Frequently Asked Questions: This page contains answers to common questions of students and parents.
- What is the FOCUS Program?
- Who are the students of the FOCUS Program?
- Where is the FOCUS Program located?
- What are the goals of the FOCUS Program?
- Are parents involved in the FOCUS Program?
- Does the FOCUS Program work with anyone else?
- Will I graduate with a diploma from Holliston High School?
- How does a student get into the FOCUS program?
What is the FOCUS Program?
The FOCUS Program exists to support students who may not be successful in
the main stream of school. The FOCUS Program is dedicated to the support of
these students by providing contact and counseling with program
staff, and a safe place for the students to go when they feel overwhelmed by
the academic and/or social demands of the school setting.
The FOCUS Program was a new addition to the Holliston High School in calendar year 2001. Originally the FOCUS Program was developed for students who were placed in out-of district settings, whose disabilities are, for the most part, emotional. They require a more nurturing environment than is available in the traditional high school setting. In year two the FOCUS Program was expanded to include those students who are experiencing significant psychological and emotional stress which interferes with their academic program.
Who are the students of the FOCUS Program?
Students are placed in the FOCUS Program via two avenues, either 1) following an IEP or 504 evaluation, or 2) following an administrative meeting to determine a student’s emotional/psychological needs. Cognitively, the students are at the same level as their non-FOCUS peers, and capable of understanding the material presented in a classroom setting. Their emotional disability, however, limits their ability to adequately assimilate and take advantage of the classroom curriculum without modifications.
Where is the FOCUS Program located?
The FOCUS Program exists in a classroom that is dedicated to the program
(Room 333 in the Holliston High School). It provides students in the program
a safe place to go to unwind, and reduce their level of anxiety or stress
when they feel overwhelmed by the academic and/or social demands of the
school setting. In the FOCUS Program staff meet with the students to discuss
the issues of the day, while utilizing available resources to engage them in
stress relieving activities.
What are the goals of the FOCUS Program?
1) The FOCUS Program assists students in recognizing their uniqueness, their
abilities, their interests, and identifying their values and feelings.
2) Students are encouraged to accept personal responsibility for continuously
discovering who they are, to look at how they relate to people around them,
and to look at what choices they make of all their opportunities for growth.
3) The FOCUS Program helps students become involved in making decisions in
the present, and relating these decisions to future goals, such as academic
goals, including graduation from high school, what course of academic study
will best meet their needs, and, if interested, what types of vocational
trainings are available.
Are parents involved in the FOCUS Program?
The FOCUS Program believes that parents play a key role in their student's
growth, and that parent involvement is an important aspect of the program.
The program works with parents, helping them to understand the growth and
developmental needs of their children, and helps parents understand what is
normal adolescent behavior versus behaviors to be concerned about.
Does the FOCUS Program work with anyone else?
Yes. The FOCUS Program works collaboratively with others concerned about the
student's growth and welfare: parents, teachers, administrators and other
healthcare professionals. The FOCUS Program works collaboratively with
teachers and educational faculty to better understand the emotional needs of
the children, and when necessary, works with the teachers to make
accomodations in a student's behavioral and learning plan.
Will I graduate with a diploma from Holliston High School?
Yes. All students must earn the required number of credits for graduation.
The awarding of credit signifies satisfactory achievement of course
objectives. These objectives may be modified to accomodate the learning needs
of students in the FOCUS program.
How does a student get into the FOCUS program?
To be considered for accceptance into the FOCUS program, please call either
the Student Services Administrator at ext. 1104 or Mr. Bill Wechsler,
Director of the FOCUS Program at ext. 1119. Both can be reached at (508) 429-0677.