cancellation information for Boulder classes on a hotline at our office. Please inform your students that they are expected to call for updated cancellation information (303.996.0275 x109). For Longmont classes, call the Longmont office (303.776.7070).

Do I have to take a field trip?
Field trips are not required, but they are strongly encouraged. The field trip is part of the number of lessons we plan for. If you do not want to take the field trip specified in the book, feel free to come up with your own. The idea behind the field trip is getting your students out and practicing English. Simply leaving the classroom and walking around the neighborhood tracking words students know or recognize can be a great field trip option!

What if I get off schedule?
The goal for the term should be to complete the book. We are experimenting with the schedule during the winter 2014 term with the hopes of setting a schedule that allows for book completion.

What is CASAS?
CASAS is a standardized test used for adult English language learners. The test can be used to place students into levels and measure progress. For many years, Intercambio relied on our own exams, but are moving towards a model that allows us to more easily track students relative to national standards. We are easing into this transition, but eventually, CASAS tests will be implemented twice a term – the schedule has yet to be set. Teachers will not need to be present on testing days.

How are students placed into their levels?
New students are placed into levels based on results from the CASAS reading test administered at the beginning of the term. Returning students are placed into levels based on feedback received from the previous term’s teacher on their report card. When we score placement tests, we take into consideration whether we are in the “A” or “B” books that term. We allow students to change levels for the first two weeks of class. If you have concerns about a student’s level, please talk with them first. We can also support in making a change.

How do I play the audio CD?
The audio CD can be played on a CD player or computer (that the teacher provides). Tracks can also be played directly from our website with an internet connection. Lastly, you can also read the script you’ll find in the grey shaded boxes throughout the teacher book. Currently, the audio on our website cannot be played on a smart phone, however, many teachers find success downloading the disc onto a computer and transferring those files to their smartphones.

What if I don’t have a copy machine, but want to use the reproducibles?website.