Published using Google Docs
2020-21 Student Handbook
Updated automatically every 5 minutes

Chinook West

2020 - 2021

 Student Handbook

About us is about you.

Chinook West has been around since 2002-03 school year. Things have changed since we started. Classes have been shorter and longer. The time we begin the school day has been earlier and later. Teachers and staff have come and gone. Some programs have been successful and some have not been. Students’ interests have changed with the times. We change in order to make Chinook West a place that better reflects who the students are today.

The thing that has not changed is our commitment to you as a student and a person. Our mission is to support and promote each student’s educational goals and life aspirations. That means all of our activities revolve around getting you where you want to be and go.  Upon graduation, Chinook West students are prepared to make responsible choices about emotional and personal well–being and have the life and academic skills to accomplish their goals.  

At Chinook West High School, we realize every student is different than the other. Students learn different things at different times of their lives; have different interests and different learning styles. There are lots of ways we are different. At Chinook West we value these differences and take them into consideration when planning your schedule and the courses you take. Yes, there are rules, and yes, you still have to meet the expectations that you help establish, but it’s all about creating an environment you can succeed in.  

Finally, to make Chinook West work, which means you are achieving your goals, we absolutely need you to talk to us. Talk to us when something isn’t working. Talk to us when something is working. Talk to us if you need help. Talk to us if the staff is not meeting your expectations.  Without your input we will not be able to learn and improve.  Talk to us. Communicate with us.


THE LETTER -- You don’t have to go to Chinook West, it’s a choice you make.  Entry to Chinook West begins when you make a request to join us.  Your request is in the form of a letter explaining why you want to go to Chinook West.  We hear a lot about why students want to leave the school they are currently enrolled in and we want to hear about those reasons.  In addition, it is very important to think about the reasons you want to be here, i.e. what is it about Chinook West that makes it the school of choice for you?

THE INTERVIEW -- Once you’ve gained a bit of information about us and written your letter requesting admittance to Chinook West, the relationship begins.  You get to meet us and we get to meet you. This is the interview stage. You and your parents sit with all or most of our staff and we get to know each other more.  You will make a choice about attending Chinook West using the information you gain during the interview. We do the same. During the interview we explain what the school year looks like, our rules and expectations, ask how you would respond or act in specific situations, and the other matters that make up life at Chinook West. We will make agreements and set expectations based on certain circumstances.  You get to ask questions too. The point of the interview is to give us both a better understanding of one another so we’ll make the right choice about attendance and how to proceed at Chinook West.  

THE DECISION – Everyone starts school at Chinook West at different times and with different expectations and agreements.  Based on these agreements and expectations, you decide if you want to attend Chinook West or pursue another option. We are willing to help you consider other options and determine whether Chinook West is the best choice.


You are now a student.  This section describes what the school year looks like. Developing a plan, understanding your course requirements, how you get credits, and how courses are evaluated. Throughout the school year you are invited to communicate with us. We want this to be a worthwhile and good experience for you. You may talk to any of us at any time.

ADVISING -- One of the first things each student at Chinook West does is interview all staff members and select a staff adviser.  You meet with your adviser approximately once every two weeks. The adviser serves as an advocate, guide and mentor during your time at Chinook West and beyond. There are four main ways advisers work with students: assisting in working through the stressors in the student’s life, monitoring academic progress, setting goals and creating action plans, and developing strategies to overcome challenges inhibiting the student’s progress in school or beyond. Because the advisor relationship is an important part of the Chinook West experience we encourage you to complete all the interviews by the end of your first week. **This may look different this year, we will make every effort to provide opportunities for students to get to know staff before making their adviser lists.

Specifically, here are some of the adviser’s duties:

THE PLAN -- The next step is to develop a plan. This plan is helpful for:

There are a couple of reasons for THE PLAN:

The plan includes the following:

THE COURSES YOU TAKE – we are a bit more varied than traditional schools in the courses we offer and the way we offer them. We want our courses to be interesting and relevant to you personally. We are not always able to find the right mix, but with your input, we’ll do our best to meet your requests.

The 5 credit courses are divided into two 2.5 halves.




MID-YEAR INTERVIEW – each student and their parents review the first half of the school year with the TEENS, Inc. staff. The purpose of the interview is to review the initial interview agreements, gain further input from parents and students, dialogue about the remainder of the year, and introduce anything new.

GRADUATION – almost everyone who begins at Chinook West graduates from Chinook West. One of our proudest events of the school year is our graduation ceremony. Our graduation ceremony includes a speaker, some food, lots of smiles and handshakes, and all the good stuff associated with finishing (persevering). Mostly, and mainly, it is about the graduate. Each student is presented by a staff member, who gives a brief, but heartfelt and meaningful speech about the student, and then presents a speech of his/her own.


Students in Chinook West will graduate with the skills, knowledge and desire to participate in a democratic society.  We believe reading, writing, communication skills and respect for diversity are essential to this participation and place a heavy emphasis on these in our courses.

LIFE EFFECTIVENESS SKILLS – at Chinook West we believe there is more to being in school than grades and credits. We feel strongly about the development of habits found to facilitate establishing and meeting one’s goals. We refer to them as Life Effectiveness Skills. Throughout your history at Chinook West they will be discussed frequently. Here they are. Remember them by recognizing how they apply to your school and personal life:

RULES – yes, we have rules. We believe they are reasonable. We believe they are fair. And like most matters at Chinook West, if you don’t agree, we are willing to talk about them. Rules:

Food and Drinks

 ** Due to Covid, we ask you to eat snacks and lunch outside whenever possible. The kitchen will not be available for student use. Snacks are not allowed in the classrooms.  TEENS, Inc. will provide healthy food options.

Energy drinks such as Monster, Redbull, Rockstar, etc have been associated with serious adverse health effects including seizures, obesity, insomnia, diabetes, heart abnormalities, and mood / behavioral disorders and are not allowed at TEENS, Inc. during the school hours (8:00 – 3:45).  TEENS, Inc. will do its best to provide healthy options.  For more information on energy drinks check out these links.

Chinook West Time Management Expectations

Purpose: To work towards building intrinsic motivation and overall time management skills within students.


The doors to the classrooms will be shut at the start time.  The only way anyone can enter a classroom after class starts is if a staff member lets them in. If you are late, go downstairs to the front desk and talk to a staff person about allowing you into class.

There are some behaviors which Chinook West and TEENS, Inc. consider Non-Negotiable behaviors. These may require more serious action and include, but are not limited to:

If such behaviors or incidents occur, TEENS, Inc. tries to work with the student on restorative resolutions. As with all school and youth serving agencies, TEENS, Inc staff are mandatory reporters and will make reports to appropriate agencies in instances mandated by law and safety. The police may be involved. Students may have the opportunity to participate in a Restorative Justice process and if completed, may return to school if previously asked to leave due to the incident/s. We will take each situation on a case-by-case basis. A safe and healthy school community is essential.

Substance Abuse Statement

It is the responsibility of TEENS, Inc. staff to ensure all students have access to the academic and support services that allow them to perform at their optimal personal potential.  TEENS, Inc. staff strongly believes that substance use, in any form, hinders this potential.  It is our policy to treat all consumption and suspected consumption of drugs / alcohol at school or during the school day as a serious offense against the ideals of Chinook West and TEENS, Inc.  Therefore, substance use will result in a meeting with law enforcement.  Furthermore, public conversations that glorify substance use jeopardizes the integrity of the school, funding potential and the students’ academic, physical, and emotional well-being and will not be tolerated.  Clothing, jewelry and all other references (stickers, etc.) to drugs and alcohol will not be tolerated at TEENS, Inc.  

NOTE: Exceptions for serious medical conditions must be presented to and approved by the principal.

Restorative Resolution Process

The Resolution Process is a conversation between a staff member and student or students tied to individual student goals, school climate, Chinook West outcomes of Life Effectiveness skills and School Bonding.   When staff identifies a concern, they ask the student to schedule a meeting with them, usually by the end of the next school day. The resulting conversation may or may not result in a formal agreement.  It is understood that the student may need more than the allotted time before they are ready to engage in the conversation.  If this is the case, the student may take as much time as they need to schedule a meeting, but may not attend school until they attend the meeting. Ideally, the student will schedule and attend the meeting within 5 days of the incident, if this does not occur, it may interrupt enrollment.

Restorative Justice Process

The Restorative Justice process may occur when more severe behaviors are exhibited.  These behaviors may include, but are not limited to the following: theft, vandalism, demonstrating physical or verbally abusive behavior.  The purpose of restorative justice is to reflect on how our actions affect others, hear from those impacted and to repair, as best as possible, the harm caused by the incident or behavior. Police involvement due to serious offenses may or may not result in a Restorative Justice Process as this is determined by the authorities.  

Chinook West Community

At TEENS, Inc. and Chinook West we value a community based on participation and open communication that strives to learn and to better ourselves as individuals and as a cohesive group.  Each Wednesday the entire Chinook West community will come together one time per week for Gathering.  This is a time to come together and discuss upcoming events, make announcements and group decisions, hear presentations and have open discussions about how the year is progressing.  We also want to hear from students about their interests and concerns. Each student will work with their adviser to co-lead a Gathering during their time at Chinook West. Gathering time is of critical importance and participation as a student at Chinook West is mandatory.  Attendance will be taken and if a student skips Gathering they will not be allowed to return that day to school, or a guardian may be called.  Students will receive no credit for the class time they miss and will be required to meet with staff prior to the next Gathering.    

Excessive Absence

Excessive absences not only hinder the student’s  progress towards graduation, it also damages the Chinook West community.  For this reason, TEENS, Inc. reserves the right to involve all resources, including social services and / or the truancy process, to assist the student and family in developing habits to be part of our school community.

Re-enrollment process -- if for some reason a student’s enrollment with Chinook West is interrupted a re-enrollment process may be necessary:

What students can expect from staff:


STEP 1:  Try to resolve it yourself with the staff by setting up a time to meet with him / her.  If you wish for another staff member to be present you are welcome to ask anyone you feel comfortable with to attend and act as a mediator.

STEP 2:  If you have attempted STEP 1 and the issue is not resolved, file a written complaint to Stephen stating:  


STEP 3:  Principal will investigate the complaint and respond directly to you within 48 hours detailing his findings and the proposed course of action.

** If you have a formal complaint against the Executive Director write a letter to the President of the Board of Directors and give it to Alisa (Assistant Director) to deliver.  The board president will respond to you within one week**

Please note that knowingly making false accusations is unlawful.  Purposefully making false reports may result in being asked to restore your place in the community.  

Appendix A – Chinook West Graduation Course and Credit Requirements

Language Arts: 45 credits in grades 9-12
10 in Language Arts 9
10 in World Literature & Composition or 10th Grade LA
10 in American Literature & Composition or 11th Grade LA
10 in language arts elective courses                         
(5 required  in BVSD)
5 in communication courses

Social Studies: 30 credits in grades 9-12
5 in US Government
5 in World Geography
5 in World History                                          
(10 required in BVSD)
5 in US History                                                
(10 required in BVSD)
10 Elective (current affairs, local history…)                  
(0 required in BVSD)

Math: 20 credits in grades 9-12
10 credits in Algebra I or higher level mathematics         
(20 required in BVSD)

Science: 20 credits in grades 9-12
10 credits in courses designated as Life Sciences
10 credits in courses designated as Physical Sciences

Health: 10 credits in grades 9-12                         (5 required in BVSD)

Humanities: 20 credits in grades 9-12                         (10 in BVSD)
Music, Art, Foreign Languages, and Diversity in the U.S.

***  10 credits must be diversity / cultural studies in the U.S. (not included in BVSD) 

Practical Experiences: 10 credits in grades 9-12. Includes Computer, Business, Consumer and Family Studies, Industrial Technology, Technical Education, wage earning, community service, internship (not included in BVSD’s description)                         (5 in BVSD)

Planning for the future: 5 credits in grades 9-12 (not included in BVSD)

Gathering: each student is expected to lead 1 Gathering

Elective Courses:  60 credits in grades 9 – 12.

Personal Finance Online course: required on-line course; some courses related to personal finance may be substituted for the online course.

Appendix B: Examples of Intensives

Conference on World Affairs: each year, students have the opportunity to attend the conference at the University of Colorado at Boulder for five days. They are required to take notes and participate in the questioning portion of the conferences, as well as writing essays on the conferences they attended after each day.

Creative Writing: as an end of the year course last year, students traveled around the state of Colorado while writing fictional short stories, using the locations as their setting and the storytelling as their dialogue. After the week-long intensive, a literary magazine of their work was published.

Diversity in the U.S.: during the week prior to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, students had the opportunity to delve into alternative cultures in the U.S., with guest speakers and videos, culminating in attendance at the Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Denver.

Mission Wolf / Sand Dunes: as another end of the year excursion, students traveled with staff to the site of a wolf preserve and the Great Sand Dunes in Southern Colorado, while reading literature on wolves and their habitat.

San Juan River Rafting: another end of the year trip saw the entire student body guided through the San Juan River while learning the history of the Anasazi Indian tribe as well as the geographic, geological, and astronomical back stories.

Orientation camping trip: to begin the school year, students and staff take a retreat in the Rocky Mountains High Peaks Region to prepare for the year. Students set goals for themselves, get acquainted with staff and peers, and begin to formulate the culture and expectations of the school.

Crash courses: a course in a specific area of study (U.S. Government, Health, Communications) offered to fit the needs of graduating seniors. Because of the flexibility of scheduling, intensives generally offer two or more options for the students.

I have read and understand the Student Handbook.  I understand that if I have any questions or concerns regarding this handbook and / or any practice or policy of TEENS, Inc. staff I have the right and obligation to seek clarity from a staff member.

Student        ____________________________________________  Date ________________________

Print Name ____________________________________              

General Cleanliness and COVID Related Protocol

Masks and social distancing- All students and staff will need to wear masks in the building, in vehicles, and outside during school activities (if there is a possibility of coming closer than 6ft apart). We will try to remain 6ft apart at all times. No person will be admitted, or allowed to stay without a mask. There may be times outdoors, when everyone can maintain 6ft or further, when masks may be taken off. Your teacher or staff will let you know. We will have assigned seating in classes and vehicles. Staircases are directional= Upstairs by the bathrooms, Downstairs by the skatepark

Health Screening- Please do a health pre-screening at home. Staff will also take temperatures and give a health screening when students enter the building. This is also when phones (and/or connective watches and wireless headphones) will be dropped in the phone holders

Hand Washing- All students and staff should wash hands throughout the day, any time you are going to eat or have eaten, have used the restroom, touched your face, blown your nose, etc. and periodically throughout the day. We will also have hand sanitizer and encourage you to use it. Always use a tissue for nose or mouth excretions and wash your hands immediately. Sneeze or cough into your elbow if you do not have a tissue

Sharing- No sharing of food, drinks, utensils, or other personal items. No blankets, pillows, bedding, etc may be brought from home. We will provide people with their own school supplies, or you can provide your own. If you do have to use a communal supply, please clean hands and supplies before and after use. Please refrain from sharing anything at school

Clean up after yourself- We will provide spray/ hand sanitizer, cleaning products and gloves in classrooms and/or throughout the building. Please clean what you touch and use. We will also have group cleaning time during classes. Staff will also help to disinfect tables, desks, door handles, etc. throughout the day

Kitchen Protocol - The kitchen will not be open for students to use. Bring your own lunch and/or snacks from home if you are able. We will provide meals when appropriate (lunch offered daily). Staff and possibly appointed students may prepare individual meals for disbursement. Food will be prepared with proper mask, glove and hand washing. When eating, you need to be 6 feet apart. Please plan to eat snacks and lunch outside daily. If we cannot be outside, we will set up tables and chairs spaced 6 ft apart in the gym area

Air flow- Windows will be open or cracked to enhance airflow throughout the building. Please dress appropriately. We will hold classes outdoors as much as possible

Transportation- If we transport students in our vans, students and staff will wear masks the entire time, windows will remain open the entire time, students will be assigned seats, spaced apart. Cleaning products and hand spray will also be provided in the vans and cleanings by students and staff will occur regularly

Covid Personal Responsibility- Please agree to and  sign the personal responsibility agreement statement on covid protocols before attending school