Welcome to Your Ninth Grade Year!
In addition to being the most important year of high school, it is our hope that your first year of high school will be your best year ever! The ninth grade will be academically challenging, rewarding, and fun. In order to have a successful year, all students should get involved in extracurricular activities, work hard academically, and use the resources and supports HNGA provides. Please let the administration know if we can help in any way!
Our full-time School Resource Officer, Deptury Paul Kent, our Raptor visitor check-in system, and the security cameras throughout the building are just a few of the vital components of school safety.
Another resource we implement is the Raider Report app. With this free app, HNGA students will be able to anonymously report safety concerns directly to Dr. Franklin and Mr. Leenman. In the previous years of the app, HNGA’s administrators were able to intervene with safety issues immediately and swiftly.
As we introduce this technology to our students, we hope that they will understand the vital role they play in school safety as we encourage our students to “See Something, Say Something”.
New Faculty & Staff
- Jessica Irvin, World History
- Casey Brock, World History
- Dylan James, Art
- Erica Laguna, Parent Involvement Coordinator
- Nicole Ausborn, Paraprofessional
- Samantha Burnett, Paraprofessional
- Tammy Hopper, Custodian
- Justin Wheeler, Custodian
- Dottie Minskoff, School Nutrition
Click the picture to enlarge
Research shows that one of the main indicators of a freshman's future high school graduation is his/her attendance. While we ask that you keep your student at home if his/her temperature is higher than 100.4 or if he/she is experiencing any ill symptoms, good school attendance directly impacts a student's grades, emotional wellness, and more. It is our goal that each student is absent no more than 5 school days throughout the school year. Simply being at school each day moves a student closer to graduation!
This year, we will have monthly attendance competitions between the 24 homerooms. The winning homeroom will earn House points (see below), the coveted attendance trophy, and bragging rights. Additionally, we will have quarterly attendance competitions between the 8 Houses. The House with the best attendance each 9-week period will be treated with a sundae bar, s'mores, hot chocolate, or other great prizes!
Each student will begin the fall semester with a schedule that includes four, 90 minute classes. A typical student schedule will include two academics and two electives each semester.
In order to finish 9th grade on track and be promoted to Habersham Central as a sophomore, students must earn a minimum of 5 credits, though students will have the ability to earn up to 8 credits as a freshman. It is our goal that 100% of freshmen finish the year with credits earned in each core content area; science, math, English, history, and Health and Personal Fitness.
In order to be academically successful, students need to be at school when healthy, actively participate in each class, and take advantage of all the opportunities given to them by their teachers.
Attached below, you will find a copy of the HNGA Parent Handbook. This will give you important information including course offerings, graduation plan, college scholarships, etc.
- Air Force JROTC
- Animal Production
- AP Human Geography
- Business Technology
- Fashion Merchandising
- Graphic Design
- Health & Personal Fitness*
- Peer Facilitation (Student Leadership)**
- Spanish I
- Spanish II
- Team Sports
- Weight Training
- Wildlife Management
*Health and Personal Fitness are 9 week courses and are required for all freshmen
**Students must complete an application for approval for Peer Facilitation
In an effort to create a school where students are actively engaged and want to be at school each day, and the type of school that meets the needs of all of our students while building self-confidence and a sense of belonging, HNGA instituted a school-wide House System. A House is much like a team, and the members of each House become very close-knit.
According to Evie Reid (Education Week, June 2017), “Students pick up signals from their schools and peers about whether or not they belong; perceptions that can affect their success both inside and outside the classroom.” It is difficult to see students who try unsuccessfully to fit in at school or be accepted by their peers. According to research, approximately 25% of students are involved in extra-curricular activities such as sports, clubs, or fine arts.
The purpose of our House System is:
· To create a sense of family, camaraderie, and belonging for all students
· To create an avenue for consistent recognition and healthy competition
· To create excitement and a sense of pride in our school
· To create an environment where every child feels valued, nurtured, and loved
· To improve school engagement
Every student is randomly assigned to one of eight Houses. Each House has its own name and meaning. Tiyaga which means perseverance in Filipino; Respectus is Latin, and it means respect; Bonté, which means kindness in French; Integridad is Spanish for integrity; Uaminifu which means loyalty in Swahili; Zeren which means responsibility in Chinese; Mahalo which means generosity in Hawaiian, and Onore which is Italian for honor.
Students received a letter over the summer with their House assignments and will be given a House t-shirt on the first day of school. This helps create a sense of belonging from day one of the school year. Houses meet on the first day of school to learn about the House System. This is followed by a school-wide assembly where students sit with their own House and compete in a variety of fun competitions.
Throughout the school year, students earn points for their House by passing all of their classes, making the honor roll, having good attendance, performing random acts of kindness, participating in community service, and much more. In addition, a quarterly “Battle of the Houses” is held to keep the momentum going throughout the year. This includes a variety of competitions (sporting events, trivia, relay games, eating contests, etc.).
Finally, a full day of celebration is held for the House with the most points at the end of the school year. This may include a special breakfast and lunch, field trip, on-site laser tag, inflatables, ice cream break, and of course, plenty of candy and soft drinks.
The House System has gotten better every year. Student and teacher buy-in has increased; we have experienced an improvement in attendance and student engagement, which in turn has increased student achievement as measured by End of Course assessments, course performance, and credits earned. In addition, the implementation of the House System has brought a sense of excitement among students and staff and a drastic improvement in our school culture.
Putting the "Home" in Homeroom
The school culture we strive for, where students feel safe and want to be at school each day, has created a unique school setting. We like to call our unique setting the "HNGA Family". One major way we’ve been able to establish this sense of family is through daily homeroom meetings. Students have time each day with a teacher and group of peers that are familiar to them.
Homeroom has become a central hub of support and community for students, creating the feeling of a home at school. We’ve been able to participate in community building activities that have helped strengthen these bonds. Such activities have consisted of a door decorating contest hosted by Student Council, themed dress up days during Homecoming Spirit Week, and Homeroom Games on Fridays.
By creating time during each day for students to socialize and compete in friendly competitions and games, we’ve been able to build relationships and positive rapport with students.
What the students are saying:
“I enjoy having a place to go to every day that makes me happy.” -Madison T.
“I like being able to do things for my teachers during homeroom.” -Savannah P.
“It’s fun seeing people that I don’t normally have classes with.” -Brice W.
Written by Mrs. Terra Ward, 9th-Grade Literature
Dress Up Days
Mrs. Shubert and Mrs. Segers always participate on Student Council's spirit days!
Door Decorating Contests
Mrs. Smith's door placed in the door decorating contest!
Mrs. Blalock's students earned the opportunity to roast s'mores on the media center patio!
- Cross Country
- Academic Bowl
- Beta Club
- Drama Club
- Environmental Club
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes
- Future Business Leaders of America
- Future Farmers of America
- Hispanic Organization Promoting Education
- Interact Club
- Key Club
- Marching Band
- Student Council
- Tome Society
Cell Phone Policy
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.