HMS Headlines

September 24, 2021

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Dear HMS Families,

As we have settled into our school routines for this school year, we wanted to share with you a little bit about the work we are doing to support Social-Emotional learning at Highcrest. District-wide we have a new Social-Emotional Learning framework which is aligned with the core competencies developed at the Consortium for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Our first area of focus has been on Relationship Skills. This is a natural place for us to start the school year, as we build community in our classrooms, and we enjoy learning more about each other. Teachers and students have engaged in activities to find connections with one another and to seek out commonalities on which to build relationships and strengthen our entire HAWK community. It has been a fun start to the year!

In some fifth grade classrooms, students have participated in mix and mingle activities where they have learned about one another, and they have begun practicing gratitude through the use of journaling. In some sixth grade classrooms, students have had conversations to find commonalities with their favorite things through a game called four corners, and in other classrooms, they have talked about the unique qualities that make them special. In world language classes students have used the language as a vehicle to discuss their likes and dislikes, and to describe themselves, and in art class, students have created projects to demonstrate their individual talents and abilities. Our community is amazing, and learning about one another, forming new friendships, and learning new ways to support one another has certainly helped to make it even stronger than it already i

As we continue this work, it is our hope that all of our students engage in building strong connections with one another and find a place of belonging and relationship at Highcrest.

Have a good weekend!

Kelly, Linda, and Susie

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2021-2022 Parent Education Series

Our next parent education event is Wednesday, October 13th at 11am. It is titled Learning About The Responsive Classroom Model and Tips to Take Home. Please Register Here


We have recently been made aware of a challenge circulating on Tik Tok, where children are challenged to steal property at school, such as soap dispensers, paper towel holders, pencil sharpeners and more. In some reports, this has extended to personal property of teachers and school staff.

As is the case with any personal apps students have, please be vigilant about what your child is checking out on Tik Tok (if they use it), and be sure to have a discussion about appropriate technology use as well as respect of school and others' property. Thank you for your help!


Reminder: Students with COVID-19 Symptoms

As we move into fall, we would like to remind parents that any student who is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, is required to stay home and seek a PCR test or evaluation from their physician. Unvaccinated students should also stay home if a member of the household is getting tested, as they could have potentially been exposed.

If the student has been tested due to symptoms, a negative PCR test or alternate diagnosis from a physician is required to return to school and the student should remain home until the school nurse has reviewed test results or physician’s note for return to school. Please check out our D39 Response to Illness Booklet for more information and visit our COVID testing webpage for information on testing options and locations.

Board of Education Meeting on Monday

The D39 Board of Education will hold its regular monthly meeting next Monday, Sept. 27 at 7 pm. Click here for access to the complete meeting agenda and materials. The Board will hear a presentation on the District’s strategic plan, and review its learning support plan, which includes information on intervention services, our SEL support efforts this year, and the allocation of ESSER grant funding to support learning recovery and other needs.

Safe2Help Illinois

District 39 is participating in a statewide school safety program called Safe2Help Illinois, which offers students a safe and confidential way to share information that may help prevent suicides, school violence, and other threats to student safety. In the absence of a trusted adult, students can use Safe2Help Illinois to share concerns about themselves or others in a confidential way.

Safe2Help Illinois has multiple ways to be reached.

Once reviewed, information is shared with District 39 and/or local law enforcement, depending on the nature of the tip. This program is intended to encourage students to “seek help before harm,” with the goal of intervening and helping students before they harm themselves or others. Safe2Help Illinois is available to all D39 students, families and staff. Here is a one-minute child friendly video explaining Safe2Help.

Helpful Resources

The D39 Back-to-School page provides helpful resources to families, including FAQs, our D39 Response to Illness Booklet, our D39 COVID Metrics page and more.



The Volunteer Center is offering many volunteer service opportunities. Make a Difference Day, October 23rd, donate gently used and new goods to benefit over a dozen community nonprofits.

National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 - October 15. Join in recognizing Hispanic Americans achievements and contributions. See website for events and activities.

Wilmette Food Pantry is open every Tuesday 10:00-11:00 am at Trinity United Methodist Church.

"Best Step Tutoring” offers free online tutoring for PreK-12 grades.

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Freaky Friday is BACK!

Save the date, October 22nd, for a night of fun, music, inflatables, treats, and games! Dress in your Halloween best! Keep an eye out for ticket sales and volunteer opportunities coming soon.

D39 Village Wide PTO Board

Are you interested in joining the D39 Village Wide PTO Board? There are a few spots still open.

The VW PTO Board is a wonderful group of representatives from all D39 elementary schools, the D39 Ed Foundation, Board of Education, PASS 39 and more, including our very own Superintendent, Dr. Cremascoli. The VW PTO Board meets 4 times during the school year (via Zoom until otherwise indicated). For each position, the member would reach out to the various school representatives and obtain a report to share during the VW PTO meeting. The names and contact information would be provided to you. Being on the VW PTO Board is a great way to meet new people and be “in the know” about D39 happenings.

Please contact the current VWPTO President, Barb Bentivenga, at with any questions.

Open VW PTO Board Positions

  • 2nd Vice President (Enrichment)

  • Civics & Safety (Co-Chair)

  • Communications

  • Outdoor Classroom

Village Wide PTO Meeting Dates:

(via Zoom)

9.22.21 at 9:15 am

11.10.21 at 9:15 am

3.9.22 at 9:15 am

5.11.22 at 10:00 am with luncheon to follow TBD

Welcome Back from PASS39!

PASS39 stands for The Parent Association for Student Services in District 39. It’s a district-wide parent organization that works in collaboration with Administration to help provide education and support for families who have children with learning, behavioral, emotional and developmental challenges.

PASS39 Events/2021-2022

Click here to learn about upcoming events and how to get involved.

PASS39 Email List

Join our email list to receive information on area and district events related to children with learning disabilities and/or special needs. Email us at to be added to the PASS39 group e-mail. All addresses are blind copied for confidentiality.

PASS39 on the Web

The PASS39 website provides more information about Wilmette D39 Student Services and contains educational, therapeutic and recreational resources for parents with children with specialized needs.

PASS39 also has a private Facebook Group. To receive access, open the “Upcoming Events” link listed above, scroll to the bottom and click on Facebook.

Membership Toolkit

AtoZ Connect is now powered by Membership Toolkit to bring you the best directory experience available. PTO memberships, directories, communications, online store, and more will all run through the newly improved online software. Click here if you haven’t already signed up!

To access the new 2021-2022 Highcrest PTO Directory, please visit Bookmark this site now!

Volunteer Opportunities

Looking to get involved with the PTO? We are looking for a 5th Grade Yearbook Coordinator & an Environmental Awareness chair for this year! Please contact Megan at for more information.

Highcrest After School Clubs

🚨 More HMS After School Clubs News! 🚨

Registration available for the following clubs:

These clubs are coordinated by the Wilmette Park District and conveniently located at Highcrest.



Show your Hawks pride with a variety of spiritwear options! Please contact Jen at if you would like to make a purchase.

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Freaky Friday is BACK!

Save The Date for Friday, October 22 from 5:00 - 6:30!

All announcements to be included in Headlines must be submitted via the Communications Request Form by Wednesdays at 2pm.