Highland Middle School

Administrator's Message

Highland Middle School
Highland Middle School will continue to focus on ensuring students have a rigorous learning environment centered on collaboration, problem solving, and critical thinking. We invite students to continue to grow academically and take an active role in their education. 

HMS Summer School


HMS will offer summer school, at no cost to families, called the Cougar-Cademy, for students who have not found success in Math or English this year. Students who have failed Math or English and students who would like additional instruction in Math or English are invited to attend. The Cougar-Cademy will run from 8:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. on the below dates. If your child has failed two or more core classes this year, it is highly recommended that your child participate, so that he/she has the skills needed to move to the next grade level. Transportation options will be provided if needed.

-July 6, 7, 8, 9 (Tuesday through Friday)
-July 12-July 29 (Monday through Thursday)

If your child needs to participate in any class other than English or Math, due to a failure for the year or due to a desire to fill knowledge gaps, your child will participate in the asynchronous Blackhawk Online Academy (BOA), which has an up front cost that can be reimbursed if the child completes the course and passes it on time. BOA classes are self paced where students will work at home via Edgenuity and will only be offered based on availability.

Please click the survey link below to sign up: https://forms.gle/pLh2mtU5kyxDERnY8.
The survey will close on Friday, April 30.

PSSA Information

PSSA Information 2020/2021

PSSA Dates
  • ELA – April 19, 20, 21
  • Math – April 26 and 27
  • Science (8th grade only) – April 29 and 30
Please remind your child to charge the iPad each night, so your child has it for testing each morning. 

If your child is in quarantine, please be aware that class times on TEAMS will be different due to the testing schedule. We have attached the post testing schedule for the Math and ELA PSSAs HERE for our 7th and 8th graders. For quarantined students in 5th and 6th grade, please communicate with your Homeroom Teacher on class times on testing days.  

For our 8th grade students taking the Science PSSAs on April 29 and 30, we have attached the schedule HERE. Students in grades 5-7 will follow their normal schedules on April 29 and April 30. 
For our students in the Blackhawk Online Academy, we have been corresponding with you on the dates and times for testing. Please follow the dates and times that we have emailed you.

Attention 6th and 7th Graders -- Cheerleading Tryouts!

Attention current 6th and 7th graders!

Highland Middle School Cheer Tryouts

Please pick up a packet from the Highland Middle School Office or 
email [email protected] 

Signed packets are due by Tuesday, April 20, 2021

HMS Scheduling Information

Students at HMS are starting the scheduling process. The high school guidance counselors have virtually presented to our 8th grade students. For our students in grades 5 through 7, they will watch a presentation on scheduling this week. These presentations can also be viewed by families on our HMS website. 

If your child is interested in joining a music ensemble, please have him or her complete the survey to sign up by Friday, March 12: https://forms.gle/igBU15v92Vj8Egtk8. Please be aware that once a student signs up for an ensemble, this class can not be dropped. 

We will continue to communicate about the scheduling timeline via SKYALERTS and the HMS Website. Should you have any questions, please reach out to your child's teachers or the HMS Guidance Counselor. 

See the videos below:

5th to 6th Information 

6th to 7th Information

7th to 8th Information

All Stars Program -- Opt Out Letter

HMS is partnering with The Keystone Wellness Program to bring the All Stars Program to the 6th grade students at HMS. The All Stars Program promotes relationships between the school, the family, and the community. The Program encourages students to talk about future aspirations with their parents/guardians.  To learn more about the All Stars Program, please read the below letter.  

Important Information -- HMS Yearbooks!

The 2020-2021 yearbook will be available for sale online until Feb. 28. This year’s theme is “Sound-track of 2021” and will feature sections dedicated to different genres of music.  This year’s book will have less pages than normal due to COVID limiting school events. The price has been adjusted to reflect that change.

Order yours today through Feb. 28 online at yearbookordercenter.com using the code 14987 or searching for Highland Middle School. Each book is only $11, and the online portal accepts most major credit and debit cards as well as e-checks. Books will be distributed at school next fall. 

Welcome our new Guidance Counselor, Mr. Sami Hanna

We wanted to share with our families a change to our middle school guidance counselor position. Mrs. Kelley Engle is retiring after 24 years of being our middle school counselor. Mrs. Engle has been an amazing resource for our community, students, and families and she will truly be missed. Taking over for Mrs. Kelley will be Mr. Sami Hanna. Mr. Hanna has been in our district as a high school counselor for the last 15 years. Mr. Hanna will assume Mrs. Engle's role as school counselor as of January 4. If you need to reach Mr. Hanna, below is his contact information.  


Mr. Sami Hanna 

[email protected] 

(724) 843-1700 x. 3024

Hello Highland 2020-2021

We hope you enjoy our Virtual Hello Highland Activity! Thanks to our students and staff for organizing this event! Our activity utilizes QR Codes. If you run into any technology glitches, please try back at another time. Your child’s iPad would be able to scan the QR code, if your phone does not have the capability.  


*Please note some clips may have been filmed before the Department of Health’s recent order. Clips filmed after the order followed social distancing and masking guidelines. 



Hello Highland Activity Link  


Change to Highland's Attendance

In order to properly contact trace and to ensure we know which children are physically in the building each day, we will be adding another option in the Homeroom Attendance Quizzes on Schoology effective this Monday, November 16. The additional option is: “I am working from home due to being ill or quarantine. My teachers are aware.” If your child chooses this option and completes the work for the day, he or she will still be marked as present. As always, if you recognize there are any attendance errors, please reach out to our secretary, Mrs. Weyand, so we can make the needed changes. Mrs. Weyand’s email is: [email protected].
If your child is under quarantine/isolation due to contact from our School Nurses, the school nurses will inform the teachers to reach out to you about live streaming and work. If your child or someone in the household is under quarantine/isolation due to contact from the Department of Health or another group, please reach out to our school nurse, Mrs. Haddox, so she is aware. Mrs. Haddox’s email is [email protected].
We recognize that all HMS students will be working from home on Monday, November 16 and Tuesday, November 17. Your child can choose the normal “present” option on their Homeroom Attendance Quiz. If your child is in quarantine/isolation, he or she may choose the new option. 
If your child is home for a day due to not feeling well, please reach out to his or her teachers to see if live streaming is an option for the day. Please recognize, the teachers have to be aware and have time to prepare to live stream. Should you need access to teacher email addresses, you can find your child’s teachers’ email addresses on the HMS Website at: http://www.bsd.k12.pa.us/StaffDirectory.aspx.
Additionally, most teachers’ email addresses follow the below format:
Last Name First [email protected]

Highland's Homework Help

During In Person Instruction
 This free program runs from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on the designated calendar days and provides a space for students to complete their Homework at school. Please see the below file with information and the calendar dates. If you would like your child to participate, please sign and return the permission slip to your child’s Homeroom Teacher. Signing the permission slip does not mean your child has to stay, but it lets the school know your child has permission if he or she chooses to stay. Please ensure your child’s ride is at HMS promptly at 4:30 p.m. 

All Health and Safety Protocols, including the wearing of masks and social distancing to the maximum extent possible, will apply while students are participating. Should we recognize that more students are participating than we are comfortable socially distancing in the Homework Help space, we will begin online sign ups. 

During Virtual Instruction
While HMS is Virtual, the Homework Helper program will be virtual as well.  If your child would like to participate in our Virtual Homework Helper sessions while HMS is virtual, please ensure we have received your permission slip. Then, please email our Homework Helper instructor, Ms. Choura at: [email protected] by noon each Tuesday that your child will be participating. Ms. Choura will add all participating students’ names into a TEAMS Session for 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. each Tuesday. Students will be able to join the session from their TEAMS calendar, just like they join all of their classes virtually.  

5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Students - Orchestra Sign Ups!

It's not too late to sign up for Orchestra!  See the video below from Mr. Baker for details.

Virtual School Day Schedule

Your child's Virtual School Day will mirror the schedule when he/she is in school in person. Your child will be expected to be online from 8:30 a.m. - 2:40 p.m. attending classes. The teachers will post the schedule for each class on their Schoology pages. The daily schedule will include breaks for lunch and time between classes.

Additionally, should your child need additional help, teachers will be available for questions from 8:00 a.m. - 8:25 a.m. and 2:40 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. each school day.

Day 1 Technology

We want to make the first day of school as seamless as possible for you! The first day of school students will be expected to use Schoology and TEAMS. We suggest that students practice logging into Schoology before the first day of school. There is a video of how to log into Schoology on the HMS Website and there are tutorials on how to use Schoology on the Blackhawk Website. See the below informational sheet to read more about what your child will need to do on Day 1 of school this year. We will provide a hard copy of this letter with your child's materials on Material Pick Up day, with a parent specific Schoology Access Code on the back.

BSD Technology Help Desk

Blackhawk Online Academy

If you are interested in the Blackhawk Online Academy and you have not reached out yet, please register on the Blackhawk Online Academy website by Friday, August 28 at 3:00 p.m. (http://www.bsd.k12.pa.us/Blackhawkonline.aspx).  If you have previously been contacted by a school official to enroll, you do not need to re-register.  We will begin contacting families the following week to finalize their student’s Online Academy courses.  If you had previously enrolled in the Online Academy but now intend for your child to attend school via the virtual model, please email Mrs. Robinson at [email protected] or Mr. Hanna at [email protected]

Directions on how to log in to Schoology

If you need support logging into Schoology, follow the below directions.

Schoology/Email Login and Microsoft Office 365 - Student Use


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This number is for NON-EMERGENCY calls. If you have an emergency, call 911. 
In an ongoing effort to promote a safe learning environment, the district is providing the community with an anonymous tip line phone number. The purpose of the tip line is to allow the community the ability to share information anonymously regarding issues that may put others’ safety in danger.  Community members can report information about drugs, weapons, alcohol, violence or any threat to safety.  While this can be done anonymously, the more information given (including one’s name), the greater the ability the district has to do a complete investigation and resolve the situation quickly. 

How To Print Report Cards from Skyward

When report cards are posted to the SKYWARD Family Access Portal, please follow the direction sheet attached for how to view and print document.


As we are constantly assessing the safety and security of our children and our schools, we remind you that information is power. Students who hear or see any threat about self-harm, harm to another person, or harm to a school should report this immediately so it can be investigated. Blackhawk School District has dedicated a Tipline for these situations. The information for the Blackhawk Tipline is below. In addition, the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General has created an anonymous Tipline as well called Safe2Say. From Safe2Say students can report their tip via the app, online, or through a phone call. The Office of the Attorney General then communicates with the school district and necessary law enforcement about the tip.


We want our students and our community to know that we recognize the importance of students reporting any threatening situation. The information for both Tiplines is below. We have already told students about our Blackhawk Tipline and we will be informing them of the Safe2Say Tipline in the next few weeks. To read more about Safe2Say, please visit their website at: https://www.safe2saypa.org. We do remind students and parents that if there is an emergency situation that requires attention immediately, please always call 911. 

Resources Available to Students

Please see the attached letter for resources such as Schoology, Email, Office 365, etc. available to students. 

Highland Volunteers

Would you be willing to help the HMS PTO this year or would you like to receive emails with minutes from our PTO Meetings? If so, please fill out the Volunteer Form and have your child turn it in to his/her Homeroom teacher. The students will be given a hard copy of this form in school this week to bring home.
Additionally, there is a new form we ask all volunteers to complete, called the Volunteer Confidentially Form. If you are volunteering in any school, please complete this form and bring it to the office of that school. We will also make a copy of your driver's license and we will attach this copy to the form in our files.
Thank you for all that you do!

Giant Eagle - Apples for Students

Apples for Students - Giant Eagle

Help HMS raise funds for our students by signing up for Apples for the Students through Giant Eagle. Every time you use your Advantage Card at Giant Eagle, HMS will earn funds! Follow the below steps to register your Advantage Card.

  1. Go to https://www.gianteagle.com/Save/Education--Community-Enrichment-/Apples-for-the-Students/
  2. Sign in if you already have an account or create an account
  3. One you have registered, go to https://www.gianteagle.com/My-Account/My-School-Programs/
  4. Click "Add Another School"
  5. Enter our School ID Code: 5639
  6. Hit Add when you see Highland Middle School

Medication Policy Form




Emergency Assistance for Low-Income Families  https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=529
For anyone struggling with thoughts of self harm, thoughts of suicide, or struggling with mental health, especially during this period of social distancing, there is a number that anyone can text 24 hours a day to speak with someone. The number is 741 741.
If you need assistance finding food, paying housing bills, accessing free childcare, or other essential services, please click: http://www.211.org/services/covid19

HMS Contact Information

Principal - Mrs. Amy Anderson 
724-843-1700 x 3001 
Assistant Principal - Mr.  Mike Arbogast 
724-843-1700 x 3003 

Guidance Counselor - Mr. Sami Hanna

724-843-1700 x. 3024 

Highland Middle School Contact Information
402 Shenango Road
Beaver Falls, PA 15010 
Phone: 724-843-1700
Fax: 724-843-0934 
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