Highland Happenings

Volume 12, Week of November 8, 2021

November 7, 2021

Dear Highland Families,

Today, I am writing with tremendous grief to let you know that Noah Allison, 7th grade student at Odle Middle School, died by suicide, Friday, November 5. As we struggle to process this, we are grateful for Noah’s parents’ courage. I ask that you join me in keeping them in our most sincere thoughts during this time.

Noah was a beloved son and friend. The outpouring of love and support from Noah’s friends across our BSD community has been inspiring beyond words. It is a testament to the many lives Noah touched and positively impacted. He was a gift to our community and will be missed immensely.

Please know that it's important to share your feelings and that there’s support for you to do so. Parents & Guardians, if you have concerns about your student, please contact your school counselor or me (thomass@bsd405.org). Please continue to carefully monitor your child for any changes in their routines, words, or behavior. Our staff will be especially vigilant to identify any such signs as students grieve and process this news. If you have immediate concerns about your student’s well-being, please use these resources:

This is a profound loss for our community. It is important that we take the time to grieve together and support each other.


Susan Thomas,


Reminder: There is no school on Thursday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day.

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Every Eagle. Every Day. Every Way.

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Cada águila. Cada día. En todos los sentidos

From our Highland PTSA

A great way to get involved with Highland Middle School is to join the PTSA – the Parents Teachers Students Association. We plan events for kids, support teachers and staff, raise money for the school, and help increase a community feeling at HMS. The PTSA needs your ideas and your help! To learn more about PTSA, check out our website and our Facebook page, and sign up here!

Your kids can show their artistic talent with our annual Reflections art contest. This year’s theme is, “I Will Change The World By …,” and students can submit their artwork in any of these categories: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, and Visual Arts. Submission deadline is Dec. 1. For more details, please email the Highland PTSA at hms-ptsa@live.com and also check out PTA.org/Reflections.

Clubs and Activities

Congratulations to our 6th grade Boys Soccer team for winning the 2021 Championship! We are proud of you! We are waiting to see when/if the Girls and 7th/8th Grade Championship games will be rescheduled against Odle.

We have new clubs/activities that have started or will be starting in the near future. Thank you to our ASB for supporting our students who have brought forward ideas for extra-curricular activities.

ASB - Tuesdays, 3:10-4:00 (library)
Highland’s ASB is calling ALL leaders! What is ASB? ASB is Highland’s student governing body, otherwise known as All Students Belong. SO many things that happen at Highland require the leadership of ASB’s voice. The students have the power and the more voices we have, the stronger we are! If you feel you want to contribute YOUR voice to what we do here at Highland, please message Miss Clarkson for more information!

Club Latinos Unidos - Every other Thursday, 3:10-4:00 (room 303)

CLU will gather every other Thursday. Will be working on different events that will show Hispanic Culture. Our goal is to achieve social and cultural awareness within the school and community. (Stockdale, Rodriguez, Ono, Martinez)

Mathletes - Mondays, 3:10-4:00 (room 401)

The purposes of this organization shall be to: educate, exercise math skills, have fun, inspire others to enjoy math, challenge ourselves, see alternate ways to solve problems, and sometimes compete with other schools. (Orona)

Minecraft Club - Mondays & Fridays, 3:10-4:00 (room 206)

Minecraft Club is a great place to play with friends and socialize. In Minecraft we will host a world where you can play with many other people. We will play a survival world where you can craft, build, and more! We will be playing Minecraft Education Edition. (Agraviador, Garcia)

QSA - Mondays, 3:10-4:00 (411)

QSA is a supportive space for LGBTQ+ students and their allied friends to create and have a community, organize events related to the LGBTQ+ community and to find resources in the school community as well as their local community. (Stith, Taylor)

Technologists - Fridays, 3:10-4:00 (106)

Technologists is a club that focuses on teaching technical and coding related topics. Some examples include JavaScript and Python. We make sure everyone is included in making the club a comfortable space for all students to learn because everyone’s opinions matter. If your child is interested in joining our club, we meet every other Friday in Room 106, so they can join us there. (Kniestedt)

Yearbook - TBA, 3:10-4:00

Yearbook club makes and designs the yearbook. They do the photography, log into the company to do design and layout for the pages. Yearbook staff edit pages and go to activities to get images and ideas about what is important at Highland. They document the year. (Helgason)

Creative Masters Art Club - Friday, 3:10-4:00


Coming Soon:

Sports - Boys/Girls Badminton*, Boys/Girls Flag Football

*dependent upon staff available to coach and number of participants

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COVID-19 /Testing in Bellevue School District

In the upcoming days, Bellevue School District will begin offering COVID-19 screening and diagnostic testing at our schools. Testing will be optional, but highly encouraged as we work to keep our students, staff and BSD community safe. District administration is currently in the process of finalizing the procedures, permission requirements for testing, and other details, which will be shared as they are available.

BSD will implement two types of testing for COVID-19, diagnostic testing and screening testing.

  • Diagnostic testing looks for infections in individuals who have symptoms of or have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Screening testing looks for infections when there is no reason to suspect an individual is infected as a proactive approach to minimizing the potential for outbreaks in our schools.

Both types of testing will utilize PCR testing. Samples are collected via a shallow nasal swab through Atlas Genomics. Shallow nasal swabs are not the dreaded “brain tickler” or nasopharyngeal swab. The swab only enters 0.5 inches into each nostril, makes three rotations, and is placed, swab-side down, in the collection tube.

Testing Consent

Testing may only occur with permission and consent. You may provide us with information on your desire to opt-in or opt-out of the COVID-19 testing by completing this COVID Testing Consent form. Because the Washington Department of Health requires the district to obtain written parental consent for minor students, and assent/consent for students themselves if they are 18 or over and their own legal guardian, any student or that does not provide consent will not be tested.

Diagnostic Testing

Staff and students who show any symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19 will be referred to test at their school site or a central location most often on the day they are referred. If someone tests positive, they will be asked to isolate for at least 10 days and until symptoms have resolved. If someone tests negative, they will be asked to isolate until symptoms have improved, per the guidance from Public Health — Seattle & King County (PDF).

We will begin Diagnostic Testing at Highland first - to begin November 5, 2021.

Fall 2021 Resources and Updates

Stay up-do-date on important topics at BSD, including: district news, events, policies and procedures, and more.

Find updated COVID-19 Health & Safety Information here