ECC Overseas to Spain
MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Note: FAQ's are based on 2020 class.
HOW DO I GET PICKED FOR THE OVERSEAS EXPERIENCE?
At least three (3) members of the faculty or staff of the High School MUST recommend the student. However, in recent years a minimum of five (5) members has been the standard, and some students have received up to ten (10) or more. (Note: High School seniors have a second opportunity to become part of the EEClass. A senior with a cumulative GPA at the end of his/her junior year of 2.5 or higher and little or no discipline issues may write an essay over the summer and turn it in on the first day of school. One or two additional students will be chosen from the essay writers for the class. Check details of essay requirements with the HS principal.)
DO I NEED MY PARENTS'/GUARDIAN'S PERMISSION?
If chosen, then you will need your parents' or guardian's written permission. Note: Students over 18 who live at home with a parent/guardian are required to have a permission slip signed by their parents/guardians. (See Student Handbook, page 7, definition of "parent.")
WHAT IS NEEDED TO BE RECOMMENDED?
A student must have consistently high grades (almost always honors 3.0 or higher and passed all three Keystones. A waiver may be provided by the CEO for one test), must be responsible, must have a few, if any, discipline violations, and must be active in at least two or more High School activities. Students with few activities are rarely recommended. However, 12th grade students (2.5 GPA or higher) are given an opportunity to write an essay in the first week of school explaining why he/she believes that he/she should be chosen for the class and overseas experience; the rules are explained at senior orientation.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE THAT THE FACULTY MUST CONSIDER IN MAKING RECOMMENDATIONS?
Yes. The student's character and desire to learn are important factors in recommending a student. A Student's expressed wish to travel or interest in other cultures is considered.
HOW IMPORTANT IS DISCIPLINE (CONDUCT) RECORDS AND GRADES?
It is very important. Students will be traveling over 6, OOO miles from home and are expected to obey the instructions of the chaperones without question. The health and safety of the group are dependent upon full cooperation.
WHO MAKES THE FINAL DECISION?
Mr. Proietta, CEO and Founder of CAPCS; Dr. O'Brien, Principal of the Academy and Deputy CEO for School Operations; Mr. Richichi and Ms. Smith-Spade, Vice-Principals of the High School; Ms. Jimenez, Vice Principal and Dean of Students of the Academy, and previous chaperones. The students submitting essays are chosen by a panel of teachers who see only a number and do not know the student's name.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET INTO "TROUBLE" AFTER BEING CHOSEN FOR THE EXPERIMENTAL EDUCATION CLASS?
If the "trouble" is serious enough, then you will be dropped from the class; you may owe the school $3,500+ if it is too late for you to be replaced, or $200 if you can be replaced. If you are sent home from overseas, the cost will be $6,000.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO GO ON THE OVERSEAS COMPONENT?
The only direct cost to the student is the cost of a passport (Approximately $90). It is recommended that students save at least $300* for expenses on the trip; these may include meals, snacks, and souvenirs. (*Most of continental Europe and Ireland uses Euros; England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland use British Pounds) Students may also be asked to fundraise during the school year. For 2020, Spain uses Euros.
WHAT ARE THE RULES OF THE OVERSEAS COMPONENT?
All the rules found in the "student handbook" are applicable to the trip. However, on the overseas trip, the rules apply 24 hours per day for the 9-10 days of the trip. The only exceptions are uniform regulations: the trip has its own set of dress and uniform regulations.
WILL I HAVE TO ATTEND THE WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON CLASSES?
The Wednesday afternoon classes (1:05pm to 2:00pm) are required for participation in the overseas experience. You must attend every class and must arrange your personal schedule so that you can. If for a very serious reason you must miss a class, you must contact Mr. Proietta's office and have your absence approved. One unapproved missed class may result in you being dropped from the class and the overseas experience. You must maintain an “A-” or above grade for the first quarter and an "A" or above for the second quarter to remain in the class. Students playing varsity sports or are in a club that has an approved activity (See Mr. Proietta) are automatically excused from class on game-day/activity day only. See "WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET INTO 'TROUBLE'..." above.
WHAT ARE THE DRESS AND UNIFORM REGULATIONS FOR THE OVERSEAS COMPONENT?
Each year is different depending upon the climate; however, on at least three (3) days of the trip: 1) The first (Travel) day, 2) Group Picture Day, and flight home on the last day, a special uniform that includes a unique school shirt is worn. No extreme clothing, including bare midriffs, shorts or baggy pants is allowed. The dress code will be discussed at the weekly meetings. The mustard-colored and blue school hat must be worn outside and whenever you are instructed to do so.
MAY FRESHMEN OR SOPHOMORES BE A PART OF THE CLASS?
Except in rare cases, freshman and sophomores will no longer be chosen for the class; however, extremely well-prepared sophomores sometimes but rarely are chosen.
IF I HAVE BEEN IN THE EEC BEFORE, CAN I BE RECOMMENDED THE NEXT YEAR?
Mr. Proietta is given comments, including recommendations for the next class, from the chaperones. If a student receives positive comments and is recommended by at least 90 percent of the chaperones, he/she usually will be asked to attend the next class. A 100 percent recommendation of the chaperones will almost always result in being invited back for the next class. However, students must maintain high grades and good disciplinary record.
DO STUDENT PARTICIPANTS RECEIVE A GRADE ON THEIR REPORT CARD FOR THE OVERSEAS TRAVEL?
Yes, students are graded on the overseas component by their chaperones based on their cooperation and attention to the guides. The chaperones are looking for students who are learning and using the knowledge they acquired both at school and overseas. The final grade is assigned by Mr. Proietta based on these criteria: 1) your personal chaperone's grade; 2) the cumulative grades of the other chaperones; 3) Mr. Proietta's observations while on the trip; 4) journals; 5) participation in weekly meetings; 6) timeliness in meeting deadlines; and 7) timeliness and quality of assignments. The final grade includes the grades received in Qt1, Qt2, and Qt3 (which is mostly the overseas component and preparation), and Qt4 (which includes the average of the three trip grades (community/discipline, participation, and journal) and any follow-up material.
HOW MANY CREDITS ARE GIVEN FOR THE EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION CLASS?
The students receive 1 credit for a passing grade. It is rostered as a "Star *" elective. (Check your report card or PowerSchool for credits awarded each year.)
WILL STUDENTS BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH FAMILY WHILE OVERSEAS?
Please keep in mind that EEC is a graded class and that while students are overseas that are doing required school work and may have very limited time to communicate with home. During breaks and possibly with wifi, students will be able to contact their family while overseas without paying for an expensive overseas mobile plan for their cell phone roaming. Even with the appropriate plan for the country(ies) we are visiting, the use of a cell is extremely limited while overseas. Wifi is usually the best way, but only available at some hotels and some restaurants we will visit. Students will be informed prior to leaving of the hotels that have wifi; however, in the past, we have not found all overseas hotels to be available all the time. The overseas component can be followed live through our Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Instagram is usually the best place to look at. Pictures are downloaded to the website when available. Messages can be sent to Mr. Proietta via @CAPnewswire; please keep in mind the time difference. There will be a delay in response. If an emergency at home were to arise, the High School office should be contacted. Please remember that CAP is not a part of the Philadelphia School District and that the SDP office has no information or anyway of contacting the traveling students.