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Rock Creek USD 323

Rock Creek USD 323

Rock Creek JSHS


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Rock Creek Vocal High School Handbook

Rock Creek High School Choir Handbook


Welcome to the RCHS Vocal Program. This is an electronic version of the handbook which contains information on class procedures, discipline procedures, events, attendance and grading policy. I gave a hard-copy to everyone in choir. 


Additionally, I gave each student a Choir Contract for both student and parent to sign at the end of their handbook. All students participating in choir will need to have this form turned in by Friday, August 24th, 2012. Students will earn their first 10 extra credit points for this! Feel free to contact me in person, by phone or email if you have any question. 


Attendance, Grading, and Guidelines:

As a member of the choir, each student is responsible to the rest of the choir to do his or her best to make the choir the best it can be. We are on a Quest for Excellence. Therefore, not only is attendance to class and all events very important but also the student's attitude both in class and at events. I realize there are circumstances where a student cannot come to an event. We have very few required events. They are listed at the end of this letter. Make arrangements NOW to get off for these dates  (see attendance policy). If you cannot come to an event for any reason, please contact me as far in advance as possible. This will help me greatly in planning. Help us serve our school and community well by being well represented at all of our events.


The student's choir grade will be based on: (percents are approximate) 


60%     Participation: 10 points per day for about 450 points per semester

            Bell Work: 3 points per day for about 135 points per semester

20%     Music Learning: 200 points per semester (quartets, written work, projects, etc.)

20%     Required Events: 200 points each semester (concerts, contests, events, etc.) 

100%    Total or about 985 points per semester (Depends on the calendar)


Participation: The grading system for choir is "Performance Based". Each student will earn 10 points towards their participation grade each day they participate in choir. Behavior is never used as a grading criterion; only appropriate participation


The following criteria will be used when determining a student’s participation grade: 

  1. Student is on time to rehearsal.

  2. Student has appropriate materials.

  3. Student is attentive and follows established procedures throughout rehearsal.

  4. Student performs their part at a proficient level.

Any unexcused absence or failure to participate appropriately will result in a loss of participation points for that day. Excused absences will not affect a student’s grade. Unexcused absences may not be made-up.


Music is a participation class. The principle daily work we have is participation. If a student chooses not to participate, they will not receive all of their points for the day. If they are disrupting others, they may be given a referral to the office. If a student does not sing in class at the proper time, they will also lose participation points, if they distract others from learning or participating, they may receive a detention, or they may be referred to the office.


Bell Work will account for about 10% of the participation grade; or 3 points daily. There will be a quote or question at the beginning of each class which the student will be asked to comment or answer on their bell work sheet. At the end of class, there will be an exit question which will be based on something covered during that class period. The sheet will be turned in to the basket as an exit card. They will be assessed and returned the next day for the student to keep in their Music Folder. When a student is absent, it is the student’s responsibility to get the Bell Work for the day they missed.


Music Learning: Quartets are the largest portion of this category and are basically a singing test. They will be given once every few weeks over a selection of our music that has been given out in advance. Written assignments, projects, or other written activities will be included in this portion of the student’s grade.


 Events: Concert attendance and any other required activity or event is included in this section of the student’s grade. Concerts are our final tests. Because of the onetime nature of an event, it is very important to make every effort to be there. Once again, excused absences will not affect a student’s grade. This is an easy section to receive all your points. Just pay attention, and be where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be there with a good attitude.


Attendance Policy


            There are times when conflicts arise, no matter how much planning is involved. Therefore, I have developed this attendance policy. If there is a legitimate conflict with an event, the student must present a note, signed by the parent or guardian, with the reason for the conflict. This note must be turned in to the director five school days before the proposed absence. The only exception is an unforeseen emergency or illness that cannot be predicted; in which case, please contact the director as soon as possible. The director will determine if the absence is excused or unexcused.


Excused Absence:

  1. Illness with a parent or guardian’s verification or the verification of the school nurse or doctor. (A student who has been called in to the office sick the day of an event will be excused from the event as well. A separate note is not required) 

  2. Death or funeral of a relative or close friend.

  3. Doctor or dental appointments are only excused if they are of an emergency nature. Please consult the choir calendar before making routine appointments.

  4. Family emergencies or situations that affect a family’s livelihood. 

  5. Inclement weather that makes it impossible to attend- determined by the director and principal.

  6. The wedding of a close family member.


Unexcused Absence:

  1. All absences that are not considered excused, or not handled according to policy.

  2. “Out of town” and “needed at home” will not be excused without an explanation concerning how the absence will affect family livelihood. 

  3. Personal Trips

  4. Work (ask off now)

  5. Routine appointments. 


Extra Credit Points

If a student wishes to earn extra credit, there are several ways to do so.

  1. Audition for a honor group (10 points: extra rehearsals required)

  2. Participate (i.e. be selected) in a honor group (50 points)

  3. Prepare a piece for contest (solo or ensemble-  25 points for participating plus 25 points for a ‘I’ rating or 10 points for a ‘II’ rating: extra rehearsals required)

  4. Write a report on a musical topic. (points to be determined by quality)

  5. Attend a concert outside of the school setting. (a short written report is required for points, which will be determined again by quality)

  6. A musical project approved in advance by the director. (points to be determined by director)



Please be very careful with all of our equipment and music. Make all marks in your music inpencil. Do not touch any instrument or equipment that is not yours.

Let's keep our music department looking sharp, and we will be able to add to, rather than replace and repair our supplies and equipment.



All school rules apply at all times we are together as a choir, both at and away from the classroom. I want to emphasize a few of these here: Possession or use of tobacco products, alcohol, illegal drugs or weapons at any event may result in immediate expulsion from the event in which case a parent or guardian may be required to make arrangements to have the student picked up, no matter how far away we might be. I have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy in this area. Don't take a chance! In addition, the use of gum will not be permitted, for obvious reasons, at any music department rehearsal or performance. No food or beverages other than water are allowed at concerts or in rehearsals. No cell phones or other electronic devices may be on, audible, or visible during class. Make sure you are aware of the school’s eligibility and tardy policy. Excessive trips out of class may result in after school time being assigned. Again, let me stress, if you have any questions about anything, even if not directly related to music, call or drop in to talk to me. I care about what is happening to you!


Choir Uniform Information:

            The philosophy of a uniform is to enhance the performance of our ensemble. Care is taken to avoid any and all distractions from the overall group appearance. All students must have the proper attire. 

Required uniforms are as follows:

            Women: Black Top and Black Skirt checked out from the school. You need to provide your own black dress shoes. (No flip-flops and, please, let’s watch the height of the heels! Flats are preferable) Pearl necklaces will be checked out along with your uniform. No other jewelry. All hair accessories should be invisible to the audience.

            Men: Tuxedo Jacket, Dress shirt, Tuxedo pants, bow tie, cummerbund and black dress shoes will be checked out from the school. You need to provide your own black dress socks. 

            Pop Concert Dress: Choir T-Shirt, jeans, and “tennis shoes”. Students will purchase their T-shirts closer to concert time. No holes in the jeans, please!

            Choir uniforms should stay at school, due to the expense of lost or non-returned uniforms. It will be your responsibility to keep your uniform in the same condition as you received it. If you lose or damage your uniform, you are accountable to replace the items.


REMEMBER: This is a team. We are all starters and play on the same side.



J. Todd Walters

RCHS Vocal Director


Pride!!               Spirit!!!         Teamwork!!!!!


                                 2011-2012 Rock Creek High School Choir