Homer High-Lights

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 1, August 2023

Principal's Corner

Welcome to the 2023-24 school year. It's hard to believe the new school year is almost here. It seems like summer has just begun. I hope you have enjoyed your summer and that your child/children are recharged, ready to learn and ready to challenge themselves. To help prepare for the new school year, here are some dates, deadlines and tasks that parents and students need to take care of before the first day of school on Tuesday, August 15th.

Registration & Paperwork

All families should register their children each year, even if your student is a returning student. This allows us to update important information including correct email and phone numbers so we can reach you. Please remember to fill out the following forms:

· One-to-one Chromebook program permission form

· Hanover Climate Survey Form

You can find the registration link on the KPBSD website at https://kpbsd.org/students-parents/student-registration/

Schedule Pick Up

Students wishing to pick up their schedules can do so following the schedule below.

Freshman Orientation

All 9th graders are required to attend Freshmen Orientation on Thursday, August 10 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

  • Pick Up Class Schedule
  • Find Lockers and Classrooms
  • Presentation & Introduction to HHS
  • Students participate in Simulated School Schedule / Meet teachers
  • Parents attend Informative Presentation

Informational Videos

Look on our website for information videos about items that may be confusing or need clarification for parents and students. We will review items such as eligibility, attendance for sports participation, eligibility check and FOL. Watch our website for future videos. You can find our website at https://kpbsd.org/schools/homer-high/

Calendar of Events

· Aug. 3: Senior schedule pick up day 9:00-3:00

· Aug. 4: Junior schedule pick up day 9:00-3:00

· Aug. 7: Sophomore schedule pick up day 9:00-3:00

· Aug. 10: 6:00 pm Freshman & New Student Orientation

· Aug. 11: Connection Enrollment

· Aug. 15: First day of School

If you have any questions or need any more information call our office at 235-4600 and talk to our secretary Kristin Metz. You can also schedule a meeting with the principal with any questions, concerns or suggestions.

Looking forward to a great year!

Positively yours,

Douglas Waclawski




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Homer High School Is Using Remind

Last year, parents actively voiced their opinions in our survey. Some expressed dissatisfaction with classroom communication. To address this concern and enhance our communication for the upcoming year, our school has decided to implement Remind – an app that enables HHS to primarily communicate through text, while also utilizing email or video when necessary.

Remind will facilitate safe and efficient communication between teachers, coaches, students, and parents. Coaches can use it to share travel itineraries and practice schedules with parents, while teachers can remind students about important upcoming tests on Saturdays or notify parents if their child is falling behind. Additionally, during late starts, the school can conveniently text everyone about the modified schedule.

The greatest advantage of Remind lies in its security measures. Users' personal information, including phone numbers, remains invisible to others, and conversations are filtered and recorded for transparency and monitoring. This way, we can ensure the safety of our students and protect the privacy of everyone involved.

Our aim this year is to improve communication and foster greater participation with families, and introducing Remind is a step in that direction. If you receive texts or emails from our school about Remind, we kindly request that you opt in. Your cooperation in this matter is highly appreciated as we strive to enhance our communication efforts with parents.

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Items To Remember

  • Aug. 3: Senior schedule pick up day 9:00-3:00
  • Aug. 4: Football Jamboree 4:00
  • Aug. 4: Junior schedule pick up day 9:00-3:00
  • Aug. 7: Sophomore schedule pick up day 9:00-3:00
  • Aug. 10: 6:00 pm Freshmen & New Student Orientation
  • Aug. 12: Football vs Barrow 2:00
  • Aug. 15: First day of School 9:00-2:50
  • Aug 19: Volleyball vs Kenai
  • Aug.19: JV Football vs Redington
  • Aug. 24: Volleyball vs Sitka
  • Aug. 25: Volleyball vs Seward
  • Sept.1: Volleyball vs Soldotna
  • Sept. 1: Homer Invite XCR @ Ohlson Mountain Trails
  • Sept. 4: No school - Labor Day Holiday
  • Sept. 8: Early release day @2:20
  • Sept. 8 Homer Swim Invite
  • Sept. 8: Homecoming Football vs Palmer
  • Sept. 8: Homecoming bonfire
  • Sept.9: Homecoming Dance 8:00pm
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Successful Alumni

The Ballentine family and HHS alumni visited us this past June. The HHS community is proud of their accomplishments and were glad they came to visit.

  • Kirstin Ballentine Fellars, M. Ed -University of Virginia
  • Jaron Ballentine - MBA-University of Virginia
  • Genevieve Ballentine Randall - B.A. -Brigham Young University
  • Jacob Ballentine - M. Ed (School Counseling)- The George Washington University
  • Kameron Ballentine - Masters of Civil Engineering- Utah State University
  • (Not shown) Dantzel Ballentine Adams- M.Ed (School Counseling) -The George Washington University

We wish them continued success.

Flexible Opportunities to Learn--Rebranding FOL

We are changing some things about FOL this year. The first is we are changing the acronym to match how this works. We are now calling it Flexible Opportunities to Learn.

The purpose of FOL (Flexible Opportunities to Learn) is to provide students with a range of flexible learning options that cater to their individual needs. FOL aims to support struggling students by offering tutoring, interventions, and additional assistance. It also serves as a platform for all students to complete homework at school, engage in enrichment activities, and explore and challenge themselves academically. Furthermore, FOL assists student athletes in managing their academic responsibilities by allowing them to complete homework at school, make up missed assignments, tests, and exams, and reduce the amount of time missed from school due to athletic commitments.

Moreover, FOL serves as a designated time for school-wide activities such as presentations, pep rallies, and various events. Other activities that may disrupt regular classroom instruction are scheduled during FOL, including clubs, Battle of the Books, Student Council meetings, class meetings, and more. Throughout the year, students are encouraged to take advantage of extended learning opportunities provided during FOL, such as First Aid Training, Marine Trades exploration, career exploration, presentations by community members on interesting topics, candidate forums, and more. Additionally, students are given the freedom to design their own learning experiences during FOL by coordinating with their counselor to schedule activities such as outside music lessons, job training, or other relevant pursuits.

Site Council

We are looking for parents who would like to participate on the Site Council this year. We have 4 parent positions open. If you are interested, please call 907-235-4600 and let Kristin Metz know you are interested. The last day to get your name on the ballot is August 15 or the first day of school.

Site Council meetings are scheduled on the first Tuesday of the month at 4:10 pm in the library. The purpose of the Site Council is to advise the principal on policy, rules and culture of the school. This is also a great way for you to express your views on what is going on and what you would like to see change.

If we have the same or fewer candidates than we have open positions, there is no need for a vote. If we have more candidates than open positions, an online google form will be sent home to parents for a vote.

It looks like we are going to have a lot to work on this year. We need need parents input and this is a great way to be helpful the HHS.

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Girls Track Earn Sportmanship Award at State

Congratulations to the girls track team for earning the Sportsmanship Award at the state competition. A committee consisting of coaches, track officials and ASAA employees observe the meet and choose the team that best exhibits sportsmanship during the two days of competition. HHS is proud of you and that you are exhibiting the Mariner Way. We want to win, but we also want to be good citizens and people while we are doing it.
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High Honors for HHS Track Athletes and Coaches

Both boys and girls teams excelled at the Region track meet and over 20 athletes qualified to participate at state. This year Homer High School swept the top awards. Seamus McDonough and Erin Field earned the top athlete award for Region III. Bob Ostrom earned Coach of the Year honors. All three of these individual worked hard for these awards and received the majority of votes from other Region III coaches. Congratulations on a job well done.

Welcome Katie Bynagle

I am pleased to announce Katie Bynagle as the new Assistant Principal of Homer High School starting in August. Interviews were held in May and Katie brought some good ideas to the table about improving parental involvement at HHS, as well as involving students in revising the student handbook, among other things. Please join me in providing a warm welcome to Katie to the Mariner family. We are excited to see all that she will bring to the Homer High community.

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Soccer Showed They Belonged at State

Both the boys and girls soccer team qualified for state this year. The girls earned 4th place by winning 2 of 3 games while the boys lost both their games. Both teams have most of their plays back this year and look to make some noise at the state tournament next year.

The Homer Girls also earned the sportsmanship award and Isabell Dye was named to the all tournament team. We are proud that girls soccer is living the Mariner Way and congratulations on a job well done.

Fall Sports

Most sports have already started, but it is not too late to join a team. Please check the information below and choose to participate.

*Sports Camps

  • Football Camp: July 17-30 4pm-8pm
  • Cheer Camp: July 24-27 8am-8pm
  • Volleyball Camp: July 31-Aug 3 8am-3pm

*Practice Start Dates

  • Football, Cheer, Cross-country Running: July 26
  • Volleyball, Swim: Aug 2
  • Wrestling: Sept 27

*Coach Contact Information

*Head Football Coach

*Head Swim Coach

  • TBD

*Head Volleyball Coach

*Head Cross Country Running Coach

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Boys & Girls Track Earns State Runner Up Titles

Both the Girls and Boys Track Earned State Runner Up awards at the State Track Meet. The boys team finally 2nd place in last last event of the day. They ended up tieing with Sitka when Haynes out lean Sitka in the 4 x 400 relay. Every athlete contributed to their teams success, and Homer had 3 individual champions.

1st Place - Seamus McDonough - 3200 M
1st Place - Gracie Miotke - 300 M Hurdles
1st Place - Brightly Thoning - High Jump
1st Place - Boy 4 x 400 M Relay - Lukyan Dax, Jonah Mershon, Lance Seneff & Seamus McDonough
1st Place - Girls 4 X 400 M Relay - Erin Field, Beatrix McDonough, Brightly Thoning & Gracie Miotke

2nd Place - Erin Field - 400 M

2nd Place - Seamus McDonough - 800 M

2nd Place - Seamus McDonough - 1600 M

3rd Place - Erin Field - 800 M

3rd Place - Lance Seneff - 800 M

3rd Place - Lukyan Dax - 100 M

3rd Place - Lukyan Dax - 200 M

3rd Place - Lukyan Dax - 400 M

3rd Place - 4 X 200 M Relay - Jasmine Lurus, Brightly Thoning, Immi Im & Alana Prescott

3rd Place - 4 X 800 M Relay - Tait Ostrom, Jai Badajos, Ethan Styvar & Damon Weisser

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How To Excuse Your Child When They Miss School

Attendance Video

Click this link to watch a video that describes attendance and how to inform the HHS when you child will miss school.

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HHS Student Wins State Trigonometry Contest

Emily Owen won the 2023 Trigstar statewide competition. Emily edged out everyone in the state of Alaska who took this test. In order to win, you have to get the most answer right in the short amount of time. This is a very difficult test where every second counts.

Emily won $500 and a opportunity to to compete at nationals.

Congratulation on a job well done.

Counselor Corner

HHS School Counselors

Sue Rennolds – Class of 2026 srennolds@kpbsd.k12.ak.us ~ (907) 235-4691

Paul Story – Classes of ’24, ’25, ’27 pstory@kpbsd.k12.ak.us ~ (907) 235-4685

Applying to 4-year college? Plan your (optional?) testing now.

Many universities are “test-optional”, meaning you don’t have to submit scores as part of the admission process. However, some schools and some scholarship programs, including the AK Performance Scholarship, require an SAT or ACT score. If you’re planning to apply to a 4-year college in your senior year, you should plan to take the SAT and/or the ACT at least once by the end of 11th grade. You might have the option of whether or not to report your scores, but at least you’ll have them if you need them.

The school year gets busy quickly, especially for student-athletes. So consider marking your calendar now for a test date or two.

Juniors/seniors who qualify for free or reduced lunch may test for free, among other benefits. So even if you don’t eat school lunch, it’s usually worthwhile to spend the few minutes to apply at http://mealapp.kpbsd.org .

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Are you interested in taking the ACT, SAT or PSAT. Please look at the calendar below to register and take the test.

SAT – register at www.sat.org/register

ACT – register at www.act.org

PSAT (for 10th/11th graders planning to apply to 4-year college). Great, cheap practice and Junior entry into the National Merit competition.) – registration for October testing through HHS to be announced soon.

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