Monday, May 25, 2020

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Horizon West Middle School

Horizon West Hornets - WE MADE IT! The 2019-2020 school year is over this Wednesday and this is one for the history books. Not only because it was our inaugural school year, but also because of the challenges of distance learning.

One thing we have all learned is that our Hornets are resilient and take on challenges head on. Our students have been very successful with distance learning and no words can truly express how proud we are of them.  
Our parents helped their students daily and partnered with our teachers to make a united academic front for our students.  

Our teachers "turned on a dime" and in a matter of days switched their entire learning model to maintain rigorous, innovative, standards-based learning for our students. All while taking care of their own families and many times homeschooling their own kids.

We all have overcome so much in these last few months, but the one thing that stands strong is our faith and positivity in our students, teachers and community.

Thank you all for a wonderful school year. Be sure to stay connected to our social media outlets and school website during the summer. We are hopeful that we will see all our Hornets back on August 10th.


Michelle Thomas
Proud Principal
Horizon West Middle School

Stay Connected
* Be sure to LIKE our Official Horizon West Facebook Page

* Follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @HorizonWest_OCPS

8th Grade Promotion Parade
On Thursday, May 21st we celebrated our 8th Graders with an 8th GRADE PROMOTION PARADE! This event allowed our 8th Graders to "drive-by" our campus and HONK, YELL, CHEER and WAVE to our teachers and our teachers to honor our 8th Graders. Our Administration Team even had a special gift for each 8th Grader that came by. The parade was a HUGE SUCCESS with cars lined up as far as the eye could see and happy 8th Graders spending their last few moments on the HWMS campus. The turnout was so phenomenal this may become a yearly tradition for our Horizon West Family!
8th Grade Tribute Video
We have a very special treat for you! Please check out the attached link for the 8th Grade Promotion Video developed by our 8th Grade Parent Group. We are so proud of our 8th graders and this is just a wonderful tribute to honor their success. Also, a special "thank you" to Ms. Zotti and Mr. Smoker for their coordination and creation of this project.

Class Color War Day

During our last full week of school we had some fun events for SPIRIT WEEK. Thursday was CLASS COLOR DAY! Each grade/class had an assigned color to wear and post pictures. The grade/class that posted the most pics WINS! Well the pictures have been posted and the WINNER is 7th GRADE! Congrats on your win!

Immunization Update For 6th Graders Going Into 7th Grade
The State of Florida requires all incoming 7th graders to have the Tdap Immunization on the Florida 680 Health Form prior to the start of school. (

Please email the updated 680 Health Form to Mrs. Curry at by July 31, 2020 to ensure your child start school on time.

If Horizon West does not have the 680 Health Form with the Tdap immunization included on the form, your child will NOT be able to sign out their laptops and/or receive their class schedule for the 2020-21 school year until the updated form is received.

8th Grade Item Pick Up Day
8th Graders, we have moved your pick up day to ONLY TUESDAY, MAY 26th!
  • Last name A-L will pick up items from 9-11
  • Last name M-Z will pick up items from 11-1
  • Please be sure to bring back any school items such as chorus or sports team uniforms and instruments.
  • DO NOT BRING YOUR LAPTOP. Students are keeping laptops for the summer.

Student Item Pick Up: Make Up Days

For our students that could not participate in our Item Pick Up days we will be conducting MAKE UP DAYS. Make Up Days will be May 27th and May 28th. Pick Up times will be by appointment only.

Please note the following:
  • Appointments will be for a maximum of 10 students at a time.
  • If you miss your appointment time you may have an extended wait as we have a maximum of 10 students in the cafeteria to adhere to district and CDC guidelines
  • ONLY students will be allowed to enter the cafeteria to retrieve belongings.  Parents may park and wait for students. Please do not park in the through lanes of the car loop
  • Students will be REQUIRED to wear a mask to enter the cafeteria
  • Students will be given gloves when entering
  • Students will retrieve their belongings, exit the cafeteria and throw away gloves.
  • Interior services will be sanitized between groups but we will not be providing hand sanitizer for students when they exit. We recommend all students and parents bring hand sanitizer to use before reentering their vehicle.
  • Parents do not have to be present for students to collect belongings but everyone must have an appointment. Multiple students in the same family require individual appointments to ensure that CDC and district health and safety guidelines are being met.
Start Planning for Next School Year

We know that next school year will be here before we know it! Exact information for the start of the school year has not been decided by the state at this time. However, we do want to give you all the information we can to stay ahead of the game.

First, during the summer if any of your contact information changes please be sure to notify the school. This includes change of address, phone numbers emails. If you have any changes please email our school registrar,

Second, for our 6th graders becoming 7th graders be sure to get your immunization paperwork updated. More information on this is above in this edition of our community brief.

Finally, some families may want to start some of your school supply shopping early. Here is a list of the items that students will need.
* These items will need to be replenished during the school year.

Teachers may also request additional items that are specific to their class. These items teachers will be able to hold in their classrooms, to lighten student backpacks.

Students will be each issues a school laptop. For the safety of your laptop, students may use a sleeve or detachable case for their laptop. However, students should not place any stickers/decals on their laptop as these may cause damage.

Also, please remember when purchasing backpacks, backpacks with a laptop pocket are always added protection and students should NOT utilize rolling backpacks as these are a safety hazard in our hallways.  
2020-2021 School Year Calendar
Posted below is the 2020-2021 school year calendar for next year. Be sure to mark your calendar now for upcoming holidays. (Please know there could be changes to this calendar due to Covid-19.) 
Dress Code
As we head into the summer, many families like to start their school clothes shopping early. Please be mindful of the OCPS Students Dress Code. Dress code is enforced at Horizon West Middle School and it is expected that all students adhere to these expectations. Choosing not follow dress code guidelines may result in disciplinary action such as documenting the incident or students being placed in an alternative classroom until their dress code violation is fixed. If you every have any questions in regards to dress code, please contact our school deans, Heather. or

The dress and grooming of Orange County Public Schools' students shall contribute to the health and safety of the individual, promote a positive educational environment, and not disrupt the educational activities and processes of the school. These standards of dress and grooming apply to all students in the public schools of Orange County, unless a specific exemption is granted by the principal. Any request for an exemption shall be made to the principal.

1. Clothes shall be worn as they are designed. For example, suspenders should be over the shoulders, pants secured at the waist, belts buckled, no underwear as outerwear, no underwear exposed.

2. Clothing with holes, rips, tears, or inappropriate patches will not be allowed if considered obscene.

3. Bare midriffs and bare sides shall not show when arms are extended above the head.

4. Clothing normally worn when participating in a school sponsored extracurricular or sports activity may be worn to school when approved by the sponsor, coach, or principal. Examples would be cheerleader, drill-team and band uniforms, team shirts, etc.

5. Clothing that is too tight, revealing, or causes disruption is inappropriate.

6. Gang paraphernalia, garments and/or jewelry, tattoos, or other insignias, which display or suggest sexual, vulgar, drug, alcohol, or tobacco-related wording/graphics or may tend to provoke violence or disruption in school shall not be worn.

7. Headgear shall not be worn on campus during the school day, unless the headgear is approved by the principal. Headgear includes, but is not limited to, hats, visors, du-rags, bandanas, bonnets, hoodies, shower caps, sunglasses, etc.

8. Chains hanging from the neck, belt, pocket, or attached to the wallet shall not be worn.

9. Jewelry that contains any type of sharp object shall not be worn.

10. Hemlines of shorts, dresses, skirts, and skorts shall be no shorter than mid-thigh.

11. Clothing must be 3 inches at the shoulder.

12. Shoes shall be worn. The following are not acceptable:
A. Thong sandals (K-8)
B. Cleated Shoes (K-12)
C. Backless Shoes (K-8)
D. Shoes with wheels (K-12)

13. Individual schools may implement school uniforms with community input and approval of the principal's supervisor.
Boys & Girls Club Summer Programming

Food Distribution

WINDERMERE HS is now a Grab -and-Go Location. Also, many locations are beginning to serve additional meals to cover weekends.
(Visit for the full list of locations)  

Resources for Families During Covid 19

During this time we want to make sure that all our Hornet Families have access to the many resources that available during Covid-19. We have dedicated a section of our school website to Community Resources for Families During Covid-19. Visit this page to find out about the assistance that is offered for mental, physical and financial resources.  

Technology Support
Students having issues with their laptop? We have several resources that can be found on our Horizon West Webpage, under Academics > Distance Learning. Students can also visit the Student Body Canvas Page in Canvas for more information to assist. We have developed a student help guide at: 
Closing Image of the Week
Approximately one million men and women of the U.S. military have lost their lives in defense of our nation since the founding of this great Republic.

This Memorial Day Horizon West Middle School remembers those who fell for us in battle. Let's also pause to remember those who have also sacrificed their lives while serving others. Even when the enemy is an invisible virus or a microscopic germ, the sacrifices made are just as meaningful. The U.S. military has already lost service members to COVID-19.  
~ Principal Thomas 
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.