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Principal's Message

June 2017 -- Principal's Message

Dear Homestead -- 
Happy Summer, and thank you for helping us make the 2016-2017 school year a successful one! On behalf of the entire Homestead staff, we would like to wish you all a wonderful and safe summer filled with time spent with family and friends as well as discovering new lands and adventures.
While your thoughts have moved towards the relaxation of summer, we are already hard at work preparing for the 2017-2018 school year.  Each year provides new opportunities and challenges, and we are particularly eager for this coming school year.  Here are a few things that we would like you to be aware of when fall rolls around.
Innovation Hub (I-Hub) Building Construction:
The existing F building, which currently houses several classrooms (including the auto shop), the copy room and the facilities office, is being prepared for demolition sometime around the end of June to the middle of July.  This means the access road, the one between the F building and the student parking lot, will be closed and restricted to construction vehicles only.  There will be safety fencing surrounding the entire location of the F building but students and visitors will still be able to access the campus from that direction.  We will be placing four portables at three locations around campus:  two next to the Field House, one outside the weight room, and one near the solar panels between the upper fields.  
The F Building will be replaced by our new Innovation Hub or I-Hub building.  This new building will closely resemble our cafeteria design and house the Business, Computer Science, Robotics, and Visual Arts departments and will  include a student lobby that can be used for presentations or for student collaboration as well as a Maker’s Space.  There will also be major improvements to the landscaping around the new building that will continue over towards the B Building and Student Center to match the new quad design.  Expected completion is December 2018.
Summer Collaboration for Teachers:
Many of our course-alike teams have submitted proposals and been approved for summer work geared towards improving and enhancing student learning in those courses.  During the months of June, July and August, our teachers will be working on fine-tuning essential learning outcomes, developing SMART goals, creating common formative and summative assessments, analyzing data and creating new or improved interventions.  This time is also used to help newly hired teachers become familiar with our campus and our curriculum.
Teachers will also be heading off the workshops and conferences such as AVID, Advanced Placement, Project Lead the Way and Solution Tree Professional Learning Community conferences among others.  Select teachers and administrators from Homestead will be joining others from around the district for a second round of Anti-Bias training and plans are underway for a whole district staff development in August around the subject of Equity.

New Bell Schedule starting in 2018-2019:
In May, the teachers approved a proposal to better align the bell schedules of the five high schools to help with student wellness and to maximize collaboration at and between each site.  Currently and for the 2017-2018 school year, Homestead’s bell schedule will stay as it is but for the start of 18-19, the five sites will chose between two possible schedules.  The first of the two schedules closely resembles the ones at Cupertino, Lynbrook and Monta Vista while the second is similar to those at Homestead and Fremont.  Discussion will be held and input sought by stakeholders during first semester in order to create a final set of schedules so please keep an eye and ear out for those dates and opportunities.
Administrator Duties for the 2017-2018 school year:
All six current administrators will be returning for the upcoming school year, and we have been doing some adjustment of duties to better serve our students and focus more closely on our goals as a school.  John Rodriguez will be moving from the Guidance and Scheduling Assistant Principal (GAP) to focus on Equity, taking on such duties as Interventions, Professional Development, Student Assistance, 504’s and more.  Denae Nurnberg will assume the role of GAP, and Brian Dong will be the Infrastructure AP who focuses on technology, facilities, testing and other related duties.  The Deans will still be in charge of School Climate and will now oversee Activities (Brooke Chan) and Athletics (Steve Puccinelli) in addition to working with their alpha groups.  We are still in the process of defining each new roll and will post a much more specific chart on duties and responsibilities.
Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) directly donate to Departments:
At the end of this year’s PTSA Direct Appeal Campaign, the PTSA donated a total of $32,000 to the various departments on campus to help teachers fund and continue the amazing things they do to increase and enhance student learning.  Each of the five larger departments (English, Social Studies, Math, Science and World Language) will receive an additional $4,000 on top of their current budgets and the other departments (Business, Visual and Performing Arts, English Learner, Physical Education, Special Education and Career Technical Education) will receive $2,000 each. We are very thankful for the generosity of the PTSA and our community.  Please look for the PTSA summer mailer and join together to help our students and teachers.
During the 2016-2017, Homestead piloted a Homeroom program where we placed every 9th grade student into groups of about 20 then placed those groups with a staff member for the entire year.  The groups met every Friday during tutorial to help personalize the high school experience for each student and to try to build positive connections with at least one adult and other students from the group.  We surveyed students and staff throughout the year to monitor the effectiveness of the program in order to determine whether to continue the pilot by expanding into the sophomore year, go back to the drawing board or drop the program entirely.  While a majority of students and staff supported the pilot, we felt that we needed to better address some of the concerns voiced by both students and staff.  Making Homestead a safe and nurturing environment is an important goal so we will be meeting throughout the summer to re-work the program and see what improvements we can make.  The plan would be to roll out the new program in August.
Parents and Students needed for School Site Council:
The School Site Council (SSC) is a community advisory committee that works directly with the principal on items such as budget, technology, curriculum, the site and district goals related to School Plan and the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).  If you are a parent who is interested in becoming part of the SSC, please email me at so that I can place your name on the ballot to be voted on at our Back to School Night on September 13th.  Students can email me but are not required to be voted in.  I would like to thank Audrey Jee for being our President these past four years, but since she is graduating we will also be looking to appoint a new President as well as other positions.  This is a great opportunity to contribute to the overall school program as well as to educate yourself and others about Homestead.
Finally, I would like to congratulate the Class of 2017 for completing four amazing years at Homestead and am sure they will make their mark upon the world just as our other graduates have done.  I also welcome the Class of 2021 and look forward to working with our new students and families in the months and years to come.  Have a great summer and see you in August.
Greg Giglio, Principal