Homestead High School  Logo
Principal's Message Attendance Attendance Boundaries Bell Schedules Cafeteria/Food Services Campus Map Directions to HHS Local Control Parent/Student Handbook Policies and Procedures School Data Staff Directory Summer Mailer
Academics Home Library The Academic Center Art Department Business Department English Language Development Department English Department Mathematics Department Music Department Non-Departmental Electives Physical Education Department Career Technical Education Science Department Social Sciences Department Special Education Department Theatre Arts Department World Languages Department
Guidance Department Home Student FAQs Summer Programs Letters of Recommendation College & Career Center Concurrent Enrollment Course Selection Information Financial Aid Graduation and College Entrance Requirements Guidance Class Presentations Guidance Events Incoming 9th Grade Information Naviance Transcripts and Records Work Permits
ASB Clubs Cheer Team Equestriettes Dance Team Epitaph Graduation Mustang Achievements Student Government Forms/Resources
Athletics Home
Parents & Community Home Alumni Athletic Boosters Grad Night Recursos y Información para Familias de Habla Hispana School Site Council PTSA Music Boosters Safe Routes to School

Principal's Message

September 2017 -- Principal's Message



Dear Homestead,


Even though the school year has just begun, I wanted to use this space to talk about failure.  The mere mention of the word usually makes people panic and begin to get anxious but if presented with the proper framework, failure is just an eventual step towards success.  As I was walking through classrooms today, I noticed that one teacher had a quote on her whiteboard by Thomas Edison that read, “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”. The stigma of a failing grade or a low mark on a quiz, test, assignment or project has truly prevented some students and adults from understanding that school is about working through that what you don’t know in order to get a deeper understanding of that subject.  If we all understood the subject before it was taught to us, then there would be no need to even take the course.


I am not advocating that students fail their courses, but I am advocating that students be allowed to fail in small ways in order to be more successful in life. High school is truly an amazing time in one’s life because it usually comes with the struggle of finding out who you are and trying on new clothes or new ideas.  No matter who you are or what you did in middle school, you have the opportunity to reinvent yourself because of the sheer variety of activities and opportunities that are present at our school.  With over 70 student run clubs and nearly 20 different sports teams not to mention bands, choirs, dance teams, drama performances or robotics competitions, a student can experiment with any number of things to see if it works for them or not.  Fancy yourself an engineer, then take a crack at Robotics club or want to be a lawyer, then try Mock Trial.  If you end up hating it or failing at that, then you have learned something about yourself and can try another path. It is also true that students who find a connection with students and adults at school tend to do better in school.


The trick for seeing the positive in failure is to be reflective and honest about what didn’t work and what you can take from that experience.  It is very easy to blame others or look at external reasons as to why something didn’t work out for you, but if you don’t take the time to reflect on the experience, then you will be bound to make the same mistakes when trying something else.  


A very simple analogy is the common fire drill.  We just had our annual fire drill during August and despite running the same drill every year, we came across a couple of small issues and problems that showed a “failure” in the system.  Now a real fire is a truly chaotic situation so having a non-chaotic run-through is helpful because it allows us to study what went well and what went wrong.  If too many kids are clogging up an evacuation route, then we can adjust their pathway and alleviate a failure so that no-one gets hurt in the event of real situation. If we ignored the clogged route or pretended that it didn’t happen or claimed that it was the fault of the kids for walking too slow, then we have lost the opportunity to make the school even safer.  Or, if we just decided to celebrate the good parts, then we have really done a disservice to  our students, staff and ourselves.  


Since the six week grading period is near, I would hope that parents and students think about how they might take advantage of some negative news concerning grades.  If your grade in a certain class is not where you want it, then take the opportunity to review what worked and what did not go so well, so that you can keep those strategies that were effective and get rid of methods that do not work.  For instance, many students save the subject they are struggling with as the last piece of homework to complete at night when they are most tired and can more easily give up.  A better strategy would be to do that subject first while you are more awake to take on the challenge of learning something that does not come so easy.  Instead of going to tutorial of your favorite class where you grade is already strong so that you can spend more time with your favorite teacher, try going to the class in which you are struggling to get extra help from the teacher or your classmates. Because when the first progress report comes out, you still have more than half the semester left to adjust and improve your situation.  If you wait until the second progress report that comes out six weeks after that, then you have just under â…“ of the semester left to make those changes, which may not be enough time to overcome the initial failures.


If you are looking at School Loop on a regular basis to monitor your student’s grades and attendance, then you do not need to wait for the 6 week progress report to act. Teachers may also be also taking steps prior to progress reports to contact families or implement interventions for the student.  But finally, if you have any questions then please email the teachers to find out more information.  


So if you are checking grades or happen to get a progress report in the mail, please try to keep in mind what Thomas Edison said, that success could be just around the corner as long as you don’t give up.


Best Regards,


Greg Giglio, Principal