FHS Student/Parent/Staff Handbook
“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does,
we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call
attention to their shining- they just shine.”
Dwight L. Moody
History of FHS: The Story of the Lighthouse
Ferguson “Alternative” High School chose the lighthouse as their school symbol in 1990, as many students felt that Ferguson provides “a guiding light through life’s storms.” This light has helped lead those who had been lost, back to the safety and shelter of a caring school environment.
During our graduation ceremonies, every graduate leaves a part of themselves and a piece of light for the students left behind, so that they too, will find their way to being successfully educated and cared about with the help of the “Ferguson Family.”
Following 21 years as the Principal of Loveland High School, Mr. Harold Ferguson moved to an administrative office position with the school district. Realizing the need for educational “alternatives” for high school students, he began a “storefront” school in 1972 on South Lincoln Avenue for students who had dropped out. In 1973, the school later moved to the old Washington School on Third Street until 1982, when it moved to the next location on East Eisenhower Boulevard. At that time, the district recognized Mr. Ferguson’s contribution to “alternative education” and renamed the school Harold Ferguson Alternative High School. In 1992, Ferguson dropped “alternative” out of our official name, as students now met the same graduation requirements as all other students in our district and they receive an official Ferguson High School Diploma. As of May 2014, Ferguson has graduated 1275 students in our 41 year history and those students going on to post-secondary education/training have earned over $300,000 in scholarships. Such achievements are considered to be unprecedented accomplishments compared to other “alternative” high schools in the State of Colorado.
At Ferguson High School we choose to engage in CHOICE behaviors:
~Commit to learning ~ Dedicated ~ Asking good questions ~ Actively Listening ~ Eager to Graduate
~Being Positive ~ Quickly getting over setbacks ~ Focus on a Bright Future ~ Believing hard work pays off
~Persistence & Resilience ~ Finishing what you start ~ Sticking to something even when it is hard ~ Working with focus and purpose ~ Overcoming Obstacles
~Demonstrates Self-Control – Regulating what one feels and does ~ being self-disciplined
~Walking your talk ~ Standing up for Beliefs (assertively vs. aggressively)
~Willing to take healthy risk ~ persevering through difficult situation ~ admitting when you are wrong ~ asking for help
~Empathy ~ Respects Differences ~ Expresses Gratitude for Others & Opportunities~
~Resolves Differences Respectfully
Foster a Diverse Learning Community
Honor and Hone Personal Potential
Support and Practice Responsible Citizenship
Please review the following information that summarizes FHS policies, regulations, and procedures that directly affect our students. The TSD Code of Student Conduct, Secondary School Curriculum Student Guide for 2015-2016, may be found at the FHS http://www.thompsonschools.org/ferguson and TSD http://www.thompsonschools.org/ websites
Acceptable Use Agreement
for Computer Technology
FHS provides a computer system to promote educational excellence and prepare students to live and work in the 21st century. In order to use the System, students under the age of 18 must obtain parental/legal guardian acknowledgment of the provisions of the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) which is integrated into the Code of Student Conduct. Our students complete this form upon entry to FHS. It is on file and students are expected to follow the agreement to use computers at FHS. Inappropriate use of the computer can result in disciplinary action taken under the provisions of the Code of Student Conduct and/or other School Board Policies and division regulations governing student discipline. Understanding the importance of Internet/computer safety, information on this subject will be made available to all students throughout the school year.
TSD Policy: Under Colorado law, it is unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell, distribute, possess with the intent to sell, give, distribute, or bring any controlled substance, imitation controlled substance, marijuana, or alcohol on the property, including buildings and grounds, of public school property, within 1,000 feet of school property, on any school bus, or to any school-sponsored event. Violation is a felony; violators are subject to expulsion. A student will be recommended for expulsion for the use or possession of alcohol or drugs, or possession of paraphernalia used with drugs. A student accused of simple possession, a first offense, at the principal’s discretion, may be offered the opportunity to participate in a substance abuse intervention program in lieu of the recommendation of expulsion.
At FHS, if an individual is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol on campus, the first offence will be a referral, parent/guardian contact, possible police involvement and suspension from campus. Any further incident will result in a hexter suspension. Student may receive services through Thompson Online.
If an individual is perceived to be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol on campus, we will search the person. If it is found that the student is under the influence we will follow the first bullet. If not, student will continue with classes.
Attendance at FHS
Being tardy to class three times constitutes an absence.
When extenuating circumstances exist, a parent/guardian should discuss extensive absences with the principal or his/her designee. Students who miss ten (10) consecutive days during the school year are withdrawn from the school and considered a drop out.
Many of our students use a variety of ways to get to school. We encourage students to secure their bikes on a bike rack with the student's lock. Skateboards, scooters and skates can to be stored in a classroom with the teacher’s permission. The school assumes no responsibility for bicycles, skateboards, scooters or skates on school property. Absolutely no riding inside the building.
FHS participate in both the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. Applications for free or reduced price meals can be obtained online at http://applyforlunch.com . Menus, and current meal prices can be found at http://www.schoolnutritionandfitness.com/index.php?page=menus&sid=3108102021118594 Payments for meals can be made using one of two methods: cash or the online service –via https://www.schoolpaymentsolutions.com/ allows parents of students to prepay money directly into their child’s account, monitor their child’s food purchases, set up low-balance e-mail reminders, and schedule recurring payments.
Phones/Electronic Devices/Portable Communications Devices:
For safety reasons and respect while walking through the hallway, students may use one ear bud to listen to music and no speaker devices. Out of respect for the classroom community, students will ensur
e that their devices are turned off and out of sight during class
time, Teachers will have individual
consequences for violation of this expectation.
Credit recovery is a learning opportunity for students to acquire and make up credits using PLATO Learning Environment. This learning opportunity will take place in the SOARS Learning Lab.
· Come Ready to Learn
· Treat All People with Respect (acts of physical/verbal intimidation will have consequences )
· Comply with reasonable requests in a respectful manner
Any violation of the above three will result in student being sent to an Administrator and be subject to disciplinary actions which may include behavior contract, school service, detention, and suspension and/or police involvement. Administration will follow up with staff after conferring with the student. Parents must attend conferences following suspensions.
In addition, each staff member will outline their classroom expectations and consequences. Students will engage in CHOICE behaviors in the classroom.
We are expected to be personally responsible in selecting school attire. Please refer to the list to be in compliance with our expectations. Anyone deemed in violation of the dress code shall be required to change into appropriate clothing or make arrangements to have appropriate clothing brought to school immediately. In this case, there shall be no further penalty.
1. Any clothing, paraphernalia, grooming, jewelry, accessories, or body adornments that are or contain any advertisements, symbols, words, slogans, patches, or pictures that:
a. Refer to drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or weapons
b. Are of a sexual nature
c. By virtue of color, arrangement, trademark, or other attribute denote membership in gangs which advocate drug use, violence, or disruptive behavior
d. Are obscene, profane, vulgar, lewd, or legally libelous
e. Threaten the safety or welfare of any person
f. Promote any activity prohibited by the student code of conduct
g. Otherwise disrupt the teaching-learning process
h. Are racist in nature or include derogatory comments or slurs against groups of people
2. Shorts, dresses, skirts, or other similar clothing that is inappropriately sheer, short, tight or low-cut (e.g. midriffs, halter tops, backless clothing, tube tops, garments made of fishnet, mesh or similar material, muscle tops, etc.) that bare or expose traditionally private parts of the body including, but not limited to, the stomach, buttocks, back and breasts
3. If you do not want us to be drawn to your clothing choices, make good choices.
Exceptional Student Services is specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of a student eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2001 (IDEA 2004). The referral of a student for a suspected disability that may require special education services can be made by any source. A comprehensive evaluation is conducted to determine the student’s eligibility and to assist in planning to meet the student’s unique educational needs.
Including Laser Lights
Carrying or possessing firearms or other dangerous weapons, including look-alikes, is prohibited. Using, distributing, selling, lighting or discharging an explosive device, including fireworks, on school property violates Colorado law and School Board policy. Legal authorities may impose imprisonment and/or fines for guilt. Possessing and using laser lights to potentially cause harm, injury, or irritation violates the Code of Student Conduct. Expulsion recommendation and police notification are mandatory for these offenses.
Regular emergency evacuation drills are conducted at the direction of school staff. When a fire alarm sounds, students must evacuate the school quickly in an orderly fashion. At the direction of staff, students must follow evacuation routes noted on diagrams posted throughout the school. Students must follow all staff directions regarding movement to other locations and return to classrooms. It is essential to be quiet during drills and evacuations. Specific procedures will be outlined by each high school for all other emergencies.
Learning is a process and we believe in mastery over time in our grading system. Grading is the way teachers communicate the progress of the students’ learning. We believe we continue to learn and hone our personal potential as learners. We have established a grading scale that we feel best meets the needs of our students at FHS.
At FHS the grades are A, B, C, and U:
Ø A = Exceptional demonstration of knowledge and skills
Ø B = Proficient demonstration of knowledge and skills
Ø C = Reasonable demonstration of knowledge and skill, you should consider redoing it
Ø U = You need to redo the assignment/class to demonstrate your proficiency of knowledge and skills in that content.
Teachers are expected to update grades weekly in all classes. End of the Hexter grades are posted on Parent Portal every six weeks. The dates when final grades and transcripts are posted on Parent Portal can be found on the school’s website. http://www.thompsonschools.org/ferguson.
The Thompson Board of Education establishes graduation requirements for all students in our district. All TSD students are expected to earn 24 credits to graduate from FHS. You can see the graduation requirements on FHS’ website: http://www.thompson.k12.co.us/ferguson
Guidance and Counseling Program
FHS offers a comprehensive school counseling program that is an integral part of our school's total educational program designed to promote the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students. As an essential part of the instructional program, school counseling helps to build a foundation for student learning and academic success.
Weather and School Closings
In the interest of student safety, federal and local agencies are consulted prior to making a decision to close, delay, or dismiss schools early due to inclement weather. An official notice will also be posted on the homepage of the district’s website www.thompson.k12.co.us/index.html Also, check local television channels for any school closures.
FHS has an Emergency Response Plan for use in the event of early closings and other emergencies. Parents will be contacted via Parent Portal and our call system to let you know school is dismissed earlier than expected.
Independent Study: First and foremost, a student must be in Good Standing to request the opportunity to complete an Independent Study. The teacher of record must submit to administration the Independent Study Plan prior to giving it to the student. The IS will be added to the student’s schedule as a credit. A deadline must be attached, along with amount of credit the student will earn at the end of the IS. This learning opportunity provides a way for a highly motivated student to pursue a topic of interest that does not necessarily fit into a traditional academic curriculum or schedule. An Independent Study is not an open period.
Leaving School Grounds – Closed Building AM & PM
Students are expected to remain in school building after arriving on school premises, except at lunch time. Should a student need to leave campus for an appointment, they must sign out at the front office. Students are released to parents/guardians or designated adults listed in the student database who have presented photo identification. Students are dismissed when parents/guardians submit prior authorization. Written parental approval is necessary prior to leaving school grounds for field trips or special visits to specific schools or work sites. Students may not leave the building during passing periods. If a student chooses to leave the building without permission, they will have a conference with an administrator.
Morning Leadership is a whole school community time. This is where students have access to free breakfast, announcements and connecting time with other students and staff. All community members are expected to be in attendance. Students are expected to check in with his/her leadership teacher to be marked present. If there is a reason for a student not to attend morning leadership in the cafeteria, an intervention will be determined during Problem Solving meeting.
Afternoon Leadership is a STRUCTURED classroom time. This is a time to build relationships with your Leadership class, work on 21st Century Post-Secondary Workforce Readiness skills, review students’ attendance, behavior, classroom performance (grades), progress towards graduation and service activities.
Monday – Check In – Preview the Week
Tuesday – CHOICE Character Trait Review
Wednesday – Service Day
Thursday – Grade Check – Study Hall – Drop Everything And Read, if student is all caught up on work
Friday – Fusion Fun – Leaderships will fuse with other Leadership classes to build community and have some fun to celebrate the end of the week.
Students’ Responsibility – Students are expected to show up to class, be an active participant and demonstrate respect to the FHS community.
Staff Responsibility – Staff is the advocate for each of their Leadership students. Weekly grades will be posted for both Leadership Classes. Grades for Leadership will be either Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. This is also a time for the Leadership teacher to review students’ transcripts, grades and build relationships with a significant adult in the student’s life.
Students who have 3 or fewer absences will be allowed to make up all assignments that affect the course grade. It is the student's responsibility to ask for missed work and to make up assignments within a reasonable amount of time. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of established guidelines and to follow those guidelines to make up the assignment. Students who are under the penalty of Out-of-School Suspension (OSS) will be provided class work and homework material, if requested by the parent and/or student, so the student may remain current with school instruction as long as enrolled in school.
Monitoring Student Progress/FHS Parent Portal
Parents and guardians of students have access to the FHS Parent Portal. The FHS Parent Portal is a powerful online resource that provides parents the opportunity to monitor their child’s progress in school and view historic academic and enrollment information dating back to the 2004-2005 school year. All parents and guardians of high school students are encouraged to use this resource to help their child succeed academically. To learn more about the FHS Parent Portal, contact an FHS building secretary.
News Media Coverage
From time to time, news reporters may use photos or videotape of students in incidental news coverage. A parent/legal guardian who objects to a student’s image being used should notify the school at the beginning of each academic school year. If a student is to be interviewed on school property by the news media, a signed parental consent form is required (Parental Release for Interviewing, Photographing, and Videotaping/Audio-recording of Students Form) and is available in each school office.
Ø FHS Scholars: All new students to FHS participate in this transition program for the first 6 weeks. Students will participate in a Writing Skills, Math Skills, Keystone and Scholars block. Students will be required to pass all Scholars classes to be accepted into FHS the next hexter.
Ø Leadership: Leadership is a two part course and students are required to attend both parts. Attendance and grades will be recorded for both parts.
Ø Keystone/Capstone: All students who wish to participate in the graduation ceremony are required to pass both Keystone and Capstone.
Safe Schools and Emergency Procedures
Ferguson High School is committed to providing a safe environment for students, staff and visitors. As part of our commitment to safety, students and visitors may be subject to unannounced searches.
We work closely with national, state, and local safety officials -- police, fire, emergency medical services, and public health -- in order to prevent and prepare our schools for an emergency. Together, we have developed a comprehensive Emergency Response Plan that covers a wide variety of emergencies that serves as a guide to help staff and our public safety partners respond swiftly should a crisis occur in our schools.
Should a school be evacuated, each school has a procedure for helping parents locate their child. Parents will be directed to a specific location where they will be required to show proper identification. Remember, a student can only be released to an adult who is documented as an emergency contact. If you are a non-custodial parent, you must be listed with your child's emergency contact information as a guardian and show proper identification.
Scholarship Information Available Online
In order to assist FHS graduating seniors with financial assistance for higher education, students will fill out applications through their CAPSTONE Class. Scholarship information may be found on the school’s website. Students may access information on scholarships that are available to assist them in financing their education in a four-year college or university, a community college, or a specialized trade/technical school. FHS students in the graduating Class of 2014 accepted $31,000 dollars in scholarships.
and Volunteers to Schools/Trespassing
Visitors/Volunteers are welcome at Ferguson High School at appropriate times, such as lunch, before and/or after school. Visitors shall be treated in a courteous manner and shall be afforded prompt and informative replies to legitimate questions. In order to keep our campus safe all visitors must report to the front desk with a picture ID for authorization prior to access to the building or school grounds. After Authorization is complete visitors must sign in and wear a visitor name badge while on campus.
Parents and or students need to make arrangements in advance in order to be assured that school personnel will be available to meet with them. Non FHS students may visit FHS during the school day only with advanced approval from both building principal and classroom teacher. If we are made aware of any disturbances within our community, the visitor will be asked to leave school grounds.
Outside of regular school hours, it is unlawful for any person, without the consent of an authorized person, to enter school grounds, premises, or property for any purpose other than to attend an event/meeting held at the school.
Withdrawal from School
Students withdrawing from school during the school year must present a written or electronic note from a parent/guardian stating the reason for the withdrawal, the withdrawal date, and the student's destination, so that the transfer process can be completed. Withdrawing students must return all textbooks, library books, and instructional materials assigned to them. All financial obligations must be cleared. Attendance calls will continue until another school confirms enrollment. After 10 days the student will be considered a drop out until confirmation of attendance at another school has been established.
Student Hierarchy at FHS:
PASSALL (Outstanding Status) – Students who have passed all of their classes with a C grade or better.
Good Standing – Student passed at least four classes and Leadership. Student earned at least a 0.85 credit
Yellow Standing – Student who passed three classes and Leadership or four classes and not Leadership. Student earned .68 credits. Student may remain at FHS after a meeting with Advisor creating a plan for success for the next hexter. Two subsequent hexters in yellow standing will result in a student being moved down to red standing.
What to do to improve your Situation: Attend every class, make up any missing assignments, be willing to help out around FHS and show that you are committed to our school community, Pass four classes plus Leadership.
Red Standing (Struggling): - Students who have not passed Leadership and less than three classes. The first hexter of Red Standing will result in an Intervention Plan with administrator.
What to do to improve your Situation: Attend every class, make up any missing assignments, be willing to help out around FHS and show that you are committed to our school community, Pass four classes plus Leadership.
Purple Standing (Not Making It): Student who have demonstrated two hexters in a row of not earning enough credits to remain at FHS will have the consequence of an alternative learning opportunity. Meeting with Sheila~ Different Placement Options~ May go back to home school, SOARS, E3 , Thompson Online, or Timed out for six weeks
What to do to improve your Situation: Service Learning, assisting a local agency and showing commitment to it. Touch base with staff during the hexter to show your commitment to returning on good standing.
Rebooting: This occurs when a student has been gone for a hexter or more, and wants to transition back into FHS. Students who are interested in rebooting at FHS need the support of their Leadership teacher and Administrator. They also must attend Reboot Class prior to enrolling.