VOLUME 9, ISSUE 5, January 2021
Principal's Message - Good-bye 2020. We Will Not Miss You!
I hope everyone had a great holiday break and is safe and healthy. I want to thank everyone for their diligence on bringing the 14-day Covid-19 numbers in the Southern Kenai Peninsula down. At the time I wrote this, we had only 29 cases over 14 days. This is super important so we can open the building up to students and start sports again.
As it stands now, we will be able to open our doors to students on January 11th. Sports will also start on January 11th. Pay attention to your e-mail and Robo calls for updates!
While this is exciting, there are lots of details to coordinate to make this work. Remember, the first week of school starting on 1/4/21 will be online. Here is what will happen starting Monday, January 11th
- Students can still opt-out of in-person education and get their education via distance from home
- Some at-risk and special education students will be in the building every day starting Jan. 4th
- Students with last names that start with A-K will come to school starting the week of 1/19/21 and then every other week thereafter
- Students with last names that start with L-Z will come to school starting the week of 1/11/21 and then every other week thereafter
- Students will be required to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart at all times (Note: This may not be possible in every setting)
- At lunch, students must sit 6 feet apart and they can take off their mask to eat
- There will be no eating or drinking between classes
- Students coming to school just for sports may not enter the building before 4:00 pm
- HHS will keep the same bell schedule as the fall
- Students learning remotely from home will only have to zoom in to each class 2 times per week
- Students at home will have fewer assignments when at home and can zoom into classes each day or they may study on their own schedule
- Busses will run on a normal schedule
I am excited to bring students back into the building, but we have to be safe. The vaccine is here and we can see light at the end of the tunnel, but we cannot relax our diligence yet! If someone is not comfortable following all the safety protocols at school, they will be asked to learn remotely from home. We are going to do everything we can, but Covid-19 is real and there is still a risk of getting sick and spreading it. We know Covid-19 may enter the building, but we want to make sure no one at school catches it at school.
I suspect parent have many questions so I am scheduling a parent meeting on Wednesday, January 6th at 6:00 pm via Zoom. Watch your email for the passcode the day before for the meeting. I will provide a quick presentation and then there will be time for questions and answers.
I know living in a pandemic is tough, but Homer and Homer High School is tougher and we will get through this. Let us know what we can do to help support you or your children while they are at home. I am willing to do what it takes to provide the best education possible even with Covid-19. If you have suggestions or critiques, please contact me. I want to know how we can help you change or adapt. Give me a call at 907-235-4600 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mariners Who Made It
The Mariner Minute Podcast
The Mariner Minute Podcast keeps you up-to-date on the weekly happenings at Homer High School. Athletic Director Chris Perk recaps the activities each week and highlights Mariner Achievements through in-person interviews.
Episode 8 - Jessica Sonnen
In Episode 8, we hit the pitch and kick the ball around with Soccer marvel Jessica Sonnen and Coach Mike Tozzo. We also announce the All State Music awards.
Episode 7 - Harrison Metz
In this Episode, we will hang out in the dugout with baseball player Harrison Metz and get him to reveal his new superstition. We also recap the DDF's Meet over the weekend.
Episode 6 - Larry Dunn
In Episode 6, we conversed with current student body President and Dynamic Debater Larry Dunn.
Dates To Remember
1/4 Second Semester begins. Students remain 100% remote
1/4 Big Booster meeting 6:00 pm
1/11 Winter sports practice begins
1/11 *Group B: Last name L-Z in person. Group A: Last name A-L remote
1/18 No School Vacation Day
1/19 *Group A: Last name A-K In-person. Group B: Last name L-Z remote
1/22 6 Period Day
1/19 Home JV Hockey game vs Kenai High
1/21 Away Girls JV Basketball @ Nikiski High
1/21 Away Boys JV Basketball @ Nikiski High
1/22 Home Hockey game vs Kenai High
1/23 Away Ski meet @ Soldotna High
1/23 Home Hockey game vs Soldotna High
1/23 Away JV & C Girls Basketball @ Ninilchik High
1/23 Away JV & C Boys Basketball @ Ninilchik High
1/25 Home Girls C Basketball vs Soldotna High
1/25 Home Boys C Basketball vs Soldotna High
1/26 Away Girls JV & Basketball @ Soldotna High
1/26 Away Boys JV Basketball @ Soldotna High
2/1 School Board Meeting
2/1 Big Booster meeting 6:00 pm
2/2 Site Council meeting 4:00 pm
2/17 Early Release Day @ 2:15
2/18 Parent teacher conferences/No School
2/19 Teacher in-service/No school
Home Sporting events will be streamed at
2021 Class Period Schedule
Mariners on the Move Awards
Here are the newest Mariner on the Move award winners. Nice work!
• Stella Dye – nominated by Deb Curtis
• Ridge Marion – nominated by Jessi Felice
• Hudson Loboy – nominated by Laura Reiske
• Melissa Baxter – nominated by Sarah Boss
• Lucas Nollar – nominated by Vicki Lowe
• Nathaniel Theisen – nominated by Lisa Fellows
• Madison Story – nominated by Suzanne Bishop
• Lawson Alexson-Walls – nominated by Daniel Newsted
Yearbook January Update - Happy New Year - Welcome 2021!!
Students in grades 9 - 11, we need you to submit your at home school portrait via this google form: https://forms.gle/UtPmzNH7kLrX4KQj9 The form collects email addresses and is open for submission. Portraits need to be submitted by January 31. If you’re struggling with getting a picture taken, please email one of the editors: Mariah McGuire, Katelyn Engebretsen, Paige Jones, or Mya Houglum.
Need some tips? Here’s a google document with tips and examples. School Portrait Tips
Seniors and Senior Parents we need more information from you. The more photos you can share with us, the better we can celebrate you and your achievements! We require a Senior Portrait and Baby Photo and respectfully request Senior Throwback (freshman year, middle or elementary school, or even before school), Senior Inseparable (you and your BFFs), and if you have a sibling who is currently a Homer High student, we would like a photo of you and your siblings. The google form to share with us is here: https://forms.gle/duwD1pD2zw5uTcwk7
In April, Seniors, we will ask for five photos to be used during the graduation ceremony.
If you have any questions, please contact one of the editors: Mariah McGuire, Katelyn Engebretsen, Paige Jones, Mya Houglum or Mrs. Bishop, email@example.com
Want To Know What is Going on At HHS? Use Facebook!
In these uncertain times it is important to know what is going at at your child's school. Homer High School uses Facebook to communicate with parent and the community about events, emergencies, school closures, sporting events, Covid-19 details and more. Go to https://www.facebook.com/HomerHS/ and be sure to follow us.
Don't be left out about news and information you need. Like us on Facebook today.
DDF Excels at the Ketchikan Tournament
Outstanding work, Homer DDF students! Homer and Whitestone were invited to join virtual DDF Tournament hosted by Ketchikan.
1st place Informative speech- Eleanor Sweeney "Is This the Country Our Founders Envisioned"
5th place HI - Thea Person "Garbage Scan" by Dave Barry
2nd place DI - Eleanor Sweeney "Every Word You Cannot Say" (Iain Thomas)
6th place Solo - Clara Stading "Hamlet" (William Shakespeare)
4th place Solo - Seth Hammond - "Salt and Pepper Diner" (John Mulaney)
2nd place Public Forum Debate Speaker points - Larry Dunn
4th place Domestic Extemporaneous Speech - Larry Dunn
By Marge Dunn
HHS Nurse Update - What is new with COVID 19?
If your student tested positive for COVID please let the HHS nurses know. Maybe they were positive in November or December? Once they have finished the isolation period of 10 days and are symptom free, they get a 90-day free pass if they are told they were exposed to COVID19 again, if they are symptom free. This means they do not have to isolate or quarantine again during those 90 days.
The Southern Peninsula is doing a great job of decreasing COVID numbers and we are now adding vaccines to the layer of protection. We still need to mask, distance, wash hands and be symptom free at school and in our community to keep numbers low.
Two vaccines have been approved and school staff are on the next tier to receive one —there is hope that staff may receive their first dose in the next month or so. Students who are 16 and older and have no medical risk for serious complications of COVID19 will be much later. The American Academy of Pediatrics asks that children under 16 years old are included in trials in higher numbers so that they may also receive the vaccine in 2021. Receiving the vaccine is voluntary.
A student who was exposed to COVID19 needs to stay home for 7 days and have a negative PCR test on day 6 or 7 and be symptom free to return to school or stay home 10 days with no testing and be symptom free to return to school.
If your student traveled out of state, they need to test within 72 hours of departure or test on arrival in Alaska. They must quarantine for 5 days after arrival and if they have received a negative test result and are symptom free, can return to school on day 6. If they experience any symptoms after arrival, they should get re-tested. If they choose not to test, they must quarantine for 14 days after arrival in Alaska. Test results can be submitted to the school.
Sports are returning and the question is how to decrease the chance of COVID exposure for each member of the team and the entire team. KPBSD has mitigation plans in place that coaches are following. Parents can have conversations with their players and coaches on how to keep their bubble small to have the least interrupted season possible.
How is your student doing with their mental health? This is a very tough time for teens. Call HHS counselors, teachers, nurses or other staff, or your clinic if you have a concern.
Call or email Nurses Sharon Gorman or Ella May Cooper-Waldron for any questions.
Caps and Gowns
Graduation is scheduled for Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 7pm!
We will order everything students will need for the graduation ceremony. Seniors just need to reply to Desiree Smude’s email to indicate their height. They will then pay $52 to pick up their caps, gowns, stoles and tassels when they arrive in the second semester.
Scholarship and admission deadlines are coming and going every week. So get out your calendars, make a spreadsheet, or otherwise get organized so you can set your priorities and avoid missing a deadline for a school or for a scholarship of interest.
Scholarship searches abound on the internet to the point where it can be overwhelming. I believe the following resources are the best avenues for financial aid apart from the aforementioned FAFSA:
- The vast majority of scholarship money comes directly from the school to which a student matriculates.
- Some schools integrate their scholarship application within their admission application. Others have a separate scholarship application. If you’re not sure or if you just want to verify they are considering you for all institutional scholarships for which you’re eligible, visit the school’s web site, or better yet, call their financial aid office.
KPBSD OneStop scholarship database
- This site lists scholarships that have been vetted by KPBSD counselors in an attempt to highlight those regularly won by our district’s students, including state and local awards.
- This is one of many national scholarship databases. I like how this particular one is set up.
- Similar to Going Merry, straight forward.
Free School Lunches
You must sign-up for lunches by the Friday before the week you plan to pick them up. Your can pickup lunches in the school parking lot from 12 -1 pm.