Santa Margarita Catholic High School

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Please read through the following procedures and FAQ's for information regarding membership in NHS. If you have any questions or comments please e-mail,
Mrs. Coleen Barry or Mr. Mark Van Ness, the NHS Advisors.

 
Juniors and Seniors should note the final due dates for form submission as indicated below. The dates are also noted on the Master Calendar and announced on ETV.   NOTE:  Submission of forms is NOT a guarantee of acceptance into NHS. Prospective members are evaluated and accepted by the vote of the Faculty Council.
 
                     DUE DATES FOR THE 2016-17 ACADEMIC YEAR: 
SENIORS: Wed. Aug. 31
JUNIORS: Wed. Sept. 21
NOTE:  Rising Seniors who were inducted as Juniors DO NOT need to reapply.
 
All forms must be HAND-DELIVERED to Mrs.Barry in B219 NO LATER than 2:30 PM on the due date. As per NHS bylaws, LATE FORMS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!  FORMS MAY NOT BE LEFT WITH THE SM RECEPTIONIST!!!
 
The following are the procedures for students to be considered for membership in NHS at SMCHS:

   1. Initially, Juniors and Seniors with CUMULATIVE academic GPAs of 3.5 or above are eligible to seek membership. Each student should ensure his/her exact cumulative academic GPA meets this requirement, further verified by NHS advisors. 
      Transfer students with appropriate documentation of previous NHS membership can transfer their membership to SMCHS. 

   2. Each student is reviewed by NHS advisors in the Dean's office to determine if conduct qualifies one for eligibility (five demerits or less).  Academic dishonesty disqualifies the student for one year.

   3. Students may then complete the information forms which they download from the SMCHS NHS website.  The student includes work experience, honors or awards, leadership and service activities. Each activity must be signed by the event moderator.  Parent signatures are NOT considered valid documentation unless the parent is the SM APPROVED event moderator. Any and all relevant evidence which gives the Council documentation/verification of the student's leadership and service is encouraged for inclusion. Do NOT include service/leadership from middle/grade school.

Click here to download form (updated 05.18.16.Form for the 2016-17 year.)
 
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        Before proceeding with the membership process, please read the following carefully!!
 
  • Service projects performed as requirements for all Religion classes MAY NOT be documented as service hours on the NHS forms. Other activities performed as service to SM or to your community may be documented and included with the appropriate verification signature(s) from the designated moderator/advisor. Service activities performed through Santa Margarita's Campus Ministry department (beyond class requirements) may be noted on the membership forms and verified with a down-loaded "screen shot" of the appropriate X2Vol verification form.and the eligible activity/hours highlighted (INSTRUCTIONS ON PREPARING THE X2Vol FORM CAN BE FOUND AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE). Students who attempt to use hours required by their classes will NOT be considered for membership and may face disciplinary consequences. 
  • Any questions concerning Leadership should be directed to Mrs.Barry or Mr. Van Ness. For example, being in MUN is NOT a leadership role as it is a class. There are, however, leadership roles within MUN. Being on a sports team is not considered leadership, but being a captain or co-captain is a leadership role. Being in the Campus Ministry class is NOT a leadership role, but may be considered as service if the student engages in activities outside the expectations of the class. While not documented on forms, be advised that classroom demeanor (cooperation, being consistently prepared for class, dependability in group projects, etc). is also indicative of leadership qualities.  However, NHS candidates MAY NOT "lobby" teachers for positive comments or recommendations; this is the responsibility of the club advisors. Any candidate who does so WILL NOT be considered for membership. 
  • Please note that teachers/club advisors may use their discretion in verifying hours of service and leadership.  If you have not been a consistent, active, and contributing member of a club or organization, DO NOT expect the advisor to verify your participation. 



   1. The entire faculty is invited to comment on the students seeking membership. This feedback allows the Council to determine if a consistent standard of quality in the four areas is (and has been) maintained by the student, and provides the SMCHS faculty with the opportunity for input on the suitability of students as members of National Honor Society. 
   2. The forms are collected on the designated submission date and a copy of each is given to the members of the Faculty Council.
   3. Individually, each Faculty Council member reviews the students' forms and examines each using a rating scale of one to five (five is the highest level of recommendation, one is lowest, three is average), for leadership and service. Commentary from the faculty is included for consideration. 
   4. The Faculty Council meets with the Faculty advisors and,  after discussion of each individual's leadership and service, votes separately on the two categories, based on information documented in the form and and additional teacher/staff commentary. A simple majority vote in each category determines whether or not the student meets the standards in order to offer membership in the National Honor Society school chapter. Students must achieve at least  three votes in BOTH leadership and service in order to be eligible for the offer.
   5. Each student receives a formal  letter offering membership, or an explanation why membership is not being offered.The list of students offered membership is sent to Counseling and posted on the NHS webpage.
   6. Students wishing to accept the offer of membership must respond by the indicated date with a typed, signed letter, acknowledging the offer of membership and agreeing to uphold the chapter's rules and regulations, as well as agreeing to full participation in the tutoring philanthropy NHS students provide to the school. Each letter must be accompanied by a check for fifty dollars to cover yearly dues, the uniform-approved NHS polo shirt, and the cost of the NHS stole  worn at graduation.


A formal induction ceremony is held at a location on campus, at which time students become full-fledged members of the National Honor Society, and receive their certificates of membership. Invitations are sent for this formal ceremony. 

Frequently Asked Questions about SMCHS NHS:

Is it true that Santa Margarita's National Honor Society chapter is limited to a certain number of students offered membership each year?

No. There is no restriction on the number of students offered membership.


Who makes up the members of Santa Margarita's NHS Faculty Council?

The Faculty Council is currently comprised of five voting members, representatives across the school's faculty; including the Math, Science, Foreign Language, Religion, and English departments. These members remain anonymous.  The faculty advisor(s), as an ad hoc member, does not vote. The Council accurately follows procedures from the NHS Handbook, and upholds the commitment to high standards of character, academics, leadership, and service. Our chapter maintains standards which comply with national guidelines.


I'm a Junior. I was not offered membership. Am I still eligible?

Yes. If you maintain good conduct, a 3.5 cumulative GPA and add to your leadership and service experience, you are still eligible to apply as a Senior.


I made a mistake and committed an academic dishonesty my sophomore year. Am I eligible to seek membership as a Junior?

No...you are ineligible for a period of one academic year. You become eligible your Senior year. One consequence of academic dishonesty (beyond the Freshman year) is ineligibility for NHS for one academic year. Hence, students who commit any act of academic dishonesty documented by the Deans' Office during the Junior year are ineligible to seek membership. Acts of academic dishonesty, however "small," reflect poor decisions and unethical behavior, a component of the character pillar of NHS. Any ACCEPTED member who commits an act of academic dishonesty is subject to dismissal from NHS and the designation removed from transcripts.


My older sister (brother) has an NHS stole. Can I just pay my membership dues and use that stole at graduation?

Yes, but most students prefer to have their own.


When do graduating Seniors receive their stoles to wear at graduation?

Graduating Seniors receive their stoles at Senior Awards Night in May. If the Senior does not pick up his/her stole then, it is the student's responsibility to pick up the stole from the Counseling office after Awards Night. 


I am a freshman. How can I prepare for NHS?

You may wish to download the information form and begin to keep track of your leadership and service, documenting time invested, describing activities, and obtaining moderator signatures so that when you become a Junior, you will be ready. Get involved! NHS requires more than just a high GPA! 


What is a moderator?

A moderator is the individual in charge of a particular event or organization.


How important is it to have all signatures and current telephone numbers on the form?

Very important. This verifies your work, and if any question arises, a member of the Council may contact the individual in charge for an explanation. If any form is lacking signatures, it will not be reviewed for membership. Forged signatures result in disqualification from the acceptance process AND disciplinary action from the Dean's Office. 


I'm an excellent student. I have a 4.2 overall GPA. I wasn't offered membership. Why?

Membership in the National Honor Society is not just about high grades. It involves DEMONSTRATED commitment to the four pillars of NHS, consistent integrity and ethical/moral behavior that is evident THROUGHOUT campus, and service and leadership in the community as well as at school.


I'm a sophomore in NHS who transferred to Santa Margarita from my old school. What should I do?

Students who have been inducted into NHS are members of the chapter in the new school. Just bring a signed letter documenting your membership from your prior advisor to the Faculty Advisor of NHS here at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. 


Do the service hours from my religion classes count as "service" for NHS?

NO...as indicated above, required  service hours from each grade level  are NOT  to be included in the "Service" portion of the membership forms. However, any service opportunities offered through Campus Ministry  OVER AND ABOVE what you do for class, may be properly documented and verified on your information form.


Once in NHS, always in NHS, correct?

NO! Inappropriate behavior in class, on campus, or in the community as a representative of SM, grades lower than a 3.5 overall GPA or lack of fulfilling NHS requirements (missing three meetings cumulatively [Juniors], missing three meetings in a row [Seniors], not showing up for tutoring or ignoring NHS chapter projects) are causes for dismissal. For these violations, the student receives one written warning from the Faculty Council. However, ANY ACT OF ACADEMIC DISHONESTY IS GROUNDS FOR IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL.  If the student continues with any one of the aforementioned negative behaviors, and does not respond in writing in a timely manner (within five school days) to the warning, the Faculty Council may then meet and vote to remove the student's membership. Again, a majority vote is utilized. The student must return the NHS certificate given to him at induction. The student is not allowed to wear the stole at graduation, and loses the honors and privileges which accompany NHS membership. Once a student is no longer a member, national rules dictate that the student is never eligible for membership again.