COURSE POLICY INFORMATION

Class Attendance Policy

West Hartford's attendance policy requires students to attend all classes in all subjects. If a student has 4 unexcused absences in any course per semester, the student will lose credit. Students who accumulate twelve (12) or more excused and/or four (4) unexcused absences in a course per semester will be subject to an appeal process to determine whether they will receive credit for that course.

A copy of the complete attendance policy is reviewed with students annually and available online. Students and parents are advised to read the entire attendance policy carefully.

Schedule Changes

All schedule changes must be completed by the end of the previous school year, unless a student's participation in summer school mandates a valid schedule change. Changes are subject to teacher recommendation, department supervisor and administrative approval.

Please note: Students must always carry a minimum of 5 classes each semester plus Physical Education per year.

Changes will not be made based on period, lunch or teacher preferences. Any academic change requires written consent from parent/guardian.

Reasons for schedule changes after the start of a semester must meet one of these qualifications:

  1. Level change - recommended/ approved by classroom teacher, department supervisor, administration and parent
  2. PPT mandated changes
  3. Administrative request
  4. Completed summer school classes

Note: All above changes would require use of the Change Request Form (see school counselor).

Level Changes

All level changes are subject to administrative approval in collaboration with the classroom teacher, department supervisor, school counselor and parent. Timing and space availability may also be a factor. Students must continue to follow their current schedule while any change is being reviewed and until such time that a schedule change is approved. When students make level changes, grades will follow the student, however grade adjustments may be applicable based on individual circumstances. In instances where a student is leveling “up”, it is recommended that students be provided with an opportunity to make up designated assignments as an alternative to a reduction in grade. 

Level change requests generally operate outside the drop period. Level change requests will not be entertained during the last 3 weeks of the second marking period (all courses). Additionally, after the close of the third marking period, students may no longer level up or down from a full year course.

Drop Policy

Students may drop a course without penalty (i.e., receiving a "WF") during the first 10 school days of each semester as long as they maintain five classes plus P.E. in their schedule. 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.

Mid-Year and Final Examinations

All students are required to take an examination for each course at the end of both semesters, in January and in June. Seniors with a "B" or better average, at the discretion of the teacher and departmental practice, may be excused from taking the final examination. Such exemptions will not be announced until the last regular meeting of the course. Seniors involved in town-wide exams will not be exempted.

Auditing a Course

It is possible for any student to “audit” a course if space permits and proper approval is secured. Students are expected to actively participate and regularly attend the class. Reasonable student expectations will be defined by the content area teacher and department supervisor. The title of the course followed by “audit” will be recorded on the student’s cumulative record.

Prior to the beginning of the year, students must have the permission of the school counselor, department supervisor and administration to audit. Once the school year commences, permission of both teacher and school counselor are required. When registering for the class, students must make note of their audit status on the prescribed registration form.

Directed Individual Study (DIS)

  1. DIS is to be used as an option ONLY for students with plans for study not available in any course offering. 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.
     
  2. 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.
     
  3. 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 secured.
     
  4. Teacher participation in DIS is voluntary. Teachers may, but are not required to, oversee more than one DIS per semester.
     
  5. 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.
     
  6. A DIS should be in addition to the required minimum of 5 classes (per semester) plus P.E. per year, unless otherwise approved by administration.

Pass/Fail

The purpose of allowing students to request a PASS/FAIL option in Visual Arts, Theatre Arts and Music is to encourage them to explore an area of the curriculum in which they have high interest but unknown ability. This is not an option for advanced courses in these areas.

Students who enter the school from a foreign country and experience difficulty with the English language or who have been identified as English learners (ELs), may, with appropriate approval from the subject area department supervisor, ESOL teacher and school counselor, elect to use the PASS/FAIL option instead of letter grades.

Requests for PASS/FAIL grading must be made through the school counselor prior to the start or within the first 10 days of the course. This request must be approved by the school counselor, classroom teacher and subject area department supervisor. Each request will be considered on its merit, although students will not receive approval for more than one PASS/FAIL request for a given course. PASS/FAIL grades do not count in determining GPA and may impact honor roll status.

Repeat Credit

Courses which are taken more than once (with the exception of music and technical theater) will be included on the student's transcript and also figured in the student's GPA. However, credit toward graduation will not be granted more than once.

Transfer Credit

Students transferring into West Hartford Public Schools will have transfer credit listed on their transcript, including those from accredited Home School programs (non-accredited Home School program transfers will be subject to further program review to determine if credit is transferable). Transfer credits will be determined and awarded for those courses that align with our course offerings and credit system. Course grades from previous schools are not listed on a WHPS High School transcript. Grade point average (GPA) will be computed based on the student’s work in WHPS. The previous school’s grades will not be factored into the GPA. Upon graduation or transfer out of the WHPS system, any transcript from previous schools will be sent with the WHPS transcript.

Transcripts

A transcript is a written record of your academic accomplishments in grades 9-12, composed of courses taken, credit and grades earned and grade point average. It is routinely sent, upon written request, to colleges, employers, or scholarship agencies. A transcript release form signed by a parent/guardian is required prior to release of a transcript. A fee is charged for each transcript requested.