HJHS Welcome Back Newsletter
Pursuing Personal Growth... Everyone, Everyday!
July 10, 2023
Welcome Back Hurricane Family,
I am very excited about the start of the 2023/2024 school year. Highland Junior High has a strong tradition of excellence in all areas, and we look forward to this year's successes. We plan to exceed expectations, reach more students, and serve our mission of Everyone, Every Day!
I hope you and your family are enjoying the summer break. Tuesday, July 25, is our first day of school! This newsletter includes lots of information to help get our students off to a successful start. Thank you in advance for reading through to the end. Of course, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us. We're here to help!
Sean Jonaitis, Ed.D.
Highland Junior High
We are excited to kick off our first athletic season, and the start of fall sports is upon us.
There are some changes to the upcoming seasons. Our Fall sports include:
First Quarter (July 31st - September 29th)
● Boys Volleyball
● Cross Country
● Boys Soccer
Please make sure your student-athletes are registered through
You can also visit our athletics page for future schedules and other FAQ’s.
Mr. Ryan Salazar
Assistant Principal/Athletic Director
Highland Junior High
7th Grade Administrator
WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) 7th Grade Orientation
We are super excited to welcome our 7th graders to Highland Junior High!
When: July 24th from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Where: Meet in the gym
What: ALL of our 7th graders will participate in team building activities with their peers, get a tour of the campus, and gain skills which will set them up for success from day one.
**Bus Transportation is available. Routes are found in the portal closer to the start of the school year. Check back often before school starts as bus routes are subject to change. Participants are picked up at their designated location and time and will have transportation home after our orientation.**
Student Schedules – Student schedules will be released in Infinite Campus on the afternoon of Monday, July 10. If there is a mistake such as the wrong lunch period, a missing class period, an incorrect level placement, etc., please email your child’s counselor or complete a change request form in the front office. A counselor will then contact you by phone to discuss the potential change. Please note:
We cannot make teacher changes, elective changes, or changes designed to place students with friends as the master schedule has already been set according to student registration selections.
From our counselors - Here are a few tips for students and parents to adjust to the new school year:
Be positive with your student when speaking about the school year.
Set a consistent bedtime and wake up routine.
Encourage your student to join sports teams, clubs or any other extra-curricular activities.
Ease any loneliness in the early weeks of school by helping your child arrange weekend social activities.
Talk about traits that make a good friend (such as being a good listener).
Talk about social skills. Discuss how words and actions can affect other people.
Remind your child to make eye contact when speaking when possible.
Help your student with time management skills.
Walk the Campus
What: Students may walk their schedules (7th graders who attended orientation will have already toured the campus). Teachers will not be on campus (you will get a chance to meet teachers at Curriculum Night). Our Media Technician, Mrs. Clarke will be in the Library to answer Chromebook questions. Our Athletic Administrative Assistant, Mrs. Escamilla will also be in the library answering questions related to athletics. Administration will be available to answer any questions.
HJHS 23/24 Bell Schedule
Bell Schedule - The warning bell at HJHS rings at 8:35am, and our school day runs from 8:40am to 3:30pm. Arriving at school on time will increase your child’s success during the school year. Wednesdays we have an early release at 2:30pm. The campus opens at 8:15 each morning.
8th Hour will run from 3:35 - 4:15pm with a bus at 4:15 for those students who typically ride the bus. Potential activities include tutoring, test redos and makeups.
Yearbooks can be purchased at www.jostensyearbooks.com. Don’t miss out on this fun publication which ensures your student remembers all of the great moments of the year!
School Picture Day - Wednesday, August 2, 2023
Make Up Picture Day - Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Office Hours - Our office will reopen on Monday, July 10th, from 7:30am - 4:30pm. That week the office is open Monday - Thursday; however, the following week our office will resume the regular Monday - Friday schedule.
School Breakfast and Lunch -. In order to receive free and reduced meals following families will need to fill out an application. Students who apply and are eligible for free and reduced meals will also receive additional benefits such as waived summer school fees, waived college testing fees, waived musical instrument fees, waived or reduced college application fees, reduced internet fees, and much more! Additionally, the free and reduced meal program ensures your school continues to receive funding for many school programs. Learn more here - https://www.gilbertschools.net/menu.
Apply online starting July 1, 2023, for the 2023/24 school year - gilbertschools.net/meals
Plan for a Successful Start! -
Athletics - During the summer months, we encourage students to get an athletic physical if they want to participate in our interscholastic programs. Detailed information about our fall sports can be found here.
Mark your calendars!
Curriculum Night - Our annual HJHS Curriculum Night will be held on Tuesday, August 8, from 6:00 - 7:30pm. During Curriculum Night, parents will follow a modified bell schedule that begins with the student’s first-hour class, and each class will last approximately 10 minutes. The schedule begins at 6:00, but if your child has an A Hour please be there at 5:45. We anticipate a large crowd, and parking may be challenging. Please plan accordingly.
First Day of School - Tuesday, July 25, 2023
We’re grateful for the support of our parents and community! Join us!
PTRO Meeting - Monday, August 28, 2023 - 4:00pm in the Library.
School Council - Monday, August 28, 2023 - 6:00pm in the Library.
And finally, please see the attached map which explains our traffic flow. Our parking lot is small, and we appreciate your help! Traffic Pattern
With plenty of summer left, there’s still time to do the things you love. Enjoy every minute!
Please us the link below to purchase PE clothes:
Please enter your STUDENT's name and a phone number in the comments
section when you pay for the order. Once you order your uniforms, they will be printed and you may have them shipped directly to your home (for a fee) or they will be given to your student the first couple weeks of school.
You may also purchase your own PE clothes with following requirements:
Plain round neck grey t-shirt
Blue athletic shorts (minimum 5 inch in seam)
Here is the link to the Student Device Handbook: https://www.gilbertschools.net/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=3612&dataid=2449&FileName=2023-2024%20Student%20Device%20Handbook.pdf
Here is the link to the Device Protection Plan: https://www.gilbertschools.net/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=3612&dataid=2450&FileName=2023-2024%20DPP.pdf
The due date to purchase the device protection plan is Sunday, September 3rd.
Students who have purchased the DPP (Device Protection Plan) and have not had a claim for damage to their device during the school year, will have their protection rolled over to the upcoming school year and their device will remain covered under the DPP. The yearly rollover of the original DPP purchase will remain in place until the student is no longer a GPS student or has a claim. Devices will be periodically inspected to ensure the device is in good working condition and a claim is not being avoided)
Student ID Badges 7-12 Grade
For the 2023/24 school year students in grades 7-12 will be expected to wear their student ID badges at all times. Students will be provided with their badge and lanyard during the first weeks of school.
Please work with your students to ensure they bring their ID badge with them to school every day.
When students arrive at school they will enter through a secured door or gate and will be required to have their ID badge for entrance.
Bus riders will use the barcode on their ID badge for getting on and off the bus. As a parent you will be able to view the whereabouts of the bus using the Here Comes the Bus app, more details below.
Students will continue to use the barcode on their ID badges to access nutrition services (cafeteria), library, and bookstore.
If a student forgets their badge they will be issued a temporary sticker badge for a small $1 cost.
Cost for replacement badges (lost ID’s) will remain at $5.00.
Video Intercom Entrances
Gilbert Public Schools is in the process of installing secured entryways at all of our schools. The process of adding secured entryways to all campuses is ongoing.
For the start of the 2023/24 school year visitors will be required to show ID and state purpose for visit prior to gaining entrance to the campus. Thank you for your support.
For more details please visit www.gilbertschools.net/safety.
Video intercom placed at main entrance to campus K-8
Visitors required to show ID and state purpose for visit before gaining entrance
Here Comes the Bus App 7-12 Grade
We are excited to announce the ‘Here Comes the Bus’, a service for our families whose students ride the school bus.
With ‘Here Comes the Bus’ parents can:
View the real-time location of their student’s school bus
Ensure their student gets to the bus stop at the right time, every time
Know when and where their child boards or exits the bus - Students ID badges will be scanned when they board and exit the school bus.
Parents can easily download the ‘Here Comes the Bus’ app (please see the attached flier with instructions). Once downloaded select whether you would like email, push notifications or both, regarding your student’s school bus. You can also select what you would like to be notified of.
● Please send your student to school with plenty of water so they stay hydrated. We want them to feel their best every day!
● Please remind your students how important it is to take a minute and lock their bike or scooter. This is just a reminder that we are not responsible for personal items that are stolen, and we’ve had one unlocked scooter stolen this spring.
2023 - 2024 School Calendar
● The first day of school is Tuesday, July 25. The calendar has been shifted because of the change in both our fall and spring breaks, which will each be two weeks long. Click here to see the full calendar.
2023 - 2024 Enrollment & Registration
● Do you know anyone who has not yet registered for the next school year? Send them our way! We’d love to give them a tour and answer their questions about what makes HJHS the best place to learn.
Infinite Campus - Important Dates For 23/24
The URL to access Infinite Campus has changed. To access the new URL just visit www.gilbertschools.net/IC
● July 10th - Our Annual Update begins. It is very important that all families complete the online ‘Annual Update’ to prepare for the new school year. The ‘Annual Update’ in Infinite Campus allows you to tell us of any updates to your contact information, address changes, and updates to emergency contacts. In order to ensure we can communicate with you regarding your student, or in case of emergency, it is essential that we have your up-to-date contact details. Please log in to your Infinite Campus parent portal and complete your student’s ‘Annual Update’ today. To access the IC portal visit www.gilbertschools.net/IC
● July 10th @ 4 pm - The IC parent portal opens for all of our secondary students. The portal provides access to your student’s schedule and other important information for the new school year.
Download the GPS App
● The GPS App includes a link to IC, as well as access to your student’s school calendar, meal information, bus routes, and other helpful information for parents and students. Visit www.gilbertschools.net/app for more information.
Thank-you for your support of HJHS! Please let us know if there’s anything we can do for you.
Sean Jonaitis, Ed.D.
Principal Highland Junior High