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Principal's Message

Dear Homestead,

I am very thankful for the amazingly supportive Homestead parent community and am always on the lookout for how we can better include our parents in our school improvement plans. We are fortunate to have several groups of parents who contribute directly to our programs, both academic and extracurricular, at our school:  The Parent/Teacher/Student Association (PTSA); the HHS School Site Council (SSC); the various HHS Booster clubs such as Athletics, Football, Music, Equestriettes, and Cheer; and the Fremont Union High Schools Foundation.  An overwhelming amount of research points to a key component in successful schools is to have a highly involved parent community, but at the high school level finding the time and means for parents to be involved is much more complicated than at the elementary and middle school levels.

One factor that keeps parents off of the high school campus is that their own students often don’t want their parents on campus as well as some parents choose to stay off campus to help their students develop a better sense of independence.  I would also say that some schools don’t often find ways for parents to be involved.  Fortunately, Homestead has been looking for ways to increase parent participation and have made some small steps towards achieving this goal.

The easiest and most direct way that parents can participate is by joining one of the groups listed above to assist in the variety of ways that are needed, whether it is to generously give their time, money or expertise to help the cause.  Because of the number of groups and their specialized focus, we do find that some parents are confused about the purpose and goals.  Here is a quick chart to help answer some of those questions:

 


 

 

All of these clubs are looking for members who can help them continue the good work that they are already performing.  They have events and activities that require volunteers so if you have the gift of time, these groups would greatly appreciate your help (as would our students).  Sometimes, it is easier for a parent to give the gift of money to help these organizations replace, restore or augment equipment, materials and resources.  Our students have greatly benefited from the generosity of our parents and our parent groups to keep our academics and extra-curriculars in good shape.

For those parents who are looking to share their gift of expertise, we have a couple of places where that can happen.  Our biennial Career Fair is always looking for guest speakers to come talk to our students to share your stories and experience in your careers and fields.  The 2018 Homestead Career Fair is scheduled for January 18th and we need speakers who can commit to three 25 minute presentations between 9:00am and 10:35am.  We will even provide breakfast and coffee.  Recently, two social studies teachers (Mrs. Heaton and Mrs. Jacobs) also recruited some parent volunteers to help out in our Social Studies department as writing tutors for senior students who needed extra help on their research projects.  The students, teachers and tutors have all reported how much they have enjoyed working together so we will be looking to expand the number of parent tutors and opportunities in the coming year.  If you are interested, please feel free to email me.  

Hopefully, you found a few minutes to participate in parent survey that was administered by our District Office as we have found previous surveys extremely helpful in improving our services to your families as well as gathering important feedback for each site to consider.  The survey closes November 17th, and if you did not get the opportunity to participate, I hope that you will in the future as voicing your opinions and experiences directly helps our students and staff.

Finally, if you have an idea or suggestion that you would like to share please send it to me or attend one of the meetings for PTSA, SSC, Boosters or Foundation and let your voice be heard.  As the semester winds down and the holiday season arrives, I would like to wish all of you a happy, restful and wonderful season.

Greg Giglio, Principal

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

 

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 ...more

May 2017 -- Principal's Message

Dear Homestead,

In the month of May we celebrate Staff Appreciation Week. The term “Staff” is used to include both the Classified personnel such as office assistants, instructional assistants, ...more

April 2017 Principal's Message


Dear Homestead,

No matter what is happening in education or on school campuses, you will always hear the word “change.” Sometimes the change that happens is natural, such as when a senior class ...more

February 2017 Principal's Message

Dear Homestead --

Welcome to February, which means we are getting closer to course selection time. We put a lot of time and attention into the process in order to provide opportunities for all ...more

January 2017 Principal's Message

Dear Homestead,

Happy 2017! I hope all of you had a restful break spent with friends and family, and that you are now ready to kick off second semester.

One thing that you might notice if you are on ...more

December 2016 Principal's Message

Happy Holidays from Homestead and congratulations on the approaching end of the first semester! As the 2016 year starts to wind down, we know that this can be an especially trying time for students ...more

Principal's Message November 2016

Dear Homestead Families and Visitors,

Welcome to November! October has flown past us and we are now looking at the second half of the first semester, which means we will soon be heading into winter ...more

Principal's Message October 2016

Dear Homestead Parents and Guardians,

As most of you are aware, during the Labor Day weekend students at both our school and Fremont High School received some disturbing and threatening messages on ...more

September 2016 Message

Welcome to the 2016-2017 School Year! We are very excited to be kicking off our school year on August 15th and are looking forward to seeing all our new and returning students.

One of the most ...more

Summer 2016 Message

What are you doing for your summer vacation? If you are a Homestead teacher, then you are most likely going to be taking part in some form of professional development to help make the educational ...more

May 2016 Message

Dear Homestead Parents and Guardians,

I wanted to thank all of the parents who recently participated in the first FUHSD parent survey in February. Over 2,100 parents in the district responded; 466 of ...more