September Newsletter

HNGA...For Students

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Dear Parents and Guardians:

I can't believe we are already into our 4th week of the school year. We have had an outstanding opening to the year, but we certainly aren't stopping there. We are working hard to provide a safe and healthy environment, to challenge our students with quality instruction, and help them be successful. After all, their success is our success and everything we do is FOR STUDENTS! So, we are going to keep doing all we can to support them, provide challenging instruction, and an engaging environment for them to learn.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. Please reach out to us if you ever have questions or concerns. We value your feedback and it helps us improve our school.


Dr. Connie Franklin

Student Health

At HNGA we are taking steps to keep our students healthy by doing the following:

1. Use of alternative and outside classrooms

2. Assigned seating in classrooms for easy contact tracing

3. Scheduled classroom restroom and handwashing breaks

4. Students follow a hallway flow path during class transitions

5. No congregating of students during class transitions

6. Hand sanitizing stations on every hall throughout the building

7. Additional sanitation of high-touch areas by the custodial staff such as doorknobs, vending machines, water fountains, etc.

8. Teachers monitor students for symptoms of illness

9. Rapid response to positive test results and exposure

10. Assigned Chromebooks so students use the same Chromebook every day

11. Limited seating options available in the cafeteria

12. Alternative activities for students during school-wide assemblies

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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!

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Progress Reports

Progress Reports will be sent home on Tuesday, September 7!
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Math Tutoring

Beginning on September 13, students who are enrolled in Foundations of Algebra, Algebra 1, or Geometry this semester will have the opportunity to attend after-school math tutoring. Tutoring will be available every Monday and Thursday, 3:30-4:45PM.

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

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Top Ten Tips for High School Success

  1. Get Involved. Students involved in extracurricular activities generally have better grades, attendance, and homework completion. So, join a club, play a sport, or get involved in fine arts. This will help you feel connected at school.

  2. Learn to manage your time. Balancing homework, sports, clubs, and social life can be a challenge in high school. Use your school agenda to write down when assignments are due, practice schedules, and club activities. Don’t procrastinate. Get in a routine of getting your work done as your first priority. This will reduce stress and improve your grades.

  3. Make new friends. Though it may be tough, the good news is in a new school there will be plenty of others hoping to make new friends. Many times, something as small as smiling at someone can open up doors for new friendships. Also, asking a simple question like, “How was your summer?” or sitting with someone new at lunch or giving someone a compliment is a great way to start a conversation and possibly make a new friend.

  4. Remember your freshman year counts. In order for a student to transition to Habersham Central in 10th grade, he or she must have earned a minimum of 5 credits. In addition, every class taken in high school counts towards a student’s grade point average and class rank, both of which are factors when applying for college. You may not be thinking about college yet, but you will sooner than you think.

  5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – When you need help or don’t understand, ask questions. There may be other students who have the same question. Remember, teachers are there to help, and they really do have students’ best interest at heart.

  6. Work hard and put forth effort. Give 100% effort on every assignment. Teachers appreciate seeing students try. Learning new high school curriculum is not easy, and it is common for students to need extra help outside of the classroom. Teachers want you to be successful in their classes, and they are willing to schedule time before and after school to work with you should you have questions. In addition, after school tutoring programs are provided to review lessons and provide extra help. Utilize every service offered to help improve your grades. It will pay off when all is said and done.

  7. Attendance counts. There is a direct correlation between attendance and good grades. If you are not present, you cannot learn, and you will quickly fall behind. Plan to be at school every day.

  8. Be organized. Have a folder for each class and use it. Clean out your book bag frequently. Use your agenda to keep up with after school activities, homework, quiz and test days, and other important projects.

  9. Make good choices. While in high school you will definitely be confronted with challenging situations. Peers may ask you to go somewhere or do something that makes you uncomfortable. The best response is honesty. Say, “I have chosen not to drink, do drugs, smoke, have sex, etc., but I enjoy hanging out with you. Would you want to go see a movie, play video games (Fortnite, of course), go shopping, etc.?”

  10. Have fun. Your first year of high school will be over before you know. Be intentional about making memories and making this school year the best ever!

Written by HNGA principal, Dr. Connie Franklin

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Dress Code

The HNGA dress code is the same dress code as each of the middle schools. Dresses, holes in jeans, or shorts (for all students) must be no higher than 3" above of the knee. For more information, please reference page 17 of your student's handbook.


All freshmen are invited to attend the Homecoming Dance on Sept. 25, 8-11:30PM. Pre-sale tickets are $20 and $30 at the door. Please make arrangements to pick up your student promptly on the night of the dance.

Please see Ms. Zeigler in Room 257 with any questions!

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House System

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.

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Get Involved

As discussed with the House System, freshmen are more likely to graduate when they belong to an extracurricular activity. As Raiders, freshmen are can participate in any of the 13 sports offered at Habersham Central High School.

Fall Sports

  • Cheerleading
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Softball
  • Volleyball

Winter Sports

  • Basketball
  • Swimming
  • Wrestling

Spring Sports

  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Track

    Additionally, freshmen can join any of the clubs or other extracurricular programs as follows:

    • Academic Bowl
    • Beta Club
    • DECA
    • 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

    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.

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    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.