Homer High-Lights

Volume 6, Issue 2, October 2017

Personalized Learning

Personalized Learning is coming to Homer High or is it already here?

Hopefully you have already heard that KPBSD has contracted with Educational Elements to bring personalized learning to the Kenai. The reality is HHS already provides personalized learning throughout our school and in many subjects, but we are always working to become better at what we do.

In a nutshell, personalized learning is providing learning to students when and how they need it. This can be accomplished by letting some students go faster, by grouping students in classes, flipping a classroom or providing online or blended learning. There is a lot more to Personalized Learning than what is included in this list, but this gives you an idea of what we are trying to do.

I am excited about personalized learning coming to HHS because research has shown these teaching strategies to be effective and it allows us to meet the needs of all of our students more systematically. It is hard to improve student achievement in a high performing school like Homer High, but I think this is one way for us to get there.

Homer High doesn't officially start the Personalized Learning initiative until the fall of 2018, but we do plan on learning and trying new things between now and then. We will keep you posted on our progress as we explore and implement these new strategies. If you have any questions about the KPBSD Personalized Learning Initiative give me a call at 907-235-4600 or go to http://www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/departments.aspx?id=37724 for more information.

As always, I would love to hear from you. If you have ideas or suggestions, please drop by. If you can't make it in you can call me at 907-235-4600 or e-mail me at dwaclawski@kpbsd.k12.ak.us.


Douglas Waclawski


(New) Parent Teacher Conferences

This year Parent Teacher Conferences will be on Thursday, October 26, 2017.

This year's schedule:

  • 8:30 - 11:00 am
  • 12:00 - 3:00 pm
  • 5:00 - 8:00 pm

In an effort to improve conference attendance and to be effective in our use of time, we are trying something new this fall. We will schedule parents whose students may be struggling in a subject to meet with teachers in those subject areas. All parents can walk in during scheduled times (above) to see if a teacher is free, or parents may call a school secretary after Oct. 23rd to set a time to meet with teachers of their choice. On the day of conferences, teachers' schedules will be posted by doors so parents know when they are available.

We will continue our popular evening college preparation classes for parents the evening of 26th. These classes are for parents of Juniors and Seniors, but students are also invited. If you want to know when the best time to take the SAT, how to apply for financial aid, how the APS scholarship works or where to find other scholarships to apply for, then these classes are for you.

Here is the schedule for our college prep classes:

6:00 pm - Financial Aid - Paul Story

6:30 pm - Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS) - Paul Story

7:00 pm - Scholarships - Lin Hampson

We are always trying to find ways to improve and we are going to give this a try. more details will be available as we get closer to the 26th of October.

Here is the 2017-18 HHS Bell Schedule

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College and Career Fair

The College and Career Fair will be held on Oct 17 at Soldotna High School. There will be 50 or more colleges at this fair. Technical schools (including AVTEC), military recruiters and employers will have a separate fair in February. Students will be able to have face-to-face conversations and get valuable information.

HHS will be sending buses of juniors and seniors to this event. Students must ride the bus unless accompanied by parents. Students will need a permission slip which is available in the counseling office. This event will take up the majority of the day but the experience will be well worth the time. Many HHS students have connected with colleges that they eventually attended. This is a great opportunity, especially for students who are beginning their college search or do not feel they will have the opportunity to actually visit schools in the lower forty- eight.

Here are the colleges that we be represented at the KPBSD College and Career Fair:

Alaska Career College
Alaska Christian College
Alaska Department of Labor and Worforce Development, Peninsula Job Center
Alaska Job Corps
Alaska Pacific University
APICC (Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium)
Augsburg College
Boise State University
Central Washington University
Chadron State College
Chugach Education Services Inc
College of Fisheries and Ocean Science – UAF
College Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University
Colorado Mesa University
Colorado State University
Corban University
Eastern Washington University
Fort Lewis College
Gonzaga University
Grand Canyon University
Kenai Peninsula College
Leading Edge Aviation
Lewis-Clark State College
The Moody Bible Institute – Spokane
Northern Arizona University
Pacific Lutheran University
Presentation College
Saint Martin’s University
Southern Oregon University
Southwestern Oregon Community College
The College of Idaho
UAA College of Engineering
United States Military Academy
University of Alaska Anchorage
University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Engineering and Mines
University of Alaska Southeast (Juneau campus)
University of Alaska Southeast Sitka
University of Idaho
University of Montana
University of Montana Western
University of Oregon
University of Portland
University of Puget Sound
Washington State University
Washington State University Tri-Cities
Weber State University
Whitman College
Whitworth University
Willamette University


Hopefully all sophomore and junior parents are aware of PSAT testing in October. To allow for optimum testing conditions, we will be holding the Wednesday, Oct. 11 test (primarily for student athletes who cannot test on Saturday) at KBC in the upstairs of the main college building. Testing will start at 8:30 and be over before noon.

The Saturday, Oct. 14 test, which is the one most students will be taking, will happen at HHS also beginning at 8:30. Students taking the Wednesday test will be excused from their morning classes. Cost is $20 (checks should be made out to HHS) and given to Mrs. Graham or Mrs. Hampson. Please be sure to indicate if your student will be testing on Oct. 11 or Oct. 14.

Sophomores will be welcome to test in October or they may choose to test in the spring, giving them more class time to improve their skills. Either date will be in preparation for taking the test junior year when it serves as an entry point for the National Merit Competition.

There will be FOL times in the next couple of weeks to work on test prep. Students who are opted out of FOL may attend as well. We have copies of previous tests for any students who took PSAT last year and that information can be very helpful for preparing.

Please call the counseling office with any questions you may have.

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Mariner Football Is Ranked 2nd in the State!

Our football team has earned several firsts this year. To start out with they earned their first conference championship ever. By itself, this is a great accomplishment, but our Mariner football team didn't stop there. They didn't allow a point during conference play and they have earned the honor to host our first playoff game.

Come and support our team by cheering on your Mariners at our first Homer playoff game this Saturday, October 7th at 2:00 against Eielson.

SAT & ACT Testing Dates

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Autumn Daigle is State Champ

Autumn Daigle went to the state cross-country meet and had the race of her life. She came from behind and beat Ruby Lindquist from Seward at the finish line. This makes Autumn Homer High's first Cross-Country State Champion in the history of the school.

You can read about the race at the Alaska Dispatch News with the links below.




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Boys & Girls XC Running Teams Earn 2nd!

Our boy and girl runners were hoping to defend their state titles from last year. Annie Ridgley is their new coach, taking over for long-time coach Bill Steyer. The girls lost 4 of their top 7 runners and the boys lost 2 of their top 5 runners. Both teams overcame these odds, but came up a little short. The boys lost by 7 points and the girls lost by 1 point, but beat Seward in a tiebreak to earn that second place team finish.

This is the 6th year in a row where our girls earned 1st or 2nd at the state XC running meeting. This is the 3rd year in a row our boys earned 1st or 2nd. This was a great accomplishment for our runners to be able to bring home trophies. Coaches Annie, Pedro and Bob did a great job preparing the runners for State.

HHS Communicates Using Facebook

Want to know what is going on at HHS?

Sometimes things change at the last moment and we can't call everyone. If you want the most up-to-date event schedules, start times, scores and last minute changes, like us on Facebook. Go to https://www.facebook.com/HomerHS/ and be sure to follow us. This is the most efficient way for HHS to post last minute details, school closures and more. We also post lots of the cool things our students are doing.

See you on Facebook!

Story Wins Kenai Pentathlon

Madison Story is making a name for herself in the swimming world and she is only a freshman. Madison won the Kenai Pentathlon swim meet. A Homer athlete hasn't done this in over 10 years. This is a promising start to her high school swimming career and we look forward to great things to come.

Dates To Remember

Oct. 2--Hockey Parent Meeting in Commons 6:00

Oct. 6--Varsity Swim/Dive vs Soldotna 4:00

Oct. 6--Bonfire and Tailgate Party in HHS parking lot 6:00

Oct. 7--Varsity Football vs Eielson 2:00 (PlayOffs Semi-Finals)

Oct. 7--Fiesta Night Dinner Wrestling Fundraiser 5:00

Oct. 20--Varsity Wrestling Round Robin Duals 3:00

Oct. 21--Varsity Wrestling Round Robin Duals 10:30

Oct. 24--Volleyball vs Nikiski at home 4:00, 5;00, 6:30

Oct. 25--1st day of practice for XC Skiing 4:00

Counselor Corner

Caps & Gowns

The rep from Jostens will be visiting seniors on October 2. We will order a basic package of cap, gown, stole and tassel for each senior. Check on the Jostens website for other items. Seniors should be bringing home catalogs with descriptions of all Jostens merchandise www.jostens.com/

Parent/teacher Conferences

Counselors will be available to talk with parents during the hours of conferences. If you would like to talk with a counselor but can’t make it to conferences please call the office at 235-4691.