VOLUME 10, ISSUE 2, September 2021
Keep Kids in School
In these uncertain COVID-19 times, let's keep school a certainty. We are starting the 3rd week of school, we are still open and building transmission is not an issue. Thanks to everyone for helping make the start of the year safe and positive for students. Our goal is to make sure we can stay open and that our students and staff are safe.
In order to stay open we need your help. First, we highly recommend that you and your child wear a mask when indoors. Parents and volunteers must wear a mask at HHS during school hours. Please get the vaccine if possible as this is the best defense against COVID-19 and the Delta variant. "CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19," quoted from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/toolkits/schools-childcare.html.
Make sure you don't come to school sick or with any symptoms. Many times these symptoms can be mild, but you can still be contagious. If you have a mild sore throat or mild sniffles, please stay home. It could be COVID.
Lastly, we are still doing contact tracing. If your child is a close contact to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, they may have to stay home for a couple of days and get a negative COVID-19 test before they return to school. A close contact is anyone who is within 6 feet for 15 minutes over an entire day.
As part of the KPBSD's mitigation plan we will be notifying all parents when there is a case of COVID in the building. We want to be totally transparent about what is happening in our building so parents can make informed decisions about what is safe for their children.
If you have questions about any of these steps we are taking to keep out students safe, call the office at 235-4600 or come in and we can talk about it.
I am excited and optimistic about this school year and can't wait to see all the awesome things our students will achieve. I want to do what it takes to provide the best education possible even with COVID-19. Let me know if you would like to discuss what we are doing about COVID-19 or any other program at HHS. If you have suggestions or critiques, please contact me at 907-235-4600 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Day of School
KPBSD COVID-19 Mitigation Plan
Masks The district strongly advises non-vaccinated staff and students to wear a mask (self-determined). Face coverings for fully vaccinated visitors is optional; non-vaccinated individuals are strongly advised to wear a mask. When the exposure risk increases, and other engineering controls are inadequate, masks are available and provided to minimize transmission exposure. Masks can be worn by any person. Signs identifying CDC recommendations for vaccinated /non-vaccinated individuals are posted.
- Physical distancing (e.g., including use of cohorts/pods) Physical distancing will be encouraged while working with others in the building. KPBSD has maximized the available space to allow for maximum distancing to minimize potential exposure.
- Handwashing and respiratory etiquette Proper handwashing and respiratory etiquette signs have been posted, taught and modeled for our students and staff.
- Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation KPBSD facilities have had bipolar ionization systems installed, and the custodial staff have been equipped with HOCL and electrostatic sprayers to improve the efficiency of building sanitization.
- Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the State, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments The KPBSD Health Services Coordinator will continue to monitor daily COVID percentages, attend local and state health updates and provide professional development and training to site based and itinerant nurses as necessary. NOTE: KPBSD school nurses were the first in the state to participate in an online contact-tracing course in order to assist an overwhelmed Public Health Department with statewide contact tracing.
- Diagnostic and screening testing KPBSD has provided testing capability and training for every school in the district. Antigen screening is available to students and co-curricular participants. All positive results are immediately verified by a molecular test. The district has both Cue and Abbott ID Now devices available at each site.
- Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students, if eligible The KPBSD has partnered with local health entities to provide vaccine clinics in KPBSD site facilities and has provided information to staff, students, and parents about the clinics and locally available vaccines.
- Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to the health and safety policies A variety of options are available to accommodate children with disabilities. These options include using remote instruction with connectivity and devices provided by the district. The accommodations can be but not limited to providing additional engineering controls including additional social distancing space, barriers and personal protective equipment.
- Sports and Activities Daily Symptom Check for Athletes and Coaches, Weekly Antigen Testing (no symptoms/no exposure), Antigen Testing will depend on travel destination, COVID Return to Play, Before or After Activity Best Practices
HHS Students Do The Right Thing
Good Start To The New Year
DATES TO REMEMBER
September 3: Cross Country Homer Invite vs ACS 3:30pm Ohlson Mountain
September 6: Labor Day-No School
September 7: Site Council 4:00 in Library
September 11: Swimming vs Seward 10 am
September 13: Grade Check
September 13: KPBSD School Board meeting in the Mariner Theatre 6:00pm
September 13: Big Booster Club meeting in library
September 18: SAT testing 8:00am
September 21: School Picture Day
September 21: Volleyball vs SoHi 4:00 C Team, 5:00 JV, 6:30 Varsity
September 24: Football vs Redington JV 2:30, Varsity 5:30
Welcome New Staff
Top Right: Andrea Stineff - Math
Middle: Deborah Curtis - Librarian
Bottom Left: Colette Choate - Language Arts
Bottom Right: Annie Raatz - Special Education
Free School Lunches & Breakfasts
We have great news! Students who attend school in buildings will get free breakfasts and lunches for the entire school year. We are able to do this with grants KPBSD received. We are excited that every student who wants breakfast or lunch can get their munchies satisfied.
Buy Your Yearbook Now!
The 2021-2022 yearbook staff are hard at work creating a publication worthy of this year! Purchase a yearbook by October 14, 2021 and save $5.00. Regular pricing starts October 15 at $80.00.
Want To Know What is Going on At HHS? Use Facebook!
In these uncertain times it is important to know what is going at at your child's school. Homer High School uses Facebook to communicate with parent and the community about events, emergencies, school closures, sporting events, Covid-19 details and more. Go to https://www.facebook.com/HomerHS/ and be sure to follow us.
Don't be left out about news and information you need. Like us on Facebook today.
Government Gummy Project
Counselor Corner - Paul Story & Lisa Fellows
Test optional – Virtually every university in the country went this direction for the Class of 2021, and many (though definitely not all), are continuing this practice. This means that students will be held harmless if they choose not to report a SAT or ACT score and that admission decisions will be based on other criteria, usually a “holistic review”. So while not reporting a test score can’t hurt you, reporting a good score could help you. Additionally, some schools are still requiring test scores for students to be considered for merit-based scholarships, and I anticipate test scores to be required to qualify for the Alaska Performance Scholarship.
SAT/ACT – Juniors and seniors sign up for these tests on the respective web sites. December is usually the last sensible test administration for seniors, as subsequent administrations are generally too late. Fee waivers are available in the counseling office for those who qualify for free/reduced lunch based on submitting this online application
PSAT – In addition to being excellent practice for 10th and 11th graders before the “real” SAT, the PSAT is the only opportunity for juniors to qualify for the prestigious and lucrative National Merit Scholarship.
- Sat., Oct. 16 (Primary test date)
- Wed., Oct. 13 (Alternate date for HHS student athletes with 10/16 competitions)
- $20 (limited fee waivers may be available to students who qualify for free/reduced lunch) payable by check to HHS via bookkeeper Laurie Palo.
- Students will indicate interest via a forthcoming Google Form, but payment may be made now to reserve a spot and receive a practice book.
College and post-secondary applications
Many applications are available now. Due dates range from October for certain early action deadlines to November, December and January for regular admission. Some schools also accept applications on a rolling basis throughout most of the school year.
The most efficient way to apply to multiple schools is through the Common App (www.commonapp.org ). Many schools, but not all, subscribe to this service.
FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid – www.studentaid.gov/fafsaThe key to unlocking grants, loans, work study and the AK Perf. Scholarship.
- Application for aid for the 2022-23 school year opens Oct. 1, 2021.
- ·Stay tuned for more info on financial aid in the October newsletter.
- If you have questions, please contact the HHS Counseling Office:
Paul Story, grades 10-12 – email@example.com or 235-4685
Lisa Fellows, grade 9 – firstname.lastname@example.org or 235-5716 (am), 235-4691 (pm)
Northern Enterprises Boat Yard is looking for a person to fill a part-time position to do general office, clerical work in the afternoons. Job would entail some filing, answering the phone, typing, data entry and scheduling, and assisting with other projects. Pay is dependent on experience. They reached out to see if a HHS student is interested as an after-school job, but I’m sure they’d consider parents/guardians, too! Contact Carol Grace at 235-8234 or email@example.com.
Myers-Stevens Voluntary Accident Insurance
To All Parents
We recently learned that Myers-Stevens did not send paper brochures this year due to a paper and staffing shortage. We are sending out the on-line enrollment link to purchase voluntary accident insurance.
Here is the on-line enrollment link: https://www.myers-stevens.com/enrollment-page/
We have included below the letter that usually gets sent home:
College / School Search
AkCIS School Sort (www.akcis.org )
- Narrows list of schools based on personal preferences (i.e. field of study, location, expense, size, etc.)
- Students login from PowerSchool
See picture below:
College reviews, statistics and estimated costs:
AVTEC – Alaska Vocational Technical Center – https://avtec.edu/
- Training in trades and careers in less than a year
- Nearby in Seward, AK
- Dorms available
The Rec Room After School Programming
An after school teen drop-in center with both structured and unstructured rotating activities run by staff and community mentors, open 5 days a week during the school year, Mon-Fri from 3:00-6:30pm at 3957 Nielsen Circle (off Ben Walters Lane). The R.E.C. Room encourages teens ages 12-18 to stop by, have a snack, hangout, chat with a supportive adult, and participate in music, workshops, art & creativity, and facilitated discussions about safe & healthy relationships, mental health, and intentional community. A safe and welcoming space for all teens, the R.E.C. Room also offers food and safety supplies for teens in need, and now has a sprinter van to provide transportation for certain events!