Husky Highlights

Homer Middle School December Newsletter

December Calendar

Important Dates in December

December 1- Basketball at Skyview

December 2- Chamber of Commerce Tree Lighting

December 3- Home Basketball

December 6-10- Alternate Bell Schedule all week for MAP Testing

December 6- School Board Meeting

December 7- First round of Borough Basketball

December 9- Site Council Meeting at 4

December 9- Music Program at 7 at HHS

December 11- Finals of Borough Basketball

December 17- End of Quarter 2 (All missing assignments MUST be turned in before you go home!)

December 20-January 3- NO SCHOOL

January 4- School Resumes

End of Quarter 2

The last day of Quarter 2 is Friday, December 17. Any missing work MUST be turned in before students go home that day to be counted in their grades. Now is the time to check PowerSchool, check Canvas, and TALK TO YOUR TEACHERS! Please do not wait until the last minute to ask how you can improve your grades!


As a reminder of options you have for help...

1. Morning study hall- 8:00-9:00 AM in library every day

2. After school study hall- 3:45-4:45 Monday-Thursday in library

3. Do homework in the library during enrichment every day

4. Ask your teachers to meet with you during enrichment (set up with teachers ahead of time)

5. TALK to your teachers during class

6. Check PowerSchool, Canvas, and the Absent Student Website to help you figure out what you are missing!

Winter Music Program

Thursday, December 9

7:00 PM

HHS Mariner Theater

Students must arrive to their rehearsal room no later than 6:30 pm! This is a required event for all students.


Dress Code:

Men- Nice slacks (no blue jeans if possible), shirt with a collar (no t-shirts please), and dark shoes (dress shoes would be best). Our preferred dress code is dress slacks, a dress shirt and tie, and dress shoes.

Women- A nice dress, dress slacks or pants, or knee length or longer skirt, a nice shirt or blouse, and dark shoes (dress shoes would be best, no slip-flops.)


Please contact Mr. Schneider (kschneider@kpbsd.k12.ak.us 907-235-4607) or Mr. Simondsen (esimondsen@kpbsd.k12.ak.us 907-235-4667) if you have any questions!

7th Grade Cell Project Time!

We are looking forward to seeing the 7th grade science cell projects soon! The Cell Projects are due on December 16 or 17 for all the 7th grade science students. Each student will build 3 cell models - one animal cell, one plant cell and one prokaryotic cell. They will identify twelve major cell parts, and their functions, in the models, and write three paragraphs teaching about cells. Students are welcome to make the models from whatever they choose. It has been great fun in the past to see the great examples of student creativity. More information can be found about the cell project at this link: (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MYqveSPoUK3vIixIRfQnnZSQMJfHzYFMhiuIRr86QCE/edit?usp=sharing)

End of Baskeball

It has been an incredibly fun season of basketball! The season will wrap up on December 11 with the Borough Finals in Seward. We want to give a HUGE SHOUTOUT to our amazing coaches for coordinating a very busy and successful season: Tyler Krekling, Jon Langner, Dara Friday, and Jonathan Raymond.


Here are the final games of the year!

December 1- @ Skyview

December 3- Home

December 7- Boroughs 1st round- Location TBD

December 11- Borough Finals @ Seward



Student of the Month- 7th Grade- Beau Miller

He is a rock star in my class. He’s super funny, always participates, ask meaningful questions, keeps his friends on task and has an all-around positive attitude.


I would like to nominate Beau Miller for Student of the Month. Beau is funny, respectful to adults, he’s a hard worker and is friendly to everyone. Beau deserves to be nominated!

Student of the Month- 8th Grade- Kayla Kalafut

Kayla Kalafut has shown an incredible amount of dedication and a really strong work ethic. She often comes in to work during enrichment and makes all her assignments up promptly when she misses class for basketball.

Employee of the Month- Dan Olson (7th Grade History)

Mr. Olson is very willing to reach out and lend assistance. When asked if he could cover another teacher’s class during his prep, he said sure. When someone else was there, he offered his help. With the students, he is able to engage them in the class or in the hall, or after school.


Dan is a great teacher who does an amazing job of connecting with students. He uses humor and engaging lessons to build rapport with the kids. He is the one teacher that 8th grade students always talk about loving during 7th grade.


I appreciate that Mr. Olson brings surprises, laughter, and high expectations to Homer Middle School each day. He recognizes that learning is a serious business, but we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. Everybody deserves a silly nickname and the opportunity to thrive. Mr. Olson continuously works to create a safe, supportive, challenging, and joyful learning environment.

Employee of the Month- Jolene Field (Kitchen Manager)

Jolene welcomes students bright and early with a hot breakfast, and at lunchtime serves a hot lunch to the majority of 7th and 8th Graders -- and she does it fast and smooth. Jolene mentors student servers and interacts with all staff as a full member of the HMS team. Her Kitchen redesign has dramatically improved efficiency and cleanliness and her food presentation is healthy, nutritious, and colorful. Her work makes the MPR a genuine heart of our HMS family.


Jolene jumped in with both feet when she became our HMS Lunch Lady. Our lunches have never looked or tasted better!! Salads every day, lots of fresh fruit and veggies, and variety every day. Her positive attitude and desire to provide healthy options is very appreciated.


Jolene goes above and beyond her job. She puts extra work in every day to make the lunch look and taste more appealing. She always greets students and staff with energy and positivity.

Yearbook Links

Do you have photos you would like to share with us to include in the yearbook? Use this link!

https://images.jostens.com/416305981



Would you like to plan ahead and purchase a yearbook now? Use this link! http://jostensyearbooks.com/?REF=A09894151

MAP Testing- Winter Window

We will be completing our winter MAP testing window December 7-9. Students will take one test each day (Math, Reading, and Language Arts). We use the results from these tests to see how we are doing as a school and make goals on how to improve.


Students are most successful on these tests when they test on the original testing days, so please help us by making every effort for every student to be present at school December 7-9. If a student has to be absent any of these days, they will make up their test when we return to school in January.

New Close Contact Policy

Effective 11/29/21, KPBSD has adopted a new close contact policy. Students and staff now have the option to stay in school if they are a close contact if they are asymptomatic, test on a set schedule, and mask for 14 days. So when a student is identified as a close contact, parents will now have 3 choices.


1. Student stays home for 10 days after exposure. Student returns to school on day 11 and is masked until day 14. No COVID test is required.

2. Student stays home and returns to school on day 8 after exposure. COVID test is required on day 5-7 after exposure. Student must mask after returning to school until day 14.

3. Student remains at school. COVID test is required as soon as student is identified as a close contact and on day 5-7 after exposure. Student must mask for the entire 14 days.


All of these options only apply if a student is asymptomatic. If at any time a student develops any symptoms of COVID-19, they must stay home and follow the Symptom Free Protocol.


HMS has the ability to test students and staff. To have your student tested at school, we must have a signed testing consent form on file in the nurse's office (see important links below if you still need this.) Please contact Nurse Janette to schedule testing.


If your child is identified as a close contact, you will get a call from the office explaining your options. If you have any questions, please contact us!

Big picture

Absent Student Support Continues

Don't forget about the supports we offer while a student is absent from school and when they return!


1. https://tinyurl.com/hmsabsent is our new absent student hub! When a student is absent from school, parents and students should go to this website after 9 am each day to see the day’s assignments for all classes. The website will be updated every day around 9 am. Students will still need to access the actual assignments in their Canvas classes, but this website will provide a list of what to work on in all classes in one spot. We hope it will be helpful for parents to see the list of assignments without having to click into each individual Canvas course. Just a note: students will need to know what classes they have on a Blue day and a White day for this website. It is not individualized per student.



2. An adult from the school will be available via Zoom every day for any students who are at home and needs help! The Zoom links below require a KPBSD email to be able to join, so students will be prompted to login to join the Zoom.

7th Graders- 9:00-9:53 AM Click to Join the 7th Grade Zoom

8th Graders- 10:41-11:34 AM Click to Join the 8th Grade Zoom



3. When students return from an extended absence, they will meet with a staff member during their music class to get a jump start on the work they missed while they were absent. This will just be for a few days, not necessarily until the student is completely caught up.

Important Links

Student is or has been absent from school? Check out our new Absent Student Hub for a quick look at missing work! https://tinyurl.com/hmsabsent


Need to check out a ChromeBook? https://kpbsd.org/schools/homer-middle/parent-portal/device-checkout-form/


Need a COVID-19 Testing Consent Form? https://kpbsd.org/schools/homer-middle/covid-testing-consent/


Do you follow HMS on Facebook yet? If not, you should! https://www.facebook.com/HomerMiddleSchoolAlaska


Has your phone number or email address changed? Please email our secretary at tshafer@kpbsd.k12.ak.us so we can keep our records as up to date as possible and you don't miss out on any communications from the school!