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Liberty High School Choir Syllabus

Our Four Agreements


The Liberty High School Choir singers and director agree to the following norms – whether virtual or in person – in rehearsal, at performances, on tour, and at any other time when we are together representing the LHS Music Department:

We agree to be positive.

Honor your “WHY” to keep obstacles from getting in the way. We are better together, and together, we will accomplish great things. Defend loyalty – no energy vampires allowed.

We agree to be impeccable with our word.

Speak with integrity – say only what you mean. Avoid speaking against yourself and gossiping about others. Use the power of your word toward truth and love.

We agree to be professional.

Gather your current sheet music, a sharpened pencil, and water before every rehearsal. Prepare your physical place and your mental space for making music. Honor praise with humility, and accept criticism with dignity.

We agree to always do our best – all in, all the time.

Your best will change from moment to moment. Practice intensely, reflect truthfully, accept yourself genuinely. Act because you love what you do, not the expectation of a reward

Choir Treble Clef_edited.png
Choir Treble Clef_edited.png

Behaviors that hurt our progress are subject to the following accountability measures:

Director/Student Conference

Notification of parent/guardian and administrator

Daily rehearsal target grade reduced

Parent Conference

Notification of administrator

Daily rehearsal target grade reduced further

Student letter to parents returned with signature

Formal Referral

Administrative meeting with student and parent
Daily rehearsal target grade reduced further
Conduct improvement plan

LHS Discipline Process

Formal Referral

Suspension from online course engagement
Removal from program with no credit awarded


Substitute Teacher Expectations – the ULTIMATE display of trust

Comply with any substitute teacher WITHOUT RESERVATION.
Respect any substitute teacher to the UTMOST EXTENT.

A negative report from a substitute teacher warrants appropriate disciplinary action, including suspension from ensemble, travel for the semester.

Cell Phone Policy

Cell phones are STRICTLY prohibited from any Liberty Choir activity without clear and direct permission from the director. To clarify: unless the director specifically verbalizes permission to use a cell phone, cell phones will not be seen or heard at any time…period. The official LHS Cell Phone Policy is as follows:

1st Offense: Cell phone will be taken until the end of the day. Student will be given a warning & it will be noted in Synergy. The student will pick up their cell phone from attendance at the end of the day.

2nd Offense: Student will be assigned a lunch detention by administration & it will be noted in Synergy. The student will pick up their cell phone from attendance at the end of the day.

3rd Offense: Student will be assigned 2 days of lunch detention & it will be noted in Synergy. The parent will be called to let them know 3rd incident has occurred & to ask them to come in to pick up phone and conference about situation.

Additional Offenses: On-campus then off campus suspension will be assigned by administration & parent meeting will be scheduled.
Substitute Teacher
Call Phone Policy

Rehearsal Supplies:

We expect you to bring these items to each rehearsal:
1. Three-ring binder – one-inch width
2. Sheet music
3. Sharpened pencil
4. Loose-leaf notebook paper – 5-10 sheets, NOT from a spiral-bound notebook
All folders may be stored in our choral folio cabinet. Music may go home for practice but must be returned by your next rehearsal. Forgetting your music means you will miss markings and notes, placing you behind the rest of us and not allowing you to reach our daily rehearsal targets. Every singer is expected to mark their music and to make notes whenever necessary or directed. Forgetting your supplies will impact your daily rehearsal target grade.
Rehearsal Supplies


Grading is a controversial issue in educational performance art. It is difficult to equitably measure talent or assess artistry. With that in mind, your grade in a Liberty Choir reflects your ability to GROW vocally and musically. Our concerts are our major assessments and the time for you to showcase your artistic growth.

Aligned Checks and Major Performance Assessments – 80% of Course Grade

Aligned Checks – 32% of Course Grade
       Daily Rehearsal Skills – 5 points possible per day (refer to Daily Rehearsal Skill Rubric)
           Attendance – A singer must be in attendance to receive any points for the day.                               Absences may be made up in arrangement with the director.
           Body Alignment
           Score Marking
           Sound and Silence

       Memorization Checks – 100 points per assessment (refer to PUSD HS Choir                               Performance Rubric)

       Music Literacy/Artistic Development – 100 points per assignment or assessment
           Sight Singing Factory
           Comprehensive Musicianship

Major Assessments – 48% of Course Grade
       Major Concerts - 100 points possible per concert (refer to LHS Choir Performance                   Rubric)
           Engaged Audience Member
           Engaged Performer

Course Assessment – 20% of Course Grade

Performance Attire


           Option 1 Top Black button-down, long-sleeved shirt with collar
           Option 1 Bottom Black long dress pants – no denim.
           Option 2 Top Black dressy blouse, modest neckline, long or short-sleeved
           Option 2 Bottom Black long dress pants – no denim.
       CHAMBER CHOIR (fitted and loaned from our wardrobe collection for the year)
           Option 1 LHS Chamber Choir Tuxedo
           Option 2 LHS Chamber Choir Dress

Shoes: Black dress shoes. No flip-flops. No open toes. No slide-ons. No clunky heels. No sneakers. Your shoes will cover the entire foot. ALL OF IT.
Socks: Black socks that cover your ankles.
Hair: Pull long hair away from your face and secure with barrettes, head band, ribbon, etc. Accessories should be simple, plain, and discrete.
Grooming: Wear deodorant! Please do not wear cologne or perfume. Many people experience breathing difficulty due to overexposure to fragrance chemicals.
Accessories: Please wear a red accent item (e.g.: jewelry, hair accessories, belt, etc.).
Singers who choose not to follow the concert dress code will lose 20% of their original concert grade for EACH violation.
Performance Attire

Performance Expectations

                    ~ ALL performances – in-school and out-of-school – are REQUIRED! ~

Excused absences (illness, family emergency) will be made up only if cleared with the director at least one week before the concert. Parents and legal guardians may notify Mr. Shafer by phone, e-mail, written note with legitimate signature, or in person. Excused absences may be made up for up to full credit.
Unexcused absences (e.g.: work, skipping the concert, attending a conflicting non-school event, failure to secure a ride, failure to tell your family) may be made up for up to 50% of the original grade. To make up an absence, you will sing your concert music in class with a small group (chosen by the director) to support you. Audience members may consist of remaining choir members and others by invitation from the director.

It is YOUR responsibility to schedule your make-up performance. Any student unable or unwilling to make up a concert absence will receive no credit – a grade of zero. This policy is non-negotiable!
Performance Expectatios

After School Obligations

Membership in Liberty Choir will require rehearsals, performances, and occasional travel outside of the school day. These activities directly connect to the PUSD High School Performing Arts Curriculum and are considered co-curricular requirements for this course. All singers will receive a grade for these events, and make-up assignments will be offered in accordance with the make-up policy outlined in your PUSD/LHS Student Handbook. The performance attendance policy applies in all instances.

Many singers also choose to participate in athletic and other extra-curricular activities. We aim to minimize scheduling conflicts, but they may occur from time to time. Please refer to the following guidelines to assist you in prioritizing your commitments:

Music Practice/Sports Game Sports Game
Music Performance/Sports Practice Music Performance
Music Practice/Sports Practice Split overlapping time evenly
Music Performance/Sports Game Meet with Choir Director and Coach
After School Obligations
Music Practice/Sports Game
Music Performance/Sports Practice
Music Practice/Sports Practice
Music Performance/Sports Game 
Sports Game
Music Performance
Split overlapping time evenly
Meet with Choir Director and Coach

Choir Communication

We ask all Liberty Choir members to join their ensemble Remind account during the first week of rehearsal to receive performance reminders, choir updates, travel communication, and supplemental rehearsal material. Please use the information below to join:

MIXED CHOIR/FALL                Text @fcdg2k to 81010
MIXED CHOIR/SPRING           Text @lhsmixe to 81010
CONCERT CHOIR/FALL           Text @4eg7ke to 81010
CONCERT CHOIR/SPRING      Text @9e32gk to 81010
CHAMBER CHOIR                    Text @bf4fke to 81010


We want to fill our Liberty choirs with vibrant, cool, sophisticated young men and women who love to sing and enjoy spending time together. Members of our choirs come from all walks of life: football, volleyball, softball, basketball, visual art, dance, theatre, band, NHS, Student Council, the list goes on…
We always have room for more! If you know a friend or new student who is…
 Ready to sing,
 Ready to work hard,
 Ready to have fun,
 Ready to JOIN CHOIR!
…direct them to speak with their guidance counselor about joining us. Regardless of your prior musical experience, we have a home for you in a Liberty Choir!


Parent involvement can help our choirs become true beacons of our Liberty artistic community. You can help:
Support your child by attending his/her concert.
Offer to videotape or record our concerts.
Participate in fundraiser opportunities.
Show positive interest in your child’s singing and love of music.
Contact our booster club – Liberty High School Music Education Association (LHSMEA) – to volunteer
for a fundraising event, to attend a monthly meeting, or to consider becoming a member of the
executive board.

~ ~ ~ Visit the LHSMEA website: ~ ~ ~

Call, e–mail, or visit me with questions, concerns, or compliments. Often, problems stem from simple misunderstandings. I am a teacher, yes, but human, foremost; I am not perfect, and I will make mistakes. I want to be on your wavelength because I know we both want your child to succeed!
Parent and Community Support


If a student does not miss any school during each semester, they will be entered into the attendance reward program. If a student must miss class, parents/guardians are to call in excused absences within 24 hours of the student missing class to the attendance office at 623-773-6531.
Unverified absences will result in disciplinary actions to be determined by administration.
If a student accumulates five (5) unverified or ten (10) total absences in a semester class, or three (3) unverified or five (5) total absences in a quarter class, the student will be placed on a no-credit status.

The student is required to attend class, complete assignments, and take exams. Classroom behavior and attitude will be taken into consideration during the appeal. A progress grade will be kept while the student is on no-credit status. The progress reports and report cards during the semester will be marked with an “NC” until the appeal hearing.

Parent/Guardian will need to complete the credit appeal form and turn it in to Liberty High School attendance by the date provided on the loss of credit notification form. The attendance department will contact the parent/guardian to schedule a date/time with the Attendance Review Committee.

Failure to turn in the credit appeal form by the due date will result in an automatic loss of credit.
The student is to attend the appeal hearing with at least one parent/guardian. The student will present the case and provide documentation to the committee which will be made up of an
administrator, a counselor, and three teachers.

The student and parent/guardian will be notified of the committee’s decision within two business days of the appeal. If the appeal is granted, the grade earned will be issued at the end of the course. If the appeal is not granted, an “NC” will be the final grade for the course, which may have to be repeated depending on the type of course and graduation requirements. However, if the final grade is a 59% or below, a grade of “F” will be posted to the transcript rather than the “NC”.

1st Period Tardies:
1st period is the class that has the most tardies. To address this occurrence, our approach 1st period will be handled differently than the other class periods. Students who arrive to class after the final bell, with an unexcused tardy, will be sent to 1st period suspension “Sweep.” Students will remain in “sweep” for the duration of 1st period. “Sweep” is a consequence; it is not a study hall.
A “swept” student MUST inform the classroom teacher of the tardy THAT SAME DAY or the make-up work may not be given to the student.
Students not in class due to being swept will be given the opportunity to make up missed work subject to the following conditions:
              It is done at the teacher’s convenience.
              The make-up work should reflect the same competencies missed; however, it does not
                 necessarily need to follow the same format. For example, a student who missed a                           true/false quiz may be given an essay quiz instead.
              Teachers will set reasonable deadlines for make-up work.
Attendance Policy
Download the Handbook to sign and date and return to Mr. Shafer during the first week of school.
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