Principal's Weekly Message

December 18th, 2015

Week in Review

On Tuesday evening our school choir had an excellent performance. They sang several songs and showed off all the work they've been doing in the many morning rehearsals. Thank you to Ms. Leonhardt for making this possible for them!

This week our staff voted for teacher of the year, Trinity prize teacher of the year (similar but different) and support staff member of the year. We had three excellent teachers nominated. All three of these teachers are wonderful and would have been a great selection. Our teacher of the year for 2015-2016 is Amy Dodge, 4th grade teacher. Our nominee for the Trinity prize teacher of the year for 2015-2016 is Yvonne Sterling, 3rd grade teacher.

Recognizing a support staff of the year is a new recognition for Hidden Forest, but one that we feel is just as important as teacher of the year. We also had three great nominations for support staff member of the year; Lisa Roberts, secretary, Walter Edwards, custodian, and Frances Colon, teacher assistant. Again, all three of these individuals exemplify the habits and attitude that make our team great. Any of them would have been a great choice. Our support staff of the year for 2015-2016 is Frances Colon. Congratulations!

On Thursday our Kinder students performed Polar Express. Their performance, led by our amazing music teacher Ms. Leonhardt, was "the cutest thing ever". Great job to the students and teachers who support them!

We ended the week with our school sing-along and our winter parties. Thank you to all of the staff who participated in the sing-along and all of the parents who helped prepare for and host the class parties.

Finally, on behalf of our entire faculty and staff, I want to say thank you for all of the gifts and treats that we've received. It is always nice to be appreciated. It was another great week in the Forest. Have a wonderful holiday break.

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Morning Drop Off Reminders

Below is a map of our morning drop-off areas.

  • The green horseshoe area is our designated drop off. Cars may pull through, drop students at the curb, and pull out. This is the SAFEST area for student drop off. We have timed this several times and, at our peak traffic time, it takes 3-4 minutes at most from the time a vehicle gets in line until children are out of the vehicles.
  • The blue bus loop area is our designated place for parents who wish to park AND walk their students into the school. This is NOT an appropriate area for curbside drop off because we do not have staff in that area to supervise or escort students. Please do NOT use this as a curbside dropoff. It is ONLY for parents to park and walk their children into the school.
  • The orange staff parking area is designated for our employees to park in the morning. This is NOT a student drop off area or parent parking area in the morning.
  • Dropping off students on the street continues to be unsafe and will not be allowed. The City of San Antonio has informed us that it is safest for all student loading and unloading to occur on the school property.

Our daily goal is to have a SAFE and EFFICIENT student drop off. This is best accomplished when 100% of our students are dropped off in the designated areas.

This week I saw a student who was dropped off "curbside" in the bus loop. The parent did not escort the student, so the student walked between cars into the staff parking area. This has been an increasing problem in the past week. When our staff have to walk over to escort a student who is walking between cars, they are having to leave their designated areas (such as the crosswalk), which puts other students' safety at risk. Thank you for being mindful of the safety of your child as well as others.

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Hidden Forest Track - Update and Donation Opportunity

The Hidden Forest Track construction project is well underway. Weather pending, our students will return to our brand new track following the winter break! There is still time to support the track and have your family and/or child's name be a part of the track donor recognition tree, which will be displayed on campus. For every $100 that you contribute to the project you will have the opportunity to place your name or child's name on a leaf on the tree. Be a part of this exciting project by donating today. Simply complete the attached donation form. Checks should be made payable to HF PTA and returned to the school by Friday, January 15, 2016. If you have any questions please reach out to MOPS Dayal at

We appreciate your support. Please be on the lookout for details regarding the Track dedication early in the new year.

REMINDER: No checkouts or transportation changes after 2:15pm.

If you have an appointment scheduled and need to pick your child up for that appointment, please do so prior to 2:15pm. We do not release students or do any transportation changes after 2:15pm. This 25 minute window allows our teachers to wrap up their day and ensure that all students get to their proper dismissal location. Changes and pickups after 2:15pm cause disruption to that process and increase the likelihood for errors. Thank you for your ongoing cooperation.

I have been told that in the past few years it was common to have 20-30 students checked out of school daily between 2:15pm and 2:40pm. This created a sense of chaos as students were being called out of classes throughout the building and the office was full of parents and grandparents. This year we wanted to eliminate this issue in order to provide for a safe dismissal in which every student is accounted for by their teacher and routines are in place. Thank you for your cooperation with this change.

Winter Break Library Reading Challenge

For our Winter Break Library Reading Challenge, we are asking the kiddos to complete the Six Flags Read to Succeed promotion. In this, the children are asked to read and log a total of 6 hours or 360 minutes, which breaks down to 24 minutes a day for the 15 days away from school that your kiddos will have. Students completing this reading log (linked below) by February 26th will receive a free ticket to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, which will be passed out in the spring. If your child turns in their Six Flags’ reading log to the library by Friday, January 8th, they will receive an extra prize. Thank you for keeping your children’s love of reading alive over the break!

Falcons Giving Tree

Thank you to our Hidden Forest Elementary community for coming together to support our Sister School, Jackson Keller Elementary. Through your support we were able to provide holiday gifts to 60 children. Thank you for your generosity in this season of giving and providing a bit of holiday cheer!

Habit of the Week: Habit 1 - Be Proactive

Quote of the Week: "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain." -Vivian Greene

Home Connection: What does it mean to be "proactive", as opposed to "reactive"? And how can we do it? The word “reactive” implies that you don’t have the initiative. You let the events set the agenda. You’re tossed and turned, so to speak, by the tides of life. Each new wave catches you by surprise. Huffing and puffing, you scramble to react to it in order to just stay afloat. In contrast, the image we associate with “proactivity” is one of grace under stress. To stay with the previous analogy, let’s say you’re in choppy waters. Now, you look more at ease. It’s not just that you anticipate the waves. You’re in tune with them. You’re not desperately trying to escape them; you’re dancing with them. (retrieved from 4.7.15)