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HJS Update

Posted on: October 4, 2020

We are already 1/8th of the way done with the school year.  It is hard to believe as we move forward the school year that we continue to work together.  I thank each of you for helping us with our clearing stations and drop offs each morning, the supportive families during the school day, and all of the amazing support that our students have received in their after school activities.



We continue to monitor and work with our students and staff with the potential impact of COVID-19.  Each week, I will work to remind our families that it is important to keep your child home if they are sick.  This is difficult living in the Midwest where allergies are rampant alongside frequent weather changes.  If we work together, our hope is to keep our schools open.  We thank our families for working together to do this. 

I do want to say a special thank you to our families who have been directly impacted this year.  Truly, you have worked in a sense of partnership with us and have helped a bad situation be much better by living our core values.  Thank you to those families.

Finally, it is important that if your family gets a flu shot to do so.  I received mine last week (and as many of you know, I HATE getting shots).  It is a simple step that we can take to help mitigate illness during a Global Pandemic. 


Academic Growth

Last week, the majority of our students finished the MAP assessment.  During the coming week, our teachers and students will be working together and setting goals. Remember, many students did not attend school for nearly 6 months, so we expect some slide in student scores.  For us, this assessment is about the opportunity to see where your child is performing, and then work to grow them.  Again, our mission of Academic and Social Growth for ALL students is lived through this process.

In the classroom, there were some incredible items that took place this week.  Mrs. Adams’s Social Studies classes were discussing and creating early American settlements, Mr. Wentz’s Alg 1 classes were working through one step and multi-step algebraic problems, Mr. Bowser’s classes were discussing Scientific process, and Mr. Bontrager’s classes were learning the game Speedball.  There is so much more happening too!  Take some time and talk to your kids about their learning.


Virtual Students and Families 

Virtual students are working through their MAP testing and will complete Math MAP testing early this week.  This is a new process for all of us, so again, thank you to our families for working together.

A few items to keep in mind: 

  1. If you have an 8th Grade student, they are taking Health online.  This is separate from the Accelerate Education Platform.  Please ask them if they are working on it, and if you need help email and he can provide updates.
  2. We have novels and art supplies for students in our office.  If you need something, please call our office and we will work to get it together for you and have it at our front desk.  Our number is 367-4831.
  3. Keep grinding away on your classes.  We are noticing that many of our students are keeping pace, but their accuracy on assessments is not going as well.  Never be afraid to reach out to one of the teachers directly, or to your academic coach.  Our goal is to support you in this process.


Social Growth

It is the final 2 weeks for Fall Athletics and our Teams continue to do well on the field. 

This week, we had to address a concern with one of our athletic teams regarding language usage on the field.  This included the use of a racial slur towards an opponent.    This type of language will not be acceptable for any student wearing a Wildcat uniform or will it be okay within the walls of our school.  I want to thank our coaches, as well as Mr. Rouster our Athletic Director for addressing this directly.  I also want to thank the athletes on this team who came to me after meeting with the team and stated they will take care of the issue, and then worked with our adults to be collaborative in solving the problem.

To be clear, I don’t share this information with any level of pride, nor do I share it to embarrass a student or family.  I share it because I believe in our core values of Trust and Ownership.  I also believe that it is important to be direct with our families.  Please take a moment this week and discuss with your child the importance of language and what you believe is acceptable in your home and in our school. 

This is for all students, not just athletes.  We speak of social growth in our mission, we appreciate you working with us to help eliminate this kind of language in our school and our community.


Finally, as the weather turns colder, we are formulating a plan for students who would like to use lockers this school year.  Over the next two weeks we will be sharing what this looks like for your child based upon recommendations from the Department of Health and Best Practices from other school districts.


Thank You

Finally, I have always enjoyed greeting our students at the busses or when they walk into school, but this year I have enjoyed getting to connect with parents (even if it is only for a second) when you drop students off in the morning.  At the morning drop off, we are only going back 3 cars to ensure students can unload and cross the lanes safely (this was actually a suggestion from a parent in the drop off-line).  Thank you for your patience as we moved to this over the course of the past week.  It has made a difference.


We are looking forward to a great week!!!