New Student FAQs
Germantown High School is one of the most acclaimed and diverse large high schools in Tennessee and has been recognized nationally and internationally for its achievements in academics, athletics, and the arts.
We hope that your transition to Germantown High is as smooth as possible, so we have put together some answers to common questions you might have. As always, if you don't see the answer to a question you have, you can either ask a teacher, fellow student, or email our webmaster firstname.lastname@example.org
My Class Schedule
My Academic Success
--(Information on the GHS Honor Code is housed in a dedicated tab in the website's menu)
My Transportation and Attendance
--Which administrators do I see if I have a problem? (the easiest way to answer this is to direct you to the list on our admin page)
--What sports teams does GHS have? (the easiest way to answer this is to direct you to our athletics website)
My Class Schedule
When do I have lunch?
All lunches occur during 5th period, but there are 4 different lunches in total and your class schedule does not tell you which lunch you have. You can see the schedule here.
Where is the cafeteria?
It is located in the basement of A building.
What is the tardy policy?
Germantown High is passionate about seeing students receiving the maximum benefit from their class time, so we are very strict on tardies. The first tardy results in a phone call home. After that, we use a system of progressive discipline.
What is Intervention Period?
Every day includes an intervention period. The actual contents of each day's intervention varies. Intervention period includes things like clubs, time to make up missed work or tests, and other similar activities.
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What hours is the school open? (When am I allowed to be in buildings)
The buildings are open from 7:00 to 2:30 Monday to Friday. If you get to school before 7:00, you must report to the cafeteria. If you are on campus after 2:30 and not directly supervised by a teacher (such as in a sport), you will need to wait in the study hall room so we can keep everyone supervised, but the campus officially closes at 2:30.
How big are the classes
Most of the classes have about 24 students in them. However, our class sizes vary depending on the needs of the students and the subject matter, some classes have as few as 10 students while others might have a bit more than 30.
My Academic Success
Is tutoring offered?
Yes. Many classes have someone who offers tutoring. The full list can be found on the counseling webpage.
How are grades calculated?
The way the 9 week grades are calculated is based on the individual teacher's policy and the course
syllabus will give you the details. The semester and the final grades are calculated per district policy.
Teachers have the option of determining 9-week grades either by total points or weighted categories:
Total points--every assignment is out of a certain number of points, the more important the
assignment the more points it's worth, and your grade is the number of points you earned divided by
the number you could have earned
Weighted categories--Every assignment is given a category (homework, tests, quizzes, etc.) and
every category has a set weight in your grade. For instance, homework may be 10% of your grade,
tests may be 30%, etc. To find your grade, take the average of everything in that category (for instance,
the average of all your homework grades) and multiply that times the weight. If homework is worth
10%, you multiply times 0.1 (one tenth). When you add up all the resulting categories you get your average.
Regardless of how your teacher creates the 9-weeks grades, your first semester grade is always calculated by making each quarter worth 40% and the semester exam worth 20% of the semester grade. If the class does not have an end of course exam, the final grade for the entire year is just the average of the two semesters. If you have an end of course exam in that course, each semester is worth 45%, the end of course exam is worth 10%, and the final grade is calculated per that formula. Course credit is awarded based on having a passing year average (final grade), so if you fail one or both semesters but get the final grade to passing (by either passing the other semester strong enough to average to a passing grade for the year, or by passing the end of course exam and bringing up the average enough), you'll get credit for the whole year.
Can I get out of taking exams?
Yes. If you have a 90 or better as a semester average and three or fewer excused absences (0 unexcused) for the semester you may be eligible to exempt. 9th-11th graders can only exempt the second semester exam. Seniors can exempt both semesters. End of course exams (state testing) can never be exempted.
What languages can I study at Germantown High?
Currently, we offer French (up to level 4), Latin (up to level 4), Spanish (up to level 5), and Japanese ( we currently go up to Japanese 2. Each year will add one more level). In the 2020-21 school year we will be offering Japanese up to level 4.
Will my classes transfer from my old school?
Our guidance staff is excellent. Our counselors will spend a great deal of time with you when you enroll at Germantown High School. Your transcript will be reviewed carefully so that you can receive credit for all the previous classes you have passed and a schedule will be created that will lead you on the road to graduation.
What is your graduation rate?
We are very proud to have a 96.5 % graduation rate. Germantown works hard to offer a variety of courses and opportunities for students who are willing to work hard to earn a high school diploma.
Does GHS run on block schedule?
No, we run on a 7-period school day. The only time we have block schedule is during the occasional testing.
How many credits are required to graduate?
22 total (required credits include 4 math, 4 English, 3 science, 1.5 wellness or physical education, 2 foreign language, 1 fine arts)
Do you offer honors, AP, and IB classes?
We offer honors, AP, and IB classes in a wide range of subjects (entrance requirements are available here). In general, to take IB courses, you will need to be in the IB program (more information is available here). Also, be aware that as you get higher up in certain subjects, we may choose one college level course option over another, based on the number of students interested. For instance, there are some subjects where we offer only one of the three choices (IB, AP, or dual enrollment) and students interested in the higher level will all be in together. If you choose to take the AP exam, you will be prepared to do well, even if the course were labeled IB. The same goes for dual enrollment.
Do you offer dual enrollment classes?
Germantown High School offers dual enrollment courses in English, mathematics and criminal justice. Students who qualify can earn up to six hours of college English, three hours of college algebra, three hours of elementary calculus and three hours of criminal justice.
What is dual enrollment?
Duel enrollment is a program where high schools partner with local colleges to allow current high school students to gain credit in both high school and college. The theory is similar to that of AP, except, it is not test performance based. The college provides oversight and the high school teacher follows the college's rules, so that the college can award credit and hours transfer as if the student had attended the college for the previous semester and wanted to bring hours with him or her upon transfer to another college.
My Transportation and Attendance
Where do I get a bus pass?
Go to A office.
When and where does the bus come to pick me up?
Your bus pass will tell you the location and time that the bus will come to pick you up. It is important that you be at the stop early and ready to go. Every bus has a specific route and timetable it must keep, so if you are late the bus driver is likely to assume you are not coming to school that day and leave you.
If you are there early and are certain your bus is late (rather than that you missed the bus), it is important that you remain at the stop and wait for the bus, unless you can get a ride to school immediately. If you are late to school because of a late bus, your tardy will be excused because you were where you needed to be when you needed to be there and the fault lies with us. You are not penalized. However, if you miss the bus or drive yourself and there are traffic issues, your tardy is unexcused since SCS cannot take responsibility for your individually arranged transportation.
If a bus is late, am I counted tardy?
No, once you get on the bus you are considered to be under the supervision of SCS. If you are under our supervision and the bus makes you late, you are not at fault. The same goes if the bus gets to your stop late since we have promised you transportation. However, if you are late getting to your stop and miss the bus, or if you or your parents drive, you are responsible to arrive on time and late arrivals not due to bus issues may be unexcused tardies. (You can see the question about excused and unexcused absences if you want more information on what tardies might be excused.)
Will my bus and my stop be the same all year?
There are a lot of students at Germantown High School and, especially at the beginning of the year as more people are enrolling, it is almost always necessary to split buses that are overcrowded, combine underused buses, and adjust the locations of our bus stops to match the pattern of where students using the bus actually live.
If you come later in the year, you are likely to find a fairly stable bus situation, but early in the year we have to be flexible.
What is the difference between excused and unexcused absences and tardies? Why do they matter?
Like all U. S. schools, students are required by law to attend. However, there are always things that come up and are considered valid reasons to miss school. It is imperative that you get any absence that is excused marked as excused because that documents that your child was absent for a valid reason. Even if your child's absences should be excused, if you do not provide the needed documentation they will be marked unexcused and you may be identified by the truancy department as in need of investigation and possible prosecution.
The following are considered excused absences:
--Illness (bring a doctor's note or note from a parent)
--Death or serious illness within the student's immediate family.
--Court order / Subpoena
--Extenuating circumstances over which the student has no control as approved by the principal. (Ask before the event, if possible.)
--If a student's parent or guardian is a member of the United States Armed Forces and is called to federal active duty.
Full details on this situation are available from the SCS policy manual.
--Participation in a non-school-sponsored extracurricular activity (see the SCS policy manual for full details)
The note documenting the reason for the excused absence should contain:
--The student's first and last name
--The parent or guardian's name
--The date(s) of the absence
--The date the note is written
--The reason for the absence
--All notes are due within 2 school days of returning to school
--If a student has been absence for more than 3 consecutive days, the note needs to come from a more official source (doctor's note, court summons, the program from the funeral, etc.) rather than just a note from a parent.
--If the student has had more than 10 absences (excused and/or unexcused combined) within one school year, future absences are only excused if accompanied by a doctor's note or court order.
What do I need in order to obtain a driver license or learner permit?
The full set of requirements for those documents is determined by the state (see http://www.tn.gov/safety/article/gdl for the official list), but one thing you will need is proof of school attendance/progress. You can apply for this document in C office. The cost is $1. Our offices will verify that you are passing the majority of your classes and have fewer than 10 unexcused absences. The document should be ready by the following Friday. Simply take that form (valid for 30 days) and all other items requested by the TN Dept of Safety to the DMV to apply.
What is the cell phone / technology policy?
The simplest thing to remember is "for academic purposes, with teacher approval." If you are missing one of those things, assume you cannot use your phone or other technology at all during school hours. If you have both, then you are good. It never hurts to ask a teacher, if in doubt.
During school hours, you are expected to keep your phone put away, unless your teacher gives you permission to use it for a specific activity. Keep in mind, when you are given permission to use it, it's for academic purposes and you are expected to only be working on the class activity (not working while bouncing to another app) and the permission is just for that class activity. When class ends or you switch activites, assume you no longer have permission to use the phone.
If you aren't using the phone for a class, with teacher approval, be aware a teacher is likely to ask for the phone. If you refuse to give it to them, you'll likely have three days out of school suspension. If you give it to them, a parent or legal guardian can get the phone from M office (the main office) the next school day. Repeated phone violations will lead to progressive discipline (such as Saturday School and other consequences)--though those are going to be less than the punishment for refusing to give up the phone.
What is the dress code? Are uniforms required?
Germantown High School does not have a uniform and does not plan to institute one, unless students non-compliance with the current dress code becomes too much of a problem. The current dress code policy can be found here. This document outlines the consequences for dress code violations.
What is the ethnic make up?
Germantown High School offers one of the most diverse student populations in Tennessee. We are home to many different nationalities and our students speak many different native languages at their homes each day.
Is the food good?
Our cafeteria offers a full breakfast and lunch each day. All meals are lovingly prepared by our cafeteria staff and are very good. The meals are nutritionally balanced and there are a variety of food choices each day. Hamburgers and salad are offered each day for people who do not care for the featured daily meal.
Is there a pool on the roof of A building?
Although there is no pool on the roof of A building, or on the GHS campus, we do have a swim team. We also have a plethora of varsity sports teams, as well as some club sports including lacrosse and rugby.
If this question seems odd, you may not know that there is a campus tradition of seniors telling freshmen that there is a pool on the roof of A building--so make sure you play along.
Where is V gym?
V gym is located at the very back of the campus, near the football stadium. It is not in V building. We're not sure why.
When / Where is Saturday School?
Saturday School meets from 8-11AM in M building, so meet Mr. Longino in the front circle drive to check in. If there are any changes to this location or time, an announcement will be made. Be aware: You can't reschedule a Saturday School. You can either serve it, do 2 days of ISS instead, or do 3 days ISS if you fail to come and don't notify Mr. Longino. No exceptions.
A video explanation of grading policies