Friday, December 4, 2020
Horizon West Middle School
HWMS Community Member,

We hope all our Hornet families enjoyed the Thanksgiving Holiday and are looking forward to the Winter Holiday in just a few weeks.

Coming next week, December 7th – 10th is our Winter Testing Block Scheduled Days. During these days, students who need to take an iReady Diagnostic, PMA or CFE will be given a longer period or two each day to complete these assessments. Please know that it is important that your hornet is in class (either Face to Face or LaunchEd) to participate in their tests on the day assigned.

Also, remember that our student safety is our top priority. If your child is feeling ill, has symptoms of COVID-19 or is awaiting a COVID-19 test result, they should remain home and email Also, students coming on campus need to wearing their masks, washing their hands and following our safety guidelines.

We want all our students to enjoy the Winter fun. Please take time to read this edition and participate in the upcoming events. We are all counting the days until the Winter Break and getting that glorious two weeks off and ready to start 2021!


Michelle Thomas
Proud Principal
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Connect with HWMS
8200 Tattant Drive
Orlando, FL 37486
(407) 554-1570
December Calendar
The winter holidays are some of our FAVORITES . . . check out the below calendar of events to stay on top of all we have planned during this holly, jolly time. Participate in these events even if you are on campus or a #HornetAtHome and send pics to for us to share on social media.
Key Dates in this Issue
Thank you for any support you may give towards the SGA Toy Drive and the PTSA/HOPE Club Boxed Cereal Drive this Holiday Season.
Dec. 7-10: Winter Testing Block Scheduled Days
Dec. 8: School SWAG for sale in the cafeteria (each Tues. & Wed.)
Dec. 9: School SWAG for sale in the cafeteria (each Tues. & Wed.)
Dec. 9: Instructional model change forms are due for the second semester by 4:30 p.m. today
Dec. 10: OCPS Virtual Parent Academy - "Navigating Educational Opportunities" - 6:00pm
Dec. 11-17: PTSO and HOPE Club are collecting BOXED CEREALS for the Cast Member Pantry
Dec. 14-18: Holiday Spirit Week! Each day has its own theme.
Dec. 17: Deadline for Free/Reduced Lunch Application which is open to every student. However, the form must be completed.
Dec. 17: Application deadline for National Junior Honor Society for those students having received an invitation.
Dec. 17: Collection option for BOXED CEREALS (see above) at the Burger Fi (next to Windermere HS) between 4-9 pm
Dec. 18: Last day of the SGA Toy Drive
Dec. 19: Last day to pre-order a 2020-2021 Yearbook at the $35 price
Winter Testing Block Schedule
Monday starts Winter Block Testing for many of our students.
Please take a moment and view the graphic below to see if you have an assessment, you will need to take. Then you can look at the Block Schedule to see when those tests will be administered.
Student Attendance
We are quickly approaching the holiday season and if your child will be out of the state or the country missing five (5) or more school days, please email with the following information.

  1. Student name
  2. Grade
  3. Dates of absence
  4. Reason for absence

*Failure to contact the school regarding excessive absences, could result in truancy proceedings.
Winter Holiday Spirit Week
Make your plans now to participate in our Winter Holiday Spirit Week! We want to see all our Hornets show of their holiday spirit, our #HornetsAtHome and Our #HornetsOnCampus . . . be sure to send pics to to share your spirit on social media.
OCPS Covid Dashboard
Orange County Public Schools has developed their COVID Dashboard that can be accessed from the webpage main page. Here you can see the current number of confirmed cases at each school and active quarantine cases. Visit this page frequently for the most up to date Covid data in the district.
School SWAG in time for the Holidays!
Each Tuesday and Wednesday from 9-9:20, our SGA will be selling SCHOOL SWAG in the cafeteria.
National Junior Honor Society
A Message from Mrs. Reipe, National Junior Honor Society Sponsor
My name is Mrs. Riepe and I am the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) Sponsor for Horizon West Middle School. Starting back in September I sent out emails to all eligible candidates inviting them to join NJHS. This is a by invitation only club. I have been emailing the invitation and application every week, sometimes twice a week, to students who meet the criteria. All students who were invited that would join NJHS must fulfill the following: being a 7th grade student who received a 3.5 GPA for their 6th grade year.

Please have your child check their school email and fill out the application for NJHS today if they would like to join. The application deadline is 12/17/2020. They can email their completed application and essay to me: To find out more about NJHS please visit
Student Government Association - Toy Drive
Help our Student Government Association bring some joy to families during the holiday season. You can send items in with your child or drop them off in the front office.
Community Support: Teach In 2020 Guest Speakers
Thank you to our Teach In presenters who presented in the STEM Lab, both virtually and Face-to-Face.
Presentations included the construction management of HWMS along with the engineering of energy for HWMS, orthodontist/dental careers, and curriculum development with a Learning Experience Designer.
District Statement on New Emergency Order
More information will be coming soon on these updates for the upcoming semester.
Free Breakfast and Lunch for ALL Students
Every student is eligible.
All students at Horizon West Middle School are eligible for free lunch and breakfast every day. Also, our LaunchEd students may pick up lunch and breakfasts for the week on Mondays at 4:30 in the Horizon West Middle School Car Loop.
Form due by December 17th
You still need to apply for Free/Reduced Lunch if you want this benefit after December 17th. Again, ALL students are eligible!

Apply for free or reduced lunch at today as the deadline for benefits is coming soon.
PTSO Message
Dear Hornet Families,

Happy December, and almost ½ way through the school year! In the spirit of giving and helping to support our community this holiday season, the PTSO and HOPE Club are collecting BOXED CEREALS for the Cast Member Pantry from December 11-17. Please drop off your cereal donations to school in the front office during any of these days.

Can’t make the school drop-off, then please stop by Burger Fi (next to WHS) on Thursday, December 17th between 4-9 pm to bring your cereal boxes. It is a Spirit Night for Horizon West MS and your order (in person, online, or delivery) will yield a percentage back when you mention that it is for HWMS!

Lastly, the PTSO is looking to start up their HOPE (Hornets Offering Positive Efforts) again this year. HWMS Hornets Offering Positive Efforts is a free club with open enrollment for students who have the passion and desire to volunteer in our community and school. All members are asked to give their ideas and attend meetings (virtually right now). Please have your Hornet fill out the interest link at:

Thank you for your support this year, we appreciate you!


Tammy Forrester
PTSO President
PREPARE a plan now, in case we have to PIVOT, so your student will SUCCEED!
In late November, all students at Horizon West had to pivot of LaunchEd@Home, To make sure this is a smooth transition if we have to pivot again in the future it is important to have a plan ready in case our school was told to “pivot.” Take time now to plan with our families what you would do in case Horizon West had to “pivot” the entire school to LaunchEd.

#BeProActive #StrongerTogether #UnstoppableHornets
Daily Home Health Screenings
Parents of Face-to-Face Students,

We need your help! Every morning of school please conduct a DAILY HEALTH CHECK on your child. Guidelines and steps to follow after the Health Check can be found in the attached image and Page 76 of the OCPS GUIDE, found in this link. We are all in this together and appreciate your help in keeping our Hornets healthy and safe!
Boys & Girls Club - "Virtual After School Zone"
Yearbook Orders
Yearbooks are now available for preorder.
To purchase the most wanted yearbook of the decade go to and click on preorder yearbook. They are currently selling for $35 until December 19th. After December 19th the price goes up to $40.
Fall Into Reading Challenge Winners!
We are so thankful for our wonderful readers at Horizon West!
The November Reading Challenge is complete but that doesn’t mean you have to stop reading… We will be having another contest soon!

We would like to recognize Kaveri R as the winner of our November Challenge!

Rounding out the top 10 readers for the month of November are:
  • Madelyn C
  • Laila S
  • Kevin K
  • Sydney M
  • Melanie R
  • Sarah G
  • Maria E
REMINDER: OCPS Learning Modalities
Request for Change forms are due by December 9 at 4:30 p.m.
This is a follow up to the message Superintendent Jenkins sent Monday evening. The Florida Department of Education’s new emergency order continues to give parents the choice between the face-to-face and LaunchED@Home learning models for the second semester, which runs January through May. If your child is making adequate progress and you do not wish to change your child’s instructional model you do not need to do anything.

However, If your child is struggling with LaunchED@Home, we encourage you to consider the face-to-face model for the second semester. All change request should be send through our google form: or you can send an email with questions to our email. Please send all request on our form no later than Wednesday, December 9 at 4:30 p.m. We will continue to communicate with parents and guardians of students who are not making adequate progress in the LaunchED@Home learning model.

Also, if your child is changing to face-to-face instruction and qualifies for and intends to use bus transportation, you will include this information on the google form. If at all possible, carpooling or driving your children to school is still encouraged to maintain social distancing on our buses.

Again, if you would like to change your child’s learning model please submit your request no later than Wednesday, December 9 at 4:30 p.m. I want to thank you for your support and cooperation as we prepare for students for the second semester.

~ Principal Thomas
OCPS Virtual Parent Academy
Navigating Educational Opportunities
Thursday, Dec. 10, 6pm
Participants will hear from representatives from Advanced Studies, School Choice Services, and the ESE Transition Services about opportunities available for students. The session will be presented in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and Portuguese.

Friday's Motivational Moment
A Special Christmas
It was only five months into the “War to end all wars.” World War I was the first conflict to be dominated by “trench warfare.” Each side dug miles of trenches and constructed barbed war between the warring factions. The German army on one side and the British and French on the other took turns charging the distance between the trenches, ending in dead bodies scattered along the battle lines.

It was Christmas week of 1914, and the sounds of exploding artillery shells, gunfire, and explosives began to fade in favor of celebrations and the singing of Christmas carols on both sides of the miles of trenches. The celebrations lead to shouted holiday greetings between the two enemies, surprising gestures given the brutal nature of the battles.

At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, a few unarmed German soldiers emerged from their trenches to greet the British and French opponents with shouts of “Merry Christmas!” in English. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the German soldiers unarmed, they left their trenches as well and greeted their enemy with handshakes and hugs. They exchanged gifts of cigarettes and food while singing Christmas carols all along “No Man’s Land” as the territory between enemy trenches was known. There were reports of soccer games and the sharing of family photos between the men with laughter and smiles all along the lines.

During the remaining years of the war, the "Christmas Truce" ceasefire was never repeated. No one will ever be able to explain what happened that day, but it was a reflection of something deeper, a hope that even in a World War there was something that connected humanity. That there was hope for a better world where all could live in peace and harmony, even if only for a few hours.

Between the exchange of gifts, or watching your favorite Holiday movies multiple times, take the time to reflect on this most unique of years, and how you can make a difference, now, in the lives of others... even across enemy lines. 

Ms. Thomas, Principal
Horizon West Middle School
Friday, December 4, 2020
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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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