Hawthorne Happenings - April

From the desk of Mr. Mahal

Dates to remember...

April 1 - ALHS Show Choir visits Hawthorne for a brief concert

April 6 - Virtual Day - no in-person instruction on this day as students work from home

April 7 - 3rd grade field trip

April 8 - 5th field trip

April 11 - PTO Meeting (in-person or virtual) Click HERE for virtual link

April 15 - No School

April 19 - 3rd, 4th, 5th begin MCA testing

SW registration information for our 5th grade families

Our 5th grade students will be coming home with 6th grade registration forms to sign up for classes at Southwest today. Southwest is asking to have 5th grade families sign up virtually by April 8 if at all possible to help with their planning.

ALHS Show Choir visits Hawthorne!

MCA Testing Tips for students & parents

ISD 241 students in grades 3 through 8, 10, and 11 will be taking the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) this Spring. The MCAs are the state tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota's academic standards and meet the federal requirements. The reading and mathematics tests are used to determine whether schools and districts have met federal requirements and are part of a school's Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR). Reading and mathematics tests are given in grades 3-8, 10 and 11. Science tests are given in grades 5, 8, and once in high school, depending on when students complete their life sciences curriculum.

Below are some tips to help parents and students prepare for the assessments:


  • Encourage regular and active attendance in school.
  • Provide your student(s) with a quite study area. Have them turn off distracting electronic devices: Good studying cannot be accomplished with the television, radio, computer or other audio or video devices on (typically).
  • Ensure your student(s) eat: Breakfast is perhaps the most important meal of the day. On the day of their MCA testing, students who eat a protein-based breakfast will have increased attention spans.
  • Ensure your student(s) is/are hydrated: Research tells us that the brain requires hydration to function well. A general rule of thumb is students should drink one cup of water per hour.
  • Ensure your student(s) get a good night's sleep: Adolescents need a minimum of eight hours of sleep per night... nine hours of sleep is even better.
  • Help reduce your student's stress: Tips include positive self-talk (“I know I can do this”), avoid being rushed and take deep breaths (the brain needs oxygen to think clearly).
  • Ensure your student(s) exercise: Encourage them to spend a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes a day in active physical exercise of some sort.
  • Believe in your student's success: Parents can best support their student(s) by talking and listening about the student's school day actively, and always providing encouragement and support.
  • Encourage your student(s) to participate in practice sessions at school and at home.
  • Encourage your student(s) to answer all test questions.


  • Promote consistent reading: All students are encouraged to read a minimum of 20 minutes each night
  • Have your student(s) try crossword puzzles and news quizzes in the newspaper, magazines and online
  • Encourage your student(s) to read the newspaper everyday and a magazine at least once a week, then discuss what they have read.


  • Encourage your student(s) to use mathematics every day. They can practice by creating a grocery budget, explaining charts and graphs from newspaper and magazine articles, dividing food portions, using rulers to measure objects, measuring a recipe or adding prices on a shopping trip.
  • Play games that involve numbers or computation.
  • Encourage your student(s) to connect what they have learned in math to their hobbies, other classes and everyday life.

April Tech Talk


How do you know what games are safe and/or appropriate for your child online? There are hundreds of online games that your child COULD potentially be interested in, but as a parent how do you know which ones are safe? Even when kids are playing games that appear to be tailored for their age things can be problematic with pop-up ads and chat features that may or may not be monitored. Game systems including Xbox, Playstation, and Switch all have parental control settings that allow you to enable and disable a wide range of features, including how your child can interact with others in an online format. The most problematic area for toxic or inappropriate conduct comes in the form of either voice or text chat in video games, particularly if the game allows for "private" conversations. Games like Minecraft have NO private chats and parents can toggle the ability to enable or disable chat in settings, which can make Minecraft a VERY safe and fun game for even younger gamers dipping their toes into the world of online games. If you are unfamiliar with an online game your child is playing ask them to invite you to play with them so you can see firsthand what takes place online. Many games will offer a split-screen feature which is a great way to connect with your child and test an online game out yourself. The last piece to the puzzle of this GUESSING GAME is talking to your child about what to do WHEN something toxic or inappropriate happens in an online game. Unfortunately, a recent study indicates that more than HALF of online game players experience some form of harassment or toxicity when playing online, Knowing what to do when confronted with this is a huge step in helping your child navigate the digital seas.

Help our students succeed - join us in the classroom!

We are looking for Reading Corps and Math Corps tutors for the 2022-23 school year. You can work with students every day, during the school day and help them become successful in reading and math!

Reading Corps and Math Corps provide comprehensive training in strategies proven to help students build academic skills. Tutors are paid a living allowance and are eligible for up to $4,266 to pay tuition or repay student loans. Tutors 55 or older may gift the award to their child or grandchild. Tutors may be eligible for free health insurance and child care assistance.

Learn how you can get involved by visiting readingandmath.net. You can also help by telling a friend or family member (grandparents make great tutors, too!) about openings at our school and statewide! Positions start in August for the 2022-2023 school year. Send questions to recruitment@servetogrow.org or call 866-859-2825.

The more you know!

A large vocabulary can turn your child into a better reader and writer. Try these everyday ways to help him/her learn new words.

  1. Keep your ears open - When you and your youngster go places, point out words that people use. Maybe a waiter describes an entree or the dentist talks about molars. Encourage your child to figure out what the words mean by the way they're used.
  2. Go beyond nouns - Help your youngster add adjectives and verbs to her vocabulary. Sports and games offer opportunities to use action words. Let your child hear you comment on the softball that soars or the runner who sprints. When she sends thank-you notes or greeting cards, suggest descriptive works (a polka-dotted shirt, a fantastic birthday).