Homer High-Lights

Volume 5, Issue 6, March 2017

Message from the Principal

This year we have a new standardized state testing program called PEAKS. This will take place the last week of March and the first week of April. This year's test will be online and will test grades 9 & 10. Schedules will be give to students as we get closer to the date.

I love tests because Homer students always excel at tests. I get to brag to everyone about how well HHS does on these tests, but we know there is more to education than tests. That is why we keep track of more that just one indicator to measure our success. At HHS we track several areas to measure our success. You can see the results of this data below.

We are always looking to improve HHS and I would love to hear your suggestions or insights. You can email me at dwaclawski@kpbsd.org or call me at 235-4600. If this doesn't work for you, feel free to come into school and we can chat in person. We work hard to develop a positive and safe school environment, but we can't do it alone. If you know of a problem, please let us know.


Douglas Waclawski


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Dates To Remember

March 1- First Day of Practice for Spring Sports

March 4 - Colors of Homer 7:00 at Homer Public Library

March 7 - Site Council Meeting in Library at 3:45

March 7 - Music in the Schools Concert 6:00

March 11- SAT Test 8:00 AM

March 10-19 Spring Break

March 22 - Grade Check

KPBSD Wants Your Feedback on Early Release Days!

Dear KPBSD parents and guardians,

KPBSD Parent Survey: Do student early release days make a difference?

Please take a brief online survey, open February 22 – March 11, 2017, to share your perceptions and thoughts about the six early release days for students.

“Each school day, more than 1,200 KPBSD employees do all that they can to provide a quality education to our district’s students. A part of this work is our continuous improvement process that requires us to regularly evaluate our practices so that we can in turn, make the necessary changes to help our students find success. An intricate piece of our improvements is our professional development for our certified staff. With the need to do more for our staff in this area, for the past four school years we designated six school days as minimum days—with a 90 minute early release for students, while staff works a maximum day in order to deliberately devote time to collaborate and collectively address the learning needs of our students. Now that you are familiar with these shortened student school days, we want to receive your feedback on them. Please complete these questions, and provide your optional comments. Thank you very much for your time.” – Sean Dusek, Superintendent


Reapplying for Meal Benefits

Due to the reduced 2016 PFD, KPBSD Student Nutrition Services would like to encourage families that may have applied and were denied for free lunches or qualified for reduced lunches but think they may qualify for free lunches to reapply after January 1, 2017.

If you have not applied for free or reduced meal benefits for this school year and would like to know if you qualify, please fill out the application and submit.

Meal benefits applications may be applied for online at kpbsd.k12.ak.us The application is located on the Students/Parents page then scroll down to online meal application or you may pick up an application at any of the KPBSD schools or the Student Nutrition office at 139 E. Park Ave. Soldotna.

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Proposed HHS School Bell Schedule for 2017-18

There will be major changes to our bell schedule for next year at HHS. Please look at the schedule above and let us know what you think.

Due to starting a half hour later because of busing schedule changes, all the bell schedule times will change (see schedule above). The other improvement would be to change our 6 period days to Monday and Friday and having our block days on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week.

This would make things easier for students who want to take college classes and take advantage of the JumpStart college classes program. It would also align our schedule with other high schools in the district which would increase the number of blended and distance learning opportunities available to our students. With budget cuts we are uncertain which classes we can offer and this would give our students options for getting all the classes they want and need.

Please let us know if there is an issue with these changes we may not have thought of. Thanks for your support with these adjustments.

Proposed School Start Time for 2017-18

The proposed school start time for 2017-18 school year is posted below.
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PowerSchool App

Do you want to be able to track your child's progress at HHS via a PowerSchool App? I think we would all love that and now it is possible. There is a PowerSchool App. Just download the App to your phone and enter this code: FRGJ. Now you can get all the cool information from PowerSchool right on your phone.

2018 Class Registration is Here!

2017-18 course requests

After spring break, we will begin collecting students’ requests for their schedule next school year. These requests vary from student to student based on remaining graduation requirements, post-secondary plans, extra-curricular commitments, etc.

What should not vary is the seriousness with which students and families make their requests. We build our master schedule based on what students tell us they want. Once the schedule is built, even seemingly minor changes have a domino effect across the rest of our classes.

We will alert you when students have made their requests so that you can review what they’ve asked for and you can suggest any changes before we finalize the schedule. Thank you so much for your assistance with this matter. It will help us continue to offer a breadth of classes that strive to meet the needs of each HHS student.

Please review the form below and discuss this with your child. Students will be filling out this registration form for next year's classes soon.

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Course Descriptions for Registration

The KPBSD course catalog has been added to the KPBSD website under the Students/Parents tab. The course catalog will allow users to view all courses available in KPBSD under the *District Wide* selection or show courses being taught at a specific site in the current school year by choosing a school from the drop down menu. In addition to being available on the KPBSD website, the course catalog is also on the student, parent, teacher and counselor screens in PowerSchool.

Counselor Corner


For the second year in a row, HHS will be offering the PSAT 10 for sophomores. This is great practice for junior year when the PSAT counts towards admission to the National Merit competition. Some sophomores took the PSAT in October and they are eligible to test yet again for additional practice. When a student takes either test, College Board sends excellent feedback on correct and missed questions. This information has helped many former students to score higher on subsequent tests.

Because there are so many students planning to test, we will be proctoring this test at the college. In past years PSAT and AP testers have found the larger spaces and lack of ringing bells have provided a quieter and more comfortable testing environment.

Students will be signing up at HHS and parents with questions should call the HHS Counseling Office.

PSAT10—Wednesday, March 29 at 8:30. Cost is $15


If your student is talking about taking an AP class next year, this is for you. Taking a college level class is quite an undertaking and may be a very different experience than what either you or your student expected. In order to avoid any confusion and last minute schedule changes, HHS is planning a meeting for parents and students which we urge all involved parties to attend. At that time teachers of the AP classes that will be offered next year will talk about the expectations they have for students in their class, the amount of homework to be expected, and how they think it would work in conjunction with other AP classes. Hopefully this will allow all of us to encourage HHS to challenge themselves while being realistic about time constraints and multiple commitments.

6:00 Wednesday, April 5 in the HHS Library


Counselors will be working with students later this month to choose classes for next school year. Please start having the discussion with your kids about what they are considering and feel free to call counselors and teachers for suggestions and recommendations. It is really important that students indicate what they want so that the scheduled classes that are offered reflect the wants and needs of HHS students and parents.


Although the tests aren’t given until May, we have to order them now. As usual, every student taking an AP class is expected to take the corresponding test both for completion of the course and the GPA “bump”. Tests are $93 each but can lead to credit at some colleges which makes them seem like a bargain. Students receiving free or reduced lunch should be in touch with the counseling office about payment options, and parents of students enrolled with the Migrant Education Program will be contacted with instructions on payment.

Check for more info at https://apstudent.collegeboard.org

We Want You to Follow HHS on Facebook!

We want to be able to give you instant up-to-date information about what is going on at school. This can include emergencies, sports scores, as well as dates and times of events. To stay tuned to what is going on at Homer High, "like" us on Facebook. The address is www.facebook.com/homerhs. Join close to 800 other people who have liked HHS on Facebook and the over 2000 people who view our Facebook posts.

Visit the Homer High School Website

Are you wondering when sports teams have home games? Do you have a senior who needs paperwork for their senior service project ? Do you want to see agendas and minutes from our site council meetings? Check out our school website to find answers to these and other questions.

The address is http://homerhighschool.blogs.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/wpmu/.

You can access PowerSchool from our website and weekly activities as well. There are lots of great links and valuable information about Homer High School. If you have suggestions for things you would like to see on our website, please talk to Mr. Waclawski.