Frequently Asked Questions
What's for Lunch?
Visit hcde.org to find out.
What are Hamilton County's Graduation
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.
TOTAL CREDITS REQUIRED: 23
MATH: 4 Credits
Including Algebra I, II, Geometry and a fourth higher level math
SCIENCE: 4 Credits
Including Biology, Chemistry or Physics, and two other lab
ENGLISH: 4 Credits
SOCIAL STUDIES: 3 Credits
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND WELLNESS:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.