Pinewood’s Secondary division offers a complete American college-preparatory program in Grades 6-12, including the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. The school is dedicated to striving for educational excellence and preparing students for challenging university study in the United States, the United Kingdom or other universities abroad. In parallel, the program strives to give students the opportunity to develop lifelong qualities inherent in being a good person. As students progress through the secondary school programs, they become increasingly more knowledgeable, self-directed, responsible, and critical in their decision-making and understanding of the world around them. Teaching and learning is enhanced by the use of a learning management system (Brightspace) wherein blended learning – a combination of online digital media and traditional classroom methods – is increasingly embedded into the program.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is an academically challenging and balanced two-year program of studies aimed at students in grades 11 and 12 that leads to a qualification, which is recognized by the world’s leading universities. The IB has been offered at Pinewood since 1999 and is fully integrated into the school’s American High School Diploma program. The IB Diploma Program consists of six core academic subjects, including two languages and the required Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay and CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) components.
The school year is divided into two semesters. The first semester runs from September to mid-January, and the second from mid-January to early June. Final exams are taken in all courses at the end of the year.
The 6th, 7th and 8th grade programs at Pinewood are designed to provide a smooth transition from the Elementary school years to increased academic intensity and expectations of the High School (Grades 9-12) experience.
In recognizing the many physical, social, and emotional changes associated with early adolescence, processes are utilized which allow for student responsiveness to meet these myriad needs in a timely and efficient manner. In so doing, the development of an environment conducive to learning within the academic rigors of the secondary school is advanced.
Courses Offered in the Middle School (Grades 6-8)
|Grade 6||Grade 7||Grade 8|
|Ancient History||Medieval History to the Modern Age||World Geography|
|Science||Life Science||Introduction to Physical Science|
|Modern Greek||Modern Greek||Modern Greek|
|English as a Second Language||French||French|
|Music||English as a Second Language||English as a Second Language|
|Physical Education||Physical Education||Physical Education|
|Digital Literacy 6||Digital Literacy 7||Digital Literacy 8|
|Visual Arts||Visual Arts||Visual Arts|
|Host Country Studies||Art Through the Ages I||American Art|
|Entrepreneurship||Innovation & Entrepreneurship||Social Entrepreneurship|
Students in grades 9 through 12 select courses during the spring prior to the upcoming academic year. Guidance for the yearly course selections and the development of student four-year plans is provided by the school in cooperation with the parents and teachers. It is critical that each student’s schedule is developed with careful thought and consideration and students interested in committing themselves to the IB Diploma Program need to begin preparing well before Grade 11, if possible.
Pinewood students in grades 11-12 have the choice between the following courses of study:
Full IB Diploma Program
The IB Diploma Program at Pinewood is fully integrated into the school’s American High School Diploma program, and all IB students receive the American High School Diploma after they have successfully completed grade 12 and have successfully completed all graduation requirements. The IB Diploma is awarded by the IB based on the students’ grades in the Internal Assessment for their IB courses and the final examinations that take place in May of the second year. IB Diploma candidates are required to study one subject from each of the six subject groups. At least three and not more than four of these subjects are studied at Higher Level (HL), the others at Standard Level (SL). Students are also required to attend the Theory of Knowledge course, engage in CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) activities and submit an Extended Essay of 4,000 words on a topic of their choice.
IB Diploma Courses and American High School Diploma
As an alternative to the full IB Diploma Programme, Pinewood students have the option of graduating with the American High School Diploma and receive IB certificates for certain IB courses of their choice, either at standard or at higher level.
IB Diploma Courses candidates study the same material as full IB diploma candidates and they have to complete the Internal Assessment and the final IB examinations for the chosen subjects. There are no restrictions in the number or the level of the courses for IB Diploma Courses candidates. Diploma Courses candidates may choose to, but they are not required to attend the Theory of Knowledge class and complete the Extended Essay and CAS components.
American High School Diploma
Students are required to choose one course from each of the following departments: English, World Languages, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Mathematics and two electives from any department for a total of 7 courses. First year IB courses can be taken for American High School Diploma credit. Upon successful completion of all graduation requirements, students graduate with the American High School Diploma.
Courses Offered in the High School (Grades 9-12)
|Grade 9||Grade 10|
|Mathematics 9||Mathematics 10|
|World History 9||World History 10|
|Modern Greek||Modern Greek|
|English as a Second Language||English as a Second Language|
|Computer Science 9||Computer Science 10|
|Physical Education||Physical Education|
|Art Through the Ages II|
The Internet of Things
|Art Through the Ages II|
The Internet of Things
|Grades 11 – 12|
|English (IB Group 1-2)||World Languages (IB Group 1-2)||Social Sciences (IB Group 3)|
|IB English A Language & Literature (SL/HL)||IB Modern Greek A Language & Literature (SL/HL)||IB Business Management (SL/HL)|
|IB English B HL||Modern Greek for international students||IB Economics (SL/HL)|
|English Language & Composition||IB French ab initio SL / IB French B (SL/HL)||IB History (SL/HL)|
|English as a Second Language||French||IB Psychology (SL/HL)|
|IB Spanish ab initio SL / IB2 Spanish B SL||Global Perspectives|
|Natural Sciences (IB Group 4)||Mathematics (IB Group 5)||The Arts (IB Group 6)|
|IB Biology (SL/HL)||IB2 Mathematics (SL/HL)||IB Dance (SL/HL)|
|IB Chemistry (SL/HL)||IB2 Mathematical Studies SL||IB Visual Arts (SL/HL)|
|IB Environmental Systems & Societies SL||IB1 Mathematics – Analysis and Approaches (SL/HL)||Art Through the Ages II|
|IB Physics (SL/HL)||IB1 Mathematics – Applications and Interpretation SL||Visual Arts|
|IB Computer Science (SL/HL)||Integrated Mathematics||Dance|
|The Internet of Things|
Additional IB Diploma courses
Other Language A or second language courses may be available, dependent upon student demand, at an additional cost, or as a school supported self-taught course (A languages only).
In addition to the IB Diploma courses offered at Pinewood, official online courses approved by the IB are available at an additional cost. Examples of the available online courses include Mandarin ab initio (Group 2), Information Technology in a Global Society (Group 3) and Film SL (Group 6).
Progress reports with grades and attitudes towards learning are issued at the end of each quarter and a report card with final grades is issued at the end of the year. Teachers’ narrative evaluations are issued twice a year at the end of each semester.
At Pinewood, teachers understand the fundamental difference between formative assessment and summative assessments. Formative assessments, or assessment for learning, are designed to challenge students to develop new ideas, take risks and learn from their mistakes. This learning takes the form of homework, classwork, quizzes and other types of practice. In contrast, summative assessments, or assessment of learning, are opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning. These assessments take the form of tests, projects, presentations and essays.
The secondary school uses the following grading system:
|Letter Grade||Percentage Range||Grade Points|
|A +||96 – 100||4.0|
|A||92 – 95||3.8|
|A –||90 – 91||3.5|
|B +||88 – 89||3.4|
|B||82 – 87||3.0|
|B –||80 – 81||2.5|
|C +||78 – 79||2.4|
|C||72 – 77||2.0|
|C –||70 – 71||1.5|
|D +||68 – 69||1.4|
|D||62 – 67||1.2|
|D –||60 – 61||1.0|
|F||59 and below||0|
In addition to numerical grades, Secondary students also receive feedback on their Habits and Attitudes for Learning. HAL marks are qualitative and based on 4 criteria: attendance/punctuality, preparation, independence and collaboration. The rubric used to provide this feedback identifies many of the dispositions and approaches to learning that students should work to develop if they are to cultivate a growth mindset and become independent lifelong learners. Teachers assign an attitudes to learning qualitative continuum mark throughout the year. Students can also use the rubric to self-assess or set personal growth goals.
The IB marking scale is used for all IB Diploma courses except Theory of Knowledge to report assignment, quarter, semester and exam grades. The IB scale ranges from 1 – 7, where 7 is the highest mark and 4 is the passing mark. Letter grades (A – E) are used for the Theory of Knowledge course and the Extended Essay.
A Current IB Grade is reported for all IB Diploma courses in the second year of the program, to serve as an indicator of the student’s overall performance in the subject. The Current IB Grade is based on the term grades (70%) and the internal end of year exams (30%) and it is reported on the 1–7 scale.
Numeric and Grade Point Average
Numeric and Grade Point Average calculations are weighted according to the number of teaching periods a course meets every week. Courses that meet for 3 or 4 periods per week have a weight of 1, while courses that meet for 2 or 1 period per week have a weight of 0.5 or 0.25 respectively.
In exceptional circumstances, the following grading alternatives may be used:
An incomplete may be used as an alternative grade. An incomplete grade indicates that the student has not completed all the required work for the course, and must complete it within a predetermined time frame to earn a quarter grade. A new report card is issued once the incomplete grade has been changed to a letter grade by the teacher involved.
The “pass” grade may be given to a student with special circumstances dependent on a student’s effort and not on percentage grading. It indicates that the student is “working” or “making adequate progress”. However, the grade will not be a factor in the student’s grade point average. The grading process is consistent for the entire semester in this course. A student will receive a P or NP for each quarter.
This mark is given to a student for whom a teacher is unable to grade, due to insufficient information.
Course Credits and Grade Level Advancement
Students earn credits when they successfully complete a High School course at Pinewood (passing it with a grade of 60% or better) according to the number of periods the course meets per week throughout the year.
|Periods per week||Course Credits|
|3 or 4||1.0|
Course work completed in other schools will be evaluated at the time of enrollment and credit will be extended for equivalent subjects. One credit is earned for courses that meet for an equivalent of five 45-minutes periods per week throughout the school year.
High School students must obtain a minimum number of credits in order to advance to the next grade level. As a general rule, the following policy applies:
· Students must obtain at least 4 credits by the end of grade 9 to advance into grade 10.
· Students must obtain at least 9 credits by the end of grade 10 to advance into grade 11.
· Students must obtain at least 15 credits by the end of grade 11 to advance into grade 12.
Secondary ELL courses provide instruction in the four main skill areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking, and follow internationally recognized curriculum standards for ELL instruction in English-medium schools. At all levels of ELL instruction, there is a strong emphasis on reading and writing for academic development as well as for personal need. Students who speak English as a second or additional language are evaluated upon entry to Pinewood and placed in one of five levels ranging from Basic Beginner to Advanced; these levels are defined according to scores from the administration of The Maculaitis Test of English Language Proficiency, a widely used standardized test of English language proficiency for ELL students.
ELL – Early Language Learners Grading Policy
Level 1 and 2 students may be allowed to use the course textbook and be given extra time to complete tests if this is helpful and practical. They are allowed to use both monolingual English and bilingual dictionaries, as well as their notes and course materials, during tests. In some cases, modified work and tests are also given. For students in Level 1 and Level 2, a compensatory mark of +10% may be added to the score for tests, examinations, and assignments (homework, papers, projects) at the discretion of the teacher.
Level 3 students may be given extra time to complete tests if this is helpful and practical. In addition, they are allowed to use both monolingual English and bilingual dictionaries during tests. For students in Level 3, a compensatory mark of +10% may be added to the score for tests, examinations, and assignments (homework, papers, projects) at the discretion of the teacher.
Level 4 students may be allowed to use a monolingual English dictionary during tests. No other allowances are made.
ELL level 1 and 2 students may be given “Pass” grades in the Middle School as an alternative to percentage grades due to their emerging English levels. In such cases, the “Pass” grade is based on the student’s effort, growth and improvement throughout each quarter, not on his/her grade-level achievement.
Whenever special allowance of any kind has been made in the conduct or grading of a test, project or assignment, the grade or mark recorded will be tagged as “ELL”. Whenever over 50% of the marks contributing to a Quarter grade are tagged as “ELL”, the Quarter grade will also be recorded as “ELL” on the report card.
Matriculation within the ELL Program – Exiting the ELL Program
Once placed in the appropriate ELL level (1–4), students generally advance one level per academic year. Advancement to the next level is determined by an end of the year assessment and the student’s performance in the ELL and English courses. Based on these criteria, the ELL teacher will determine whether the student advances to the next level.
In order to exit the Secondary ELL program at Pinewood, all students must complete Level 4 and pass the Level 4 Exit Test to be administered at the end of the Level 4 year. Alternatively, if a student has earned Honor Roll status throughout the year, then he/she may exit after ELL 3 at the discretion of the teacher. If one of these components is not successfully accomplished, the student will continue in the ELL program in the subsequent academic year.
Advisory in Grades 6-12 is a time set aside once per week for our students to positively interact with their peers. Through Advisory activities and discussions under the guidance of a grade-level faculty advisor, the goal is to provide a welcoming, positive environment where each student feels comfortable and safe as well as to offer academic and personal support for each student. At Pinewood, we firmly believe that no two students are alike. Thus, by forging strong student-teacher relationships, we are better able to assist in the success of each individual.
Textbooks are provided to Pinewood students for the duration of the year in each class through grade 10. Each student is responsible for returning all school books in reasonable condition or a replacement or damage fee will be assessed. A second copy of a text will be issued upon payment for the lost copy. Students in Grades 11 and 12 taking IB subjects are responsible for purchasing their IB books through procedures outlined by the school.
Student Agenda Books
Pinewood provides each secondary school (grades 6-12) student with an agenda book at the beginning of each academic year. Students are requested to record homework, tests and other important information daily. The agenda should also act as a daily form of communication between parent and teacher and its contents must be closely monitored by teachers and parents.
Students are issued lockers and locks in the secondary school (grades 6-12). Pinewood is not responsible for lost or stolen locker contents. Each student is responsible for maintaining his/her locker in a reasonable condition or replacement or damage fees may be assessed. Students are also required to keep their lockers locked at all times.
All students in Grades 6 – 10 are given the MAP (Measure of Academic Progress), an internationally recognized standardized test twice yearly. Test scores and results are reported within the school’s LMS as soon as possible by the school. All students in grades 10 and 11 are required to take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) at school each October. The SAT I and SAT II are administered in Thessaloniki throughout the year on all test dates set for international centers. The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is offered at a test center in Thessaloniki throughout the year, also.
In keeping with the school’s desire to promote democratic institutions and procedures to as great a degree as possible, a Student Council has been created for Grades 3-12. The organization has its own constitution and faculty advisors, and school wide elections are held each Fall for Elementary, Middle School and High School officers. Class presidents also serve on the Student Council. The Student Council sponsors school projects and social events, and is a valuable link between students and administration.
College Counseling at Pinewood is an integral component of every Pinewood high school student’s education. The process of deciding what to do after high school is a time of great discovery and development as students transition to a life of increased freedom and responsibility. Success in this process requires an open mind, strong communication, and a willingness to stretch boundaries. Our goal is to provide solid advice and guidance to students as they decide where to continue their studies after graduation.
The College Counselor designs several meetings for freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Then, in the junior and senior years, students begin to meet one-on-one with the College Counselor to discuss future plans. The College Counseling Program is highly individualized and it is the student’s responsibility to take advantage of the services that are offered. These services include, but are not limited to, information distribution (via emails, individual notices, daily bulletin notices, advisory announcements and a college counseling resource area) , sponsorship of evening programs including two college nights (one for senior students /parents and one for junior students/parents), a series of college workshops for students throughout the year, assistance with essay-writing techniques and application strategies, and the scheduling of college representatives for on-campus meetings each fall.
Awards and Recognitions
Pinewood Honor Awards
To recognize outstanding student achievement in a multitude of areas, including academics, athletics, arts and other areas of student development, the Secondary School holds a Pinewood Honor Awards assembly at the end of the year. At this time, students are celebrated for their achievements, both individually and as groups or teams.
President’s Award for Educational Excellence
This award, bestowed upon up to 3 students in each Secondary grade level, is based on high academic achievement in the classroom in the form of outstanding marks in all subjects from the year. Students must earn at least a 90% average in order to be eligible. In addition, these students demonstrate high motivation, initiative, integrity, intellectual depth, leadership qualities and/or exceptional judgment.
National Honor Society (NHS)
Pinewood sponsors a local chapter of the U.S.-based National Honor Society. Membership is open to students in Grades 10-12 who, in addition to having a high academic average, show special qualities of leadership, character, and service to the school community. Students with a cumulative average of 85% are scholastically eligible to begin the selection process. The prestigious NHS induction ceremony takes place each year in the second semester.
Ryan Giatas School Spirit Award
Sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Athanasios Giatas, this award honors their son, a Pinewood 11th grader who died tragically in an accident in October 1996. It is given annually to the secondary student, by vote of the entire secondary student body, showing the most enthusiasm and interest in school life.
All Around Student Award
This award goes to the student in Grades 9-12 who makes the greatest contribution in several different areas of school life. Helpful ways of considering students for this award are to consider the NHS criteria of service, character and leadership. The secondary faculty nominates candidates and votes for the award.
Departmental awards are given to High School and Middle School students who have excelled academically in that particular subject area. Awards are given at the end of the school year by each of the following departments: English, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, Arts, French, Modern Greek, Spanish and Physical Education.
There are two types of class awards, the Class Award of Excellence and the Class Award of Merit. One award of each type may be given per class by the teacher at the end of the school year.
Requirements for graduation are consistent with the goals of the school and the requirements for admission to higher education institutions. Pinewood grants its diploma only to students who have successfully completed all graduation requirements. Seniors must pass all of their full credit senior courses to graduate. Senior course failures will have to be made up at some agreed upon time before a senior can receive a diploma. Students are required to attend 8 full semesters in high school as well as complete a minimum of 22 credits in order to obtain a diploma from Pinewood – The American International School. The strong majority of Pinewood students graduate with more than the minimum credit requirements that are shown in the table below:
|Minimum Requirements||Recommended for University|
|English||4 credits||4 credits|
|Social Studies||4 credits||4 credits|
|Mathematics||3 credits||4 credits||For Math and/or Science studies|
|Science||3 credits||4 credits||For Math and/or Science studies|
|World Language||2 credits||4 credits||For Humanities studies|
|Fine Arts||½ credit||2 credits||For Fine Arts studies|
|Information Technology||½ credit||2 credits||For Math and/or Science studies|
|Physical Education||1 credit||1 credit|
|Electives||4 credits||4 credits||For a well-rounded high school program|
Note: Early language Learners (ELL) may receive one year of credit toward an English graduation requirement.
The Commencement Ceremony, which is an important feature in American international schools, is held for the graduating seniors (Grade 12) at the end of each academic year. On this occasion, two top-ranking seniors deliver Salutatorian and Valedictorian addresses on behalf of their classmates, and a guest speaker is invited to address the graduating class. The event is the highlight of a secondary student’s career at Pinewood and the entire Pinewood community is invited to attend.
If a student has not completed all graduation requirements at the time of the graduation ceremony the student may participate in the graduation ceremony, if an acceptable, timely plan for obtaining the needed credits has been approved beforehand. Under no circumstances will a student be able to receive a Pinewood graduation diploma if graduation requirements have not been fully met.