Ninth Grade Parents » Welcome 9th Grade Parents!

Welcome 9th Grade Parents!

Welcome to Forest Grove High School! We are excited to work with you and your ninth grader this year! This webpage is designed specifically to connect incoming parents with the resources they need to help their ninth graders have a successful year. 

At FGHS, we welcome parent involvement, and we want to provide you with the tools necessary to support your student’s academic growth. On this page, you will find answers to frequently asked questions, videos from FGHS staff with important information, and links to helpful websites. We will post upcoming news and events throughout the school year here to keep you as informed as possible. 

Remember, if you have any questions or concerns throughout the year, do not hesitate to call us at 503-359-2432. Go Vikings!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is my student’s class schedule like?
Students at FGHS take seven classes each semester. We have two semesters, each is eighteen weeks long. A typical freshmen schedule includes English, Science, Math, Health, Physical Education, Electives, and/or Workshops. Students will have 86 minute class periods on a rotating schedule. To see the Bell Schedule, with the times of each of the seven periods, click here.

How does my student get involved in athletics or clubs?
FGHS strongly encourages your student to get involved at the high school outside of the classroom. We have a wide variety of extra-curricular opportunities, including athletics, clubs, and academic tutoring. 9th graders will be introduced to available clubs during “Club Rush”. This event takes place at lunchtime during the first two weeks of school. Clubs set up information tables and current members are available to answer questions. To join most clubs, students simply show up to the next club meeting.
  • For more information on specific clubs, please visit the Community Learning Center website.
  • To become involved in athletics, please contact the athletic office secretary, Monica Christopherson, at 503-359-8137 ext. 3522.
  • To sign up for academic tutoring, please contact your student’s school counselor at 503-359-2435.
 
Does my student have homework every night?
The short answer is, “Yes!” A good motto for high school is, “There is no such thing as no homework.” Ninth graders have specific practice work assigned by teachers, totaling an average of 30-60 minutes per night. At FGHS, we find that there is a direct correlation between homework completion and classroom grades. In short, homework completion is essential to success in high school. We encourage you to set aside a homework time every evening for your student and to give your student a well-light, quiet place to work, away from TV and cell phone. If your student reports not having homework, he or she still needs to study during this 30-60 minute homework time. Your student can prepare for future exams, review class notes, or reread important text. We have an on-line system available for you to track your student’s homework completion in each class, called Synergy. You will be able to get log-in information for Synergy at Back to School Night. In Synergy, students are assigned a homework grade entitled “Career Related Learning Skills”. Tracking this grade closely is a great way to know if you student is completing his or her homework. As always, please contact your student’s teachers with any questions about your student’s academic performance.

What is Synergy?
Synergy is an on-line program that allows you to track your student’s progress throughout the semester. At Back to School Night, you will receive a log-in and password for Synergy. You will then be able to log-in from any computer to stay up-to-date on your student’s grades.

What is “credit by proficiency”?
All FGHS credit is awarded on a Credit by Proficiency basis as demonstrated by the individual student on the identified knowledge and skills standards for each course (called “proficiencies”). A minimum of 80% of the grade (with a maximum of 100%) will be based upon mastery of these course-specific standards or “proficiencies”. Up to 20% of the grade may be based on demonstrated mastery of behavior-based learning standards (i.e. completing assignments on time, work ethic, etc.). For more information on individual teachers’ grading policies, please attend Back to School Night and/or visit the teachers’ websites.

Who is my student’s school counselor?
Counselors are assigned to students alphabetically by the student’s last name.
  • Julie Buck - A-C and CALC
  • Christina Ruvalcaba - D-H and AVID '22
  • Brooke Gale- I-M and AVID '20
  • Megan Van Zanten- N-R and ELD
  • Catherine Davis- S-Z and AVID '21
 
What are the requirements for graduation?
Our high school offers two diplomas—the Forest Grove High School Diploma and the Forest Grove High School Honors Diploma. The specific requirements for both diplomas are outlined in the FGHS Curriculum Guide. We encourage students wanting to apply to four-year colleges after high school to follow the Honors Diploma track.

Who do I contact if my student is failing a class?
We encourage you to be directly involved in your student’s education. If your student is failing a course, please contact that student’s teacher to find out what your student needs to work on in order to pass. Teacher’s email addresses can be found in the Staff Directory. If your student is failing multiple courses, please contact the school counselor to make a plan for grade improvement.

What is the cell phone policy at FGHS?
FGHS recognizes that technology plays a major role in young people’s lives, and will continue to do so into their adult careers. FGHS teachers are encouraged to intentionally incorporate technology, including students’ smart phones, into classroom instruction. This practice requires students to follow teacher direction about appropriate and inappropriate use of personal electronic devices. It also requires that students are able to put cell phones “off and away” when not in use for lessons.

Students are permitted to use cell phones and other personal electronic devices during non-instructional time in our building. Please review our Student-Parent Handbook for more informational on cell phone expectations.
Staff
Karen O'Neill
Welcome message from Principal Karen O'Neill

Megan Van Zanten
(In Spanish) Megan Van Zanten, school counselor, discusses tips for helping your student be successful in 9th grade.

Maria Barajas
(In Spanish) Bilingual Liaison Maria Barajas explains her role in helping parents access student resources.

Rigoberto Loeza
(In Spanish) Rigoberto Loeza from the 21st Century Learning Communities Grant talks about before and after school enrichment opportunities at the high school.