HHS Parent Newsletter
July 10, 2023
Highland High School Parent Newsletter, Friday, September 22, 2023
Happy Friday Hawks!
One more week of September and we get to our TWO week Fall Break! It has been an awesome first 9 weeks of school and we have completed one quarter of our 2023-2024 school year.
Next week on Friday, September 29 we have a half-day early dismissal for our students, they are dismissed at 11:20 am.
No school during Fall Break from Monday, October 2 to Friday, October 13. School resumes on Monday, October 16.
We are slowing making progress to have every HHS family complete their Annual Update, as of right now our campus is at 40% completed. That is a raise from two weeks ago when we were at 35%. Please take a moment to complete the Annual Update, this allows our campus to have your current contact information.
Earlier this week our district shared out a PSA about Suicide Prevention that Campo Verde High School and our campus collaborated together on to share important messages. Please take a moment to view the video below.
Have a great weekend Hawks,
Please take a moment to complete your Annual Update! See video below for info:
Way to Go Hawks!
Our Highland Blood Drive committee members at Chase Field for the Vitalant Blood Drive Training and Awards Ceremony and receiving award for the most donations during the 2022-2023 school year. It marked the 16th consecutive year that HHS won the award. Our Hawks are going for their 17th year in a row this year!
School attendance is not only a good habit, state law requires it. Arizona State Law (15-802.E, 15-803.) requires every person who has custody of a child between the ages of six and sixteen years shall make sure the child attends school for the full time school is in session unless unable to attend due to illness or another legitimate reason.
To encourage and improve school attendance, Gilbert Public Schools and Highland High School have implemented a truancy service in partnership with Maricopa County Juvenile Court. This truancy service is called C.U.T.S. (Court Unified Truancy Suppression). We will be tracking attendance very closely. Your student is expected to be at school every day, unless there is an excused reason not to be. A student that is absent more than ten percent (18 days) of the required number of school days per year is considered to have “excessive absences” whether the absence is excused or unexcused.
When a student has five or more unexcused absences or 19 excessive absences (excused OR unexcused), the student can be cited and will have to attend a hearing through the Juvenile Court. A parent or legal guardian must be present with the student at the time of the hearing. Additionally, a student who has 10 or more absences (excused OR unexcused) within a single class during a semester may lose credit for the class for that semester.
Your student’s attendance at school is important to us. While the C.U.T.S. service is one that we would rather not have to utilize, it can become necessary in the event of excessive absences. Should you have any questions about this, please contact the Highland High School administration.
Hawks Spirit Store
Need some Hawk clothing for an upcoming event? Or maybe your student needs another PE Uniform? Looking for a birthday gift? Check out the HHS Spirit Store! Purchase online and it will be ready for pickup the next business day at the store. Can't make it during Spirit Store hours? either have your student pick up or ask for it to be left at the front desk in the Main Office. All proceeds go straight back into the school!!! Go Hawks!
Author EB White on the power of books:
"Books hold most of the secrets of the world, most of the thoughts that men and women have had. And when you are reading a book, you and the author are alone together—just the two of you. A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people—people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book."
Gilbert Sister Cities 2024 Recruitment
Do you want to travel the world this summer? The 2024 Gilbert Sister Cities Youth Ambassador
Program is the program for you! Gilbert Sister Cities is a nonprofit that offers juniors in Gilbert a
chance to host an exchange student in their home and travel for free to either of our sister cities
in China or Northern Ireland.
In addition to providing an opportunity for students to visit Leshan, China, or
Antrim-Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, for free next summer, the 2024 Youth Ambassador
Program will include workshops for essay writing, fundraising, interviewing, and networking.
Taught by local business leaders, these clinics will help participants develop skills that will help
them with college admissions, scholarship applications and interviews, job interviews, and in the
Our first informational meeting is on September 14 at Sonoma Ranch Elementary, and we
would love to see you and your parents there! In the meantime, please visit our website
gilbertsistercities.org, and visit our Facebook and Instagram @gilbertsistercities for more
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or
Highland Tutoring Club
Meets on Mondays and Tuesdays in room 1216 from 2:30-3:30
We aim to make the jobs of teachers and students easier by opening more hours for tutoring.
Students often find it easier to learn from other students, and would be more likely to come to a peer for help.
We offer tutoring on nearly every level of math, science, and English: even ACT and SAT prep.
We have accomplished tutors (30+ ACTs, and 3.9+ unweighted GPAs) and vet potential tutors to ensure high-quality tutoring.
Tutors have the potential to earn volunteer hours for college or GC105.
We provide some material, but recommend students come prepared with their math book, notes, or a former assignment.
Tutoring is one-on-one or in small groups based on the subject.
In short, the Highland Tutoring Club is a strong option for students who may be struggling in their classes or simply want a leg up in their academics, but cannot or do not wish to meet with their teachers.
The month of September ushers in the Labor Day holiday. Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day is an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pays tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership – the American worker.
Through the month of September, the Counseling Department continues to support student success and post-secondary explorations through individual meetings and class visits.
August-September: Junior Class Visits
We will be exploring post-secondary options including community college, university, trade/certificated vocational programs, apprenticeship/work experience, and military. Students will have the opportunity to conduct research on these areas and will be given information on resources that can be utilized to help with the pursuit of post-secondary goals.
September: Senior Class Visits
We will be going over the Senior ‘To-Do List’ items which include: creating a Parchment account, participating in college/campus visits, completing a career & vocational training comparison worksheet, where to find resources for scholarships, creating a FAFSA account and discussing the importance of completing a FAFSA application.
October (after fall break): Sophomore Class Visits
Students will be completing career and interest assessments using My Future AZ through the Arizona Department of Education. My Future AZ is where Arizona K-12 students connect their personal interests with possible career paths as they move to graduation. Students are provided with resources and support to take the next steps in their journey to becoming career ready in their field of choice.
November: Freshmen Class Visits and Freshmen Family Nights.
Keep an eye out for opportunities to attend seminars and 1:1 with our school counseling team to review 4-year graduation planning, diploma seal opportunities, and resources to help support your child’s success.
SOS (SIgns of Suicide)
September is Suicide Prevention Month and we are making efforts to educate our students about the importance of talking about mental health and seeking help when needed. On September 6th, counselors will have our first ‘Wellness Wednesday’ where counselors will provide an activity for students during lunch as Teen Lifeline and other community partners join us on campus to share resources with students.
As part of our commitment to prevention education, Gilbert Public Schools (GPS) is offering depression awareness and suicide prevention training as part of the Signs of Suicide (SOS) Prevention Program on Wednesday, September 20th. SOS is a school-based suicide prevention program endorsed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as an evidence-based program. It helps students and adults demystify the confusion around what constitutes normal development and what may be a potentially serious issue.
Please be advised that Highland High School will not be requiring students to complete the depression screening. However, If you do not wish for your child to participate in the program, please complete the parent opt-out permission slip. If we do not hear from you, we will assume your child has permission to participate in this program.
In addition, we encourage parents to visit the SOS Signs of Suicide for Parents website to learn more about suicide prevention efforts and to find tools about supporting your child’s mental health.
If you have any questions or would like further information regarding the curriculum, please contact the District Prevention Coordinator, Susan Cadena, as (480) 545-2181, or by email at email@example.com. We hope you will join us in our continuing commitment to prevention through education!
Global Academy/Online Classes: If your student needs to enroll in an online Gilbert Global Academy class, you will use the following link and follow instructions on how to enroll as a concurrent student GGA Concurrent Enrollment
Collaborative Credit Reminder: If you intend to take a college course for collaborative credit, please remember that there is a form that needs to be submitted for prior approval. Collaborative credit will not be issued if approval has not been given prior to enrolling in the class. Forms can be picked up in the counseling office.
PSAT Testing: The PSAT will be given campus-wide to all Sophomore students on Tuesday, October 24th. The test is free to all 10th grade students and it is an expectation that students participate in the testing session. If your student is a Junior who would like to take the exam, they must register and pay a fee of $25 in the bookstore by September 13th. Extra tests are not provided so if your Junior student does not register, they will not be permitted to take the test.
AP TESTING: AP registration begins September 25th and closes October 27th. If your student is in an AP class, it is an expectation that they register and participate in AP testing. Registration is processed through the bookstore; students will need to know which exams they will be taking and the cost is $100.00 for each test.
The only changes taking place at this time are level changes which are limited to Algebra II, Honors and AP courses. All level changes require the completion of an Academic Success Plan. The last day for first semester class drops is Friday, September 29th. Any drop made after this date will result in a WF (Withdraw/Fail) on a transcript.
Free and Reduced Lunch: Families will need to fill out a new application in order for their student to receive free and reduced meals for the 2022-23 school year. Students who apply and are eligible for the free and reduced meals also receive additional benefits such as waived summer school fees, reduced internet fees, waived college and AP testing fees, and much more! The free and reduced meal program also ensures your school continues to receive funding for many school programs. Apply securely online starting July 1, 2022 for the 2022/23 school year.
Need to register for the ACT or SAT?
If you have already created an account, do not create a new one. This will prevent problems with accessing your scores. Click on these links to get started with registering:
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Before each year of college, apply for federal grants, work-study, and loans with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Your college/post-secondary institutions use your FAFSA data to determine your federal aid eligibility. Many states and colleges use FAFSA data to award their own aid. After submission, you’ll receive your Student Aid Report. FAFSA opens December 1st Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Check Your Transcript
Be sure to take care of any incomplete grades or grade replacement changes. As you start to submit your transcript to postsecondary institutions, you want to make sure that it is cleaned up and looks its best. Grade change/replacement forms can be picked up in the counseling office.
Need a Transcript?
For all current and future transcript requests, you will need to create a Parchment account. This will allow you to send transcripts to most institutions effortlessly and without delay. Once you graduate, it will not be the responsibility of HHS to submit transcripts when requested so it is important that you create a parchment account. There is no fee to set up an account and there is a nominal fee to have a transcript sent. To get started, click here https://www.parchment.com/
Need to order a cap/gown, announcements, or some grad-swag? Visit the Josten’s website to place your order: https://www.jostens.com/apps/store/customer/1012899/Highland-High-School/
We are here to support your students and help facilitate their success. Let us know what we can do to assist you.
Bridget Anderson A-Arc & Special Education
Matthew Van Holten Are-Cop
Adam Nyswaner Cor-Gri
Rosie Gorton Gro-Le
Sam Weiss Li-Pap
Candice Horrocks Par-Sok
Brandi McMahan Sol-Z
Raina Rios Mental Health Counselor
Barb Dwyer College & Career Liaison
Francia Ward Career Center Coordinator
Christina Jordan Counseling Secretary
GPS Dress Code Expectations for the 2023-2024 School Year
Student Drop Off and Student Pick Up
Per Arizona Statute 13-13-104B10, which states: During loading or unloading of passengers at a designated school bus loading area at a school, the school shall restrict the loading area to school buses, passengers and school employees assisting in the loading or unloading of passengers.
As a campus we are responsible to have a designated area for our bus loading zone. That area is located on the East side of our campus. We can not have students dropped off or picked up on Roadrunner Dr, which is located on the East side of our campus. Please do not pick-up or drop-off students in this area.
Parents have 2 options for student drop off and pick up:
Option 1 will be in front of the school. Please do not make a left turn onto Guadalupe as this is an illegal turn and presents dangers on the road.
Option 2 will be to use the back lot for drop off and pick up. This option should provide for faster drop off and pick up due to the traffic light timing and the ability to go all directions out of the lot.
PLEASE DO NOT pick up or drop off on Roadrunner Drive on the east side of school. We are required by A.R.S to have a separate drop off area for buses in which there is no parent drop off intermingled.
Thank you for helping us to keep traffic flowing smoothly here at HHS and our students safe!
Click link below to download the map of our drop-off areas:
Option #2 Morning Student Drop-Off - Student Lot
Option #2 Afternoon Student Drop-Off - Student Lot
Our HHS School Resource Officer
Gilbert Public Schools has School Resource Officers (SROs) assigned to all of our High Schools and Jr High Schools. The United States Department of Justice defines School Resource Officers (SROs) as "sworn law enforcement officers responsible for safety and crime prevention in schools". SROs are typically employed by a local police or sheriff's agency and work closely with administrators in an effort to create a safer environment for both students and staff.
The responsibilities of SROs are similar to regular police officers in that they have the ability to make arrests, respond to calls for service, and document incidents. SROs typically have additional duties, including mentoring and conducting presentations on youth-related issues.
Here at Highland we are grateful to have Officer Churchman as our SRO. If students or parents have any questions or concerns you are encouraged to reach out directly to Officer Churchman.
Ryan Churchman, SRO | Highland High School | 480-813-0051
I have been a Police Officer with Gilbert for 18 years. During that time, I have worked patrol, night traffic focusing on DUI enforcement, and as a bike officer in downtown Gilbert. I am an FTO, HGN Certified, ARIDE Certified, IPMBA Certified, CIT Certified, TLO, and a phlebotomist. Prior to law enforcement I obtained my Commercial Pilots License along with a Certified Flight Instructor Certification including instruments. I am grateful for the opportunity to be the SRO at Highland High School and be there for the students and staff. Go Hawks!
2023-2024 School Year Calendar
Link to the 2023-2024 Calendar:
Budget Continuation & Bond Election / 2023 Budget Override Continuation & Bond Election
In November, voters living within Gilbert Public School boundaries will decide a proposed 15% budget override continuation and a $100 million dollar bond. Voters last approved a bond and override in November 2019.
GPS Nutrition Services
Please complete the free and reduced meal application each year for your student!
Link to our GPS Nutritional Services Website: https://www.gilbertschools.net/site/Default.aspx?PageID=769
Annual Update on Infinite Campus
It is crucial that all GPS families complete the online 'Annual Update' in Infinite Campus. The information provided will be used by the district or your school to directly communicate with you regarding your student, or in the event of an emergency on campus. Please log into your Infinite Campus Parent Portal and complete the 'Annual Update' today! | Update Here
See Something? Say Something!
The confidential GPS Tip Line was designed to promote school and student safety and wellbeing. Students and parents can report a threat or potential threat about a student or school. The Tip Line also provides information on other topics, which may affect our students, staff, or schools. | Submit Tip
The Families Hub offers a wide range of resources to help you and your student(s) throughout the school year, including back to school updates, menus, nutritional information, enrollment details and more. | Read More
Buses & Transportation / Transportation Information
The Transportation Department includes two vehicle maintenance facilities that maintain all district vehicles. GPS drivers receive regular training which exceeds Arizona minimum standards. All drivers must be a minimum of 18 years of age, possess a Commercial Driver License, State Bus Driver Certificate, meet a physical tolerance profile, and undergo random and annual drug testing.
Here Comes the Bus App
We are excited to announce the introduction of 'Here Comes the Bus,' a new service for our families whose students ride the school bus. The app allows GPS parents and families to track the real-time location of their student's school bus, to know when and where their student boards or exits the bus, and helps ensure GPS students get to the bus stop on time. Read more by clicking on the following link: https://www.gilbertschools.net/Page/2597