9th Grade Back To School Newsletter

9th Grade 2017 Back To School Newsletter
Posted on 07/18/2017

Summer 2017

WELCOME TO HASTINGS HIGH SCHOOL!


On behalf of the entire Hastings High School staff, I would like to welcome you to HHS!  We are looking forward to a great 2017-2018 school year.   At HHS, the first day of school on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, will be only for ninth grade students and those students in grades 10, 11 and 12 that are new to Hastings.  This will be a full day of school (7:50 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) with the purpose of easing the transition into Hastings High School.  In addition, every student at HHS will be supplied with an organizational planner and student handbook.  The planner will include a calendar as well as helpful school policies, schedules of activities and games each day, information on the choices at lunch, a map of the building and tips for academic success.   Every student will use their planner on this first day to map out their classrooms and get organized for each class.  Students should report to the HHS commons by 7:45 a.m. and will be attending each of their semester one classes during the day.  Student leaders and community members will help in creating a positive first day for our new students.

Leave all backpacks and school supplies at home on this first day of school – Tuesday, September 5!  All you need to bring to school is your schedule and a lunch, lunch money or money in your on-line account.   We want the first day of high school to be enjoyable, allow students the opportunity to get to know the building lay-out, understand the services offered and the expectations for graduation, and fully understand the lunch system at HHS.  To do this, we will be implementing “Link Crew”.   “Link Crew” pairs new students with older student leaders to create a positive connection with our school.  These Link leaders will stay in contact with the new students and ninth grade students throughout the entire school year.  This student-to-student program results in positive gains in the classrooms, better school climate, and a greater sense of belonging.    

First Day of School – Important!!

  1. Only ninth grade students and students new to Hastings High School–Tuesday, September 5, 2017

  2. All students grades 9 through 12 – Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Parent (ONLY) Orientation – Parents, please mark Thursday, August 24 on your calendars as this is your orientation!  The parents (ONLY PARENTS/GUARDIANS) of incoming 9th grade and new students are cordially invited to attend an orientation meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the high school auditorium.  Information will be presented to parents regarding the first day of school, course offerings, student services and school policies.  Administrators and counselors will break down into small groups with parents to answer questions and give a tour of the building for those who are interested.  This orientation is for parents/guardians only. Parents can also sign-up for their Infinite Campus Parent Portal to access student schedules, attendance, health information and grades on-line.  You do not need to sign-up again if already enrolled.  The User Name/Password is the same from year to year and the same for Hastings Middle School and Hastings High School.  Remember, the new and ninth grade student orientation is Tuesday, September 5, 2017.

Back-to-School “Open House” – On Thursday, September 14 HHS will host an Open House giving parents the opportunity to follow their child’s schedule and meet each teacher.  The annual Open House at HHS is very popular with parents.  It is a great way to get to know teachers at the beginning of the school year, be introduced briefly to the content, experience “passing time” between classes and see the classrooms in which your child will learn.  Here is a brief outline of the evening:

  • 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. – Parent Portal sign up, Yearbook purchase & pick up student’s schedule (if needed)

  • 7:00 to 7:10 p.m. – Welcome in the commons, brief information & explanation of Open House

  • 7:15 to 9:00 p.m. – Follow your child’s schedule on a mini-schedule – report to your child’s period 1 class by 7:20 p.m., attend each class for 10 minutes with 5 minutes passing between periods, meet each of your child’s teachers & connect on any special issues

Yearbook– Order your 2018 yearbook today and save $15.  Parents will be able to order the HHS Yearbook at an “Early Bird” discounted price of $70.00 plus tax if ordered by October 1.  All yearbook orders will be processed directly through Jostens, and you can order your book online, by phone or by mail.  See the enclosed yearbook flier for more details.  While we do order a few extra yearbooks available for purchase when the yearbook is delivered in May, there are no guarantees there will be enough for all requests.  To make sure your student receives a yearbook – please order online.

Each year there are students that do not receive a yearbook because their families cannot afford one.  Also each year, we have families and businesses that purchase extra yearbooks for the purpose of donating one to those students that otherwise could not afford one.  These donated books are eligible for the "Early Bird Special" - please consider purchasing an extra book or two to help.

Student Pictures – Students in grades 9, 10 and 11 will have their pictures taken in school on Monday, September 11.  A schedule will be posted to let students know which class period they will have their pictures taken.  Each student will receive an order form in advance, describing the packages and prices available, as well as an order envelope to give to the photographers when their picture is taken.  HHS student pictures will be taken by LifeTouch.  The Senior Class group photo will be taken at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 18 by LifeTouch – order forms will available in the student office prior to the picture.

2017 – 2018 Bus Transportation Schedules – Bus routes, pick up times and location information will be mailed to all families of K-12 students.

Student Portal, Parent Portal, Class Schedules and Lockers – Student class schedules and locker information are available online for those parents and students who have an established Infinite Campus Parent Portal account.  Through the Portal, parents and students will have access to student schedules, attendance, health information and grades on-line.  The Student Portal includes information just for that individual student.  The Parent Portal allows parents to see information for all their children.

You and your child’s Hastings Middle School Portal accounts will be the same account for Hastings High School.  Please update your personal and contact information in the Portal ASAP as you will be sent a great deal of information by email.  If you do not have Portal accounts please email Sue Beskau at the Hastings High School Main Office at sbeskau@hastings.k12.mn.us  Activating your Campus Portal parent portal account is easy. All you need is your Campus Portal Activation Key that will be e-mailed to you.

If you do not have computer access, our Counseling Office will be open beginning August 15 from 7:30 A.M. until 3:30 P.M.  If you do not have Internet access, you are welcome to come in and access your account during this time.  For some of you, I am sure that over the summer you have forgotten your username or password.   Please remember to use the self-service feature in the Portal to reset your password or look up your username.

Change of Schedule – Courses on your schedule represent selections which you made and your parents approved.  Since the master schedule was built based on these requests and classes are full, we are not able to make schedule changes to other elective courses or specific teachers unless an obvious error has been made.       

Schedule Correction – If students have errors or questions regarding their schedules they are encouraged to contact their counselor via e-mail.  New student registrations and meetings may make it difficult for students to stop by and see a counselor without an appointment.  Therefore, students are encouraged to first email their counselor with questions.  If e-mail is not an option, you can call 651-480-7488 to make an appointment.  


Student last names A-F, Kim Hoff (khoff@hastings.k12.mn.us)

Student last names G-L, Naomi Marietta (nmarietta@hastings.k12.mn.us)

Student last names M-R, Drew Cooper (dcooper@hastings.k12.mn.us)

Student last names S-Z, Davis Gooch (dgooch@hastings.k12.mn.us)

Locker Combinations –  Locker combinations are in the Student Portal information for each student.  The lock-type on the lockers at HHS is a dead bolt and there are two differences that you will need to remember.  First, to open your locker and slide the dead bolt open, you need to turn the dial three or four numbers past the last number of your combination.  This will slide the dead bolt away from the frame.  For example, if your combination is 40-30-20 you turn the dial two times to the right to “40”, once to the left past “40” until you get to “30”, then right until you get “20”.  To actually slide the dead bolt open you need to continue turning the dial unit it gets to about “16”.  There is no need to “lift” the handle as the lockers at HHS are not this type - you simply open the door of the locker.  The main reason students cannot get into their lockers is they do not turn the dial far enough to the right to slide the dead bolt.  If you are unable to open your locker please go to the student office for assistance.

The second very important difference to remember is that your locker will not automatically lock when you close the locker door.  This is different from the middle school lockers.  To lock your locker you must close the door and spin the dial to slide the dead bolt into the frame.  If you close the door without spinning the dial your locker will not be locked.  Please make sure you spin the dial each time you close your locker.

School Lunch Program – A separate letter regarding the school lunch program will be sent out from the District Nutrition Services Office.  The food at HHS is very good and there are many options for students to choose from each day.  The “Full Meal Deal” lunch includes an entrée, bread, vegetable, fruit and milk, and there are many entrée choices each day.  Students can also choose individual items and pay a la carte (per item) prices.  There are many options for students, all of which will be included in each student’s planner and discussed during the first day of school.  Please note that high school students are not allowed to charge food items – students must have money in their lunch account or pay in cash.

The point of sale system requires that the students enter their PIN, which is the student ID number on their schedules.  Please do not share your PIN with other students.  Funds can be deposited for your child on-line at http://www.smartchoiceshastings.info/  or with a check turned in to the HHS student office.  Please be sure you write your child’s PIN in the memo section of your check as we want to be accurate in depositing the funds in the correct account.  Please remember that it does take 24 hours for funds to be actually posted in student accounts submitted on-line.  If you have any questions and/or concerns regarding your students lunch account, please contact the School District Food Service Department at 651-480-7127.

Health Services – The mission of Hastings School District Health Services is to promote student health for student success.  The Health Office is available for immediate medical care of students who become ill or injured during the school day, need medications or treatments, or have other medical needs.  We encourage students to visit the Health Office between classes, only leaving class for emergencies.  If your child has a Health Plan please be sure that a copy of it is on file in the Health Office.  The phone number of the Health Office is 651-480-7486.

Illness or Injury at School – If your child becomes ill during the school day, they are to come to the Health Office to be assessed and to call parents.  We have had a problem with students calling parents from classrooms or from cell phones when they are ill.  Parents then call the school requesting their child be given a pass to leave school.  It is extremely disruptive to academics when we call into a classroom to summon a student.  To support student learning, we ask for your help.  If your child calls you from somewhere other than the Health Office, please tell them to go to the Health Office and we will assist them and contact you.

Emergency information cards must be kept current to provide the school with home, work and emergency contact phone numbers.  An emergency card will be sent home with your child the first week of school for your review and correction – even if all the information is correct, we need the emergency card returned back to school.  If your child is ill, they are to come to the Health Office for nursing assessment and care.  If they are too ill to be in school, parents will be contacted by school nursing staff.  Transportation home and medical care are the responsibility of the parent/guardian.  The school district does not carry any type of health or accident insurance for injuries incurred by your child at school.

Chronic and Potentially Life-Threatening Conditions – It is very important that if your child has a chronic health condition that you please notify the Health Office at 651-480-7486 to develop a health plan.

Immunizations – Hastings Schools has adopted a NO SHOTS-NO SCHOOL POLICY to be in compliance with Minnesota School Immunization Law.  To go to school in Minnesota, students must show they’ve had the required immunizations or provide a notarized exemption form.  Required immunizations for 9th through 12th grade are:  DTP/Td 3 doses with one Td at age 11 or older, 3 Polio, and 2 MMR.

Prescription and Non-Prescription Medication – We do NOT provide medication for students.  If your child requires non-prescription medication we must have written permission from you and you must supply medication in its original container.  If your child requires prescription medication we must have written permission from you and your child’s health care provider.  Forms are available in the Health Office.  Medication that is not FDA approved will not be administered in school.

Student Handbooks – Information for the student handbook is included in the Organizational Planner to be given to students on the first day of school.  Students and parents are asked to review the “Planner” in order to become familiar with school guidelines.  Students are asked to bring their Planner/Handbook with them on each day of school.

Attendance – Attendance in school is required by law and as such, will be reported to the county truancy officials if it becomes problematic.  If your child will be absent, we ask that you call the Attendance Office at 7:00 a.m. at 651-480-7477 with your child’s name, the nature of the absence and the length of time your child will not be in school.  Please leave a message if asked.  In some cases, absences will be verified by office personnel or principals, as we believe regular attendance in school is crucial to the academic success of students.

Anytime a student comes late or leaves early from school they are to sign in or sign out at the attendance office window, even if they have a pass.  Please send a note or call the attendance office if your child is late to school.  Medical appointments, religious commitments or family issues are excused absences – waking up late, a late ride or traffic delays are not excused absences and may result in disciplinary consequences.

Dental and medical appointments should be scheduled during non-school time whenever possible.  Appointments that are not verified in writing will be treated as an unexcused absence (truancy).

It is school district policy that in order for students to participate in extra and co-curricular activities (sports, clubs, fine arts events, etc.) outside of the school day, the student must be in school at least half of the school day.

If your child needs to leave school early for a medical, religious or family reason, please send a written note to school with your child.  With nearly 1,500 students in school, it is very difficult to send passes and messages received on the phone to students in a timely manner - in some cases, calling in for a pass to leave early results in the student actually missing the appointment as it can be difficult to find students if their class has moved to the media center, computer lab or outside for physical education classes.  Students are to go to the attendance office window before school with the note to receive a pass to leave school early.  When the time comes to leave school, the students are to show their teacher the pass to leave class then sign out at the attendance office window.  It is very important that students sign out and then sign in when they return, as this helps both the school and parents know if the student actually left from and returned to school.

School Supplies – This is a general list of supplies for the first week of school – individual teachers or departments may require additional supplies.  For most classes students will need a notebook, pen or pencil, and a three-ring binder with individual, removable folders.

Calculators for math class:

  1. Solar powered scientific calculator: TI-30X IIS (recommended) Algebra Connections, Algebra, Geometry Connections, Geometry, Honors Geometry

  2. Graphing calculator: TI-84, TI-84 Plus Silver, TI-84 Plus CE for Advanced Algebra Connections, Advanced Algebra, Honors Advanced Algebra, Survey, Pre-Calculus, Honors Pre-Calculus, AP Statistics, Calculus and AP Calculus.  DO NOT PURCHASE a TI-83 or Casio Graphing Calculator of any model!!

Hastings Family Service – SCHOOL SUPPLY DISTRIBUTION: Hastings Family Service (HFS) is accepting donations of school supplies and backpacks.  Go to www.hastingsfamilyservice.org for a list of most-needed items.  Donations can be brought to the HFS Donation Center at 301 Second Street East.  If you are in need of school supplies, please call Hastings Family Service at 651-437-7134 to set up an appointment.  School supplies will be distributed by “Appointment Only” August 22, 23, 24, 28 and 29.  Appointments will be scheduled beginning August 14.

About School Supplies - HFS assists families who are struggling and help them with this extra financial burden. It is important that every child in our district begins the school year with the necessary school supplies, the same as their peers.

For school supplies the following requirements need to be met:

  1. Live within the boundaries of School District #200.

  2. For parent or guardian: a photo ID and a piece of mail postmarked within the last 14 days, or the most current utility bill with an address in school district 200.

  3. For each school age child, proof of enrollment in District #200 such as: a recent piece of mail from the school, a current year print off from Infinite Campus or a document from school with the child's name & address

  4. Parent needs to have knowledge of household’s income & expenses.


If custodial parent or guardian is not able to bring the child, the accompanying adult must have a permission letter from the parent or guardian.

Do You Need Help?   Please call HFS at (651) 437-7134


Do You Want To Help?  School supplies donations are accepted all summer at Hastings Family Service during normal operating hours. If you're interested in volunteering for School Supply Distribution please contact HFS by calling 651-437-7134.

Dress Code – The Hastings High School Dress Code is detailed below.  It is a common sense approach to a difficult issue; however, it will be enforced and we ask for everyone’s cooperation.

Students are to use common sense and good taste concerning their dress.  State health regulations require footwear (shoes, boots or sandals) be worn at all times.  Any clothing which causes a disruption to the normal learning process or which constitutes a health or safety hazard will not be permitted.  Some examples of restricted clothing and accessories are listed below:

  1. Clothing and accessories with sexual (direct or implied) messages, profanity, gang affiliation, tobacco-drug-alcohol messages, Confederate flags and symbols, and clothing which put down/harass groups of people for their gender, look, ethnicity.

  2. Clothing must cover the midriff.

  3. No undergarments displayed or visible.

This list includes, but is not limited to, dress that will not be allowed.  Students whose dress is deemed inappropriate by school officials will be required to change immediately.  Any special “dress up” days must have prior approval of the administration.  It is understood that many types of clothing are appropriate for events outside of school, but not for school itself.  We will provide an atmosphere that promotes common sense and a good learning environment.  Some specific school activities approved by the administration will be exempted from this policy.  An example of this would be prom.

Athletic and Activity Fees – All athletics and some activities will have a participation fee of $150.00, and must be paid prior to participation in that activity.  The non-athletic activities are those activities associated with the MSHSL, have a substantial budget, or travel to compete with other area schools.  Those activities include show choir, jazz ensembles, marching band, plays, musicals and Knowledge Bowl.

Cell Phones, iPods & Personal/Digital Devices – Hastings High School does have a wireless network (Wi-Fi).  Cell phones/digital devices will be allowed in classrooms during the school day under the supervision of teachers for educational purposes only.  Students will be allowed to use cell phones, iPods and personal/digital devices in cluster areas, hallways and the commons during the school day.

Many different kinds of devices are able to access Wi-Fi – please note that students are not required to have a Wi-Fi device or a data package of any kind, regardless of the device.  The Wi-Fi network will provide filtered internet to students and will be open to visitors and guests at HHS.

Unauthorized use of cell phones, iPods and personal/digital devices will be dealt with according to school policy as stated in the student handbook.  Cell phones/devices can disrupt the classroom, students can cheat by text messaging other students and students can use the camera function on the cell phone to take pictures of tests for other students.  In addition, graphic language and explicit content is completely unacceptable on student devices.

Electronic Report Cards and Newsletters - Students and parents will be able to access Progress, Quarter and Semester Reports in the Student and Parent Portals of Infinite Campus and be sent newsletters via e-mail.  We are very excited to provide up to the date information 24/7.  This change will also greatly reduce our costs associated with printing, clerical time and postage, while at the same time it will be more environmentally friendly.

Parents should verify that their e-mail address is accurate in order to receive the newsletters by e-mail.  Your e-mail and phone number that is on record with the school district is listed in your child’s Infinite Campus account, which you are able to change.  In addition, we will send home emergency cards during the first week of school to verify and update – two of the fields you may update is your e-mail address and phone numbers.  We are asking parent/guardians who do wish to continue to receive paper copies to complete form below and return it to our High School Counseling Office.

Thank you for your support and involvement in making an education at Hastings High School a positive one for your child.  If at any time you should have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at 651-480-7474.  I am looking forward to a great school year!

Very sincerely yours,

Michael D. Johnson

Principal