March Newsletter

HNGA...For Students

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Principal's Corner

Dear Parents & Guardians:

I hope that your weekend was relaxing and rejuvenating. As the calendar flips to March and the weather warms, we still have a lot to accomplish this school year. During a school-wide assembly last week, I spoke with our staff and students about the sense of urgency we must have as the number of days we have left with our freshmen are winding down. As of Monday, February 28, we only have 57 days of school left and only 46 days before the Algebra 1 EOC. The time between now and spring break are some of the most crucial days of school as we work towards the goal of 100% of our students earning all 8 credits, with 5 being in the core content areas plus Health & PE.

In addition to the goal of all students earning their credits, we will continue to place a priority on student safety. It is vital for me, as the principal, to finish this year without any major safety incidents. With a team effort between staff, students, and parents & guardians, we can continue to work together to ensure our school is as safe as possible for staff and students.

If there is anything we can ever do for you or if you have feedback to give us, please do not hesitate to call. Please take a few minutes to read our latest newsletter for important updates and information.

For Students,

David Leenman


Mandatory Lunch Study Hall

We currently have many students who are failing one or more academic courses. Research shows that 30% of students who fail one class in 9th grade do not graduate on time. We do not want that for any of our students. In addition, students who do not earn at least five credits their 9th grade year will be retained and not move on to Habersham Central.

In an effort to keep all of our students on track we will be instituting Mandatory Academic Study Hall for any student who is failing one or more academic classes.

If you have questions about your students' grades, please refer to PowerSchool. If you do not have PowerSchool access, please call us at 706-778-0830 or email Ms. Penny at

Listed below are specific details regarding Mandatory Academic Study Hall. If you have questions, please reach out to us as soon as possible. We value your support as we work hard to ensure your student completes their freshman year successfully and graduates on time.

HNGA Mandatory Academic Study Hall

Beginning Tuesday, March 15th, we will begin providing a mandatory opportunity for students to bring up any grades that are below passing (less than 70%) in their academic classes. During all lunches, we will host Mandatory Lunch Study Hall where students will eat their lunch while working on classwork to improve their grades in English, math, science and/or social studies. It is our hope that this mandatory opportunity will help students get caught up and ultimately pass all of their classes. Students will also have an opportunity to serve their mandatory study hall from 7:30 – 7:55 am on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Students who attend a morning study hall will not have to serve Mandatory Study Hall at lunch on those days.

Mandatory Study Hall Facts

  • Students who are failing one or more academic class (English, science, math, or history) will be required to attend one session of Mandatory Study Hall every day to improve their grade(s).
  • Mandatory Study Hall will be held at the following times: 1) Monday – Friday during each lunch shift (students should go to the front of the line, get their lunch, and report immediately to the study hall location). 2) Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 7:30 – 7:55 am (students must arrive by 7:30 am in order to be counted present for Mandatory Study Hall in the morning)
  • Students will be required to attend Mandatory Study Hall until they are passing all academic classes.
  • Students who skip their Mandatory Study Hall will receive school consequences.
  • All assignments for Mandatory Study Hall will be posted in Google Classroom.
  • Students who are assigned Mandatory Study Hall will be assigned and released from it by a teacher or school administrator once the student is passing all academic courses.

GaDOE - School Climate Star Rating Surveys Parent Survey

In an effort to create and maintain exceptional schools, the Georgia Department of Education has created a Georgia Parent Survey that is available for all parents and guardians of HNGA students. Survey responses will be anonymous and submitted directly to the Georgia Department of Education.

The Georgia Parent Survey is also available in Spanish. Parents may select the Spanish version within the survey. The Georgia Parent Survey link is posted below.

Your feedback on the survey is greatly appreciated and will be used to ensure HNGA continues to be a high-performing school. The deadline for this survey is March 11.

After School Math Tutoring

Students who are enrolled in Foundations of Algebra, Algebra 1, or Geometry have the opportunity to attend after-school math tutoring. Tutoring is available every Monday and Thursday, 3:30-4:30PM.

There is free transportation for all students. Please reach out to your student's math teacher with any questions.

Bus Driver Appreciation

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HCHS Registration

Habersham Central has begun the process of registering rising 10th graders for their courses and electives! If you or your student has a question about registration or if you were unable to attend HCHS' Parent Night last week, please contact HCHS' 10th-grade counselor, Dan Keef at

Rising Raider Night

HNGA will be hosting a Rising Raider Night for current 8th graders and their guardians on March 22, 6-8. Members of the Class of 2026 will be visiting HNGA during the school day with their respective middle schools, and the Rising Raider Night will be a great chance for students and guardians to meet their future teachers, tour the building, learn about our House System, and much more!

If you or someone you know has a current 8th-grade student, we look forward to seeing them at the Rising Raider Night!

College & Career Day

HNGA will host its annual College and Career Day on April 6, 2022. We are anticipating over 50 local businesses to attend this event as well as several university and technical schools. The purpose of this event is to encourage our students to begin thinking about their futures as well as expose the students to some potential careers available to them in Habersham. We will also work with our students to encourage professional dress and proper handshaking.

Before the event, students will participate in career exploration with our school counselor, Mrs. Andrea Hutchins. These career exploration results will be used for students to know which industries to seek out on the day of our event.

If you would like your company to be represented on April 6, please contact Mrs. Andrea Hutchins at

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No School - March 14

March 14 will be a Teacher Workday and a school holiday for All Habersham County students.
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One of the concerns we have that we are addressing with students is their punctuality to class. We have had discussions about the importance of arriving on time, similar to when students begin working and are supposed to be at their job at a set time.

In order to hold students accountable for their time, we will be adding tardy bells to the beginning of each class and homeroom. Students who are not ready to learn when the bell rings will be sent to the office for a tardy slip. Tardies roll over at the beginning of each 9 week period, and will reset on March 15. Students will receive consequences for excessive tardies, with lunch detention beginning at 5 tardies and ISS at 7 tardies.

If you have any questions or need more information, please let us know!

Dress Code

The HNGA dress code is the same dress code as each of the middle schools. Students are not allowed to wear pajama pants and bedroom attire. Dresses, holes in jeans, or shorts (for all students) must be no higher than 3" above the knee, as well.

Also as a reminder, sweatshirt hoods are not allowed to be worn in the building as this is a safety issue.

For more information, please reference page 17 of your student's handbook.

Students who continually break the dress code may receive school consequences.

Cell Phone Policy

Students are permitted to use cell phones at HNGA for classroom instructional purposes only and only with the teacher's permission.

Parents who need to communicate with their student throughout the day are encouraged to call the front office, where there is also a phone for students to use as needed.

Students may use headphones/earbuds for instructional purposes only, and should not be worn in the hallways, cafeteria, etc.

The consequences for violations of our cell phone policy are as follows:

1st Offense: The student picks up the phone from the front office at the end of the day.

2nd Offense: A guardian picks up the phone from the front office at the end of the day.

3rd Offense: A guardian picks up the phone from the front office at the end of the day plus a day of In School Suspension (ISS).

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.