Frequently Asked Questions

What's for Lunch?

Visit hcde.org to find out.

What are Hamilton County's Graduation Requirements?

The Tennessee Diploma Project (TDP), a broad overhaul of standards and curriculum designed to challenge students and better prepare them for college and the workforce, was implemented beginning with the class of 2013.  Students will begin a new path with increased graduation requirements, a focus on the skills needed for college and the workforce in an ever expanding global economy, and new assessments.

Graduation Requirements
TOTAL CREDITS REQUIRED: 23
MATH: 4 Credits
Including Algebra I, II, Geometry and a fourth higher level math course
SCIENCE: 4 Credits
Including Biology, Chemistry or Physics, and two other lab courses
ENGLISH: 4 Credits
SOCIAL STUDIES: 3 Credits
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND WELLNESS:
1.5 Credits
PERSONAL FINANCE: .5 Credits
FOREIGN LANGUAGE: 2 Credits
FINE ARTS: 1 Credit
May be waived for students not going to a University to expand and enhance the elective focus
ELECTIVE FOCUS: 3 Credits
Math and Science, Career and Technical Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB)


What is the Dress Code?

The dress code is designed to allow for student comfort while maintaining an environment conducive to learning and appropriate for the educational setting. The administration and staff at SMMHS recognize that a correlation exists between good grooming, personal attire, and achievement. Apparel and/or appearance should promote student learning and should not be disruptive to the learning environment. An important goal of a dress code is to teach young people that in the larger arena of life, different types of dress are appropriate for different settings. Apparel that is appropriate for social settings may not be appropriate for school. We ask that parents guide students in the selection of school clothing, keeping in mind that all school clothing should be selected to adhere to the following dress code and should not be disruptive to the learning environment.

IN TERMS OF DECISIONS REGARDING SCHOOL DRESS, THE PROFESSIONAL JUDGEMENT OF TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS WILL PREVAIL.

1. Clothing that reveals the navel is unacceptable. This includes tops that are short and pants/skirts that are low cut. Shirts should extend below the top of the pants when standing or seated.

2. Strapless shirts, backless tops, halters, tank tops, see thru material and low-cut shirts are not appropriate for school. Top apparel must be modest and no cleavage of bare midriff should be revealed. All tops must have shoulders and sleeves.

3. No underwear is to be visible. No jeans, pants, shorts, or tops are to be worn that reveal undergarments while standing or sitting.

4. Skirts, shorts, and dresses must be at least knee length. Students should be able to sit, stand, and walk without revealing underwear above or below the garment. Dress tops must comply with the requirements of appropriate shirt and tops guidelines.

5. T-shirts must be in good taste. Shirts may not depict suggestive wording, pictures, graphics, or advertisements for alcoholic beverages, tobacco, drugs, sex, or gangs. Students will not be allowed to turn shirts inside out.

6. Shoes or other appropriate footwear are to be worn at all times. No house shoes or slippers.

7. Pants must have a zipper, must fit appropriately (no sagging or extremely tight pants) and may not be ripped or have holes, or patches. Pajama pants, tights or yoga pants are not permitted. Sweatpants are allowed BUT must have an official SMMHS logo or must be part of anofficial SMMHS school team attire.

8. Clothing that is intended for use in PE classes or for athletic practices are not to be worn as school attire, this includes basketball or soccer type shorts, tank tops, and spandex items.

9. Coats are not to be worn during school, and must be placed in a locker upon entering the school building. Fleece, sweatshirts, and pullovers may be worn during school.

10. Hats, "do-rags", and sunglasses are not to be worn in the building from the time the building opens until dismissal. These items must be kept in lockers during the school day, and if seen with student during the day they are subject to confiscation.

11. Any inappropriate piercing will be dealt with at the discretion of the administration.


How do I sign up for the ACT or SAT?

To register for the ACT or the SAT, go to actstudent.org or collegeboard.com.


What are the school's hours?

School will begin at 7:25 a.m., and end at 2:25 p.m.


Can I attend SMMHS if I live in a different zone?

Students must live in the area that the Board of Education established for SMMHS. Proof of residency must be supplied. Two current utility bills showing the parent's or legal guardian's name on the utility bills is the preferred method of proof. Zoning maps are available on the HCDE website, click here. Proof of custody may be required if the student is not living with both parents.

Generally, anyone living inside Hamilton County and in the Town of Signal Mountain, the Town of Walden, or in the unincoporated area of Hamilton County on top of the mountain is included in the approved zone.


What is the PSAT?

National Merit Scholarship Program
The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®)-a test which serves as an initial screen of more than 1.5 million entrants each year-and by meeting published program entry/participation requirements.

Student Entry Requirements
To participate in the National Merit® Scholarship Program, a student must:

1. take the PSAT/NMSQT® in the specified year of the high school program and no later than the third year in grades 9 through 12, regardless of grade classification or educational pattern;

2. be enrolled as a high school student, progressing normally toward graduation or completion of high school, and planning to enroll full time in college no later than the fall following completion of high school; and

3. be a citizen of the United States; or be a U.S. lawful permanent resident (or have applied for permanent residence, the application for which has not been denied) and intend to become a U.S. citizen at the earliest opportunity allowed by law.

The student's responses to items on the PSAT/NMSQT answer sheet that are specific to NMSC program entry determine whether the individual meets requirements to participate in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Click here to see NMSC program entry items on the PSAT/NMSQT answer sheet. Score reports provided for test takers and their schools indicate whether the student meets program entry requirements. A school official or the student should report immediately to NMSC any error or change in reported information that may affect participation.

Program Recognition
Of the 1.5 million entrants, some 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT® Selection Index scores (critical reading + mathematics + writing skills scores) qualify for recognition in the National Merit® Scholarship Program. In April following the fall test administration, high-scoring participants from every state are invited to name two colleges or universities to which they would like to be referred by NMSC. In September, these high scorers are notified through their schools that they have qualified as either a Commended Student or Semifinalist.

Commended Students
In late September, more than two-thirds (about 34,000) of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT® receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Commended Students are named on the basis of a nationally applied Selection Index score that may vary from year to year and is below the level required for participants to be named Semifinalists in their respective states. Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit® Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

Semifinalists
In early September, about 16,000 students, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers, are notified that they have qualified as Semifinalists. To ensure that academically talented young people from all parts of the United States are included in this talent pool, Semifinalists are designated on a state representational basis. They are the highest scoring entrants in each state. NMSC provides scholarship application materials to Semifinalists through their high schools. To be considered for a National Merit® Scholarship, Semifinalists must advance to Finalist standing in the competition by meeting high academic standards and all other requirements explained in the information provided to each Semifinalist. Click here to learn about requirements for becoming a Finalist in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Finalists
In February, some 15,000 Semifinalists are notified by mail at their home addresses that they have advanced to Finalist standing. High school principals are notified and provided with a certificate to present to each Finalist

Winner Selection
All winners of Merit Scholarship® awards (Merit Scholar® designees) are chosen from the Finalist group, based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments-without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. A variety of information is available for NMSC selectors to evaluate: the Finalist's academic record, information about the school's curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official's written recommendation, information about the student's activities and leadership, and the Finalist's own essay.

Types of Merit Scholarship® Awards
Beginning in March and continuing to mid-June, NMSC notifies approximately 8,300 Finalists at their home addresses that they have been selected to receive a Merit Scholarship® award. Merit Scholarship awards are of three types:

National Merit® $2500 Scholarships
Every Finalist competes for these single payment scholarships, which are awarded on a state representational basis. Winners are selected without consideration of family financial circumstances, college choice, or major and career plans.
Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards
Corporate sponsors designate their awards for children of their employees or members, for residents of a community where a company has operations, or for Finalists with career plans the sponsor wishes to encourage. These scholarships may either be renewable for four years of undergraduate study or one-time awards.
College-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards
Officials of each sponsor college select winners of their awards from Finalists who have been accepted for admission and have informed NMSC by the published deadlines that the sponsor college or university is their first choice. These awards are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study. The published deadlines for reporting a sponsor college as first choice can be viewed on page 3 of the Requirements and Instructions for Semifinalists in the 2012 National Merit® Scholarship Program.
Merit Scholarship awards are supported by some 440 independent sponsors and by NMSC's own funds. Sponsor organizations include corporations and businesses, company foundations, professional associations, and colleges and universities
Special Scholarships
Every year some 1,300 National Merit® Program participants, who are outstanding but not Finalists, are awarded Special Scholarships provided by corporations and business organizations. To be considered for a Special Scholarship, students must meet the sponsor's criteria and entry requirements of the National Merit Scholarship Program. They also must submit an entry form to the sponsor organization. Subsequently, NMSC contacts a pool of high-scoring candidates through their respective high schools. These students and their school officials submit detailed scholarship applications. A committee of NMSC professional staff evaluates information about candidates' abilities, skills, and accomplishments and chooses winners of the sponsor's Special Scholarships. These scholarships may either be renewable for four years of undergraduate study or one-time awards.