Homer High-Lights

Volume 5, Issue 5, December 2016

Message from the Principal

The year is almost half over. We still have a long ways to go but juniors and seniors need to start thinking about what they are going to do when high school is over. Seniors need to be finishing college applications, starting to apply for scholarships and narrowing down which college they would like to attend. Also, don't forget to apply for federal financial aid or the FAFSA!

For seniors who have earned the UA Scholars or the APS Scholarship, you must apply with both FAFSA and to one of the UA Campuses.

Juniors should make sure they are taking the SAT or the ACT and should be looking at colleges they may want to attend. This is also a good time to schedule college visits. A college may look good on paper, but they may be very different in real life.

For students who are not planning on going to college, you may want to look into a trade school such as AVTEC in Seward. You can use APS scholarship money towards this cost.

No matter what your plans are, the HHS counseling department is here to help you. Most HHS grads are very successful, but it is easier if you plan ahead.

We are always looking to improve HHS and I would love to hear your suggestions or insights. You can email me at dwaclawski@kpbsd.org or call me at 235-4600. If this doesn't work for you, feel free to come into school and I would be glad to chat in person. We work hard to develop a positive and safe school environment, but we can't do it alone. If you know of a problem, please let us know.


Douglas Waclawski


Dates To Remember

Dec. 8 --Pep Assembly - FOL

Dec. 9 --Hockey at Kevin Bell Arena vs. Chugiak 7:00 PM

Dec. 10--Hockey at Kevin Bell Arena Noon

Dec. 16--Hockey at Kevin Bell Arena vs. Kenai 7:00 PM

Dec. 19--Homer High Winter Concert 7:00 PM

Dec. 20 and 21--Semester Finals

Dec. 21--Candlelight Carols and Desserts 7:00 PM

Dec. 21--Hockey Alumni Game 7:00 PM

Dec. 22-Jan. 8--Winter Break No School

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HHS at the Nutcracker Faire

Help support HHS by visiting the high school booths at the Nutcracker Faire. We will have coffee, ceramics and metal crafts booths. Come see the great work our students are doing and maybe take some home with you.

Bus Schedule for 2017-18

The Homer Area is going to a 2 tier busing system for 2017-2018 school year and that means Homer High School will have a different schedule. For the 2017-18 school year HHS will start at 9:00 am and will end at 3:45 pm.

This should have a limited effect on the high school. Athletes will get home a half hour later and some students may miss an additional class if they travel for activities during the week, but there should be minimal disruption. The one sport that may be most affected by this is cross-country skiing since they would lose another 1/2 hour of skiing in daylight.

As a community the Homer area is going to have elementary schools getting out at 2:30 pm every day. Day care, clubs and the return of the Boys & Girls Club will have to fill this void. The area principals are working to make sure everyone is aware of this change and are ready when school starts in August 2017.

One big positive to this change is that our middle and high school students will get an extra 1/2 hour of sleep. There is lots of research that shows that adolescents do better in school when they get more sleep. There are also fewer car accidents from teens when they don't have to drive so early in the morning.

We understand these changes will not be easy for everyone, but if we work as a community we know that Homer will be ready.

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Swimming Excels at State!

Homer is all about the water and our Mariner Swim Team is no different. This year we had several standout swimmers and divers. We look forward to next year.

3rd Place - Lauren Kuhns - 500 Free (New School Record!)

5th Place - Lauren Kuhns - 200 IM

13th Place - Alia Bales - 50 free

6th - Rhythm Beckett-Cook - Diving

7th - Annalyn Brown - Diving.

PowerSchool App

Do you want to be able to track your child's progress at HHS via a PowerSchool App? I think we would all love that and now it is possible. There is a PowerSchool App. Just download the App to your phone and enter this code: FRGJ. Now you can get all the cool information from PowerSchool right on your phone.

Exam Schedule

It is the last month of the semester and exams will be upon us soon. This year, we don't have school on Thursday the 22nd and Friday the 23rd. Thursday is a teacher workday and Friday is a vacation day. It is great for families to get a head start on holiday travel, but it does create a weird schedule for that week. Here is the schedule:

Monday - Dec. 19th

6 period day (Normal Schedule)

Tuesday - Dec. 20th Finals

2nd (8:30-10:20)

4th (10:40-12:30)

6th (1:25-3:15)

Wednesday - Dec. 21st Finals

1st (8:30-10:20)

3rd (10:40-12:30)

5th (1:25-3:15)

US News & World Report has Listed Homer High as a Silver Award Winning School!

The list of top schools in the country, as reported by US News & World Report, is out and Homer High is among the top in the country again! HHS was awarded the Silver Medal for being in the top 5% of schools in the country. This award is based on AP, AMP, SAT and several other indicators. Go to http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools for more details.

Homer should be proud of our students, our teachers and our school. We continue to excel on state and local assessments, but most importantly, we help your child grow up and become wonderful citizens.

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Mariner on the Move Award Recipients!

Each Homer High faculty member selects one outstanding student per year based on scholarship and citizenship. Honorees, their families and the nominating teachers attended a November 18th celebration catered by the HHS Culinary Arts class. Second quarter winners were (pictured left to right):

  • Wyatt Arno nominated by Mr. Smith
  • Katie Clark nominated by Mrs. Seaton
  • Jacob Socha nominated by Mr. Love
  • Becca Chapman nominated by Ms. Reichenberg
  • Willem Strydom nominated by Mrs. Lowe
  • Drew Wimmerstedt nominated by Mr. Welch
  • Nate Kinneeveauk (not pictured) nominated by Ms. Mall

Counselor Corner


The time until Christmas break is a very important academic period for most students. Semester grades are part of their permanent record and only one of two opportunities during the year for HHS students to receive recognition for their hard work and diligence. Many students are behind in work and need to get caught up. Others are teetering between one grade and a higher one. We know that colleges and scholarship committees look for the best grades and can make life-altering decisions based on GPA.

The important message here is for students to use these next few weeks to get themselves in the best academic situation possible. Younger students sometimes have a difficult time seeing why grades are important when graduation is years down the road. We’re counting on the adults in their lives to help them see the importance of good grades for the kind of future you all picture, be it college, trade school or other training. For students who would benefit from a little additional help to improve their grades, there are several opportunities at HHS:

  • After school study hall with help from 3:15 –4:30 in Room B-206
  • FOL study hall in B-106
  • Specific teachers offer help for their subject during FOL. Students need to sign up with teachers.
  • National Honor Society has members who can help with tutoring, depending on the subject.


When our students return in January, many will have some new classes to attend. Academic classes are usually year-long but many electives end mid-semester. We are offer two new semester-long classes this coming semester: Yoga, which covers a PE credit and may be a welcome change from the usual weight lifting and Culinary II for students who completed and enjoyed the introductory class.

Most students should have already picked their second semester schedule. If your student has not done so yet, he/she needs to come into the counseling office as soon as possible. Schedules will be viewable on Power School. Because the majority of academic classes are year-long, the changes should be few, and mostly limited to electives.


The ASVAB test will be given on Dec. 6 at the HHS library. Any student considering military service must take this test as well as students hoping to gain some knowledge of their areas of ability. The test is free and will offer a follow-up interpretation in January.

Dates to Remember

Dec. 3—SAT (Register by Nov. 3 at sat.org/register)

Dec. 5 –College visit Linfield College

Dec. 6 --ASVAB testing

Dec. 10—ACT (Register on-line by Nov. 4 at www.actstudent.org)

Homer High has Gone Viral!

Homer High has gone viral. This isn't totally accurate, but a picture from our school taken by Alayne Tetor has been highly popular. The picture take below was taken from the balcony of our library before our teacher in-service. It is a beautiful picture and 40,000 other people agree. That is correct, we got 40,000 hits, 420 likes and 306 shares from this picture on Facebook! Thanks, Alayne, for your skill with a camera and your willingness to share your pictures.
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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, as well as 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.

Exam Exemptions Challenge!

It is almost time for exams and that means it is time for the Exam Exemption Challenge (EEC) The EEC is a reward for students with good attendance. If they have 3 or fewer tardies and absences in a class they can be exempt from taking the final exam.

Exam Exemption Challenge forms will be passed out on December 12th and your teacher and parent must both sign them. If parents don't sign the form the student will not be allowed to leave campus. Not all teachers participate in the ECC, but most do. Good luck and keep up the good attendance!

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.