CTE Handbook 2020-2021
Welcome to Questar III’s Schools of Excellence. We are pleased that you have chosen to study in one of our Career and Technical, Alternative Learning, Career Studies, New Visions and Adult Education programs. We will do our best to ensure that you are successful in your course work and that you enjoy your experience here.
Questar III provides educational services through a cooperative program in which twenty-three school districts participate. This cooperative effort allows us to offer a varied and up-to-date curriculum.
You have traveled to this school from your local school, where you are a member of the student body. You are an important member of this school as well. We invite you to participate actively in all aspects of the school’s daily operation — your voice will add value and meaning to our relationship.
The purpose of this handbook is to increase your understanding of Questar III’s functions — its objectives, goals and procedures. This will assist your progress in your program of study, as well as enhance your experience here.
We encourage you to share this handbook with your parents and guardians, and to discuss the enclosed information with your classmates. Feel free to ask staff members any questions about the handbook’s contents and to comment on anything that we have presented here.
The entire faculty and staff at this school wish you success for the 2020-2021 school year. We believe that together we can build the foundation of knowledge, skills and commitment that will prepare you to continue your formal education or to begin your career.
Our Mission, Vision and Values
Changing lives, realizing dreams and doing together what can’t be done alone.
Creating a student-centered culture (putting students first) of excellence, leadership, service and innovation.
Our Core Values
- Commitment to Excellence – honing our craftsmanship to deliver high-quality work.
- Commitment to Leadership & Service – moving the organization, departments and school districts forward by exceeding client expectations.
- Commitment to:
- Innovation – creating programs and services to address client needs.
- Innovation – continuously improving our programs and operations.
Technical Centers That Work
Questar III is a member of Technical Centers That Work (TCTW). TCTW is a national school improvement model that integrates academic and career and technical education. The goals of TCTW are:
- To increase the mathematics, science, communication, problem-solving and technical achievement and the application of learning for career-bound students to the national average of all students.
- To blend the essential content of traditional college-preparatory studies — mathematics, science and language arts — with quality vocational and technical studies, by creating conditions that support school leaders and teachers in carrying out the key practices.
Questar III is committed to providing quality programs, integrating academic with career and technical education, assisting students to meet the new ELA, math and science standards as part of our endeavor. Students successfully completing their career and technical courses will also receive academic credit through their home district.
At the completion of your career and technical course you will have the opportunity to take a national standards exam. Successful completion of your career and technical course portfolio and a passing grade on your technical assessments qualifies you for a Career and Technical Endorsement on your Regents Diploma.
- High expectations — setting higher expectations and motivating students to meet them.
- Career and technical studies — increasing access to intellectually challenging career and technical studies, with a major emphasis on using high-level mathematics, science, language arts and problem-solving skills in the modern workplace and in preparation for continued learning.
- Academic studies — increasing access to academic studies that teach the essential concepts from the college preparatory curriculum by encouraging students to use academic content and skills to address real-world projects and problems.
- Program of study — having students complete a challenging program of study with an upgraded academic core and a major.
- Work-based learning — giving students and their parents the choice of a system that integrates school-based and work-based learning. The system should span high school and postsecondary studies and should be planned by educators, employers and employees.
- Teachers working together — having an organization, structure, and schedule giving academic and career and technical teachers the time to plan and deliver integrated instruction aimed at teaching high-level academic and technical content.
- Students actively engaged — getting every student involved in rigorous and challenging learning. Students will participate in our school wide Advisory Program.
- Guidance — involving each student and his or her parents in a guidance and advising system that ensures the completion of an accelerated program of study with an in-depth academic or career and technical major.
- Extra help — providing a structured system of extra help to enable students who may lack adequate preparation to complete an accelerated program of study that includes high-level academic and technical content.
- Keeping score — using student assessment and program evaluation data to continuously improve the school climate, organization, management, curricula and instruction to advance student learning and to recognize students who meet both curriculum and performance goals.
It is very important that you arrive at school on time for the beginning of class each day. We expect this just as an employer will expect this from you. Consistent class participation is extremely important. Attendance will be reported to home schools regularly.
If you arrive late, the person transporting you to school must come to the Main Office and sign you into school. If you are leaving school early, the person picking you up must come to the Main Office and sign you out.
Columbia-Greene Educational Center
1st Session: 8:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
2nd Session: 11:15 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Rensselaer Educational Center
1st Session: 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
2nd Session: 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
New Visions – STEM at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
New Visions – Scientific Research & World Health at University at Albany School of Public Health
8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
New Visions – Medical at Samaritan Hospital
8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
New Visions – Visual & Performing Arts at Arts Center of the Capital Region
8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Pathways in Education – University at Albany School of Education
8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Heavy Equipment Operation & Maintenance at Durham Elementary
1st Session 8:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
2nd Session 11:45 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.
School/Building Procedures and General Information
Attendance, Early Dismissals & Late Arrivals
It is very important that you arrive at school on time for the beginning of class each day. We expect this from you just as an employer will expect it from you. It is also extremely important that you attend class regularly. Therefore, your attendance will be influencing your grade and more than five absences in a quarter may result in a non-recommendation for credit.
You must sign in at the Main Office when arriving late and sign out when leaving early. To be granted early dismissal from class, you must bring a note signed by your parent/guardian with a verification telephone number. When you are picked up, your parent/guardian MUST sign you out. Your attendance is reported daily to your home school. Students are not permitted to leave school for lunch. Students are to bring a medical note from a doctor to excuse absences.
Cellular Phones and Electronic Devices
Because they are a disruption to the educational process, the use of cell phones and other electronic devices are prohibited in the classroom without the consent of the teacher. Cell phone distractions may pose a safety risk in shop environments and are not permitted in some workplaces. In order to ensure your safety and work readiness, you must follow the teacher’s instruction in regards to cell phone use. Failure to do so may result in consequences as outlined by the Student Code of Conduct. You may use your cell phone responsibly in hallways and at lunch time. Noncompliance will result in a loss of this cell phone privilege. Questar III does not accept responsibility for any personal electronic equipment. Use of these devices to take pictures or record is strictly prohibited without express permission of a teacher or administrator.
We expect you to come to school ready to enhance your education and to pave your way to a better future. To achieve this, it is your responsibility to act in a reasonable, respectful, safe and caring manner. Your teacher or advisor will assist you when needed with all issues that may arise in the classroom, and will work with you to solve any problems. Also, your counselor/social worker will work closely with your parents, home school principals and school counselors when necessary. The Questar III Student Code of Conduct is to be honored. A summary of the code will be issued to all students and parents. A full copy of the Code of Conduct is available upon request.
Course Credit and Evaluation
All of the school’s programs are divided into four quarters, consistent with local school districts and State Education Department requirements.
Some of the criteria that teachers use in determining a grade are:
- Completion of the assigned projects with skill and accuracy
- Preparation for class: proper dress, necessary books, notebooks, homework, etc.
- Quality of your work
- Following safety procedures & standards
- Teamwork, participation & effort
- Problem-solving capabilities
- Decision-making skills
- Communication skills
- Work ethic
- Assessments (Tests & Quizzes)
Questar III does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, religion, creed, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, gender or sexual orientation in the educational programs and activities it operates. If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact your Teacher, Counselor and/or building Administrator.
The intent of the Dress Code is to foster an environment that is sanitary, safe and conductive to teaching and student learning. It is also intended to provide guidance to prepare students for their role in the workplace and society. All students are expected to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to dress appropriately for Questar III programs. Students and their parents have the primary responsibility for acceptable student dress and appearance. Teachers and all other Questar III personnel should exemplify and reinforce acceptable attire, and help students develop an understanding of appropriate appearance in the educational setting.
You are asked to wear clothing suitable to your learning environment.
- You may not wear or bring to school clothing, hats, jackets, knapsacks or jewelry that bear words or pictures that depict, promote, advertise or encourage the use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco products, weapons, violence, gang affiliation, obscene language, sexual conduct, ethnic/gender bias or prejudicial statements, or that are in any way disruptive of the educational program. Students will be asked to turn inappropriate clothing inside out, put suitable clothing on, or have someone from home bring clothing or be sent home.
- You may not wear revealing clothing such as halter tops, plunging necklines (front or back), beach wear, clothing made of mesh material, oversized tank tops, tops which expose the midriff, or pants with side seams cut open, short shorts or short skirts.
- Pants worn so that underwear or skin is exposed, are not permitted.
- Wearing chains hanging from pockets and spiked collars and bracelets are potential hazards and are not allowed.
- No hats/caps or other nonreligious head gear are to be worn in the school. Approved Trade specific headgear may be worn in your program area only. This is a respect issue and taking off your head gear is a sign of respect. It is reasonable to expect that you will want to attend a school that you and others respect.
Required attire or uniforms will vary with each program. Your instructor will outline the appropriate and safe attire requirements for that program. While working, students must wear the proper type of protective clothing appropriate to the trade or occupation under study. Wearing the specific attire or uniform helps ensure your safety and readies you for success in your future career. You will have the opportunity to change into your Career Tech attire when your arrive at the center. When deciding on what to wear, keep in mind that you are enrolled in a Questar III program that will train you for future employment.
The use or possession of drugs, alcohol or weapons by any student poses a threat to the safety of all students and staff. Drugs, alcohol or weapons are not permitted on the campus, or during any school activities or programs, at any time.
Prescription drugs used under a physician’s direction and over-the-counter drugs used as intended are allowed. To take these prescription or over-the-counter drugs while at school, students under 18 years old must have written permission from a parent or guardian and must notify a School Administrator or the School Nurse in advance. Take the permission note to the school Main Office upon arrival.
Parking Permission must be obtained from the Main Office. To do so, request a parking permission form, which must be completed and signed by your home-school principal, parent/guardian and a Questar III administrator. If granted permission, park in the student designated areas. Driver must provide a copy of a valid drivers license, insurance and insurance for their vehicle. A fee of $10 will be charged for the parking permit that helps offset the costs i.e. parking tags, signage, numbering of spaces, etc.
Remember that a parking permit allows only you to park at the Center. Attendance, tardiness, grades, and conduct will be considered for students to maintain their parking permits. You must still follow your home school rules when parking at your home school.
The following parking regulations must be observed:
- You must drive only the vehicle registered on the parking permit request. If vehicle changes, notify Main Office.
- Permission to drive is for applicant only, no passengers without a release.
- Drivers must adhere to safe driving procedures. No alcoholic beverages or illegal substances allowed on school property.
- You will receive a parking permit and assigned a parking spot. Your parking permit must be displayed on your rear-view mirror.
- You must not loiter in the parking area. Questar III assumes no liability for the vehicle and its contents. Vehicles must always be kept locked.
- Arrival/Departure procedures and times: Follow the times for your Educational Center on page 4 of the Questar III Student Handbook.
- You must obtain signature approval from your parent/guardian, home school principal and an Educational Center administrator, as well.
- All day students may not leave without administrator approval at any time prior to dismissal. Students may have a staff escort to their vehicle during school hours.
- At Columbia-Greene Educational Center, keys must be turned in to the office daily and picked up after the dismissal bell. Not turning in keys or the use of duplicate keys is grounds for the loss of driving privileges.
- Occasionally “day passes” are issued to those without a parking permit. Five maximum per year. Obtain a day pass from the Main Office.
Driving Regulations Violations:
1st Violation: Parking Permit Revoked for 5 School Days;
2nd Violation: Parking Permit Revoked for 10 School Days;
3rd Violation: Parking Permit Revoked. A letter will be sent to Home School and Parent/Guardian. Vehicles may be towed at owner’s expense if student’s car has received 3 tickets or has no permission/permit to park. Note: Students may lose parking privileges or be booted and/or towed at the Administrator’s discretion if a violation warrants it. Home School and Parent/Guardian will be notified.
Emergency School Closing
When snow and hazardous driving conditions close the school, please view school delays and/or school closings on major television, radio and newspaper websites which are affiliated with the School Closings Network. Closings are posted as following: Questar III Columbia-Greene Educational Center and/or Questar III Rensselaer Educational Center, Questar III New Visions.
Significant educational experiences take place outside the Center periodically. You are encouraged to participate in these field trips, as they add meaning and content to your course work. While on a field trip you are required to follow Questar III’s school code of conduct. Please get required signatures on permission slips and return to your teacher before the day of the trip.
Dignity for All Students Act
The Code of Conduct prohibits discrimination and harassment in accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act. Acts of harassment or discrimination will be addressed by the Code of Conduct. Additionally, remedies will focus on discerning and correcting the reasons why discrimination and harassment occurred.
It is the goal of Questar III to create school environments which recognize and promote tolerance, respect for others, and civility toward people of all kinds. Students are expected to report incidents of discrimination, harassment, and bullying to a teacher, principal, or other staff member. A Dignity Act Coordinator has been designated for each instructional building and program. For the 2020-2021 school year, building principals have been designated as Dignity Act Coordinators and will serve as a resource for addressing any reports of discrimination or harassment. For offsite programs, the Career and Technical Education Coordinator is the designated Dignity Act Coordinator.
Harassment, Bullying and/or Discrimination
Harassment, bullying and/or discrimination creates a hostile environment by conduct or by threats, intimidation or abuse – including cyberbullying – that has the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with the student’s education. It includes threats, intimidation, abuse, that causes emotional harm. It also includes actions that could reasonably be expected to cause physical injury to a student or to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety.
Bullying consists of inappropriate persistent behavior including threats or intimidation of others, treating others cruelly, terrorizing, coercing, or habitual put-downs, and/or badgering of others.
Common characteristics of bullying are:
Physical: hitting, kicking, taking or damaging a victim’s property;
Verbal: using words to berate, hurt or humiliate; (including through electronic communication)
Relational: maliciously spreading rumors, and/or actively excluding a person from the peer group to cause emotional harm.
Harassment, bullying and/or discrimination may take place on school property, at a school function, or off of school property (including cyberbullying) – where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats or abuse might impact the school or the student while at school.
If you believe you are a victim of bullying, contact your teacher, school social worker, school counselor, or an administrator.
No Smoking or Vaping Policy
Vaping, smoking or any tobacco use is PROHIBITED in the building and anywhere on the grounds of the school at any time per New York State Law. Tobacco products, cigarettes, lighters, e-cigarettes, and vaporizers will be confiscated as contraband and will not be returned. Students will also receive consequences for possession of contraband.
Interim reports are sent out midway into each marking period. This offers teachers an opportunity to identify students who are having difficulty in their classes. Teachers may send interim reports to identify other performance-related issues.
If you are absent for any reason, you should make up the work missed in class. Your Instructor(s) will provide every opportunity for you to complete your course of study successfully.
Close cooperation between parents/guardians and our school staff is important to us. Parents may make appointments for conferences with teachers, school social workers, school administrators or the school counselors by calling the school (REC: 518-273-2264, CGEC: 518-828-4157). Parents are always welcome to call or visit. Parents will be contacted individually to arrange for a conference.
To be out of your class or shop/lab at anytime, you must always have a signed pass from your teacher with the time and destination written on the pass. This includes use of the bathroom. A pass indicates that your teacher approves your leaving class and acknowledges that she/he is aware of your destination.
Public Display of Affection
Public display of affection may be considered to be in poor taste. In addition, displays of affection do not contribute to a proper school atmosphere. There is to be NO inappropriate physical contact with another student.
You will work in classes with a variety of equipment, chemicals and other materials that require careful handling and attention. It is extremely important that you pay close attention to safety at all times — for yourself and those around you.
Questar III promotes safe working conditions in all its educational programs. You must take appropriate safety precautions and dress according to the needs of your learning environment. Specific safety issues for each class are outlined by your teachers, and must be followed.
Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty are not tolerated at Questar III Educational Centers.
Student Information (Emergency)
Please be sure to fill out emergency information forms for your classroom teachers. You will not participate in any shop/lab without having these forms completed. If you change your address, phone number, or other pertinent information, please contact the Main Office in order to keep your emergency form current. New York State law (18: IC 3210) requires that schools only release student information to those persons whose names appear on a list provided by a parent or guardian.
You are encouraged to join SkillsUSA. Throughout the school year, SkillsUSA sponsors many outings and competitions which enrich students’ awareness of their chosen fields as well as build self-esteem and personal responsibility.
Students may use the Main Office phone with administrative approval. Phone use is permitted in EMERGENCY and illness (nurse involved) circumstances as well. In the event there is an emergency call for you, you may be reached through the School Office (contact information on back cover).
Transportation – School Bus
The home district is responsible for busing of all students. Therefore, students are expected to follow, and are subject to the discipline codes and policies of the Home District with regards to transportation. The Home District will handle bus discipline problems, detentions, and suspensions.
Questar III offers support to the home district on all transportation matters. We will participate in conferences with students, parents, and bus drivers/aides, when requested to do so by the home district. We encourage you to come to the school by the bus provided by your home school district.
We require that you make arrangements for all visitors in advance with a teacher or school counselor. You must obtain permission in writing by completing a Visitor Pass, available in the Main Office.
Academic Support Services
Career Development Center
The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for students attending the Rensselaer and Columbia-Greene Educational Centers and component schools. A special focus of the CDC is to promote a smooth transition from school. We provide school districts, students and alumni with information and support services about career options and job placement.
Specific services include:
- Career Choices: The CDC provides information on employment choices and career opportunities in Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties, as well as information on preparing for future careers and identification of your interests.
- Guest Speakers: The CDC schedules speakers to visit with students and discuss career choices. Speakers include professional women and men in a variety of technical and service occupations.
- Classroom Visits: CDC staff members present information to students and staff about career choices, with emphasis on expanding employment and educational options, as well as planning for the future.
- Employment Services: The CDC assists students in Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene Counties to develop specific career plans, job interviewing skills, applications completion and other career-related items for their portfolios.
- College and Career Fairs: The CDC staff members provide college and career information opportunities and support to students and schools in our component districts.
- Presentations: The CDC staff provide presentations about Questar III programs to students at home schools and tours of the Educational Centers.
Work Based Learning Program
Work-Based Learning is a component of all our Career and Technical Education and Career Studies programs. It takes place in a setting directly related to school-based learning, from which students learn general workplace competencies as well as the skills and knowledge required for a specific job. Successful Work-Based Learning requires an effective collaboration among schools, employees, organized labor, and other community representatives.
- Orientation: Counselors introduce students to Career and Technical programs through presentations at home schools, tours of the Educational Center and half-day classroom visits.
- Help with personal, peer, family or school-related problems: Individual and small group counseling sessions are conducted with students on a regular and as-needed basis.
- Substance-abuse education, counseling and referral: Counselors facilitate ongoing alcohol/substance-abuse education programs for all students. Individual counseling and referral to community agencies is provided by school counselors.
- Assistance with referral to community services: Counselors are in close contact with many community agencies and can assist students with these services.
- Resolution of schedule conflicts: Counselors work closely with counselors at home schools to resolve scheduling conflicts for students.
- Career counseling: Counselors work with students on career possibilities, particularly as they relate to the chosen field of study.
- College information: Counselors schedule visits by college representatives at the Educational Center to expose students to as many post-secondary opportunities as possible.
- Clarification of school policies and procedures: Students with questions or concerns about school policies and procedures should see a counselor for clarification.
REC Guidance Counselor:
CGEC Guidance Counselor:
Students with IEPs may be eligible to receive consultant teacher services provided by a certified special education teacher when approved by the Committee on Special Education. The consultant teacher coordinates services between the home school district and the Career and Technical Education Programs to promote the success of our students with special needs, as specified by the home school district. Regular communication with Committees on Special Education, as well as direct and indirect services in the classrooms, are among the services provided.
The Educational Center offers career, academic and personal support to students. The Advisory Program promotes a positive school climate and expands relationships with staff and students. The Advisory Program helps students to achieve their college and career readiness goals. Your teachers value advanced skills, punctuality, attendance and other areas of performance that lead to successful completion of our programs. Questar III presents awards to recognize special student achievements.
Certificates of Completion
One-year certificates of completion are awarded in June to students who successfully pass ALL four quarters. Two-year certificates are awarded in June to students who successfully pass ALL eight quarters.
Technical Endorsement on Diploma
Students enrolled in a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program who successfully complete all requirements earn a Technical Endorsement to be affixed to the high school diploma. Requirements leading to the Technical Endorsement include:
- completion of a minimum of 22 units of credit.
- passing grades on 5 required Regents examination(s) or approved alternatives.
- successful completion of a 3-part technical assessment (written, demonstration, portfolio)
- completion of Work-Based Learning experiences as provided by the approved program.
- completion of work-skills employability profile.
Other Graduation Pathways to a Diploma
CTE Graduation Pathway:
- Meet the minimum diploma requirement of 22 credits
- Pass the 4 required Regents exams, one each in ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies
- Successfully complete an approved CTE program of study
- Pass the technical assessment that has been approved by the Commissioner and Board of Regents (Currently only the technical assessments for Automotive Technology, Culinary Arts, and Criminal Justice have been approved.)
CDOS Graduation Pathway:
- Meet the minimum diploma requirement of 22 credits
- Pass the 4 required Regents exams, one each in ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies
- AND either Option 1 or Option 2
- Career Plan (conducted by the School Districts)
- Commencement level CDOS learning standards (embedded within each CTE/Career Studies program)
- 216 hours of instruction in CTE and/or work-based learning (embedded within each CTE/Career Studies program)
- 54 hours of the 216 must be in work-based learning activities
- Employability Profile (completed by the CTE/Career Studies Teacher)
- Pass one of the four nationally recognized work-readiness assessments.
National Technical Honor Society
Career and Technical and Career Studies students have the potential to qualify for induction into one of Questar III’s chapters of the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS). With qualifications including excellent academic achievement, high attendance and service to the community, the NTHS honors student achievement and leadership. Students may be nominated by their instructors after the close of the third quarter. Nominees who meet all the qualifications are inducted into the NTHS chapter in June.
All Career and Technical and Career Studies students are required to complete a career-oriented portfolio through their respective programs.
There are various opportunities for you to compete in local, regional and statewide competitive skill events. SkillsUSA and ProStart are ways for students to participate in such competitions. There are additional competitive events – some of which can lead to significant scholarships – scheduled throughout the year in each program. It is an opportunity for students to test skills and talents.
Perfect Attendance Awards
Students who achieve perfect attendance are regularly acknowledged and receive a Certificate of Perfect Attendance. Special awards may be presented to students at the annual Awards Night in June who have achieved perfect attendance for the entire school year.
Students achieving a quarterly grade of 87 or above are placed on the Honor Roll for that marking period. Students achieving a quarterly grade of 92 or higher are placed on the High Honor Roll for that marking period. The Honor Roll is announced four times a year. Students are recognized throughout the school year and at the end of the year in an awards ceremony for exceptional growth in social and academic skills.
Students who attend a Career & Technical Program may be eligible for specific scholarships. Scholarship applications are available in the Career Center starting in the Spring. Please check with the school counselors and career center staff for details.