HHS Parent Newsletter
July 10, 2023
Highland High School Parent Newsletter, Friday, August 11, 2023
Happy Friday! We made it to the weekend, let's hope we get some cooler weather around here soon!
Thank-you for visiting The Nest Thursday night at our Annual Curriculum Night. It was great to see parents and students at The Nest and we hope you found it informative.
This past Wednesday we started our grade level presentations conducted by our HHS Administration. The presentations are taking place during our weekly RST time in the auditorium. This past Wednesday we met with our freshman and we will continue next week with our sophomores and then our juniors and seniors in the weeks to come. The presentation shared HHS expectations and information regarding school rules.
Our students have done a great job getting to classes on time and remembering to have their student ID visible on them while on campus. Thank-you for your efforts to help our students get to class on time and for helping keep our campus safe.
Thank-you for your patience while dropping off your child to school and also picking them up after school. Please refer to the maps below for detailed instructions on our pick-up/drop-off routes and areas. Please take special note of the bus pickup/drop-off area and where vehicles are allowed/not allowed to ensure the safety of our students, staff and drivers.
Thank-you for choosing Highland High School to send your child, we are grateful for the opportunity to be with them daily!
Please take a moment to complete your Annual Update! See video below for info:
Stop Hanging with Turkeys and SOAR With Hawks!
Entrepreneur and writer Nat Eliason on the importance of challenging yourself to do hard things:
"The ability to do hard things is perhaps the most useful ability you can foster in yourself or your children. And proof that you are someone who can do them is one of the most useful assets you can have on your life resume.
Our self-image is composed of historical evidence of our abilities. The more hard things you push yourself to do, the more competent you will see yourself to be.
If you can run marathons or throw double your body weight over your head, the sleep deprivation from a newborn is only a mild irritant. If you can excel at organic chemistry or econometrics, onboarding for a new finance job will be a breeze.
But if we avoid hard things, anything mildly challenging will seem insurmountable. We’ll cry into TikTok over an errant period at the end of a text message. We’ll see ourselves as incapable of learning new skills, taking on new careers, and escaping bad situations.
The proof you can do hard things is one of the most powerful gifts you can give yourself."
Welcome to all of our Hawk Families to the 2023-24 School Year!
We are happy to announce that two new counselors have joined our team this year. Candice Horrocks is coming to us from Boulder Creek Elementary where she was a counselor with special education and Adam Nyswaner is returning to Arizona from Nashville where he was a school counselor and baseball coach. Both have years of experience working with students and we are excited to have them on board!
Now that the bustle that comes with a new school year is behind us, we are looking forward to our future opportunities to meet with students to help support them with their high school success and post-secondary goals. Here are some events that are coming up in the next few weeks:
The only changes taking place at this time are level changes which are limited to Honors and AP courses. An Academic Success Plan is required before any level change is completed. The last day for first semester class drops is Friday, September 29th. Any drop made after this date will result in a WF (Withdraw/Fail) on a transcript.
Freshman Hello Visits
This Thursday and Friday, counselors stopped by all Freshman English classes to say a quick “Hello” and welcome our new Class of 2027.
Junior Class Visits
Towards the end of August, we will be exploring post-secondary options including community college, university, trade/certificated vocational programs, apprenticeship/work experience, and military. Students will have the opportunity to conduct research in these areas and will be given information on resources that can be utilized to help with the pursuit of post-secondary goals.
There will be a Club Fair during lunch on Thursday, August 17th. Studies show there is a direct correlation between school involvement and school success. We encourage students to come and check out all of the opportunities to get involved in our HHS community. There is something for everyone!
Global Academy/Online Classes: If your student needs to enroll in an online Gilbert Global Academy class, you will use the following link and follow instructions on how to enroll as a concurrent student GGA Concurrent Enrollment
Collaborative Credit: If you intend to take a college course for collaborative credit, please remember that there is a form that needs to be submitted for prior approval. Collaborative credit will not be issued if approval has not been given prior to enrolling in the class.
AP TESTING: AP registration begins September 25th and closes October 27th. If your student is in an AP class, it is an expectation that they register and participate in AP testing. Registration is processed through the bookstore; students will need to know which exams they will be taking and the cost is $100 for each test.
PSAT/NMSQT Testing: The PSAT will be given campus-wide to all Sophomore students on Tuesday, October 24th. The test is free to all 10th grade students and it is an expectation that students participate in the testing session. If your student is a Junior who would like to take the exam, registration begins August 28th and closes September 15th. There is a fee of $25 that will need to be paid to the bookstore. Extra tests are not provided so if your Junior student does not register, they will not be permitted to take the test.
Free and Reduced Lunch: Families will need to fill out a new application in order for their student to receive free and reduced meals for the 2023/24 school year. Students who apply and are eligible for the free and reduced meals also receive additional benefits such as waived summer school fees, reduced internet fees, waived college and AP testing fees, and much more! The free and reduced meal program also ensures your school continues to receive funding for many school programs. Apply securely online starting July 1, 2023 for the 2023/24 school year.
From the HHS College & Career Center
There is an Arizona College Consortium Fair happening in The Commons on August 9th during both lunches. If your student is interested in attending an Arizona college, please encourage them to stop by.
There will be a parent/senior FAFSA/Scholarship Night on August 17th 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. in The Commons. Use this link to register - https://forms.gle/ESrBR9S2QSXWdJ8T8
Need to register for the ACT or SAT? If you have already created an account, do not create a new one. This will prevent problems with accessing your scores. Click on these links to get started with registering:
Check Your Transcript
Be sure to take care of any incomplete grades or grade replacement changes. As you start to submit your transcript to postsecondary institutions, you want to make sure that it is cleaned up and looks its best. Grade change/replacement forms can be picked up in the counseling office.
Need a Transcript?
For all current and future transcript requests, you will need to create a Parchment account. This will allow you to send transcripts to most institutions effortlessly and without delay. Once you graduate, it will not be the responsibility of HHS to submit transcripts when requested so it is important that you create a parchment account. There is no fee to set up an account and there is a nominal fee to have a transcript sent. To get started, click here https://www.parchment.com/
Need to order a cap/gown, announcements, or some grad-swag? Visit the Josten’s website to place your order: https://www.jostens.com/apps/store/customer/1012899/Highland-High-School/
We are here to support your students and help facilitate their success. Let us know what we can do to assist you.
Bridget Anderson A-Arc & Special Education
Matthew Van Holten Are-Cop
Rosie Gorton Gro-Le
Sam Weiss Li-Pap
Adam Nyswaner Cor-Gri
Candice Horrocks Par-Sok
Brandi McMahan Sol-Z
Raina Rios Mental Health Counselor
Barb Dwyer College & Career Liaison
Francia Ward Career Center Coordinator
Christina Jordan Counseling Secretary
GPS Dress Code Expectations for the 2023-2024 School Year
Student Drop Off and Student Pick Up
Per Arizona Statute 13-13-104B10, which states: During loading or unloading of passengers at a designated school bus loading area at a school, the school shall restrict the loading area to school buses, passengers and school employees assisting in the loading or unloading of passengers.
As a campus we are responsible to have a designated area for our bus loading zone. That area is located on the East side of our campus. We can not have students dropped off or picked up on Roadrunner Dr, which is located on the East side of our campus. Please do not pick-up or drop-off students in this area.
Parents have 2 options for student drop off and pick up:
Option 1 will be in front of the school. Please do not make a left turn onto Guadalupe as this is an illegal turn and presents dangers on the road.
Option 2 will be to use the back lot for drop off and pick up. This option should provide for faster drop off and pick up due to the traffic light timing and the ability to go all directions out of the lot.
PLEASE DO NOT pick up or drop off on Roadrunner Drive on the east side of school. We are required by A.R.S to have a separate drop off area for buses in which there is no parent drop off intermingled.
Thank you for helping us to keep traffic flowing smoothly here at HHS and our students safe!
Click link below to download the map of our drop-off areas:
Option #2 Morning Student Drop-Off - Student Lot
Option #2 Afternoon Student Drop-Off - Student Lot
Our HHS School Resource Officer
Gilbert Public Schools has School Resource Officers (SROs) assigned to all of our High Schools and Jr High Schools. The United States Department of Justice defines School Resource Officers (SROs) as "sworn law enforcement officers responsible for safety and crime prevention in schools". SROs are typically employed by a local police or sheriff's agency and work closely with administrators in an effort to create a safer environment for both students and staff.
The responsibilities of SROs are similar to regular police officers in that they have the ability to make arrests, respond to calls for service, and document incidents. SROs typically have additional duties, including mentoring and conducting presentations on youth-related issues.
Here at Highland we are grateful to have Officer Churchman as our SRO. If students or parents have any questions or concerns you are encouraged to reach out directly to Officer Churchman.
Ryan Churchman, SRO | Highland High School | 480-813-0051
I have been a Police Officer with Gilbert for 18 years. During that time, I have worked patrol, night traffic focusing on DUI enforcement, and as a bike officer in downtown Gilbert. I am an FTO, HGN Certified, ARIDE Certified, IPMBA Certified, CIT Certified, TLO, and a phlebotomist. Prior to law enforcement I obtained my Commercial Pilots License along with a Certified Flight Instructor Certification including instruments. I am grateful for the opportunity to be the SRO at Highland High School and be there for the students and staff. Go Hawks!
2023-2024 School Year Calendar
Link to the 2023-2024 Calendar:
Budget Continuation & Bond Election / 2023 Budget Override Continuation & Bond Election
In November, voters living within Gilbert Public School boundaries will decide a proposed 15% budget override continuation and a $100 million dollar bond. Voters last approved a bond and override in November 2019.
GPS Nutrition Services
Please complete the free and reduced meal application each year for your student!
Link to our GPS Nutritional Services Website: https://www.gilbertschools.net/site/Default.aspx?PageID=769
Annual Update on Infinite Campus
It is crucial that all GPS families complete the online 'Annual Update' in Infinite Campus. The information provided will be used by the district or your school to directly communicate with you regarding your student, or in the event of an emergency on campus. Please log into your Infinite Campus Parent Portal and complete the 'Annual Update' today! | Update Here
See Something? Say Something!
The confidential GPS Tip Line was designed to promote school and student safety and wellbeing. Students and parents can report a threat or potential threat about a student or school. The Tip Line also provides information on other topics, which may affect our students, staff, or schools. | Submit Tip
The Families Hub offers a wide range of resources to help you and your student(s) throughout the school year, including back to school updates, menus, nutritional information, enrollment details and more. | Read More
Buses & Transportation / Transportation Information
The Transportation Department includes two vehicle maintenance facilities that maintain all district vehicles. GPS drivers receive regular training which exceeds Arizona minimum standards. All drivers must be a minimum of 18 years of age, possess a Commercial Driver License, State Bus Driver Certificate, meet a physical tolerance profile, and undergo random and annual drug testing.
Here Comes the Bus App
We are excited to announce the introduction of 'Here Comes the Bus,' a new service for our families whose students ride the school bus. The app allows GPS parents and families to track the real-time location of their student's school bus, to know when and where their student boards or exits the bus, and helps ensure GPS students get to the bus stop on time. Read more by clicking on the following link: https://www.gilbertschools.net/Page/2597