Volume 4, Issue 4, November 2015
Message from the Principal
Parents & Guardians,
The results of the AMP (Alaska Measures of Progress) test taken last year will be released soon. We are excited to see how our students performed. . We are very interested to see what picture this new test will paint for HHS. This test measures new standards so our data will be very different from previous years.
Here are some things that are different about the AMP as compared to the SBA.
- The AMP test measures how we are doing as it relates to the new state Standards.
- The SBA measured how well we did with the old state Standards or GLE's.
- The new standards are much more rigorous than the old GLE's.
- The two tests are so different you shouldn't try to compare them.
- Since the new standards are more rigorous, it is reasonable that most schools scores will appear to have dropped.
- The AMP test is going to give us totally different information than the SBA test.
- This test is not designed to be a high stakes test. It is to give a school information on how it is doing with teaching the mandated curriculum.
We are looking forward to having conversations with students, parents and community members about the new test results. After looking at our scores, the next step is to figure out how we can improve. I see this as a great opportunity for both our students and staff. Sean Dusek, KPBSD superintendent, has also written about AMP, which you can read below.
I expect to have another great year, but if something comes up or you have suggestions for improvement please let me know. My office is open and I appreciate hearing your opinions or thoughts. My goal is to be responsive to what our parents and community want and need. Please give me a call or come in and chat.
Dates To Remember
Nov. 3 - Site Council Meeting - in Library - 3:45 pm
Nov. 5 - Girls Wrestling Dual vs Mt Edgecumbe - In Gym - 6:00 pm
Nov. 9 - Football Banquet - in Commons - 7:00 pm
Nov. 12 - Wrestling Dual vs Kodiak - 6:00 pm
Nov. 13 - Colors of Homer Performance - at K Bay Cafe - 6:00 pm
Nov. 16 - Grade Check
Nov. 19 - End of the Road Hockey Shootout - 5:00 & 7:30 pm
Nov. 20 - End of the Road Hockey Shootout - 5:00 & 7:30 pm
Nov. 21 - End of the Road Hockey Shootout - 10:00 am & 12:30 pm
Nov. 26 - NO SCHOOL - Thanksgiving
Nov. 27 - NO SCHOOL - Thanksgiving
Dec. 1 - Site Council Meeting - in Library - 3:45 pm
Dec. 1 - Wrestling vs Voznesenka - Gym - 6:00 pm
The Use of Security Cameras in Schools
Each school day close to 8,000 students attend our 43 schools. While at school, the safety and security of your child(ren) is always our number one priority. As a way to ensure this, the school district and the borough have installed security cameras at your child(ren)’s school. This letter is written to advise you that the cameras are located in public areas inside and outside of the school buildings.
Please note that no cameras are placed in areas where students, staff, or community members have a reasonable expectation of privacy, e.g., a bathroom or a locker room.
School security is the main purpose for the cameras. However, recordings may be used in disciplinary proceedings. In addition, matters captured by the cameras may be referred to local law enforcement, as appropriate. For more information, view Board Policy 3515 School Safety and Security on the District’s website at http://www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/board.aspx?id=3040.
Please feel free to contact your school principal with questions regarding the cameras.
Superintendent of Schools
Alaska Measure of Progress (AMP) Update
Superintendent Sean Dusek said, “Our staff is working incredibly hard to make the instructional shift in expectations required by the new AMP assessment, and I’m confident we will rise to this opportunity. It’s important to realize that we utilize many sources of information and measures to help prepare our students for their future—AMP is one piece of the equation.”
We expect our district AMP results to be released by the Department of Education and Early Development (EED) in mid-October, followed by school summaries, and your individual student reports. We do know that Alaska’s new English and mathematics standards raise expectations for our students. It is very important that when we receive our results, and students receive their scores to remember:
- Student achievement has not declined.
- What is expected of students is more rigorous than previous expectations.
- These first AMP results are setting a new baseline to help us understand where students stand on their path to success.
We will continue to work with you to understand AMP results, and how we are preparing our students for future assessments now that the baseline has been set in this initial year.
This KPBSD webpage offers more information about AMP, and has links to the Alaska EED department pages. The district will update this page as more information is released. http://bit.ly/AMPtest
KPBSD Now Accepts Online Payments
RevTrak is the online payment system that will allow parents/students/community members to make payments for student activities, class fees, food service and other items or to make donations. A 3.61% transaction fee is added, which is the cost of the service and not a source of revenue for the district.
There are 3 ways to access RevTrak:
- Through KPBSD website
- Through PowerSchool
- Through “online payments” icon on KPBSD mobile app
The KPBSD website link will take you to the web store.
Homer Volleyball Has Been on a Hot Streak
National Success Indicators
In order to measure and show the public what a awesome and well-rounded education our students are getting, Homer High has been keeping track of several High School Success Indicators. Many of these indicators are used as a benchmark for some of the best schools in the country. We feel this gives us a much broader picture of how our students are performing than just AMP scores.
- Juniors with Algebra II (70%)
- Freshmen with 6 credits at end of their first year (85%)
- Seniors with a 3 or better on AP test, industry certification or college credit (60%)
- Graduation rate (90%)
- Students in activities (70%)
- Alternative testing
- SAT scores above 1560
- ACT scores above 23
The graphs below show how Homer compares to these national benchmarks.
HHS Success Indicators
As you can see from the graphs above, our students are getting a world-class education. We couldn't do it without a a wonderful and dedicated staff and supportive parents. The whole community should be proud of what these students have accomplished.
Here is a breakdown of the benchmarks and how Homer High students compare to these targets.
1. Juniors with Algebra II (70%) – 60% (Close)
2. Freshmen with 6 Credits at end of their first year (88%) – 89% (Hurray!)
3. Seniors with AP Scores of 3 or better, Industry Certification or College Credit – 60% (Hurray!)
4. Graduation Rate (80%) – 95% (Hurray!)
5. Students in Activities (70%) – 70% (Hurray!)
6. Alternative Testing
· SAT scores above 1560 – 1628 (Hurray!)
· ACT scores above 23 – 24.3 (Hurray!)
We feel these indicators give a much better view of how Homer High is meeting the needs of our students. If you have any questions about this information please give Mr. Waclawski a call at 235-4600 and he will be glad to answer any questions you may have.
10/2 Homer 55 - Voz 0 (WIN)
10/9 Homer 0 - Eilson 64
10/15 Homer 0 - Grace 3
10/16 Homer 3 - Houston 2 (WIN)
10/17 Homer 3 - ACS 2 (WIN)
10/27 Homer 3 - Nikiski 0 (WIN)
State Champions -Girls
State Runner-Up - Boys
State Academic Champions - Boys
Homer 60 - SoHi 18,
Homer 19 - South 57
Homer 42 - Houston 40
10/25 Homer earned 2nd out of 9 teams!!!
Individual Place Finishers
- First Place: Timmy Woo and Wayne Newman, Chris Cudaback
- Second Place: Tristen Cook, Levi King, Kyle Wells, Jadzia Martin
- Third Place: Luciano Fasulo, Ian Stovall, Jared Brant, McKenzie Cook, Teddy Croft, Wyatt Alborn, Josiah Stauffer
Girls Cross-Country Runners Defend Their State Championship!
Boys Cross-Country Runners Are Runner Up at State Meet and Earn Academic Award!
A.L.I.C.E Training at Homer High School
KPBSD has adopted a new strategy for armed intruders known as A.L.I.C.E., which is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. The A.L.I.C.E. program offers a different philosophy than we have used in the past in light of recent lower 48 school violence. The philosophy of A.L.I.C.E. is to provide technology and information to staff and students so they can make informed decisions in a crisis, remove as many people as possible from the danger zone and provide realistic training so that those involved in a crisis have a better chance of surviving.
We will continue to implement A.L.I.C.E. in phases. Last year the first phase of training of all students consisted of an introduction to the program, a short video and a class discussion on specific armed intruder scenarios.
The second phase consisted of A.L.I.C.E. drills that coincided with fire drills. Each drill consisted of an ALERT in the form of an announcement from the principal notifying everyone of the location of the “Danger Zone.” Teachers and students discussed strategies they could take to provide the safest outcome for the scenario.
This year we will have a refresher training of the A.L.I.C.E. protocol for all students. We will then implement A.L.I.C.E drills that coincide with fire drills at least 3 times per year. Our first A.L.I.C.E. drill will be held on November 4, 2015 at 11:52 am. Since these events are not predictable, we will provide different dangerous situations for discussion during each drill.
If you need more information or have any questions on the A.L.I.C.E. program you can call me at 235-4600 or read the following articles from our local papers which are included below.
Homer High School Principal
We Want You to Follow HHS on Facebook!
We want to be able to give you instant up-to-date information about what is going on at school. This can include emergencies, sports scores and dates and times of events. To stay tuned to what is going on at Homer High, "like" us on Facebook. The address is www.facebook.com/homerhs. Join close to 600 other people who have liked HHS on Facebook and the over 2000 people who view our Facebook posts.
It’s hard to believe that it’s November already. Lots of things are going on this month: ACT, college visits and the ASVAB administration among other important things. Additionally, college applications, especially those for out-of-state schools, should be completed ASAP in order to receive the maximum financial aid.
For a number of reasons, ACT has reduced the number of administrations in Homer. December 12 (register on-line by Friday Nov. 6) is the final opportunity for seniors to take the ACT locally (students can always go to Soldotna for later tests). Juniors will have a later in-school opportunity as part of their graduation requirements. Students can go to www.actsdtudent.org to register for any tests other than the on-line, in school administration.
The ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) is an excellent test of abilities for any students who is interested in a vocational career, as opposed to a four year college degree. This test which is required for military job placement, is a unique test of aptitude—where a student’s skills lie, rather than what he/she likes or hopes for.
PLU will once again be visiting Homer High. Many of our former graduates have found a comfortable home at this great school and have gone on to satisfying careers. Hannah Middlebrook will be on campus and is also available for interested parents who may have questions for her. Please call the Counseling Office if you would like to book a time with her.
All currently enrolled students who are attending year-long classes will automatically be enrolled in the second semester of that class unless we are instructed otherwise. Many students will be completing a semester of an elective which they wish to replace with another semester-long class. Please urge your student(s) to come to the Counseling Office to notify us of desired changes to their schedule.
Visit the Homer High School Website
Are you wondering when sports teams have home games? Do you have a senior who needs paperwork for their senior service project ? Do you want to see agendas and minutes from our site council meetings? Check out our school website to find answers to these and other questions.
The address is http://homerhighschool.blogs.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/wpmu/.
You can access PowerSchool from our website and weekly activities as well. There are lots of great links and valuable information about Homer High School. If you have suggestions for things you would like to see on our website, please talk to Mr. Waclawski.