Student Handbook

Message from the Principal

Dear Gator Family,

On behalf of the GATES High School team, I am very pleased to welcome all students, parents and guardians to the 2020 school year.  It is often thought that educators take the summer off.  I can tell you that while we may enjoy a little vacation time, most of us continue working by continuing our own professional growth through reading, workshops, and attending classes and conferences. This year, we have retained 100% of our instructional team and have some new additions to our support and administrative team.  I would like to welcome our new intervention case manager, Ms. Ari Peters, who works in our Regulate and Restore room, as well as our credit recovery lab.  We also have a new part-time para, Ms. Nichole Graham, who will support our English Language Learners.  On the administrative side of the house, we welcome Dr. Brian Olsen as our new assistant principal, and Ms. Angela Quiram (“Q”), as our new dean of students.  GATES has added a new position, and we welcome Ms. Kristina Levendoski as our family engagement coordinator.  Each of us is here to serve the needs of our students and families, as we recognize that learning does not begin and end in the classroom, it is a community event and we are all committed to the success of every student. 

I am proud to share that the class of 2019 was our most successful class in the history of GATES High School.  We increased our on-time graduation rate to an all-time high of 78.7%.  We have set a goal to increase this again for our class of 2020 and hope to exceed 80%!  This kind of success only happens when we work together as a team.  The number one indicator of student success at GATES is regular attendance.  Students who fail, or drop out, share one thing in common…low attendance.  We fully understand that many of our students and families are living in difficult situations that can make regular attendance a challenge.  That said, please communicate with us if there are challenges, and allow us the opportunity to work with you to build support and assist when possible.   We offer many on campus supports that may be of benefit, please just let us know.

It is an honor to work with a team that is highly professional and takes their work very seriously.  It is our goal to facilitate academic growth as well as social emotional growth for all students.  After a successful pilot last year, we have adopted a new Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum called School Connect which will be taught as a two-term class to all incoming Gators.  Through hands on learning, this course focuses on responsible decision making through self-awareness, social awareness, self-management and relationship skills. 


Val Jones

GATES Principal

School Information and Schedule

School Information

School Hours

Office Hours                                       7:00-3:00

Breakfast                                             7:00-7:20

School Day                                          7:20-1:50

Early Release (90 min)                   7:20-12:20

General Expectations

General Expectations 

GATES Success Academy Application and Procedures

Any student between the ages of 15–21, who is a high school student (grades 10–12), and will be able to complete all high school credits and requirements by the time s/he turns 21 is welcome to enroll at GATES High School.  Students who are currently under suspension or expulsion from another school are welcome to enroll in GATES when the conditions to re-enter her/his home school have been met.  Every student entering GATES High School is required to complete a class, titled GATES Success Academy, prior to the term s/he enters school.  It is requested that new students bring a copy of their immunization record and transcript with them on the first day of GATES Success Academy.  Also, a copy of any student accommodation forms should be brought if it applies. 


The purpose of GATES Success Academy is to help students understand the school and to determine if there is a match between the students’ needs and the school’s program offerings.  GATES Success Academy is required before a student can attend classes at GATES.   GATES Success Academy activities are designed to help students get to know the staff, each other, and to assess the students’ skills.  Students earn .25 elective credits by completing GATES Success Academy successfully. 


Students who live in school districts outside of the Franklin Pierce Public Schools area are welcome to enroll in GATES High School on a space available basis.  District acceptance and release procedures will be followed for students who live outside of Franklin Pierce Public Schools and wish to attend GATES High School. 


GATES Success Academy classes have been scheduled for the 2019-2020 school year.  Students interested in enrolling in GATES High School and meeting the above criteria can come to GATES Success Academy on any of the following dates that meet their needs. Students who live out of district and are attending GATES on a variance must have that variance approved prior to attending GATES.  You may call  for more information on variance.  Students with Individualized Educational Plans need to drop of an IEP and get approval prior to placement at GATES.  The placement must meet the individual learning needs of the student before a student is able to attend. 




GATES High School holds high expectations for its students.  In order to achieve these high standards, regular attendance is necessary.  Washington State Law and Franklin Pierce Public Schools Board Policy requires that all students make minimum academic progress to maintain their academic standing within the school.  The choice not to attend regularly will result in the student’s inability to make sufficient academic progress.  This may result in the student being dropped from enrollment for one school term.




Students can earn a .25 credit each class that they successfully complete a term.  Credit will be awarded at the end of each term.  All work at GATES High School must be completed at a mastery level of at least 70% in order to receive credit at the end of the class.  An incomplete class will appear on a student’s transcript as an “I”. 



Academic Probation

Students enrolled at GATES High School progress toward graduation by working at their own pace.


Students must earn 1.25 credits per term to remain on track to graduate at a four year pace.  This is considered normal academic progress at GATES High School.  Students must make minimum progress each term or they will be placed on academic probation.  Minimum progress can be defined as less than 1.25 credits per term.   While on probation, students must complete a Student Intervention plan from their advisor.  Students who do not make sufficient academic progress while on academic probation may be dropped from school for one school term (WAC 392-121-182 Alternative Learning Experience Plan).


Check and Connect Class

All students at GATES High School take a Check and Connect class for the entire time they are enrolled at GATES High School.  The Check and Connect class meets daily and is taught by the student’s academic advisor.  The Check and Connect class emphasizes goal setting, study skills and academic progress.  Attendance is required for all students.  Students who do not attend Check and Connect class may be placed on contract and could be dropped if they fail to comply with the terms of the contract.  

General Information


Core Business Statement

 The core business of Franklin Pierce Schools is to engage all students in rigorous, relevant, high quality work.

FPSD Mission Statement

To provide students an engaging educational environment, built upon proven academics and high standards, resulting in successful and contributing citizens.

We Believe

  • Every student can learn to think, reason, and achieve at high levels.
  • Every student can learn more every day.
  • Every student has potential for educational and economic success beyond high school.
  • Every teacher is a “Leader of Learning” whose primary job is to engage students in meaningful experiences that result in desired learning.
  • Our ability to build positive relationships with students contributes to learning.
  • Every school principal is “Leader of Leaders”
  • Every staff member has the responsibility to support the core business.


GATES High School Beliefs

-Build partnerships among students, staff, families, and community.

-Focus on the positive to create an environment where students feel secure to be who they are while respecting the individuality of others.

-Offer a safe, small learning environment that provides resources to meet individual student needs.

-Increase student achievement by providing meaning and engaging work.

-Encourage students to take responsibility for their lives and to formulate educational plans that direct them toward success during and after high school.



Any accident in a school building, on school grounds, at practice sessions or at any athletic event sponsored by the school must be reported immediately to the person in charge and to the school office. The appropriate accident report form must be completed by the supervising staff member and turned into the office manager.  During school hours, students involved in an accident are expected to report to the health room for evaluation.



Assemblies are scheduled as a part of the total school program to be attended by all students, and as such are designed to be educational and supportive of the educational program.  They provide one of the few opportunities in school to learn formal audience behaviors.


All students will sit on the benches provided in the gym. Students will not be allowed to stand or sit in aisles or pathways because of fire regulations.


Assemblies will be held at regularly scheduled times during the school year. On these days an activity schedule will be published to provide an assembly agenda and time period.


On assembly days, students are expected to:

      1.   Report directly to their C&C and then to the assembly, as directed by the classroom teacher

      2.   Sit in the proper section

      3.   Listen considerately and attentively to speakers

      4.   Participate in the manner requested

      5.   Remain in seats unless requested to participate in assembly


Early dismissal:

If a student has to leave school prior to the end of the school day, he/she is to check into the main office to sign out with a parent or guardian. If the student is not being signed out by a parent or guardian they should bring a written and signed request stating the reason for the early dismissal. If the student does not have a note, personnel in the office will attempt to contact the parent(s) or guardian(s) before a student will be released from school. If contact is not made, and the decision is made by an administrator that it is in the best interest of the student to allow him/her to leave school, the student will be responsible to see that a parent/guardian contacts the school prior to their return to verify knowledge of their absence. Students leaving campus without approval from the main office will be considered unexcused/truant, regardless of the circumstances.


Late arrival:

Students arriving to school late are required to check into the office for a pass prior to reporting to class. A note of verification is required. Notes must contain the reason for the late arrival, signature of the parent or guardian, date, and a telephone number where the parent or guardian may be reached. 


Scheduled late arrival or early dismissal:

Students who are needed by their parents or employer during school hours on a regular basis can apply for a permanent late arrival or early dismissal. This privilege is permitted to those students who are progressing satisfactorily toward graduation and who have a parent permission slip on file in the attendance office. Students who abuse this privilege by loitering around campus will have it revoked. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of schedule changes that will change their arrival time on campus.  Students are not to be on campus until their first class begins and/or must leave after their last class dismisses.


Planned absence:

GATES High School strongly discourages students from taking extended vacations during the term or leaving school prior to the normal closing date. Students missing class lose essential instruction and place increased demands on classroom teachers in the areas of record keeping and administering make-up work.


During the planning for a pre-arranged absence, parents and students should understand that teachers cannot possibly, in all cases, pre-teach the lessons nor provide make-up assignments to cover all the material that will be missed.  However, occasions arise where extended absences are necessary.


So that students and parents may not be misled and suffer possible disappointment, it must be clearly understood that:


     1.  A letter of request outlining reasons for the absence, expected duration and departure date, must be written to the school.

    2.  A Planned Absence form will be issued by the office to be presented by the student to his/her teachers at least three days before the absence.

    3.  Teachers have been asked to outline to the student possible consequences that could result from the extended absence and alternatives that would help minimize the potential harm to the student’s final grade. An indication of willingness on the part of the teacher to assist the student is not to be construed as a promise that the student will receive full credit. The responsibility for completion of all make-up requirements rests with the student.

    4.  A parent’s signature of approval is required on the absence request form after reading the teacher’s consequences.

    5.  Final clearance must be completed in the office by returning the Planned Absence form to the Attendance Office with the parent’s signature. Planned absences must be approved by an administrator to have the absence excused.

    6.  Pre-arranged absences will be classified as an absence (except for school sponsored absences).



Students driving automobiles to school are expected to have a valid driver's license, proof of current insurance, valid registration and to comply with the following procedures and regulations:

  1. All student automobiles must be registered with the main office. Failure to register your vehicle may result in being towed, at owner’s expense.
  2. Students are to park in either gravel lot adjacent to the gym or the upper lots. Students are not to park in the upper lot reserved for staff, in the lower lot reserved for staff, district personnel and visitors, or in the Brookdale Elementary lot. Parking in staff and/or visitor areas may result in towing at owner’s expense.
  3. Students are to enter and exit the parking areas in a safe and respectful manner. Music is to be turned down. “Peeling out” and excessive speeds will result in loss of driving privileges for the remainder of the current semester (at least 9 weeks).  Students will not be allowed to park on school grounds or within 1000 yards of school grounds.
  4. Access to all student automobiles is prohibited during normal school hours and during lunch. Students may gain access to automobiles only with administrative approval.
  5. Student automobiles parked on or adjacent to Franklin School District property during normal school hours are subject to administrative search when reasonable cause exists (FPSD Policy 3230).
  6. Students are responsible for automobiles (and all contents), under their control, parked on or adjacent to FPSD property.



Computer and printer use is only for academic projects, class assignments, and research that relates directly to school work.  Students must obtain staff permission to use school computers and are prohibited from downloading games, music or programs, and from visiting unauthorized social networking, email, chat or other non-school-related sites.  Violations of computer lab rules will result in After School Intervention and loss of computer privileges for up to the remainder of the school year.



Students are prohibited from bringing to school objects that interfere with or disrupt the educational process.  Squirt guns, stink bombs, cards, laser pointers, bandanas, and other items, serve no useful educational purpose.  Students found using or in possession of these items will have the object confiscated and be subject to school discipline. Electronic devices such as mp3 players, cell phones, portable video games, etc. are not allowed in class. They are to be turned off and put away. Students using these items while in a classroom will have them confiscated and may only have them returned to a parent or guardian.  Some items may not be returned.



The school building, school grounds or school activities are not the places for public displays of affection (i.e. kissing and touching).  Students involved in public displays of affection will be subject to school discipline.



The State of Washington recognizes a student who is eighteen as an adult and responsible for his or her own actions. This fact does not alleviate their responsibility to adhere to all of the rules and policies of the Franklin Pierce School District and GATES High School in order to maintain enrollment.


Students must have a written notice on file in the office to be able to sign themselves in or out of school.  


Information may be released to parents of an adult student (over 18) when parents provide more than half of the student’s support. We will therefore use the student’s residence as the determining factor. If a student over 18 is living with his/her parents, GATES High School will release information to the parents.



Each year the School District is faced with the possibility that an emergency may arise which necessitates closing the schools without advance notice. Such emergencies may be weather-related (heavy snow, icy roads, etc.); natural (earthquakes, volcanoes, etc.); or man-made (nuclear fallout, crime, physical damage, etc.).


If schools are in session, students may be sent home early or they may be retained at school beyond the regular closing time, depending upon the circumstances.


A student’s diploma, transcript, or report card may be withheld until the student pays fines for any school property that has been lost or damaged at any school they have attended either Franklin Pierce or another school district . Upon payment for damages, the diploma, transcript, or report card will be released.



The procedures for safe and orderly evacuation, lock down, etc. are located in each classroom, in the main office, and in the administrative offices. In order to ensure that all school personnel and students are effectively trained in emergency and disaster situations, regularly scheduled drills will occur each month while school is in session.



Tampering with fire extinguishers/alarms is defined as a criminal act under the laws of the State of Washington. In the interest of safety, life and property, students are directed to refrain from tampering in any way with fire extinguishers/alarms.



Letter grades of A, B, C, and F are used. All carry credit except the F which carries no credit, but is averaged in the grade point average.


Grades and Grade Points

A…………………….4.0      B…………………….3.0       C……………………2.0

A-…………………..3.7       B-……………………2.7      C-…………………..1.7

B+………………….3.3       C+………………….2.3       F…………………….0.0




Grades from off Campus Programs: Grades issued through institutions not on the campus of GATES High School will be included on GATES High School transcripts and calculated into the GPA of students enrolled in these institutions. These institutions include but are not limited to Running Start, Pierce County Skills Center, high school completion, vocational classes, and correspondence courses.



Honor roll is compiled each term and students are recognized who meet the following criteria:

GATES High Honor Roll:             3.00 or better

GATES Honor Roll:                     2.5 to 2.99

Honors at graduation are conferred upon any senior who has a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater for grades 9-12.



By going to the Website at, students and parents may access the following information:

  • A summary of the grades for each class, including detailed progress reports showing an itemization by assignment and missing work.
  • An indication as to when the grades were last updated.
  • A link to email teachers.
  • A calendar which teachers may use to list assignments and links to assignments to be downloaded.
  • A summarization of test scores for WASL and other school-based assessments.
  • Downloadable version of student handbook.



Students receive a GATES High School identification card when the school year begins. This I.D. card becomes a validated A.S.B. card when students purchase an activity ticket from their home high school (Franklin Pierce or Washington). The I.D. or A.S.B. card is required for admission to school functions, riding the activity/athletic bus, checking out library materials, etc., and should be carried at all times when a student is on campus. It is required that the I.D. card be shown to any staff member upon request. Report the loss or theft of your I.D. card to the office immediately.



Any articles found should be brought to the office where a Lost and Found service will be maintained. Items not claimed within thirty days will be donated to charity.



The appearance and cleanliness of the lunch area depends upon the cooperation of all persons to exercise appropriate lunchroom conduct and to be responsible for removing their own trays, dishes, etc. from tables. Students are expected to respond to reasonable requests of supervising staff to remove items from tables and/or to clean up tables. The lunchroom can be maintained as a healthy and pleasant environment only with the help of students working to keep it clean.



Medication will be administered at school only when it is absolutely necessary to do so and a Physicians Orders for Medication at School form has been received by the school signed by your physician or dentist and the parent or guardian. The medication must be in the original pharmacy container, with the student’s name and name of the medication, the dosage, and the frequency of administration. “Medication” includes all prescription and non-prescription medications. All medications must be given directly to the main office for storage. Students may not carry any medications, prescribed or otherwise, on their person while on Franklin Pierce School District property.



Students are not allowed to have food delivered to campus under any circumstances.  If special food is required the office must be notified.



When a student does not meet performance standards at GATES High School (passing at least .75 credit per term, regular attendance) a parent conference will be arranged in which a student intervention plan will be created and agreed upon by student, parent and administration. If the student continues to fail to meet the expectations set forth on the student intervention plan, he/she can expect one or more of the following corrective actions:

  • renewed intervention plan
  • change in program placement
  • removal from GATES High School



Permanent Records: A permanent record will be kept on all students who attend school. The goal of record keeping is to place in the student's file data and information which is as objective as possible. This record will consist of identifying information, attendance records, and documents pertinent to the school situation. All information maintained in student files will be reviewed annually to assure relevancy and appropriateness. All dissemination, inspection and review of the student records will be in accordance with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.


Annual Notification Regarding Parents' Rights of Access: Each year parents and students need to be reminded of the student's record policy of the Franklin Pierce School District. Parents of students or 18-year-old students who wish to review any or all of their school record should contact the building principal for an appointment. The records will be reviewed with school personnel, and parents may have copies of the records for the cost of copying.


Record information will not be released to most persons or agencies without the written consent of parents. Nonetheless, it is the policy of this district to forward school records, without parent consent, to a school in another district to which a student transfers. This is to facilitate the prompt placement of the student in the new school. However, parents may request a copy of the record. Similarly, without parent consent, the district forwards transcripts, or other information requested by high school students, to colleges and other educational institutions to which the students are applying.


Also, federal law permits a school district to identify certain information as “Directory Information” which may be publicly released without permission of the parents.  If you do not want this information released, please complete the attached form and return within ten (10) school days. If we do not receive your notice by that date, we will assume that you have no objection to release of such information.  We believe that it is in the students’ best interests to have such information released in school and community newspapers because of the recognition it gives them. We make every reasonable effort to protect our students’ privacy. For example, it is our policy not to release information to businesses for commercial purposes or to individuals without good reason. Therefore, most parents do not restrict the release of directory information. If you wish to rescind this notice or a previous notice, please notify the school in writing.


DIRECTORY INFORMATION:  Directory  information  includes the student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, awards and honors earned and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.


If you have any questions concerning the procedures followed by the high school in safeguarding the privacy rights of students please feel free to contact us. 



Signs and posters related to school events, including campaign publicity are permitted under the following conditions:

1)   Signs and posters must be approved by the building principal.

2)   Advertisement of non-school sponsored events must be approved by district.

3)   Signs and posters should be placed ONLY on bulletin boards or display cases, and on brick or wood surfaces. Because of wind, rain, etc. signs placed outside of buildings are at your own risk.

4)   The sign making kit owned by the Student Body is available to school clubs and classes.



For safety reasons skateboards and scooters are not allowed on campus. Students using these items as transportation to school must check them in at the office upon arrival. These items will not be allowed on district transportation.



Telephones are to be used for business purposes and should be used by students for emergencies only. Students are not allowed to use a school telephone without permission from the office staff.  Under no circumstances are students to use cell phones during class time. If needed, students must ask to be excused to the office and then make calls using a cell phone only after receiving approval from administration or office staff. Calls must be of an emergency nature. Please have a communication plan in place if your student plans to stay after school beyond normal hours.



Students are cautioned not to bring large amounts of money, electronic devices, iPods, MP3 players, electronic communication devices, cameras, or any items of value to school. Students are responsible for their personal property. GATES High School is not responsible for any of the above items and will not investigate the theft and/or loss of them.



All visitors must sign in and receive a visitor’s badge/slip in the main office.  Under no circumstance are students allowed to invite non-students or former students onto campus.  All visitors must be able to provide visitor’s pass when stopped.