Homer Highlights

Week of January 10, 2022

Dear Families,

Welcome back! We were so busy getting back to school last week, that we didn't send out a Homer Highlights. We are now settled into the routine of school and ready for a great second semester! All grades were finalized last week, so middle school and high school families can expect to see report cards mailed home this week. This is a great time to celebrate accomplishments and have honest conversations about areas for growth.

We are also now experiencing the cold of Michigan winters. Please be sure to send your student to school dressed appropriately for the weather. Students in elementary and middle school still go out for recess daily. If the temperature is 10 degrees or less (or if the wind chill is 10 degrees or less), then all students are kept inside for recess. If your student does not have access to a winter coat or hat/gloves/scarf, please let the office or your child's teacher know. Through the generosity of some private donations, we are able to help all students in need! Be sure to label your child's items so that if they show up in lost and found, they can get returned to their owner!

Finally, mark your calendars for a few dates coming up where there is a change from the normal schedule. On Monday, January 17, there will be no school for students. All teachers will be participating in professional learning on this date. Also, Friday, February 18 and Monday, February 21 will be Mid-Winter break days, with no school for students on either day.

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Trojan Learning Labs Starting Again!

If you are looking for a way to get some extra help for your middle school or high school student, sign them up for the Trojan Learning Labs. This after school tutoring program is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 3 pm to 4 pm. A teacher and high school National Honor Society students are available to offer academic support as needed. Students must be signed up in advance, and there are limited slots available each time. Please contact the HS/MS office to sign up today!

In the New Year, Relish the Moment

Upon returning to school from the holiday break, the hype of the new year has begun. I have heard people talking about “next year will be better”, “when the Kids are grown”, “when we can afford it”, and on and on ad infinitum.

Have you ever found yourself doing this? It seems like we are always looking forward to something. This is not to say that goals are bad or that you should not plan for the future. But how many times does the present just slip away from us because we see it as incidental to what we would like to happen in the future? Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “We are always getting ready to live, but never living.” We must remember that life is not the destination that we reach, but the journey itself. Take the time to savor the small moments, find some contentment in the here and now and simply enjoy being.

The future arrives soon enough and you find that your kids are grown (I certainly have!), you can afford things, and the next several years have come and gone. If you look back, did each moment matter to you and did you pause to relish the good and lament the unfortunate? Each moment taken individually may not seem like much, but they are the sum of our lives and should be given the deference they deserve.

During this winter season, try to take time out of your hectic schedules to just sit and chat with your family, do activities together and see who can be the most creative, close your eyes and let music take you somewhere else, read a story with your family or just sit and take a deep breath. Enjoy the moments you are given. They may not seem to be anything special, but they are a gift that has been created especially for you! Happy 2022!

New Guidance for Quarantines and Isolations

Late in December, the CDC and MDHHS issued some new guidance related to quarantines and isolations. At that time, there were no changes related to a K-12 school setting. As of today, Monday, January 10, 2022, the Calhoun County Public Health Department, is issuing updates that impact both positive cases and close contacts within a school setting. Overall, it is a reduction in length of both isolation and quarantine, with stipulations related to testing, symptoms, and masking. Please read through the guidance documents below to help understand the rules and regulations that we must follow.

Rapid Testing Available At School

We continue to offer FREE rapid testing for students before school and after school. We have changed our testing location so that all testing will take place out of the Central Office (Superintendent's Office), both before and after school. Please be sure to sign up in advance using the link below, so that someone can come look for you in your car at your scheduled testing time.
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Girls on the Run

Don't miss out on the opportunity for your elementary or middle school girl to participate in the Girls on the Run programming offered through Girls on the Run of Calhoun County. All students must register at the county website to participate in our local activities. To learn more about both programs, check out the website at https://www.gotrofcalhoun.org/

Girls on the Run - Grades 3-4

Girls on the Run begins for 3rd and 4th grade girls soon. Sign your girl up now if she's interested. If the cost is too high for your family, please contact Mrs. Cahill! Register at: http://t.ly/WuVd

Heart & Sole: Grades 5-8

Heart & Sole is Girls on the Run's middle school program that meets the unique needs of girls in 5th-8th grade. The program considers the whole girl – body, brain, heart, spirit and social connection. Girls need an inclusive place where they feel supported and inspired to explore their emotions, cultivate empathy and strengthen their physical and emotional health. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Huntley. Register at: https://tinyurl.com/yckzds3w

Attorney General Releases Important Notice to Students and Families

The following is a statement from the Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, released on Tuesday, January 4, 2022

AG Nessel Issues Video Outlining Potential Punishments

for Making School Threats

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a new video today that highlights the seriousness of making threats against schools. The Michigan Department of Education will be sharing the video with districts for additional awareness and distribution.

“In recent weeks, threats of violence have been reported at schools across Michigan,” Nessel says in the video. “Local law enforcement agencies have reported threats on social media that number in the hundreds within their own communities. As a result, kids in our state have missed valuable days of instruction as school administrators are forced to close buildings to keep kids safe. Whether these are real threats made by those intent on doing harm or pranks made by kids trying to get a day off, they are real crimes with real consequences.”

In the video, Nessel explains the potential charges one could face if they make a threat of violence, which include:

  • communicating a threat of terrorism, 20-year felony;
  • calling in a bomb threat, a four-year felony;
  • malicious us of a telecommunications device, a six-month misdemeanor; and
  • threatening violence against school employee or student, a one-year misdemeanor.

“Threatening the lives of students and staff, whether with intent to harm or simply to disrupt, is an outrage, particularly in the wake of the tragedy in Oxford,” State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice said. “Our students and staff should feel safe in our schools, and anyone that threatens that safety should be subject to swift and significant consequences.”

The video can be viewed on the Department of Attorney General’s YouTube page.

If you receive a threat or know of a threat of violence against your community, please contact your local law enforcement.

You can also leave a tip with the state’s OK2SAY hotline by calling 8-555-OK2SAY (855-565-2729) or texting 652729 (OK2SAY). The hotline operates 24/7 and protects the confidentiality of the reporter’s identity.

OK2SAY, which is housed within the Michigan State Police, provides for confidential reports of potential self-harm, harm to others, or criminal acts including, but not limited to, sexual abuse, assault, or rape, directed at students, school employees, or schools in this state.

Student Congrats!

Congratulation to the January 7th LFE Good Listener Trojans of the Week!
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Birthdays this week!

Happy birthday to these students and staff members from the beginning of January through this week!

1 - Cameron Ballinger

2 - Caden Hoyt

3 - Aiden Moore

3 - Ruck Tackett

4 - Evani Mendoza-Dilworth

5 - Kasyn Herrick

5 - Easton Meeks

5 - Scott Daniel Owens Jr.

5 - Hailey Rocco

5 - Camdyn Tucker

5 - Mrs. Christy Penza

6 - Ryland Fisher

7 - Devin Robinson

7 - Charlotte Wilson

9 - Wayne Moan

9 - Abrianna Pauley

10 - Ridge Butler

10 - Colton Day

10 - Izzabella Hazel

10 - Meadow Landis

10 - Rachel Ramirez

11 - Kaylie Campbell

12 - Zachary Dutton

13 - Dakota Fisher

13 - Harley Robinson Jr.

14 - Riley Bender

15 - Sonora Barrington

15 - Mr. Clem Camp

16 - Allie Clay

16 - Manon SLachaud

16 - Ashton Parker

January Meeting of the Homer Board of Education

Monday, Jan. 17th, 6pm

403 South Hillsdale Street

Homer, MI

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