Part I: Background Information and Overview
Hall High School is named after William H. Hall, the principal of the town’s first high school which opened in 1872. Sometimes referred to as the town’s “grand old man of education,” William Hall was later superintendent of West Hartford schools and author of the first written history of the town. In 1924, at the age of 79, Hall laid the cornerstone for Hall High School, the building which is now the West Hartford Town Hall. The current Hall High School facility was built in 1970.
The academic honor code provides and encourages students to demonstrate behavior of high character and integrity during their high school careers and beyond. Honor, integrity and character are traits that will serve the student well for a lifetime, both professionally and personally.
At Hall, we strive together to create an environment where each individual acts honestly and carries themselves with integrity and character. We believe it is the right, privilege, and responsibility of each individual to contribute to and work in an environment where there is mutual trust between students, teachers and administrators. This belief manifests itself in Hall’s academic honor code:
As a Hall student, I will conduct myself as an individual of sterling character in all my activities within the school environment.
1. I will be honest and work independently on all projects and school assignments.
a. I will not misrepresent work. Anything that I produce or portray as my own, will indeed be only my original document. Representing another’s work as my own is a direct violation of this honor code.
b. I will perform and work in accordance with all school policies outlined in the student handbook.
2. I will reflect honesty, portray best behavior, and practice integrity in all my endeavors at Hall High School.
English: Dr. Kris Nystrom, Kris_Nystrom@whps.org
Math: Ms. Monique Albani-Ethier, Monique_Albani-Ethier@whps.org
Science: Mr. Michael Rollins, Mike_Rollins@whps.org
Social Studies: Dr. Chad Ellis, Chad_Ellis@whps.org
World Language: Mrs. Meghan Zingle, Meghan_Zingle@whps.org
Technology Educatio:n Mr. Brian Cohen, Brian_Cohen@whps.org
Physical Education/Health: Mrs. Lisa Daly, Lisa_Daly@whps.org
Visual Arts: Ms. Pamela Murphy, Pam_Murphy@whps.org
Music & Theatre Arts: Mr. Andrew Mayo, Andrew_Mayo@whps.org
School Counseling: Ms. Lori Foote-Mitchell, Lori_Foote_Mitchell@whps.org
Pupil Services: Mrs. Stacy Kellogg-Shove, Stacy_Kellogg@whps.org
- Graduation Requirements
- Early Graduation and/or Admission to College
- Grading System
- Procedures for Retention in Grades 9-12
- Semester Assessment Policy
- Academic Honors and Grade Point Average (GPA) Equivalent
- Honor Societies
- Academic Progress Reports/Report Cards/Transcripts/GPA
- District Performance Standards
- Testing Program
- National Honor Society
- Drop Policy
- Study Halls & Lunch
- Student Teaching Assistant - STA
- Directed Independent Studies
- External Credits
- Summer School
To graduate from West Hartford Public Schools a student must have satisfactorily earned a minimum of 21.75 units of credit and must have met the credit distribution requirement. Students must also meet four performance standards: reading/writing, mathematics, science, and technology.
English 4 credits
Mathematics 3 credits
Social Studies 3 credits
- 1 credit in U.S. History
- 1 credit in Modern World History
- ½ credit in American Government
- ½ credit social studies elective
Arts and/or Technical Education 1 credit
Physical Education & Health 1.75 credits
Electives 7 credits
Science 2 credits
- 1 credit in life science
- 1 credit in physical science)
Upon graduation, each student who has met these requirements will be presented with a high school diploma.
It is expected that most students will graduate from high school after having attended for four years (grades 9-12) and having earned the required number of credits. A student contemplating graduating in three (3) years should inform their school counselor by the end of their freshmen year. A formal written request to graduate early must be submitted in writing to the principal. Upon recommendation of the High School principal and approval of the superintendent of schools, this requirement for graduation may be met, in part, on an equivalency basis as designated in the administrative regulations. Upon approval, the student will be moved to grade 12 after they earn 15 credits and GPA will be computed with the senior class. The student must meet all graduation requirements. Additional information on graduation requirements will be made available to students at the beginning of the school year in the main office.
The educational program at Hall High School will prepare each student for success at the next grade level. In order to graduate with their entering class, students must successfully complete 21.75 credits and meet high school requirements as stipulated in the Program of Studies. The following are the minimum credit requirements which must be met in order to advance to the next grade:
Grade 10 4.0 credits
Grade 11 9.0 credits
Grade 12 15.0 credits
Teachers and counselors review students’ progress midway through each of the four quarters/marking periods.
- To promote success for students who may experience failures due to academic or attendance issues, some of the following interventions may be used:
- parent/teacher conferences
- counselor contacts
- referral to an Action Team meeting that may include a student’s school counselor, administrator, parents/guardians, school nurse, school psychologist, school social worker, school counseling intern.
- referral to the Planning and Placement Team (PPT)
- referral to alternative programs, Alternative Search for Knowledge program (ASK) and Responsible Educational Alternative for Conard and Hall (REACH)
- after-school Library/Media Center
- peer tutoring
- summer school (to earn a maximum of 1 credit)
- Community School Internship (credit bearing hours)
- high school partnership college credit courses (for credit)
2. After the first semester, parents will be notified by the school counseling department if their student is in danger of being retained due to insufficient credits.
3. At the end of the school year, parents will be notified of their student’s retention if the student has not earned sufficient credits to advance to the next grade level.
4. The educational program for a retained student will be structured to promote learning success and the opportunity to regain credit lost. A student who is retained may be recommended for compensatory programs and/or interventions such as those listed above. In addition, the student will be subject to all grade specific rules and regulations.
All students are required to take an examination for each course at the end of each semester. Seniors with a “B” average (or better), at the discretion of the teacher, may be excused from taking the final examination in full-year and semester courses. Seniors involved in town-wide exams will not be exempted.
Failure to appear at the assigned time to complete a semester assessment may result in a failing grade for the exam. Students who have reason to be excused must contact the teacher before 7:30 a.m. on the day of the exam and make arrangements for a make-up.
At the end of each quarter, students who achieve an average of 3.60 or higher in all credit subjects with no grade below a “C” receive maximum honors (at least five such subjects must be on a letter-grade basis). Those who earn an average of 3.0 to 3.59 on a similar basis receive general honors. In arriving at averages: A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1. An extra .5 is added to the GPA value for each honors or Advanced Placement course. If an honors and AP course are offered in the same subject, the honors course is then weighted by adding a .25 (e.g. Honors Biology). A grade of ‘P’ (Pass) does not impact the calculation of GPA, but could impact honor roll eligibility. A grade of ‘D’, ‘F’, or ‘Inc’ (Incomplete) in any subject including Physical Education (P.E.) will exclude a student from attaining honors. Students must carry a minimum of 5.0 credits plus P.E. per year to be eligible for honor roll status.
Report cards are distributed at the close of each quarter. At the end of each semester, the report card shows quarter grades, exam grades and final overall semester grades. The Honor Roll is published based on grades awarded each quarter. Transcripts reflect semester grades and GPA only.
In addition to report cards and informal academic progress reports, teachers will utilize various means of communication, including telephone calls, letters, and email to inform parents of positive or negative changes in academic progress. Formal progress reports will be available midway through each academic quarter.
*Students who have not returned textbooks, sports uniforms, library books/fines, etc. will not receive a final transcript until all financial obligations have been satisfied.*
The State testing program outlines requirements for high schools to measure students’ performances in reading, writing, mathematics, and science through standardized testing, inclusive of performance tasks in which students apply both content knowledge and skills. The State testing program identifies the grade levels and format of testing. The results of State testing are connected with the performance assessment graduation requirements. Students who meet the state benchmarks for college and career readiness will have evidence of this achievement recorded on the test record component of their high school transcript.
I. Performance Standards
A. Literacy: Students shall, prior to completion of their senior year, demonstrate competency in literacy skills, including reading comprehension, writing, and critical thinking.
B. Math: Students shall, prior to the completion of their senior year, solve problems, explain their reasoning, and justify solutions in writing. Students will also demonstrate procedural fluency and conceptual understanding of core mathematical content.
C. Science: Students shall, prior to the completion of their senior year, successfully demonstrate the ability to apply the Science and Engineering practices. D. Technology: Students shall, prior to completion of their senior year, demonstrate technology competency through discipline-specific learning. Students will create innovative products or projects using digital tools to express original ideas.
II. Meeting the District Performance Standards
The primary means for students to meet the District Performance Standards in reading, writing, mathematics and science will be through participation and performance on state assessments that feature rigorous performance measures aligned to the district standards. Students who have taken the relevant state assessments for literacy, mathematics or science and earned the corresponding district college and career reading benchmark score, will be considered to have met the relevant standard. Commencing with the graduating class of 2017, the state will replace its historical literacy and mathematics state assessment with College Board’s SAT. Pursuant with CT General Statutes, all juniors are required to take the school-day administration of the SAT as the mandatory state assessment of reading, writing, and mathematics (regardless of any previous or future administration of the SAT undertaken individually by the student). West Hartford will follow state guidance relative to college and career ready benchmark scores necessary to demonstrate the district performance standards for graduation. Students will receive additional information regarding benchmarks as they become available from the state. In order to meet the district performance standard for technology, students must complete all items on the technology competency checklist, as certified by professional staff.
If a student does not meet the district performance standards on the relevant state assessment or does not complete all items on the technology competency checklist, the district will provide other options in either the junior or senior year. Such options may include reassessment on state measures, assessment on district measures, and/or intensive remediation and support. Specific alternatives vary based on the subject area and individual student circumstances.
III. Failure to Meet the Graduation Requirements
If a senior is not eligible for graduation with the class due to failure to meet the graduation credit requirements and/or performance standards, then the student may:
A. enroll in summer school and meet the requirements or
B. enroll in courses pre-approved by the administration and meet the requirement or
C. make special arrangements for re-testing to meet the performance standard as outlined in section I or
D. return to high school as a fifth year student and meet the requirements.
Students in jeopardy of not graduating due to failure of meeting the graduation requirements and/or performance standards, will be formally notified in writing of their status by the administration. Parents/guardians will also be notified.
We offer the following standardized testing at Hall High School. Students should see their school counselor for additional information about these tests:
1. Literacy and Math Assessment - The literacy and mathematics state assessment will be measured through the SAT School Day Assessment.
2. Science State Assessment - For the classes of 2018 and 2019, all grade 10 students were required to take the Science CAPT. Students meeting proficiency or mastery on the Science CAPT have met the district science graduation requirement. Beginning with the class of 2020, students will be required to take the Next Generation Science Standards assessment (NGSS). Proficiency standards will be determined by district guidelines. All students are required to take the science assessment. Students meeting proficiency or mastery on the science assessment, have met the district science graduation requirement. Students who do not meet district standards on the science assessment will demonstrate proficiency through alternate measures as determined by the district and science department. All grade 11 students are required to take the NGSS during their junior year.
3. PSAT - In the fall, all 9th graders take the PSAT 8/9, while 10th and 11th graders take the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test).
4. SAT and SAT Subject Tests - are offered at Hall in August, October, November, December, January, March (SAT only), April, May and June. Please note that the SAT Subject Tests are not offered in March.
5. American College Testing (ACT) - is offered at Hall in September, October, December, April and June. Students should connect with their school counselors for more information.
6. Advanced Placement (AP) Exams - are offered in May. Students must register for an AP exam during the registration period. The registration dates and exam costs will be announced. There is some financial assistance available for students indicating a need. Applications for consideration are available in the School Counseling Office.
7. Career & Technical Education (CTE) Federal Assessments - take place in the spring. CTE Assessments are national tests required under the Carl Perkins Vocational Funding Act for students participating in identified CTE courses, and if passed represent a positive indicator of academic success within the disciplines of Business & Finance, Family & Consumer Sciences and Technology & Engineering. The data gathered from these measurements are used by the District and State to help focus program and grant funding. 8. Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) - is a multiple choice test used to predict future academic and occupational interests. The test is sponsored by the military and is used to determine eligibility for a variety of different jobs in the service. Despite being sponsored by the military, the ASVAB is open to any 10th, 11th or 12th grade student whether or not they have an interest of pursuing the military after high school. Conard typically offers one test date per semester.
National Honor Society is a national organization of high school scholars who have distinguished themselves through academics and citizenship. The following is a list of criteria for application and admission to this honor society:
- Student must attend Hall for a minimum of 2 full semesters before eligible.
- Spring induction considers eligible juniors.
- Fall induction considers eligible seniors.
- Minimum GPA of 3.6.
- Upon receipt, application must be completed properly and submitted on time.
- The applicant must provide at least 2 documented activities that demonstrate leadership and/or service to school or community.
- The applicant must be free of documented disciplinary issues, as determined by the assistant principals
- The character of the applicant must be well regarded by the Hall faculty as determined by the character survey administered by the NHS advisors.
Students may drop a course without penalty during the first 10 school days of each semester as long as they maintain 5 classes plus P.E. in their schedule. Students should obtain the necessary forms to drop courses from the School Counseling Office. The teacher, department supervisor, school counselor, and parent will be involved in the process prior to the final decision being made by an administrator. Students must continue to attend all classes currently on their schedule while the request for a schedule change is being reviewed.
The purpose of Advisory is to support students in their development as individuals, as students, and as members of the school community. Over the course of the year, we work together to help students get to know their peers, to learn new skills, to set academic and personal goals, and to have fun. Students have the same Advisory teacher and group of peers for their entire time at Hall High School. This allows them to build a unique set of lasting relationships and to comfortably share their feelings on issues going on in school and in the world as a whole. This year’s focus will be on student wellness and will cover topics related to stress management, social and emotional learning and mindfulness.
All students in grades 9 and 10 and some students in grades 11 and 12 are assigned to study halls when they do not have a class. Study halls are organized for individual study, reading, completion of homework, and to get extra help with individual subjects. Students in grades 9 and 10 MUST obtain a pass from their subject area teacher to do work in the library. Study hall teachers are NOT allowed to give students library passes.
Students in grades 11 and 12 are generally not assigned to a study hall. However, upon misuse of free time, suspension, failing grades, behavioral issues, or excessive absences from classes or school, juniors and seniors may be assigned to a study hall.
All students are automatically assigned a lunch period unless specifically exempted through a “Permission to Drop Lunch” form, which may be obtained in the School Counseling Office. Students who don’t have a form on record and are scheduled for more than 7 periods of classes will automatically lose one of their electives in favor of a lunch.
Seniors who display an interest and an aptitude for teaching and working with others may apply for a position as a Student Teaching Assistant (STA) during their final year. In order to STA for a teacher, students must approach the teacher of interest and obtain permission and consent from that teacher, their school counselor, and their administrator.
Directed Independent Study (DIS) is to be used as an option ONLY for students with plans for study not available in any course offering at Hall High School. There is a limit of one DIS per student per semester. No DIS will be used to meet graduation requirements during spring semester of senior year. DIS contract forms may be obtained from the School Counseling Office. All DIS contract forms must be submitted and approved BEFORE the end of the drop period. A DIS cannot be initiated after this 10-day period. The DIS contract form is to be signed by the student, supervising teacher, school counselor, parent, department supervisor, and assistant principal. No DIS will be approved unless all portions of the form are completed and all necessary signatures are secured. Teacher participation in DIS is voluntary. A teacher can only supervise one DIS per semester. Specific, mutually agreed upon criteria for evaluation of the student's achievement must be a part of the DIS contract. All DIS contracts will be graded on a PASS/FAIL basis.
Students, in certain circumstances, may be allowed to earn credit through outside schools or agencies, or for courses or experiences outside of Hall High School. Certain partnership programs such as the Early College Experience (ECE) through UCONN, College Career Pathways (CCP) through Capital Community College, and the College Now program through the University of Hartford, are examples of different ways students can earn credit through outside organizations. For more information on these programs, please see the Program of Studies. Students taking courses off campus must have prior approval, using the required Request for External Credit Forms available in the School Counseling Office. Mandated Special Education students may be able to earn additional high school credit for work experience with the approval of their case managers and by working through the Vocational Coordinator.
Students may elect to enroll in summer school courses to earn credits lost during the school year or for their own enrichment/advancement purposes. Students should consult with their school counselor and/or case manager (for mandated students) to determine and select appropriate courses.
Parents may enroll their children in summer school courses by either going online at www.whlifelearn.org or calling the West Hartford Office of Continuing Education at (860) 561-6900.