Family & Student Handbook

720-423-9680 (Main Office)
720-423-9706 (TTY)
720-423-9705 (FAX)
720-423-9700 (ATTENDANCE)
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Denver Public Schools Mission Statement

The mission of the Denver Public Schools is to provide all students the opportunity to achieve the knowledge and skills necessary to become contributing citizens in our diverse society.

Hill Campus of Arts & Sciences Creed

At Hill, we are connected to each other through common goals:

  • Achieving academic excellence through hard work
  • Respecting each other by using kind words and actions
  • Taking responsibility for our own behavior and learning
  • We know that it takes courage to live this creed, especially when no one is watching!
School Rules Against Bullying
  • We will not bully others.
  • We will try to help students who are bullied.
  • We will make it a point to include students who are easily left out.
  • When we know somebody is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.
Hill Campus of Arts & Sciences Vision Statement

Hill Campus of Arts & Sciences opened in January of 1955. Our school was named after Mr. Roscoe Conklin Hill, who served as the principal of East High School from 1920 to 1944. During his career with Denver Public Schools he continuously fought for more and better education for young people. At the end of his tenure, he had signed approximately 15,000 diplomas. We at Hill honor his memory by being exemplary students.

The focus of Hill Campus of Arts & Sciences is to introduce children to self-directed, rigorous learning and provide an environment of support for them as they progress to the upper grades. Our Honors programs are designed for serious, motivated students who are above grade level in math, reading and writing. An accelerated math sequence in which students receive credit for high school algebra anchors this program. A separate application is necessary, and students are expected to maintain an excellent GPA and participate positively in all school activities.

General Policies

The following policies have been established at Hill based on District standards and guidelines. Individual teachers and core teams have policies consistent with the building rules and traditions. However, teachers and teams may also have additional policies designed to enhance the learning environment for our students. An excellent overview of DPS policies and guidelines may be found at the District website at:

Basic Rights

The Denver Public Schools does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of disability in the educational program and activities of the district. Hill Campus of Arts & Sciences recognizes that all people, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or disabling condition are equally entitled to a quality education and learning environment. If any person feels that their rights have been violated, they need to immediately express their concerns to the administration, counselor or student advisor. Individuals with disabilities may call the school in advance of any meeting to request reasonable accommodations which may be needed.

Where to Find Help

At Hill, adults help students solve problems. Students are encouraged to talk to teachers, counselors, the nurse, the psychologist, the social worker, the student advisor, the assistant principal, the principal and our office staff.


Hill welcomes parents. However, all visitors must report directly to the main office for a visitor’s pass. A parent must accompany student visitors under the age of 21. Any other arrangements to visit must be made through the school counselor or an Assistant Principal.

CSC (Collaborative School Committee)

The Collaborative School Committee (CSC) is an advisory board that sets and approves goals through the yearly School Improvement Plan and Annual Community Survey. Contact the office for more information.


Hill’s fantastic PTA meets regularly. Information is available in the office.

Parent Conferences

Teachers welcome your interest and concern. Parents are encouraged to schedule conferences with teachers before and after school.

Calling Students by Telephone

Students will not be called to the telephone except in cases of extreme emergency, as it is a disruption to the learning process of all children. The use of cell phones is prohibited during school hours. Students are not allowed to receive, or send calls, messages or text messages at school. We understand that some parents want their students to carry cell phones with them. Our policy, strictly enforced, is that the phones must be kept turned off and out of sight during school hours, so as not to disrupt the learning environment. When students violate this rule, we take the phone from them and return it after school, or to a parent or guardian. Parents that need to contact their students should call the main office for assistance first.

School Supplies

Students must come equipped to learn with pencils, pens and paper. It is the responsibility of students to come with appropriate materials, which individual teachers will assign.


Students should cover all books to prevent damage. Students will be charged for damaged and lost books. Checks for lost or damaged books must be made payable to “Hill Campus” and given to the school treasurer before records and/or withdrawal papers are released. Any unpaid amounts will be recorded on the student’s transcript. Students will not be allowed to graduate from high school until all charges, fines or fees have been paid. Please take good care of your materials.

Honor Roll

Academically successful Hill students with all GPA of 3.5 and above or better are rewarded after grading periods. Perfect attendance and good citizenship also receive recognition throughout the year.

Standards Based Report Cards

Students receive Standards Based Report Cards at nine-week intervals to inform parents of their children’s progress. Progress reports are also given during each grading period. If you do not receive a report card or a progress report, please contact the school at 720-423-9680. The final grade for each semester is the only grade that appears on the student’s permanent record. Final grades are mailed home at the end of the school year. Low proficiency indicators do not guarantee mastery of a subject according to the Denver Public Schools, and retention may be recommended.

Weekly Progress Reports

A parent can request weekly progress reports by having their child pick up a Progress Report Card in the main office. If a child is struggling in any subject, parents are encouraged to contact the teacher immediately.

Homework Policy

All learning cannot be accomplished within the limited time allotted for classroom instruction; therefore, homework is routinely assigned to all pupils in the Denver Public Schools. As the word implies, homework is to be completed outside the classroom. Parents should expect pupils to have daily homework assignments and should question the lack of such assignments.

General Excused Absences

Official daily attendance at Hill is taken during every period. A list is compiled and the parents of students may be called to discuss excessive tardies or absences. In order to keep in touch with you about your student, it is essential that the office have accurate phone numbers. Please make a point of letting the main office know if any of your child’s pertinent information has changed during the school year.

The day the student returns from an absence, he or she must bring a note giving the reason for the absence, the date, student’s telephone number and parent signature. This is essential for records required by the school district and the State Department of Education. Please be advised that THE EXPLANATION ON THE NOTE DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY EXCUSE THE ABSENCE. Excuses will be allowed according to the State School Attendance Law, Title 22, Article 33.

This section places the responsibility of approving absences on the administrator at the school of attendance. The appropriate school personnel will investigate unexcused absences.


  • Excused absence – Pupil absent with permission of the parent and school administration. The student will be admitted to class and the teachers will accept make-up work.
  • Truancy – Pupil absent from class without the permission of the parent and the school administration. The student will be admitted to class but make-up work may not be accepted. The parent will be notified of a truancy in order to enforce school and state attendance laws.
  • Tardy – Pupil failure to be in the classroom on time.
Partial Day Absences

When students need to be excused early, for any reason, they must obtain a partial day absence pass before leaving the building. Unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, the student must bring a note from home asking to be excused at a particular time, stating the reason for leaving, and approximate time of return. This note must be brought to the main office before the student goes to his or her first class. Partial day absence requests must have a parent/guardian signature and phone number where the parent can be reached. Hill may contact the parent/guardian to verify the partial day absence request. This is to protect your student.

Tardy Procedures

When students are late to school, they are to report to the Main Office to obtain a tardy slip. Excused tardies are given to students who are with a parent/guardian or who have written excuses, which may be verified by telephone. Otherwise, the student will be marked Tardy by the classroom teacher and appropriate consequences will be assigned.


Students should not attend school when they are ill and can endanger themselves or others. A note must be brought to the main office upon return to school from an illness or other excused absence. It is the student’s responsibility to make up all missed work to receive credit.

Make-up Work

Teachers are usually available before and after school to help students. Other arrangements can be made mutually with the teacher and student. When requesting make-up work, allow adequate time (24 hours) for the staff to contact the teachers. In cases of extended absences, please call or email the school and let us know the status of your child.

Student Emergencies

If a student becomes seriously ill or injured at school, home contact will be made as specified in the school emergency database. Please keep the school informed of any changes in work, home or emergency phone numbers. Every effort will be made to inform parents quickly. When you are out of town, please send a letter to Hill indicating who has custody of the child and include information that pertains to the release of health and academic records in emergencies and affects the release of your child from school.

Illness, Injury and Medication

The school’s Health Office is open on designated days only for students who are ill, injured, or have health concerns. Except for emergencies, students must have a pass from a teacher to go to the health office. If students have a problem that requires prescribed medication during the school day, he or she must have a permission slip signed by the physician and given to the health practitioner. The medication must then be brought to the office at Hill as soon as the student arrives at school. It must be in the original prescription container, and labeled with the recommended dosage. It is the student’s responsibility to go to the health office when it is time to take the medication.

Emergency Closings

Middle Schools do not go on storm delay. If the decision is made by the Superintendent later in the day to cancel school or to dismiss school early in the event of foul weather or other emergency, local radio and television stations will be asked to announce the closure. Local stations will also be notified by 5:00 a.m. in the morning if there will be no school.

Responsibility for Property

All personal property brought to school is brought entirely at the owner’s risk. The Denver Public Schools cannot assume responsibility for cell phones, backpacks, clothing, bicycles, jewelry, electronic equipment, sports articles, skateboards, roller blades or any other property belonging to students. Distracting or inappropriate objects will be taken from students and returned to the students or parents at the appropriate time. This includes trading cards and permanent magic markers. Pagers, iPods, laser pens, cell phones and other electronic equipment may be taken from students and put away to be retrieved by the parents. Repeated violations will require a parent conference. Students should not bring large sums of money to school. If, on occasion, it is necessary to do so, the money should be taken to the treasurer for safekeeping.


Courses in industrial education, art and computers require payment for the materials used. Physical Education teachers also recommend that gym uniforms sold through the school be worn. CASH ONLY may be brought to the treasurer and a receipt will be issued.

Lost and Found

Students should check in the Lunchroom for lost large articles and in the main office for lost small articles.

Locker Information

It is anticipated that one student will be assigned to each locker if possible. It is the responsibility of the student(s) to keep the combination secret and the locker in good order. Sharing with unauthorized students may result in the loss of locker privileges. No padlocks will be used at any time and, if found, will be removed. With the exception of broken lockers, there will be no changes in locker assignments or combinations. If there is a problem with the locker, notify a teacher, the student advisor, the Welcome Center or the assistant principal.

Bicycles and Skateboards

All bicycles brought to school must be locked and stored in the fenced bicycle cage. The school assumes no responsibility for damage or theft. Bicycle riders must also observe regular traffic rules and regulations. No skateboards will be allowed on campus without permission.


Rules protect all students. The driver is in full charge of the bus and its passengers. Any violation of the bus rules may result in suspension of bus-riding privileges. Parents and students must read, sign, and return bus contract/conduct forms indicating an understanding of safety rules. Students MUST behave properly at all times in the vehicle. Bus information may be obtained in the main office or by calling 303.825.2611. After school activity buses are ONLY for the use of students who participate in sanctioned after school activities and regularly ride a school bus to and from school. 1st bus referral = removal for 1 week. 2nd = removal for semester. 3rd = removal for year.

RTD bus passes are available from the school Treasurer at the end of each month. As with DPS buses, students must be respectful, courteous and well behaved. Students on RTD buses may be videotaped in case of infractions. Unruly students will have their pictures taken and their parents will be called on the spot. Tickets may be issued by the Denver Police Department if uncooperative behavior persists.

Lunchroom Procedures
  • Students may pick hot lunch items or a la carte snack items. Prices range from $.35 to $2.75. Applications for free and reduced fee lunches must be renewed each year, and are mailed home by the District. Hill has no provision to loan students lunch money.
  • Students must enter their identification number into a computer keypad as they go through the lunch line to purchase lunch.
  • Every student is responsible for keeping the lunchroom clean. Supervising teachers will provide clean-up procedures for students. The teacher in charge will dismiss students. Individual students, classes or an entire grade may be required to stay in during the lunchtime to help clean if warranted by disciplinary issues.
  • No one is to be in the halls beyond the lunchroom for any reason other than for an emergency, or with a pass from the lunchroom supervisor. Students go outside on warm days. On cold, rainy, or snowy days, students remain in the lunchroom, auditorium or classrooms.
  • Holding spaces or buying food for others is not permitted.
  • Courteous behavior is expected of all Hill students.
  • Littering is forbidden and will result in clean-up detention.
Room-to-Room Slips and Hall Passes

All students must have a valid pass to be in the halls for any reason during a class period. The student planner, a “room-to-room pass,” “referral slip” or office “excuse slip” is a valid pass. Students will not be admitted during class time to the principal’s office, assistant principal’s office, health clinic and social worker’s or counseling office without a pass.

Withdrawals or Transfers

Parents must inform the Main Office in a timely fashion before withdrawing their student from Hill. Ideally, the student’s last day at Hill should be spent taking a Withdrawal Form to each teacher, who will then sign off for returned books, gym locks and library books, and give the child a final grade for the class. Failure to pay assessed fines for lost books or locks at the time of withdrawal will delay the release of records and/or withdrawal papers. Any unpaid amounts will also be recorded on the student’s transcript and graduation from high school will not be possible until all charges have been paid.

Special Programs

Hill provides many opportunities and programs for students who qualify for Gifted & Talented, Honors, English Language Acquisition, Hearing Disabled, Mild/Moderate, Multi-Intensive and Affective Needs services.

Field Trips

Field trips are a privilege. If a student is failing one or more classes, that teacher may ask that the student stay in school to address class work.

Additional Opportunities

Many special programs exist at Hill. Students who participate enjoy the rewards of teamwork, school spirit and new friends.

Improving Student Self Discipline

We believe that every student has the right to learn and that every teacher has the right to teach. To do this, everyone must know what is expected of students, teachers and parents. Complete copies of District Policies are available.

Disciplinary Ladder: Ensuring Due Process for your Child


  • Disobeying individual classroom policies.
  • Being tardy to class without an excused hall pass.
  • Disobeying school-wide policies.
  • Using gang terminology or monikers.
  • Demonstrating any gang related activity or paraphernalia.
  • Displaying inappropriate physical affection.
  • Using profanity or slurs, or making inappropriate gestures.
  • Continuing inappropriate behavior after being warned by the staff.


  • Throwing food of any kind, any place.
  • Directing verbal abuse, verbal assault or ethnic intimidation toward any student or staff member.
  • Proclaiming gang membership.
  • Displaying affection inappropriately (kissing, embracing, etc.).


  • Smoking in or on school property.
  • Possessing an electronic device and refusing to put it away or turn it off during school hours.
  • Harassing others or displaying explicit sexual behavior.
  • Possessing lighters, matches, cigarettes, caps, firecrackers or any other incendiary devices.


  • Destroying or defacing school property including school buses.
  • Fighting in or on school property.
  • Possessing, selling, purchasing or using illegal or dangerous substances at school including drugs, inhalants, mace, pepper spray, aerosol spray cans, tobacco and alcohol.
  • Carrying any form of a weapon or object that looks like or could be used as a weapon.
  • Participating in any gang-related activities in or on school property. Denver Public Schools has adopted a policy of zero gang tolerance.
  • Assaulting or battering any student or staff member.
  • Sexual harassment of any student or staff member.
  • Stealing from, extorting, or intimidating any student or staff member.
  • Starting a fire or pulling a fire alarm.
  • Committing theft/larceny (shakedown) or breaking and entering.
Dress and Appearance

Questions of inappropriate dress will be referred to the Student Advisor or administration. Students may be sent home and parents notified to correct attire and/or cleanliness.

  • No headgear, outside coats or backpacks are to be worn in the classroom. These should be removed upon entering and put in student lockers.
  • Shoes must be worn at all times.
  • Bedroom slippers and/or pajamas are not acceptable clothing.
  • Clothing printed with objectionable words, designs or gang related symbols is not acceptable.
  • Muscle shirts, cropped or tank tops, see-through shirts, see-through blouses or other tight, provocative or distracting clothing is not acceptable. No halter-tops, spaghetti straps or any clothing that reveals the bra, bra straps or middle to upper torso may be worn.
  • Any form of gang attire, as determined by school administration, will not be tolerated. This includes colored shoelaces (red and/or blue), bandanas and rags, dark glasses, inappropriate jewelry, logos, hats, one-color outfits, sagging pants (which must worn with the legs down) and any clothing that may cause a disruptive effect at Hill.
  • Shorts and skirts must be of sufficient length to extend below the fingertips when arms are down. Straps on overalls and/or shorts are to be worn up, over the shoulders and fastened.
  • Long key chains worn around the neck or waist are not acceptable.
  • Parents may be contacted to bring appropriate clothing for the first offense. The second may result in more serious consequences.
Suspensions and Expulsions

The authority to suspend is designated by the principal. Statutory grounds on which a suspension may occur include: (a) continued and willful disobedience or open and persistent defiance of authority, (b) willful destruction or defacing of school property and (c) behavior which is detrimental to the welfare, safety or morals of other pupils. Prior to any suspensions, the pupil is afforded due process including an oral or written notice of the charges. The student will be given an explanation of the evidence and an opportunity to present his/her version of the incident. In extreme cases when a pupil’s presence may threaten his/her safety or may be a disruption to the school, processing for immediate removal will occur. Suspension may end with a parent/pupil conference, at which time the terms of the reinstatement are specified. Extensions of suspensions may occur if the school is in the process of preparing a request for expulsion or if time is needed for proper investigation of facts. Out-of-school suspension may be required for multiple violations of any part of the school discipline policy. More information is available online.

Tips For Parents: Improving Reading at Home

The primary goal for the Denver Public Schools is to improve student literacy. There are many strategies that you, as the parent of a middle school student, can use at home to help your child improve his/her reading skills. The only cost for you is investing a little time each day.

  • Your child should read for 30 minutes every day. The material could be a book, magazine or newspaper.
  • Establish a specific time and place for your child to read each day.
  • Your child can keep a daily reading log that includes the title of the material read, page numbers and a short summary of the content.
  • Your child can create a personal dictionary of new vocabulary words from the daily reading.
  • Model reading by sitting with your child and reading your own book, magazine or newspaper while he or she is reading.
  • Share what you are reading by talking about what is happening in the story or why you find it interesting.
  • Ask your child to discuss what he or she has read.
  • You and your child can read the same story or article together, taking turns reading aloud. Then you can discuss what you have read.
  • You and your child can read the same story or article together, taking turns reading aloud. Summarize what happened, ask questions about what happened and predict what will happen next.
  • Read a book to your child so that he or she can hear the flow of written language. No one is ever to old to enjoy hearing a story!
  • Take your child to the nearest public library to get a library card.
  • Visit the library regularly to check out books to read at home.
  • You and your child can check out novels on tape at the library. You can listen to them with your child and discuss the story with him/her.

Help your child understand how what he or she is reading relates to real life experiences.

Reading and Writing Content Standards

Students read and understand a variety of materials.

  • Use comprehension strategies such as using prior knowledge; previewing; predicting; inferring; comparing and contrasting; rereading and self-monitoring; summarizing; identifying the author’s purpose, i.e., reason for writing; determining the main idea; and applying knowledge of foreshadowing, metaphor, simile, symbolism, and other identified figures of speech.
  • Make connections between prior knowledge and what they need to know about a topic before reading about it.
  • Adjust reading strategies for a variety of purposes such as reading carefully, skimming and scanning, fitting materials into an organizational pattern, reading a variety of literature chronologically, finding information to support particular ideas, and finding the sequence of steps in publications including textbooks and technical articles.
  • Use word recognition skills, strategies, and resources such as phonics, context clues, picture clues, word origins, and word order clues; reference guides; roots, prefixes, and suffixes of words for comprehension.
  • Use information from their reading to increase vocabulary and language usage.

Students write and speak for a variety of purposes and audiences.

  • Expand vocabulary development using a variety of methods such as synonyms, antonyms, metaphors, and similes.
  • Write and speak for a variety of purposes such as telling stories, presenting analytical responses to literature, conveying technical information, explaining concepts and procedures, and persuading.
  • Write and speak to peers, teachers, and the community.
  • Plan, draft, revise, proofread, edit, and publish written communications.
  • Use a variety of literary devices such as figurative language, symbolism, dialect, and precise vocabulary to convey meaning.
  • Prepare written and oral presentations using strategies such as lists, outlining, cause/effect relationships, comparison/contrast, problem/solution, and narration.
  • Use the most appropriate method, handwriting or word processing, to produce a product that is legible.

Students write and speak using formal grammar, usage, sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.

  • Recognize, understand, and use formal grammar in speaking and writing.
  • Apply formal usage in speaking and writing.
  • Use correct sentence structure in writing.
  • Demonstrate correct punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.
  • Recognize and know when it is appropriate to use dialectical, idiomatic, and colloquial language, including awareness and appreciation of cultural and dialectic variance.

Students apply thinking skills to their reading, writing, speaking, listening and viewing.

  • Make predictions, analyze, draw conclusions, and discriminate between fact and opinion in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing.
  • Use reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing to gather data, define the problem, and apply problem-solving skills.
  • Recognize, express, and defend points of view orally and in writing.
  • Identify the purpose, perspective, and historical and cultural influences of a speaker, author, or director.
  • Evaluate the reliability, accuracy, and relevancy of information.

Students read to locate, select, evaluate, and make use of relevant information from a variety of media, reference, and technological sources.

  • Select relevant material for reading, writing, and speaking purposes.
  • Understand the structure, organization, and use of various media, reference, and technological sources as they select information for their reading, writing, and speaking purposes.
  • Paraphrase, summarize, organize, evaluate, and synthesize information.
  • Cite others’ ideas, images, or information from primary, print, and electronic resources.
  • Use information to produce a quality product in an appropriate format.

Students read and recognize literature as a record of human experience.

  • Know and use literary terminology.
  • Read literature to investigate common issues and interest in relation to self and others.
  • Read literature to understand places, people, events, and vocabulary, both familiar and unfamiliar.
  • Read literature that reflects the uniqueness, diversity, and integrity of the American experience.
  • Read classic and contemporary literature of the United States about the experiences and traditions of diverse ethnic groups.
  • Read classic and contemporary literature, representing various cultural and ethnic traditions from throughout the world.

Students use appropriate technologies to extend comprehension and communication skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening and viewing.

  • Use appropriate technologies to increase literacy through a variety of formats (for example, textual, graphic, audio, video, electronic, multimedia).
  • Use appropriate technologies to access, process, and communicate information for a variety of purposes.
  • Demonstrate problem-solving skills through the use of appropriate technologies.
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720-423-9700 – ATTENDANCE
720-423-9680 – MAIN OFFICE
720-423-9705 – FAX
720-423-9706 – TTY

Visit our website at:
Office Hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.


All Hill staff members have email and are faithful in its use.

The email format is the same for every Denver Public Schools employee: