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September 2015

Please read the following:

A letter from our Superintendent, Jane Yuster, regarding your students Smarter Balanced Assessment Results and how to read what is being sent home. 

Letter in English

Letter in Spanish

Principal's Message

Principal's Message January 18 Reflection of the year 2017 and looking Forward

January, 2018

Dear Half Moon Bay High School Students and Families:


As we welcome in the New Year, we traditionally reflect on the previous year, and make some new goals or resolutions, which we hope to keep for the entire year and beyond. With our ongoing schoolwide theme of “kindness,” we continue to work on making each student’s high school experience valuable, memorable and positive. I know all of us strive to have our students feel happy, valued and important, so each can reach their potential. According to esteemed child psychologist and professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Dr. Charles Schaefer, an important way to build a student’s self esteem is to enjoy and value their uniqueness and to celebrate their achievements and let them know you love and appreciate them.


Looking back, we had a remarkable year.


  • Grace Carpenter, Tatiana Ediger, Siena Hinshelwood, Tristan Madayag, Andrew Pantera and Tamlyn Schafer were commended by the National Merit Scholarship Program for their outstanding scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
  • Already, quite a few of our seniors have been accepted to the Universities of their choice under the Early Acceptance Programs and most of seniors will soon be receiving their college acceptance letters.
  • Our football team had unprecedented success this year: Undefeated PAL Bay (highest division) Division Champions, Central Coast Section Open Division Champions, Northern California Division 3 A Champions, and Runner Up California Division 3 A Champions!  
  • Our Boys Cross Country team placed third in the PAL, second in CCS and 15th in Division 4 in the State Championships!
  • We have added a Drama class with expert teacher Mr. Ward leading both that class and directing our upcoming Spring Musical, The Little Mermaid.
  • Other than the Friday traffic situation (which we are working on), the new Block Schedule is proving to be very effective in better supporting student learning, reducing some students’ homework load, allowing students more sleep time, and creating an academic environment closer to a college experience.
  • Our Health and Wellness Committee continues its powerful work to address the most critical issues facing students. Currently there are five areas of focus for our subcommittees.

1. Homework and School Stress.

2. Mindfulness/Space for students to be heard/alternative Coastside Activities.

3. Nutrition.

4. Kindness – Civic and Community Responsibility.

5. Drugs and Alcohol.

I invite all who are interested to be a part of the work of this committee which has already supported a later start time for our students, block scheduling, and increased social/emotional support for our students by making more licensed counselors available.

  • I thank our School Site Council for creating our Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA), which is designed to focus on essential elements in continuing to improve the educational experience for our students. The Site Council is an elected body of parents, students, teachers, classified personal and administration given the mission to oversee the working of the entire school.
  • Our High School Foundation has raised significant money to support all the programs at our school and is completely focused on providing critical supplemental materials to enhance the education we provide.
  • I also robustly thank our Sports Boosters, Agriculture Boosters, Music Boosters, ELAC and the Cabrillo Education Foundation for all the financial and human support they are providing our students and school!
  • I also thank two dedicated adult volunteers for their after school tutoring sessions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays: Leo Laux, (PhD. in Chemistry) and Jay Thompson (Masters in Computer Science) are in the library to help any student in math or science.

We have also proudly accomplished many of the goals we established for ourselves for the past year:

  • The Early College Program continues to grow, with United States History being offered for the first time, along with Art 401 and 406, which were piloted last year.
  • We have created two new Career and Technical Educational pathways this year. Students can now earn a certificate in Construction Technology, or Broadcasting in addition to Agricultural Sciences pathway we created a couple of years ago.
  • We completed replacing the worn out “crumb rubber” turf on our football field with a fabulous new turf filled with natural cork. The running track has been repaired and we have added a number of “field elements” to the track including Long jump, High jump, and Triple jump along with throwing circles. The grandstands have been renovated and are now fully Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.
  • We increased the number of students who were “Reclassified” as being recognized as fully English proficient to an all-time best of 57 this school year!
  • We also increased the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program district-wide. Now a student can take AVID starting in 6th grade and continue in this powerful program through their senior year to graduation!
  • We were recognized by the Educational Results Partnership who determined that HMBHS was one of the high schools in the State of California that consistently demonstrates high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement over time, reduction in achievement gaps, and college readiness in students.
  • Finally, 98.6% of last year’s seniors graduated, and of those graduates, 92% are attending post secondary education currently!


And looking forward to 2018 – 2019 school year:


Makers Space: We are currently starting the design of a currently underused space on campus to house our “Makerspace”, (thanks to the donation of $40,000 from supporter of Half Moon Bay High School!) a place where students can dream, design and work on powerful, interesting projects with materials readily available to them including the capability of 3D printing.

Early College: We are working on adding a math and course for next school year with the ultimate goal of having students who choose these courses being able to graduate from Half Moon Bay High School with at least one full year of fully transferable college units completed! These classes are offered on our campus, taught by qualified and properly certificated HMBHS teachers who are co-working for the High School and College of San Mateo, during the normal school day, for absolutely no cost to the student!

WASC Accreditation: All public high schools and Junior Colleges are overseen by an Accrediting Commission for Schools: In California, we have the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Next school year, we are up for our review. This is a huge undertaking and they ask us to do a deep analysis of our all our programs and the school in general. This will help guide our educational plan for the next six years.

Staff Development: The entire staff continues its dedication to continuous learning and growth. We will continue to fully integrate the State Common Core Standards throughout all courses we teach. Secondly, we will continue our development of how to maximize the use of the teaching time we have created due to the block schedule.

History Project: A personal project that I feel needs to be done is a “History of Half Moon Bay High School.” I want to interview on video (with a record of written history as well) many people who have attended HMBHS over the years, to gather as much of our colorful and important history as we can. Not only do I think this will be valuable to have, but should be a lot of fun creating!


Overall, we are very proud of the education our students earn at Half Moon Bay. We consistently see our graduates achieving great success in college and beyond. However, we know that we need to consistently evaluate what we are doing, and continue to improve in almost every area. I encourage you to reach out to me with any comments, questions, and suggestions, or if you want to help out in any way. Working together as a community, we will continue to make Half Moon Bay High a school that makes our entire community very proud!

Wishing all the very best in 2018!




John Nazar, Principal

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Advancement Via Individual Determination

AVID is designed to prepare students for the rigor involved with preparing for the demands of post-secondary education.

AVID Program @ HMBHS