Welcome back community message - Aug. 24

Thu, 08/27/2020 - 6:36am

Greetings Hammond Community,

Though we haven't seen your smiling faces in person in quite some time, we have been planning for your virtual return, and we are ready! School is starting on September 8, and we will be teaching and learning virtually for the entire semester. Our hope is to be back in our school building for in-person learning starting on February 1, 2021. Below you will find information about:

  • Students' Schedule of Classes
  • Updating Family File
  • Accessing Text Books
  • New Student Orientation
  • Back to School Night
  • Daily Meeting Times/Bell Schedule for Students 
  • Google Classroom Meeting Links
  • Student Honor Code
  • Expectations and Student Suggestions for a Successful Virtual Semester
  • Open Communication during this Virtual Time (How to Contact School)
  • Free and Reduced Meal Program (Application/Benefits)

Student Schedules: 

Students should have already received their list of confirmed classes in mid-August. If you did not receive this email from HCPSS_Notifications@hcpss.org, please check your SPAM/JUNK mail folder and verify your email address in Synergy.  (The email was sent to your parents/guardians)

All students should be able to access their official schedule with classes, teachers, periods, and semesters in Synergy on September 1 and in Canvas on September 5. We will send an E-school message and a Canvas post on these days as additional reminders. 

Students should contact their counselors regarding any schedule concerns.  Students may request schedule changes through August 28. 

Please note the counselors are continuing to work on schedules throughout this process. Between August 17 - August 28, students can request changes to these courses and the changes, if possible, will be reflected in the final student schedule to be released before school begins on September 8th.  All requests for courses are dependent on class capacity and class period availability.  After the August 28 deadline, schedule changes will be limited to incomplete schedules.  To request course registration changes (DROP/ADD), email the appropriate school counselor.  

Family File:

Every year HCPSS parents/guardians must complete/update a Family File for each child.  Please ensure that all contact information in Family File, including email address(es) and phone number(s) for students and parents/guardian is the accurate and up-to-date. HCPSS utilizes Family File for parents/guardians to complete emergency information. Parents/guardians must verify and/or update information for each child, and can do so by logging in to HCPSS Connect  (Links to an external site.)and selecting the Family File tab on the left and then clicking on Family File. Once logged in, you will be asked to update or provide the following information:

  • Student Information
  • Parent/Guardian Contact
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Medical Information
  • Arrival/Dismissal Procedures
  • Photo Approval
  • Data Confidentiality
  • PTA/PTSA Directory

Below are some resources to help you update your family file: 

Family File Resources  

Family File Detailed Instruction Guide - English  | Korean  | Spanish 

Parent/Guardian Account Activation & Password Reset - English  | Korean  | Spanish  

Accessing Textbooks and Materials: 

While many of our courses will not require students to have textbooks this year and some courses will be able to access textbooks and other materials online, some courses will still require traditional textbooks. We are currently making arrangements for parents/guardians or students to drive through our parking lot and pick up required textbooks and materials (art supplies) on specified distribution days. Our current plan is to have text book/materials distribution on the following date:

  • September 16

New Student Orientation: 

We will welcome our new students to Hammond High School through our orientation program on Thursday, September 3 at 9:00-10:00am. Students and parents will have the opportunity to hear from their teachers as well as important school messages. The links to access orientation will be sent the day prior to the program through Canvas and Eschool.

Back to School Night: 

We hope that parents and students will join us for our virtual Back to School Night on Thursday, September 10 at 6:30pm. This program starts with a 9th Grade Parent Meeting at 6:30pm, followed by meeting with teachers virtually and hearing their expectations starting at 7:00pm. The links to access Back to School Night will be sent the day prior to the program through Canvas and Eschool.

Bell Schedule:

Grades 9-12 Sample Student Schedule  (HCPSS Website)

HaHS Student Schedule 

HaHS Student Schedule

On Wednesdays, students should work on asynchronous assignments for each course.

Synchronous Class = Attendance required, Teacher led instruction and activities

Asynchronous Support = Teacher-led support sessions for assistance. Attendance is not recorded.

Asynchronous Assignments = Independent work to be completed outside of class time

Attending Google Meets:

Students will have a synchronous Google Meet with each class period (Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri). Google Meet links will be posted on the Canvas page. 

Weekly BearTime Meet opportunities will be posted in the HaHS Student Canvas Community. These meetings will be held on Mondays from 10:50-11:20am and will allow students to stay connected with many of our clubs, athletics, and student organizations. Students can choose which meeting they would like to attend or attend multiple during this 30 minute period.

Policies and Expectations:

HaHS Honor Code Policy 

Grade 9 - 12 Student Expectations 

  • Attend and engage in all teacher-led (synchronous) lessons and complete independent (asynchronous) learning experiences and assignments. 
  • Create a space at home to focus and engage in learning.
  • Complete experiences and assignments provided each week on time.
  • Set goals and be aware of academic and behavioral progress.
  • Understand the expectations for grading during virtual instruction.
  • Take responsibility for learning and actively seek assistance from teachers and other school support staff when requiring academic or well-being support.
  • Behave in a virtual environment in a manner consistent with the expectations when in school.
  • Practice self-care strategies to help achieve goals and seek well-being supports when needed. 
  • Show effort, accuracy and persistence in work as well as ask questions and seek instructional supports when needed.
  • Work to build positive classroom relationships by respecting differences.

Suggested student practices for digital learning

  • Find a quiet space to complete your work.
  • Use the video feature to engage in synchronous instruction.
  • Check Canvas calendar and to-do lists to ensure all assignments are complete.

Open Communication During this Virtual Time:

All schools continue to remain closed at this time. However, students and parents can access staff at school through the following ways: 

  • Email staff directly. Please visit our website  for a list of all staff.
  • Students can message teachers through Canvas. (This is the preferred method for students and teachers.)
  • Email the general Hammond High School email link Hammond_HS@hcpss.org
  • Starting on September 8, there will be live Google Meet links to access support staff in both the Administrative Offices and in Student Services. We will advertise those links at a later date. 

Free and Reduced Meal Program

HCPSS understands that the coronavirus pandemic is causing a lot of hardship for many of our friends and neighbors. Many HCPSS families have been impacted financially by the pandemic, and may be eligible now to receive benefits through the Free and Reduced Price Meals (FARMs) program. Qualifying families can take advantage of a wide range of additional resources and discounts, including testing fees, tuition, internet and more. Families must complete applications every year. Click here to learn more or to apply. 

If you did not know, participation in the Free and Reduced-Price Meal program qualifies students for the following opportunities:

  • Access to HCPSS Pre-K program.
  • Free registration fees for SAT and SAT I subject tests
  • Free registration for ACT tests
  • Reduced AP exam registration fees.
  • Up to four free college applications
  • Reduced tuition for HCPSS Summer Programs (High School, G/T Summer Institute, CTE, Summer Institute)
  • Reduced tuition for HCPSS Innovative Pathways Program which offers an evening and summer program
  • Reduced tuition for HCPSS Digital Education Program which promotes anywhere, anytime learning
  • Free or reduced JumpStart tuition offered through our dual enrollment partnership with Howard Community College
  • Free access to participate in the Outdoor Education Program for 6th graders. Contact the sixth-grade team leader at your child’s school for more information.
  • Free registration for the NCAA Clearinghouse for DI or DII athletics
  • Discounted internet through Comcast Internet Essentials program


We are aware that distance learning is new to everyone and we are all going to get through experience together. As we continue this journey on-line we are going to provide training opportunities for parents as well as students on topics, such as the technology platform being used for students, Canvas notifications, and family file updates. Please continue to monitor the newsletters for more information and feel free to also check Hammond HS out on our school website. We miss you and we are excited to see our students and get started on September 8!