August 2022 Newsletter

FOR Students

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Boletín de Agosto

Para leer el Boletín de Agosto en español, haga clic aquí!

Welcome to Your Ninth Grade Year!

Students and Families of the Class of 2026, Welcome to Habersham Ninth Grade Academy! We believe that a student's 9th-grade year is their most important year of high school. A successful 9th-grade year will put a student on the right path to high school graduation.

In addition to being the most important year of high school, it is our hope that your first year of high school will be your best year ever! The ninth grade will be academically challenging, rewarding, and fun! In order to have a successful year, all students should get involved in extracurricular activities, work hard academically, and use the resources and supports HNGA provides. Please let the administration know if we can help in any way!

FOR Students

Most of us can easily associate major companies with their brand. We all associate Nike with "Just do it," McDonalds with "I'm loving it," and Chick-Fil-A with "Eat More Chicken". At HNGA we are FOR Students.

Our admin team recently read “Know What You’re For” by Jeff Henderson. In it, Henderson talks about growth and finding ways for your organization to accomplish its mission. Henderson encourages everyone to ask two underlining questions of themselves and their organization. First, he asks, “What do you want to be known for?”

When we asked this simple, but challenging question of ourselves and of our staff, our answers ranged from promoting 100% of our students to molding our students into men & women who will become productive citizens. Even though we received many answers for what we want to be known for, almost all the answers had a common component - students. At the end of the day, HNGA wants to be known FOR STUDENTS. Yes, promotion, graduation, and character development play a role in that. But ultimately, being for students means something different to each student on any given day. Caring for students’ mental health, basic life needs, and emotional well being are all part of being FOR STUDENTS. It also means providing academic support or redirections when a student does not live up to our expectations for them. We go to great lengths to hold our students to high expectations and to meet all of their needs, whatever that entails.

The first question, what do we want to be known for, speaks to our mission. The second question is how others perceive us. It is, “What ARE you known for?” It’s asked of your peers, your families, and of the community members that you know. If you say you’re for students but your actions don’t show that and no one knows that’s what you’re for, you’re not accomplishing the mission nor are you growing. Growth only happens when what you want to be known for aligns with others know of you.

As we welcome the Class of 2026, we want our words and actions to make it so that HNGA is known around our communities and around our state that Habersham Ninth Grade Academy and our school system is a model template for reaching one of the most crucial grades of students and that no matter what, HNGA is FOR STUDENTS.

Welcome to HNGA Class of 2026!

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School Safety

The safety of our staff and students is our main priority each day. Supervision, monitoring, and building relationships with our students are paramount to ensuring our safety and well-being each and every day.

Our full-time School Resource Officer, Sgt. Paul Kent, our Raptor visitor check-in system, and the security cameras throughout the campus are just a few of the vital components of school safety.

We ask that when parents need to visit the building, please come to the front office. If you are checking out your student, please be prepared to show your ID as we work towards ensuring student safety as much as possible.

One of the most worrisome tasks each day is parent pick-up. When in line, please pull as forward as possible and watch for students crossing the road. We are speaking with our students daily to wait for permission before stepping off the curb, crossing traffic at the crosswalk, and walking as far down as possible.

Thank you for your partnership in keeping our students safe!

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First Day Battle of the Houses!

In an effort to create a school where students are actively engaged, want to be at school each day, and the type of school that meets the needs of all of our students while building self-confidence and a sense of belonging, HNGA instituted a school-wide House System. A House is much like a team, and the members of each House become very close-knit.

Every student is randomly assigned to one of seven Houses. Each House has its own name and meaning. Tiyaga which means perseverance in Filipino; Respectus is Latin, and it means respect; Bonté, which means kindness in French; Uaminifu which means loyalty in Swahili; Zeren which means responsibility in Chinese; Mahalo which means generosity in Hawaiian, and Onore which is Italian for honor.

Students were given a House t-shirt on the first day of school. Houses met on the first day of school to learn about the House System. This was followed by a school-wide assembly where students sat with their House at the stadium for an assembly and competed in a variety of fun competitions at the end of the first day in the gym.

Throughout the school year, students will earn points for their House by passing all of their classes, wearing their spirit wear, making the honor roll, having good attendance, performing random acts of kindness, participating in community service, and much more. In addition, a quarterly “Battle of the Houses” is held to keep the momentum going throughout the year. This includes a variety of competitions (sporting events, trivia, relay games, eating contests, etc.).

Finally, a full day of celebration is held for the House with the most points at the end of the school year. This may include a special breakfast and lunch, field trip, on-site laser tag, inflatables, ice cream break, and of course, plenty of candy and soft drinks.

The House System has gotten better every year. Student and teacher buy-in has increased; we have experienced an improvement in attendance and student engagement, which in turn has increased student achievement as measured by End of Course assessments, course performance, and credits earned. In addition, the implementation of the House System has brought a sense of excitement among students and staff and a drastic improvement in our school culture.

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In order to graduate with the Class of 2026, students will need to earn a minimum of 24 credits. Each student will begin the fall semester with a schedule that includes four, 90-minute classes. A typical student schedule will include two academics and two electives each semester.

In order to finish 9th grade on track and be promoted to Habersham Central as a sophomore, students must earn a minimum of 5 credits, though students will have the ability to earn up to 8 credits as a freshman. It is our goal that 100% of freshmen finish the year with credits earned in each core content area; science, math, English, history, and Health and Personal Fitness.

Attached below, you will find a copy of the HNGA Parent Handbook. This will give you important information including course offerings, graduation plan, college scholarships, etc.

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Dress Code - HNGA

Each student is expected to observe a code of personal conduct, dress, and appearance that in no way interferes with or disrupts the educational opportunities of others. Policies and regulations are made and enforced to assure the efficient operation of the school and to protect the learning environment of all students. We encourage students to use good judgment and to avoid extremes in dress and personal appearance. Each student has the responsibility to dress appropriately for the school environment.

These minimum standards of dress shall apply to all students. Examples of dress that may be inappropriate for school include, but are not limited, to the following:

1. Shoes must be worn at all times. Heelys, skate shoes, bedroom shoes, or bedroom slippers are not allowed at any time.

2. Halter tops, strapless tops, midriff tops, tank tops, and spaghetti straps are not permitted. Shirts must be long enough to extend beyond the top of the pants, shorts, or skirt. No cleavage should be exposed. Sleeveless shirts/dresses are permitted providing the clothing meets the end of the shoulder and does not expose undergarments or have arm openings large enough to expose the sides, back or chest of the student. Shirts with cutoff sleeves are not permitted. Exposing undergarments is prohibited. Pajamas or other bedroom apparel are not permitted to be worn as outer garments.

3. No see-through/mesh garments are allowed without proper undergarments that meet dress code requirements.

4. No clothing shall be worn that displays messages which are profane, vulgar, indecent, sexually suggestive or racially or ethnically insensitive. Advertisements or messages that promote alcohol, tobacco or drug use are prohibited. Clothing, symbols or messages that advocate criminal or gang activity are prohibited. Messages that promote hate, death, suicide or violence are prohibited.

5. All pants, shorts, dresses, and skirts must be worn at normal waist level and be no more than 3 inches above the knee when the student is standing upright. Any exposed undergarments are inappropriate. Pants and shorts should not contain holes or rips that are more than 3 inches above the knee. Holes may be patched or leggings may be worn to cover the holes.

6. Leggings, "jeggings", tights or yoga pants are permitted ONLY if the outer garment (shirt, skirt, dress, etc.) appropriately covers the student’s front and back.

7. Hats or head coverings (except religious head coverings) are not allowed to be worn while inside of the school building.

8. Spikes, chains, or other items which might be considered weapons are not permitted.

9. Trench coats, floor length coats, etc. are not permitted at anytime.

Any student who does not comply with these guidelines will be referred to the school administration for appropriate disciplinary consequences. Final approval of any questionable dress is left to the discretion of the school administration. In the event that the administration determines that a student’s dress is disruptive to the learning environment, is unsafe, or is determined to be immodest, the student will be required to change and disciplinary action may be taken.

Congratulations, Nurse Anderson!

Picture was taken from Aug. 10 edition of the Northeast Georgian.

Electronic Devices/Cell Phones

Students are to have their electronic communication devices and other electronic media turned off and put away upon entering the school, throughout the school day, and until they leave the school each day. A student using a cell phone outside of instructional purposes (including, but not limited to use in commons’ areas, cafeteria, restrooms, locker rooms, and hallways) will result in the following consequences:

First Offense: Cell phone will be confiscated and returned to the student at the end of the school day.

Second Offense: Cell phone will be confiscated and returned to a parent at the end of the school day.

Third or additional Offenses: Cell phone will be confiscated and returned to a parent at the end of the school day. The student will also serve one day in In School Suspension (ISS).

Students who repeatedly violate the cell phone policy may be required to leave their cell phone in the office at the beginning of each school day.

Students are not permitted to video, take pictures of, or audio record other students violating any section of the Code of Conduct.

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Thank you, Lily and Sarah!

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Last week, Lily and Sarah shared their musical talents as we hosted the Superintendent, Central Support Team, and Habersham County Principals' meeting. We are fortunate to have such talented students willing to share their gifts and talents!
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Thank you, Hills Crossing Baptist!

Hills Crossing Baptist Church in Clarkesville donated "Caffeine and Chocolate" to our faculty and staff! Thank you for your partnership with us this year!

Get Involved

As discussed with the House System, freshmen are more likely to graduate when they belong to an extracurricular activity. As Raiders, freshmen can participate in any of the 13 sports offered at Habersham Central High School.

Fall Sports

  • Cheerleading
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Softball
  • Volleyball

Winter Sports

  • Basketball
  • Swimming
  • Wrestling

Spring Sports

  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Track

    Additionally, freshmen can join any of the clubs or other extracurricular programs as follows:

    • Academic Bowl
    • Beta Club
    • DECA
    • Drama Club
    • Environmental Club
    • Fellowship of Christian Athletes
    • Future Business Leaders of America
    • Future Farmers of America
    • Hispanic Organization Promoting Education
    • Interact Club
    • Key Club
    • Marching Band
    • Student Council

    Nutrition Information

    All students at HNGA will receive a free breakfast. A student lunch will be $2.50 and $0.40 for reduced lunch.

    Family Applications for free and reduced meals should be completed online at Select the box that says APPLY FOR MEALS TODAY, available in several languages. Please provide an email address for the results.

    Online meal payments can be made by creating a free account at (mypaymentsplus is no longer available).

    f you need assistance, please contact the Nutrition Department at 706-754-2110.

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    About Us

    Habersham Ninth Grade Academy will provide a positive, safe learning community, equipping and empowering students with skills necessary for graduation and post-secondary pursuits.