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Dear FDHS Students, Staff, Families, and
We have learned that the traditional setting, although appropriate for many students, does not meet the needs of all students. It has been our mission to create a variety of effective learning environments in an effort to meet the needs of those students who function more effectively in a non-traditional setting.
As we begin this school year, we do so with an internal pride and confidence that comes as a result of knowing that our school has helped thousands of students over the years to remain in school and become effective citizens. There is a good possibility that those students, who have been involved with our program, may have a better chance of being successful in life as a result of Douglass High School.
The dedicated FDHS teachers, support staff, parents, partners in education and district administration are the main contributing forces behind the FDHS success stories. Thanks to all those dedicated individuals for their efforts in providing this unique educational opportunity for Columbia students. We look forward to another successful school year.
Frederick Douglass High School
Frederick Douglass High School is an alternative school for the Columbia Public School system. Douglass does not have a specific attendance area but draws students (grades 9-12) from the various attendance areas in the Columbia Public School system. The board office assigns students to a "sending school" located in their attendance area. Interested students should enroll in their assigned "sending school" and request an application to be considered for the Douglass program. The application has a recommendation portion that must be completed by a sending school staff member familiar with the student.
Counselors, teachers, student assistance teams or other concerned parties may suggest to the student and his or her parents applying to the Douglass program. However, permission must be granted from the parents and the sending school administration, as well as, the Douglass High School administration before a transfer is made.
An interview is conducted with the Douglass administration, student, and parents to gain information regarding the student's school history, credit needs, etc. Parents or guardians are required to be present at this meeting.
Because changing schools to an alternative setting is an important step in a student's life, it is important that all parties are in agreement and committed to this placement change. Because of limited enrollment, a waiting list has been established. Interviews are scheduled as openings develop.
The request to enroll at Douglass should be viewed as a permanent choice. Multiple transfers back and forth between schools are highly disruptive to a student’s education and are discouraged. Students that earned the majority of their credits at Douglass will not be allowed to return to their traditional high school simply to receive their diploma from that school.
What Can FDHS Provide?
Through the offerings of Frederick Douglass High School and in collaboration with our Partners in Education, all graduates will be prepared for post-secondary interests as responsible, productive citizens.
Value and Belief Statements
Douglass will be implementing PBS during the 07-08 school year, incorporating the following behavioral expectations:
Graduating seniors are required to complete a Career Portfolio. The Career Portfolio consists of specific activities designed to prepare graduates for post-secondary interests as responsible, productive citizens. Upon successful completion of the portfolio, the student will be granted .25 credits. The portfolio will be held and graded by the student’s advisor. Students may and should begin working on their portfolio prior to their last quarter of attendance, but the resume portion must be current at time of graduation.
Guidance and Counseling
Guidance and counseling is an integral part of Douglass High School’s total educational program. The Guidance department is involved in student’s success from the beginning of the application process. The Guidance Department consists of the four major components of the Missouri Comprehensive Guidance Program, which include Guidance Curriculum, Individual Planning, Responsive Service, and System Support. Frederick Douglass High School aspires to meet their student’s needs in all the above areas.
What does the guidance/counseling department provide?
Student Assistance Program (SAP)
Mission Statement: Douglass High School recognizes that some students often need educational assistance and extra support to be successful in school and lead a healthy lifestyle. Our Student Assistance Program is designed to identify students needing extra assistance and to subsequently provide them with in-school and/or community resources. Through this intervention process, the committee will serve as a "team resource" for teachers, students, and parents.
Philosophy: We believe students benefit from close relationships with adults and peers in a safe environment. By meeting daily in this type of environment, students express interests, goals, and needs that can be addressed through structured activities during advisory time. School bulletin announcements and relevant student information is discussed at this time along with P.B.S. lessons and senior portfolio preparation.
• To help students develop their maximum physical, emotional, social, and academic potential.
• To foster a positive school climate for student and staff.
• To enhance communications among students, home and staff.
• To provide coordinated, meaningful, and challenging educational experiences.
• To help students cope with academic concerns by creating goals.
• To assist students in developing skills necessary to solve real-world problems.
• To provide each student with an adult friend or advocate who is an understanding listener.
• To help students learn how to make friends, get along with others, and accept others and individual differences.
• To help students develop feelings of self-worth.
• To encourage students to monitor their own academic progress.
• To provide students with strategies for coping with change and crisis situations.
In advisory and in each of his/her classes, a student may earn points in four areas:
Students receive their daily point card in their first hour class or in the office upon arrival. Students will take their cards to all classes and make the cards available to the teacher.
The points earned from the point card will be part of the student’s final grade for the quarter.
The staff member will assign earned points and initial the cards in the space/spaces provided .At the end of the day, students turn in their point cards to their last hour teacher. The teacher then returns the point card to the advisor’s mailbox.
Being on time is one of the most important skills a student can learn to prepare them for future employment.
All tardies are unexcused unless excused by a staff member.
Consequences for unexcused tardies per class (each quarter):
Attendance is extremely important to success in school and employment. After two unexcused or six total absences per quarter, the administration will make a determination if credit may be granted. Douglass will use the definitions of excused and unexcused absences as stated in the district handbook.
The Board of Education believes that regular attendance by students improves academic performance, lowers the district dropout rate, and reduces classroom disruption caused by the special attention which must be given to students who return after missing important instruction.
Compulsory student attendance laws require parents/guardians of children between the ages of seven (7) and 16 to enroll and attend school or home schooling. Noncompliance by the child may place the parent/guardian in violation of a criminal statute, and may carry with it a misdemeanor charge. In addition, a child not attending school may be found to be suffering from child neglect. Reports for
violations of compulsory attendance laws or for neglect may be made to the juvenile officer and/or the Division of Family Services and the prosecuting attorney for legal action against the parent.
For the purposes of improving the attendance of students in the Columbia Public Schools, any unauthorized absence from school for any student regardless of age, including any portion of the day, is considered truancy. Although truancy usually refers to an absence of which parents are unaware, certain absences of which the parent is aware will be treated in the manner of truancies.
The following criteria will be used in determining excused absences:
a. Illness (students who are frequently absent because of illness will be referred to the school nurse and/or required to bring a written excuse from their doctor after seven  absences due to illness).
b. Death in the immediate family. Immediate family members include wife, husband, sister, brother, children, mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, mother-in-law, and father-in-law of the student. Step family members will be considered immediate family.
c. Occasional unavoidable medical appointments.
d. Required religious observances.
e. Required court appearances.
f. Other circumstances which are explained to the satisfaction of the principal.
Administrative guidelines regulate preventive and disciplinary measures to be taken in regard to truancies. An absence is not automatically excused because a parent gives written or oral permission for the student to be gone from school.
Sustained Silent Reading (SSR)
Believing that reading is important, DHS students and staff will participate in SSR daily. Each program will determine the time for SSR.
All students must comply with the policy located in the district’s portion of this handbook. Specifically, all students must wear shoes with sufficient soles to protect feet from broken glass or debris. Furthermore, students’ clothing and shoes must allow students to move rapidly and negotiate stairs in case of an emergency. More specific dress codes may apply at satellite location.
If a student’s dress disrupts the school setting, the student will be subject to disciplinary action.
Cell Phones / Electronic Devices
All cell phones, pagers and two-way radios must be powered off and out of sight during school hours. (This includes phones with instant messaging, camera/video, game and music features or mobile devices set to vibrate.) Students are only permitted to use cell phones before/after school hours or in the cafeteria during their lunch period. Any cell phone that makes any audible disturbance or is seen will be confiscated immediately. In case of an emergency, parents can contact the Douglass school office and the student will be notified.
1st offense - The phone can be picked up by the student after their school day has ended.
Subsequent offenses - A parent/guardian must come to the school to retrieve the phone.
Media Center Policies
1. You MUST present a signed pass or point card to enter the Media Center
a. Have it signed by media staff before you leave.
b. Treat media staff as your teacher(s) while here.
2. Absolutely NO food or drink allowed in Media Center!
3. As in all other classrooms, speak and treat others respectfully.
4. NO music allowed on the computers.
5. When using the computers, follow the guidelines from the Computer Use Agreement you signed.
6. More specific district policies are included in the “yellow pages”
Failure to comply with these rules may result in loss of Media Center and/or computer privileges!
Midterm progress reports and quarterly grades
Each quarter students will receive a report card with grades, effort, conduct, credit and other teacher comments. Each mid-quarter, students will receive a progress report in all classes. Report cards and progress reports must be signed by the parent or guardian and returned to the student’s advisor. Advisors will make a personal phone call to the parent to discuss progress reports and grade cards.
Credit is earned on a quarterly basis. Grades are an indication of the student’s individual progress made and the effort shown by the student in his/her classes during this quarterly evaluation period. Parents are encouraged to communicate with advisors or teachers at any time.
Mid-semester exams will be given at the end of the first and third quarters while comprehensive semester finals will be given at the end of the second and fourth quarters.
Breakfast and Lunch
Breakfast and lunch are served in Douglass building. Satellite programs will be given a schedule for breakfast and lunch times by their teachers.
All students are encouraged to remain at school during lunch break because of time and safety factors. This recommendation is particularly important on days when the weather is bad. Students are expected to return to class on time whether remaining at school or leaving for lunch. Students are not allowed to loiter in the parking lot at any time.
All food and beverages served in the cafeteria must remain in the cafeteria at all times.
Partners in Education
Our highly successful PIE program was formed in 1990 with the creation of our partnership with the Columbia Daily Tribune. Our PIE committee has developed what some have described as one of the most successful and creative partnerships within the Columbia Public Schools. In 1995-96, the partnership was expanded to include Schnucks, and the Job Point. In 1998, we welcomed Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital.
The stated purpose of this program is to:
All parents/guardians, teachers and students are encouraged to become members of this organization. The PTSO meets once per month to discuss, plan and implement programs to help support the school and the students. Because student input is so important, all students are encouraged to attend.
On the last day of the first and third quarters, a field trip will be planned for students having good attendance. Students that have missed no more than 2 days (excused or unexcused, counted hour by hour, partial days add up to full days) will be eligible to attend. Students that are not eligible to go will take the quarter exam that is worth 10% of the quarter grade in each class. Students that are required to take quarter exams, but have an excused absence the day of exams, will be allowed to make up the exams before or after school by making arrangements with his/her teachers. Students that attend the trip will not be required to take the exams but will receive a score of 100% for the exams. Students eligible for the trip who choose not to attend are not excused from school for the day and must attend the trip or take the exams.
Excessive tardiness may be considered grounds for disqualification from the trip at the discretion of the administration.
Mission Statement: Every student is worthy of recognition for meaningful progress toward any of the Douglass outcomes.
Philosophy: Every student has positive attributes that deserve recognition. Recognition of student progress improves the school climate and helps supports a community spirit among students. Recognition activities also help build the self-esteem of each student. It is the responsibility of the staff to seek out and encourage the development of the positive attributes in each and every student attending Douglass High School. It is also the responsibility of this committee to promote and make certain that the staff is aware of this responsibility.
Being on time - no more than 6 absences and / or 3 tardies
Being positive, alert, and eager to learn
Working with everyone individually and/or cooperatively
Accepting responsibility for behavior, materials, and learning
Exhibit good classroom participation
Respecting the rights and property of others
Striving to show academic achievement - C or higher grade required
The purpose of Student Government is to facilitate the communication process of the school. This group is the voice of the students. The Student Government represents the entire student body and may advocate activities, ideas, or modifications for Douglass High School. Student Government is offered on a volunteer basis, and students must be committed to the organization. Student involved would be expected to attend the mandatory meetings and committee to the plans and activities student government implements.
Student Government Activities include:
• fund raisers
• school prom
• recognizing student achievements
• helping to organize general school activities
All students are encouraged to participate in Student Government at least one semester during their experience at Douglass.
Future Business Leaders of America
FBLA is a non-profit educational association of students preparing for careers in business. Students will be involved in:
• Civic activities that promote civic pride and citizenship
• Business activities that increase skills and knowledge in the business world
• Career Exploration
• Participate in competitive events that test skills and knowledge
• Service activities that help people in need (March of Dimes)
• Fund Raising
• Conference trips
• Transition from school to career
Douglass High School fields a boys’ basketball team. Students must meet MSHSAA eligibility requirements and show good school citizenship.
About Douglass Building
Douglass building is utilized by several district entities: Adult Basic Education, GED, and Related Services. Students should only use the portion of the building to which they are assigned. Outside doors should not be propped or blocked open, in accordance with fire codes.
Student information is posted on the bulletin board across from the main office.
The student parking lot is located east of the gymnasium. Loitering and smoking are not allowed in the parking lots, on the sidewalks or on the streets adjacent to the school grounds.
A traditional bell system is used to signal the beginning and conclusion of classes in the Core program. This same system may be used for severe weather and in-building emergencies. These procedures, as well as fire evacuation, will be practiced throughout the year.