Wildcat Press Newsletter

Volume 3, Issue 2, July 24, 2022

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Principal's Message

Hello Wildcats,


Welcome and Welcome Back!!


First, let me welcome the Wildcats of the class of 2026, we are so excited to have you join our pride.


Second, to the class of 2023, we cannot wait to see all the amazing things you are going to do this year to help MHS continue to grow and build traditions.


Last but not least, juniors and sophomores, welcome back and get ready for an amazing school year.


This year we have put together an amazing staff and group of teachers to help our students become their very best. We are excited to enter this new modified year round school year with a lot of positive momentum. We want to get back to a place where students feel safe, challenged and cared for every day. With that we will be focusing on increasing our student engagement, and working toward improving student academic growth through building positive relationships.


We know that high school can be a very difficult time, one of the things we ask from our parents is that you stay engaged in your students day to day. Ask questions and check their work and grades regularly. If you see them starting to struggle have them reach out to their teacher and/or counselor. If you still are not seeing improvement then please reach out as their parent for help.


This summer my son got married and in a few weeks I will be dropping my daughter to her senior year of college. What this has helped me realize is that while they didn't always like the way, we went about getting them through High School. The things we did do have helped them succeed. The more successful you are as a parent, the more successful your kids will be. This is not the time to let them go and make mistakes (those are coming even with your help). Now is the time to watch, be involved and guide. The world they live in is changing quickly and they need a steady hand to guide them. Every corner, every new social media follow or like, has the potential to pull them down a hard road, don't let them go, but let them struggle. Together we as a team of school and family can help them succeed.


As we move through the next couple of weeks, you can expect a few emails from administration, counselors, teachers and staff. I will try to settle into a routine of one newsletter every other week from the administration by early August. Teachers and others will reach out as necessary.


Wednesday, July 27th is an early release day.


There is a lot of information in this newsletter please read through the end.


Here we go,


Rod Huston

Principal

GO Cats!!

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MHS Administrative Team!

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Kibbles N Bits

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Meet the New Assistant Principal

Hello Wildcats!


My name is Kevin Swann and I’m thrilled and honored to be part of the Mesquite family!


I was born and raised in Aurora, Illinois where I attended Aurora Central Catholic High School with my dad as the principal. I played football, basketball and ran track all 4 years. I then attended North Central College and ran track for, and learned about life from the greatest coaching staff in the world. I spent the last 28 years as a teacher, coach and administrator in the Naperville 203 and Plano 88 school districts.

I recently moved to Arizona from the Chicago suburbs with my wife, Kathy and daughters, Kenna and Kettly.

Kathy is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Teacher, Kenna will be a Freshman at Grand Canyon University studying Nursing, and Kettly will be in 4th grade at Power Ranch Elementary School.

Outside of school I’m a sports fanatic with a minor addiction to golf. I’m the world's most die-hard Notre Dame Fan, and I love spending time with my family: attending the girl’s activities including countless volleyball tournaments, track meets, and dance recitals.

I can’t wait to get to know you and share all I have to offer with the students and faculty of Mesquite High School!



New District ID Badge Requirements

Student ID Badges 7-12 Grade

For the 2022/23 school year students in grades 7-12 will be expected to wear their student ID badges at all times. Students will be provided with their badge and lanyard during the first weeks of school.


Key Information:

  • Please work with your students to ensure they bring their ID badge with them to school every day.

  • When students arrive at school they will enter through a secured door or gate and will be required to have their ID badge for entrance.

  • Bus riders will use the barcode on their ID badge for getting on and off the bus. As a parent you will be able to view the whereabouts of the bus using the Here Comes the Bus app, more details below.

  • Students will continue to use the barcode on their ID badges to access nutrition services (cafeteria), library, and bookstore.

  • If a student forgets their badge they will be issued a temporary sticker badge for a small $1 cost.

  • Cost for replacement badges (lost ID’s) will remain at $5.00.

Here Comes the Bus

We are excited to announce the introduction of ‘Here Comes the Bus’, a new service for our families whose students ride the school bus.


With ‘Here Comes the Bus’ parents can:

  • View the real-time location of their student’s school bus

  • Ensure their student gets to the bus stop at the right time, every time

  • Know when and where their child boards or exits the bus - Students ID badges will be scanned when they board and exit the school bus.


Parents can easily download the ‘Here Comes the Bus’ app (please see the attached flier with instructions). Once downloaded select whether you would like email, push notifications or both, regarding your student’s school bus. You can also select what notifications you would like to receive.

Campus Safety and Entrance

Over the past several years Gilbert Public Schools has continued to place student and staff safety at the forefront of their planning, along with improving instruction.


In the last two years, Mesquite High has had the front administration office hardened to prevent people from entering without checking in at the desk. It is expected that all parents and guests check in through the administration office before entering the campus. Last year the district updated our camera system on campus, we now have all entrances and public spaces on campus covered. They have also increased our security staff to one lead officer and five patrol officers along with our Gilbert Police Department School Resource Officer.


As stated above MHS students will receive a lanyard and ID in their first period class on Tuesday. From that point forward their ID will be expected to be displayed on their person at all times. This is district policy.


We will also be closing our campus down even more than we have in the past during the school day. Students who do not have an A hour class should not be on campus before 6:45 am. Students will only be allowed to enter campus in 3 locations before school, the north entrance off the parking lot, students riding the bus will enter through the south entrance by the auditorium, and students may enter the campus through the doors between the A and B building. They will be greeted by security at these gates and if they do not have an ID, they will be sent to the main administration entrance to check in and get an ID for the day. Printing of a daily ID will be $1 each time, a student who loses their ID can purchase a new one for $10 in the book store. We will also be closing the campus to students not in a supervised activity at 3 PM each day.



For safety reasons we are asking that no one be allowed to enter the building during the school day through any entrances other than the administration building. Opening doors to allow people to enter or pick up packages will result in a referral to administration and possible consequences. If a parent needs to drop a package for a student please do so through the main entrance, we will not call into class to have a student released to come pick it up. We will email the student to come to the office between classes, and of course you may text your student to let them know it will be waiting during the next passing period.

Students Being Tardy

As we all know being late for an appointment or to work has consequences. The same is true for arriving to school and classes. In the case of a student arriving late to class not only do they miss valuable instruction and class, they also are disrupting the other students and teacher. Thus having consequences on their teaching and learning as well. One of the things we are focusing on this year will be students attendance and tardies. As students accumulate tardies more stringent consequences will be enforced.


As you can probably imagine, first period is the time we have the largest number of students arriving late. For this reason we will be implementing a first period sweep program this year. What this means is that if your student arrives after the bell for first period, they will be sent to a room to work on homework or sit quietly. They will then be released to their second period class when the bell rings. This will not count as an absence. The student will need to contact their teacher to find out what they missed and if it was due that day they will have until the following day to make it up. All doors to campus except the front administration entrance will be locked at 7:30 and students who are not in class will be sent to sweep.


PLEASE BE AWARE THAT STUDENTS ARRIVING LATE WITH DRINKS (DUTCH BROS, SODAS ETC.) WILL BE TOLD TO DUMP THEM IN THE GARBAGE AND GO TO SWEEP. THEY WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAVE IT IN THE ROOM.

Attendance

Attendance at school is critical to student growth both academically and socially. Please make every effort to make appointments for your students after they have completed their school day. Arizona state law states that students need to be in attendance for 90% of the semester to receive credit. With that being said please be aware that students who miss class 10 or more times may lose credit or be dropped from the class. Gilbert Public Schools policy states that a student has an equal number of days to complete work as they have missed, when the absences are excused. An unexcused absence means a student may not be allowed to make up missed work or assessments. An unexcused absence is any absence for which the parent or legal guardian have not excused the student within 24 hours. You may excuse student absences by emailing MHSattendance@gilbertschools.net. Absences may also be excused by calling 480-632-4750 and following the prompts to report an absence. Thank you for stressing the importance of attendance to your student.
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Picture Day!

MHS Picture Day is August 9th!

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Student Schedules and Changes

Dear Parents and Students:


We know that you are anxious to get schedule changes. Counselors will begin working on schedule changes the week of July 18th. Please also be aware that classes, teachers, and the order of a student’s schedule may change prior to the start of school. Additionally, due to the high volume of requests please allow three business days for a response.


Please note that there will only be one lunch (5th hour) for all students this year.


STUDENT SCHEDULES AND CHANGES

Alternative classes may be listed on your child’s schedule due to the following reason(s):

  • Student did not meet course prerequisite,

  • Course availability restrictions (course filled up or course cut), and/or

  • Conflict(s) in the student’s schedule.


If you are requesting a schedule change, please answer these questions:

  • Is my schedule missing a period during the school day?

  • Did I attend summer school or take an online course and that course is listed on my schedule?

  • Am I missing a class needed for graduation?


Please note: Unfortunately we can not honor any elective changes or teacher changes.


If you answered YES to any of these questions above and need to request a schedule change, follow the steps below:


  1. Please complete the MHS 2022-2023 Request for Schedule Change form. Please note that when the counselors return they will begin working through registering new students and schedule changes.

  2. If you need to speak to your counselor, please call 480-632-4750 ext. 1134, starting on July 18, 2021 to make an appointment for help with things other than schedule changes.

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If you play sports at Mesquite, here's what is REQUIRED prior to trying out:

*Register My Athlete account

*Current physical on the 2022-23 paperwork

*ALL athletes must take the Brainbook and Opioid courses once in their high school career. If you are a freshman or new to sports, you must have those completed prior to tryouts.


More information can be found at: https://sites.google.com/gilbertschools.net/mhsathletics/parentathlete-resources



DON'T MESS WITH THE MANIACS!!

Being part of our student section at Mesquite is a fun way to get involved, meet new friends, and support our athletes. General admission for our sporting events is $5 per game but for $40, they can buy the All Sports Pass that is good for every home game ALL YEAR LONG!! This pass is exclusive for MHS students.

Passes can be purchased at www.gofan.co

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GPS Tip Line

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