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Welcome back, students! Grade 9 school opening letter

August 2017

Dear Parents/Guardians and Ninth Grade Students:

Welcome to Guilderland High School Class of 2021. Please find enclosed important information regarding the start of the school year.

We know the move from middle school to the high school can create anxiety for students and parents as it represents a significant change, which requires adapting to a new environment. It is also a time when the educational “stakes” are raised, because students begin to build a permanent record of achievement (transcript) that follows them throughout their post-high school endeavors.

We are committed to working with you to make this next step in your educational journey both successful and enjoyable. Therefore, we have planned a number of activities to facilitate a smooth beginning. Following is a list of activities, some information about specific items students will need to start the year, and a synopsis of important school policies. We will also have a Ninth Grade Parent Night on Tuesday, September 12 at 6:30 p.m. at GHS.

In an effort to be more economical and save paper, we will not be mailing schedules home. Parents and students will be able to view schedules from the SchoolTool portal on August 25. If you have not signed up for Portal access, please see the directions on our website. SchoolTool allows parents and students to access a great deal of information, and it is an easy way to track your child’s academic progress.

We would also encourage you to sign up for the School News Notifier (SNN) system, while you are at our site. SNN will notify you of school closings, announcements, and changes to school events. It will also notify you when interims and report cards are available. It is our goal to increase the use of electronic communication and move away from paper. Questions about SchoolTool can be directed to Kim Ten Eyck at 456-6200, ext. 3123. If you do not have access to the Internet, please contact our counseling department at 861-8591, ext. 3000, to have items mailed home.

GHS Building Tours
The building will be open for tours, with upperclassmen tour guides available, from 1 to 3 pm. on Tuesday, August 29. This is a good opportunity to become more familiar with the building and find your classrooms and lockers before the first day of school.

Homeroom Change
This year our schedule includes a separate homeroom. This 10-minute block of time is meant to be an opportunity to view the GHS reporter, listen to announcements, and have positive interactions outside of a traditional academic setting. A copy of the daily bell schedule can be viewed below.

Freshmen Orientation Program – Tuesday, September 5 - 7:30 – 11:15 a.m.
It is very important for students to attend this orientation program. Students are to use the main entrance, and they will be given further direction upon arrival. Regular bus routes will be running for this orientation.

First full day of school - Wednesday, September 6
Classes begin at 7:30 a.m. with students following an “A” day schedule. All students will report to their 1A class at 7:30 a.m. Students who are unable to attend the orientation program will receive locker assignments and an overview of the high school schedule during homeroom on the first day.

Student Items
Student Lockers: Locker assignments will appear on each student’s schedule, but students will need to provide their own padlock. Students may bring in their own lock or purchase a padlock at the school store. Please bring a padlock on September 5. In accordance with our school safety program, all unlocked lockers will be secured with a school lock at the close of school on Friday, September 15. Both hall and gym lockers should be locked at all times.

Calculators: All students enrolled in 9th grade mathematics classes must have their own graphing calculator to be used during class, for homework, and on local and state examinations. We strongly recommend the Texas Instruments Model 84+. This calculator may be purchased in the school store for approximately $90.00, or at any store that carries such products.

Agenda Handbook: Students will need to bring $5.00 on Wednesday, September 6, in order to purchase an Agenda Handbook. It includes a calendar, strategies for goal setting and organization, and important information regarding student rights and responsibilities.

Important School Policies
The Code of Conduct  is provided in a condensed form in the student agenda handbook and is available on the district website.  You can also learn about The Dignity for All Students Act that took effect July 1, 2012. Please see Board of Education Policy 0115 on the district website. We appreciate your efforts to become familiar with the details and intent of the Code of Conduct and policies.

Guilderland High School Harassment Policy -This is integral in our efforts to sustain a safe and inviting environment for all students.
Guilderland High School Integrity Policy -This policy provides important guidance for all students regarding expectations for independent work.
Guilderland High School Homework Policy - This policy is intended to clarify expectations for students, parents and teachers.

We realize that this mailing includes a great deal of information, but we hope that parents and students will use it to reflect on the changes that high school presents and to discuss the importance of a strong start in 9th grade. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call an administrator or counselor.

Best wishes for the remainder of summer. We look forward to working with you in September and throughout the next four years.


Thomas Lutsic

Changes to Schedules
Requests for adjustment will be based only on educational merit and the availability of space in the courses involved. The following criteria will be followed as a guideline.

a. You have courses you did not select.
b. You failed a course in Summer School.
c. You do not have a full schedule.
a. You do not like the assigned teacher.
b. You have friends in a different section of the course.
c. You are a senior and would like early release or late arrival.

Students who qualify under the Guidelines in No. 1 should contact their School Counselor the week of August 28, 2017 through September 1, 2017. Changes to the schedule will not be made after this time.

First Day Bell Schedule
Block 1 - 7:30 - 8:49 a.m.
Homeroom - 8:57 - 9:27 a.m.
Block 2 - 9:45 - 10:54 a.m.
Block 3 - 11:02 a.m. - 12:56 p.m.
Lunch Mod #1 - 11:02 - 11:32 a.m.
Lunch Mod #2 - 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Lunch Mod #3 - 11:58 a.m. - 12:28 p.m.
Lunch Mod #4 - 12:26- 12:56 p.m.
Block 4 - 1:04 - 2:23 p.m.

Fall Dates to Remember
September 5: Gr. 9 Orientation
September 6: Classes Begin
September 7: Gr. 12 Parent Night
September 12-15:  Grade 9-11 Pictures
September 12: Gr. 9 Parent Program
September 21: Rosh Hashanah (No School)
September 22-23: Homecoming Events
September 28: Open House
October 9: Columbus Day (No School)
November 1: Staff Development Day (No School)
November 10: Veteran’s Day (No School)