Dear Homestead Students and Parents,
Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year! We are very excited to be preparing for another great year here at Homestead because of the many opportunities and changes taking place.
Our staff spent the past year working on ensuring high levels of learning for ALL students with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and we are eager to see the fruits of our labors. We are getting preliminary results back from the new standardized tests (CAASPP), and so far the results look promising. In other words, for the first administration of the test with students who have had minimal exposure to Common Core, our students performed well! We know that the results and learning will continue to improve as we transition towards full implementation over the next several years.
We are very excited to be continuing a district initiative to improve and expand student access to technology , and we are proud to say we will have over 800 chrome books available for students to use in classrooms and the library. And as always, our teachers are collaborating together to create the best possible learning environment for your student. A large number of our teachers were able to put to good use the Common Core Implementation funds given to each district by the state. These teachers, meeting in course-alike teams, spent a lot of quality time together in June and August to adjust curriculum, develop formative and summative assessments, and create interventions and extensions for all students to fit the Common Core Standards.
We have also been working on our two other WASC goals of helping students to better prepare for success after high school and to provide a more engaging and safer educational environment. For more details about our goals, please refer to our School Plan by clicking on the link to the left under School Information.
The campus itself has also been undergoing a serious amount of activity this summer. Work has been completed on our new Cafeteria building including three new science classrooms, a totally redesigned quad. We are wrapping up this summer’s work on updating our utilities trenching and boiler replacement projects The utilities trenching project is a three-year project to replace the famous tunnels that run under our campus. The work will only be undertaken during the summer months; however, there will be some minor work being doing until about October. We are taking every precaution to provide a safe campus but we ask that both students and parents follow posted signs and directions from staff regarding walkways, pathways, driveways and parking. The trenching project will start again after school is out and be completed in August of 2016
Homestead High School enthusiastically embraces School Loop as one of the key forms of communication. School Loop sends out daily email, as well as links to important information on the HHS website, once signed up, parents will also receive a weekly “Homestead Blast”. This “blast” contains calendar items, information on upcoming events, as well as Homestead Good News. Instructions for signing up for School Loop can be found on the HHS website. Many teachers also use School Loop, which in turn allows parents to track student assignments and class progress. Other avenues of communication are listed below for you to consider.
- Report Cards are mailed to parents at the end of each semester. Progress reports are sent home with students at five-week intervals in their 3rd period classes.
- Computerized phone messages provide parents information about student absences, school activities and important school/community announcements.
- The Homestead parent community assists in supporting many of their student’s activities through Booster Groups. Parents are invited to join these Booster Groups and get involved!
- The P.T.S.A. (Parent-Teacher-Student Association) provides opportunities for parents to learn about the school and to become actively involved in school activities. Monthly meetings are open to everyone. A school phone directory is provided to all members of the P.T.S.A.
- Back-to-School Night, and Juniors’ and Seniors’ College Nights are all held to inform parents about important aspects of their students' education.
- Email is a highly effective way to communicate with staff members. Email addresses can be found on the school website at www.hhs.fuhsd.org
- The Epitaph student newspaper is an excellent source of information about Homestead for both students and parents. Issues are distributed to students on campus and parents may purchase a subscription for The Epitaph to be mailed home. Certain editions can also be found online on our website.
I would also encourage you to either attend or monitor our School Site Council (SSC) meetings throughout the year. You can find the link on our website by looking under the “Parent & Community” tab. There you will find agendas, notes and other information that you might find useful. The SSC is a great place for parents, students and staff to give voice to their opinions and help direct the school in a positive direction. We already have our elected members for the year, but the meetings are open to everyone so please check out the newly added dates for 15-16 and mark it on your calendars.
Homestead offers many opportunities to help make your high school years the best they can be. I strongly recommend that you get involved in one or more of the activities Homestead has to offer: athletics, color guard, band, choir, dances, drama, drill team, honorary organizations, newspaper, orchestra, special interest clubs, spirit squad, student government, and yearbook. Although it’s not required, your participation in these activities will open new doors, enable you to meet new people, and reveal incredible possibilities on which to grow and prosper. With your ideas, enthusiasm, and participation, we can continue our tradition of academic excellence. Don’t be afraid to get involved! Working together, we will make this a great year.
Finally, I have pledged to do a “Tweet” a day for the 2015-2016 school year, so if you would like to get a glimpse of what goes on here at Homestead, please follow me @principal giglio on Twitter.