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Top 5 Homestead Happenings

Lauren Berta, Editors-in-Chief

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National Merit Semifinalists:

Homestead has nine National Merit Semifinalists this year, selected based on their PSAT scores from their junior year. The National Merit Semifinalists are Gabrielle Barrido, Chengyu Bi, Lisa Chen, Eilidh Drummond, Ashley Federoff, Jessica Majors, Vanessa Popescu, Natasha Sutter and Noah Virgilio.
This is the highest number of finalists that Homestead has had in the last several years, with the typical number being between four and five.
Finalists will be determined by their academic record in high school, participation in school and community activities, leadership, employment, honors and awards. Their SAT scores must mimic closely the PSAT score that made them a semifinalist. Semifinalists must also be endorsed by their school and submit a personal essay covering their background and interests. The names will come out later in the spring.
Students who become finalists, are not necessarily scholars. In other words, finalists are not guaranteed monetary scholarships. The scholarships come from three different sources: National Merit Scholarship Corporation, American colleges and businesses and corporations. Only 2500 students receive scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship corporation, and those scholarships are $2500. Then there are 230 corporations that finance approximately 1000 scholarships to students of varying values, and 190 colleges that support approximately 4000 scholarships of varying values. That’s a total of 7500 scholarships that are distributed to a pool of 15,000 finalists.
Although finalists success might not result in direct scholarship money, many colleges will give students money to attend their school because they were a finalist in the program.

Metal Detectors:

Starting Aug. of 2018, governor of Indiana, Eric Holcomb started a program that distributes metal detectors to schools free of charge. The program began after a student was accused of bringing two guns into Noblesville West Middle School and opening fire in a classroom in May of this year.
The metal detectors are hand held wands and are expected to have a significant effect on school safety. Homestead received eight metal detectors in Aug. as part of the voluntary program but has yet to decide what to do with them.
As the program is new to Indiana, there is no precedent for using metal detectors in school safety, but their presence will hopefully have positive results.
Whatever the school decides to do with them, the metal detectors will be a unique opportunity to ensure the safety of students.

Common App:

Most seniors this year are thinking about college applications, and with college applications, comes the Common Application. The Common App is a website affiliated with the College Board that collects all of the information asked by most colleges and allows students to send that information to all of them at once.
Instead of filling out the same information multiple times for each college you apply to, the Common App allows you do this only once, and digitally, which is much more forgiving if any information changes or if a student makes a mistake.
While not all colleges use the Common App, most do, and it is easy to find out whether one does or not. After making an account, students can add colleges under the tab “College Search,” and those colleges then come up on the “Dashboard” tab. If a college does not use the Common App, the name will not appear in the search and students will not be able to add it.
While students do not have to use the Common App, it is easy and efficient compared to mailing separate packages to colleges and most colleges anticipate that students use it.
For more information, go to www.commonapp.org.

Flex Day:

Homestead’s next flex day is Oct. 23. Students who did not complete their assignments on the last flex day were marked as truant, if not parent excused. Their names are now on a list of students who have to attend on the 23rd.
Students who have to come in will report at normal school hours to the cafeteria if they are grades 10-12, and to the ninth grade academy seminar room if grade 9. Students will not be able to leave the cafeteria or visit teachers, and lunch will be provided. School ends at 2:35 like normal–students will not be able to leave before that time.
If anybody prefers to work at school on the flex day, but are not on the list, they can come into the building; however, students should be aware that even if they complete their flex day work early, they must stay the entire school day.
For students staying home this coming flex day, teachers must post their assignments by 7:10 AM and all digital assignments must be submitted by 11:59 PM for the student to be counted present for the school day.

DECA Gala:

Over 100 Homestead students participate in the business club DECA where students compete in research and presentation driven events. Historically, competitors in DECA have been very successful, regularly placing in the top ten in international competitions against eight other countries.
Recently the club has decided to focus on an issue that is important to the community and the business world, the Indiana “brain drain.” This is where successful and intelligent members of the population emigrate out of the area. To help resolve this problem, the club is hosting a Gala this Nov. 30, 6:00-8:00 p.m., which aims to connect high school students with local businesses.
The purpose of the gala is to expose students to the opportunities in Indiana and make connections and relationships that will give those students a reason to stay in the community in the future. A secondary goal of the gala is to raise funds to support the club for their competitions and scholarships.
Attending the gala is a great way for students to network and find opportunities.

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