Panther Peridodical

HMS 4th Nine Weeks Newsletter 2017-2018 School Year

Entering the Home Stretch

We have begun our ramp-up to the Spring Assessment of the Scantron Performance Series and are introducing an incentive program for our students. It is imperative that all students are at school on testing days and focused to try their best. To encourage students, we are offering the following incentives:

1) Any student who successfully makes their Spring learning target on the Scantron Performance Series Reading Assessment, has no unexcused attendance April 9 through May 4, has no test irregularities during testing and has at least a "C" average in the class can exempt either their English OR their Social Studies final exam in May.

2) Any student who successfully makes their Spring learning target on the Scantron Performance Series Math Assessment, has no unexcused attendance April 9 through May 4, has no test irregularities during testing and has at least a "C" average in the class can exempt either their Math OR their Science final exam in May.

3) All students who have no unexcused attendance April 9 through May 4 and no Class II offenses on test days will be eligible to participate in our End of Testing Beach Bash.

As a reminder to all parents and students, students are not allowed to have ANY digital devices in their possession during testing. Digital devices include cell phones, smart watches, Ipods, tablets and their equivalents. Any student found in possession of a digital device in a testing room will receive a Class II, have their device confiscated and the device will be turned over to the district. Test irregularities are Class II offences.

Go Panthers!

District Policy for Check-outs

Due to a district-wide re-evaluation of student check-out policies, effective January 1, 2017, high school age students will no longer be able to check-out younger students even if a note from a parent is sent to the school. Please do not ask for exceptions as we will not be able to grant your request. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Attendance Requirements for Extracurricular Events

Students must be present the entire school day to participate in extra-curricular events (including but not limited to athletic events, debate competitions, math competitions, etc...). Students with a doctor's excuse must still be present for at least half of the school day (11:30 AM).

We recognize that some of our competitions are at a distance from school. Consequently, participants may check out at 2:30 PM to reach the competition venue.

School Attendance

The Alabama State Department of Education has revised how they look at school attendance for grading schools on the A-F Report Card. Students who miss 15 days or more are considered Chronically Absent. Excused, Permissible and Unexcused days are counted when determining if a student is Chronically Absent. Please keep this in mind.

Parents may write an excuse to cover seven (7) days for the year. After the seventh day, only doctor’s excuses may be accepted. Please keep this in mind when scheduling family trips because once those seven days are used they are gone for the year.

Please also keep in mind that students have three school days in which to bring in their excuse for an absence. After three days, the absences become unexcused and no make-up work will be given out. Work missed for unexcused absences will be recorded in the grade-book as zeros.

Check-ins and Check-outs must also have excuses. Work missed because of an unexcused check-in or check-out is not eligible for make-up and will be recorded as zeros. Just like normal absences, parents have three days in which to turn their excuses for check-ins or check-outs. After three days, they become unexcused and cannot be changed.

Important Dates for the 4th Nine Weeks

  • Mar 11 - Daylight Savings kicks in
  • Mar 12 - School closed for students
  • Mar 13-16 - Book Fair in the HMS Library
  • Mar 13 - NJHS Meeting after school in Room 201
  • Mar 14 - Spring Picture day during PE
  • Mar 14 - Report cards sent home with students
  • Mar 16 - 5th Grade students tour HMS
  • Mar 21 - 3rd Nine Weeks Awards Day Ceremony 8:30 Am - 6th Grade, 9:00 AM - 7th Grade, 9:30 AM - 8th Grade
  • Mar 26-30 - Spring Break - Schools Closed
  • Apr 3 - FBLA Meeting after school in Bus Tech Lab
  • Apr 4 - FCCLA Meeting after school in FACS classroom
  • Apr 7 - Union Hill Paint Day at HMS
  • Apr 9 - May 4 - State Testing Window Opens
  • Apr 9 - NJHS Meeting after school in Room 201
  • Apr 16 - CARE Meeting at Concord
  • Apr 20 - Spring Play at HMS
  • Apr 27 - Weather Day - School closed for students
  • May 1 - FBLA Meeting after school in Bus Tech Lab
  • May 2 - FCCLA Meeting after school in FACS classroom
  • May 4 - End of Testing Beach Bash for eligible students
  • May 8 - NJHS Meeting in Room 201
  • May 18-22 - 2nd Semester Diagnostics (Schedule will be posted the beginning of May)
  • May 21 - End of Year Awards Day Program in Hueytown High School Auditorium (6 PM)
  • May 24 - Last day for students

These dates are current as of 3/7/2018. Additional dates and activities will be added over time. Please check the Facebook page on a regular basis.

Grading Parameters

Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, middle school grading was changed to the following parameters:

  • 75% Assessments
  • 25% Classwork/Homework

We do not administer nine weeks assessments. At the end of the 1st and 2nd Semesters, we will administer semester diagnostics on a modified schedule. The full schedule for 2nd Semester Diagnostics will be posted in May.

These diagnostics will be teacher created and cover the content covered for that semester. The diagnostics will count as a 100 point assessment in the 75% assessment category for the 4th Nine Weeks.

Pride of the Panthers/Panther Passes

We are continuing our efforts to improve student attendance and encourage students to do the right thing. Students who are caught doing the right thing can receive “Panther Passes.” We also give Panther Passes on random days to students who are present and on time to 1st period so do not forget that school starts at 7:55 AM. Other examples of ways students can earn a Panther Pass include (but are not limited to): going out of the way to help another student, working diligently on an assignment while others are goofing off, etc...

Once earned, a Panther Pass can never be taken away.

Every two to three weeks, during morning gym time, students may have the opportunity to cash in their Panther Passes for various prizes.

Prizes range from 1 Panther Pass for a random prize drawing to 30 Panther Passes to exempt one semester diagnostic providing the student has a “C” average in the class. It is possible that a student could save up enough passes to exempt more than one diagnostic. (This incentive is separate from the Scantron testing incentive posted above).

Additionally, any student who has an overall “A” average at the end of the semester, no unexcused absences, no unexcused tardies no unexcused check-ins, no unexcused check-outs and no discipline referrals will be eligible to exempt all semester diagnostics for that semester and will receive a free “T-Shirt.” Students who are eligible both semesters will be recognized at the End of the Year Awards Ceremony and will receive a special prize.