Homer High-Lights

VOLUME 9, ISSUE 3, November 2020

Principal's Message - Let's Get Back In The Building

I want to thank everyone in Homer for helping keep the community safe so students on the Lower Kenai Peninsula could start school face-to-face. We were able to be in person for an entire quarter which is better than many people thought possible.

Unfortunately, our Covid-19 numbers are rising and we are now 100% remote for our students. Our teachers are doing a great job and most students are participating in their classes as usual, via Zoom, but we all know our students want to be in the building. Most students do better and learn more when they are in the building with their peers and teachers face-to-face.

I hope each of you can contribute to reducing the Covid-19 numbers in the Homer community. Please wear a mask, social distance and avoid large indoor gatherings. Get tested if you have symptoms and quarantine as needed to avoid infecting others. We can't be in school in person when the community transmission is high. Thanks for your support and let's get our kids back in school!

I know living in a pandemic is tough, but Homer and Homer High School is tougher and we will get through this. Let us know what we can do to help support you or your children while they are at home. 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 dwaclawski@kpbsd.org.


Douglas Waclawski


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Mask Contest Winners

HHS wanted to reward students for helping us during this pandemic. Thanks to a grant from the Homer Foundation, we were able to hand out over 100 prizes to students who were role models when wearing masks or who improved their mask wearing. Prizes ranged from snacks, sports equipment, art supplies, water bottles, earrings and much more. Thanks to everyone who has helped HHS stay open and safe.

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:

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National Merit Scholar Semifinalists

Big CONGRATS!!!!! to Jeremiah Bartel and to Larry Dunn for being named Semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. They scored in the top 1% of the 1.5 million juniors who took the PSAT last fall and have applied to become finalists, a big honor.

A shout out to Vianne Sarber, too, who just missed the cutoff but was recognized as a commended student in the program, also an impressive accomplishment.

Dates To Remember

October 29: Parent Teacher Conferences Via Zoom/No school for students

October 30: In-Service Day for teachers/No school for students

November 2: Big Booster meeting 6:00 zoom

November 23-25: 3 day school week/block day schedule

November 26: Thanksgiving/No school

November 27: Thanksgiving break/No School

December 1: Site Council meeting 4:00 zoom

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HHS DDF Excels in Online Competition

Here are the results of our DDF team's awesome performance in an Anchorage Virtual Tournament this past weekend. Great work by very dedicated HHS drama and debate students in this new medium.

Drama Events

• Eleanor Sweeney - 1st place Dramatic Interpretation

• Lacie Triem - 2nd place Dramatic Interpretation

• Clara Stading - 3rd place Dramatic Interpretation

• Thea Person - 2nd place Humorous Interpretation

• 1st place Readers Theater goes to Eleanor Sweeney, Lexie Sweeney, Lacie Triem, Hadley Glidden, Bryce Glidden, and Thea Person

Lincoln Douglas Debate

• Larry Dunn - 1st place Lincoln Douglas Debate

• Emma Sulczynski - Lincoln Douglas Debate quarterfinalist

• Payton Tobin - Lincoln Douglas Debate quarterfinalist

• Spencer Co - Lincoln Douglas Debate quarterfinalist

• Hadley Glidden - Lincoln Douglas Debate quarterfinalist

Lincoln Douglas Speaker Points

• Larry Dunn - 1st place Lincoln Douglas Debate speaker points

• Spencer Co - 4th place Lincoln Douglas Debate speaker points

• Payton Tobin - 5th place Lincoln Douglas Debate speaker points


• Larry Dunn - 2nd place Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking

Class Attendance is Expected!!

Parents and Students:

When Homer High School is remote, we are still 100% in session. Students should attend their scheduled classes at the regularly scheduled time via zoom. This does not mean the student will be on zoom or the computer all day. Most teachers have students check in at the start of class, provide lesson instruction, answer questions and then give the students the remainder of the class time to work independently. Attending class is required unless the teacher has indicated otherwise.

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Thanksgiving week Block Schedule Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

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Mariner Masks Available--Call to Get Yours!

We now have Mariner masks. If you have to wear a mask, you might as well look good and show your Mariner Pride! Each student who was attending face-to-face classes this fall was given a free mask. You can see 2 of the 4 designs in the pictures. We have more of these masks available. Contact the school at 235-4600 if you would like one.

Welcome Sarah Boss

I am excited to be an English Language Arts teacher at Homer High School. I grew up in Northern California and went to Nevada for undergraduate studies in English and Spanish. I received a master’s degree from the University of Alaska as a K-12 Reading Specialist. I have taught for 22 years in Nevada and Alaska. I am proud to now be a part of such an excellent high school and beautiful community with so many people who clearly care about supporting the education of young people. My husband and I are excited to have our own two children in Homer schools as well. It is awesome to be a Mariner!

Sarah Boss

Post-Secondary Testing

“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.
  • www.sat.org/register
  • www.myact.org

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. Dates are past for this year's PSAT.

Need Money For College? Attend This Meeting!

Fund Your Future Workshop – Thursday, Nov. 5 at 6pm

ACPE (AK Commission on Postsecondary Ed) is hosting a Fund Your Future for HHS students and families via Zoom. Topics covered:

  • What Financial Aid is, and how it works, and how to apply
  • Cost of Attendance (COA)
  • Overview of FSA ID Process (required before filling out the FAFSA)
  • Grants, scholarships, and loans
  • WUE (Western Undergraduate Exchange)
  • Exchange Programs
  • And More!

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 948 3098 8684

Passcode: 429628

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.

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Counselor's Courner

ASVAB testing – Thursday, Nov. 5 at 9am

Primarily utilized by students to determine the types of jobs within the military they’d qualify for, students who aren’t necessarily interested in the military may take it to assess their aptitudes in areas not covered by most standardized tests, like electronics, mechanics, and assembly. Contact the counseling office to sign up.

OneStop for scholarships and contests

OneStop is the place to go for regional- and state-wide scholarships, essay contests with cash prizes, and even a local award to help fund “a beyond the ordinary activity helping a student live his/her dream”. Check back often as more opportunities are listed all the time!

Anchorage College and Career Fair

Held over Zoom Oct. 13-14, all the (very informative sessions) were recorded here. In many ways, this was a more succinct delivery method than a traditional in-person fair, with over 80 schools delivering 5-7 minute presentations highlighting their campuses and programs.

Upcoming visits

Both of these schools have been popular destinations for HHS alumni.

· University of Alaska Southeast – Mon., Nov. 2nd during FOL (2:20pm)

o Signup link

o Zoom link

· Southern Oregon University – Fri., Nov. 13th during FOL (2:20pm)

Homer Marine Trades (HMTA)

HTMA is offering FULL SCHOLARSHIPS IN ADVANCE for the KBC 100 TON/OUVP in-person class which begins on November 12 for people who can demonstrate financial need. See flyer.

HTMA is also supporting other in-person marine technology classes! High school students interested in getting into the marine trades are one of their main priorities. See the schedule of classes and the scholarship application.

Suicide is Preventable

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

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Federal Funding is Critical for HHS and the KPBSD

KPBSD gets over 6 million dollars a year in federal funds and it is important that our community knows where it comes from and how we get this money. For example, by filling out the reduced and free lunch form KPBSD receives federal lunch monies and Title 1 monies. Even if you don't qualify for free and reduced lunch, you can still help us get federal funding.

Please review the following videos if you are interested.