- The first step to enrolling at Community High School is calling 269-323-6769 to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are also accepted, but it is better to call ahead so we can make sure that you bring in everything you need to enroll.
- The student is responsible for bringing their transcripts and immunization records to the scheduled meeting with the student services coordinator. Transcripts can be obtained by contacting the student’s previous high school. Immunization records can be obtained through the previous school or a family physician. Students cannot be enrolled without both of these items, and Community High School cannot acquire these materials.
- In addition to transcripts and immunization records, there are a multitude of personal factors that will influence eligibility and enrollment. These factors will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and will be discussed at the initial meeting with the student services coordinator.
Community High School welcomes students who could benefit from an alternative to the traditional high school setting. In addition to a variety of the learning supports listed, we offer block scheduling, after school credit recovery, direct teacher instruction, and innovative approaches to teaching. Students who graduate from Community High School earn a high school diploma, not a GED.
Personal, family, social issues
Student services coordinator contact with parents
Frequent one-on-one meetings with students
Referrals to agencies/counselors/physicians
Drug and alcohol interventions
Career counseling/Career Day
Coordinate Community Work Experience
Military Recruiter visits
Financial aid workshops
Senior graduation audits
Provide letters of recommendations for applications/scholarships
Respond to crises/staff on PPS District Crisis Team
Participate in IEP’s and Special Education referrals
Coordinate and monitor 504’s
Utilize No Disposable Kids, Positive Behavior Support and Intervention, and Life Space Crisis Intervention training on a daily basis
Assist in appointment making and provide transportation to mothers with children
Help find housing, clothing, formula, diapers and locate resources available in the area
SADD~Red Ribbon Week
School Beautification~Spirit Week
Teachers available upon request after school
Produce Spitfire Student Newspaper
Produce Senior Magazine and Slideshow
Opportunities to participate in Education for Employment and Education for the Arts
E2020 after school credit recovery
Portage Community Outreach Center after school program
Student Leadership Class
Daily in class rewards for following PBIS expectations
Weekly recognition for students passing classes with a C- or higher
Student of the Term
Good calls home to parents
Eating lunch with students
Special bulletin boards
Competitive Softball and Volleyball teams
Travel to Mount Pleasant to compete in Volleyball tournament at state level
Participate in tournaments/host tournaments in Softball and Volleyball
Monday night open gym Volleyball throughout the year for current students/alumni
Conferences twice a year
MIPA Fall Conference and Spring State Competition
MIPA Spartan Newspaper and Website Contests
Accomplishments of Graduates
Cathy Champion attended Kendall College of Art and Design before transferring to Amherst College (one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges) and graduating in 2009 with a BA in English and Philosophy. She then earned her MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the University of Oregon in 2012.
Trevor Goff has an excellent career in the Marines, including work at the White House.
Chris Bohan, Tom Soule, Quenton Kizer, James Wyles, Andrew Smith, Larry Russell, Rusty Russell, Chris Russell, Chris Martin, and Jeremy Lincoln are serving our country.
Lesley Ptacek graduated from KVCC and is now enrolled in Art Education at WMU.
Tyler Getchel owns his own sprinkling/lawn care business.
Lena Lemon and Maria Gonzalez are cosmetologists.
Chris Losiewski earned his Master’s in Educational Leadership and is now working as a social worker with at-risk kids in a residential setting in San Francisco.
Andrew McCrosky is a chef and is now running his own restaurant.
Jenna Pollard got her Bachelor’s from WMU and then went on to get her Master’s in Special Education from University of British Columbia. She is now working in Florida with local school districts to implement Positive Behavior Support in Florida schools.
Many graduates are managers at area businesses.
Student On Campus Child Care (SOCC):
Apple Orchards/Pumpkin Patch
Binder Park Zoo/Santa/Easter Bunny
Provide rides to doctor appointments
Resources to provide outside help: food, diapers, counseling, holiday gift baskets
Holiday gift parties, provide treats and gifts
Solicit donations from area retailers to provide extras for the SOCC room
Brought in Michigan state extension office to provide nutrition information for parents
Provide referrals to families in need
Basic School Information:
- Operates Monday-Friday 7:45am-3:00pm
- Follows the Portage Public Schools district-wide school calendar
- Utilizes all of the Portage Public Schools transportation services
- Offers free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs
- Runs free daycare program for students with children (SOCC)
- Offers Metro-Bus Tokens to Kalamazoo resident students meeting specific guidelines
- Uses block scheduling with 6 class periods each day
- Classes allow the opportunity for most work to be completed in class
- Maintain smaller class sizes for individualized attention
- Teachers are highly qualified and meet all the state requirements for teaching
- Staff is trained in “No Disposable Kids” and “Positive Behavior Support Systems”
- Provides a safe and orderly environment
Attendance and Policies:
- Attendance is mandatory, excused absences can be made up with proper documentation
- Students can call in before 10am to receive an “excused” absence for the day
- Encourages good attendance/grades and uses recognition programs/acknowledgements
- Students can earn 9 credits a year (4 terms offering 2.25 credits each). Additional credits may be earned through Plato after school (or during seminar) and PCC after school program
- 11th & 12th graders with jobs (averaging 15 hours per week) can receive up to 2 credits a year
- Accepts credit from the Y.O.U. program, Michigan Virtual High School and KVCC
- Encourages students to participate in the county-wide EFE/EFA programs
- Follows Michigan Merit Curriculum guidelines, with 26 credits required to graduate
- Students are required to participate in MSTEP testing to qualify for a diploma.
- Graduates receive a Portage Public School Diploma.
Acknowledgment For Good Behavior/Good Grades
- Student of the Term Luncheon Celebrations 4 times a year
- Good calls or e-mails home to parents of students doing well in class
- Provide bus tokens for students that are Kalamazoo residents and have passing grades
- Awards Assemblies two times a year
- Ability to play/compete with Volleyball and Softball teams
- Ability to participate in the county wide EFE/EFA programs
- Ability to write for and compete with the Spitfire student newspaper.
Class Components/Credit Recovery/Before/After School Programs
- Offer Plato program after school and during the summer to students.
- Special Ed in the building: Academic Assistance class offering more time for assignments.
- Individualized programs for targeted reading intervention in addition to school-wide vocabulary instruction.
- After-school tutoring program available 3 days a week for all students.
- Smaller class sizes (when possible).
- Personal attention in class and highly differentiated instruction by teachers who specialize in at-risk education.
- Block scheduling.
- 4 terms equals 9 credits possible in one school year. Students can also earn extra credits by working, taking Plato classes, and participating in extracurricular opportunities.
- Field trips, guest speakers and community resources used in the class to offer a different way of learning.
- Free/Reduced breakfast/lunch program.
- Provide free daycare to students with children.
- Work individually with Seniors to help determine their post-high school plans.
- Assist in financial aid planning and college admission process.
Partnering/Support with Community Agencies
- Work with local Probation Officers to keep students enrolled and attending school.
- Partner with Y.O.U. to allow students the opportunity for credit recovery utilizing their NovaNET program.
- Community Mental Health, Elizabeth Upjohn Healing Center, Advocacy Services For Kids offering crisis intervention, anger management, substance abuse, conflict resolution and interpersonal difficulties.
- Work with the staff at KVCC’s Student Success Center, and work to show to educate our students as to the opportunities available to them programs that KVCC has to offer within this center that are much like the “hand holding” we do here with our At-Risk students.
Policies and Procedures
Portage Public School
This program is designed for students who have officially dropped or transferred from their high school. It includes all classes that satisfy the requirements for graduation. There is an interview/intake session required in order to be eligible for the program, and a parent or guardian must be present. If you are interested in learning more about this program call Leslie Begnoche at 323-6771 or Krista Higgason at 323-6768.
Attendance and Grade Policies for High School Students
If your student is going to be absent, please call the attendance line 323-6794 by 8:30am to excuse them for the day. This will stop the Robo-call from being made. Students that are absent with no call to excuse them, will receive a Robo-call at 10:15am and 4:30pm.
The school year is divided into four terms. Final grades will be mailed to the student’s home within two weeks after the end of the term. Students may also receive their grades in person in the High School office. Students may also look up their grades on skyward at skyward.portageps.org
Students are responsible for their own attendance, and are encouraged to check with the high school office or with their teachers on a regular basis. If you know that you will be gone for the day please call 323-6794. Back to Contents
Attendance Policy for Students under 16
Students under the age of 16 are required by law to attend school. Excessive absences may result in the student being regarded as truant and a truancy report filed with the county attendance officer. The parent/guardian will be notified if this occurs. The parent/guardian is responsible for having the student in attendance. Back to Contents
It is very important for all students and staff to learn and work in a safe, secure, and caring environment. Students and staff members are expected to behave respectively and appropriately. Students who continually violate these principles may be placed on a Community High School contract. This contract will provide structure and clear academic, behavioral, and attendance expectations for each student. Failure to meet the guidelines of the contract may result in a reduced schedule or being dropped from the program. Back to Contents
Free breakfast is available to all students and provided during 1st block seminar. Free and reduced lunches are available for those who qualify and applications are available from the high school office. Those students who leave campus to obtain lunch are expected to return on time for class having already eaten their lunch. Returning late from lunch is not an acceptable excuse for tardiness. Off campus lunches are a privilege for students with junior or senior status. Back to Contents
Cancellation of Classes
If Portage Public Schools are closed, Portage Community High School day and evening classes will also be canceled. Students may find out about cancellations through local radio and television stations, the PPS web site, calling the PPS School Closing Hotline at 323-6800, or checking news updates on Portage Cable Access. Back to Contents
Community Work Experience
This program is designed to offer credit for paid work experience, and to offer students the opportunity to extend their preparation for employment beyond the classroom. To qualify for enrollment in the program a student must have passing grades and excellent attendance. To actually receive credit the student must be passing all of their classes, and be within the attendance guidelines. Students meeting these requirements will receive a half credit in the elective area each term. Back to Contents
Students are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather and for the school setting. Students may not wear clothing with known gang symbols,profanity, or which promote drug/alcohol or tobacco use. A student may not wear items of clothing that are determined to be inappropriate and are a disruption to the educational environment. Students’ clothing is not to be revealing, suggestive or otherwise distracting. Hats may not be worn or brought to the classroom. Back to Contents
Students are expected to participate and complete all of the required work for a course. Should circumstances arise which would prevent a student from completing a course, the student should notify the high school office immediately. Those students who exceed the attendance guidelines and fail to communicate with their teacher will be dropped from the class. All students are encouraged to take a full load but it is acknowledged that circumstances may prevent this; therefore, students are asked to be reasonably sure of their capabilities, and responsibilities before enrolling in classes. Those students dropped from all classes during a school term will be placed at the bottom of an ongoing registration list and there may or may not be a slot for the student in the next term. Back to Contents
Due to problems that have occurred electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets and I-Pods should be kept in a locker at all times. Back to Contents
Many of our teachers will use field trips and community resources as part of their learning process. These trips will require little to no expense for the students. Transportation will be provided at little or no cost to the student. If there is a concern from the parent/guardian about this, they are encouraged to contact the high school office. Back to Contents
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
No Child Left Behind (section 9528) requires student directory information to be made available to military recruiters and institutions of high education. Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) a student or his/her parents may request that information not be released without prior written consent. Here is the description of the FERPA requirements:
Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school. Back to Contents
Commencement is held in the spring of each year to recognize and honor students who have met all of the requirements for high school completion. The ceremony takes place in the PNHS Auditorium with Portage Public School Board of Education members, special guest, and your family and friends. Students may have different requirement for graduation depending on age and/or date of enrollment into the program. Only those students that need 2.5 credits or less in their last term will be placed on the final graduation list. Prior to commencement there are activities such as prom, senior lunch, and end of the year assemblies. Announcements, class rings and caps/gowns are available to all students through the Jostens representative. All Graduation questions should be directed to Krista Higgason at 323-6768. Back to Contents
The Community High School requires 26 credits to graduate, with credits needed in English, Mathematics, Science, Government, Economics, Social Studies and Electives. Back to Contents
Our building is the home for many other programs; this means that at any one time, young children and other adults will be in the building. Profanity,vulgar language and inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated. Students are expected to be in class during class time. If a student needs to leave the class, they need to have a pass from their teacher with their destination recorded in their possession at all times. In the classroom, students are not to use profane language or display a lack of respect to the teacher at any time. Students are encouraged to speak to the teacher if he/she is in disagreement over an issue and to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. Back to Contents
Illegal Substance Possession
Possession, use, or appearance of being under the influence of; alcoholic beverages, narcotics, hallucinogens, inhalants, amphetamines, barbiturates, anabolic steroids, marijuana, controlled substances, designer drugs or mood/behavior-altering chemicals and prescription drugs for which the student does not have a prescription, as well as look-alikes or what is represented as a drug or alcohol product during times when students are subject to the authority of the school. Back to Contents
Illness and Medication
If a student becomes ill during school, the student should notify the classroom teacher and report to the high school office. Should the student choose to go home, the student will be encouraged to call their parent/guardian to arrange transportation. Whenever possible, arrangements may be made for the student to rest in a quiet area for a short period of time. Parents are required to notify the office when their student has medication that needs to be taken during the school day. Students that need to have medication administered during the day by one of our staff members must have a “Permission to administer medication” form on file in the office. Back to Contents
As a means of encouraging students to place education high on their priority list, the Portage Community High School is offering incentives to encourage academics and attendance. Prizes will be awarded for those students who meet the criteria. Back to Contents
During the school year the Portage Board of Education makes available a voluntary student accident insurance program. The benefit options are available in the fall. Coverage provided can help decrease the burden of unexpected medical and dental expenses, including those left unpaid due to family deductibles and co-payments. Back to Contents
Lockers are available to all students, and they are expected to keep the locker in good condition. The school reserves the right to search lockers at any time. Back to Contents
The student parking lot is located behind the west wing of the building. Our building is an extremely busy place; consequently students are asked to maintain caution while traveling to and from the parking lot. Excessive speed, and careless/reckless driving will result in the student losing the privilege to drive to school and or suspension from school in addition to a formal police complaint. We are a secure building, therefore, students are to enter the building through our lobby. After school begins the doors are locked and students need to enter through the office located by the purple overhang. Back to Contents
Phone Use/Student Messages
Students are not allowed to use cell phones in class but may use them between classes and lunch. Students receiving emergency messages from friends or family will be notified, if possible, when the message comes in. Back to Contents
School sponsored events may include, but are not limited to motivational speakers, field trips, and assemblies at other schools. Opportunities are also provided for students to participate/compete with other programs in Basketball, Volleyball and Softball. Students are encouraged to participate in school activities, and eligibility for off campus events must be met in order to participate. Back to Contents
Scholarships are available for graduates from Portage Community High School to attend college. See Krista Higgason for applications/advice and further information. Back to Contents
Search of Vehicles
Any vehicle entering the school campus is subject to search by school authorities and by law enforcement personnel working with them. Such search may be conducted without warrant for any reasonable purpose when reasonable suspicion of a threat to a safe and orderly environment exists. Reasonable suspicion occurs when school officials, from a combination of particularly facts and experience, feel the degree of intrusion is warranted by the likelihood that evidence will be found. Search of the vehicle includes all compartments and components thereof. Once search begins, the person in control of the vehicle shall not be permitted to remove it from the premises during the reasonable duration of the search. The school parking lots are under video camera surveillance at all times, as are the building themselves. Back to Contents
Sexual Harassment and Intimidation
Portage Community High School shall maintain an environment for all employees and students that is free from discriminatory and/or sexual insult, intimidation, and harassment. Sexual assault is any physical sexual contact which a person has not given consent to. Sexual harassment is any unwanted sexual gesture or language directed towards another person. Any student who feels that they have been sexually harassed/assaulted by another student should report the conduct to a teacher or an office staff person immediately. Back to Contents
In order to “sign out” during the school day, students report to 130 and talk to Dawn Sylvester. At this time they will be required to state their purpose for leaving, as well as the time they plan on arriving back to school. This information must be VERIFIABLE. Any student leaving school without following this procedure will be suspended for the remainder of that day. Students should report to 130 to sign in when they are arriving to school after 7:45 am. Back to Contents
Each year our enrollment continues to grow. Therefore, it has become a privilege to be enrolled in the Community High School Program. We would like all students completely interested in attending school and learning, however, we know that this is not always the case. If a student enrolls in a class and they feel that it is not meeting their particular needs, we suggest that they come to the office to switch to another class. A student that continually skips the class will eventually lose their seat in the class. Back to Contents
The Portage Community High School Student Service Coordinators & Social Workers will provide confidential assistance to students who have education concerns and personal issues such as drug/alcohol abuse, homelessness and family/personal problems. Referrals may also be made to outside agencies. Teachers may also be considered a resource. A crisis team is available to handle grief issues if and when they arise. Back to Contents
Student On Campus Care (SOCC)
The Student On Campus Care program is free to students who attend classes regularly. The program offers excellent care and fun activities for young children. The day care is filled on a first come, first served policy. Parents must have their child to the SOCC room by 10 and call by 9 if they will be late. Back to Contents
Student Search And Seizure
School authorities may search a student, student lockers and student automobiles and may seize any illegal or unauthorized materials discovered in the search. Failure to permit searches and seizures as provided in this policy will be considered grounds for disciplinary action. Back to Contents
Students have time between classes which we consider to be adequate to attend to personal needs and to get back to class on time. Students who continually arrive late to class may not be allowed to enter past a certain time, and will have to report to Room 129 for the remainder of the hour. Students may receive a “UA” in a class due to inappropriate behavior, not returning from breaks, leaving class without permission, or for reasons deemed appropriate by the teacher. An unexcused absence cannot be made up. Back to Contents
Possession or use of tobacco in any form including look-alike or what is represented as tobacco, or in the presence of visible smoke, is prohibited on school property. Back to Contents
All Portage Public School District residents are eligible to access the Portage Public School transportation service, at the discretion of the Community High School and Transportation Department. A positive attitude and exceptional behavior are required when using this service. An inability to comply will result in loss of privilege and possible school suspension.
All non-Portage Public School District students are required to have their own source of transportation. Please contact someone in the High School Office to explore transportation options. A limited supply of Metro Transit bus tokens are available for students in good standing, and bus schedules are available in the main lobby. Back to Contents
Free and after school tutoring will be available to all students. Qualified staff and volunteers will assist students in specific academic areas of concern. The Portage Community High School reserves the right to exclude students from tutoring based on their behavior and the availability of space in the program. Back to Contents
Parents are encouraged to make arranged visitation to our school. Probation Officers, Caseworkers and Protective Services personnel may also visit students. No other visitors will be allowed without permission from the high school staff. All visitors must report directly to the office. Back to Contents
Weapon Free Schools
Expulsion is recommended for every student possessing, using, threatens to use; transferring any weapon/instrument capable of inflicting harm or considered dangerous by the administration. The term weapon includes such items as a firearm, tazers, stun guns, (including a soft pellet gun or BB gun), dagger, dirk, stiletto, knife with a blade over three (3) inches in length, pocket knife opened by a mechanical device, iron bar, brass knuckles, paint ball guns, etc (Weapons-Free School Zone Policy #5360) (State Law)