Hopi High conducts freshman orientation night

POLACCA-Hopi High School held its second annual ninth grade parent orientation night Aug. 23 in the cafeteria as parents were informed about the transition from eighth to ninth grade.

Approximately 50 people attended and were treated to sandwiches and cookies courtesy of Emma Talashoma's cooking classes.

Laurel Poleyestewa, ninth and tenth grade academic counselor, said parents can get more involved in their students' schooling by attending academic, music, sports and other activities.

"Parents and guardians need to make an effort to get involved," she said.

Poleyestewa told the parents that their students' academic record starts to be permanent in their freshman year as their transcripts will be considered when they apply to colleges or for jobs.

Poleyestewa said she knows it's hard being a parent, but added that parents need to find something positive about their children's schooling and that they need to talk to their children/students.

She said parents can help students with their study habits by making sure they read, making sure that they are organized and making sure they attend school regularly.

"The students' first job is to come to school," she said.

Poleyestewa said the school has tutoring, an alternative school and summer school to help students.

She also said the school will soon be receiving planners to help students organize their work and their day.

She said students should ask for help when they are having trouble with a subject. She added that if parents have any questions they should call her at the school at (928) 738-5111.

Dushon Monongye, academic counselor for the juniors and seniors, said she tells the students that "it's not the school that makes you, but what you do."

Monongye noted that Hopi High has had students who have gone on to study at Ivy League schools.

"That says a lot about the school. We have great teachers here, but parents need to guide their children," she said.

Lynn Root, substance abuse prevention counselor, noted that the school has placed cameras on the grounds and brought in

see-through backpacks to cut down on the drugs and alcohol. He said counseling and support groups are available to help the students.

Root said that if students are caught with illegal drugs they must attend eight sessions with him. If they are caught with drugs again they are referred to behavioral health.

"We don't give up on the kids," he said.

Major Phillip Taylor said that the Hopi High Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps has a lot of support from parents. He said the Hopi High JROTC provides service to the community.

Major Taylor said JROTC is not a recruiting mechanism, but a way to teach students to be better citizens. He added that JROTC teaches students to adopt short-term, mid-term and long-term goals.

Sgt. Kevin Nance said last year that Hopi High JROTC adopted an incentive through which students visit Hawaii in January for Martin Luther King Day and a cultural exchange.

He noted a fundraiser will be held Oct. 27 as violinist and blues musician Tommy Dukes will perform.

On Oct. 20, the Hopi High JROTC will also have a Lori Piestewa drill meet and 5k run.

Jaselyn Shulavichie, parent liaison at Hopi High, said her goal is to establish better communication between parents and the school.

"My job is to provide the resources for you," she said.

Hopi High will have an open house from 6-8 p.m., Sept. 5.

During a question and answer period, one parent said cell phones should be banned from the school. Another parent said he lives in the outlying area and his daughter needs the cell phone to let them know when she gets dropped off.

Hopi High principal Glenn Gilman said the school is trying to balance the need for students to have cell phones to contact their parents and the consideration of banning phones. He said cell phones must be turned off during class. He said parents will be given a survey to see how the majority feel.

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