Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020
Florida flag  
 Windermere, FL 
Connect With HWMS

This last week has been so exciting seeing our students logging in and participating in LaunchEd. We have seen some great examples of innovative, engaging instruction and fun with our Hornets. From our students interacting in our Digital Lunch Bunch or stellar classroom activities, LaunchEd is providing our students with a creative instructional approach that meets the need of their family. We know for some of our families this the "new normal" you have chosen. Please know that even as our #HornetsAtHome we are still here to support you as if you were on campus.

Now, for those of our families who have chosen to come back for Face-to-Face instruction, on campus school is going to look much different this year. Much of what you are used to has changed to ensure the safety and health of our students, teachers and community. Please know that the policies and procedures you will read about in this edition have one main goal - TO KEEP OUR HORNETS SAFE. Some of these policies may seem strange or uncomfortable at first, however with the careful guidance of the OCPS Health and Safety Procedures outlined for us, we know that Horizon West will be the best model for student and teacher safety.

Please be sure to take your time and read this edition in its entirety. We have outlined a Face-To-Face student's entire day from getting up and getting ready for school, to on campus procedures and what to do once a student comes back home. We have also included quite a bit of information for our LaunchEd families.

We appreciate all our Hornet families in taking this journey with us into the 2020-2021 School Year and are honored to be part of such a supportive community.

Your Proud Principal

Michelle Thomas

In This Issue

Dates to Watch For:
Aug. 21  Face-to-Face instruction begins for some students
Aug. 24 Curbside Meal Monday pickup day for LaunchEd students (30 minutes after the final bell) 
Aug. 27 OCPS Virtual Parent Academy (please see below)
Sept. 7 Labor Day Holiday   

Communication is KEY to the SUCCESS of our SCHOOL, STUDENTS and FAMILIES. Stay connected to our school by following and liking our OFFICIAL social media accounts.  

Face-To-Face at Horizon West Middle Schoolbeforeleavinghome
Parents and students, PLEASE be sure to take time and READ this edition in its entirety. We have taken the time to outline new policies and procedures so there is full transparency on what Face-To-Face will look like at Horizon West.  

~ Parents should conduct a temperature check of their child. If their temperature is above 100.4, your student needs to stay home. Also, if you have a cough, shortness of breath, or feeling ill, you should remain home.

~ If you child has a positive COVID-19 result, is exhibiting symptoms outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); has been exposed to COVID19; has been told by a physician to be tested for COVID-19; and/or is subject to Federal, State, or Local self-quarantine or self-isolation related to COVID-19, please email (secure email address for Horizon West Middle School) as soon as possible.
  • Student's Last Name
  • Student's First Name
  • Student's ID Number
  • Student's Grade Level
~ Students will also need to write down your schedule on something and bring a copy to school. Be sure to include the class, teacher and room number. Keep this in a notebook, on a note card or somewhere you can easily access. (Do not keep it on your phones, as phones should not be out during the school day.)

A Face Mask / Covering is REQUIRED at all Orange County Public Schools.   
Subject to the exceptions set forth below, each student, employee, visitor, vendor, or other person are required to wear a face covering (more specifically described below) at all times while at or inside a school/facility, or other property and/or vehicle owned, leased, or operated by the School Board (when there is more than one (1) person in the vehicle).
Face Mask/Covering Guidelines:
* Commercially produced and disposable masks are acceptable.
* Masks with respirators are not permitted.
* Masks must cover both the nose and mouth, fit snugly against the sides of the face with little to no gaps and are made of a solid material.
* Face masks, neck gaiters and neck buffs are permitted, provided they consist of multiple layers of fabric.
* Face coverings may not be made of lace, mesh, or other largely porous material.
* Face coverings with clear panels are permitted provided they fit snugly against the sides of the face with little to no gaps.
Enforcement of policy:
All students are expected to follow these face-covering requirements while in school or at school sponsored activities/events for the health and safety of themselves, school staff, and others. Students who do not comply should be reminded of the policy. If a student refuses to comply, the provisions of the Code of Student Conduct will be followed. Students who refuse to comply may also be sent home and will be required to receive their educational instruction via remote learning.

OCPS Policy: EBBA Disease Prevention; Face Coverings approved 8-11-2020 


Car Riderstravelingtoschool
* It is encouraged that when possible parents drive their students to school.
* Before exiting the vehicle at the cafeteria car loop, students need to make sure their face mask/face covering is on properly.
* Students will enter the cafeteria from the far set of double doors.
* Students who need breakfast will be directed to locations (socially distanced) to access the lunch lines to retrieve their breakfast from a cafeteria host/hostess.
* Once a student has their breakfast they will be directed to a seat, where they will remain seated until an administrator dismisses students.
* Students who are not eating breakfast will be given a seat to sit in, where they must stay until an administrator dismisses students.
* Students will remain seated unless they need to use the restroom or get water, when they must raise their hand to use either facility.

Bus Riders
* Please discuss with your student when waiting for the bus they should remain socially distant (6 feet apart) from other students.
* Students at the bus stop should have their mask on and secure when they load the bus.
* If a student does not have a mask, the bus driver will give them a disposable mask.
* Students will be given an assigned seat on the bus. Your student must sit in their assigned seat.
* Students are asked to remain quiet, calm and seated while the bus is traveling to school.
* Upon arrival to school students will be moved to the gymnasium where they will be given a seat.
* A designated area in the gym will be set aside for students who need breakfast.
* Students must remain seated in the gym until they are dismissed by an administrator.
* Students will remain seated unless they need to use the restroom or get water, when they must raise their hand to use either facility.

* Students needs to remain socially distant (6 feet apart) from other students and families traveling to and from school.
* Upon arrival to the school campus, students must have their mask on and secured.
* Students who need breakfast will be able to access our breakfast cart.
* Students who park bikes in the front of the school will enter the main school courtyard from the front black gates. Students will be directed as to where they may sit/stand until an administrator dismissed them to their class.
* Students who park their bike by the bus loop will go to the gym

* Students will be asked to remain socially distant (6 feet apart from others).
* As students arrive on campus they MUST have their STUDENT ID available to present to Administration. (We will give further direction on how to get an ID in the coming school week.)
* No students should be entering the school from the front Administration Office doors.
* Staff will be walking around areas of our campus reminding students to stay socially distant.
* Once the first bell rings administrators will dismiss students in a staggered fashion to reduce the numbers of students in the hallways.
* Once students are moving to their first period class, they are to go directly to their class. (No meeting peers in the hallway, walking peers to class, visiting teachers.)

* Students will have 4 minutes to get to class. When there are 30 seconds until the late bell, fast music will play to encourage students to move quickly to class.
* At the bell remember that cell phones are to be put away in your backpack at the first bell. (Not in your pocket, in your backpack. Cell phones are to remain put away for the entire day-lunch is the only exception.)
* Students will not be allowed to use the elevators unless a Dr. note is provided.
* Stairwells have signage showing all students go up on side of the stairs and down the other.
* Students must follow directional signage while in the hallways. (No taking side routes or passing in areas that are closed.)  

* Students must keep their masks on in the class and in the hallways.
* Students will be encouraged to wash their hands frequently for a minimum of 20 seconds.
* Students will be offered hand sanitizer throughout the day.
* If a child becomes ill during the school day, the parent will be required to pick them up as soon as possible.
* Students who are ill will not be allowed to go home on their school bus.
* If a sick child is not picked up, and their symptoms worsen, 911 will be called.

* Students in classes, such as Band, Chorus, Orchestra, Theatre, PE and Dance will have areas that are designated for each individual students as their assigned area.
* Students will wear a mask at all times except in those instances where a mask inhibits the students' ability to play. In those cases, students will remove the mask while playing, and then immediately place the mask back over their face. (Teachers will give specific direction as when these activities take place.)
* Chorus students will be required to wear masks and follow physical distancing guidelines. Singing should be limited to no more than 30 minutes. Opportunities to sing outside should be pursued, when available.
* The use of shared objects (balls, hulu hoops, and other equipment) will be limited and cleaned between each use

* Students must keep their mask on in the hallway.
* Students should not be eating or drinking in our hallways, so masks should not be removed for these activities during transition.
* Students must follow the directional signs and traffic patterns created by the school. (All traffic will flow in one direction.)

* When possible the first week, students are encouraged to bring their lunch as lunch lines tend to very busy.
* When entering the cafeteria, students need to keep their masks on until they are seated at their lunch seat.   
* Students who need to purchase lunch will be directed to placeholders marked on the floor.
* Students who have brought their lunch will be directed to a seat.
* Students will be told which individual seat they are to sit in. This will be your assigned seat for lunch.
* Each table will only allow for 2 students, one at each end. All students will be facing the same direction.
* Students who are buying school lunch will be given an opportunity to select their meal by pointing to the items they would like; then they will be given a tray with their items and directed to the closest seat.
* Students will remove their masks to eat.
* If a student is not eating or done with their meal, they will need to put their mask back on.
* Students will be asked to raise their hand to use the restroom or to wash their hands.
* When traveling to the restroom students must put their mask back on and wear it until they return to eating.
* Students may use their cell phone during lunch, but they are not allowed to use any other electronic devices, such as school laptops.
* Restrooms will have monitors to make sure students are remaining socially distant.  

* Students will be dismissed in a staggered fashion. (One area at a time.)
* Bikers and walkers will need to keep their mask on until they are off campus.
* Students will not be allowed to wait in the courtyard or hallways for other students.
* If you need to meet a sibling, family member or friend, be sure to set up a pre-arranged meeting spot outside of the gates of the school.
* Bus riders will be directed to their bus or the gymnasium.
* Car riders will be directed to the cafeteria.
* Car riders will sit in the cafeteria and we will announce when a parent is here to pick up a child.

* Student reusable masks should be washed and sanitized nightly.
* Student disposable masks should be trashed each night.
* Student backpacks should be cleaned nightly.

** For more detailed information on OCPS's COVID-19 Health and Safety Procedures, please visit 

Curbside Mealscurbsidemeals
The meals will be available at all 202 OCPS schools for LaunchEd@Home students. 
* Students will use their current meal benefit status (free, reduced or paid) to participate.
* The entire week of meals can be picked up every Monday starting 30 minutes after dismissal for an hour and a half. (Schedule is subject to change based on participation.)
* Students picking up meals must provide a student ID, and if parents are coming through the lines, they must provide their student's name and ID number.
* For ease and efficiency in the pick-up line, parents are encouraged to have the student name and ID number written on paper in large font. When face-to-face instruction, schools will make decisions about the process for serving breakfast and/or lunch to students in the school building.  
* Curbside meals will continue for students utilizing LaunchEd@Home.
* For more information you can visit: 

Technology Consent Formstechconsentforms
For the 2020-2021 School Year all Parents need to Complete the Parent Technology Media Information Consent Form.
1) You can complete the forms by printing them and writing in your information, then scanning in the forms to our Horizon West upload link. 

2) You can complete the forms electronically, print, sign and then scan in the forms to our Horizon West upload link.

Paper Forms
Complete the PTMICF on paper using a pen and scan to return to Horizon West electronically using this link: 
Online Forms
Complete the PTMICF online, print the completed form and scan to Horizon West electronically using this link:
For additional copies of these forms, in multiple languages, visit:

You can also find additional information at:
Student Schedule Informationstudentscheduleinfo 

School counselors are still reviewing requests to drop/add courses for those who filled out the Schedule Change Request Form. If the counselor was unable to make the change, an e-mail will be sent no later than Thursday August 20th to the e-mail address you used when you requested the change.

In addition, counselors are still balancing schedules and you MAY see your child's teacher and/or schedule change prior to Friday to accommodate class size and student learning choices (Face to Face or LaunchEd@Home).  Please continue to check Skyward for an updated Schedule. Once a schedule is changed, it takes 24-48 hours the new course to appear in CANVAS.  Thank you for your patience. 

LaunchEd From Home Successlaunchedfromhomesuccess

August 10th brought us the new 2020-2021 school year. This year started out much different than any other school year in the past; with all students logging in to LaunchEd.

We are so proud of how well our Hornets adapted to this new instructional model. While checking in on classes we saw lots of rigorous instruction, engagement and innovative strategies used by our teachers.

For instance, check out Ms. Wilson's Art Class just below. Students followed along with the teacher to learn how to draw our very own SCHOOL MASCOT, HUGO the HORNET. Then students shared their works of art with other students.
And our innovation even extended outside the classroom and into the lunchroom, where each grade level got a chance to have lunch together during our Digital Lunch Bunch, students were able to make friends, ask questions and play games. Below is an image of Dean Rodriguez, during the B and C Digital Lunch Bunches.

Horizon West strives to have rigorous learning environments for our students, but we also like to have FUN. Check out these images from this week . . .

Bus Ridersbusriders
If your child will be riding the bus to or from Horizon West Middle School, please be sure to click on the app below and find your bus stop and bus #:

** Make sure your child knows their bus number and has it written in a secure place. **

OCPS Virtual Parent Academyocpsvirtualparentacademy

Thursday, August 27, 2020
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Participants will hear from Dr. Angela Duckworth, founder of the Character Lab and author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. During this session, families will learn how to create conditions that lead to improved social, emotional, academic and physical well-being of our students.
Register at

This Week's Motivational Moment!mm
Interestingly, almost everyone starts out the same in life - with little or nothing. Almost all fortunes in America (and worldwide) are first generation. This means that most individuals started with little or nothing and earned everything they have in their current lifetime. This is the case with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Michael Dell, and Jeff Bezos. Why have these people been able to achieve so much when so many have not?
In the best selling book, The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas Stanley and William Danko interviewed more than 500 millionaires and surveyed 11,000 more over a 25-year period. They asked them why they felt they had been able to achieve financial independence when most of the people around them, who started at the same place, were still struggling.
What they found was that 85% of this new generation of millionaires replied by saying that above all else, hard work and their desire finish the tasks that would lead them to their ultimate goals, set them apart from others.  
The lesson for our Hornets? We are only half-way through the second week of a new school year. The indispensable requirement for success this year whether it be with your grades, playing a sport once they return, mastering your skills on a musical instrument ... whatever it may be ... is self-discipline. You have what it takes to succeed this year and you can count on your Horizon West teachers, counselors, deans, and coaches to help you every step of the way. And remember, when you need extra help, ask!  
Ms. Thomas, Principal
Horizon West Middle School
Wednesday, August 19, 2020 
Horizon West Leadership Team

Michelle Thomas - Principal -
Tamirra Hutchinson - Assistant Principal -
Kevin Flanagan - Assistant Principal -
Brian Evans - Admin Dean 6th Grade and 8th Grade (A-L) -
Heather Rodriguez - Admin Dean 7th Grade and 8th Grade (M-Z) -


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Copyright Notice
Reproduction of this material, either written or electronically, including the general layout, graphics, analyses, and content topics without the express approval of Target Performance Systems, Inc., a Florida corporation, and OCPS-Horizon West Middle School is forbidden without written consent.  Thank you for your support of the Orange County Public Schools and especially Horizon West Middle School. Please contact Mrs. Heather Rodriguez (Administrative Dean) at with any questions.