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Frequently Asked Questions

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BHS Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions

For a printable version, please view these online Google documents.

Why is the student enrollment at BHS currently so high?

Boulder High School has seen a significant increase in our enrollment over the past few years. Although it is true that Boulder High participates in open enrollment activities each year the majority of our student population comes from students living within the BHS boundaries. As you know if students live in our boundaries they are automatically offered a seat in our school unless they choose to open enroll out. Recent data shows that more students are electing to accept their seat and attend Boulder High School. This obviously impacts our overall enrollment and limits the amount of seats we have offered to out of district and out of boundary students in the past few years. There is a difference between building capacity and program capacity and Boulder High School and BVSD enrollment office ensures that we do not go over either capacity limit. We also honor the teachers’ caseloads per the master agreement, thus the reason BHS does not allow schedule, teacher or counselor changes

Why can’t I change my student’s schedule and/or request that they have 8th period off for sports, clubs or other activities?

Boulder High currently has over 2,100 students and the majority of them are involved in after school clubs, activities and sports. In addition, many students also work after school or have other commitments. We recognize this, however with so many students at our school and very little flexibility within an eight period day it is impossible to accommodate these types of requests while also trying to keep classrooms balanced. Although this policy is in place, Boulder High does have a process where we do allow students to submit requests for level changes within the first nine weeks. We work with our students that are involved in after school sports to devise a plan that allows them to make up work when they are required to miss a class due to a competition. Our teachers understand the value of students being involved in different activities and will absolutely be flexible when working with our students in individual classrooms. This policy is also not unique to Boulder High as that other large comprehensive high schools in the district do not allow schedule changes as well.

Why can’t I excuse a single period absence for my student?

Per School Board Policy, JH 6/25/13, attendance staff will not excuse single period absences without documentation (Doctor’s note, Dentist note, or court appearance).  This policy was enacted through the partnership of parents and educators who saw the overwhelming temptations of an open campus and the resulting truancy/failure rates.  In addition, students have been known to ditch single classes for a variety of reasons, including classes that they have exams in and/or periods they have before exams in order to study.

Do I have to get a doctor’s note to excuse my student every time that they are sick?

No, students are allowed 10 full day absences a year per our attendance policy. After those 10 are complete, documentation is required if you want the absence excused.  Also, prearranged absence forms can excuse any foreseeable family trips beyond the ten but only with administrative approval.

When is a nurse/health room para allowed to excuse my student for illness?

The nurse can excuse students if they are showing obvious physical symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, rash, pink eye an/or fever over 100 degrees.  If the Nurse /health room para does not witness any of the above symptoms, she cannot excuse, but parents can still choose to pick up their students.  The absence in that circumstance can only be excused if the student is under their 10 days or a doctor’s note is provided. 

Why is my student saying he was in class, but marked absent?  

Our attendance policy states that students who arrive within the first five minutes are tardy, but after five minutes will be marked absent.  If the student does arrive after the five minutes, the time of arrival is logged by the teacher. 

This allows for parents to be notified of excessive tardy behavior or as an early intervention for possible detrimental truant behaviors.  When a student misses a chunk of instructional time, educational gaps are created.  It is important that students understand that getting to class is the first order of importance. Our attendance goal is to steer students away from excessive tardiness and truancy.

What is BHS doing about the vape epidemic?

Boulder High recognizes that vaping has become an epidemic for teenagers in not only our community but across the nation. Over the past few years we have seen a dramatic increase in its use by our teens, and this has prompted us to take action at our school. The administration has led multiple trainings with our entire staff about how to recognize vape paraphernalia and how to spot teenagers vaping on school grounds in an effort to find the students that are addicted and begin to get them support. All students that are caught with vape paraphernalia or actively vaping are enrolled in our Teen Intervene program with our school nurse. This program focuses on the student’s personal struggle with addiction and use in a one on one confidential setting. It also educates the student about long term effects and ways to seek out treatment and support. Last year we also conducted a parent night centered solely around vaping. We invited nurses, doctors, our School Resource Officer and administration to serve as a panel for parents and students that attended. During our student class meetings vaping and addiction was addressed briefly with the students and they were invited to seek out support from any adult in the building if they are struggling with quitting. Our Campus Security Monitors are checking bathrooms and hallways throughout the entirety of every school day and our teachers are asked to be vigilant in their classrooms about noticing signs of vaping during class. We are currently looking at installing vape detectors in all bathrooms, locker rooms and common areas. In addition, our administration has been active in supporting anti-vaping campaigns and being vocal about our stance through Colorado and National Public Radio. This year we have a group of students that is starting an anti-vape club and they have many great ideas about how peers can help to spread awareness and support one another through addiction. 

What is the best way for me, as a parent/guardian to communicate with teachers and counselors?

Email is the preferred method, if the topic is easy.  If the information is sensitive, it is recommended that parents contact the teacher and/or counselor to set up a time to come in to meet face to face. Of course you can always contact an administrator if you need additional support.

How does Boulder High address safety for its students?

Boulder High school strives to keep its students safe by having a firm policy on locked doors. Starting in the 17-18 school year, we began to utilize a key FOB that is embedded in all student and staff IDs to enter the building during school hours. Boulder High employs three Campus Safety Officers who completed an intensive safety training this summer. They supervise and monitor the building to maintain safety. The Boulder Police Department provides BHS with a School Resource Officer to ensure a safe and protected environment. Additionally, through the recent bond, Boulder High received an updated security camera system with state of the art technology to assist in security measures. Cameras were installed throughout the interior and exterior school campus. Finally, each year, the BHS Administration meets with each class to talk about our schools’ Standard Response Protocol that provides consistent and effective actions when responding to threats inside or outside our building.  Students are also educated about the Safe2Tell anonymous reporting system.  This system provides students, staff, and community members the opportunity to report issues that might compromise the safety of the school, students, and/or staff members.  This reporting system is vetted through local law enforcement agencies and the Colorado School Safety Resource Center. In the case of a crisis or emergency event at the school, BHS administration will work closely with BVSD communication office to get communication out as soon as possible. Sometimes there is a delay in this communication in order to ensure that students and staff are safe and information being shared is helpful and accurate. In these cases you can always check the BVSD website for information and updates as well.

How is the course catalog for Boulder High developed? 

Most classes are part of graduation requirements (which can be found on the BHS website under the Counseling tab) and are consistent throughout the district for inclusion into the course catalog for BHS. The staff (by department) looks over their course offerings and revises or approves the previous year’s description about the class, which gives basic requirements/information about the course. When a new idea for a class is proposed for possible addition, it is first brought to a department vote and then it is brought to the district curriculum council for vote if it is not already a BVSD approved course. If approved, the class is then brought before the curriculum council at BHS. Once approved by all parties, the class can be offered for the following year.