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  • Check out the new Health Center website: herculeshealthcenter.weebly.com 
    Learn about our programs and sign up for our Open House sessions in December.
     
     
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Principal's Updates

  • Principal's Update 04.20.14

    Posted by Jen Bender at 4/20/2014
    Hello Titan Community,
     
    Hope you enjoyed your Spring Break which now seems so far away even at only a week ago. We are officially counting down to the end of the year and are planning all of those end of year things. And now on to:
     
    Congratulations & Appreciations
    •  The High School Staff who, this year, is taking on our Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation all on their own (before this year it was combined MS and HS). The teachers have been putting in extra time to finalize they report and I appreciate their work. The WASC visiting team will be here April 28th and 29th.
    • Ms. Kidder & Ms. Tamosunas who have been our pilot MS teachers on getting the SBAC testing started using carts of tablets.  It has been rather awesome to see kids log in to their tablets, wearing headphones and typing answers in. I hear the test is hard, new always is a challenge
    • The MS security staff and Ms. Perkins who have all stepped up for our new Friday common lunch. The library is full of kids playing games and the quads, with special help from our parent volunteers, are well supervised.
    • Congratulations to Mark Gardiola - Chin (senior) who was selected as the Hercules Chamber's Youth of the Year for his involvement in Hercules' Leo Club, Hercules High School's SSC, the Hercules High School French program, and Hercules High School's swim team.  Bravo, Mark!
    • To Jospeh Fortuno, Andrew Dirk, Kayla Butler, Kelvion Pruitt, Chelsey Winston and Angelica Orellana who competed at the Northern California Junior Achievement Entrepreneurship competition at Intuit Headquarters in Santa Clara.  We were the only team from WCCUSD, in fact, we were the only team from north of Alameda County competing. 
    • Over 60 of our HHS ROP and AHIT students attended WE DAY this year.  WE DAY was covered by KTVU channel 2 news and brought us  some positive press.  WE DAY organizers also highlighted Hercules High School and our students on the Jumbotron during the event. Students earn a ticket to we day through youth service.  Our students chose the California Autism Foundation and Free the Children as the two charities they would work with this year. They were perfectly behaved at the event and really got into the whole spirit of being agents for change both locally and globally. Ms. Sampayo did a great job organizing this and was glowing with pride for our students. 
    • The following East Bay MESA Winners are preparing for the Regional Competition April 27: Ernestina Hsieh, Kirsten Rose Kho, Jahnvi Doshi, Lauren Yen, Peter Nguyen. Good Luck Titans.

    And on to this week: 
    • Prom Sales continue and the cost of tickets continues to go up. If you would like to bring a guest please set up your appointments with an administrator through office manager Ms. Turner
    • The MS 8th grade promotion ceremony will be on the football field this year and you will have 6 tickets. We sent home a flyer with your student about this and the dance. 
    • For HS graduates, last week Jostens was here to get those cap and gown orders in. Make that happen. We also need your speaker sheet information as well as that signed graduation contract. Without it, there will be no walking the stage. 
    • On Thursday we are offering an opportunity for your MS student to apply to the Mathematics Achievement Academy. Participating in this academy will enhance and prepare your student for the next year math curriculum. Please note that this not an intervention class. If interested please come to the library between 6:00-7:30 to fill out the applications. Feel free to call Ms. Mendes with any questions. Ext. 25130
    •  We had a HS dress code check on Friday during 2nd period and it went pretty well. We will be doing these at random so please continue to dress appropriately so we do not have to confiscate your clothes and have you were PE things. 

    Have a great week and Go Titans!

    -Ms. Bender
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  • Principal's update 04.15.14

    Posted by Jen Bender at 4/15/2014
    Hello Hercules Community,
     
    I wanted to let you know that I have requested a new assignment and will not return as principal of Hercules Middle High School in the 2014-15 school year. This decision was made in the best interest of the students and staff at our school. It is my sincerest hope that my departure will allow the school community to continue its focus on preparing students for success in both college and career.
     
    The district is currently recruiting two principals for next year, one for the middle and one for the high school, and will schedule opportunities for parents to give input on the characteristics you would like to see in the new principals.
     
    I will remain principal through the end of the school year and will work to ensure a smooth transition for the new leadership team.

    Thank you for the opportunity to serve our students and I look forward to the continued success of both schools.

     
    --Ms.Bender
     
     
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  • Principal's Update 03.30.14

    Posted by Jen Bender at 3/30/2014
    Hello Titan Community,
     
    This Monday Marks the first day of the 4th quarter, which means we are now officially in spring and marching our way toward Summer.  While we do that we are continuing to stay focused on learning.  Which brings us to this week's 

    Congratulations and Appreciations: 
     
    • To our AHIT students who participated in "We Day" event this week at Oracle Arena. The students came back energized and inspired to be part of making our world a better place.
    • Mr. Crosby, Mr. Allen, & Mr. Hudson who are working with out neighbors BioRad to have scientist visit their classrooms.
    • Appreciate Ms. Cruzat, Ms. Palis, & Mr. Crosby as our MESA sponsors for supporting our MESA students, who this past week were  deep in work preparing for this week's MESA competition. They were working on technical papers,  their academic board display, powerpoint presentation, and practicing object relocation and distance accuracy of their prosthetic arm. It all sounds very technical.
    • Thank all the teachers and staff who came to the Gender Spectrum training this past Wednesday. Gender Spectrum will be completing trainings with our 9th and 10th grades on April 15th, 17th, and 18th. If you want to know more please contact the health center. 
    • And to the parents who came out for the MS Open House on Thursday. We appreciated seeing your faces.
       

    Now on to this week

    • We are always working on building new relationships with Community Based Organizations (CBOS) and are currently building MOUs with the Rainbow Center, RYSE Center, and Disconnected. Our ability to coordinate and work with these organizations is based on health center funding. Keep that funding coming by completing the parent healthy kids survey.  You can get a paper copy in student services or take it online through our web site. We need 20% of parents to maintain funding and only have 5% so far. That means we need 300+ parents. Help your child have access to anti bullying, tolerance, and positive school climate services by taking this survey.
    • Monday is 3rd quarter grade marking for teachers which means students are on a minimum day schedule. MS is out at 1:25, HS out at 1:48.
    • Tuesday we have the MS/HS Spring Band Concert from 7:30 to 8:30 in the HS gym
    • & Wednesday we have the MS/HS Spring Orchestra concert form 7:30 to 8:30 in the HS gym
    • Wednesday is also Career Day for the HS side. Students have signed up for and will have 2 presentations to attend 2nd and 3rd period from adults in the community who work in fields they are interested in. Special thanks to Office Manger Ginny Turner for her work on this.
    • Thursday is the HS Open House. It starts at 6 and goes until 7:30. Leadership has been planning some special events including food sales and tabling in the quad. Hope to see you there. This means that Thursday is also a minimum day for HS only-- out at 1:48.
    • This Friday the MS is trying out a single lunch period once a week. This single lunch means that student clubs can meet and teachers can collaborate. Right now we have a few parent volunteers who supervise on Wednesday and Friday lunch, but we are looking for more on Fridays. Lunch starts at 11. Check in with Ms. Turner to volunteer for lunch supervision.
    • Mark your calendars for Saturday April 26th from 10-12 for an HMHS Voices of the African American Community gathering co-sponsored by the Blackboard. We want to hear your voices and build a stronger HMHS for our African American youth. We'll be sending out flyers and asking you to RSVP soon.
    • This Friday is the last day before spring break, which means no school the week of April 7th. Please support your children in taking all their books and homework home as the school will be closed that week.

    Have a great week and go Titans!

    --Ms. Bender
     
     
     
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  • Principal's Update 03.23.14

    Posted by Jen Bender at 3/23/2014
    Titan Community,
     
     It was such a lovely week last week in so many ways,  from great weather to good events and a clear focus on learning in the classrooms. On to the
     
    Congratulations & Appreciations
    • To MS math teacher Ms. Rose for her work on teaching multiple methods-- that means different methods to solve the same problem. I saw her students' brains working as she explained the methods and gave them time to work on this common core task. Awesome.
    • On the HS side we have students deeply engaged in work such that I saw students after school in Ms. Cruzat's room finishing tests, others in Mr. Karr's and still more sitting in the cafeteria before school getting things done. Keep it up.
    • The MS journalism class for all their work on the food drive. They students thank you all for your donations. The winning class was Ms. Kidder's.
    • To coach Kyle and Athletic Director Strickland and all of our volunteers for putting on a smooth home track meet Thursday. Not only was our hosting well done, but we did some serious winning on the track as far as our boys were concerned.
    • Friday I was able to stop by the softball game, tennis matches down on Refugio, and the swim meet (which was cancelled due to high chlorine levels in the pool),  And then it was on to the HS Musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie", where we had a packed house. The extra curriculars are in full swing. Come check them out. 
    And on to this week:
    • Scholastic Book Fair-March 26 through April 2 in the Career Center, to help us raise funds for books in the library
    • This Friday is the last day of the 3rd quarter- it's time to make sure you have all your work in and have prepared for those final projects and exams
    • Thursday from 6-7:30 pm is the MS Open House. This means that it is also a minimum day for MS ONLY, HS has a normal day. The teachers have been working hard on some hands-on activities for you to take part in as you come learn about what your students have been doing this year. 
    • The Musical continues this week playing Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7pm with a Sunday matinee at 2pm.
    • Prom tickets are on sale and prices are going up week by week. Get those tickets now and if you have a guest be sure to pick up the proper forms and schedule the interview with an Assistant Principal. 
    • Reminder about the Parent Healthy Kids Survey. We still need a 20% survey rate in order to maintain the health center funding. The link to the survey is on the website under headlines.

     Have a great week and Go Titans!

     
    --Ms. Bender
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  • Principal's Update 03.16.14

    Posted by Jen Bender at 3/16/2014
    Hello Titan Community, 
     
    It feels like summer, but summer is still very far off. This makes it a challenge to keep our students focused on academics and that we are still in the 3rd quarter, but we are reminding the students everyday. Please back us up at home, especially with the seniors. 
     
    Congratulations and Appreciations:
    • To the students, parents, teachers and counselors who are working on the scheduling for MS and HS. Last week went really well and we will be finishing up this week. Please continue to log in at home and update requests as necessary.
    • HS Interact Club and Leadership for the multicultural rally this past Friday. We had both in-house and outside entertainment. the student performances were fantastic and you can see some posted on the Contra Costa Times video feed.
    • With this we have the health center to thank for the 2nd annual heath fair on Wednesday and the overall Increase the Peace  
    • MS dance on Friday was fantastic. Thank you 7th graders for planning, organizing and congrats on getting your 100 guests so that it could happen. Thank you too to the teachers who volunteered their time as chaperones. 
    • We have had 2 class meetings, Junior and Seniors, over the last couple weeks to not only go over fun class events, but to address academics both HS graduation and college readiness. Ask them what got addressed at the meetings to that you can support them.

    And on to this week:
     
    • Prom is in the city on Friday, May 9th at the SF City Hall. and ticket sales start March 31st At $85 and will go up in price as we get closer to the date.
    • Scholastic Book Fair-March 26 through April 2-Career Center.
    • MS food drive continues in to its second and final week,  Please bring your non perishable food items and support our students in addressing hunger in our community. 
    • This Friday March 19th the Marines will be on campus, their is a sign-up sheet to meet up with them in the HS counselors office
    • We have a new HS health center groups starting, this one is an 8-week Seniors only support group called “moving in to the future”. It is about fears and anxieties and come up around the transition out of HS. It starts April 1st, you can sign up in the health center.
    • AASU  members can sign up to see the play “Fences”. Tickets are $15 in the cashiers office and must be purchased by March 21st. space is limited, see Ms. Jones with  questions.
    • Tuesday and Wednesday is CAHSEE, it's a make up day for 10th graders who missed it in Feb as well as Seniors who still need to pass. Be sure to check if you need to take it with your counselors.
    • BIG reminder on the dress code. We need your help in supporting appropriate non-distracting clothes at school. This means stomachs are covered, underclothing is not visible, spaghetti straps and short shorts stay at home. Check your students before they leave and remind them about the difference between what is appropriate at school and what is appropriate outside of school.
    Have a great week and Go Titans!
     
    --Ms. Bender
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  • Principal's Update 03.09.14

    Posted by Jen Bender at 3/9/2014
    Hello Titan Community,
     
    I do hope everyone was able to rest his weekend despite the time change, to settle into some normalcy and spend some time enjoying the balmy weather.
     
    Congratulations & Appreciations, 
    •  I would like to thank the Titan Community from teachers to students, from parents to police officers, from clerical staff to aides and custodians, for coming together this past week. There was a remarkable outpouring of support and community that I can not be more appreciative of. As we get back to the business of learning, we will continue to focus on safety, tolerance, and community building.
    • The following students participated in the "Get on the Bus College Tour 2014", Feb 26th-Feb 28th with the Young Scholars Program (YSP – A college preparatory program). They visited a variety of colleges and were able to look concretely at their college plans. Congratulations,  Robert Sterling Booker, Solomon Clark, Jordan Griffin, Marquis Jones, Davion McFadden, Harshdeep Singh, and Kahliel Walker for connecting to Young Scholars!
    • To MS counselor Ms. Mendes who has visited all of the 8th graders to tell them about HS graduation requirements, college A-G classes, and overall opportunities. Check in with your 8th graders on what they learned. 
    • Our HS counselors who went to all 9-11 grade History classes and passed out a 4-year plan (for graduation as well as college readiness) document and reviewed how to complete a 4-year plan including what they are taking right now. I know the awesome counselors sent out a message to tell you to go over this with your students, so I'm just reminding.
    • I am happy to announce that we have a new computer lab with 36 working computers and 1 teacher computer and projector for teachers to check out and use. Previous to this the one check-out lab was in the library with the computers scatted all around. The new lab has changed the volume (as in loud/soft) of cyberhigh and made it possible for us to complete testing and surveys, and now for teachers to use. One computer lab down, at least one to go. 
    • The past couple weeks we have had some of our MS parents helping us out on lunch duty. They've walked around, checked in with kids, helped mediate conversations, and have been a general extra adult presence. We can always use more lunch-time adult supervision. If you would like to join the lunch-support team, please contact office manager and organizer extraordinaire, Ms. Turner

    And on to this week:

    • Scheduling for MS and HS starts this Monday and will go on for the next 2 weeks. We are doing this all online and you should be getting calls from the counselors on how to log in to help your student. Check in with your student and have them check in with their counselors to support appropriate sign-ups. 
    • The MS food drive starts this week on March 10th and goes through March 21st. The classes (and teachers) are competing against each other. Non-perishable food items can be turned in to any MS teacher.
    • We have the joint MS/HS Scholastic Book Fair coming up on March 26 through April 2 in the College & Career Center. Volunteers are still needed, please contact our fantastic librarian, Ms. Perkins. 
    • This week, as planned some time ago, is Increase the Peace Week on the HS side. The Health Center and School Administration in partnership with area Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Student Leadership and our students in general will have the following:
      • Monday their will be teen-focused peace-oriented videos playing at lunch in H624 and the College and Career Center
      • Anti-bullying peer presentations in 9th grade history classes on Tuesday and Thursday
      • Wednesday a health fair during the common lunch with tables for the RYSE center, Familias Unidas, the American Teenager Project, The Rainbow Center, STAND, the mobile clinic, CVS, and No Place for Hate, our upcoming site-wide 6-12 grade campaign for Peace.
      • Friday tops off the week with the Multi-Cultural Rally which is always an awesome show.

    Have a great week and GO TITANS!
     
    --Ms. Bender
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  • Principal's Update 03.02.14

    Posted by Jen Bender at 3/2/2014
    Hello Titan families,
     
    Last week was busy and full of extra curricular activities but we continue to stay focused on academics, safety, and ensuring that your student is safe and learning.   We hope those progress reports made it to your homes on Friday. So, for this week's
     
    Congratulations and Appreciations, 
    • On Saturday I had the pleasure of being at the NCS Division 2 boys soccer final. The boys fought hard through the game and 2 overtimes, but lost in penalty kicks. For the Seniors it was a sad day, but to echo our Athletic Director, We couldn't be more proud and you are all champions to us. Thank you to the parents, teachers, and counselors who came out to support out Titans!
    • Mr. Amajioy, MS science teacher who sent students to the district science fair. We had 2 winners:  Noah Malicse and Gianna Rose Guro. Well done.
    • The AASU finished Black History Month with their stunning Showcase on Friday night. Nia Ewing & Jerrick Bernstine were the MCs of our history tour and their are so many other amazing students to appreciate. Ms. Jones did an amazing job coordinating it all and I hope she has found some rest this weekend.
    • Two middle school students, Mya Lagdamen and Brianna Lee, both sixth graders, have turned the Rainbow Loom activity into a leadership opportunity.  They have volunteered to teach classes on Thursday and Friday at MS fifth period lunch.  The Thursday class is for experienced “loomers” and the Friday class is for beginning “loomers.”  Both classes filled up the first day of sign-ups.  Mya and Brianna are talking about making this an ongoing thing.  Just goes to show that there are leadership and community service opportunities everywhere~!
    • One of our HS students in the visually impaired class, Charlie Cleberg picks up trash every day during his lunch break on the high school side.  He picks it up with his very flexible toes, piles it up in his lap and takes it to the trash can.  Thank you Charlie for keeping our campus clean.
     And on to this week:
    • It looks like a clear week as far as Student activities are concerned with only a few athletics on site. Check out the athletic listing on our web site.
    • We do have HS Homework Club on Tuesday in the College & Career Center and ongoing math tutoring , the schedule is available in student services.
    • Hercules Middle High School will have its first in many years Scholastic Book Fair, from March 19 through 27.  Students will be able to shop at the Book Fair at lunch, during classroom visits, after school, and during both the Middle School and High School Open House events.  Proceeds from the Scholastic Book Fair will be used to add new and exciting books to the HMHS library.  Parents, if you would like to volunteer at the Book Fair, please contact our librarian, Mrs. Perkins."
     Have a great week and Go Titans!
     
    --Ms. Bender
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  • Principal's Update 02.23.14

    Posted by Jen Bender at 2/23/2014
    Hello Titan families, I hope you had a restful and enjoyable break.
     
    I know one person who didn't and that is Jason Strickland our Athletic Director because while school isn't in session, HS sports games and practices are running strong. Which brings me to 
     
    Congratulations & Appreciations for the past 2 weeks: 
     
    • For the successful first HMHS event in honor of Black History Month, the Poetry Slam. we had about 25 submissions and roughly 80 in attendance.  Two students from the middle school participated as well, which was truly a treat! (Thank you Mrs. Bernhardt)  The AASU would especially like to thank the judges--Mrs. Perkins, Mrs. Benham, and Coach Kyle as well as Ms. Floresca, Mrs. Gatchalian, and Mr. Karr for supporting the event.
    • The 11th Annual MS Spelling Bee was back on the 13th. The top 5 spellers will go on to the District Bee at DeJean. Our number 1 speller will go to the County Bee in Walnut Creek. The winners are:

      #1-Meagan Gacayan

      #2 Jahnvi Doshi

      #3 Ernestina Hsieh

      #4 Emily Yee

      #5 Lauren Yen

    Congratulations to all our spellers and thank you to the parents an entire MS English department for their commitment!
    • The HS Mock Trial Team who has been deep in competition with multiple trials at the Martinez Courthouse. The students have worked extremely hard to prepare for these trials including meeting two times a week since September and every Saturday for the past four or five weeks for at least three hours to scrimmage. Colin Coffey and some associates from his firm have supported them as well. We appreciate their hard work and commitment. 
    • Congratulations to Brandon Chow and Jing-Yi Chung who have been accepted in to the Ivy League Connection DNA/Biotechnology course at Brown University for the summer. 
    • The AHIT students have been brainstormed and voted on a company name and also came up with 5 mission statements which they will vote on next week. The winning company name is Herban Dictionary Products.  Our first JA product will be a cookbook, written by the students that will focus on herbs and spices.  The book will contain information on a spice or herb such as the botanical name, origins, folklore, medicinal uses etc., and a corresponding student recipe that the students cooked and sampled.  The name of the cookbook is Herban Dishes.
    • On the Leadership side, we had an awesome HS club fair on valentines day. From fruit kebobs to potted cacti in jars, to paper flowers and marriages on stage, the event was festive and upbeat as well as a great fundraiser. Thank you to the sellers and to the buyers (plus Coach Ochs).
    • Girls basketball who in the Tri County Athletic League (TCAL) 2nd round played Pinole at Hercules.  The game went to triple overtime with the Titans pulling out the win! On Thursday the Girls played St. Mary's at Hercules.  The Titans fell to the Panthers and were eliminated from TCAL playoffs.
    • For Boys soccer, in the 1st round of North Coast Section (NCS) vs Acalanes at Hercules, the exciting game that came down to the last minute.  The Titans rallied to beat the Dons 3-2. The boys then went on to the NCS 2nd Round Saturday night vs San Lorenzo at Hercules.  In another exciting game, the Titans beat the Rebels 1-0 to advance to the Semi Final round of NCS playoffs.  This is the first time in school history that Titan Soccer has advanced to the Semi Final round of NCS.
    • Thank you Coach Strickland for your work at these events, Coach G our announcer, Dave, G-K and Coach Kyle along with all the others for working doors, keeping the peace, and

    And on to this week

    • The second Black History event is our student showcase on this Friday, February 28 at 6pm in the high school theater.  Admission is $3 for students and $5 for adults.  The evening will include a guest speaker, student skits, and a wide range of performances. The AASU, as well as members of the community, are all working very hard to make this event a success.  Some teachers are offering extra credit. Hope to see you there!
    • Tuesday is the last FAFSA workshop for students and parents. As an added incentive to get this done, an outside agency will award $2000 to the senior class with the highest completion percentage, $1,000 for 2nd place and $500 for 3rd place.  Who will take the Financial Aid Cup in 2014? In addition, $600 will be awarded to the counseling department of the winning school, $400 to 2nd place and $200 for the 3rd place school.  This award money is to be used towards college access related activities. Get your FAFSA in and help your class and school! (not to mention, yourself)
    • For athletics we have 1st and 2nd rounds of NCS playoffs for Girls and Boys playoffs.  Boys Soccer will also play in the NCS Semi Final round Wednesday at 3:30 at Ignacio Valley. In total we have 17 athletic events this week including: tennis, golf, volleyball, baseball and softball this week. Track and swimming continue to practice. 
    • With the last report cards, you received a Lucky Rewards Card. Please use the card and a portion of our purchase amount is donated to HMHS. Our first purchase with the awards will be MS and HS awards shelving for the library entrance. Help us celebrate your students in a more public way.
    • We continue to have HS homework club on Tuesday's after school from 3:30 to 4:30 in the college and career center. Last week we had one-on one tutoring between students and peers. Snacks now available at the homework club!
    • MS spring picture day is this Friday. Be ready.
    • Teachers are turning in progress reports end of day on Monday which means that they will be in your students' hands on Friday. Keep an eye out for this important grade update.

    Have a great week & Go Titans!
     
    --Ms. Bender
     
     
     
     
     
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  • Principals' Update 02.09.14

    Posted by Jen Bender at 2/9/2014
    Hello Titan Community. This week I am back to my usual format so I want to start with
     
     
    Congratulations & Appreciations:
    • Last week our HS students rose to the challenge of wearing IDs on campus all the time; visible and around the neck. It took some work detail for some, but we are getting there. The IDs supports safer campus because we know that a student belongs on campus and on which side and we can identify them. They also are used to check out books, buy prom tickets, get a free or reduced lunch or check in with a class substitute, or verify who you are for testing. 
    • The security staff has also risen to their challenge of checking those IDs and being at the gates in the morning and the central gate all day long to welcome you on site. Please say hello and thank them for their work.
    • Thank you to the teachers (Ms. Bernhardt, Ms. Lucas, Ms. Benham, Ms. Dominguez) and community members who come to last week's LCFF/LCAP meeting. Your suggestions were helpful and will support budgeting around a strategic plan that focuses on our kids.
    • We got word that 2 of our seniors have received scholarships for their essays connected to Chevron's William F. King 2014 Black History Awareness Celebration. Tiffany Farmer (1st place)  and Shannon Culpepper (4th place) received $3000 and $1250 respectively and will be presenting their essays on Wednesday, Feb 19th at 11:00 am at the Richmond Refinery Cafeteria. 
    • Our HS leadership class (+ Mr. Ochs who coordinated and Mr. Hickok who jumped through hoops) who gathered together a greeting party and powerpoint about HMHS for the district youth commission representatives and board members. The youth commission is composed of students from all the high schools who advise the board. The students had asked to tour all the high schools so they could see what it was like at each one and better relate to each other. Smart kids. Thank you leadership.
    • Friday was an eventful night at HMHS with The OMG or Outrageous Musical Gala performance in the HS multi purpose room, boys basketball in the gym and a water leek soaking the floor in the MS gym. I really enjoyed OMG and want to thank our teachers: Ms. Thrift, Ms. Calonico and Ms. Genna as well as the parents who worked the door, brought the food and helped on costumes. The students in both spaces were excellent!
     And now on to this week:
    • This week along with keeping the pressure on IDs we will be cracking down on the visibility and use of cell phones, electronic devices, and headphones. These items are only to be used before and after school not during class, passing periods, lunch, or in the restrooms. As a parent or guardian we ask that you channel your emergency contacts with your child through the office, not to their phone-- when you text them or call them during the school day it causes the student to look at their phone (and then other notices) as well as answer calls. We will be confiscating these items this week if we see them out.
    • Tuesday the 11th is the 8th grade panoramic picture. The picture will take place during 7th period on the football field. Please make sure your student is dressed appropriately for this picture. 
    • Math night is finally here despite the many changes is date. The night is Thursday the 13th from 6 to 7:30 in the HS multi purpose room. 
    • The MS spelling bee is also that night from 6:00 on in the MS Multi purpose room 
    • The HS School Site Council (SSC) meeting follows the math night at 7:00 pm in the library (although we may change it to 7:30), so please check your email if you are on the council or call the school
    • The HS AASU first event in honor of black history month is a poetry slam this Wednesday Feb 12th at 6pm in the HS theatre. Admission is $2 for students with IDs and $3 for adults. Children <5 are free. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our African Americans.
    • Juniors, if you need help preparing for your SAT exam in May, their is an SAT course starting in March for $40 and it runs for 8 Saturdays. Info on signing up is on the website or with your counselor.
    • For seniors, all forms on how you want your name on your diploma must be turned in to Ms. Turner by March 7th.  
    Have a great week and Go Titans!
     
    --Ms. Bender 
     
     
     
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  • Principal's Update 02.02.14

    Posted by Jen Bender at 2/2/2014
    Hello Titans and welcome to the week of February 2nd.
     
     
    This week instead of starting with congratulations and appreciations, I'd like to start with some concerns:
     
    Over the last month we have had a number of verbal altercations between students on campus which involved threats to hurt others. These verbal altercations were the result of both on campus and off campus communication both in person and online between parties. The security staff is able to follow up quickly and prevent many physical altercations, but it is clear that these disturbances are effecting our academic environment and our community. I am disheartened when I go on to Twitter and Instagram or any of the other online venues to see what students post about each other; their sheer lack of kindness and tone of judgement is remarkable. This is not the Titan community we want.
     
    I believe that all students need to feel safe at school. These actions, threats, bullying, extreme judgements, and tendency to want to "solve" issues through threats of physical violence are unacceptable. We are aware of that as a school and we are responding. We have a long-term plan to create a culture for everyone at HMHS that is safe, welcoming, and responds to and addresses conflict through mediation not insults, yelling, or fists.
     
    Here are some of the things we are doing: 
    • For the whole site we are working on a pilot launch of the Anti-Defamation League’s No Place for Hate® Initiative in the Bay Area. Although the Initiative will kick-off at the start of the 2014-15 school year, ADL staff will begin preliminary work during the current term.
    • The health center is running a number of focused groups around anger, life skills, and copying, specifically coping with when someone says something about you or to you. These are now currently all for HS students, we are looking at MS funding for next year. No truly in need child, regardless of age, will be turned away.
    • We now have 24 of our MHS teachers as well as support personnel trained in Restorative Justice practices, one of the practices is preventative-- creating community and connection in the classroom. Teachers are being supported by a part-time restorative justice coordinator as well as the administrative team which has all been trained.
    • We have a GSA that is planning a campaign to support the school feeling safe for all our students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.  
    • A contingent from the HS leadership class will be attending a climate summit to get ideas on how to create a culture which supports connection and community
    • We have a series of additional trainings planned with our staff from gender spectrum to the legalities of bullying in schools. 
    • Starting Monday we also are adding as additional Campus security officer and you will see that the campus is more locked down with only the central gate open once school starts.
    • We are also cracking down on wearing IDs, with all students asked at the entrances to put them on and sent to the office if they do not-- ID wearing around the neck means we have only our students on campus and we know who everyone is.
    But, really, we need you as Titan families to help us.  Please,
    • Talk to your kids and find out what is going on.
    • If they feel unsafe or threatened urge them to tell an adult on campus or at home and to report if they see or hear teasing, bullying or threats.
    • Monitor their online accounts for postings that are inappropriate or hostile
    • Consider implementing a "pause before you post" policy in your house so that students are more considerate about what they post online
    • Talk to them about bystander behavior-- it is really not ok to take out your phone to record a video when you see an argument instead of calling for help

    For this week all I would like to remind you of is the Thursday night Local Controlled Funding Formula and strategic planning Community meeting at 6:30pm in the HS cafeteria. This meeting is your opportunity to give feedback to the district on the new way funds are being disseminated for schools in CA and how you would like them used here at HMHS. The Superintendent as well as board members will be in attendance. The meeting will have some small group time for you to give written and oral feedback.

    I have high expectations for our Titans and I will continue to hold all students to them in behavior and academics. 
     
    Have a great week and go Titans!
     
    --Ms Bender
     
     
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