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Hiawatha High School Semester 1 Recap
Hiawatha High School Semester 1 Recap
Friday, February 08, 2019

Hiawatha High School Semester 1 Recap

Hiawatha High School has had a great first semester. Our fall semester enrollment was:

● 12th Grade--58

● 11th Grade--62

● 10th Grade--63

● 9th Grade--71

The high school had several new faces, mine included. I feel very fortunate to be part of the Hiawatha High School family. Other new staff included:

● Social Studies teacher, Mr. Jim Cox

● Art teacher, Mr. Matt Leahy

● Band teacher, Mrs. Sara Woods

● Agriculture teacher, Miss Ellen Blackwell

● IT/PE teacher, Mr. Garry Smith 

Teachers changing roles included Mr. Vitt returning full time to science, Mrs. Reschke returning full time to Language Arts and Mrs. Dunn moving to the role of student services coordinator. HHS is fortunate to have a wonderful staff of professionals.

Students went 1:1 with laptops (streams). Some students take theirs home at night and some check theirs in at the end of the day. This has allowed our teachers and students new opportunities in the classrooms.

We have been especially busy with crisis drills this year. The state changed the number of required drills to 16 for the year. We also implemented A.L.I.C.E. as part of this. This program teachers our students and staff the options they have in the event of a crisis. Staff were trained prior to school starting and students were trained during the fall.

We began work structuring to implement MTSS. MTSS stands for Multi Tier System of Support. We are working on establishing all the foundational pieces this year and will roll out with students in August 2019. We were also a recipient of the LiNK grant, which focuses on literacy. Various teachers have taken part in LiNK professional development opportunities.

We continued the Red Hawk Rewards program, which focuses more on behavior & attendance. Each month students can receive their Red Hawk Reward card if they meet certain criteria. At the end of the semester, if students had amassed three rewards cards, they were treated to an afternoon of fun at the Fisher Center.

In November, our students had the opportunity to attend a Career Fair. Students walked around the gym visiting various businesses. Then, students could choose to listen to various professionals talk about their profession.

Hiawatha High School participated in the global Hour of Code on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. Over six hundred million students in over 180 countries took part in this year’s event. The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code", to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts.

A new program that will be implemented this spring is Red Hawk Ready. I am especially excited for this program. It will be a half day where students can choose sessions to attend that educate them on aspects of life after high school. Sessions to be offered include changing a tire, renting vs. buying, credit, sewing basics, self-defense, etc.

Another new program to be implemented this spring is the Red Hawk Resource program. This is a two pronged type of student assistance program.

1. Red Hawk Resources: Both monetary contributions & food/clothing contributions would be accepted. Our social worker, Tami Shefferd, would oversee this program. Items needed include clothing items, shoes, belts, socks, underwear, coats, hats, gloves, etc. She would also use the money to purchase those types of items to meet students basic needs. Non perishable food items would also be available for students. We do not have the Backpack Buddy program at the high school. We already have the Success Stations organized by the National Honor Society in the bathrooms to provide hygiene items, so this would be taking that a step further. 

2. Sponsorship: We are seeking individuals willing to “sponsor” a student. The sponsor could specify a particular content area. For example, someone might sponsor a woods student who does not have the money to purchase supplies (lumber, stain, hardware, etc) for their woods projects. The sponsor would pay for these types of student projects. The sponsor could specify a certain amount or pay for the whole project.

FFA: This semester has been full of events and activities for the Hiawatha FFA Chapter. We kicked off the school year in August with a chapter officer retreat. Chapter officers met to plan and prepare for the upcoming school year. We also made chapter and officer team goals to keep us on track throughout the year. September 28 our Greenhand members attended the District Greenhand Conference. Members took a FFA Information Test, attended workshops, and met fellow FFA members from around the district. We also had nine students attend the Nursery and Landscape Contest. At the contest our A team placed 8th and our B team placed 4th! In October our chapter took 35 students to the Dairy Cattle Judging CDE. Our B team placed 3rd at the contest and we had three students place as top five individuals! We also attended the FFA National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. The National FFA Convention was a four day event where students attended a career and college expo, learned about multiple opportunities in the agriculture industry, and attended different informational sessions. In November our chapter held our annual Veterans Day Assembly at the high school. We also held our annual silent and work auction where we had 55 of our members participate in the work auction. --Submitted by Ellen Blackwell

STUCO Student Council has had a busy start for the first semester. It began with hours of preparations before school even started. That time ensured that the first days back for students would be welcoming and informational. Student Council was responsible for the Freshmen Orientation Day to help settle the nerves of the incoming class in order that they are ready for the first day of school with all of the classes. Student Council also spent time decorating the school and the sidewalks to make sure all students were welcomed back to HHS.

While Student Council is responsible for many things that are going on at HHS, not everyone knows how many programs are hosted by Stuco and available to our students. Our activities are developed by committees that we call “PODS” to enable us to focus on specific aspects of student involvement. We use the acronym “REALMS” developed by Dr. Earl Reum. These stand for Recreational Activities, Educational Programing, Attitude Development, Leadership Activities, Money Raising and Service Projects. Each POD is responsible for hosting several projects each semester, and most PODS must host an event once a month.

Projects the Recreation POD has hosted so far this year are as follows: powder puff flag football tournament, haunted hallways pre-freaker’s dance, theme nights for football and volleyball games. (Had seminar turkey bowling planned, but had to cancel)

Projects the Education POD has hosted so far this year are as follows: T1 diabetes awareness campaign, breast cancer awareness coin war, domestic abuse and battered women awareness.

Projects the Attitude POD has hosted so far this year are as follows: custodians appreciation day, teacher appreciation care packages & calendars, ice cream bars for freshmen orientation day, student are “Smarties” locker campaign, and caught-ya student recognition for random acts of kindness.

Projects the Leadership POD has hosted so far this year are as follows: before school year-long planning summit, teacher work day help, Student Council leadership lock-in, & Mulberry Pond pumpkin patch retreat.

Projects the Money POD has co –hosted any event that charges admission or raised funds. Many of the events mentioned are jointly the Money Pods Projects.

Projects the Service POD has hosted so far this year are as follows: gaming with the elderly at Maple Heights, donations to Doves, material collections for Children’s Mercy, coffee and karaoke student night at the Daily Perk, donations of hats and gloves to HES, packing and delivering food for the Brown County Christmas Store.

Outside of the events hosted by the PODs, Student Council is responsible, as a whole group, for many other events. These include the Back-To-School mixer, class of the year spirit points, homecoming hallway decorating & judging, homecoming float building & judging, developing & hosting the bonfire games, running & executing the homecoming nominations & votes, supplying homecoming coronation, selecting Prince & Princess for homecoming, hosting the homecoming dance, find jobs for the school-wide community service day. Organizing each student into a group for community service, hosting the fall blood drive, hosting the freaker’s dance, hosting the district wide “Canned Food Fight,” and delivering the food to the local food bank.

The beginning of the 2nd semester has many more events planned, and should be a continuation of a great school year. --Submitted by Chris Diller

Fall Musical Hiawatha High School under the musical/stage direction of Sarah Kleopfer, and the stage direction of Patty Hankerson-Davis, performed the acclaimed musical, “The Addams Family,” on November 9-11, 2018. It turned out to be a delightful performance by the mixed cast of Seniors through Freshmen who auditioned early in September to be a part of this well-known production. What follows is a brief synopsis of the musical and most of the cast members who played the family and other characters.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY By Rick Elice Marshall Brickman Andrew Lippa The Addamses have lived by their unique values for hundreds of years and Gomez and Morticia, the patriarch and matriarch of the clan, would be only too happy to continue living that way. Their dark, macabre, beloved daughter Wednesday, however, is now an eighteen year-old young woman who is ready for a life of her own. She has fallen in love with Lucas Beineke, a sweet, smart boy from a normal, respectable Ohio family — the most un-Addams sounding person one could be! And to make matters worse, she has invited the Beinekes to their home for dinner. In one fateful, hilarious night, secrets are disclosed, relationships are tested, and the Addams family must face up to the one horrible thing they’ve managed to avoid for generations: change.

● Wednesday Addams: Brenna Diller

● Gomez Addams: D. J. Sample

● Morticia Addams: Laila Jones

● Alice Beineke: Mary Rosa’

● Fester Addams: Phoenix Barrand

● Pugsley Addams: Ayden Eccles

● Mal Beineke: Liam Jones

● Lucas Beineke: Christian Shaffer

● Grandma Addams: Mackenzie Gormley

● Lurch: Trevor Pederson

● Ancestors: Nikki Stueve, Kiara Stone, Zoe Fix, Bailey Pierce, Ashlynn Henry, Kyli Feldkamp, Jack Rosa, Thomas Roberds, Dalton Simmer, Nathan Stroud, Ethan Pruitt, Abby James, Sarah White, Raven Stroud, Morgan Hurn, Alissa Brown, Kate Madsen, Sydney Smith & Paige Stover

● Stage Managers: Jasmine Morey & Cass Kreie

● Lights & Sound: Bethany Myers, Alan Simpson, Tyler Myers --Submitted by Patti Hankerson-Davis

Fall Activities The HHS program includes the following principles: self-discipline; respect for self, others, and for authority; fair play; sportsmanship; teamwork; and good citizenship. Our students and coaches have worked hard this past fall to encourage the best out of all of our student athletes.

This fall, Hiawatha High School implemented two new activities with our students: Red Hawk Readers and Staff Appreciation. Red Hawk Readers join the HHS students that participate in activities & sports with the students at Hiawatha Elementary School! Students go to the elementary school and read to small groups of kids from a particular grade level. The high school kids love it and become great role models for the elementary kids! Promoting reading and relationships is a great attribute for all involved! The second new activity is Staff Appreciation by our HHS student Athletes. Each Senior team member recognizes a teacher or staff member that have supported, influenced & encouraged our Senior athletes through their time at Hiawatha High School! Each sports season you will see the students and their selected staff pictures in the entryway at Hiawatha High School.

Hiawatha High School had the following sports activities this past fall.

Cross Country 25 Athletes

Elizabeth Kettler & Justin Hodge-League Champs Boys & Girls Teams-League Champs Both teams 2nd at Regionals Mary Rosa -7th State Kate Madsen-11th State Mary Rosa– All-State Academic Team All-League: Elizabeth Kettler, Kate Madsen, Mary Rosa, Jasmine Morey, Justin Hodge, Liam Jones, Andrew Lierz, Parker Winters, Christian Shaffer, Carson Gilbert

Football 43 Athletes

Michael Moreno-Football: All-League, Topeka Capital Journal 3A Honorable Mention, All-District, Wichita Eagle 3A State Honorable Mention

Volleyball 31 Athletes

Clara Lindstrom-Honorable Mention All-League

Girls Tennis 14 Athletes

--submitted by Kim Lilly

Road Map Wednesdays at HHS: What are your students up to? Each Wednesday of this semester is designated as Road Map Wednesday in which students begin their day in their advisory block instead of ending the day with it. The 45-minute period allows students to Research, Organize, and Develop Meaningful Avenues for Progress. This includes a focus on individual plans of study and addresses social, emotional, and character development, both of which are required components of education in the state of Kansas.

Beginning in middle school, each student must have an Individual Plan of Study (IPS) that will help them plan for success after high school. There are four main components to the IPS:

1. A graduated series of strengths finders and career interest inventories to help students identify preference toward career clusters

2. Eighth-12th grade course builder function with course selection based on career interests

3. A general post secondary plan (workforce, military, certification program, two-year college, four-year college)

4. Portable electronic portfolio

Our Road Map Wednesdays provide an opportunity for us to systematically work on these plans. Part of this includes using the online platform Xello (the newest version of Career Cruising) which allows students to work on all four components above. After completing assessments, students then explore careers, colleges, etc. Students will be sharing their portfolio information with you at student-led conferences in February.

As mentioned above, in addition to working on the IPS, focus will be given to addressing the Social, Emotional, and Character Development Model Standards, which were revised by the Kansas State Department of Education last July. These standards are the backbone of the State Board Goal which is that “each student develop the social, emotional, and character competencies that promote learning and success in life.”

While Hiawatha Elementary School and Hiawatha Middle School are implementing new school-wide curriculum to implement these standards based on the Second Step program, the high school is looking into various options tailored for our level for next year. However, activities are being planned for several Road Map Wednesdays this semester based on the Signs of Suicide program (see article from Tami Shefferd elsewhere in this newsletter) and the Kansas Can Competency Framework.

With a focus on the IPS and the SEC standards, students and staff at are making great progress on ROAD MAP WEDNESDAYS at Hiawatha High School. --Submitted by Jenny Dunn

CTE Day Hiawatha High School Career and Technology Education (CTE) programs are currently establishing a CTE day for our middle school students. The mission of the Kansas CTE is to provide students with relevant contexts for learning through pathways to college and career readiness. Career Clusters link what students learn in school to the knowledge and skills they need for success in post-secondary education and careers. We currently offer pathways in the following areas: Agricultural, Health Science, Business, Computers, Engineering, and Industrial Tech.

The CTE teachers at Hiawatha High School main goal is to help all students achieve the objectives of the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards through authentic, applied learning experiences. The CTE classes are a driving force for the success of improving outcomes for all students. The first step in doing this is by exposing the middle school students to what we have to offer them with our CTE programs when they become freshmen. The CTE Day will be a half day, where the middle school students will learn about the Kansas Career Pathways. They will have the opportunity to attend seven different breakout sessions where they will participate in hands-on activities in each of the pathways that are offered here at Hiawatha High School. --Submitted by Kathy Lindstrom

Scholarships Our local community has graciously been providing seniors of Hiawatha High numerous scholarship opportunities. Currently there are over 50 available for seniors. Scholarships are available at in the financial aid/scholarships tab under counseling dept. Most applications deadlines are April 1. Students and parents are encouraged to see Kristene Petersen in the Student Services Office for any questions or concerns they might have. --Submitted by Kristene Peterson

SOS--Signs of Suicide On October 3rd, 2018, HHS students participated in Signs of Suicide - a national suicide prevention program. The Signs of Suicide (SOS) program educates students about the signs and symptoms of depression and suicide and how to seek help for themselves or a friend.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in ages 15-24 in the United States. In 2017 a survey of Kansas students reported that during the 12 months prior to the survey, sixteen percent of the students had seriously considered attempting suicide. Twelve percent of students made a plan about how they would attempt suicide, and seven percent of Kansas students attempted suicide.

During the SOS program, students viewed videos of possible scenarios that teenagers may face themselves or others may experience regarding depression or suicide. They also learned about the signs (or symptoms) of depression and potential warning signs of suicide. The programs encouraged students to ACT. It uses the simple and easy-to-remember acronym ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell) to teach students action steps to take if they encounter a situation that requires help from a trusted adult. ACT: Acknowledge, Care Tell

● ACKNOWLEDGE -- Take it seriously, and listen.

○ Acknowledge that you are noticing signs of depression or suicide in yourself or a friend and that it is serious. Recognizing that something is wrong is the first step.

● CARE -- Let your friends know you care about them.

○ When someone is suffering, it can be difficult for them to remember there are people who care. Show or voice your worry and let them know you are concerned that they may need help that you can not provide.

● TELL -- Inform a trusted adult, either with your friend or on their behalf.

○ The first step to feeling better is asking for help. There are many people available to help you including health professionals, teachers, schools counselors or social workers, coaches, parents and other family.

After watching the videos, students participated in a classroom discussion which provided an opportunity for students to reflect on each video scenario, answer questions posed by the teachers, ask questions themselves and share their thoughts and feelings. Students then completed Response Cards. The Response Cards gave an opportunity for students to speak with the high school counseling staff after the presentation about themselves or share a concern about someone else.

The SOS program also has a Parent portal on its website that parents can access to gain more information on suicide prevention and depression. We encourage parents to take a look at the website and continue the conversation with your students. How to access the SOS Portal:

- Visit

- Username: hiawathahs.par

- Password: redhawks

Hiawatha High School staff will continue to bring awareness to suicide preventions and mental health issues in hopes to continue to reach students in need and provide ongoing social-emotional support. We will have another discussion about suicide and mental health self care during another ROADMAP Wednesday later this school year.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the high school. Tami Shefferd LMSW, District Social Worker

Band The Hiawatha High School Red Hawk Band began their year with football games where they performed their halftime show "Our Tribute to the Beatles" and played Stand Up and Cheer, Go Big Red and other tunes in the stands. The band went to two competitions: Central States Marching Festival in Manhattan, KS and the Holton Invitational Marching Festival in Holton, KS. They finished their marching season with the Halloween Parade where they played Thriller and Stand Up and Cheer. They also played a pre-show for the community of their halftime performance before the parade began. After marching season, the students dove into Concert Band Literature and performed at their Band Concert with the High School Jazz Band on May 6th. The final two performances of the semester was by the Jazz Band when they played for the Morrill & James Bank's open house and that nights first basketball game with the Hiawatha Red Hawk Pep Band. The students have all made a lot of progress so far and we all look forward to seeing how they finish off the year! --Submitted by Sara Woods

Virtual Program Currently we have eight students ages 19 and over enrolled in our virtual program. We have had two students complete all of the requirements for a USD 415 diploma. We expect one more in the spring. We have three students enrolled in virtual (ages 18 and under). One of those has completed the requirements for graduation. --Submitted by Brady Jasper