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FAIRFIELD HIGH SCHOOL ACADEMIC HANDBOOK

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FAIRFIELD HIGH SCHOOL ACADEMIC HANDBOOK It is the policy of Fairfield High School not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or handicap in all courses and programs as
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FAIRFIELD HIGH SCHOOL ACADEMIC HANDBOOK It is the policy of Fairfield High School not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or handicap in all courses and programs as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Eligible students with disabilities shall enjoy the right to a free appropriate public education, which may include instruction in the regular classroom, instruction through special teaching, or instruction through approved contracts. Instruction shall be supplemented by the provision of related services when appropriate. Fairfield High School will take steps to ensure that lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in all educational and vocational programs. For information about your rights or grievance procedures, contact the Title IX Coordinator, and/or Section 504 Coordinator, Tony Price, at 615 Post Oak Road, Fairfield, Texas 75840, FAIRFIELD HIGH SCHOOL ACADEMIC HANDBOOK Superintendent of Schools Tony Price Assistant Superintendent Sheila Dove Director of Student Services Keith Whitaker High School Principal Von Wade Assistant Principal Carroll Cain 10 th -12 th Counselor Cindy Kirgan 8 th -9 th Counselor Pam Chavers Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it. Marian Wright Edelman The primary goal of Fairfield High School is to provide an education to all students that is useful, challenging, and will prepare them for the future. With this in mind, the following handbook has been prepared to help students and their parents become aware of the academic program at Fairfield. This awareness will allow students to make more informative course selections that will enhance their education and prepare them for their post-secondary years. During high school, students will want to work closely with not only their teachers but also other support personnel. The high school has two counselors, Ms. Pam Chavers who works primarily with eighth grade and freshmen and Ms. Cindy Kirgan who assists the sophomores, juniors and seniors. Both counselors are located in our guidance and career center and are available for conferences, consultations, etc. Parents may contact either counselor by calling the high school office at (903) Any student requesting assistance may go by the guidance center and make an appointment. If a student or parent has questions concerning a class, teacher, or the overall curriculum, they should contact Mr. Von Wade, the high school principal. Students, this handbook has been prepared to enable you to select courses wisely during your high school years. Each course will have a brief description in addition to the prerequisites and the grade level at which it is offered. After your ninth grade year, you will select courses in a meeting either with Mr. Wade or Ms. Kirgan. They will be ready to assist you in evaluating your course selections based upon your academic and career goals. They also are aware of those courses that are required to meet entrance requirements at the different colleges and universities. This handbook is your property. Please keep it in a safe place so that you can refer to it when the need arises. One further note; some classes are not offered every year, so plan accordingly. Grade Level Classification Freshman Less than 5 credits Sophomore 5 to 9.5 credits Junior 10 to 14.5 credits Senior 15 or more credits Ninth Grade: As you enter high school, it will be important for you to make a tentative decision concerning your career goals. All students at Fairfield High School will be on the Recommended High School Program (with the possible exception of any student in Special Education), but your career goals may influence your electives. Your grades and class rank are important, get off to a great start. Tenth Grade: During your tenth grade year, you will begin to determine the best options for planning your future. Take advantage of the counseling center to explore careers that are available and make sure that your courses will prepare you for those careers. Begin to explore possible colleges/universities that you may wish to attend. Eleventh Grade: You will need to be finalizing your proposed post-secondary plans. Whether you are planning to go to college, trade school, the military or straight to work, there are courses to prepare you. Stay in touch with your counselor about testing requirements that you will need to enter college. In the summer before your senior year, visit colleges that you may be interested in attending. Twelfth Grade: Your best year in high school. Make sure that you are prepared for graduation by passing all classes. If college is in your future make sure you have completed all the necessary requirements and paperwork for the school of your choice. Ask teachers early in the year for letters of recommendation. Have Fun! Types of Courses Basic Courses: The Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee determines placement in these courses. A basic course is one in which the content (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) is modified to accommodate the Individual Education Plan (IEP) of a student. Gifted and Talented Courses: A gifted and talented student means a student who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who: 1) exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area; 2) possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; or 3) excels in a specific academic field. Students identified at Fairfield High School as being gifted and talented will be served through the honors, Pre-AP, AP, and dual credit classes. Regular Courses: These are the standard courses offered in the core areas (English, math, science, and social studies) and in the enrichment courses (physical education/health, Spanish, fine arts, business education/technology, home economics, and agricultural science). Honors/Pre-AP Courses: These courses are for students who wish to be challenged above and beyond the curriculum of the regular courses. At the honors/pre-ap level students will read more, work at a faster pace, be exposed to more material, and perform functions using higher-order thinking skills. Fairfield High School has an open enrollment policy for honors/pre-ap courses. AP Courses: Advanced Placement courses are college-level courses taught at the high school campus. The AP curriculum is provided by the College Board and ensures that students nationwide are being exposed to the same material. Students who perform well on the end of the year AP exams may earn college credit and/or advanced academic standing. Fairfield High School has an open enrollment policy for Advanced Placement Courses. Dual Credit: Students can receive dual credit for both high school and college by enrolling in Navarro College while taking high school DC courses. Graduation Requirements A student entering Grade 9 in the school year and thereafter shall enroll in the courses necessary to complete the curriculum requirements for the recommended high school program specified in of this title (relating to Recommended High School Program) or the advanced program specified in of this title (relating to Distinguished Achievement High School Program--Advanced High School Program) unless the student, the student's parent or other persons standing in parental relation to the student, and a school counselor or school administrator agree that the student should be permitted to take courses under the minimum high school program specified in of this title (relating to Minimum High School Program). High school courses successfully completed prior to Grade 9 and the school year shall count toward graduation in the manner established in this chapter for credit in the year the course is successfully completed. For students entering as freshman in , the science curriculum courses will be changed; IPC restrictions will be applied for when and who can complete the course for credit. Minimum High School Plan Number of Credits English (English 1, English 2, English 3, English 4) 4 Mathematics (Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, or Math Models) 3 Science (Biology, Integrated Physics and Chemistry) 2 Social Studies (World Geography, US History, US Government) 2.5 Academic Elective (World History or Chemistry) 1 Economics.5 Health Education.5 Physical Education 1.5 Communication Application.5 Technology Application 1 Electives 5.5 Total 22 Recommended High School Plan Number of Credits English (English 1, English 2, English 3, English 4) 4 Mathematics (Algebra 1, Geometry, Mathematical Models with Application, Algebra 2) 4 Science (Biology, Integrated Physics and Chemistry, Chemistry, and 4 Physics) Social Studies (World Geography, World History, US History, Government) 3.5 Economics.5 Foreign Language (Spanish) 2 Health Education.5 Fine Arts (Band, Drama, Art) 1 Physical Education 1.5 Communication Application.5 Technology Application 1 Additional Components (State approved courses) 3.5 Total 26 Distinguished High School Plan Number of Credits English (English 1, English 2, English 3, English 4) 4 Mathematics (Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus) 4 Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics and one more) 4 Social Studies (World Geography, World History, US History, Government) 3.5 Economics.5 Foreign Language (Spanish) 3 Health Education.5 Fine Arts (Band, Drama, Art) 1 Physical Education 1.5 Communication Application.5 Technology Application 1 Additional Components (State approved courses) 2.5 Total 26 In order to graduate on the Distinguished Program, a student must receive at least four of the following advanced measures. The measures could be any combination of the following: An original research/project, A score of three or above on AP exams or a score of 4 or above on an IB exams or a score on the PSAT that qualifies a student for recognition as a Commended Scholar or higher by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, or College academic courses, advanced technical credit courses, and dual credit courses, including local articulation, with a grade of 3.0 or higher. Class Ranking Policy Beginning with the freshmen class in the school year the following policy will go into effect. Grade Points: Students shall be awarded grade points for the coursework completed based upon the grade received and the type of course taken. There shall be four types of courses: 1) AP courses, 2) pre-ap or honors courses, 3) regular courses and 4) basic courses. A basic course is one in which the content is modified to accommodate the individual student. Grade points shall be awarded according to the following: Adv. Placement courses Dual Credit courses Pre-AP/Honors courses Regular courses Basic courses 20 points added to numerical grade 15 points added to numerical grade 10 points added to grade No points added 20 points deducted from grade Numerical Grades to Grade Point Average: The following conversion chart shall be used to convert numerical grades to a grade point average. Numerical Grades G.P.A.s Courses Used in Grade Point Averages: Grades earned in junior high and summer school shall not be used in determining a grade point average. Beginning with the school year the courses that will be included in the tabulation of grade point averages are any courses in the following subject areas: English Language Arts (not journalism courses) Communication Application Health Education Science Mathematics Social Studies/Economics Foreign Language Technological Application Transfer Grades: Grades from non-accredited schools shall be recorded on the transcript and marked with an asterisk to indicate credit but shall not be used for class ranking purposes or for valedictorian or salutatorian. All transfer grades from a state-accredited school shall be accepted for class ranking; however, honor grade weights shall be awarded to transfer grades only when those same courses are offered at Fairfield High School. Letter grades transferred from out-of-state accredited schools shall be converted in the following manner, unless the school sends actual numerical grades or a conversion chart: A+ 98 A 95 A- 92 B+ 88 B 85 B- 82 C+ 78 C 75 C- 72 D+ 68 D 65 D- 62 F 55 Class Rank: All grades that count towards class ranking shall come from accredited schools. In order to be ranked for class ranking purposes (with the exception of Valedictorian, Salutatorian, or top ten percent), a student shall attend Fairfield High School for his/her entire senior year and have two additional years from an accredited grade 9-11 high school. Final senior grade point averages will be computed at the end of the fifth six-weeks. Honor Graduate: An honor graduate must have a grade point average of 4.00 or above (a will not round up to a 4.0) and have graduated on the Recommended High School Program or the Distinguished Achievement Program. Grade point averages will be figured to the nearest hundredth of a point. Top Ten Percent: For a student to be classified in the top ten percent of his/her class, they shall attend at least three years from an accredited school with their junior and senior years at Fairfield High School. A student in the top ten percent must graduate on the Recommended or Distinguished Programs. A student in the top ten percent of his/her class shall be granted admission to any public Texas college/university if all other entry requirements are met on time. Valedictorian and Salutatorian: Students considered for Valedictorian and Salutatorian shall have attended Fairfield High School both their junior and senior years and must graduate on either the Recommended or Distinguished Programs. The grade point average is based on four years from an accredited school (students with only three years are not eligible for Valedictorian or Salutatorian). To break a tie for Valedictorian, the grade point average will be figured to the onethousandths of a point without rounding up the average. If a tie still exists, the student with the most honors, pre-ap and AP courses shall be the Valedictorian. Testing Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS): The TAKS testing program is the state adopted assessment program for all public schools in Texas. The TAKS test covers the state curriculum as presented in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Testing begins in the third grade. At Fairfield High School, the following TAKS tests will be administered: Ninth Grade: Tenth Grade: Eleventh Grade: Mathematics and Reading English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies English Language Arts (including at least English III and writing), Mathematics (including at least Algebra 1 and Geometry), Science (including at least Biology and Integrated Physics and Chemistry), and Social Studies (including early American history and United States History) The four eleventh grade TAKS exams are exit-level exams and must be passed in order to graduate. PLAN: A pre-act test, the PLAN is given to all sophomores at Fairfield. The PLAN is a curriculum-based test that also includes a needs assessment, interest inventory, and an educational opportunity service. The PLAN s academic achievement test covers English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning. Students will be compared with other tenth grade students in Texas and nationwide. PSAT/NMSQT: The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test measures the critical reading, math problem solving, and writing skills of students. Fairfield High School gives the PSAT to all juniors on a national scheduled testing date in October. ACT: The ACT is a college entrance examination that is designed to assess high school students general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. The test covers four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning. Fairfield High School recommends taking the ACT at the end of a student s junior year and if they wish to improve their scores, during their senior year. The ACT is given six times a year and students may register either on-line or through their counselor. SAT: The SAT is a college entrance examination that measures two sets of skills, verbal reasoning and mathematical problem solving, that students need in order to do college-level work in any academic area. It is a standardized and objective test that allows colleges to assess a student compared to other students nationwide. Fairfield High School recommends taking the SAT at the end of a students junior year and again their senior year if they wish to improve their scores. The SAT is given seven times a year and students may register either on-line or through their counselor. THEA (former TASP): The Texas Higher Education Assessment is an instructional program designed to ensure that students attending public institutions of higher learning in Texas have the academic skills necessary to perform effectively on college-level work. Students are tested in the areas of reading, mathematics and writing skills. Students may be exempt from the THEA based upon their scores on the TAKS, ACT or SAT. Students must take the THEA or be exempt before they can take courses at any public institution of higher learning. The THEA is given five times per year on Saturdays across Texas, and you may register on-line or get information to register from your counselor. Credit by Exam (Previously taken course): A student who has received prior instruction in a subject but did not receive credit may earn credit by passing an exam on the essential knowledge and skills as defined for that course. The exams are from Texas Tech University or the University of Texas, and the student must pay a fee. A score of seventy (70) or above must be achieved to receive credit. Interested students should contact their counselor. Credit by Exam (Course not previously taken): A student will be permitted to take an exam to earn credit for an academic course for which he/she has had no prior instruction. A student must register with the principal no later than thirty (30) days prior to the first week of June or August, which are the two months the exams are given. The passing score required to earn credit on an exam is ninety (90) or above. End of Course Exams: On June 16, 2007, the governor signed Senate Bill 1031, which called for the development of end-of-course assessment instruments for secondary-level courses in Algebra I, Algebra II, geometry, biology, chemistry, physics, English I, English II, English III, world geography, world history, and United States history. These EOC exams are designed to replace the TAKS testing at the high school level. Students entering the 9 th grade in will be the first class to take EOC exams for graduation credit.
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