Home Handout

  • Highland Falls Intermediate School Band Home Handout


    -Students are required to come to class on time with the required materials.  The materials that must be brought to class are as follows…

    o   instrument

    o   pencils

    o   music/scale sheet

    o   book

    o   folder

    o   marble notebook



    -Each student will receive an individual grade every class period based off of behavior, participation, and bringing required materials.


    -Caught cards may also be awarded for positive behavior that stands out in both lessons and in band.

    -Once a student begins band for the school year, they will not be allowed to leave until the end of the school year. Students must drop by the end of June for scheduling and planning purposes.


    Concert Requirements

    -There will be 2 concerts during the school year, 1 every half year.  The first will be held in December and the second in May/June.

    -Attendance at concerts is mandatory. If a student has an emergency (i.e. death in the family, extreme illness) and brings in a note from a parent or a doctor’s note, they will be given the opportunity to complete an alternate project. If a note is not produced, then the student will not be given the chance to complete a project. Failure to attend a concert or complete the project, will result in a failing grade for this requirement and may result in a failing grade for the quarter.

    -After concert party: If a student does not attend the concert, then they will not be allowed to participate in the after concert party, even if they had enough Dojo Points.

    -Appropriate attire is mandatory as well and is up to the judgment of the conductor to decide what is appropriate.  Please also read the school’s code of conduct for appropriate attire. Appropriate attire is as follows...


    5/6 Bands:

    o   Students are allowed to wear any color clothing they like.

    o   Boys:     -Dress pants or Kakis (no jeans)

    -dress shirts or polos (no t-shirts)

    -No flip-flops or sneakers.

    o   Girls:  -Shirts must have an acceptable neckline, not exposing too much skin.

    -Skirts should be knee length or longer. (Please remember ladies you will be sitting on a stage.)

    -If skirts are not knee length, leggings are highly recommend to preserve modesty.

    -Sneakers and flip-flops are not acceptable.


    7/8 Band:

    o   Students must wear black on the bottom, white on the top.  No exceptions.

    o   Please see 5/6 above for other details about appropriate attire at the concert.


    *If a student cannot procure appropriate clothing, they must speak with Mrs. Thomas at least a week or more before the concert.


    *Also if attire is does not meet the school dress code Mrs. Thomas  and Ms. Bankus reserve the right to ask the student to change or remove the student from the concert. Students not dressed appropriately will lose points on their grade.



    -All students are required to attend a lesson that will be scheduled once master building schedule has been completed. This schedule will be posted outside my door, in many classrooms around the building, read on the announcements daily, and lesson passes will be given to students the last band day of the week during band. (Lesson passes for grade 6-8)

    -If a student is unable to make it to their lesson, he/she must let Mrs.Thomas know at the beginning of the day of the lesson at the very latest and make plans then to make it up.

    -The lesson must be made up before the next lesson to receive weekly lesson points. If it is not made up, then a zero will be assigned for the lesson.

    -Acceptable excuses for not being able to attend a lesson only include tests, quizzes, labs that cannot be made up any other time, and illness.

    Grading in lessons:

    -Students will be given a grade based off of participation, behavior, and bringing required materials.  Required materials includes practice journal and everything listed above under BAND. (See page 1.)

    -Students will have 2 types of playing exams during a quarter. Every lesson there will be a group playing exam where all students will play songs of Mrs. Thomas' choosing from the assignment given to them at their last lesson. They will perform 2 songs, a grade will be given for each, and the average of the 2 grades will be their exam grade for that lesson. An end of the quarter indivudal playing exam will be given. Students in 7/8 have the opportunity to record their exam at home and email it to Mrs. Thomas. I, Mrs. Thomas reserve the right to ask a student to perform the exam again in school in front of me for any reason, for example: exam sound wasn't very clear, suspected cheating as in someone else performed the exam for you, etc.


    Practice Journal:

    -Students in 5 & 6th grade are required to practice for a certain amount of time per week.

    o   5th grade: 20 min./5 days= 100 min.

    o   6th grade: 30 min./5 days= 150 min.

    -Students in band 7/8 can submit a practice journal weekly for one point extra credit for each journal. It must be for 120-150 minutes and signed by a parent to receive the full point. If half time (75 min.) to 119 minutes and signed, the student will receive a half a point, per journal. So if there are 10 weeks in a quarter and a student submits a practice journal every week, they could earn 10 points extra credit.

    -Parents must sign practice journal at the end of each week or only half credit will be earned.  Journals should be brought to weekly lessons signed or can be shown to Mrs. Thomas at the end of band rehearsals.  If not signed at lesson, the student must bring it in no later than the end of the week to receive credit. (continued on next page)



     Grading Practice Journals:

    -      1 point: practicing for required amount time

    -      .5 points: practicing less than required amount of time

    -      0 points: practicing less than half than required amount of time

    -      .5 points extra credit will be awarded for extra practice time on top of 1 point. Practice journal must be signed by a parent to receive the extra .5 point.

    o   Please refer to grade level practice journal for specifics


    Playing Exams

    -5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade will have a playing exam at the end of each quarter. The 7th and 8th grade play exams will be in lieu of returning a practice journal. All musicians will be tested on their ability to perform the music that has been covered in band and in lessons as well as bookwork and scales.  

    -Please see lessons section for weekly group, lesson playing exam.


    Class Dojo

    I will be using Class Dojo to tabulate participation grades. Additionally for Advanced Wind Ensemble, points will be accrued for participation in the concerts and the after concert parties as well as any other additional band activities.

    Please be sure to sign in to Class Dojo so you can communicate with me and be informed of your child’s progress.

    Additionally, your child may have their picture taken and posted up on this secure website that can only be accessed by other parents and students involved in their specific Dojo class. If you need your sign in information, please ask me.


    Additional Information

    *Students are expected to respect their instrument, classmates, and teacher.

    *Students are expected to follow all school rules as described in the Highland Falls Code of Conduct.  Failure to adhere to Code of Conduct and guidelines set by Mrs. Thomas will result in negative consequences.


    Mentor Program

    Students in Advanced Wind Ensemble will participate in a mentor program. Some 8th grade students will be mentors and all 7th graders will be mentees with activities happening throughout the school year between mentor and mentee.


    Grading Components:



    -Practice Journal/Quarterly Playing Exam


    -Quizzes and tests