All the Buzz
News and Info from HCS -- January 6, 2023
From Your Superintendent
A new year often brings new resolutions or goals to around diet, exercise, hobbies, and other quality of life issues. Schools tend to celebrate new years in August, but work on goals throughout the year.
One of our district goals is:
to make HCS a place where staff, students, and families truly want to be, and build a sense of belonging and engagement with a turnout averaging 60% or higher at school events and less than 20% of students with chronic absenteeism by 2027.
Just like with a new year's resolution about changing my diet, the devil is always in the details and my day-to-day choices. In better news, we are celebrating a definite, positive uptick in steady attendance as compared to the last few years. On behalf of everyone in the district, thank you and keep up the good work!
If you have ideas on how we might build a more robust sense of belonging and engagement, I would love to hear from you. The more ideas we have, the better our results will be.
As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns.
Make Your Voice Heard: Dress Code Standards
In our student handbooks, each school has a dress code. There may not be a section of the handbooks that gets discussed more at home or school on a daily or weekly basis than the dress code.
Your opinion on where we are, and where we might go, is very important. This survey is going out to parents, students, staff, and other community members. Everyone will have their own unique thoughts about the issue.
As we process responses and work to come up with recommendations, our goal is to create a consensus that reflects our community, is capable of being implemented with fidelity, and the “why” behind it is easily understandable.
It is estimated that it should take approximately 5 minutes to complete it, and the survey will stay open through Friday, January 13. Thank you in advance for making your voice heard.
Cyberbullying Outside of School
We spend a lot of time with our students working on behavior expectations, both in person and online. Much of it is proactive, but unfortunately, sometimes it is reactive.
As is posted on our website, we have an Anti-Bullying Policy that includes cyberbullying. The Policy applies to conduct in a classroom or elsewhere on school premises, on a school bus or other school vehicle, at school-sponsored activity or event regardless of where it is held. It also includes other places if a district device is used.
Too often, we hear about claims of cyberbullying that happens outside of school, on a non-school device. That does not make the incident any less concerning or important, but it does impact how a school is legally allowed to respond and potentially assign discipline consequences. This is because students have more free speech rights off campus than they do on campus. This is certainly frustrating for students and their parents/caregivers.
The one case about off campus student speech that has made it to the U.S. Supreme Court unfortunately did not give us much guidance on what we are allowed to do in specific situations. A few reasons for this, according to the Court, are: 1) when students "speak" in school, we stand in your place, as the adults in charge during the day; outside of school, the Court believes that consequences generally should come from parents; and 2) if schools are allowed to punish speech outside of school, it could give us 24/7 control over their rights, and the Court is not fond of that idea.
The two areas in which we may have some disciplinary leeway (although yet untested) are: 1) serious or severe bullying or harassment targeting particular individuals; or 2) threats aimed at teachers or other students (If a student makes a threat aimed at a teacher or another student, we have a process in place - our behavior risk assessment; however, that does not involve discipline). Regardless, state criminal laws could apply as well, but that would be a decision for the police/prosecutor.
There is no specific definition for "serious or severe bullying or harassment." Generally in the law, though, "serious" typically means significant, weighty, or momentous, and "severe" means intense, with disastrous consequences. If we are made aware of a situation that fits one of these definitions, our plan is to check with the district's law firm for advice on how to proceed.
Again, any situation in which you feel your child's physical or mental health is at risk is important to us. We know that when the brain is in fright or flight mode, learning cannot occur. More importantly, school needs to feel like, and actually be, a safe place. Unfortunately, in some instances, our hands are tied when it comes to assigning disciplinary consequences.
High School Happenings
- January 6: Girls vs. Meridian (JV 6:00 pm; Varsity 7:30 pm)
- January 10: Boys at Gladwin (JV 4:30 pm, Varsity 6:00 pm)
- January 11: Girls vs Gladwin (JV 6:00 pm, Varsity 7:30 pm)
- January 12: Boys at Clare (JV 4:30 pm, Varsity 6:00 pm)
- January 13: Girls vs Clare (JV 6:00 pm, Varsity 7:30 pm)
- January 7: Mid-Winter Singles at Beaverton Bowl (9:00 am)
- January 14: Bowling at Snowbird Lanes (9:00 am)
Board of Education Meeting
The Pledge of Allegiance will be led by students from our middle school, Principal Jennifer Thrush and others will present the RoboHornets as the instructional/school highlight.
Our annual organizational meeting will begin at 5:30 pm, followed immediately by the regular monthly meeting.
Mon, Jan 9, 2023, 05:30 PM
Hillside Elementary School, North 4th Street, Harrison, MI, USA
Middle School Magic
Music to Our Ears
Before the recent holidays, our middle school bands presented a concert in the high school auditorium to showcase their learning.
Service to Others
The Peer-to-Peer group spent time in service to others, creating cards for our older community members.
From Readers to Leaders
Upcoming Calendar Events
January 13: end of first semester -- half day for students (teachers are record-marking in the afternoon)
February 10: no school for students -- full day of professional learning for teachers
March 27-31: spring break -- no school for students or staff
April 7: no school for students or staff
School Contact Information
- Larson Elementary, 989.539.3259 (Principal Andrea Andera, firstname.lastname@example.org, Assistant Principal Sandy Hargraves, email@example.com)
- Middle School, 989.539.7194 (Principal Jennifer Thrush, firstname.lastname@example.org, Dean of Students Stacey Van Antwerp, email@example.com)
- High School/Hive, 989.539.7417 (Principal Joe Ashcroft, firstname.lastname@example.org, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Brad Carlstrom, email@example.com)
COVID-19 protocols for positive cases, staff or student:
- With a positive case, the person must isolate for 5 days and not attend or be in school. In counting those days, the first date of symptoms (or the test, if no symptoms) is day 0.
- The COVID-positive person may return to school on Day 6, assuming symptoms are subsiding. We recommend, but do not require, masking for days 6-10 in school.
We are also attaching a handy resource from public health officials that provides guidance on when to keep a child home from school in a variety of illness-related situations.