VOLUME 10, ISSUE 1, August 2021
New Year, New Opportunity
For me, it has been a long year and half dealing with COVID-19, not because I have had to change what I am doing, but because of what students have lost. Canceled activities, no homecoming and other dances and remote learning have been tough on our students. My philosophy through COVID-19 has been no matter the circumstances, Homer High will "thrive, not just survive." I am happy to say we have accomplished this in many areas including having face-to-face education for students for most of last year.
We plan to continue to thrive this year. We will still have a mitigation plan, but people who are vaccinated will not be required to wearing masks. (You can view the KPBSD mitigation plan below.) While some people are not going to wear masks, we still need to keep everyone safe. We will continue to be a symptom free school, so if you are sick with anything, we ask you to stay home and rest. Masks will still be highly recommended. We will continue to contact trace, use increased sanitation and we may require COVID-19 testing in some instances.
We want everyone to be in school face-to-face, but we have to be smart about it.
Another program that we are excited to start this year is that we are going to assign a Chromebook to each student like a textbook. This way we know that every student will have access to technology in every class and at home. If you have your own laptop, you can use it instead of the school Chromebook.
I am excited and optimistic about this school year and can't wait to see all the awesome things our students will achieve. I am willing to do what it takes to provide the best education possible even with COVID-19. Let me know if you would like to discuss what we are doing about COVID-19 or any other program at HHS. If you have suggestions or critiques, please contact me at 907-235-4600 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, August 9: Seniors pick up schedules 9:00 - 3:00
Tuesday, August 10: Juniors pick up schedules 9:00 - 3:00
Wednesday, August 11: Sophomores pick up schedules 9:00 - 3:00
Thursday, August 12: Freshman orientation/Open House 6:00-8:00pm
Friday, August 13: Connections students class selections 9:00 - 3:00
First day of School – Tuesday, August 17th 9:00am - 3:50pm
Cheap Sports Physicals
NTC (Ninilchik Traditional Council Community Clinic) in Homer will be offering school sports physicals at a discounted rate of $20 starting July 26th (29th for Homer). Most insurances are accepted. (Including Medicaid).
Appointments can be scheduled at either the Ninilchik or Homer locations. This offer will run through the end of August. (907-567-3970) The clinic is located in the Subway strip mall and can be reached at 907-567-3970.
KPBSD COVID-19 Mitigation Plan
Masks The district strongly advises non-vaccinated staff and students to wear a mask (self-determined). Face coverings for fully vaccinated visitors is optional; non-vaccinated individuals are strongly advised to wear a mask. When the exposure risk increases, and other engineering controls are inadequate, masks are available and provided to minimize transmission exposure. Masks can be worn by any person. Signs identifying CDC recommendations for vaccinated /non-vaccinated individuals are posted.
- Physical distancing (e.g., including use of cohorts/pods) Physical distancing will be encouraged while working with others in the building. KPBSD has maximized the available space to allow for maximum distancing to minimize potential exposure.
- Handwashing and respiratory etiquette Proper handwashing and respiratory etiquette signs have been posted, taught and modeled for our students and staff.
- Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation KPBSD facilities have had bipolar ionization systems installed, and the custodial staff have been equipped with HOCL and electrostatic sprayers to improve the efficiency of building sanitization.
- Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the State, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments The KPBSD Health Services Coordinator will continue to monitor daily COVID percentages, attend local and state health updates and provide professional development and training to site based and itinerant nurses as necessary. NOTE: KPBSD school nurses were the first in the state to participate in an online contact-tracing course in order to assist an overwhelmed Public Health Department with statewide contact tracing.
- Diagnostic and screening testing KPBSD has provided testing capability and training for every school in the district. Antigen screening is available to students and co-curricular participants. All positive results are immediately verified by a molecular test. The district has both Cue and Abbott ID Now devices available at each site.
- Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students, if eligible The KPBSD has partnered with local health entities to provide vaccine clinics in KPBSD site facilities and has provided information to staff, students, and parents about the clinics and locally available vaccines.
- Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to the health and safety policies A variety of options are available to accommodate children with disabilities. These options include using remote instruction with connectivity and devices provided by the district. The accommodations can be but not limited to providing additional engineering controls including additional social distancing space, barriers and personal protective equipment.
- Sports and Activities Daily Symptom Check for Athletes and Coaches, Weekly Antigen Testing (no symptoms/no exposure), Antigen Testing will depend on travel destination, COVID Return to Play, Before or After Activity Best Practices
Class of 2021 Graduation
Even with the pandemic, HHS was able to pull off a wonderful commencement ceremony on our Turf Field. We were able to hold a safe event outside with over 500 guests, 83 graduates and 40 staff members. Thanks to everyone who made this event possible and congratulations to the class of 2021. Good luck in whatever you plan for your future.
You can view our video montage of the event below.
Watch the Highlights of the 2021 Commencement Ceremony
Summer Academy was a Success
Our first HHS Summer Academy was a huge success. The Summer academy was the district's and Homer High's way of trying to deliver opportunities that many students missed because of COVID-19. These included offering 3 classes for credit to help students catch up on credits or to get ahead. Over 70 students participated in these courses.
In the picture above and below you can see students performing outdoor musical "Zombies" to a live audience. Our annual musical has been canceled for the past two years. Students worked on this production 4 hours a day for over 3 weeks. The results were great and as Mr. Waclawski stated, "Our students Rock."
In our Leadership class Ms. Boss had students work on public speaking, team building activities and group roles. In Conditioning class Justin Zank challenged students to push themselves every day and make incremental gains. We also had 21 students attend the credit recovery class.
Our "Extended School Year" students were able to re-initiate their community based instruction. Two small business owners were also able to work with students about entrepreneurship.
Fall Sports Have Started
Mariner Sports started Wednesday, July 28th.
Please contact your coach to make sure you know when practice is.
Practice Begins July 28th for these sports:
(907) 399-8401 (email@example.com)
4:00 – 8:00 p.m. on the Turf
(907) 399-8400 firstname.lastname@example.org
4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Green Room or Track
(907) 980-0459 or (email@example.com)
6:00 p.m. on the Upper Field
Practice Begins August 4th for these sports:
(907) 406-0505 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
At Middle School
(907) 299-7692 (email@example.com)
1-to-1 Chromebook Program
To start the year HHS is initiating an exciting new 1-to-1 Chromebook program. Each students will be assigned a Chromebook for the year. They can take the Chromebook home just like a textbook.
We believe this will be a seamless transition since we successfully checked out over 80 Chromebooks to students last year because of COVID-19.
We are excited to help all students have access to technology in every class and for all students to have a Chromebook at home if needed.
In order to make this program a success, we need to review some important information.
- While every students will be assigned a Chromebook, you can decide if your child can take it from the building.
- If students have a personal laptop or another suitable device, they can opt out of the program.
- Students will need to bring their device to school every day, as this will be treated like a textbook.
- You will be liable if your child’s Chromebook is lost, stolen or damaged due to negligence. Replacement cost is $250.
- We will purchase a limited number of protective sleeves and cases that we will provide to students on a first come, first serve basis.
- Students who continually forget their Chromebooks at home or fail to recharge their device may lose the privilege of taking them home.
- It is the family’s responsibility to provide internet access at home.
- An informational Zoom meeting for parents will be held on Wednesday, August 11th at 6:00 pm.
Meeting ID: 839 8274 7400
Chromebooks will be distributed to students the first week of school.
We Need Everyone to Register and Sign a Chromebook Checkout Form
How to Checkout a Chromebook for Your Child?
We need every family to fill out the Chromebook paperwork. The directions are provided below.
Links to the student registration forms that also include the Chromebook paperwork:
- Student Registration: https://www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=ID&ItemID=470
- New to District Registration: https://www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=ID&ItemID=448
See below for what the screen will look like. Type in the parent PowerSchool email address or username and password. If you forgot the password choose reset password. If you do not have an account then choose register new account.
Example of what your online form will look like.
DATES TO REMEMBER
7/28 - First day of practice: Football, FB Cheer, Cross Country Running
8/2-8/6 - Volleyball Skills Camp @ Homer Middle
8/4 - First day of practice: Volleyball & Swim/Dive
8/9 - Seniors pick up schedules 9:00 - 3:00
8/10 - Juniors pick up schedules 9:00 - 3:00
8/11 - Sophomores pick up schedules 9:00 - 3:00
8/11 - Chromebook informational meeting on Zoom 6pm
8/12 - Freshman orientation/Open House 6:00-8:00pm
8/14 - Free Sports Physicals @ Homer Medical (Call for APT)
8/17 - First day of school
8/20 - JV Football vs Chugiak 3:00pm
8/20 - Varsity Football vs Chugiak 6:00pm
8/20 - JV Volleyball vs Seward 5:00pm
8/20 - Varsity Volleyball vs Seward 6:30pm
8/21 - Volleyball Jamboree
8/26 - Varsity Volleyball vs Sitka 6:30pm
8/28 - SAT Testing
8/28 - JV Football vs Kodiak 12:00pm
8/28 - Varsity Football vs Kodiak 3:00pm
9/3 - Varsity Cross Country vs Nikiski 4:00 @ Ohlson Mtn Trails
9/6 - Big Booster Club meeting in Staff Lounge 6:00pm
9/7 - Site Council meeting in library 4:00pm
Site Council Members Needed
We have 3 parent seats open for the 2022 school year. Meetings are the 1st Tuesday of the month at 4:00 pm except August, October, January, June & July. The Site Council works with the administration, teachers and students to make important decisions about our school. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the school at 235-4600 to be added to the list of interested parents.
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.
Do you know what to do in case of an emergency? What happens on snow days? What should parents do if there is a shelter in place, earthquake or violent act at school? What happens if Homer moves to a high risk level for Covid-19? Below are links to district web pages and district information sheets for your information about the District Emergency Action Plan.
Here are a couple quick answers to the questions asked above:
What if there is a huge snowstorm?
- Check on the KPBSD Facebook to see if school is closed. If you think it is dangerous to travel, you don't have to send your student to school. It is your call, but please call the school office so they know what's happening with your student.
What is ALICE?
- ALICE is a system to help keep as many students safe as possible during if an active shooter incident happens at our school. This program trains students and staff to know whether to evacuate, stay in place or counter. See the form below that explains what ALICE stands for.
What if there is an earthquake or active shooter at my school?
- Please don't rush to the school; this creates more challenges for the emergency responders and police and could make the situation more dangerous. It is better not to call your child; it distracts them from following safety instructions and could put them at risk in some situations. The police and school will not let students or staff out until everything is all clear. Check the school's Facebook page for information. Please trust us to take care of your children.
What if the Homer area needs to close because of Covid-19?
- If Homer High School needs to close because of COVID-19, the buildings will be closed and students will get their education via distance. Principal Waclawski will send a robo call out to everyone letting you know if we are transitioning to remote learning. This information will also be posted to our website and Facebook page.