Altoona Area High School

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National Honor Society

National Honor Society


National Honor Society (NHS) is often misunderstood to be simply a "good grades club." While grades are important, high marks alone do not qualify a student for membership. Honor Society members must be well rounded. Each candidate is evaluated on four qualities: Scholarship, Service, Leadership and Character. These four qualities are explained in detail below:

Scholarship
In order to be considered as a candidate for NHS, a student must meet these minimum guidelines:
1. Have at least a 92.0% unweighted GPA in grades 9, 10, 11
2. Have a weighted Class Rank of 80 or better

Service
Service is generally considered to be those actions undertaken by the student, which are done with or on behalf of others without any direct financial or material compensation to the individual performing the service. In considering service, the contributions the candidate had made to school, classmates, and community as well as the student’s attitude toward service is reviewed.

Candidates must have a strong record of service over the 9th, 10th, and 11th grade years. Extracurricular activities sponsored by the school are most important. Activities sponsored elsewhere in the community (hospital, church, etc.) will be considered. Activities for which a student receives school credit and/or occurs completely within the school day do not carry great weight. It is the responsibility of the student to detail their involvement in any activity clearly on the forms that he/she submits. The Faculty Council will give consideration to students in a limited number of activities that require considerable time commitment only if the time commitment is documented. All involvement in activities must be documented on the Candidate Activity Forms, and signed by the sponsors to be given consideration toward membership. Active participation in the activities is required.

Leadership
Candidates must exhibit an ability to lead, both during and outside of the school day. Examples of leadership include organization of classroom projects or events, being an active officer in a club, or teaching a skill in an organized setting. The leadership criterion is considered highly important for membership selection. The candidate should be thoroughly dependable in any responsibility accepted, maintains a loyal school attitude, inspires positive behavior in others, and contributes ideas that improve the civic life of the school. All leadership positions must be documented on the Candidate Activity Forms and signed by the sponsors to be be given consideration toward membership.

Character
The Faculty Council seeks input concerning each candidate's character from all of the administrators and faculty of the high school. Candidates should also maintain a good reputation in the community at large. The NHS recognizes the “Six Pillars of Character”. A person of character demonstrates the following six qualities: respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring and citizenship. Candidates should be able to take criticism willing and accept recommendations graciously, consistently exemplify desirable and positive qualities of behavior, uphold principles of morality and ethics, cooperate by complying with school regulations, demonstrate the highest standards of honesty and reliability, regularly show courtesy and concern for others, observes instructions and rules, is punctual, is faithful both inside and outside the classroom, is self-disciplined, manifests truthfulness in acknowledging obedience to rules, avoids cheating in written work, avoid any suspicion of cheating or plagiarism, refuses to tolerate cheating, meet pledges and responsibilities promptly and not be apathetic or lazy in class, should not have been suspended from school or have committed any serious violations of school rules and should actively help rid the school of bad influences or environment.

The Selection Process
The election of members of the AAHS chapter of the NHS shall be by the Faculty Council, consisting of five to seven members of the faculty, who are appointed by the principal. The chapter advisor(s) shall collect and organize candidate materials, and facilitate meetings of the Faculty Council. However, the advisor(s) are not voting members of the Council. The principal has the right to review the decisions of the Faculty Council.

To be eligible for election to membership in this chapter, the candidate must have been in attendance for a period equivalent to one semester at the AAHS. The principal may wave this requirement at his/her discretion upon the recommendation of the Faculty Council. Candidate status does not guarantee induction. Students who meet the Scholarship criterion at the end of the third marking period of the junior year are considered candidates for induction.

In order to assess the Character of each candidate, a name list of the candidates will be given to each member of the AAHS faculty and administration for review. Faculty or administration with concerns about a candidate are to inform the chapter advisors, who will forward the concerns to the Faculty Council.

In order to evaluate each candidate’s Service, Leadership, and Character, each candidate will receive a Candidate Packet containing a Candidate Activity Form as well as instructions for their completion. The Candidates will complete these forms and return them to the Faculty Council. Once these forms are submitted, the Faculty Council will not accept additional information. Submitting forms late or incomplete may jeopardize a student’s candidacy.

The Faculty Council will meet, and after careful consideration of each candidate’s materials, select the inductees. Upon the approval of the list by the principal, the inductees and non-inductees will be notified in writing. Inductees are not members of the NHS until formally inducted in a ceremony.

*****Maintenance of a 92% average in all subjects and maintenance of all other criteria in the scholarship, leadership, service and character areas will be required of students to the end of the Senior year in order to retain membership on national and local rolls throughout life. *****

SELECTION PROCEDURE TIMELINE:
1) Academic Qualification
2) Completion of Candidate Activity Form (Failure to properly and thoroughly complete the Candidate Packet will disqualify the candidate.)
3) Character Qualification from AAHS Faculty and Administration.
4) After the due date, advisors compile the collected candidate materials for the Faculty Council to review.
5) The Faculty Council meets and considers all candidates who returned their materials. A majority vote of the Faculty Council in accordance to NHS By-Laws determines selection.
6) The Faculty Council meets again to perform a complete individual review and discussion of any candidate who was not selected for induction initially.  This may occur on the same day as the original selection..
7) A second vote of the Faculty Council will be held on each non-selected individual after the review and discussion.
8) A Summary Sheet containing the names of candidates to be inducted and a list of all candidates given consideration is submitted to AAHS Principal.

9) Candidates are notified of their acceptance or non-acceptance. 
10) Candidates not accepted may submit a Letter of Appeal to their Assistant Principal by the stated deadline.  This letter should support the student’s membership by explaining his/her service and leadership qualities and how and when they were demonstrated.  More specific information should be given than was on the original Student Activity Form so that a full understanding of the level of involvement is evident.  Character should also addressed, explaining any issues that may have be addressed as concerns of teachers or administrators.
11) A committee of 2 or more administrators will meet and review the Letters of Appeal.  They will decide to uphold the decision of the Faculty Council or , with enough additional information, overturn the decision of the Faculty Council.
12) An administrator and advisor will meet each candidate submitting a Letter and Appeal and inform the candidate of the degree of success of the appeal.
13) Selection information (working papers of the Faculty Council) is given to AAHS Principal for shredding after selection is completed. 
14) Selection to NHS is an honor and not an entitlement; therefore, specific reasons for non-selection will not be provided to students or their parents. 
15) The decision of the Faculty Council and Committee of Administrators with the approval of the AAHS Principal is final.



Click here if you would like to visit the official web site of the National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society.

Advisers
Mr. Joseph Sohmer

Mrs. Patricia Sohmer