HMS Newsletter May 2023

Go Hawks

Contact Information

  • Orin Wear, Principal: 907-892-9402
  • Brian Beaudry, Assist. Principal:907- 892-9403
  • Amy Hina, Administrative Assistant: 907-892-9401
  • Rachel Hallam, Office Secretary: 907-892-9400
  • Michael Clauson, Safety Resource Officer: 907-892-9400
  • Tanya Boehm, Safety & Security Coordinator: 907-892-9485
  • Virginia St. John, School Nurse: 907-892-9406
  • Matthew Rush, Counselor:907- 892-9407
  • Kathy Aldeman, Registrar/Counseling Sec: 907-892-9479

Principal Wear's Monthly Message

Greetings Houston Middle School Families & Friends,

It's hard to believe that May is already here! Every year at this time, I often reflect on how quickly time passes. This is especially true when I consider working with students at Houston Middle School and my own children at home. I read a phrase several years ago that succinctly characterizes my thoughts and feelings during this reflection, "The days are long, but the years are short." This strikes true even more so as children grow older and they transition to their next grade level. It seems they go from needing us every step of the way in Kindergarten to walking alone across a graduation stage to receive a high school diploma. It's also an important reminder to cherish and enjoy as many moments as we can.

As the school year draws to a close, I'd like to thank the entire staff for their incredible work this year. Every staff member at Houston Middle School does his or her part to make sure that this is a great place for students: that they are safe, well cared for, and have the opportunity to learn each and every day.

Also, I'd like to thank the parents and guardians of our students who truly are their first teachers. Without your support, encouragement, and commitment to education, nothing would get done. Your participation and relentless advocation for what is best for your child are essential to his or her success.

Finally, I'd like to thank all of our students who come to Houston Middle School everyday and keep the fire of public education burning bright. You are the reason we exist in our daily roles as teachers, classroom assistants, custodians, food service staff, secretaries, counselors, and school board members. The educational community is built for you.

Have a great summer everyone! We'll see you all back in August

Principal Orin Wear

Upcoming Events

Title 1 Family Event

Barbeque and Field Day Event

Hello HMS families, you are invited to our end of the year BBQ and fun day celebration on May 19th. We will have lunch, activities, and an inflatable obstacle course to enjoy. Be looking for an email with a link for a sign-up, if you would like to join us and your student, when we have locked down all the details. We love sending our students and staff off with a “fun day”.

Tanya Boehm
Houston Middle & Houston High Schools
(907) 892-9500/9400

Alaska Department of Education & Early Development

Houston Families, if you are ever curious about how our school or others in the district or state are comparing in these assessments and information, please check out this link below for the report card to the public.

Parents: Boundary Exemption Applications Due ASAP


Students on a Current Boundary Exemption, must fill out a new boundary exemption online form if your student will be attending HMS next school year 23-24.

The online form is located in your Parent-Vue account under registration and MUST be competed before the end of this school year!

If we do not receive your boundary exemption form for your student before the end of the school year, our school will not be a choice for you when you register your student in July.

If you have any questions please contact our school's registrar, Kathy Aldeman at 907-892-9479.

MS Counseling Corner

Greetings Houston Parents and Guardians,

As we begin winding down for the school year we are focusing on schedules for next year. This month we are having two tours on the 2nd and on the 10th of May. Meadow Lakes and Willow are visiting on the 2nd and Big lake is scheduled for the 10th. During their visits they will tour the campus and select their elective choices for next year.

If you have a child that is not scheduled for one of these visits, is already registered in our district and are planning on attending Houston Middle School next year, you can find the google doc that will allow your child to select electives on the Matsu School District Home page. Once you get to the home page please select “schools” and then select “middle schools” and then Houston Jr/Sr High School. Once that home page comes up you will scroll all the way to the bottom and click on FY 23-24 Elective Choice Google Form.

The google doc is pretty self-explanatory. Once your child has filled out the doc it will automatically save. If you are not in district and would like to choose your electives please contact me or stop by the counseling office and we can input the data after your child has listed their choices.

Matt Rush, LPC

Middle School Counselor grades 6-8

Houston Jr/Sr. High School


Nurse Office News

Planning for next school year:


All student medications must be picked up by a parent/guardian no later than 2:15pm on Friday, May 19. If your student has medication or inhaler medication stored in the nurse office, Nurse St. John will NOT send them home with the student per MSBSD policy. All medications not picked up will be destroyed prior to the new school year. Please don’t forget!

Also, New Medication Forms must be completed by the parent/guardian and health care provider before each school year. Medication authorization forms expire at the end of each school year. Make sure you make your request to the health care provider before August. Clinics get very busy and may not be able to complete your request if submitted after mid- August. New medication forms must have a start date on or after July1st, 2023, or say 2023-24 school year to be valid for next school year.

Medication Authorization Forms can be found on the MSBSD website


Immunization requirements must be up-to-date before the first day of school attendance in the 2023-24 school year. Summer is a great time to follow up with your child’s primary health care provider, as appointments may be made per your family’s schedule.

Please visit the link for Immunization Requirements for School Compliance

Free Meals for Children

Kids Kupboard will provide free meals during the summer months, beginning May 20 through August 18. Local pick-up will be at the following locations:

  1. King Arthur (by mailboxes) M,Tu,Th@1-1:45pm
  2. Big Lake library M,Tu,Th@2-2:45pm
  3. Willow Community Center M,Wed,Th@11:45am-12:30pm

Please visit Kids Kupboard website for more locations across Wasilla and Palmer or call (907)357-5439

School Nurse Substitutes are Needed

Are you a Registered Nurse who might be interested in exploring the rewards of school-based nursing, supplementing work hours or simply maintaining nursing licensure credentials? We would love to discuss available opportunities as a substitute school nurse with the Matanuska Susitna Borough School District -- this is a great way to transition into community nursing with K-12 school age children.

Contact: Sarah Jamieson
Health Services Coordinator
(907) 761-4073

Virginia St. John, BSN RN - Houston Middle School Nurse

Matanuska -Susitna Borough School District

Ph: 907-892-9406 l Fax: 907-892-9460

HMS Sports Info

HMS Information

All participation forms and physicals must be turned into Big Teams, formally called (PlanetHS) to participate in any practices. Please contact your students coaches with any questions regarding game times, changes, locations and practices.

Sports Scheduled Dates and Times are Subject to Change at any time. Hawks don’t run… They fly!

Library Corner

Student Chromebooks During Summer


Students will be taking their chromebooks home over the summer unless they are leaving the Mat-Su Borough School District. If your student will not be returning to a Mat-School school in the fall, please return them to the library the week of May 15th before the last day of school.

Please ensure that your students are using this equipment respectfully and that they are prepared to bring them back to school in August.

  • 6th and 7th graders will bring their chromebooks back to the middle school.
  • 8th graders will take their chromebooks to the high school.

Parents - There is a goguardian app for parents that you can download to monitor your students. This will allow you to manage chromebooks during the summer months. Look online for the goguardian app for parents.

Adam Ames - Teacher/Librarian Houston Middle School

Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District
Ph: 907-892-9478 | Fax: 907-892-9460

Other HMS News

Last Chance to get your Yearbook!

Hello Hawks. We are able to order more yearbooks for those interested in getting a copy. Please see Ms. Hallam, Ms. Hina, or Ms. Schnittker to get your name added to the list. You have until Tuesday, May 9th by the end of the day to get your name on the list. You can pay when you pick up your yearbook. The yearbooks are still $30.

Go Hawks!

Kelly Schnittker

6th Grade Science

HMS Yearbook

(907) 892-9438

HMS is Back on Facebook!!!

Like and follow us for all your news and updates to what's happening at your child's school!!

May Spotlight on Literacy

Here is my monthly Family Literacy spotlight for May is: Assessments and how to understand the results

Enclosed this month is a link to support families on their child's assessments they completed this Spring: AKSTAR.

Facts about the assessment: Parent and Family link

As always if you want some ideas and or guidance for increasing your child literacy this is a great resource.

Alaska's Reading Playbook

Please feel free to contact Deb Pomelow at Houston Middle 892-9437 for more helpful hints and suggestions: Next month: Assessments and how to understand them.

Deborah Pomelow

Grant Manager/ Literacy Coach

HMS/HJS Mon. AM 7:15-12:00. , Tues. and Friday all day

Room 206 907 892-9437

Meadow Lakes Mon. PM 12:15-3., Wed. and Thurs. all day

Room 163 907 352-6182

Big picture
Big picture

Youth 360

Big picture
Big picture

Ways to Keep Informed and Contact Houston Middle School

Houston Middle School is committed to frequent and open communication with families and community members about student performance, school expectations, current events, and activities. Some of the ways you can expect us to reach out are:
  • Facebook
  • HJSH Website
  • Connect-Ed Messages
  • monthly Newsletters
  • Parentvue
  • phone calls and emails
  • Instagram

Free & Reduced Lunch

All Houston Jr./Sr. High students will receive free breakfast and lunch as part of our Title I eligibility during the 2022-2023 school year.

Nutrition Services will be providing a Breakfast and a Lunch meal each week for Friday's meals. We will be standing outside at the front of the building on Thursday's with these meals ready for you to grab after school before you head to the bus.

Title I, Part A (Title I) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA) provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. Oct 5, 2015.

Big picture