Welcome Back Letter from Ms. Allen

One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.” -- Malala Yousafzai

 August 20, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians:

I am incredibly excited to welcome you and your children to the 2021-2022 school year!  We cannot wait to once again revel in the vibrancy and energy that our students and faculty bring to in-person learning, which will begin on September 2nd. 

These past few months we have faced challenges like no other. However, with challenge comes great opportunity!  Have confidence that the faculty and staff of Sewanhaka High School will provide an environment where your child will be nurtured and loved.  The feeling of school community that comes with our daily interactions in the hallway, the classroom and a dining halls will be real and comforting following the past several months.  We all look forward to getting back to a sense of “normalcy.”  However, as a parent and educator, I share your concern that school must be conducted safely.  The Sewanhaka High School Board of Education will be setting forth our COVID policies and protocols in the coming days.  The health and safety of all of our students, faculty and staff are our top priority. 

Parents it continues to be an honor working with you to ensure our “Diamonds” excel in the years to come.  One of the foundations of a successful school is the partnership between home and school.  We invite parents to become involved in our community. Information regarding Sewanhaka High School PTSA and Booster Club membership will be forthcoming. The contributions of these parent organizations are immeasurable to our schools success. Please become involved and join!

In preparation for school, please take a moment and read the following information regarding the upcoming term (NOTE: Some bullet points contain links) :

I.  Parent Portal

  • A.   Be sure to create your Infinite Campus Parent Portal account if you have not yet done so.  This will provide access to schedules, progress reports, report cards, etc.
  • B.    Student schedules will be available on the portal beginning August 30th. Please be sure to register on the portal to view your class schedule.  Students will report to their 1stperiod class on September 2. Classes begin at 7:45am.
  • C.    In the event of a scheduling question or concern, please use your child’s Sewanhaka email address and this form to contact your child’s guidance counselor.  Requests pertaining to missing or incorrect courses will be given priority. 
  • D.   Please check to see that all contact information remains current, as we typically correspond via Blackboard Messaging for calls, texts and emails.

II.         Website & Calendar

  • A.   We are pleased to share that our district has a newly redesigned website.  Please check the Sewanhaka High School webpage for the school calendar and important updates throughout the year.  We will continue to transition into a completely paperless school.  Daily announcements provided by “Reid All About It” will also be available on the site. 

III.         Welcome Back Events

  • A.   7th Grade Orientation - students are invited to attend with parents/guardians
  • B.    Welcome Back Days - students in grades 8-12 attend without parents/guardians to limit the number of persons in the building.
  • C.    Masks must be worn at these events.

IV.         Bell Schedule

V.         Supplies

  • A.    Many parents have called asking for a school supply list.  For the first days of school our students will only need their iPads.  Please make sure they come to school with devices fully charged.  If your child has damaged their device during the summer, please make sure to contact our school to arrange payment of deductible and replacement.  If additional supplies are needed, teachers will provide a list to students during the first days of school.

VI.         Lockers

  • A.   Students will be assigned lockers. We will transition into locker usage following the opening of school. Students need only their iPads to begin the school year. As we navigate a full capacity school and perfect transitioning in our hallways, lockers will not be utilized the first weeks of school. 
  • B.    Gym locks may be purchased for $5 in the main office, if needed.

VII.         Administrative Changes

  • A.   We are fortunate to be joined by Mr. Marc Isseks, our new building assistant principal, and Dr. Patrick Dunphy, the new district assistant principal for Career and Technical Education.
  • B.    Due to the addition of our newest guidance counselor, Mr. Derek McRae, a number of changes have been made to counselors’ caseloads. All seniors remain unaffected. (Please read this important letter from PPS Chairperson, Ms. Heyward, detailing the changes.)
  • C.    Assistant Principals will oversee the following grade levels:
    • 1.     Mr. Barahona - Grades 8 & 11
    • 2.     Mr. Isseks - Grades 7 & 10
    • 3.     Ms. Licastri - Grades 9 & 12
    • 4.     Mr. Kenny - Prestige Academy

 VIII.         Lunch

  • A.   Breakfast and lunch will once again be provided free of charge to all students.
  • B.    Breakfast service will begin at 7:15am

IX.         Student Arrival/Visitors

  • A.   Students may not arrive earlier than 7:00am unless they have a 0 period class.
  • B.    We welcome parents to our school for appointments.  We ask that you park in Visitor Parking on the side lot (Covert Ave) and enter through the main lobby.  If you need to deliver items for your child, please drop them off in the main lobby.  Students will be called down during a free period to collect their items. 

X.         Closed Campus

  • A.   Students may not leave campus throughout the school day, with the exception of seniors who have successfully completed and submitted their Senior Privilege Form (which was mailed home over the summer).  We will not allow deliveries of food from delivery services on our campus.  If students do not wish to partake in the offerings of our student dining hall, they may pack a lunch from home and bring it to school.

A new school year brings tremendous promise and the opportunity for new beginnings.  I am proud of the work and resilience of our students during this tumultuous time.  It is our task to continue to face the challenge!  With hard work, a sense of collective responsibility and dedication, we can become the next best version of ourselves.  This is a cornerstone of positive change.  This is our promise.  Let us work together to make Sewanhaka – The Diamond of the District. 

I am looking forward to a school year like no other – in a building like no other. 


Nichole Allen