Laurel High School Handbook

School Processes & Rules

Click on the subject you’d like to know more about, and it will take you there!

Table of Contents:

  1. Mission
  2. Laurel
  3. Contact Information
  4. Laurel Application Process
  5.  Attendance Policy
  6. Extended School Absences/Leave
  7.  Flex-Time
  8.  Technology Code
  9.  Dress Code
  10.  Medication Policy
  11.  Lunch Options
  12.  Laurel Graduation Requirements
  13. Class Scheduling
  14.  Earning Units
  15.  Pass/Fail Policy
  16.  Student Folders
  17.  Low Pass
  18.  High Pass
  19.  Process
  20.  Ways to Earn High Pass
  21. Self-Attendance/Blogging
  22.  Community Service
  23.  Laurel Service
  24.  Graduation Portfolios
  25. College Application Process
  26.  Laurel Graduation
  27.  Mentoring
  28.  Dismissal Policy
  29.  Field Trips
  30.  Activity Costs
  31.  Extra-Curricular Activities
  32.  Recommended Supplies
  33.  Parent/School Communication
  34.  Back-to-School Night
  35.  Websites
  36.  E-mail/Blog
  37.  Phone
  38.  Parent/Teacher Conferences
  39. School Closings

**This handbook is intended to help students and parents navigate the policies and practices particular to Laurel High School.  It is understood that students also fall under the guidelines of the Viroqua High School Parent/Student Handbook.

Mission

Our mission is the intellectual, social, and emotional growth of responsible, self-motivated students through a partnership with staff, families, and the community.

We challenge and empower students to meet and exceed state and national high school educational standards through individualized hands-on curriculum planning.

Students evolve the essential skills of academic performance through realistic goal setting, personal evaluation, and flexible time management, as well as effective social communication through the development and maintenance of positive, respectful, and trusting relationships with peers and facilitators.

A Laurel education fosters successful post-graduate transition for every student according to their interests and personal expectations, including preparation for university and technical college, and employment exploration and success.

The ultimate goal is that each Laurel graduate is a passionate life-long learner and strong local, national, and international contributor.

Laurel

Laurel High School is an individualized program for students.  The success of Laurel High School and its students depends on student respect and responsibility.  Laurel High School students are part of the Viroqua Area School District and therefore students are responsible for the rules and regulations of the VAS Parent-Student Handbook.  This Laurel Handbook highlights important policies and those specific to Laurel High School.

Contact Information

Laurel High School

100 Blackhawk Drive

Viroqua, WI  54665

(608) 637-1614

Kathy Klos       VHS/LHS Principal            kklos@viroqua.k12.wi.uw

Renee Baker   Director/Lead Teacher bakren@viroqua.k12.wi.us

Fritz Cushing   Teacher fcushing@viroqua.k12.wi.us

John Madden   Facilitator jplusc@charternet.net

Laurel Application Process

Prospective students must follow the following application process:

  1.  Complete an application, available in the January preceding the desired school year. (Apply for Open Enrollment if applicable.)
  2.  Applications are due the fourth Friday in March.
  3.  Interview with a Laurel panel comprised of Laurel staff, current Laurel seniors, and other VAS staff members.  Applicants will be contacted for an interview in April.
  4.  Once a student passes the interview, their name goes into a lottery drawing to fill any available enrollment slots.

Applications may be picked up from the Laurel High School or Viroqua High School offices.  They may also be downloaded from the Laurel HS website.  The application consists of an admission form, self-evaluation of academic performance form, extracurricular inventory, and student and parent essays.  Along with the application, two letters of recommendation should be included, as well as a portfolio.  The portfolio should be a collection of items that will help the interviewers understand who the applicant is, personally and academically.

Accepted applicants are notified as soon as possible and invited to an informational meeting, traditionally held before the school year ends.  Typically, there is only one application period. Laurel High School is a public high school, part of the Viroqua Area School District, and therefore there is no fee to attend.  

Attendance Policy

School attendance is vital to success.

Laurel is founded on the individual student’s personal responsibility and autonomy to pursue individual goals. To maintain this autonomy, every student is responsible for attending school every day.

  1.  Every student is to be physically on time and present for attendance at the beginning of each block of Laurel study unless he/she has prior permission otherwise.
  2.   Every student is required to blog daily about each Laurel class (see Self-Attendance/Blogging).

If a student needs to miss school due to an illness, a parent or guardian must inform the Viroqua High School office, 637-3191, and leave a message.  If a student must leave during school hours, he/she must sign out in the Viroqua High School office.  The student is then responsible for meeting with all his/her teachers to determine what work was missed and to make up that work. A note from a doctor, school nurse, or county nurse will be required after three consecutive absences.

If a student needs to sign out during the day, he/she must sign out in the Viroqua High School office.  When the student returns, he/she must sign in; if applicable, please bring a note from the doctor appointment.

If a student knows in advance that he/she will be absent, it is his/her responsibility to let his/her teachers know in advance and receive any assignments.  The parent(s) should inform the Laurel Director in advance of this occurrence with a note, email, or phone call.

If a student does not attend school, he/she is not eligible to participate in extra-curricular events for that night.

A student should not be absent for more than ten days per school year.

Please see the VAS Handbook, pages 11-16, for more information about attendance, and excused and unexcused absences.

Extended School Absences/Leave

The staff of Laurel High School recognize the value of educational experiences outside of the classroom.  They also recognize that not all family trips/vacations can take place outside of school hours. If a student has the opportunity to take a trip that requires missing more than one week of school, this trip must be approved by LHS staff and VHS principal before the semester begins. It is strongly encouraged that a student NOT take any VHS classes during the semester that extended travel is planned; extended absences may affect class grade.

  1. The student prepares a proposal that explains how the experience will meet educational goals: an academic plan/outline for the trip, a communication (with VHS staff) plan, and a timeline.
  2. Once the proposal is completed, the student and his/her parent(s) will meet with Laurel staff to discuss plans.
  3. The student will meet with Viroqua High School Principal along with his/her parents before the semester begins. If taking VHS class(es), the student must meet with VHS teachers.
  4. The student will finalize the trip proposal, adding any changes determined from the previous meetings.  
  5. The student will determine a communication venue such as daily blogging, journaling and emailing, or a personal travel blog. A weekly check-in with Laurel staff is also recommended.
  6. Once the student has returned, he/she will share experiences with the rest of the school via a formal presentation within one month.
  7. It is strongly encouraged that any trip is planned before a semester starts so the student plans his/her VIROQUA classes accordingly.  (A long absence may jeopardize a grade–better to not have a VHS class.)

Laurel Visitor Policy

The staff of Laurel High School encourage guest speakers to enhance student learning.  They also recognize that parents may need to visit during the school day. In the effort to maintain student safety and the integrity of student learning, all visitors must sign in at the Viroqua High School office before entering Laurel HS.  Also, all guest speakers need to be approved 24 hours in advance, and may need to fill out a Volunteer Approval Form.

Flex-Time

If a student takes a class outside of normal school hours, they may log that time as “flex-time,” time that may be subtracted from their normal school day. Flex time is only applicable to classes that are led by an expert and fit the student’s current curriculum for that semester. There is no limit in regards to the number of hours that may be accumulated or carry over from one school year to another.

For example, if  a student takes a three-hour Speech course at WTC that meets one evening per week, that student may log those hours and may choose to subtract that time from their school day—by coming in late, taking an extended lunch, etc.

Flex-time must be pre-approved in-person 24 hours prior to the day the hours will be used, by parent and teacher or there will be a penalty of double hours; for example if gone for two hours, four hours will be deducted from accumulated hours.  Flex-time may not be used to regularly miss teacher-led classes.

Each student is required to document their own flex time.  Whenever flex-time is used, it must be documented and signed by Laurel staff.

Technology Code

Laurel High School students have excellent access to technology with a ratio better than one computer/two students.  With this privilege comes responsibility of taking care of our school’s technology equipment and to use appropriate internet etiquette.  Before a student is allowed to use a computer/the internet at school, the Technology Acceptable Use Policy must be signed by both student and parent(s).

  • Students are permitted to bring their personal technology devices, such as iPods and laptops, and use them during Laurel class time so long as they are not disruptive and are used appropriately.
  • Streaming websites such as Netflix, YouTube, etc. may be used only for academic purposes. Students should receive approval from a Laurel High School teacher before logging onto one of these websites.
  • Students should be considerate towards their peers when using electronic devices: cell phones should remain off, iPods should be used with headphones, streaming sites should be used sparingly so as not to slow down the school’s internet connection, etc.

Dress Code

Students are expected to wear apparel that will not be offensive to others and is considered appropriate for school. All underwear/undergarment clothing and private body parts must be covered at all times.  Students will not be allowed to wear pants that sit below their waist.  Short skirts and shorts should be an appropriate length. Tank tops must have a minimum of a 2” wide shoulder strap.  Students will be requested to change into appropriate clothing when necessary.  

Medication Policy

The school district has a policy on medication in line with Wisconsin Act 334 concerning the administration of medication to students.

  1. Medication prescribed by a physician may be given in school only if the following guidelines are met:
  2. a)    Written instructions from the physician for the administration of medication are provided.
  3. b)    A written statement signed by the parent authorizing the school to give student medication and releasing the school personnel from liability arising from the administration of the medication is provided.
  4. c)    Medications are brought to school and stored in the appropriate pharmacy labeled bottle.
  5. d)    Medications are brought to school by a parent/guardian to provide student safety.  Please call the school nurse (637-1509) if other arrangements need to be made.
  6. Over the counter medication provided by the parents/guardians (including cough drops) will be given only if the following guidelines are met:
  7. a)    A written statement signed by the parent authorizing the school to give a student medication and releasing the school personnel from liability arising from the administration of said medication (example: Tylenol, cough drops, cough syrup, Benadryl, etc.) is provided.  Medications are brought to school by a parent/guardian in original, properly labeled container.

Medication Administration

Act 160, updated Wisconsin Statute 118.29 -Administration of Drugs to Pupils (in a school setting). This new legislation is intended to improve medication safety to students in Wisconsin schools.

The Viroqua School District is not able to have available any over-the counter (OTC) medications for your child to use during the school day. We are not able to supply Tylenol (acetaminophen), Ibuprofen, antibiotic creams, hydrocortisone creams, bug bite relief, sun screen, etc.

Per the new law, all over-the-counter medication(s) must be supplied by the parent/guardian. These medications must be sent to school in the original manufacturer’s packaging which has the list of active ingredients, and recommended dosage, including age guidelines. A form must be on file in the health office authorizing school personnel the ability to administer the OTC medication(s) which you have supplied. If you request that an OTC medication be given above the manufacturer’s recommended dosage, it will also require approval from your health care provider. This also includes age recommendations for any OTC products. For example, if the bottle states that the product is for children 12 and older, we can only dispense that product if your child is 12 or older.

 Students with asthma may carry and self-administer metered dose inhalers. The students must have the written approval from the parent/guardian and the health care provider along with the Asthma Action card. These forms are to be updated annually.

**Medication for Laurel students may be locked up in the Laurel office, with appropriate paperwork.

Lunch Options

Lunch time is open campus for Laurel High School students, with many options.  A kitchen area with refrigerator and microwaves are provided at Laurel, as well as an eating area. The use of these items is based on responsible behavior.  Students must supply their own utensils, however.  Students may also leave the school to go home or go up town, or eat in the VHS lunchroom.  Students are NOT supervised during this time.

The Viroqua High School operates a lunch program which is approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.  Choices are offered daily for students along with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Laurel students are welcome to use this option; please see the VAS Handbook for more information.

Laurel Graduation Requirements

Laurel High School students are required to take 17.5 core classes and 11.5 elective classes; a student receives a “UNIT” to show that the class was taken successfully (a “unit” is comparable to a “credit” at a public school).  

The core class requirements are as follows:

  • English=4 units/credits
  • Social studies=3 units/credits (US History and Western Civilization required)
  • Math=3 units/credits
  • Science=3 units/credits
  • Foreign Language or Computer Science=2 units/credits
  • Physical Education=1 ½ units/credits (In three different years)
  • Personal Finance=½ unit/credit
  • Health= ½ unit/credit
  • 36 hours of community service per year = ½ unit

Class Scheduling

A typical Laurel student’s schedule contains a mix of classes between Viroqua High School and Laurel High School.  Students sign up for the Viroqua classes before the previous school year ends (for example, students fill out forms in January 2013 for the 2013-2014 school year; new students sign up for classes as soon as they are accepted).  Those schedules are available about two weeks before school starts.

Laurel classes are scheduled during the first two days of school.  While this is hard to understand in theory, it does work.  It is necessary to know when students are here and which classes they want when in order to complete the Laurel schedule.  Every effort is made to make sure each student is able to have the classes he/she needs and wants.

Earning Units

New Laurel students may take a maximum of four units for their first semester of attendance at Laurel.

If a student has successfully competed previous classes, above minimum requirements, they may submit a written petition to take up to one additional unit.

No student may earn more than five total units in any semester. Any credit earned outside of Laurel (VHS credit) counts towards the total maximum.

Passing a class at a minimum performance level (or earning a “No Pass”) in any class during the previous semester will disqualify a student from petitioning for an extra half or whole unit for the next semester.

Pass/Fail Policy

Laurel works on a “pass/fail” basis and therefore students are not given a grade point average, a class rank, nor are they eligible to earn grade-based awards, i.e.: National Honor Society. The lead teacher has a very close relationship with each student and would be able and happy to provide information on each student’s performance. A Laurel student earns “units” rather than credits towards his/her graduation. Units are the equivalent of credits earned in a traditional high school.

Pass:  A student may choose at which level he/she wishes to work towards picking standards and requirements for passing a class; Low Pass (equivalent of C or C-) or High Pass (equivalent of B or better).  This decision will be detailed in paperwork filled out for each Laurel class, signed by the student, their parent(s), and the teacher involved with the class, and kept in his/her folder at Laurel. (See Folders for more information.) If all requirements are completed, the student will pass the class.

No Pass:  Students who do not meet the “Low Pass” standards for projects and the minimum standards of attendance/self attendance do not pass the class or receive the unit for that semester’s class. Students have up to three weeks after semester’s end to complete these standards unless granted an extension for extenuating circumstances.

Student Folders

For every Laurel class, the student must pick at which level he/she strives to work towards—Low Pass or High Pass, defining standards and requirements for passing.  This decision will be detailed in paperwork filled out for each Laurel class, signed by the student, his/her parent(s), and the teacher facilitating the class, and kept in his/her completed folder at Laurel.

Low Pass:

Low Pass standards must be clearly and specifically defined in writing before any student begins a class. Low Pass may be self-defined by the student in the first three weeks of the semester, or defined by the facilitator of a particular class. A Low Pass will appear as a Pass on an official Laurel transcript and is understood to be the equivalent of a C/C-.

High Pass:

High Pass is defined as work and responsibilities undertaken by the student that exceed Low Pass standards for a given class. The qualifications and materials for High Pass are determined by the student (or defined by a teacher) and agreed to by his/her parents and Laurel staff, but must include a student evaluation of his/her own work and the corroboration of Laurel staff. A High Pass will appear as a “Pass” on an official Laurel transcript and is understood to be the equivalent of an A or B.

Process:

Each student is responsible for maintaining an accessible file of individual work. Each file should include the following for Low and High Pass:

  1.  Clearly defined standards for every Laurel class per semester, stating whether the student will earn a Low or High Pass; updated to reflect any changes during the course of the semester
  1.  ALL semester material that demonstrates completion of any and all standards. Any material (or copy of material) not stored in the class file cannot/will not be counted towards the class.
  1.  The student accounts for his/her own self-attendance (blogging) percentages so that Laurel staff may readily access this information.
  1.  A three-part evaluation of the student’s work in each class. This evaluation will include:
  • Planning/Expectation (first three weeks) – Student will report, in writing, on how he/she envisions his/her semester’s work will proceed and how he/she will meet the “Pass” standards. A student working towards a High Pass will detail what work and responsibilities he/she plans to undertake to surpass these standards. This report will be filed in each student’s folder.
  • Quarter Assessment – Student will assess, in writing, his/her progress and accomplishments at the end of the quarter (halfway mark of the semester). Student must assess both his/her strengths and weaknesses; how he/she has met the goals/expectations for the class or how the goals/expectations have changed; and what he/she plans to accomplish in the second half of the semester. This report is to be completed and filed with the student’s Planning/Expectation evaluation.
  • Final/Semester Assessment– Student will assess his/her progress and accomplishments within three weeks of the of the semester’s end. Student must assess both his/her strengths and weaknesses; how he/she has met the goals/expectations for the class or how the goals/expectations changed; and what he/she would have done differently from the beginning. Final Assessment must explicitly state that the student has earned a High Pass if a High Pass is to be given.

A student may ask a teacher to evaluate his/her work for a High Pass based on the student’s work in class or in the class file (or both). A student must have completed the file and self-evaluations before asking the facilitator. The facilitator evaluation will explicitly state that the student has earned a High Pass OR will include specific suggestions the student needs to accomplish to earn a High Pass.

Ways to Earn High Pass

  1.  Specialization is planning, scheduling, and executing projects or study relating, in some way, to the subject the student is studying. Students are encouraged to follow their interests within the subject material (for example: specializing in engineering study while studying geometry; studying perspective in drawing) or, conversely, bringing something of interest to the subject material (creating art projects based on geometric designs; defining how mathematics relates to music). Specialization material should be included in the student class file.

To qualify as a specialization students should:

Plan and schedule what they hope to accomplish and are encouraged to invite other students to participate.

Define how their specialization project is inter-related to their class.

Evaluate how their project helped their educational experience.

Present their project to the class or school.

  1.  Excellent self-attendance by utilizing the blog as a tool to fully communicate the learning process and articulating an evolving personal involvement in this process.
  1.  Excellent class participation through attendance, preparation, participation, and involvement in class activities, assignments, and discussions.
  1.  Classroom leadership demonstrated through preparing and leading classroom/school activities, leading classroom discussions, etc.
  1.  Tutoring class/individuals, such as assisting other students in their study (mentoring, tutoring, peer editing).
  1.  Specific student initiatives– Any activity associated with a student’s learning experience that brings enrichment to the class/school learning environment.

Self Attendance/Blogging

Students are required to blog 80% of their class time (three of four days) -making an individual attendance record of their Laurel class time on the school blog detailing how they utilized the block time- for every class block taken at Laurel as a condition of passing the class.

Self attendance must be done daily for EACH Laurel study block (independent OR facilitated study). Self attendance not completed on the day of the class block will not count towards the minimum percentages needed to earn Laurel credit.

Self attendance is recorded on the student’s personal blog page. This page is viewable only by the student, his/her parent(s), and Laurel staff.

A student is responsible for self attendance for EVERY day of the academic school year (every day Viroqua High School holds classes during the year). If a student is not at school (illness, vacation, appointment, etc.), he or she is still responsible for self attendance for each of their Laurel study blocks.

Students who, during the semester, fall below 80% self attendance for an independent class or a facilitated class, will be given a warning. Students are allowed two warnings per semester. If a student falls below 80% self attendance for an independent class or a facilitated class a third time during a semester, this student will not pass that class in that semester.

Students are not responsible for self attendance reports for class blocks taken at Viroqua High School.

Community Service

All Laurel High School students are required to successfully complete 36 hours of community service during each school year. However, only 18 hours may be recorded for any one service project. This means each student will do two or more projects each year.

Community service activities are those performed to benefit at least one unrelated community member for which no payment is received.

Typically the service work will be under the auspices of a non-profit organization (see list below). Work to help a friend, family member, or neighbor will not qualify as community service without prior approval due to extenuating circumstances.

Service to benefit for-profit businesses may qualify on a very limited basis with prior approval and there must be extenuating circumstances as well as clear evidence the assistance provided is tied to the organization’s charitable activities. Approval may be requested via an interview with the Laurel Advisory Council.

Service to athletic teams, school-sponsored extra-curricular activities, or to a classroom teacher with daily clerical chores will not qualify for community service credit.

Community service involving cooperation with faith-based or political organizations may be approved; however, Laurel High School will not award credit for time spent directly involved in promoting religious/political doctrine, proselytizing, or worship. Students may request “Special Consideration Approval” of non-proselyte community service with faith-based or political groups subject to approval by the Laurel Advisory Council.

Community service for which a student receives academic credit as part of a separate course, or which is court-assigned, will not qualify for the Laurel High School graduation requirement.

In the past, Laurel High School students have completed community service projects involving…

  • American Red Cross blood drives
  • Animal protection and animal welfare groups
  • Art and cultural organizations
  • Babysitting services during school events
  • Child literacy programs including “Reading Buddies”
  • Children and youth services groups
  • Clothing drives
  • Community beautification groups and garden clubs
  • County park cleanups
  • Food drive/distribution programs
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Hawk Watch weekend
  • Lions/Lioness Clubs
  • Meals on Wheels programs
  • Multi-cultural/diversity awareness events
  • Nursing homes
  • Peer tutoring
  • Poverty Awareness Event
  • Public library projects
  • Roadside cleanup (Adopt-A-Highway)
  • Rotary Club projects
  • Teen Court
  • Vernon Memorial Hospital volunteer
  • Veterans organizations
  • Viroqua Recreation Department volunteer

The above list is not all-inclusive. Students may create, with approval, a unique community service project of their own or one that involves another group not listed above. The criteria for approval of a unique project are the same as for any other.

There are many reasons why community service is a required part of the Laurel High School program. The key reason is to assist students in becoming confident, competent, passionate, involved, active citizens. Contributing to community service helps cultivates one’s skills, abilities, and vision to make our community a better place for all.

In order for community service hours to be registered and credit awarded, students must supply completed and signed hour logs and write a reflection essay of 1-2 pages in length; both to be kept in student portfolio.

Laurel Service

In addition to the community service requirement, Laurel students are also expected to volunteer a minimum of 15 hours per year to help with Laurel enrichment. Parents may help contribute to their student’s Laurel Service.

Ways to earn Laurel Service hours include, but are not limited to:

  • Helping to set up and manage an “event, such as a play or an art fair
  • Significant Laurel cleaning
  • Setting up/taking down Laurel at the beginning and end of the year
  • Serving on a committee
  • Hosting a parent meeting (to include any prep work, such as cooking and cleaning) (parents)
  • Chaperoning a trip (parents)
  • Facilitating a class/tutoring (students or parents)
  • Helping with Back-to-School Night (August) or Laurel Open House (January)

Portfolios

Graduation Portfolios:

Laurel High School students are required to start and maintain a graduation portfolio. This is the main mode of assessment, designed to demonstrate mastery of knowledge and skills. It is also a helpful tool when applying to colleges.  

PORTFOLIO REQUIREMENTS

FRESHMEN:

1) Class folders

2) Class plan for high school career

3) Community service log and reflection

4) Resume with three verbal recommendations

5) Testing results, where applicable

SOPHOMORES:

1) Class folders

2) Updated/revisited class plan for high school career

3) Community service log and reflection

4) Resume (updated) with three verbal recommendations

5) College information (contact with correspondence with at least two)

6) Testing results: WKCE, Plan, where applicable

7) Career exploration materials/career survey

JUNIORS:

1) Class folders

2) Updated/revisited class plan for high school career

3) Community service log and reflection

4) Resume (updated) with one written and two verbal recommendations

5) College information (contact w/correspondence at least three)

6) Testing results:  ACT, SAT, Compass where applicable

7) Reflection for post high school

SENIORS:

1) Class folders

2) Graduation portfolio with representative works of major/important classes

3) Community service log and reflection

4) Resume (updated) with three written and two verbal recommendations

*Resumes are to be updated each year (old copy kept to show improvement) and benchmarks are to be initialed for each class/subject by resource teacher.

**Portfolios should also contain any projects (or picture of) completed by the student.

Upperclassmen: College, Graduation, and Mentoring

College Application Process:

Laurel seniors typically apply to colleges throughout the United States.  The Laurel Director acts as the guidance counselor for these applications and will help seniors during the application process.  All Laurel staff are very involved in helping seniors apply to colleges.

Laurel Graduation Ceremony:

Traditionally, Laurel Seniors have chosen to plan and hold a private event to celebrate graduation.  The event is held off campus at a public venue and funds must be raised by the graduating class.  Each year the program represents the uniqueness of that year’s graduating class and their academic accomplishments.

As students of the Viroqua Area School District, Laurel students are invited to walk across the stage with Viroqua High School students in a traditional ceremony.

Laurel diplomas are printed with “Laurel High School” and “Viroqua Area Schools” and can be presented at either of the ceremonies.

Mentoring:

Upperclass mentors are available for new Laurel students upon their request.  New students are strongly encouraged to talk to all returning students.

Dismissal Policy

Laurel staff will make every effort to keep a student’s parent(s) informed of his/her progress.  If a student is not succeeding, we would rather that a decision to leave Laurel be a collaborative effort.  However, there are times when this is not possible.  There are also times when the decision a student has made warrants important consequences.  The following are the steps involved in Laurel’s Dismissal Policy.  This policy will be signed by the student, his/her parents(s), and the Laurel Director, each year, within the first two weeks of school.

Step One: Warning and a call to parent/sponsor; student will receive a written copy of warning.

Step Two: Warning and meeting with LHS teacher, parent/sponsor and student (VHS principal informed). The meeting is to take place within three days of the warning. The student would need to create a plan for self-improvement that would be approved by the teacher and parent/sponsor. This plan will include deadlines and a date to meet and check student progress.

Step Three: Warning and meeting with VHS principal, LHS teacher, parent/sponsor and student. The student plan will be revisited; new deadlines and another meeting scheduled to check progress. All parties involved must realize this is the student’s last chance.

Step Four: Dismissal from the Laurel High School program.

Reasons to receive a “warning”:

  • Late projects (one) or late assignments (three)
  • Misconduct at Laurel, VHS or WTC (one) to include but not limited to:

Fighting—verbal or physical

Stealing—money, food, supplies

Use of illegal substance(s) during school hours

Destruction of property

Inappropriate use of computers

  • Unexcused absences (one) or unexcused tardiness (three)
  • Relationship problems in school that disrupts learning

Each instance will be recorded in the student’s file.

Field Trips and Extra-Curricular Activities

Field trips are educational opportunities offered by Laurel High School staff.  The trips are paid for by each individual student; opportunities exist for families that face financial hardship.  Traditionally there are two extended-day trips (such as a trip to the Milwaukee Museum) and two shorter trips (such as a trip to American Players Theatre) each school year.  All Laurel students are expected to participate, as these trips are community builders as well as educational.

**Please note that a school trip is only a “field trip” if a Laurel staff member is present.  If a parent offers other students an opportunity to accompany them somewhere during school time, it is not a field trip and the students are not under school insurance or guidance.

Activity Costs:

Laurel goes on many field trips and community building activities throughout the year. Parents may pay for these costs for their student at the beginning of the year in one estimated sum, at the time of the event, or through monthly payments.

Extra-Curricular Activities:

Laurel High School students, as students of the Viroqua Area School District, are eligible to participate in all extra-curricular events offered by the Viroqua High School.  Laurel High School only offers extra-curricular events as desired and directed by the students themselves.  While there are Laurel staff available to act as supervisors/chaperones, it is up to the students to make the events happen.  Laurel staff will offer advice as asked for, but will not “jump in to save the day.”  We value learning from experience and that includes learning from mistakes.

Laurel High School follows the guidelines detailed in the Viroqua HS Activity Code Handbook.  Please note the following attendance guidelines as an example of important information.

Attendance

Daily attendance by a student athlete is important and necessary. Parents play an important role in supporting this effort. Athletes and parents need to adhere to the participation rules listed below for practice and contests.

A student cannot participate in practice or a contest/performance if absent from school in the morning or afternoon (or both) unless there has been prior approval by an administrator. Acceptable excuses include medical

appointments and family emergencies. The administration may request confirmation about appointments from a health care provider (additional penalties can be given by the coach, advisor and/or administrator).

If a participant is absent or tardy the day following a contest, he/she may not participate in the next contest unless excused by an administrator.

Excessive absences/tardies by a student athlete will result in a coach, athletic director, and principal meeting for consideration of the student athlete’s eligibility status.

**Laurel extra-curricular events, such as plays and art fairs, must be completed by April; no events are allowed in May, June, or summer.

Recommended Supplies

Beyond the normal pen and paper supplies, it is highly recommended that each student have his/her own removable flash drive. Students will also be responsible for their own supplies for special projects, such as index cards, poster board, main lesson books, etc. If a student plans to take advanced level math and science classes, a graphing calculator is a wonderful tool (Laurel does provide graphing calculators for math classes).

Room supplies:

Each student is responsible for the following:

  • Three boxes of facial tissue, to be brought in at the beginning of the school year
  • Lunch supplies such as plates, bowls, silverware, and napkins

Parent/School Communication

Laurel staff recognizes the value and importance of communication between parent, student, and school/staff.  Many avenues have been created to help parents keep in touch with their student’s teachers and vice versa.

Back-to-School Night:  Before school starts, one night is provided for parents and students to stop by the school to meet teachers, bring in student supplies, and ask any questions families may have. This is also the time to pick up student schedules and all paper work required, such as emergency and technology forms.  This night typically takes place during the week before school starts, and runs from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm; the actual date is announced in the Back-to-School flyer in the Foxy Shopper, in the Vernon Broadcaster, and on the Viroqua Area School and Laurel High School websites.

Websites:

Laurel High School’s website (laurelcharterschool.net) contains a great deal of information, and an updated calendar of Laurel events.  This is also a way to access the Laurel Blog.

Viroqua Area School District maintains a very informative website (Viroqua.k12.wi.us).  It is recommended that parents check Viroqua High School announcements daily and the “Student Services” section periodically.

E-mail/Blog:  Email is a very important tool of communication for school newsletters, updates, and reminders.  This may also be used to communicate student absences to the Laurel Director (bakren@viroqua.k12.wi.us).

The Blog is a very important tool of communication of student daily progress.  Each student has his/her own page for daily blogging, accessible only by the student, his/her parent(s), and Laurel staff. This is also a tool for class work as assigned and corrected by Laurel staff. There are also two pages for Laurel parents:

  • Parent Forum to be used for communication about the parent group, meeting notes, volunteer opportunities, etc.
  • Parent Resource is a place for parents to list their available skills, knowledge, and interests.  It is a tool to match the parent community to Laurel High School needs.

Phone:  The Laurel phone number is (608)637-1614; this number is connected to voice mail.  As all Laurel staff teach during the day, there is seldom someone available to answer the phone immediately, not even during lunch time. Please leave a message and your phone call will be returned.  If there is an emergency, please call the Viroqua High School office at (608)637-3191 and explain the situation.

Parent/Teacher Conferences: There are two nights set aside twice a year, district-wide, for parent/teacher conferences.  The conferences run from 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm, and are by appointment only.  Each Laurel staff member sees parents separately, and the appointments must be made separately.

It is not necessary to wait until parent/teacher conferences to discuss student progress with a Laurel staff member.  If you would like to meet, please email the appropriate staff member to make an appointment.

School Closing

On school days when weather conditions or other emergencies make it extremely hazardous or unsafe for students to attend school, school will be canceled or delayed two hours.  An announcement concerning late starting times or closings for the Viroqua Area School District will be announced as early as 6:00 a.m. on the following television and radios stations:

WVRQ AM (1360) and FM (102.3) WIZM AM (1410) and FM (93.3)

WKTY AM (580)

WRQT (95.7)

KCLH FM (94.7)

WCOW FM (97.1)

WKLJ AM (1290)

WQCC FM (106.3)

WLRX FM (104.9)

WLFN AM (1490)

WFBZ FM (105.5)

WKBH FM (100.1) AM (1570)

KQEG FM (102.7) WBOG FM (94.5)

WXOX TV 19

WKBT TV 8

WKPO FM (105.9)

Please note that the television stations (WXOW, WKBT) also maintain school closings on their respective websites, located on the weather pull-down menu.  It is also possible to sign up for text alerts.

It is important that each parent understands that they may make their own decision regarding school attendance and the weather.  Many Laurel families live in remote areas, and in other towns.  If you believe it is not safe to send your student to school, don’t.  But please, please call the Laurel office immediately to report your student’s absence.  This also pertains to picking students up early.

As a Laurel student, you are expected to be self-motivated and responsible.  

I hope you found this handbook helpful.  If you have any questions, please call or email me.

Renee Baker