GOAL Student Handbook

  • The GOAL Program

    Granting Opportunities for Alternative Learning”


    Student Handbook


    Serving students from:

    High Schools

    Oswego & Oswego East

    Junior Highs

    Bednarcik, Murphy, Plank, Thompson & Traughber 

    District 308

    The G.O.A.L. Program

    Granting Opportunities for Alternative Learning”


    Mission Statement

     “To promote the academic and behavioral success of all students by addressing individual student needs that impact educational progress.”


    Through a student-centered, strengths-based approach, educational and behavioral needs are identified and addressed. Interventions targeting the academic and behavioral progress of students are put into place to assist student success and promote engagement in the education process. If given the correct supports, students will learn new skills beneficial to their overall functioning, as well as be prepared for future academic or life opportunities.


    Program Description

    The GOAL program is primarily an online, alternative program that is centered in three District 308 classrooms. The GOAL Program serves all junior high and high schools within District 308. During the school day, students work independently on a computer to complete their coursework, which is also supplemented with bookwork and direct instruction courses. A teacher supervises each classroom and assists students through their coursework and the learning process. In addition, teacher’s assistants are also available to address students’ academic needs.     

    Criteria for Enrollment

    Students eligible for The GOAL Program have displayed the inability to make and/or maintain academic, social-emotional, and/or behavioral progress in the comprehensive school setting. A student may be referred to The GOAL Program by the school administration after any challenges are discussed and addressed by the Pupil Personnel Services Team (at the home school), as well as at parent-school conferences.  

    To be enrolled in The GOAL Program, a prospective student must currently be enrolled in a junior high or high school within School District 308, as well as meet one or more of the following criteria:

    • The student demonstrated serious and repetitive behaviors that resulted in accumulating more than 100 demerits
    • The student violated the school’s final warning policy and disciplinary contract
    • The student previously withdrew from school as a result of one of the above criteria, and is now seeking re-enrollment in junior/high school
    • The student participated in an alternative learning program in another school district and subsequently relocated into District 308
    • The student was referred in lieu of expulsion 
    • The student was outplaced for an extended period of time
    • The student is a chronic truant
    • The student is credit deficient, placing them at risk of not graduating on time


    Referral and Enrollment Procedures

    A student is referred to The GOAL Program through an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) that is completed by the administration from the student’s home school. The ILP indicates what behaviors resulted in placement in The GOAL Program as well as the date of the student’s review.  Once the referral process has been initiated by the student’s home school, The GOAL Program Alternative Education Coordinator begins the intake process. This process includes reviewing the student’s ILP, scheduling the student’s intake meeting, and assigning appropriate course work for the student.


    Individualized Learning Plan

    Each student enrolled in The GOAL Program is referred based on the completion of an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP). The administration from the student’s home school completes the ILP, which includes the following information:

    • Student and parent contact information
    • Current credit summary
    • Current courses and grades
    • Schedule of courses to complete while in the GOAL program
    • Reason for referral
    • Review date
    • Discipline summary
    • Summary of related services (if applicable)


    During the intake meeting the ILP will be reviewed with the student and his/her parent/guardian.  


    Individual Education Plan

    During a formal IEP Meeting, The GOAL Program may be considered as a placement option.  Should the IEP team determine that The GOAL Program is an appropriate placement the services indicated in the IEP will be implemented in order to support the student throughout the school day.


    Intake Meeting

    Before a student can begin attending The GOAL Program, he/she along with a parent/guardian and possibly a representative from his/her home school must attend an intake meeting. During this meeting, the student’s academic and social-emotional strengths and needs will be discussed. Parents/guardians will receive copies of The GOAL Program Handbook and Behavioral Contract, both of which must be signed by the parent and student prior to the first day of attendance. This contract includes rules that are specific to The GOAL Program and online learning.    

    Progress Review

    Student progress is reviewed on a formal and informal basis at The GOAL Program. The GOAL Program staff members meet with students on a regular basis to discuss academic progress, behavioral concerns, and any other factor that impacts a student’s success in the program. Ideally, these meetings will identify the cause for concern and a plan will be created to address that concern. However, if the behavior continues and academic progress declines, a parent-teacher conference or IEP Meeting will be scheduled. If the issue remains unresolved, a conference with the student, parent/guardian, teacher, and administrator from the student’s home school will be scheduled. If all interventions are exhausted, placement in the program will be examined and may result in a student being removed from The GOAL Program.


    In addition to informal reviews, each student will be reviewed on a formal basis as indicated on their ILP. If a student has met the criteria to return to his/her home school, the parent/guardian, student, teacher, The GOAL Program Alternative Education Coordinator and home school administrator meet to review progress, select courses, and complete required paperwork. If a student has not met criteria to return to the home high/junior school, a similar meeting will take place. During this meeting, student progress will be reviewed, and new goals will be identified. In addition, the staff will work alongside the student and parent/guardian to identify why the goal was not met and address the concerns that impact student success.  

    Tier 1 and Tier 2 Descriptions:

    Tier 1:

    • Operates from 7:40a.m.to 12:40p.m.
    • Students are allowed to drive to school, unless excessive tardiness/absenteeism becomes a concern.
    • Students are allowed to return to their home school for social and sporting events, as long as they have permission from The GOAL Program Alternative Education Coordinator
    • Students may join sports teams and clubs at their home school, unless they have been placed on social suspension

    Tier 2:

    • Operates from 8:40a.m.-1:40p.m.
    • Students are required to use parent drop off or D308 Transportation
    • Students are on social suspension from their home school and any other school within D308
    • Students are not permitted to participate in sporting events, clubs or athletics

    Please note: Students who meet the following criteria will be recommended to attend The GOAL Program from 7:40am-1:40pm:

    • Junior High School Students
    • 5th Year Seniors
    • Students who would benefit from study hall, resource or who are at risk of failing current courses
    • Students who are severely credit deficient 

    Merit and Demerit System

    The GOAL Program utilizes a merit and demerit system as a means of monitoring student behavior and academic progress.  Merits and demerits are issued based on behavior, academic progress and/or attendance.  


    All students in Tier 1 will begin the school year at The GOAL Program with zero (0) demerits. All students in Tier 2 will begin the school year at The GOAL Program with fifty (50) demerits. 


    The merit and demerit system used at The GOAL Program is ONLY SPECIFIC to The GOAL program. Once a student returns to his/her respective school, he/she returns under the guidelines outlined in the SD308 Rights and Responsibilities.


    Students are able to earn merits for acts of service, Character Counts! related behaviors, and other acts identified by the team. In addition, students may earn merits based on successful completion of school work groups or individual sessions.  Students will be issued five (5) merits each week for meeting ALL of the following achievements:


    • Perfect attendance (including no tardies)
    • No discipline referrals
    • Reaching weekly academic goals (teacher discretion)
    • Please note: Staff members may issue merits in addition to the weekly merit program


    If students receive merits for the week, they will be eligible to order lunch on Friday.  A calendar with lunch locations is available in the classroom. For more information, contact The GOAL Program Alternative Education Coordinator or School Social Worker.


    Administrative Interventions


    • Conference with a student…………………………………………………………  1 Demerit
    • Tardy to School………………………………………………………………………  1 Demerit
    • Unexcused absence………………………………………………… 1 Demerit (1st Offense)

    **Unexcused absences are subject to progressive demerits.  

    2nd Offense………………………………………………………………… 2 Demerits

    3rd Offense…………………………………………………………………  4 Demerits

    4th Offense…………………………………………………………………  6 Demerits 

    5th Offense and all following……………………………………………  8 Demerits 

    • Take home detention essay………………………………………………………  2 Demerits 
    • Conference with Parent……………………………………………………………  4 Demerits
    • In-school Intervention……………………………………………………………… 6 Demerits
    • Out-of–school suspension………………………………………………8 Demerits per day
    • Failure to reach identified academic goal………………………………………  1 Demerit 

    **Failure to reach academic goals is subject to progressive demerits.

    2nd Offense………………………………………………………………… 2 Demerits

    3rd Offense…………………………………………………………………  4 Demerits

    4th Offense…………………………………………………………………  6 Demerits 

    5th Offense and all following……………………………………………  8 Demerits 


    *If a Tier 1 student earns more than 5 tardies, they may lose their driving privileges for the semester.

    **Please note: The Alternative Education Coordinator reserve the right to issue demerits when no other consequences are issued.

    Additional - LEVELS

    20 Demerits

    • Conference held with student, parent, teacher, and administrator
    • Discussion regarding the consequences that occur at 40 demerits
    • Behavioral contract review

    40 Demerits

    • Conference held with student, parent, teacher, and administrator
    • Discussion regarding the consequences that occur at 50 demerits 
    • Review of interventions and behavioral contract
    • Loss of privileges (ex. vending machines, school store, driving privileges)


    50 Demerits

    • Conference held with student, parent, teacher, and administrator
    • Behavioral contract review
    • Alternative placement change to Tier 2 or Premier Academy 


    60 Demerits

    • Conference held with student, parent, teacher, and administrator
    • Discussion regarding the consequences that occur at 80 demerits
    • Behavioral contract review


    80 Demerits

    • Conference held with student, parent, teacher, and administrator
    • Discussion regarding the consequences that occur at 100 demerits
    • Review of interventions and behavioral contract
    • Loss of privileges (ex. group activities, classroom rewards and incentives)


    100 Demerits

    • Conference held with student, parent, teacher, and administrator 
    • Alternative placement change to Premier Academy 
    • Recommendation for possible expulsion
    • Recommendation for exclusion from the GOAL program 


    Please note that actions violating a final contract may result in an automatic change of placement. Examples of this include: weapons at school, physical altercations, and possession/distribution of controlled substances, destruction of school property, theft, gang representation, and gross disrespect/insubordination. For more information please contact The GOAL Program Alternative Education Coordinator.

    Student Extensions

    A student who has not met the behavioral, attendance or academic progress indicated in his/her ILP may request an extension to remain in his/her current program/tier. In order for an extension hearing to be considered, a student must complete the Extension Referral paperwork, which includes a narrative explaining the rationale for the extension. Student extension meetings include the student, teacher, the GOAL Program Alternative Education Coordinator, and home school administrator (if applicable). Once the extension meeting takes place, the student will be notified as to whether or not the extension is granted. Student extensions will NOT exceed a maximum of nine weeks.  Once the extension is granted the student will begin with 25 demerits in Tier 1 and 75 demerits in Tier 2. During this extension period the student must meet the academic, attendance, and behavioral goals indicated in the contract. A meeting will be held at the completion of the extension period to determine the student’s progress and any program changes that should result. Only one extension hearing and final contract (if granted) will be offered per school year.   


    *Please note that requesting an extension does not guarantee it will be granted.  Each circumstance is evaluated on an individual basis. 

    Search Policy: Students and Property 

    All students will be searched upon entering The GOAL Program.  As part of the search procedure students will be asked to have their person searched and wanded, as well as any of their belongings.  Students’ belongings include, but are not limited to, purses, wallets, knapsacks, bookbags, lunchboxes,and outer wear, ect. Please see below for an outline of the search process.  If a search produces evidence that is in violation of the law or SD308 policies/rules. such evidence will be seized and impounded by school officials. Disciplinary action will be taken, when appropriate, and evidence may be transferred to the Oswego Police Department.  Please be aware, refusal of search, including person and property, will result in the student not being permitted into the program. Should such a refusal occur, the student will wait in the main office for a parent or guardian to arrive.  


    Search Line Procedure 

    1. Place all items on the table
    2. Remove belts
    3. Remove any coat, jacket, or hooded shirt and place on the table
    4. Pull out all pockets
    5. Thumbs in waistband to show that no shorts or additional pants are being worn
    6. Check small pocket in front and back pockets
    7. Remove shoes, hold them upside down and clap them together
    8. Show that bottom of pants and tops of socks are empty 
    9. Throw away all garbage 
    10. Proceed to metal detector     



    A goal for many students is to transition back to their home high school or junior high school. Students are eligible to transition at the start of a given term/semester. Transition may be full/part-time as indicated on their ILP and educational team. In order to be eligible to transition back to their home school, a student must meet the following criteria:


    • Attendance: The student must attend 90% or more of his/her classes.
    • Behavior:  The student must have no major disciplinary actions that result in an in-school intervention or out-of-school suspension.
    • Grades/Credits:  The student must be passing all courses and must be on track with course work progression (ex.: a high school student must have completed a minimum of 3.5 credits per semester.)
    • Social Work: Complete an assessment and recommendations prescribed by the school social worker.


    All students will be assessed for transition (as indicated on their ILP), according to this criteria and based on individual needs.  Transitioning to the student’s home school is under the discretion of The GOAL Program and home school staff.  


    Depending on their placement, students attending GOAL can choose to ride the bus or drive to school. Students placed in Tier 1 are eligible to drive to school. Students placed in Tier 2 are not eligible to drive. Students choosing to drive must purchase a parking pass from their home high school if they would like to park in the spaces provided in front of O3C.  Parking passes are sold at both Oswego High School and Oswego East High School. Please contact the Dean’s Office if you are interested in and eligible to purchase a parking pass.  If a parking pass is not purchased, students may park their cars on side streets near O3C.     


    A parking pass must be displayed in the vehicle while it is parked on District 308 property. Vehicles parked without proper parking passes may be towed.


    Transportation to The GOAL Program is provided by District 308. Students are picked up and dropped off at their homes. Students participating in The GOAL Program will not be permitted to switch buses, and will only be allowed pick up and drop off at their residences. Transportation dispatch can be contacted at (630) 636-2970. 


    The GOAL Program utilizes an online curriculum called Edgenuity, which is supplemented with book work, as well as direct-instruction curriculum. In order to utilize Edgenuity, each student is provided a username and password to access the online courses. Students who attend The GOAL Program consistently also may complete course work at home. The GOAL Program staff is available to assist students working from home during school hours.


    The following procedures and expectations are related to the use of Edgenuity:

    1. Note taking may be mandatory for all LECTURES and COURSES if the student is not able to pass the identified quiz/test, and could become a graded portion of the student’s coursework for that subject.
    2. Only Edgenuity and approved websites may be open on the computer. If other sites are open it may result in work being reset, suspension from the web-based curriculum, or being asked to leave the program.  
    3. Students are placed in automatic progression, which means they must submit their quizzes and tests. It will be up to the teacher’s discretion (based in class participation and quality notes) whether a retake on a specific test or quiz will be allowed. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL STUDENTS BE ALLOWED THE OPTION OF RECEIVING THE INCORRECT ANSWERS PRIOR TO SUBMISSION OF A QUIZ OR TEST.
    4. Students may listen to music on district computers only while they are working.   Websites must be approved by the educational staff, along with remaining appropriate and not a distraction to other students in the classroom. Listening to music is a privilege that can be lost if work, behavior, and/or attendance begin to impact student achievement.


    Physical Education (P.E.) opportunities are offered in two different settings. Traditional P.E. classes are offered in all classrooms. Students are also able to obtain their P.E. credits via Edgenuity courses. The courses that are accepted at both high schools include: Introduction to Personal Wellness, Healthy Living, and Lifetime Fitness.  


    In addition, some courses will be taught via direct instruction. These courses will change each term/quarter and will be determined based on student need. For specific courses being offered each term/quarter please ask The GOAL Program staff.


    Lastly, high school students enrolled in GOAL are eligible to earn vocational credits by participating in The GOAL Vocational Program. High school students may earn .50 credit each term by meeting the following criteria:


    1. Maintain employment after school and/or on the weekends
    2. Complete the required paperwork
    3. Submit weekly/bi-weekly pay stubs
    4. Complete the required course work


    More information, including the specific course requirements, is available through the Alternative Education Coordinator of The GOAL Program. 

    Building Conduct

    When students arrive they must enter through the designated doors and proceed to the search line before entering any other area of the building.  Once students have been searched and wanded they must proceed to their lockers. All items must be placed in their locker. Bus riders enter through Door 11.  Parents may drop their children off at Door 1. Drivers must park in the circle lot and enter through Door 22.   



    Upon entry into the program, each student will be assigned a locker. The students’ individual/personal items must be kept in this locker throughout the school day.  Upon entering the classroom, at any given time, the student must have staff approval to access their locker.   


    The student assigned to the locker is the only student allowed to have access to that given locker.  There is no sharing, or allowing other students to place items in your locker. All items in the locker are the assigned students’ responsibility and that student will be held accountable for ALL unauthorized items found in their locker.  Lockers can be subject to search at the site administrator’s discretion at any time, however, reasonable cause to suspect illegal, or dangerous items in a locker, will result in the appropriate authorities being contacted. 


    Students are required to keep all personal items in their lockers.  This includes, but is not limited to

    1. Coats, jackets, gloves, hats (all hats), winter boots, or additional footwear, and personal bags/purses. 
    2. Cell phones or other electronic devices are not allowed in the classroom at any time, unless approved by the staff in that classroom.  Otherwise, they are to be kept in the students’ locker. If a student is found to have a phone in the classroom without staff permission, it may be confiscated and given to the site administrator.  The cell phone will be returned to the student at the end of the day. Repeated offenses of this behavior will result in progression of discipline.



    Students attending the GOAL Program are required to read, sign, and therefore abide by the Rights and Responsibilities Handbook of School District 308.    Additionally, these Rights and Responsibilities can be found in the yearly planner provided to each student by his or her school. Violations of listed rules will be addressed based upon the appropriate response as defined in the District discipline code. 


    The GOAL Program strives to meet students’ academic, social-emotional and behavioral needs. Students, however, must be active participants in that process.   Additionally, students need to familiarize themselves with the given program expectations and rules so that if a violation occurs, they are prepared for the response to that violation.  Monitoring of violations occurs via classroom to office referral, or an administrative referral. The following is a list of possible, but not finite, response(s) students may receive to given violation(s): 

    1. In-School Intervention and/or Out-of-School suspension
    2. Review of the office referral by the Alternative Education Coordinator
    3. Administrative referrals, and/or multiple classroom to office referrals may result in movement to a more restrictive Tier within the GOAL Program, referral to an alternative setting, or removal from the GOAL Program altogether. 


    Student Services 

    Social Work Services:

    All students are required to meet with the school social worker to be 

    assessed for further services and support.  If it is determined that the student would 

    benefit from ongoing social work services the parent and student will collaborate 

    with the social worker to discuss and develop a plan to meet the student’s social-

    emotional needs.


    In addition to the above mentioned plan, the students will process and problem-

    solve the issues that brought them to The GOAL Program.  Social work services will

    be provided through individual and group sessions.  Social work services include:

    assessing emotional and behavioral needs that impact student success, identifying 

    and problem-solving student and family needs, consulting with school staff, 

    assisting in the development and maintenance of a supportive therapeutic 

    educational environment, and providing direct services to students and families.


    The social worker will work with special education students who qualify for services. The social worker will remain compliant with the required minutes on the Individualized Educational Plan and communicate goals/progress with the educational team.


    Please note that this requirement must be satisfied in order for a student to return to his/her home school.


    Guidance Counseling Services:

    Guidance counselors from both Oswego East and Oswego High Schools meet with students at The GOAL Program on an as-needed basis. Students can sign up to meet with a guidance counselor through The GOAL Program Alternative Education Coordinator. In addition to answering course questions, guidance counselors offer a variety of other information to the students. Students can also make appointments with their high school guidance counselors after they have completed their school day at The GOAL Program.


    With parents:

    Communication with parents is held in high regard at The GOAL Program. Parent/guardian input and support is vital to student success. Because the staff at The GOAL Program recognizes the value of working collaboratively with students and parents; frequent communication is a necessary tool in fostering this collaboration. Teachers will make weekly phone calls to parents in order to inform them of their student’s progress. If telephone calls are not the preferred mode of communication, please provide an e-mail address in order for our staff to contact you regarding your student’s progress.  In addition, parents are strongly encouraged to monitor their child’s progress. Parents/guardians can access their student’s courses at http://parent.education2020.com.  When prompted, parents must enter a username and password.  In order to access this feature, the parent/guardian must provide The GOAL Program staff with a working e-mail address.

    With the students’ home schools:

    The GOAL Program staff is in constant communication with each student’s home school.  This occurs for multiple reasons, such as to:

    1. Plan for a student’s transition back to his/her home school
    2. Monitor credits towards graduation
    3. Meet the identified needs of students in regard to student services
    4. Plan for standardized testing
    5. Issue report cards and transcripts
    6. Facilitate graduation processes and information
    7. Monitor progress of the students in the GOAL program

    Attendance Policy

    Daily attendance is the foundation of success at The GOAL Program. Daily attendance not only promotes increased learning, but also builds a sense of community and belonging within the classroom and building. In addition, arriving promptly to school on a daily basis is also an important skill to demonstrate and maintain, not only while enrolled in school, but in real world scenarios as well. Good attendance habits demonstrate responsibility and ownership in the educational process and overall goal of graduation/promotion. As a result, the attendance policy is as follows:

    • Students are allowed four (4) absences, including excused and unexcused, per semester.  On the fifth (5) absences a meeting will be held to discuss your student’s attendance.  
    • Students are considered tardy if they are not in their assigned classroom by 7:30 a.m. or 8:30 a.m., depending on their Tier assignments.  If a student arrives tardy they will not be allowed to use their cell phone during the school day. It must be turned in to a staff member upon arrival and will be given back dismissal.
    • Documentation/Communication from parent/guardian of tardies and absences is the only way a student will be marked excused. All other absences/tardies will be unexcused.
    • Demerits will be issued accordingly based on each individual situation.
    • Persistent behavior will result in additional demerits at the Alternative Education Coordinator’s discretion.

    If a student is in violation of the attendance policy a parent-teacher conference will be scheduled, and the following actions may take place:

    1. Student may be issued an In-school intervention
    2. Student may have driving privileges suspended 
    3. Student may be moved from Tier 1 to Tier 2
    4. Student may be moved from Tier 2 to Premier Academy in Morris, Illinois
    5. A student over the age of 17 may be dropped from the GOAL program and School District 308


    School Calendar

    The GOAL program follows the School District 308 high school calendar. School start dates, closing dates and end dates are congruent with the district high schools. However, some early dismissal days are not observed by the GOAL program.

    School Closings

    The most effective way to obtain school closing information is through the District 308 website and local radio stations. School closings are broadcasted on the following stations: WSPY (107.1RM), WAUR (930AM), WYSY (107.9), WKKD (95.9FM), WBBM (780AM), WMAQ (670AM), and WGN (720AM). It should be noted that GOAL follows all District 308 school closings.


    Contact Information for GOAL Program Staff


    Meredith Gerardot      Alternative Education Coordinator 630-608-5980

    Michael Gurley Special Education Coordinator 630-608-5911

    Julie Allen School Counselor 630-608-5981

    Nicholas Cherwin        Special Education Teacher 630-608-5986

    Kim Hubble               Classroom Teacher   630-608-5983

    Michael Kelley Classroom Teacher 630-608-5984

    Nancy Mohlman GOAL Program Social Worker 630-608-5982

                         School Psychologist                                     630-608-5917

    James Smith  Classroom Teacher 630-608-5985


    Willie Galan Teaching Assistant NA

    Sergio Rodriguez Dean’s Assistant NA

    Marta Soto Teaching Assistant NA


    Sarah Beerman Attendance Secretary 630-608-5908

    Attendance Line 630-608-5901

    Estela Orozco           Dispatch D308 Transportation 630-636-2970

    Transportation Main Line 630-636-2999

    Contact Information for Students’ Home Schools:

    Oswego East High School 630-636-2200

    Oswego High School 630-636-2000

    Bednarcik Junior High School 630-636-2500

    Murphy Junior High School 630-608-5191

    Plank Junior High School 630-551-9400

    Thompson Junior High School 630-636-2600

    Traughber Junior High School 630-636-2700


    Contact Information for SD 308 District Office

    Valerie Patterson Executive Director of Student Services 630-636-3678


    Student and Parent 

    Handbook Acknowledgement & Agreement

    I,__________________________________, a current student enrolled in The GOAL Program, have been given a copy of The GOAL Student Handbook and behavioral contract. I have read and fully understand the information contained in these documents. I have had an opportunity to ask questions and have them answered by a staff member of The GOAL Program. I understand that any and all services and resources are provided to me for my benefit and I agree to be respectful and responsible for all items.


    I,_________________________________, parent of __________________________, have been given a copy of The GOAL Student Handbook and behavioral contract. I have read and fully understand the information contained in these documents. I have had the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered by a staff member of The GOAL Program. If I have any questions, I understand that I may contact either my child’s classroom teacher, or The GOAL Program Alternative Education Coordinator.


    I have reviewed and understand the search policy, as outlined in The GOAL ProgramHandbook.  My signature below indicates my agreement with all search policies outlined in this handbook.    

    __________________________________ __________________

    Student Signature Date

    __________________________________ __________________

    Parent Signature Date