Frequently Asked Questions

1. What can I expect my dormitory living environment to be like?

Learning to be independent and live on one’s own is a key skill in preparing for college. At Saint Paul American School, faculty and staff work with students to create a comfortable, residential life community effectively preparing students for college life. Living in a dormitory with students from around the world is a unique privilege for boarding students, and is also the first step in becoming a part of a school community.

example of Saint Paul american school dorm-room

All students living on campus are assigned at least one roommate. Some students may live with two other students. There are two dormitories—one for boys and one for girls, which are situated in separate buildings. All rooms come equipped with the following amenities:

  • A Single bed for each student
  • Individual work desk for each student with built in storage
  • Sink/ shower/lavatory
  • Internet
  • Basic Cleaning service (clothing and room)
  • Wardrobe
  • An enclosed balcony

In addition, each dormitory has a dorm staff members on duty at all times to ensure each student is provided a comfortable and safe living environment.

2. What sort of health and accident insurance is provided?

Saint Paul American School purchases health and accident insurance for the students which covers inpatient and accident costs. Further information about the plan can be found at the website http://www.lxbx.net/ for the insurance company. The school purchases Scheme 2 for all student.

3. What are the graduation requirements for the dual-diploma program?

Students enrolled in our school will complete courses totaling a minimum of 48 credit hours. St. Paul American School’s graduation requirements are designed to meet American accreditation standards and entry requirements for a wide range of colleges and universities. Students are also required to attend eight semesters of high school in ninth through twelfth grades

Students are individually responsible for seeing that they are meeting the requirements necessary for graduation, but an advisor or administrator will monitor each student’s records. Counselor will meet with individual students twice each year. Any student who has a question regarding graduation status should contact an advisor or administrator.

Subject area graduation requirements are as follows:

English 8 semester credits (1 must be in Speech)
Math 6 semester credits (2 must be in Algebra II)
Social Studies 7 semester credits (including courses in Geography, Government, U.S. & World History, and Economics)
Science 6 semester credits (2 must be in Biology)
Physical Education 2 semester credits
Health 1 semester credit
Fine Arts/Performing Arts 2 semester credits
Technology 1 semester credit
Foreign Language 6 semester credits (4 must be in the same language)
Elective 9 semester credits (Any credits in the previous categories that exceed the requirements count as elective credits)

#2 High School Attached to Beijing Normal University Diploma Requirements

Students enrolled in our school will complete two Chinese classes daily as well as a weekly Saturday Class. Students will continue with these courses until they have established a level of proficiency required for this diploma. Proficiency can be displayed through receiving a passing score on the HSK V test, a score of 4 on the AP Chinese Test, a score of 750 on the SAT Chinese Subject Test or another means approved by School Administration.

4. What extracurricular activities are provided at Saint Paul American School?

Each student will participate in an activity/club of their choosing. Activities and clubs change each semester based on student interest but the current clubs are:

students celebrating after winning first place in the Field day competition

  • Open Gym (Basketball and Ping Pong)
  • Outdoor/Soccer
  • Badminton Club
  • Volunteer Club
  • Chess Club
  • Drama Club
  • Art Club
  • Model United Nations
  • Jazz Dance
  • Math and Science Club
  • Student Council
  • Drama Club
  • Art Club

Students interested in clubs that are not currently offered, can complete a New Club Proposal Form to create a new club if there is sufficient interest.

5. What do students do on the weekends?

One of the true benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity for students to experience another culture. With this idea in mind, SPAS offers a variety of weekend activities for students to participate in. A typical weekend for a student will vary; however, most student weekends follow this pattern.

Saturday- Chinese cultural classes using the L.E.A.P. Curriculum – This is a newly developed Experiential Learning Curriculum developed specifically for our students; allowing them to gain valuable real world experience using the Chinese Language as well as learning Chinese history and culture through hands on encounters.

Sunday- Visits to well-known international areas under the supervision of dorm staff. Students also have the option to attend a church service.

6. Does each student have an academic advisor? - - PILLARS - -

Given that Saint Paul American School is a boarding school, faculty and staff recognize the unique opportunity present to build strong, personal relationships with students. Therefore, every day, students meet with a smaller “homeroom” group to discuss academics, school events, and other important issues. This time is referred to as advisory period.

7. What sort of Visa is required for non-Chinese students, and what is the procedure and cost for this visa?

The correct type of visa for non-Chinese students is a student visa. Admissions staff will handle this application process, the cost of which is included in the tuition package.

8. What is the demographics of the student body?

In 2007, Saint Paul American School began with a modest student body of roughly 30 students. As of the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, the SPAS student body was comprised of 280 students from approximately 20 countries and regions. The makeup of students at that time was 40% Korean, 40% Chinese and 20% international.

9. Describe a typical student’s schedule?

SPAS classes start at 8:00 AM Monday-Thursday and 9:00 AM on Fridays. Students are enrolled in 6 American Curriculum courses as well as afternoon Chinese Curriculum courses taught from 2:20-5:20. Students’ daily schedule runs through a rolling period system so that courses are taken at different times each day. Sunday through Thursday, students have study hall supervised by campus life staff, certified teachers and administrators from 7:30 to 9:30 PM.

10. What sort of food/cafeteria services are provided in the meal plan?

The cafeteria, led by the very talented chef Ms. Kim, is open for dorm students during breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours and lunch for day students. These meals are included in the student’s meal plan. The food served is a wide variety of Chinese, Korean, and Western cuisine with a mix of other international dishes also being offered.

11. Nurse/ medical services

During the school year, a certified school nurse is available; they provide first hand over the counter (OTC) medications and refer students to other medical service providers such as physicians or dentists. School staff is also available to accompany students to a hospital, if needed.

If there is a sick student on campus, the nurse monitors student’s health though office visits and if necessary will keep students in the infirmary for observation. In severe cases we will be directly in contact with parents (by phone and email) to keep them up to date.

The nurse also supplies a medicine stock to the dorm staff with an up-to-date first aid kits. The influenza shots are organized annually by the Chinese government and offered free of charge. Shots will only be given with the permission of student’s parent or guardian.

12. What is included in the tuition fees?

  • Classes
  • L.E.A.P. curriculum and transportation
  • Activity fees
  • Yearbook
  • MAP testing
  • MAP testing
  • School Spirit activities- Spirit Week, Festival of Nations, Sports Day
  • Student ID Card
  • On-Campus Medical service and OTC medication
  • Help Center

13. What is not included in the tuition fees (additional fees)?

  • Room and Board
  • Textbooks Rentals
  • Transportation (Airport, Sunday Trip, Medical, etc.)
  • Co-curricular trips
  • Visa and Guardian Expenses (non-Chinese citizens)
  • Emergency and Accident Insurance
  • Curriculum Development
  • Uniforms
  • Additional sports fees
  • School Bus Service
  • TOEFL/SAT/ACT prep courses
  • Graduation Preparation Fees (seniors)

14. SPAS’s curriculum? How many AP course do you offer for students?

SPAS provides a U.S. curriculum taught by American teachers alongside a special Chinese curriculum, provided by the Second High School Attached to Beijing Normal University in China. We offer 8 AP courses such as AP Literature and Composition, AP Calculus, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Physics 1, AP Psychology, AP World History and AP Chinese.

15. Do you offer TOEFL/SAT/ACT courses? Do you help arrange tests for students?

SPAS offers test preparation courses for TOEFL, SAT and ACT as an additional service outside of the normal course of study. Students are encouraged to sign up. The cost differs depending on courses chosen. SPAS is an ACT test administration site available to current SPAS students with foreign passports. Students are responsible for test registration but SPAS staff can assist if asked.

16. How do you help students apply to college?

We offer specific courses for college bound students that prepare them for all major American and European universities. We review with our students all procedures and necessary documents that are needed to apply to international universities. We instruct them on the best methods to ensure their acceptance at these universities.

17. Do all students have to live on-campus?

We strongly believe that students benefit from the campus living experience but recognize that families may choose to have their child be a day student.

18. What is the NACEL School System?

Since 1997, the mission of Nacel Open Door has expanded from exchange programs to include educational services. In 2003, Nacel Open Door’s vision to create a school system with the goal of preparing students to succeed in a global community and to become leaders with broad perspectives and high expectations for themselves and others was realized with the establishment of St. Paul Preparatory School in St. Paul, MN, USA. These ideas were sculpted into reality by creating the umbrella program, Nacel International School System (NISS). NISS was established to manage and develop our schools, so that we can provide a consistent, quality education that will prepare students to successfully compete in the world economy.

19. What is the MAP test?

At Saint Paul American School, our students complete a diagnostic testing know as Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) three times per academic year. MAP is computer-based adaptive assessments that reveal which academic skills and concepts the student has acquired and what they’re ready to learn. MAP gives teachers a way to focus on student differentiation and plan for how we can use class time to support the needs of lower-level students while providing enrichment to challenge higher-level students.

Student MAP results:

  • Compare and predict student achievement and growth over time
  • Measure the growth of every student over time regardless of level
  • Engage students and families in goal-setting
  • Create and reinforce evidence-informed instructional practices
  • Evaluate classroom instruction and identify teacher professional development needs

Every item on a MAP assessment is anchored to a vertically aligned equal interval scale, called the RIT—a stable measurement, like inches on a ruler, that covers all grades. RIT scores serve as a data point in a student’s learning plan; educators can use this precise learning level and respond accordingly.

20. What is the Matriculation Policy?

Grade level and matriculation is based on credits earned, not years in attendance. Students will be reclassified at the beginning of each academic school year. When students enter SPAS, the administration will look at age, MAP scores and previous school transcripts to place students into the appropriate grade level.

21. How can I track my student’s academic progress?

SPAS utilizes a student information management system called PowerSchool to track all information about students. Parents can track student’s academic progress on their own personal computers or smart phones by using PowerSchool’s parent portal site. Grades and disciplinary actions are updated regularly.