Montgomery High School FAQ's for Parents
What Every Parent Should Know
1. Where do I drop off something my child has forgotten? What information needs to be on the item?
Items should be dropped off at the Main Office with your child’s name and grade clearly marked.
2. Where do I park when I come to MHS?Visitor parking is available near the front of the building in the first row of parking spaces and near the Board of Education office.
3. Where do I drop my child off in the morning?
Parents driving their children to school are asked to please drop them off in the front of the building where it says, "Main Entrance". However, parents are requested to follow the established traffic pattern around the "U". Furthermore, we ask that you please do not drive down the parking lot aisles, as this has become a significant safety hazard for students and staff.
4. What do I do if my child is having difficulty with a teacher or a class?
Step 1 – Contact the teacher, Step 2 – Contact the department Supervisor, Step 3 – Contact the Principal
5. How do I schedule a conference with a teacher?
Contact your child’s teacher via e-mail or telephone to request a conference.
6. How can my child get extra help after school?
Teachers are required to stay for extra help 1 day per week (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday). However, many faculty members will stay when students request the need for extra help.
7. What is the after school help policy with regards to athletics, band, and other after school activities?
If the student is in need of extra help they should attend the session with their teacher and then proceed to their activity. Students will not be penalized for arriving late so long as they have notified their coach or advisor in advance.
8. Where do I locate the summer reading assignments for each class?
Summer reading assignments can be found on the website under the specific department links.
9. What expenses should we anticipate for each year?
Below is a list of projected costs for the Junior and Senior Years:
College applications - $50 - $75 each
S.A.T. score reports - $9.50 for each college
Senior Portraits – Varies depending on the selected package ($50 - $120)
Senior Prom – Average Cost is $90 per person
Senior Class Trip Payment Schedule
First payment of $400 will be due in September of the Senior year.
Second payment of $400 will be due in October of the Senior year.
Final Payment or Balance of trip will be due in November of the Senior year.
Senior trip payments should be made to the “MHS Class of 20**” and should be submitted to Mr. Girvan.
Yearbooks – The price varies depending on options selected but the beginning cost is $95
10. Is there a PTSA at the high school? How do I get involved?
Montgomery High School has an active PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) that generally meets the third Thursday of every month at 9:00 a.m. Evening meetings and speakers are also scheduled periodically throughout the school year. There are numerous ways to get involved on any level. Please refer to the PTSA link on the high school web page for more information and contact numbers.
11. Why are the parking lot and exterior building lights on?
The parking lot and exterior building lights will come on at 5:45 am each weekday. The exterior lights will shut-off automatically at 6:35 am each day. The lights are on to provide a safe environment for drivers and pedestrians.
Primary parking lot and building lights are set to come back on at 6:35 pm each day. Approximately 60% of the primary lighting will shut-off at 9:30 pm each evening. Secondary lighting will remain on until 11:15 pm each night. The extended evening hours are in place for evening athletic and community events.
Attendance, Tardiness and Absence-related Information
For more detailed information, please refer to the student handbook.
1. What is the attendance policy (excused vs. unexcused absences, how many days, etc)?
Please be aware that not all absences reported by parents are considered “excused” absences. In order to receive credit for a class, students’ unexcused absences may not exceed 10 blocks in a full year course and 5 blocks in a semester class. A parent reported absence for illness is considered an unexcused absence unless it meets the criteria below. The following absences are “excused absences” and do not apply towards the attendance policy limits as long as appropriate documentation is submitted following student's return to school..
- School sponsored activities (field trips, meetings, testing, etc)
- Religious holidays as defined by the NJ State Dept. of Education
- Death in the family
- Absences covered by a doctor’s note (Original note only)
- Verified appointments with physician/dentist, Division of Motor Vehicles or Court
- Homebound instruction
- College visitations for Juniors and Seniors only: Up to 3 days per year with an official note from the college verifying the visitation. This does not include college fairs.
2. How do I report an absence?
Parents should call the attendance line at 609-466-7610 as early as possible to report an absence. This phone message does not “excuse” your child’s absence but informs the school that your child is absent with your knowledge. For “excused” absences, please refer to question # 1.
3. Where does my child bring an absence note upon return?
In order to keep attendance records up to date, a note from the parent should be sent in with the student when he/she returns to school. All attendance notes should be delivered to the attendance secretary in the main office.
4. What do I do if my child needs to leave school for an appointment?
When an appointment during school hours is necessary your child should bring a signed note in advance to the attendance secretary in the main office. The note should include the reason for the dismissal including the destination, phone number and dismissal time requested. Your child is required to sign out of school when leaving and sign in if he/she returns that day. The parent/guardian is required to come into the attendance secretary’s office to sign the child out.
5. What is the policy for make up work missed during an absence?Upon returning to school, students must arrange with their teachers to make up any assignments or assessments missed during the absence from school. Work must be made up within a time equal to the class time absent. Responsibility for making up work and scheduling any necessary assistance from the teacher(s) rests with the student. Teachers shall make reasonable accommodations to extend time for students.
6. What is the late to school policy?
Students are expected to be in their first class block at 7:20 am during a normal school day. Until 7:30 students should report directly to class where their teacher will record their lateness to class. The consequences for late arrival to school under 10 minutes are the same as those listed in the section: Class Tardiness. Students arriving after 7:30 am with documentation must sign in at the Main Office with the attendance secretary. Students arriving after 7:30 am without documentation must sign in at the Main Office by scanning their student identification card and printing their class admittance pass.NOTE: A student arriving to any class block after the first ten minutes of the class block will be recorded as absent for that class.
1. What expenses will be incurred for the graduation ceremony?
The graduation activity is the culminating event for the senior year. Students and parents will have an opportunity to purchase caps and gowns and graduation announcements in December of the Senior Year. The cost for the Cap and Gown is $30.00 and the Announcements are $1.00 per announcement.
2. Code of Conduct and Dress Code for Graduation
To ensure students are prepared for the graduation ceremony, the administration ahs established the following Code of Conduct and Dress Code for the graduation rehearsals and commencement ceremony:
Code of Conduct
Seniors must be in their assigned seats on time for all commencement rehearsals
Failure to attend a rehearsal and/or unexcused lateness may result in the student being removed from the line of march.
Seniors are asked for full cooperation during rehearsals.
Girls must wear a dress or skirt and a blouse under their gown at graduation. Flip Flops are not permitted.
Boys must wear dress pants, NO Jeans or Shorts, they must wear dress shoes, NO Sneakers and they must wear a dress shirt and a tie
1. What is the discipline policy at MHS?
MHS uses a combination of cumulative “discipline points” along with after school Office Detention ( 1 ½ hours, 2:20 to 3:50), lunch detention, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, and, in extreme situations, an expulsion hearing with the Board of Education to consider an Alternative School Placement. The “point system” was enacted to clearly define for students, staff and parents those behaviors considered unacceptable. Students who violate the norms of acceptable and expected behavior will receive disciplinary points; the number of points assigned will reflect the seriousness of each infraction. MHS reserves the right to alter any consequences listed depending on the severity of the infraction. Please familiarize yourself with the list of negative behaviors and their consequences, remembering that excessive point accumulation carries its own sanctions.
2. When is detention held?
Detentions are held after school on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 2:20 pm to 3:50 pm. Students will be given a minimum of 24 hours notice if they receive an after school detention and detention takes precedence over other commitments, i.e. work, extra-curricular activities, etc.
1. Where can we find information about clubs and activities at MHS?
Information packets were distributed to students during their class meetings in September. You may also see the brochure on our website. If you are in need of an additional packet, please feel free to stop in the main office for another copy.
2. How can my child propose a new student organization?
The student must submit a proposal to the assistant principal in charge of Student Activities with all the details of the club. Students are welcome to meet with the assistant principal to discuss the development of the proposal.
3. How can my child earn money towards their senior trip?Beginning in the freshman year, students are encouraged to participate in class sponsored activities and fundraisers to earn points that will defray expenses incurred during the senior year.4. What should my child do if they are having issues with a club that they are a member of?Here at M.H.S., we strongly believe that our students need to learn how to constructively address their concerns with their adult counterparts. Therefore, it is suggested that your child first touch base with the club advisor. If the club advisor is unable to help, it is suggested that your child speak to the vice principal in charge of co-curricular clubs.
Student Recognition1. What is Cougar Recognition? What are the levels of recognition?The Cougar Recognition program provides recognition and incentives to students who achieve honor roll status. Students may also be recommended based on diligence and improvement in class. At the conclusion of each of the first three marking periods, qualifying students receive cards that can be used for discounts and other prizes.
2. What is National Honor Society and what are requirements for acceptance?
National Honor Society: Montgomery students honored by membership in the National Honor Society must meet four specific eligibility requirements established by National guidelines which govern our charter: an academic requirement of an unweighted GPA of 90.0, demonstration of qualities which show service, leadership and character.
The procedure for determining eligibility in the Montgomery Chapter is clearly established. Candidates who meet the academic requirement will be notified of their eligibility in the spring. They will then be given the opportunity to furnish evidence of service, leadership and character. A special Faculty Council will be convened to review eligibility requirements. National regulations state that this group be composed of five members of the faculty and may NOT include administrators or the Chapter Advisor. The Faculty Council alone is given the responsibility of determining and reviewing membership in the Honor Society. The decision to award an honor is NOT subject to an appeal.
Students who have been inducted into the National Honor Society are expected to maintain the qualities of scholarship, leadership, character and service. Students who fail to uphold the standards by which they were admitted may be placed on probation or, in severe cases, be dismissed from the chapter.
Guidance Specific Questions
1. How does my child identify his/her counselor will be?
8th grade students will have an opportunity to meet with their new counselor during the high school scheduling process. Students at the high school can meet their counselor by visiting the guidance web-site or by stopping in the guidance office. All student schedules will list the student’s guidance counselor.
2. How does my child make an appointment with his/her counselor? Does my child need an appointment?
There are a variety of ways to make a guidance appointment:
- Students can email their counselor.
- Students can stop by the guidance department and schedule an appointment with one of our office secretaries.NOTE: Students may use time during their lunch or study hall to see their counselor if he or she is available.3. Where can parents find out more information about the SAT and the ACT?Information about the SAT can be found by visiting www.thecollegeboard.com. Information about the ACT can be found by visiting www.act.org. All students and parents are encouraged to visit our bulletin board outside the guidance department. Specific questions can be directed to our school counselors.
4. When and how many times should my child take the SAT?
This depends on the needs of the individual student. We recommend calling your counselor to address these individual needs. Most students do not take the SAT more than three times.
5. What are the SAT II’s? Who should take them? Which one?
Subject Tests (formerly SAT II: Subject Tests) are designed to measure content knowledge and application skills in particular subject areas. There are 19 subject area tests. They are one hour in length, and students may take a maximum of three subject tests at one time. Some colleges specify the Subject Tests they require for admission or placement while others allow applicants to choose which tests to take. Currently less than 50 colleges in the United States require subject area tests for admission. Students who think they may apply to highly selective colleges should plan to take a subject area tests immediately after finishing the course in high school. This will require advanced planning on the part of the student, but will save studying time later.
6. What is the difference between the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the American College Testing (ACT)?
The SAT assesses critical reading, writing and math ability. The ACT assesses English, math, reading and science with an optional writing component. Please visit our guidance website to view the significant differences between the two tests.NOTE: The SAT is changing for 2016.7. What is the PSAT? When/How does my child register for this?
The PSAT is administered to 10th and 11th graders as a practice assessment for the SAT. Further, it is a qualifying exam for the National Merit Scholarship competition for 11th grade students. The PSAT is administered one time per year in the month of October. The PSAT is a shorter version of the SAT and does not contain an essay section. Students receive a score report that may assist them in preparation for the SAT.
The PSAT is offered once during the sophomore and junior years. Students will receive information about the PSAT in their homeroom and all information is posted on-line and on Channel 14.
8. How can my child accelerate to a high level class?
Please refer to our Program of Studies as it varies from department to department. In most cases level of course is determined by student performance in the previous year’s course.
9. How is scheduling accomplished? Does a parent meet with the counselor prior to scheduling?Students in grades 9-11 will be able to input their grades online. They will then meet with their guidance counselor to discuss courses for the upcoming school year.A copy of the Program of Studies is provided, in advance, to enable students and parents to discuss the available courses.Any modifications or changes to the students schedule must be made prior to the publicized deadline.
10. What should my child be doing to prepare for the college application process? What should I be doing as a parent?
Students should be working to their maximum potential throughout their high school career. College admissions counselors’ initial review of an application begins with a review of the student’s high school transcript. The transcript consists of final grades for all high school courses attempted.
Beyond the academics, students should engage in co-curricular activities of their choice and interest. It is more important to be actively involved in a few activities than partially involved in many.
Once in the junior year, students should begin to consider possible choices of colleges, and if possible, begin to visit schools of greater interest. Students should attempt to shorten their list of schools during the summer months and all visitations should be completed by the beginning of the senior year. At this time, students will begin the application process. For more information regarding the college application process, please refer to the MHS guidance website
11. How does my child obtain a transcript? How does my child get transcripts sent to colleges?
A Transcript Request Form can be found online or in the guidance office. The request form must be signed by a parent if the student is not 18 years old. All forms should be returned to the guidance office for processing. Students are not charged for their first five requests. A $2.00 processing fee will be incurred for each additional request.
12. What websites can my child utilize during the college search process?
One of the most commonly used websites is www.collegeboard.com. Students may log on to the site and create an account, which will allow them to search for colleges based on location, size and majors. Searches can be saved for future reference.
This site will also allow you to send SAT and AP test results to the colleges of your choice. Please note, when you take the SAT, you are permitted to send four (4) score reports, at no cost, to the schools of your choice. Requests beyond four schools will require an additional fee of $10.00 per school.
The Naviance Family Connection website is a valuable resource for prospective college students. The guidance department will provide students a personal access code to the website. This website allows students and families to investigate, research, track, and plan for the college admission process.