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Choir Policies and General Info

Also known as the 'fine print'. This page is a reference for overall choir policies such as course expectations, disclosures, grading policies, attendance policies, etc. Please email with any questions.

Page Contents
Course Expectations
Grading Policy
Late Work Policy
Cell Phone Policy
Concert Attendance Policy
Norms and Calendar Disclosure
Class Fees
Rehearsal Skills Policy


Course Expectations

The full Course Expectations document can been found HERE. A few portions of particular importance are included below.

Grading Policy

Although it is a performing arts class, Choir DOES have homework and other assignments, which students ARE expected to complete and WILL affect a student's grade.

Concerts, after-school rehearsals, retreats, Sight Reading Factory assignments, and other items of great importance will be graded as Summative Assessments, which make up 75% of a students' grade. Concerts are the primary opportunity for the director to assess students mastery of the music we have been learning; they are extremely important and worth a lot of points. Smaller assignments, such as sporadic pencil checks and weekly rehearsal skills, will be graded as Formative Assessments, which make up 25% of a student's grade. Our grading policy is consistent with the CCSD 50 - 100% scale.

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Late Work Policy

Homework assignments (such as Sight Reading Factory) may be turned in late for up to one week. After one week, late assignments will no longer be accepted. There is no late work accepted for in-class assignments such as Pencil Checks or Rehearsal Skills.


Across all my classes, I have almost 200 students, each of whom turn in over 10 assignments per quarter. This means over TWO THOUSAND assignments which need to be graded EACH QUARTER. I simply cannot keep track of all those deadline extensions, late submissions, re-submissions, unlock requests, and so on. My head would explode. This is the reason for the strict ONE WEEK policy. There are no exceptions.

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Cell Phone Policy

Cell phones should be put away in your backpack- not in your pocket. At the beginning of class, anyone who wants to may give me their phone and I will plug it in at the charging station to be charged throughout class. Phones that are voluntarily given up may not be retrieved until the end of class. If I see a cell phone being used during class, I will give one warning to put it away. If I see it a second time, I will take it away and charge it until the end of class. Students may not touch the charging station unless explicitly given permission.

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Concert Attendance Policy

Concerts and after school rehearsals are mandatory events and are graded as Summative Assessments. Unexcused absences will prevent the director from assessing a student's mastery of the music we have been learning, which will result in a “Missing” grade for that assessment. This includes if a student requests to be excused and their request is denied.

On rare occasions, it maybe be necessary for a student to miss an event due to an unavoidable conflict. In this case, students MUST fill out the Unavoidable Conflicts Form  at least five school days before the event. See the Unavoidable Conflicts page for more information.

It is NEVER acceptable for a student to miss a concert without notifying the director. Students who no-call/no-show for the concert for ANY reason (except for extremely serious emergencies) will receive a “Missing” grade on the concert assessment.

For more details, including what to do in the case of a Covid diagnosis, please see the Unavoidable Conflicts page.

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Norms and Calendar Disclosure

Click HERE to access a downloadable copy of the 21-22 Norms and Calendar Disclosure.


Attendance: Prompt attendance is expected at every rehearsal, retreat, and performance. Your contribution is important! Choir is a team sport; every member is needed to make our choir complete. If you are not present, I cannot assess your rehearsal and performance skills, which will have an impact on your grade. Of course, accommodations will be made for absences due to illness (Covid-19 or other) or other critical circumstances.

Grading: I strongly believe that teachers do not GIVE grades: students EARN them. You will earn your grade based on both summative and formative assessments of your mastery of Choral Singing. As a performing arts teacher, my goal is to make my class interesting, rewarding, challenging, and fun, not to tank your GPA. A student who attends every rehearsal  and performance, practices diligently, and demonstrates improvement in his or her singing ability can expect to earn a good grade. If you are experiencing extreme stress concerning your grade in my class or are struggling to keep up with the coursework for any reason, please email me. I want to help.

Academic Integrity: 100% honesty and integrity is the expectation for all coursework. Cheating and/or plagiarism are unacceptable. This includes falsely claiming to have completed work that you have not actually completed.

Behavior and Citizenship: Appropriate behavior is founded upon the bedrock principle of respect for oneself and others at all times— not just during our class. Differences of belief and opinion are welcome, but speaking negatively or unkindly towards classmates, other students, or other high school teachers and staff is unacceptable at any time.

Agency: I highly value the principle of agency in the classroom. The effort you put into choir will determine the satisfaction and payoff you get out of it. I will do everything I can to create a classroom culture that is inclusive, supportive, challenging, and fun— but I can’t do it without your help! At the end of the day, you are the one who will be missing out on a great learning experience if you choose not to engage.

Growth Mindset: The growth mindset says that people’s abilities are not fixed and unchangeable: anyone who works hard can improve. You are not either “talented” or “untalented”— your efforts can and will lead to personal growth. The growth mindset teaches us to enjoy hard work, cherish being challenged, and regularly step outside of our comfort zones. In the Foothill Choir Program, we embrace the growth mindset!

Calendar Events

The following events are, of course, subject to change/cancellation due to Covid-19 or other significant obstacles (but hopefully that won’t happen). Put these dates on your calendar now so you can be sure you will not have any conflicts. Work, lack of a ride, etc, are not acceptable excuses for missing a choir event! Retreats have not yet been scheduled, but you will be given ample advanced notice via Remind, email, handwritten letter, carrier pigeon, etc, whenever they are scheduled.


Foothill Choir Concerts:

Fall Concert: November 4, 2021

Winter Concert: December 8, 2021

Spring Concert: March 16, 2022

Festival: March 10-12, March 28-30, 2022

(depending on what choir you are in— more 

details forthcoming)

End of Year Concert: May 11, 2022

Other Performances:

Honor Choir Auditions: September 21-24,

Honor Choir Concert: October 21, 2021

Acappalooza: October 15 and 16, 2021

UNLV Madrigal Festival: November 19, 2021



Bring the following items to rehearsal every day:

  • Pencil (keep a pencil in your binder at all times!)

  • Water Bottle

  • Singers’ Mask (for as long as required by CCSD and Clark County). CLICK HERE for more info about singers’ masks.

  • Binder: Each student will need to bring a 1 inch black binder for use in class each day. Keep your binder in good condition; you will need to replace it if it gets trashed. There may be a point in the year where we use these binders on stage during a performance, so we want them looking nice!

Concert Attire

The Foothill High School Choirs must uphold a reputation of looking professional. All uniforms must be wrinkle‐free and in mint condition for all performances. Students wearing wrinkled uniforms or incomplete uniforms may lose the privilege to perform and points will be deducted. All rental uniforms are the property of FHS and must be returned in a timely manner. Students can choose to rent the same uniform year after year, but must turn in uniforms at the end of the year so it can be dry‐cleaned for the next year. Students will be fined if they do not turn in their rented uniform at the end of the year.

For women in all the choirs the hair, make up, and jewelry guidelines are as follows: hair should be half up, away from the eyes and out of the face. Bangs should be pulled back or otherwise controlled so that they do not get into the eyes. Make up should be worn if possible. Please avoid any smoky eyes or overly elaborate make up that would be a distraction on stage. Show Choir women are not required to wear false eyelashes (nor are any of the other choirs). Jewelry does not need to be worn, but if you want to wear jewelry, keep it simple. One pair of simple stud earrings and one simple pendant necklace are allowed. No rings, no bracelets, no large necklaces or other bling that will be distracting on stage.


Concert Choir and Chamber Singers women should wear close toed black flats or low heels (no more than 1 to 2 inches) and black nylons. Show Choir women should wear skin color nylons. Men in Chamber Singers should wear dress shoes. Men and women in Show Choir should wear jazz shoes.


All FHS Choir women wear formal gowns.

All FHS Choir men wear formal tuxedos (or vests for Show Choir).

All rental fees are nonrefundable and go towards the maintenance and dry cleaning of the uniforms.

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Class Fees

In accordance with school policy, the FHS Choir program is self-funded. This means that expenses such as sheet music, performance recordings, accompanist fees, etc, are paid for by class fees. The following fees will be applied to students:

Membership Fee: A $40 membership fee will be charged to each student. This is a one-time fee, regardless of the number of choirs in which a student is enrolled.

T-Shirt Fee(s): A $10 T-Shirt Fee will be charged to each student. Students in multiple choirs will be charged for each T-Shirt they receive (one from each choir). Chamber Singers will also be charged a $30 Hoodie Fee.

Uniform Fee(s):

  • Concert Choir: $40 Uniform Rental Fee. Gown must be returned in good condition or you will be fined $120 (actual cost of the gown).

  • Show Choir: $100 Uniform Rental Fee. Rented uniform must be returned in good condition or you will be fined $100

  • Chamber Singers: $140 Uniform Purchase Fee (Gown for women and Tuxedo for men). This is not a rental-- you may keep it when the year is over.​

If you are having difficulty paying any choir fees, please come talk to Ms. Earl. I want to help.

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Rehearsal Skills Policy

Appropriate rehearsal Skills are necessary for Ms. Earl to assess your mastery of Choral Singing. If you do not demonstrate these essential skills, the finer skills of breath control, phonation, and everything else we do in choir will not be apparent.

Each week, students will receive a grade out of ten points for demonstrating appropriate rehearsal skills. If students fail to demonstrate appropriate rehearsal skills, they will receive a Rehearsal Skills Form and will lose 5 points. Students must fill out this form and return it the next day during rehearsal; if they do so and demonstrate appropriate rehearsal skills that day, they will regain the lost points (for a total of 10/10 points). If it takes two days to return the form and demonstrated improved rehearsal skills, the student may only regain two points (for a total of 7/10 points). After two days, they will not regain the lost points, but must still turn in the Rehearsal Skills Form.

The following rehearsal skills should be demonstrated in rehearsal each day:


I will stay focused, participate, and be on task. I will sing when it is my turn to sing— during warm ups, sectionals, all together, etc.

Avoid Distractions

I will not talk while Ms. Earl is talking. I will avoid making remarks as soon as we stop singing. I will avoid distracting others with off-topic conversations. I will not talk negatively about myself in rehearsal.

Phones Away

My phone will be put away in my backpack or in the charging station, not in my pocket. I understand the one warning policy in Choir.

Work Hard

I will give my best effort in rehearsal. I will be attentive and positive. I will help out my fellow singers. I will sit and stand with Singer’s Posture and use my pencil to mark my music every day.

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