Homer High-Lights

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 4, December 2018

Principal's Message

I want to thank all parents and community members for your response to the earthquake we had on Friday, November 30th. Luckily, there was no damage to Homer Area Schools and no one was hurt. Things went very smoothly even though we we had our high school classes in session, had 4 area schools evacuated to HHS, and were housing evacuated community members as well.

All high school students behaved remarkably well, listened to all directions and were very patient with staff. They should be commended and you should be proud of them. Please make sure you give your children time to decompress. While there was little damage and no one was hurt, it can still be a stressful experience. Listen to what they experienced.

I appreciate the patience of all the parents that came to HHS to pick up their children. While everyone wanted to get their children as fast as possible, everyone was respectful and followed requests from staff. This helped keep everything organized and smooth. We have a great community and great parents and this experience proved it once again.

If this was a more severe emergency, it is imperative that parents stay calm. It is also essential that traffic continues to flow through our parking lots. This allows emergency vehicles to make it to the school as well as buses that may be bringing students.

Remember, in a crisis situation, parents may not be allowed to check their children out of school as it could interfere with rescue operations. Please be ready to follow all staff requests in these situations and remember that our emergency gathering area is the Kachemak Bay Campus at 533 E. Pioneer Ave. if the high school were unsafe.

In debriefing with the staff after this event, we discussed what needs to change for future emergency events.

  • Please don't text students or try to call them during an emergency. This can delay our students from getting important directions from staff and can clog up phone circuits for emergency responders.
  • Parking and the flow of cars in the high school parking lot was an issue. If this was a major earthquake, cars would need to flow better so necessary vehicles can get in and out. Next time we will post a couple of people in the parking lot to help direct traffic.
  • Signs will be put up directing parents to where each school is being housed in the high school.
  • Students will not be released unless a parent or person listed as an emergency contact is physically there to pick them up. All students must be checked out before they leave.

I am glad we were able to practice our response in case of a larger emergency. While it was stressful and a little chaotic, we know we can do this when needed. It makes me feel good that we are ready in case of an emergency.

As always, I would love to hear from you. If you have ideas or suggestions, please drop by. If you can't make it in, you can call me at 907-235-4600 or e-mail me at dwaclawski@kpbsd.k12.ak.us.


Douglas Waclawski


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HHS Swing Choir (Rock Stars)

Swing Choir 2018 Winter Season Schedule

12/1 - 1:00PM - Nutcracker Faire Performance #1

12/2 - 1:00PM - Nutcracker Faire Performance #2

12/4 - FOL - Safeway Performance

12/4 - 6PM - Rotary Dinner Meeting (Homer Public Library)

12/7 – Noon Lunch – Homer Senior Center/Friendship Terrace #2

12/11 - Noon and 5PM - Share the Spirit (Elks Downstairs)

12/12 - FOL - South Peninsula Hospital/Long Term Care #2

12/13 - Noon Lunch - Rotary Lunch Meeting (Best Western Bidarka Inn)

12/14 - 5PM - Bear Creek Garden Lights

12/15 – 2:30PM – Procastinator’s Fair (West Homer)

12/15 – 5PM - Alumni Family Christmas Party

12/16 - 4PM - K-Bay Caffe Performance

12/17 - 7PM - HHS Concert

12/18 - Lunch - HMS Lunch Performance

12/19 - 7PM - Candlelight, Carols, and Desserts

12/20 - 7:30AM - Swing Choir Breakfast

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Hockey Starts Strong

Homer Hockey started strong for 2018. They have had one the toughest schedules ever to begin the year. The have played Dimond, Service, Wasilla, Eagle River, Colony and Kenai. Even though they have played to the toughest Division I teams, they were able to come away with 3 wins and a tie. Starting next week our hockey team will play teams in their own division. Homer should be one of the top teams in Division II this year. Good luck.

Summer Opportunities

Summer opportunities for higher ed.

Many universities and educational organizations offer summer experiences for students interested in certain careers and/or in getting a preview of a college experience. These programs vary widely in their cost (from free to expensive) and in their selectivity (from highly competitive to “come one come all”), but they all require a little research and some advanced planning. Below is a small sample of what is out there:

  • ANSEP – The Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program promotes college readiness, particularly in STEM fields. Native and non-Native students may apply. Application deadline is Dec. 7th for current 12th graders and is March 1st for current 8th through 11th graders. http://www.ansep.net/high-school/high-school . This program is free!
  • RAHI – The Rural Alaskan Honors Institute invites motivated rural (Homer counts as rural.) and Native Alaskan 11th and 12th graders to apply for a 6-week program on the campus of UAF. Students live in dorms and earn 8-10 FREE college credits. Application deadline March 1st. https://www.uaf.edu/rahi/
  • College Quest WWU – One week residential programs on the campus of Western Washington University in Bellingham. Application period begins February 1st. https://ee.wwu.edu/collegequest
  • Stanford High School Summer College – 8-9 week residential program. Early Decision application deadline January 16th, rolling admission January 17th – May 15th. https://summer.stanford.edu/program/high-school-high-school-summer-college
  • Cornell Summer College – 3-6 week residential programs. https://www.sce.cornell.edu/sc/index.php
  • NYLF - National Youth Leadership Forums are 1-2 week residential experiences held on college campuses across the country and give participants in-depth looks into specific careers of interest. https://www.envisionexperience.com/
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Wrestling Senior Night

The wrestling team just recognized 10 senior wrestlers in our last home meet of the season. The team currently has 5 #1 ranked wrestlers in the State. Seth Inama 125, Luciano Fasulo 135, Wayne Newman 140, Mose Hayes 152 and McKenzie Cook 145 girls division. Other ranked wrestlers for the Girls are Sadie Blake 5th at 119, Mina Cavasos 2nd at 125, and Mariah Grimes 5th at 160. For the boys, Ian Stovall 6th at 130, Josh Bradshaw 5th at 152 and Jadin Mann 2nd at 285.

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Remind App

We are trying to improve communications with students and families by periodically broadcasting announcements (i.e. registration deadlines, college visitors, etc.) that appear as alerts on your phone. Signing up is simple. Just text the following to the number 81010:

  • Current seniors text @lhampson (or @seniorswo if not taking Lang. Arts at HHS)
  • Juniors text @pstory
  • Sophomores text @f6h696
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Girls Basketball Participation Explodes!

Homer Girls Basketball is the place to be. So far this year there are 43 girls who have shown up to play basketball. With two managers, this is almost 20 more girls than last year. The coaches and the players are excited and we can't wait to see how they do this year.

The coaches are scrambling to find ways to make sure every girl gets playing time. This includes scheduling C-Team Tournaments at home and inter-team scrimmages on most weekends.

Semester is Coming To an end


The time until Christmas break is a very important academic period for most students. Semester grades are part of their permanent record and only one of two opportunities during the year for HHS students to receive recognition for their hard work and diligence. Many students are behind in work and need to get caught up. Others are teetering between one grade and a higher one. We know that colleges and scholarship committees look for the best grades and can make life-altering decisions based on GPA.

The important message here is for students to use these next few weeks to get themselves in the best academic situation possible. Younger students sometimes have a difficult time seeing why grades are important when graduation is years down the road. We’re counting on the adults in their lives to help them see the importance of good grades for the kind of future you all picture, be it college, trade school or other training. For students who would benefit from a little additional help to improve their grades, there are several opportunities at HHS:

  • Before school study hall from 8:00-9:00 in B102
  • Specific teachers offer help for their subject during FOL. Students need to sign up with teachers.


When our students return in January, many will have some new classes to attend. Academic classes are usually year-long but many electives end mid-semester.

Most students should have already picked their second semester schedule. If your student has not done so yet, he/she needs to come into the counseling office as soon as possible. Schedules will be viewable on Power School. Because the majority of academic classes are year-long, the changes should be few, and mostly limited to electives.

Dates To Remember

Dec 4 - Site Council Meeting 4:00

Dec 4 - JV Hockey vs Soldotna 6:30

Dec 8 - Basketball fundraiser 3x3 Tournament and Tacos 2:00

Dec 8 - Meet The Mariners 6:00

Dec 11 - Hockey vs Soldotna 6;30

Dec 14 and 15 - DDF Home Meet 4:00

Dec 17 - HHS Winter Concert 7:00

Dec 19 - Candlelight, Carols and Desserts 7:00

Dec 21 - Inservice for teachers / End of Quarter / First day of Christmas Break for students

Dec 21 - Basketball vs Kenai: G C-team 12:30, B C-team 2:00, G JV 3:30, B JV 5:00, Girls Varsity 6:30, Boys Varsity 8:00

Jan 7 - School resumes after Christmas Break

New Classes Available Next Semester

New classes available next semester

  • Beginning Band – The Band program has grown this year, and Mr. Simondsen is welcoming students who haven’t played an instrument before, or who haven’t played for a few years, into the fray. If you’re interested in his 4th period beginning band class, contact the counseling office before Winter Break.

    UAS-Sitka offering free dual high school/college credit courses in Fisheries! Contact the counseling office if you’re interested! Two of the classes are:

  • o FT S120 – Introduction to Fisheries of Alaska (3cr) The principles, concepts and techniques of fisheries management, enhancement and rehabilitation in Alaska are reviewed in terms of the biological, economic, social and political aspects. Topics include overview of Alaska fishing gear, geographical areas of salmon, herring, bottom and invertebrate fisheries, management methods enhancement and rehabilitation techniques, data collection and usage. This would be a great introductory course for students who enjoy hands-on jobs and might consider working in a hatchery or on a boat as a career. Grades 10-12.

  • OCN 101 – Introduction to Oceanography (3cr) ***This counts as a non-lab science towards GERs for most majors (General Education Requirements) An overview of the ocean environment with emphasis on processes that support fisheries productivity. Introduces fundamental concepts and principles of oceanography including major geological, chemical, physical and processes that occur in the world’s oceans. Concepts will be presented in light of the interrelatedness of these disciplines and how they shape marine productivity. Human uses of fisheries and current issues in oceanography will be addressed. This is a great opportunity for a motivated student to work independently through a college level science class. Grades 11-12

HHS Communicates Using Facebook

Want to know what is going on at HHS?

Sometimes things change at the last moment and we can't call everyone. If you want the most up-to-date event schedules, start times, scores and last minute changes, like us on Facebook. Go to https://www.facebook.com/HomerHS/ and be sure to follow us. This is the most efficient way for HHS to post last minute details, school closures and more. We also post lots of the cool things our students are doing.

See you on Facebook!

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