VOLUME 9, ISSUE 2, September/October 2020
Principal's Message - Welcome Back
We have had a great start to the new year. I am excited that many students are here in person and am glad I can see their masked faces. Students are wearing their masks and doing everything we ask of them which is going to help us keep coronavirus spread to a minimum. Our remote learners are zooming into class with limited issues and we are figuring out the technology. So far our mitigation plan is working, our students and staff are healthy and the building is safe.
While we have had a great start, this is only the beginning. We want to keep students in the building so we need to be vigilant and not let our guard down. Everyone needs to wear masks in the building, we need to keep 6 feet apart, wash our hands and keep your child home if they are sick. If we all do our part, we can stay Covid-19 free at Homer High.
Living in a Covid-19 world can be stressful and emotionally exhausting. Please monitor your children and keep a pulse on their social and emotional health as well. Making sure they are sleeping enough, eating well and exercising is important. If you see a problem developing, get them help. You can contact our counselors and they can direct your child or you to useful resources.
Thanks again for all of your support, understanding and patience. We continue to try improve what we are doing and I know we can do this together. Let's keep everyone safe and healthy.
Living during a pandemic has been challenging, but 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.
Financial Aid - FAFSA
FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid – www.studentaid.gov/fafsa
- The key to unlocking grants, loans, work study and the Alaska Performance Scholarship
- Application for aid for the 2021-22 school year opens Oct. 1, 2020
If you have questions, please contact the HHS Counseling Office:
Lunch at HHS in the Age of Covid-19
Dates To Remember
September 4: Cross Country @ Nikiski High School
September 5: Volleyball vs Seward at HHS
September 5: Football @ Soldotna High
September 7: Labor Day-No School
September 8: Swim & Dive practices start
September 11: 6 Period Day
September 12: Cross Country Running vs Kenai High at Ohlson Mtn. Trail
September 12: Football @ Nikiski High
September 12: ACT at HHS
September 12: Volleyball @ Nikiski High
September 14: Grade Check
September 18: Cross Country @ Seward High
September 18: Volleyball @ Kenai Central
September 19: Cross Country @ Seward High
September 19: Volleyball @ Kenai High
September 19: Football @ Kenai High
September 20: Football @ Kenai High
September 23: Volleyball @ Soldotna
September 26: Cross Country Running @ Kenai High
October 6: Site Council Meeting 4:00 via Zoom
October 16: End of 1st Quarter/In-service day-No school for students
October 29: Parent Teacher Conferences/No school for students
October 30: In-Service day/No school for students
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 run, 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 is the Homer area is at high risk (red) for community transmission of Covid-19?
- If the Homer area is at high risk for Covid-19, school 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 be posted to our website and Facebook page.
New School Year - New Paradigm
Here are some highlights:
- 89 students are enrolled in Homer High, but taking classes remotely
- 282 students are taking classes in the building
- Everyone who is in the building is wearing their mask
- Most classes have 5 to 10 students calling in remotely
- In the first week of school we had 5 sporting events, including in football, cross-country running and volleyball
It seems like things are going well. We will get better as we figure out some details. Please have patience with us and let us know where we can improve. We look forward to being in the building the entire year.
Mariner Football Beat Expectations against SOHI
“Test optional” – Virtually every university in the country is going this direction for the Class of 2021. This means that students will be held harmless if they choose not to report a SAT or ACT score and that admission decisions will be based on other criteria, usually a “holistic review”. So while not reporting a test score can’t hurt you, reporting a good score could help you. Additionally, some schools are still requiring test scores for students to be considered for merit-based scholarships.
- SAT/ACT – Juniors and seniors sign up for these tests on the respective web sites. Fee waivers are available in the counseling office for those who qualify for free/reduced lunch.
PSAT – In addition to being excellent practice for 10th and 11th graders before the “real” SAT, the PSAT is the only opportunity for juniors to qualify for the prestigious and lucrative National Merit Scholarship.
- Sat., Oct. 17 (Primary test date)
- Wed., Oct. 14 (Alternate date for HHS student athletes with 10/17 competitions)
- $20 (limited fee waivers may be available to students who qualify for free/reduced lunch) payable to HHS via bookkeeper Joyclyn Graham
- Contact the counseling office to sign up.
KPBSD Security Camera Notice
AHERA School Management Plan
College Search (For Juniors & Seniors)
School Search (helpful resources)
AkCIS School Sort (www.akcis.org )
- Narrows list of schools based on personal preferences (i.e. field of study, location, expense, size, etc.)
- Students login from PowerSchool
College reviews, statistics and estimated costs:
AVTEC – Alaska Vocational Technical Center – https://avtec.edu/
- Training in trades and careers in less than a year
- Nearby in Seward, AK
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.
Volleyball Get Ready for Action
HHS Counselor Corner
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among school age youth. However, suicide is preventable. Youth who are contemplating suicide frequently give warning signs of their distress. Parents, teachers, and friends are in a key position to pick up on these signs and get help. Most important is to never take these warning signs lightly or promise to keep them secret. When all adults and students in the school community are committed to making suicide prevention a priority, and are empowered to take the correct actions, we can help youth before they engage in behavior with irreversible consequences.
Suicide Warning Signs
Most suicidal youth demonstrate observable behaviors that signal their suicidal thinking. These include:
- Suicidal threats in the form of direct ("I am going to kill myself") and indirect ("I wish I could fall asleep and never wake up again") statements.
- Suicide notes and plans (including online postings).
- Prior suicidal behavior.
- Making final arrangements (e.g., making funeral arrangements, writing a will, giving away prized possessions).
- Preoccupation with death.
- Changes in behavior, appearance, thoughts and/or feelings.
- Extreme withdrawal from friends and family.
www.BeThe1to.com Twitter: #BeThe1to