HCS Student Newsletter

Important Information From Mrs. Klaehn

November 12, 2020

You're Worth It

Dear Students,


There seems to be "glitch" in sending this out to all students at the same time through SchoolTool, so I'm basically sending the same newsletter from October with a few minor changes. If you are one of the 21 students who has already read it, bear with me and thanks for your patience with the repeat info, and please pay attention to the new!

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The world around us is pretty chaotic right now. I'm going to be honest; sometimes it takes a lot of effort to drag myself out of bed at 4:15 every morning so I can start my day, but at 7:25 every morning when I open those doors to greet you, I am uplifted.


Sometimes All The Things are too much to handle, even for adults, so I get that it's tough on teenagers (I live with 6th grader and an 8th grader, and a 40-year-old who still acts like he's 18). I know you've got a lot going on in your heads and in your lives, and I know that this past year (ish) has been rough.


I want you to remember that even though I want you to show up and be the best human being you can be, and I want academic success for all of you, I do not expect you to be perfect and to be able to "handle it" all the time, and you are worth so much more to me (and every other adult in this building) than a grade or a test score.


Be kind. Be true to yourself. Do your best.



Also...I'm proud of you.


~Mrs. Klaehn

DASA Presentation

Every year, a New York State Department of Education requirement is that all students receive information regarding the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA). In past years, Dr. Paler has visited PE classes to provide in-person presentations. This year, it was shared via a Loom Presentation in your PE Google Classroom. I have a list of students who have yet to complete this, and my next step will be to connect with each of you individually. Please check out your PE Google Classroom, and if you have not completed this, take the time to watch it!

Student Connections

One of our goals this year, partly as a result of the hybrid or remote schedule but largely because we want to increase our support of students, is to have a better idea of which students feel safe with and connected to adults in the building. This has also been posted in the PE Google Classrooms, and as of this moment, 153 students have completed it. It will take approximately 30 seconds of your time, and will help us to better support you! If you click on the link and it won't let you submit, that means you already completed it (thank you!).


Please see this form to complete the survey.

Google Meet Expectations

There are 2 slides here, which I hope you will review. This is important for our 100% Remote learners, but also for our students who occasionally need to jump on to a lesson's Google Meet. It's also important to remember that, if we have to go 100% Remote again sometime this school year (we certainly don't want to, but we need to be prepared), the expectation will be that students are attending Google Meets and participating. We currently have, and will continue to have, traditional grading, and participation and work count!

Teacher of the Month

Want to nominate one of your teachers for Teacher of the Month? Use this form to identify a teacher who goes above and beyond for their students! I tell them they're amazing all the time, but it's more meaningful when it comes from YOU.

Student Email & Tech Support

All students have email addresses. In PE, you ran a "test" of your email. Please make sure that you can both send and receive messages. Choose a teacher and give it a try! If you cannot, please let our Tech Support know.


You can find tech support by going to the district website, accessing the header for "Instruction and Technology" on the right side of the page, choosing "Instructional Technology", and then "Tech Help". You will see the page below when you click "Tech Help", and will be directed to fill out a form or request device repair by clicking on the hyperlinks.


Thanks for helping us to better help you!

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Counselor Corner

From Mrs. VanLare

  • Virtual college visits have started! See your Google Classrooms (Class of 2021, 2022) or the board outside the counseling office for more information.


Reach out to your counselors any time via email:

Mr. Carrier

Mrs. VanLare

Social Media Awareness

We have recently had in increase of concerns brought to our attention regarding information that students are posting on social media. While we cannot control students' actions that take place outside of the realm of school, we do have an obligation to follow up in the event that there is a DASA violation or a potential violation of the HCS Student Code of Conduct or Extracurricular Policy.


THINK before you post or share:


Is it TRUE?

Is it HELPFUL?

Is it INSPIRING?

Is it NECESSARY?

Is it KIND?


If your answer to any of these questions is "no", consider the potential message you are sending your followers. I know that HCS is full of delightful and thoughtful young people, and I want everyone else to know that, too!

Student Advisory Council

I'm looking for 3-4 Middle schoolers and 4-6 high schoolers to serve as my Student Advisory Council. What this means is that as we begin to look at things like our student Code of Conduct, I want student input. I would meet with students during their designated lunch times a few times throughout the year, with the first meeting probably taking place in December. We can meet in person and through Google Meet for those who are remote. If you are interested in serving your school in this capacity and asserting yourself as a leader, please send me an email from your HCS account no later than Friday, November 6th.


Email Mrs. Klaehn

GoGuardian Student Monitoring Software

I'm sure you're all familiar with GoGuardian, because your teachers use it to monitor what you're doing in class. They may be using the breakout rooms, or maybe they are using it to check in on your work, or let you know that they see you are distracted and bring you back quietly. This year, our school is exploring a new feature of GoGuardian, which helps us to monitor student safety. The system alters us when students are using their school-issued devices and access explicit content or content that suggests they are in danger of self-harming. We don't always get these alerts right away, but they are likely to result in one of two outcomes:


1. An email or conversation from/with me telling you that you're placed on internet restrictions and will need to let your teachers know if something is blocked. And also an email or call to your parent/guardian to let them know you've accessed something naughty.

2. A phone call or check in from me, Dr. Paler, Mr. Carrier, Mrs. VanLare, or Deputy Potter to confirm that you are safe, and to assess your risk of self-harm. If you are not in school when we receive a self-harm alert and we can't reach you, we will call your parents and/or send a uniformed police officer to your home for a wellness check. We will follow up with your parent/guardian every time we are concerned about your wellbeing. I know this may seem extreme, but your safety and wellbeing is our top priority, and we'd rather be safe than sorry.

3 Ways to Boost Your Immunity

The Student Support Team

In this building, several of our staff members are part of the Student Support Team (SST). This team is responsible for following up with students and their families when there is a concern, either social/emotional or academic (or both), including a significant amount of absences or a lack of engagement. Teachers attempt to connect with students and their families first, but when they are unable to do so, they let the SST know, and we take it from there. There are many directions we can go in once a student is identified, including phone calls to parents, working with counselors to help manage daily stresses or to build organizational skills, conducting a home visit, making a recommendation to our Family Support Center, etc. If we try all of these things and are still not able to land on a desirable outcome, we have other options to explore, but usually we are able to provide the supports needed with one of these strategies. The SST consists of the following people, and you might have contact at some point with any one of us, so it's important for you to know who we are and what we're about:

  • Mrs. Klaehn (that's me)
  • Mrs. Hargis (Interim Elementary Principal)
  • Mrs. Bush (Director of PPS)
  • Mrs. Johnson (School Psychologist)
  • Dr. Paler (School Psychologist)
  • Deputy Potter (SRO)
  • Mr. Carrier (K-8 Counselor)
  • Mrs. VanLare (9-12 Counselor)


The biggest takeaway for you to have right now is knowing that we are a group of people who care about you and want to you be successful both in and out of school, in all areas of your lives!


One Last Thing...

I know you're working hard. I know that even though we've been talking about COVID since March, it still doesn't feel normal, and you're still trying to figure it out. Your lives have been impacted in so many ways. The best thing you can do so we can better support you is to advocate for yourself. What I mean by this is that if you're having a hard time keeping track of assignments, tell your teachers! If you are struggling with your mental health, visit the counseling suite! If the way the information is being presented isn't working for you, ask your teachers to provide it in a different way; maybe you need due date reminders in Google Classroom. Maybe you need a hard copy of the weekly planner. Maybe you need an extra day on that one assignment. We can't help if we don't know what the problem is, but we definitely have your backs!