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Guidance Plan

2022-23 School Year

Guidance Office

The services of the Guidance Office are provided for all students. As a result of these services, you should derive more value from your education at Hermon-DeKalb Central School. Group and individual guidance and counseling can help you to:

1. Learn more about yourself; to discover your interests, values and abilities.

2. Know the value of seeking assistance in order to make important decisions now and for the future.

3. Understand the value of education and hard work as well as the reasons for doing your best work in school and out of school.

4. Become aware of what factors help make people succeed in school, work, and leisure activities.

5. Learn how to strive for self-improvement.

6. Concentrate on your strengths and positive characteristics and to overcome your weaknesses.

7. Make a plan to reach your future goals.

8. Learn that occupations demand certain requirements in terms of education and training, abilities, skills and physical fitness.


Your counselor is acquainted with other services provided by your school such as the nurse, psychologist, resource room, remediation, and tutoring. Counselors will help students use these services when necessary. Counselors are also familiar with community services and will assist parents and students in utilizing these agencies when needed.

Moving to Another School

If you are moving from our school to another school, it is important to notify your counselor. We will send an unofficial copy of your transcript, your latest report card, and your most current marks with you, then mail follow-up/official reports to your new school as appropriate.


One of the most important services your counselor offers you is a planning service. It is important for all of us to make the fullest use of our talents in the present and the future. In order to do that, a "road map" or plan is essential. Your counselor will meet with you many times over the years to discuss options and opportunities with you. Also take advantage of the vast knowledge base that exists within our faculty and community. All group and individual meetings are designed to help you learn more about yourself and your aptitudes, and to help you make a plan for your future. Planning might include:  BOCES visits, college admissions meetings, military recruitment meetings, college fair trips, completing financial aid or scholarship applications, researching careers/colleges, parent meetings, applying for a part-time job, or talking about personal issues. It is also important to know that you can change your plan any time. However, Guidance can supply you with information and references BUT decisions about where to apply to college, what career you pursue, and the filing of application forms are the responsibility of the student and the parents/guardians. Requests for school reports and records from colleges must be turned in to Guidance at least 2 weeks prior to due date. All reports and recommendations from school personnel will be mailed directly to the college.

Advancement in Math and Science (grades 7 & 8)

Students who wish to advance in Math and/or Science must have:

  • An overall average of 93 or higher after three quarters.

  • An average of 95+ in the subject they wish to advance in after three quarters.

  • A recommendation by their current teacher to advance.


Regents Diploma  

Minimum number of credits: 22 inclusive of physical education

Required course work

English..…4 units Social Studies… 4 units (including 2 units of Global Studies,

Math..……3 units   1 unit of U.S. History, ½ unit of Economics,

Science..…3 units   ½ unit of Participation in Government)

Health…... ½ unit Art / Music.…….1 unit

Phys. Ed….2 units         *LOTE.…………1 unit (*Language Other Than English)

The required course work totals 18.5 units of credit therefore leaving a balance of 3.5 credits that can be filled by completing coursework of choice.  Students may choose to go to the BOCES and earn 3 to 4 credits per year while learning a technical trade, or remain at HDCS and enroll in other elective courses. 

Advanced Regents Diploma 

Minimum number of credits: 22 inclusive of physical education

Required course work

English…..4 units Social Studies… 4 units (including 2 units of Global Studies,

Math……..3 units   1 unit of U.S. History, ½ unit of Economics,

Science..…3 units   ½ unit of Participation in Government)

Health...… ½ unit          Art / Music…..…1 unit

Phys. Ed…2 units       *LOTE…………3 units (CTE sequence alternate options available)

Regents Diploma with Honors and Advanced Regents Diploma with Honors status is earned by meeting all of the above requirements listed with diploma type plus achieving a 90% average on the required Regents Exams.  No rounding is allowed in the calculation.

See the NYS testing requirements that are in addition to the course requirements above.  

New York State Regents exam requirements are in addition to the course requirements.  Please refer to the chart below to determine your child’s testing needs to graduate from high school with the different diploma types available.  If you have any questions regarding this or any other graduation requirements (coursework, credits, etc.), please feel free to contact Mrs. Parcell in the Guidance Office at 315-347-3442 ext. 22908, or by email at

Determination of Final Grade

Grades 7-8:

Full-year courses will have a final exam. The final grade is the average of the marking periods and the final exam. The passing grade is 70.

Grades 9-12:

The passing grade is 65. The final grade will be the average of the four quarters and the final exam with the exam being weighted at 20 percent.  Half-year courses are calculated as 40 percent for the first quarter, 40 percent for the second quarter and 20 percent for the final exam. Physical Education does not give a mid-term examination or a final examination. An average of 65 or higher is necessary to pass a course and receive credit.

Course Load - Requirements

Due to COVID-19 and our current master schedule, options to make course changes will be extremely limited. Students in grades 7-12 can only add an elective course to their schedule within 5 school days for a ½ year course or 10 school days for a full year course.  Late core course additions are at the discretion of the principal.  Students dropping courses are to follow the same schedule or receive permission from the principal. All pupils are required to be enrolled in 6 courses/credits per semester, in addition to physical education, while attending Hermon-DeKalb Middle School/High School to be a full-time student. Students may take courses for Regents credit or local credit. Students may also enroll in Career and Technical Education courses at BOCES. 

Full-Time Student: a student who is enrolled in 6 courses/credits per semester in addition to physical education. While attending Hermon-DeKalb Central School, a full-time student may participate in extra-curricular activities.

Exception for seniors only: Student to Employment Program (S.T.E.P.)

The student, the school counselor, and the principal develop a written agreement with the following criteria:

  1. The student arrives at school on time and does not leave before the agreed time.

  2. The student’s attendance remains consistent and all absences are accounted for legally.

  3. The student holds a valid certificate of employment.

  4. The student provides to the Director of Guidance proof of employment consisting of a letter from the employer indicating the work schedule and hours with a description of the tasks to be performed and an assurance that the student will be treated by the employer in compliance with New York State labor laws.

  5. The student maintains himself or herself as an employee in good standing at the place of employment.

  6. The student works hours legal for a person of his or her age and these hours do not interfere with the successful performance of the student’s schoolwork.

  7. The student provides a weekly report of the employment consisting of a daily journal or log indicating the tasks and duties performed, hours worked, and lessons learned that has been signed by his employer due every Monday for the week before.

  8. The student and the employer participate in work site visits made by the Hermon-DeKalb Director of Guidance, Principal, or their designee.

Marking System

Numerical grades are given: 65 is a passing grade for grades 9-12; 70 is a passing grade for grades 7-8.  Students may be given a circled 50 grade (when the actual grade earned is below 50) once per subject through marking periods 1-3.  Once a circled 50 grade has been given, the student's earned grade will be recorded in subsequent marking periods.  No grade below 50 will be elevated in the 4th marking period.

Five-week progress reports will go home at the 5th, 15th, 25th, and 35th weeks.  Parents should contact the guidance office to request other progress information.  Parents should also call the main office and leave a message to schedule meetings with individual teachers.  The teacher will be asked to return your phone call.  If a need arises for a group of teachers, principal and/or guidance counselor to meet, call the Guidance Office to set up a meeting time.

Report Cards

Report cards are mailed home following the end of the marking period. You should expect to see the report approximately one week after the completion of the marking period. 

Quarterly averages may be computed by taking the numerical grade times the credit divided by the number of credits.

Incomplete Work

Incomplete grades on report cards will be changed to numerical grades two weeks from the day the report card is issued. 

Class Rank

Class rank will be determined at the end of the junior year and again at the end of the third quarter of the senior year. All grades of credit-bearing courses are used in the calculation of class rank.

Honor Roll Criteria

The following criteria is used in determining placement on the honor and high honor rolls:

1. An 85 average for honor roll and a 90 average for high honor roll.

2. All subjects receiving a numerical grade will be averaged; 1/2-credit courses will be given 1/2 weight in the average.

Credit by Examination

A student may earn a maximum of 6.5 units of credit for either a Regents or local diploma without completing units of study course credit by passing with a score of 85, or its equivalent, on a NYS Education Department approved examination in a given high school subject, and the successful completion of either an oral examination or a special project given the following conditions:

  • If, based on the student’s past academic performance, the Superintendent or his or her designee determines that the student will benefit academically by exercising this alternative.

  • If the student achieves a score of at least 85 percent or its equivalent as determined by the Commissioner on a State-developed or State-approved examination.

  • If the student passes an oral examination or successfully completes a special project, which demonstrates proficiency in the subject area as determined by the Principal.

  • If the student attends school, or received substantially equivalent instruction elsewhere, until the age of 16, in accordance with section 3204 (2) of the Education Law, and pursuant to sections 3240 and 3205 of the Education Law.

  • The student’s final grade in the course will be determined by calculating the final grade on the project (20%) with the grade on the examination (80%).

Release of Information

The Federal Student Privacy Law prohibits school districts from releasing student transcripts without the student and/or the parents' permission. Students who wish to have the school provide transcripts to colleges or employment offices must obtain the proper release form from the Guidance Office.

In order to protect the integrity of all transcripts, only mailed transcripts will be official. All transcripts hand-carried are considered unofficial.

The “No Child Left Behind Act” is designed to improve educational standards but also impacts the release of personal information about students.  Under NCLB, high schools that receive Federal funding are required to release the name, address and phone numbers of students to military recruiters and institutions of higher education upon request.  Parents or guardians have the right to “opt out” of this regulation to protect the privacy of their child.  This must be done in writing and must be done each school year.  Send such requests to the attention of the Guidance Director.

Success Club

Each marking period students in grade 7 and 8 can celebrate their success by earning membership into the Success Club.  The Club is designed to foster academic excellence and to motivate students to work to their potential.  Members also have the opportunity to develop friendships and participate in a variety of wholesome activities during the school year.  At the end of every marking period, we will look at the following:

  • Your class average (85+)

  • If your average is not 85+ you may still be eligible if you:

    • Have no more than two late homework assignments in all classes

    • No more than one discipline referral

    • Have the recommendation of your teachers to attend based on good class participation and overall attitude

Summer School

Summer school is typically offered through the Gouverneur and Ogdensburg school districts. Course offerings are based on and offered to meet the needs of their district students. If their offerings match your needs, you may register and have grades transferred to HDCS upon course completion.

Core area courses that are not successfully completed may have to be repeated in summer school. High school students may use summer school courses for acceleration with permission of the administration and availability at New York State high schools. Contact the Guidance Office for Summer School information and scheduling in mid-June.


Homework provides excellent opportunities for developing good study habits, providing for individual differences and abilities, and encouraging self-initiative on the part of the student.

Students, parents and the school share the responsibility for student learning. Parents can assist their child(ren) with homework by:

  • providing a study area free of distractions with good lighting

  • asking questions about the content of student homework

  • giving requested assistance, but letting the student do his or her own work

  • avoiding undue pressure

  • helping create a "homework habit" at the same time each night

It is widely believed that parental involvement in students' homework is essential to making homework an integral part of the educational program. Parents should encourage and monitor homework assignments.


Middle School (Grades 7-8):

Students who fail two or more core subjects (English, math, social studies, science) could be in jeopardy of repeating the entire year in that grade. A committee of middle school teachers, the principal, and the guidance counselor meet to assess each student's situation. The committee may recommend summer school or repeating the entire grade. The decision, to retain or promote a student, rests with the principal.

High School (Grades 9-12):

The number of credits earned will determine student grade level:

  • 10th grade minimum of 5 credits

  • 11th grade minimum of 10 credits

  • 12th grade minimum of 15 credits

(must be enrolled in coursework needed to graduate in June of that year) 

Selection of students for AP courses is done in accordance with the administrative procedures.