Principal's Weekly Update

  • Good Evening Highlanders,

    This is Mr. Vasallo, Principal of Dunedin Highland Middle School with my weekly update. 

    I hope everyone had a safe Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.  It was great to see our students representing DHMS in the community at celebrations, parades, and festivals this weekend. 

    I want to thank our families for their patience these past few weeks as our entire community has experienced a surge in COVID 19 cases.  I also want to thank our staff, that has been going above and beyond to make sure all of our classrooms and coverage duties are accounted for every day when we have had staff members absent and have not been able to secure substitute teachers. Like all of you, we hope this wave ebbs soon.  

    Teachers use the laptops in daily instruction.  To our families who have checked out a laptop, please make sure your student brings their laptop fully charged to school every day.  

    Now that we have all laptops in use, I want to stress with our students and parents that it is very important that our students take good care of their laptops.  One of the most common issues we see is students downloading software to try to get around our firewalls.  When the laptops detect this activity, they lock themselves up and have to be restored to factory settings.  Because all of our laptops are in use daily, we do not have extra laptops to loan out when one breaks.  This challenge is sometimes exacerbated when national issues with the supply chain make it hard for us to get parts for repairs in a timely manner.  We need all of our students to respect their devices. 

    The Annual Title I Parent Survey will be open and available through Thursday, February 3rd.  Paper copies went home last week.  If you fill out a paper copy, your student can turn it in during lunch for a popcorn ticket.  The survey is also available on Survey Monkey: 

    The PTA celebrates DHMS Spirit Night at the Chipotle on Countryside Blvd this Wednesday January 19th 5-9 PM. Be sure to mention the DHMS PTA when ordering in the restaurant. For online orders use code ARGW8PY.

    In sports, our Girls Team plays at home Wednesday and our Boys Team plays at home on Thursday. 

    The NJHS meeting scheduled for Thursday has been postponed. 

    Our Credit Recovery programs will start next week.  We will be sending home more information about credit recovery later this week. 

    Friday we will celebrate the Buccaneers playoff game with Raise the Flag Friday!  Students can wear their favorite Bucs gear to cheer on the home team!

    Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Dunedin Highland History Day competition is postponed until further notice. If your family planned to contribute food donations or attend the Open House scheduled for Friday, those events are now canceled. We will communicate with students and families when it has been rescheduled. 

    The DHMS Thespians will present Improv night this Friday at 6pm.  Suggested donation is $5. Refreshments will also be for sale. 

    Our ELP programs are back in session. Please visit the ELP schedule link on the front page of our website. ELP Sign Up 2021-2022.pdf 

    Yearbooks are on sale on our website for $25: 

    Upcoming Dates:

    1/18               Band Boosters

    1/19              Chipotle Night @ Countryside Blvd location. 5-9 pm.  Use code ARGW8PY

    1/19                Girls Basketball – Home

    1/20                No NJHS – postponed

    1/20                Boys Basketball – Home

    1/21                Raise the Flag Friday

    1/21                No NHD – postponed

    1/21                 Improv Night – 6pm

    1/24-1/28       Literacy Week

    1/24                Boys Basketball - @ SHMS

    1/25                Girls Basketball - @ TSMS

    1/26                Girls Basketball – Home

    1/27                Boys Basketball - @ CMS

    2/3                  Title I Survey Window Closes

    2/4                  Mid Term Progress Reports

    2/21                No School for students

    That’s all for this week at Dunedin Highland Middle School, where we conduct ourselves with Respect, Excellence, and Pride!  Go Highlanders!

    Mr. Vasallo

    DHMS School Website:

    Like us on Social Media!


    Band Boosters:

    Other past announcements:

    For the most efficient response to a student or parent need during the school day, please contact your student’s grade level clerk.  Our grade level clerks are also the person you should report your child’s absence to:

    Hats or other head coverings may not be worn during the school day.  Parents please make sure your students leave these items at home.

    DHMS Food Pantry will be open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays from 10:30-3:30.  We will be using online system called Link2Feed. If you need help signing up, we can help you!

    Step 1. Please create a profile here:  

    Step 2. The system will ask you questions like your name, date of birth, people in your household, race/ethnicity, and other demographic questions. 

    Step 3. Profile confirmation - you are done! Thank you for completing your registration. You will only have to do this once. 

    For more information on the DHMS Food Pantry, please visit: or contact Mrs. Amato at

    The DHMS Band Boosters have a new web store with DHMS themed merchandise.  Among the more popular items are hoodies and water bottles.  Check out their store at this link:

    Please note that our front office in not able to accept deliveries for students, such as flowers, balloons, or food delivery services like Door Dash or Uber Eats, etc. 

    If you want to help us provide positive behavior rewards for our students, please consider “adopting” DHMS by making a donation.  You can adopt our school by using the link at the bottom of our webpage. You can send your tax-deductible donation to our bookkeeper, Mrs. Chesley at

    Do you know a college student (not dual enrolled or Early College) who wants to make $14/hour as an employee of PCS working a flexible schedule that complements their college class schedule? If interested, contact Amanda Cummings at . Please spread the word!

    I want to remind parents that cellphones, earbuds, headphones, and Bluetooth speakers are not allowed in the classrooms, hallways, or courtyard unless a teacher has directed students to use them for an academic purpose.  If you need to reach your child during the school day, please do not call or text them.  Please call the grade level office and we will have your student call you back.

    A reminder to parents that when picking up and dropping off students, you may not use the front parking lot as a secondary car line.  With cars coming and going, it can be a dangerous area for students to walk through and cars that lineup block in parked cars from being able to leave.  If there are spaces available, you are welcome to park your car and escort your student to and from the crosswalk.   

    If your child rides a bus to school each day, you can keep updated on any issues by signing up for Bus Bulletin. Bus Bulletin will notify you by text, phone call or email if:

    • A bus is late.
    • A route has changed.
    • There has been an accident.

    If your child rides a bus, please take advantage of this free service. Sign-up by going to 


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