Homer High-Lights

VOLUME 11, ISSUE 3, October 2022

Principal's Corner

Homer High School is one of the best schools in the state of Alaska, but we are always trying to improve. Part of the school improvement process is that parents, teachers and administrators get together and provide feedback and help develop school goals. This year we have 3 (draft) school goals that we are working towards. Both staff and our Site Council will provide final feedback on these goals in October.

Here is what we are working on for the 2022-23 school year.

  1. 90% of all 9th Graders will have 6 credits by the end of summer 2023
  2. "Students will help each other even if they are not friends" will improve by 5% and :Students will find it easy to talk to adults about problems" will improve by 5% (based on the Hanover survey), by April 1, 2023.
  3. HHS school-wide attendance will improve to 90% by the end of the 2022-23 school year.

These goals are based on HHS data and research. We know that freshmen who earn all their credits are more likely to graduate and students who have good attendance do better in school on average. We also know if students are supported and are in a positive school environment, they are more likely to succeed. Having students helping each other and comfortable talking about problems are important elements in a positive environment.

If you have any suggestion or comments about these goals and any other issues at HHS email me at dwaclawski@kpbsd.org, call at 907-235-4600 or set an appointment through Kristin Metz at that same number.

I am looking forward to another great school year. I am always willing to listen and take feedback.

Positively yours,

Douglas Waclawski




Fall Parent Teacher Conferences

This year HHS Parent Teacher Conferences will be face-to-face. We will still use PickTime to schedule conferences. You can show up at school and see if there is a time available, but most of the good times will go quickly.

If you would like to meet via Zoom or phone, sign up on PickTime but then contact the teacher for a zoom link or let them know what phone number to call you at.

This year we will have conferences on Thursday and Friday. If you can't find a time that works, connect with that teacher and schedule a time the following week.

Thursday, October 27th

  • 9:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Friday, October 28th

  • 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Sign up for Parent Techer Conferences at the link below:


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NHS Trivia Night

The HHS National Honor Society is hosting its annual battle of wits where teams compete to see who knows more random factoids spanning various trivia categories. Assemble a team of up to 6 or join a team at the event. $10 per person; $5 for students.

  • WHAT – Triva Night!
  • WHERE – HHS Commons
  • WHEN – 6:30pm Tues., Oct. 25
  • WHY – To support NHS and Homer’s Share the Spirit!


10/1- SAT Exam 8:00am

10/1 - Basketball camp 10:00am

10/4- Site Council meeting 4:10 in library

10/7- Volleyball vs Palmer High C 4:00pm/JV 5:00pm

10/11- KPBSD Career & College Fair @ SOHI

10/12- First day of Hockey practice

10/13- Early Release day @ 2:20pm

10/14- Teacher in-service day; No school for students

10/14- Volleyball v Redington JV 5:00/Varsity 6:30pm

10/21- Football Post season Awards & Banquet 6:00pm

10/26- Volleyball vs Seward JV 4:00pm/Varsity 5:00

10/27- Parent teacher conferences

10/28- Morning only Parent teacher conferences

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Mariner Yearbook Update by Adviser, Suzanne Bishop

Over the summer, I had the pleasure of opening the high school to a large group of alumni. It was supposed to be a fifty year reunion, but alumni from the 60s through the 80s were in attendance. One attendee told me she hadn’t been in Homer in forty years! She loved the building, the whales in the Commons and all enjoyed the decades display.

The Decades display includes all sorts of memorabilia - trophies, jackets, photos and yearbooks. Each year Homer High yearbook students create the only written and published record of the year. During the past three years, we’ve earned recognition from our publisher, Jostens. We hope to earn more recognition this year. We designed the cover and will enter it into a cover contest. It’s uniquely Homer and we can’t wait for everyone to see it!

Our theme this year is “Leave Your Mark.” We want to invite all of the students (especially our seniors - Class of 2023) at Homer High to do something important that will make a lasting positive impact on our school and community.

I think this is the best place to call home and the best school to work and learn. Yearbooks are on sale for $80 until October 13 when the price jumps to $85.

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Want To Know What is Going on At HHS? Follow Us On Facebook!

Lots is happening! Homer High School uses Facebook to communicate with students, parents and the community about events, emergencies, school closures, sporting events, and more. Go to facebook.com/HomerHS/ and follow us to stay up to date!

Counselor Corner

College and Career Planning

I recently went into 11th and 12th grade L.A. classrooms to work on post-secondary planning. We reviewed some tools to search colleges, the military, and trade schools. Students need family support to realize any of those options. So at home, please keep up that dialogue about life after high school and contact the counseling office for questions and help.

Remember, the KPBSD College and Career Fair is coming up Oct. 11 (See previous emails from Paul Story for details and a permission slip.)

Career Aptitude Test coming to HHS

The ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) is designed for 10th -12th graders to help identify the kinds of jobs in which they show promise. While primarily used by and for the military, students without interest in the armed services sometimes take the test because it’s one of the few career assessments that tests aptitude, rather than just interest. Some of the subtests focus on non-academic areas like electronics, automotive, “shop info”, and mechanical comprehension.

The test will be administered in the HHS library Tue., Nov. 8 at 9am. Students who test will be responsible for making up work they missed in their 1st and 2nd period classes. To sign up, simply email pstory@kpbsd.k12.ak.us .

Hagan Scholarship for Juniors

While most of the scholarships on the KPBSD OneStop are for graduating seniors, this lucrative award (up to $12,000 per year) is designated for high-achieving students from rural communities with demonstrated financial need (annual adjusted gross household income less than or equal to $85,000). It requires a 3.5 GPA. A student from the HHS class of 2021 won it, and it’s legit! https://haganscholarships.org/ deadline Dec. 1

Financial Aid

Figuring out how to pay for college or trade school is a challenge that requires planning and effort from both students and their families. This information was shared in more detail in a recent email from me to 10th through 12th graders, but in case you missed it or are a 9th grade parent, here’s the abbreviated version:

Priority 1: Seniors file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid aka FAFSA beginning Oct. 1st.

Priority 2: Maximize institutional aid, the money that comes directly from a university and represents the biggest source of “free” money for most students.

· Most public universities have a general scholarship application. After students have completed that, they are directed to more specific scholarships based on their answers.

· Some schools consider applicants for institutional aid based simply on their admissions review, not necessarily a separate application.

Priority 3:

Apply for local and state-wide scholarships which are generally redeemable at any accredited college OR trade school.

· KPBSD OneStop Scholarship Database – check back OFTEN as more scholarships are added every week all the way through March!

· Alaska Community Foundation Scholarships – Due dates vary.

o State-wide awards

o Kenai Peninsula awards

Priority 4: Try searching clearinghouse sites if you have time (You’ll likely have to sift through some marketing ploys to find the legitimate scholarships.). Some examples are:

o Going Merry

o Sallie Mae Scholarship Search

o Fastweb

Alaska Performance Scholarship – The APS is worth up to $4,755 per year at virtually any college or trade school in the state. To qualify, students must take additional academic coursework and meet minimum GPA and test score thresholds. Click the APS Scholarship icon in PowerSchool to see whether or not you’re on track.

Western Undergraduate Exchange – Through WUE, students from the Western U.S. pay 150% of in-state tuition at participating public institutions. This can represent significant savings compared to paying out-of-state tuition. Different schools/majors have different eligibility criteria and application processes. Cross reference the WUE web site and the individual school’s.

P.E.O. Star Scholarship Award - ($2500) for females graduating in 2023 that have an unweighted GPA of 3.0 or higher who are pursuing postsecondary education in the US or Canada next Fall. Application deadline is October 7!!

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Redesign Drawing Art Project

The redesign drawing project was completed by upper level art students. They were asked to think of an issue and redesign the solution to it. Students were free to choose a small or large scale issue. Their design solution could be imaginative or realistic. The project requirements included one main view and a few smaller views that describe the function of the solution. Students were also asked to write an excerpt to accompany the drawings when presented. Students responded with a diversity of redesigns, some proposing solutions to minor first world problems and others addressed large-scale global issues. Here's a sample of them.

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Calling all Juniors: PSAT – Saturday, October 15th at HHS

PSAT – In addition to being excellent practice before the “real” SAT for 10th and 11th graders who are planning to apply to college, the PSAT is the only opportunity for juniors to qualify for the prestigious and lucrative National Merit Scholarship.

  • Sat., Oct. 15 at 8am (Primary test date)
  • Wed., Oct. 12 at 9am (Alternate date for HHS student athletes with 10/15 competitions)
  • $20 Payable by cash or check to HHS bookkeeper Julie Gauthier
  • Fee waivers may be available to 11th graders who have applied and been approved for free/reduced lunch http://mealapp.kpbsd.org

Students may sign up now via this link.

SAT & ACT Dates

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HHS Nurse News - COVID-19 & Flu Shots

Both Safeway and SPH have the new COVID19 booster shots. Safeway can also give you the flu (influenza) shot at the same time…however there is good reason to wait to get the flu shot. The flu season in Alaska tends to be later than the lower 48 and the flu vaccine is most effective the first 4-6 months after you receive it. However, if you tend to forget things/not schedule medical appts then it might be worthwhile to get them on the same day for convenience.

People get both of these boosters to protect themselves and their families, protect those who are more vulnerable in the community: people who are pregnant, who have chronic illness, being treated for cancer, who are younger than 5 yo or older than 65 yo. Also the more of us who get the boosters the less both of these infections are spread in our community which eases SPH admissions and sick time for our schools.

Because I do not forget medical things, I am doing it this way.

  • 1) COVID19 booster--- this week
  • 2) Flu booster --end of November –before December gatherings and traveling, but highly effective through end of March.

SPH requires an appointment (sphosp.org), and Safeway prefers an appointment as well.

Sharon Gorman

School Lunch Update & Costs

The past two years lunches have been free because of a grant from the federal government because of COVID-19. This funding is no longer there and lunches will now go back to pre-COVID prices.

Students must have money in their accounts to purchase lunches. Student can charge up to 2 lunches if you have filled out the permission slips. We know that life happens, so please make sure you fill out this form if you want your child to be able to charge lunches (only twice!) if they forget their money. All KPBSD forms can be found online here: Forms

If your family is financially challenged, you can fill out the free and reduced lunch forms to see if you qualify for help. You can find the application form here: Free & Reduced Lunch Application

Meal Price Information


  • Students approved for Free and Reduced meals $0.00
  • Students K-12 $2.50
  • Adults $3.00 excluding milk
  • Second meal $3.00


  • Students approved for Reduced meals $0.40
  • Students K-6 $3.50
  • Students 7-12 $4.00
  • Adults $5.50 excluding milk
  • Elementary second meal $4.00
  • Secondary second meal $4.50
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Campus Cleanup Day

With a nice sunny day on hand, the Homer High Movement Class teamed up to do a Campus Clean-up Day! The class focuses on daily movement. Following many of our fall campus sporting events and homecoming festivities, there was a lot of trash laying around. When the weather opportunity opened up, the class could get outside, move their bodies and offer campus clean-up service. The students split off into groups to cover the most ground possible and to see which group could collect the most rubbish. On a mission to win, they gathered pieces big and small, went into side ditches for debris, and walked around all areas to fill their trash bags. This was a great service day and a moment to live *The Mariner Way. Our Campus Clean-up is for everyone, for every day; join in on the service, move and help keep our Mariner Campus Clean.