High School Norms


“Norms” are behaviors and learning expectations that we all agree upon in our community.  These are the basic big ones…Please read carefully:


Norm #1:  You are In Charge of Your Own Education
Our studies and culture are designed for your rising independence and offer practice for university studies. Therefore, we rely on your contributions in the following areas:

  1. An abundance of direct and honest communication with your adults (advisors, teachers, and parents.)

  2. Engagement and participation in your own learning. Your work is done interdependently. Lessons, classes, small group discussions, seminars, study groups, teacher and advisor meetings occur throughout the day - your engaged presence is required!   

  3. Management and organization of your time in and out of school. School IS your work right now and has many deadlines and expectations that you must meet in order to successfully earn credit and graduate.  Expect homework!  Plan for at least an hour (sometimes more) of work each night – especially during the transition of starting school, and during quarter midterms and semester finals.     



Norm #2:  Public Relations (also known as “PR”)
Being the oldest students on campus means you have the greatest responsibility with our younger community members.  None of us tolerate disrespectful behavior or language anywhere on or around campus including Tony Grampsas park, parking lots, gym, elementary environment, farm school/children’s house building.  All of our students are expected to monitor themselves and each other and to accept confrontation graciously if they make a mistake.



Norm #3:  Dress Like a Student
Part of your PR job is dressing respectfully and comfortably.  If your pants are sagging, your eyes are covered by hair or hats, you show up in your pajamas, your bras/bellies are showing, or you choose to wear shirts with offensive language or images, we’ll ask you to change your non-PR style. Again, as the oldest, you have the most responsibility for modeling respectful behavior, including how you dress and how you present yourself as a Montessori student.    



Norm #4:  Computers - Friend or Foe?
You may bring your laptop to school. Yet, if you are easily distracted by surfing on the net, or tend to “hide” behind the screen so you aren’t participating in learning, the best choice would be to leave your laptop at home. You can always use one of our working desktops. All of your work can be saved in your Compass Montessori Google Doc. account – and you can access it from anywhere in the world. We tire easily from the many overused and complex computer excuses for late or unavailable work:  “my printer’s not working, our computers won’t talk to your computers, bad disks, jump drive doesn’t work, my computer has a virus and caught on fire, the computers at my mom’s /dad’s house are broke, and so on.”  Avoid being caught in the downward spiral of computer excuses and become consistently mindful of your organization of assignments and due dates.



Norm #5:  Cell Phones, and Other Distractions
Cell Phones – all cell phones turn them off when you walk in the door.  We have plenty of phones for your use if you need to make a call during school hours.  Basically, we don’t want to see or hear them. If the use of your cell phone seems more important than your work, or it becomes a distraction to your learning or others, we will remove the Cell Phone-Distraction immediately.  

ALL other electronics are not permitted in the environment. They will be confiscated immediately.  

Lastly, we do NOT want to be the laptop,  cell phone, and other Distractions Police.  Our environment is designed for both quiet study and out-loud crazy learning.  The best thing to do would be to leave these items at home and just enjoy your cool self and your cool community of learners.  



Norm #6: Be Prepared for Learning! (School Supply List)

  • Jumpdrive if you need one
  • Stapler – we always seem to be out
  • Separate notebooks for English, history, and science.  Composition books are recommended for English and history.   The best science notebooks are the ones with bound graph paper if you can find them. Math supplies are listed below.
  • Organizational tool.  Whatever works for you to stay organized…planner, notebook, calendar, and so on.
  • An enormous amount of writing utensils - #2 Pencils, pens, colored pencils, Sharpies
  • One ream of white paper for community use
  • Kleenex
  • Glue Sticks
  • Scissors
  • (lock)”ER” organizers – if you think you’ll use it. We use the word “ER” for our lockers because they have no locks.
  • Passport (please don’t bring to school; just apply for one if you haven’t done so.)



Math Supplies List

  • Binder - 2” works best
  • Dividers/tabs for binder (at least four)
  • Highly recommended - Graphing calculator (a used TI-83 is great).
  • Loose-leaf lined paper and loose-leaf graphing paper
  • Compass and straightedge
  • Colored pencils



Norm #7:  Off-Campus Lunch & Driving
Being off-campus for lunch is a privilege, not a right.  All areas on and around our campus (including Tony Grampsas Park) are a part of our community and we expect your best PR 100% of the time. (See Norm #2.) Student drivers may go off campus for lunch, however, remember that Colorado law has very strict age requirements regarding how many passengers can ride with you.  Non-drivers? Know that a lot of our driving students are willing to get your lunch and bring it back for you. Know that many of our students eat lunch at school.  Purchasing our healthy delicious lunch from our  Farm School, or bringing your own lunch is truly the best (and most affordable) thing to do!



Norms – A Final Thought
Our high school Norms allow all of us to work together in a responsible and respectful way. Norms are how we function respectfully in our hallway-long environment. These norms of respect and responsibility offer us a generous amount of freedom, which of course, is where all the crazy-learning-fun begins. Those of you new to our community, please know that all returning students are there to help you get in the groove of what it means to be a Montessori high school student!



Trips/Field Trips and Service Intensive Project

  • College-Tour trip is a possibility for students and occurs in the fall semester. Additionally, colleges that are in driving distance such as the University of Denver, Colorado State University, University of Colorado, Naropa University, and University of Northern Colorado are considered day trips, and can be set up by groups of students as a “Going-Out.” Our College-Tour may include colleges that are not considered day-trips.  ?
  •  MLK Marade an annual tradition at Compass Montessori High School. We believe in a “day on” rather than a day off in order to honor Dr. King and his legacy.  The cost of this trip is $5.00.
  •  Re-Orientation / Test Prep Trip is a mandatory trip for all students in January.  We go to Winter Park YMCA, study hard for standardized tests, learn new test strategies, and participate in stress release fun. The price for this trip is generally around $175.00.
  •  International Studies Trip, May 2016  
    An optional international trip is offered every year. All students may apply to go. This year we are studying  Environmental Science studies in advanced science classes.  We are currently waiting for exact quotes from our educational travel partners. Traveling to any part of the world can be very, very pricey; therefore, we are awaiting the best price with a company that can accommodate our educational study needs.
  • Service Intensive Project, May 2016
    In order for Compass Montessori High School students to become aware of global issues that directly affect their local communities and the human condition, students participate in a two-week service project with local organizations. Through the Service Intensive Project, students will become active participants in the work of creating peace. Our goal is that every student graduates with a passion for changing the world through their own efforts.
  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Our last all-school activity of the year!  The cost is $10.00 for museum admission and transportation.



Literature Groups and Books

  • As part of our humanities curriculum, students are often required to buy literature books,
  • from us, four to five times a school year. Students may use their own copies of books if they are the same edition as the ones available for purchase.   Moreover, some books we have class sets of and will check out to students.  If they are damaged or lost they need to be replaced at the students’ expense.



Plagiarism and Consequences
We strictly adhere to the Jefferson County Conduct Code on plagiarism which states: “Knowingly copying or using academic work of another and presenting it as his or hers without proper attribution is grounds for suspension.   A first offense of plagiarizing another’s work receives a zero on the assignment. Yikes!  Another offense means failing the class.  Double Yikes! Plagiarism includes known scholarly work, copy/pasting from the Internet, as well as copy/pasting other student’s work.  We support students with lessons on what plagiarism is, how to cite sources and how to avoid plagiarizing early in the semester.  This is the “rule” part of your work at Compass –it is your responsibility to know what plagiarism is, and to ask one of us anytime you are unsure.



The Conduct Code is a legal document that all public schools are bound to in Jefferson County.  It is important that you familiarize yourself with the district’s policies on student conduct and discipline.  The link to the Conduct Code is: http://www.jeffcopublicschools.org/schools/code_of_conduct


College in Colorado (excellent site on planning, preparing, and scholarship information) https://secure.collegeincolorado.org/home/home.aspx


College Board (college majors, location search)



Princeton Review (college majors, location search)



Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 



Fast Web (one of the better search engines for scholarships)



Transitions 2015 Slideshow available here