School Newsletter

September 6, 2023

The quiet halls of summer have suddenly evolved into student chatter and excitement.  Life is once again happening at DHS.  We welcome our incoming freshmen as well as a handful of new students.  This is an exciting but challenging time for all.  Teachers are busily trying to organize and direct their classrooms.  Students are trying to adjust from summer activities to class work and studying.  Such changes are sure to create anxiety for all involved.  My only advice: Persistently keep pushing forward.  Eventually new will become routine and success will happen. 

As the DHS principal I would like to express my gratitude for you -- our parents -- your children, and our staff.  Personally, I believe we make an amazing team.  The proof of this can be seen every day as we observe former students doing remarkable things. 

I would like to review a couple of really important items that I believe are critical for your child’s success at DHS.

  • Attendance:  High school is challenging enough for students who make it to class every day.   It becomes even more difficult for students who miss significant time.  Please seek ways to schedule in ways that ensure your son or daughter miss as little school as possible.  A student who misses more than four days in any one class, each semester, may lose credit.  If you are not aware of the attendance policy, I would encourage you to ask.  (district policy 522)

    • Finals are given in every class.  Please be aware that no early finals will be given at DHS.  If you miss the scheduled final, you will take it when you return.

  • Class work:  The only way to measure a student’s mastery of the curriculum is through completed tasks and assessments.  It is my expectation that a graded measurement is recorded in every class every week.  It is imperative that our students give an honest effort.  They have to try.  Please make certain that your son or daughter has a grade for every assignment.  Help us eliminate all zeros from our grade books.  I realize that the grade at times may be low but, any thing is better than a zero.

  • Communication:  Please get to know your child’s teachers.  Talk to them and ask questions.  The more involved you are the more likely your child is to succeed.  Even if you can’t personally help with the homework, ask what you can do. 

    • Please come to parent teacher conferences. 

    • I welcome phone calls and conversations from any parent.  However, I can’t tell you much about what happened in a class or why a grade is what it is.  Please communicate with the teacher first.

    • If you have a rule or policy question, I’d love to hear from you.  (208-654-2030, or

    • Submit on our web page frequently asked questions

Online Learning:  This is a change from past practice.  If a scheduled school day is cancelled, for example, school was cancelled for snow.  School will transform to on line.  Attendance will still be required and assignments will still be given.  Every child has been issued a Chromebook.  Cancelled days will become online learning days using these devices, or your own personal device.  All teachers are using Google Classroom and or Canvas.  You may want to check it out.

Here is our plan in a nut shell.  School is cancelled on Monday due to inclement weather.  Monday and Wednesday are always A days.  Your child will be required to log into their A day teachers classes.  The first hour will be period one.  (From 8-9)  The second hour will be period two, the third hour period three, and the fourth hour period four.  If by chance your home doesn’t have access to internet, we need your child to pre arrange this with the teacher.  Please communicate with our teachers before we face an online learning day. 

Academic Lab:  Some of you may be asking what this block of time is and why is shows up on your student’s schedule each day.  Two years ago, we created a block of time in our schedule that is intended for students and teachers to work collaboratively on academic success.  Example 1, my child leaves at 1 PM for a basketball game and misses the last half of third hour and all of fourth hour.  In the past my child has returned home and spent hours catching up and then had to schedule time to meet with the teacher for missed assessments.  Now my child arranges to be in that teacher’s room during academic lab the following day.  Any missed assessments are taken and any missed instruction can also be given.  Example 2, my child failed a class assessment because he did not understand the material.  My child asks to spend time with that specific teacher during academic lab relearning what had been missed.  Other items include using this time for senior projects to be organized and completed, state assessments, assemblies, guided practice.  It is important for parents and students to understand that this is academic time and attendance is taken.  Parents, if your child is using this time wisely, they should have little work to do at home.  The best person to help your child with their curriculum is the professional teacher assigned to them each day.  The grade for academic lab is given as a lab assignment in each A or B Day class.  The grade is assigned at the end of each semester.  Let me explain how this works.  If I was assigned Mr. Knowles for A-day lab and I had more than four absences, I would be given a zero for my lab grade in each A-day class.  This lab counts as five percent of my overall grade.  If I had less than four absences, I get a five percent bump in each A-day class.  Last year I discovered that this is coveted time and that students are frustrated with me when I plan things over it.  It has reduced the overall number of students failing courses at DHS, and has also helped us limit classroom interruptions due to none academic needs.

I hope we all realize how fortunate we are to live where we do and to send our children to a school filled with amazing children and teachers.  Together we truly are changing the world.  Thank you and go HORNETS!!

Roland Bott, Principal