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Schalmont Central School District
Imran Abbasi, Principal
 
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1 Sabre Drive, Schenectady, NY 12306 • Phone: 518.355.6110 Fax: 518.355.8720

HS Student Handbook

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Academics

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

Units - A student must earn 22 units for a High School Diploma. This includes two full units for four years of Physical Education. All students must carry at least six courses per semester, one of which must be physical education.

* A unit is defined as at least three (3) hours of instruction per week throughout the course of the school year.

** Physical Education must be taken each semester a student is enrolled.

SUBJECT: LOCAL REGENTS / ADVANCED REGENTS

  • English: 4.0 / 4.0
  • Social Studies: 4.0 / 4.0
  • Mathematics: 3.0  / 3.0
  • Science: 3.0 / 3.0
  • Arts: 1.0  / 1.0
  • Health: 0.5 / 0.5
  • Physical Education: 2.0 / 2.0
  • Second Language: 1.0  / 3.0
  • Electives: 3.0  / 1.0
  • Career & Financial Management: 0.5 / 0.5
  • Total:  22.0  /  22.0

* Students must pass all Regents Exams with a grade of 65 or higher.

Local Diplomas are only available to students who have an approved IEP or 504 plan.

For a Regents Diploma students must pass the following Regents Exams:

  • Integrated Algebra
  • One Physical Setting Science Regents
  • Global Studies
  • U.S. History and Government
  • English

For a 4 + 1 Pathway to Regents Diploma:

Students must pass the following four (4) required Regents Exams:

1 Math, 1 Science, 1 Social Studies, 1 ELA; and students must choose one (1) of the following additional examinations:

  • Additional Social Studies Regents Exam; or
  • Additional Science Regents Exam; or
  • Additional Math Regents Exam; or
  • Approved CTE, LOTE or Arts Pathway Assessment; or
  • NYSEDApproved Alternative Assessment.

For an Advanced Regents Diploma, students must pass the following Regents Exams:

  • Integrated Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Algebra 2/Trigonometry
  • Two Physical Setting Science Regents (One of which must be Living Environment)
    Global Studies
  • U. S. History and Government
  • English

Individual Educational Program (I.E.P.) diplomas continue for students with severe disabilities. I.E.P. diplomas require satisfactory completion of learning program outlines in the Individual Educational Program. All I.E.P.’s will be based on attainment of State learning standards appropriate to the individual student’s disability.

Graduation Ceremony Participation

Only students who have met all graduation requirements, and are eligible for a high school diploma at the June graduation exercises will be permitted to participate in the graduation program. August or January graduates are not permitted to participate in June exercises.

Regents Diploma with Academic Endorsement

A Regents Diploma will be given Academic Endorsement provided the student has successfully completed a minimum of twenty-four units including four units of math and four units of science.

Full time Student

Every student shall carry 5 units plus physical education each semester for four years. Under extenuating circumstances, the Principal may waive the five units plus physical education rule for special cases such as ninth (9th) semester students (5th year) who have not met the necessary requirements for graduation, and other special cases. Each fall, students will be placed in a grade level according to earned units. Students will not change grade levels within a school year. All students may participate in class social activities. The only exception will be restriction as a result of disciplinary action.

Promotion

To provide students with enough units for graduation, each student is required to take five subjects plus physical education each year. In addition, the following requirements for grade placement have been established:

  • Promotion to 9th grade: Promotion from 8th grade
  • Promotion to 10th grade: 5 units, 1 of which must be English or Social Studies
  • Promotion to 11th grade: 11 units, 3 of which must be in English or Social Studies
  • Promotion to 12th grade: 17 units, 5 of which must be English or Social Studies

Accelerated Graduation

Students who wish to complete their graduation requirements in less than four years must plan their program accordingly. The request to accelerate graduation should be made early in the high school program to the guidance counselor. This
request requires the Principal’s approval.

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Field Trips

Students will be scheduled for field trips on an educational basis. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain and complete work for all courses that are missed as a result of a field trip. Appropriate conduct is expected and school policies pertaining to conduct and discipline apply while on a school sponsored
field trip.

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Testing

Final Examinations: Final examinations are mandatory except for reasons beyond the student’s control such as illness or emergency, and cases determined by the Principal. Failure to take the examination except as indicated above will result in failure of the course. In this case, zero is to be recorded as the  examination grade and “F” is to be recorded as the final average.

Cheating on Examinations: Students are expected to be honest in test situations. Definite cases of dishonesty on regular or final examinations will be treated as fraud. Students will receive a “zero” for cheating on examinations, and may also be referred for further disciplinary action. Section 225 of the Education Law makes fraud in an examination a misdemeanor (Regents Exam).

Disruption of Quizzes, Tests and Final Examinations: Students will remain quiet in all test situations throughout the test or examination. Violators will receive a “zero” grade on the quiz, test, or examination, which is to be entered in the
teacher’s class book. Students may also be referred for further disciplinary action.

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Honors Level

Courses are enriched beyond the curriculum subscribed by the New York State Regents syllabus. Students are recommended for the honors level by teachers and counselors from either the Middle or High School programs. Other criteria
used will include student performance on standardized tests, and locally prepared exams.

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Course Placement and Review Policy

Student schedules at the secondary level (grades 9-12) will be made in accordance with the District graduation requirements and State Education regulations. Students, parents and instructional staff will have an opportunity to influence initial course selection.

When a student, parent or instructional staff member believes that a course placement is inappropriate, contact should be made with the student’s guidance counselor to resolve inappropriate placement. If resolution cannot be obtained at
this step, the next level would be the principal.

Changing Levels and Courses

Schedules will not be altered to accommodate teacher requests, early dismissal or late arrival. The official add/drop period is five weeks after the beginning of a full-year course and 2.5 weeks after the beginning of a half-year course. Students dropping courses after these deadlines will receive a drop/failed (DF) grade on their report card. This will carry the numerical equivalent of 50. All requests for dropping courses must be accompanied by a special schedule change form and contact from parent/guardian either by not or phone call.
Students may not drop a course that is a requirement for graduation. In all cases, students must retain five courses plus physical education as a minimum course load.

A schedule change due to academic difficulty may be considered prior to the drop period deadlines provided:

  • A request from a parent or guardian is made.
  • Student is carrying the required number of courses.
  •  Student has made a sincere effort to succeed.
  •  The student, parent, teacher and guidance counselor are in agreement regarding the change.
  •  Class balance is not disrupted by the change.

Such student may then have to add a course in its place during second semester.

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Advanced Placement Program

Students enrolled in A.P. and/or SUPA courses take Advanced Placement and/or SUPA final examinations. All students enrolled in AP courses must take the AP exam in May. Scores from these examinations are sent to the colleges, which the
student expects to attend. Some of these schools will allow credit toward graduation. Many schools place students in special sections or advanced courses and some give both college credit and advance standing.

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Marking and Grades

The grade earned is the teacher’s measure of a student’s achievement. Numerical grades are used in grades 9 - 12. For those who are familiar with a verbal description or a letter grade, a conversion chart is included:

  • 90-100: Excellent A
  • 80-89: Above Average B
  • 70-79: Average C
  • 65-69: Poor, but passing D
  • Below 65: Failing F
  • Inc: Incomplete I

Grades are given quarterly. Interim reports are given to students at a mid-marking period (5 weeks). The letter “F” will be used for all ten-week report card grades 49 or below. The final test and final course grade will be the numerical grade that the “F” represents. In addition to the numerical grade, teachers may indicate up to three subjective comments on the report card for each subject, and four comments on Interim reports.

Final Average

The final average in a yearly subject is obtained by counting the four quarterly grades as 20% each, the mid-term as 5% and the final exam as 15% of the grade. The final average for a half-year subject is figured by counting the two quarters as 40% each and the final exam as 20% of the grade.

Incomplete Grades

Incomplete (INC.) grades will be given to students for legitimate medical absences or extenuating family circumstances occurring near the end of a marking period. Students receiving an INC. grade will have the first ten days in the following marking period to make up this work. Failure to make up the work in these ten days will result in an average based on the work completed.

Make-up Work

Students who are absent from class or school have the responsibility of completing make-up work or tests within an allotted period of time as determined by individual teachers. The student must take the initiative in making the necessary arrangements immediately upon returning to class or school, and must understand that they may be required to stay after school to make up this work.

Honor Roll

To be eligible for the Honor Roll, a student must have a cumulative quarter average between 88 and 100. An average of 92 or above is considered High Honor Roll. No student will be considered for the Honor Roll if they are carrying less than five subjects including physical education and/or have an incomplete (INC.) grade.

Report Cards and Interim Reports

Report cards are issued quarterly at 10-week intervals, approximately a week after the close of the marking period. Interim Reports are issued mid-quarter. Report Cards and Interim Reports will be available on line. Report cards will also
be mailed home.

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Summer School

All students who wish to enroll in summer school must have earned a minimum final course average of 50 during the regular school year. Students who do not earn a final course average of a 50 or higher may not enroll for summer school;
instead, they must retake the entire course the following fall. In addition, a summer school grade will not replace a full year course average on the official high school transcript. The average from the full-year failed course will be averaged together with the final summer school average. For example, a student who earns a 50 final average for a full-year course must earn a minimum of an 80 average or higher in summer school in order to earn course credit with a passing grade of a 65. All of the students’ grades from summer school will also be included on their official high school transcripts. Students must recognize the importance of consistent effort throughout the full academic year.

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Class Rank

The Class Rank is a numerical rank order of students. Schalmont’s Class Rank is calculated at the end of the first semester (January) of grade 12. The student with the highest average of credits earned (courses completed) will be named
Valedictorian of the graduating class, and the student with the second highest average will be designated as Salutatorian. In our determination of class rank, there is no special weighting given to any particular course or track level. The class rank is determined as follows:

Final grades in all subjects are counted except physical education semester courses. When a course is failed and later passed, the higher grade is given for passing the course with the higher average. Dropped/Failed courses are given a value of 50.

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Policy for Challenging Courses

Students may satisfy the course requirement by passing the State developed or State approved exam at a grade level approved by the Commissioner without completing a unit of course work. In addition to passing a written exam, a student must pass an oral exam, or complete a special project to demonstrate proficiency in the subject matter. Students will be eligible only if they meet certain subjectspecific criteria. The High School Principal will determine if a student is eligible to take advantage of this alternative. However, at least 12 units required for graduation must be met through both course work and, where appropriate,
examination. Intentions to challenge courses should be made in writing to the respective Guidance Counselor one year in advance.

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Failed Courses

In courses where a Regents Exam was offered, a student may elect to take a “Walk-In” Regents Exam (approved summer school course not required). Whether taking courses at summer school or “Walk-In” Regents exams, each student will need to obtain a permission form from his/her respective guidance counselor. In all cases where courses are failed, students should check to see if they would have enough credits to enter the next grade level.

Options for Repeating Course Failures

If a student fails a course and needs to repeat the course for graduation, the following options are available:

A. The student successfully completes a certified summer school program.

B. The student repeats the course.

C. Students may also satisfy course requirements if they meet the criteria for challenging the course.

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Physical Education

All students will be required to wear gym clothes. A proper gym uniform for boys and girls is:

1. Gym shorts, i.e., no cut-off dungarees or pants, Bermuda shorts or shorts with belts and zippers.

2. “T” Shirt or sweatshirt

3. Sneakers and athletic socks.

Physical Education Policies

All students must pass four (4) years of physical education in order to graduate.
A student must:

A. Come to physical education class prepared for participation (gym shorts, T. shirt, sneakers and socks are required.)

B. Maintain a legal absence record.

1. Excuses and absences may not exceed 25% of physical education time. If a student is absent from school he/she may make up the physical education classes missed. Make-ups can be arranged through the student’s teacher.

2. A student can be excused from participation in class. Any classes missed may be made up before the end of the quarter.

3. A signed excuse from the parents will be honored by the physical education teacher for only one (1) week (2-3 gym classes) without referral to the
school nurse.

4. If an additional excuse from the parents is presented the next week or excuses are continually being brought in (pattern established), these should not be honored, but referred to the school nurse for further action.

5. A doctor’s excuse is required for an excuse from physical education for a prolonged period of time (over one week). This should be referred to the
school nurse.

a. When a doctor excuses a student from physical education class, a “Physical Activity Form” may be sent to the doctor by the school nurse. This form will be returned to the physical education teacher indicating the type of activity this student should have, if any.

6. Students without an excuse who do not feel well and feel they cannot participate must report to the teacher, or they will be marked illegally absent or not prepared for class. The teacher can excuse students for one week from activities, but students must still be in proper uniform.

7. If a student has been severely injured; broken bones, severe sprain, etc., the Physical Activity Form” will not be used.

8. We must make sure that the student has been released by the doctor before allowing him/her to participate. We cannot take the student’s word. Only a signed statement from the doctor or school nurse will be honored.

9. While students are excused from physical education classes, they cannot participate in interscholastic sports or intramural programs.

10. Five grade points will be deducted for each physical education class missed. Medicals are an exception, which must be verified by a physician and filed in the nurse’s office.

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Music

Performing Organizations

Attendance for the Concert Band, Wind Ensemble and Concert Choir is the same as attending any class during the school day. Policies relating to tardiness, class cutting, and attendance are the same as those that apply to all other classes.

Lessons

For those students signed up for Concert Band, instrumental lessons are a requirement. This requirement may be waived in lieu of private lessons outside of school by an approved instructor. School lessons are scheduled on a once a week basis and rotate daily throughout the class day. A student must attend all lessons scheduled while he/she is in legal attendance. Lessons missed while in legal attendance must be made up within 7 school days. Make-up lessons must be scheduled by appointment with the band director. Students should report to their scheduled class first for attendance and then attend their lesson.

Jazz Ensemble - Jazz Band - Marching Band

Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Band and Marching Band meet outside the school day. Upon becoming a member of any of these organizations, the student is held responsible for attending all rehearsals and performances. A student who has an
irresolvable conflict may ask to be excused from a rehearsal oran event as soon as the student knows about the conflict (preferably 2 weeks in advance). Last minute emergency situations will be considered on an individual basis. Working
schedules will be taken into consideration for both practices and performances.

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Laboratory Requirements and Grading

1. Any student enrolled in Regents Earth Science, Regents Living Environment, Regents Chemistry or Regents Physics, must meet the NYS Board of Regents Laboratory Requirement which is: Each student must successfully complete a minimum of thirty (30) laboratory exercises in order to qualify to take a Regents Examination in this course.

2. Two copies of each laboratory exercise will be made. One copy will be turned in for grading and records, the other will be kept by the student for study.

3. Laboratory exercises will be graded by an S or a U by the laboratory teacher. An S signifies a paper is satisfactory; U will signify that the paper is unsatisfactory. A paper graded U should be redone and resubmitted within the time limitation mentioned below.

4. The student will have ten (10) consecutive school days from the ASSIGNED DATE to submit a satisfactory laboratory exercise. (The ASSIGNED DATE being the day the student’s scheduled laboratory group was presented the laboratory
exercise.) This applies to all members of the scheduled laboratory group present or not. Students who have mitigating circumstances must request an extension in writing from the Science Department Chairperson.

5. You will be allowed only one incomplete or unsatisfactory laboratory exercise each quarter. Two points will be deducted from the student’s classroom quarter average for each additional incomplete or unsatisfactory laboratory exercise.

6. With the letter-day system currently being used, there will not be a reason for any laboratory exercise to be missed. If there is a school activity (example: auditorium program) during your laboratory period, you are responsible for completing that laboratory exercise. It is strongly suggested that students come
in during study hall or on Tuesday or Thursday after school to make up the work.

7. Periodically during the quarter, tests will be given in class covering the laboratory materials. The material covered will have been assigned at least two weeks previously in lab.

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National Honor Society

Membership in the National Honor Society is both an honor
and a responsibility. Students selected for membership are
expected to continue to demonstrate the qualities of
scholarship, service, leadership and character. Only active
members have a voice and vote in chapter affairs. Active
members become graduate members at graduation.
Membership is granted only to those students selected by a
faculty council. According to the constitution, only those
students who have been in the school the equivalent of one
semester, may be considered for membership. Membership is
open to qualified juniors and seniors. Students must have a
cumulative scholastic average of 88 percent, or higher to meet
the scholarship requirement for membership in the National
Honor Society. These students are then considered for
eligibility based on their leadership, service, and character.

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