NEU Highgrove Newsletter

December 2021

Success at NEU Highgrove

The month of December is upon us and so is the end of another year, 2021. We have experienced a great deal of challenges, but also success. Each and every one of our staff, scholars and families have learned a great deal this year. We navigated virtual and hybrid learning for more than a school year. We had to pivot many times to adjust instruction and learning for our scholars. At times, we felt that the challenges and struggles would not end. However, we prevailed and I am proud to say that Highgrove Scholars and staff learned to face challenges with resilience and courage.

And this school year 2021-2022, we are continuing to rebound with those same character traits. Our Scholars are Terrific HERO Huskies:

Hardworking, Engaged in Learning, Respectful, Responsible and Organized!!

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November Learning and Events

During the month of November our scholars engaged in many opportunities to learn:

  • Scholars all around continued to engage in science with our adopted district curriculum, Mystery Science.
  • TK through 2nd grade scholars continue to develop their reading foundational skills daily.
  • Writing is occurring across content areas in all grade levels.
  • Math skills and content is being developed in all areas, cardinality, numbers and base-ten, algebra and geometry.
  • Tk and Kinder scholars are using well the reading foundational tool Smarty Ants.

We provided our students the opportunity to learn about the many contributions of Native Americans. In addition, we added lessons and information about being fair and caring.

Dreambox, our District adopted supplemental math tool, is a huge success at Highgrove. On average our 700+ students are logging in every day and completing more than 5 lessons a week.

LEXIA is our District adopted supplemental reading tool for students to use daily in order to strengthen reading skills and comprehension. Our scholars' weekly expectation and goal is 100 minutes. Please remind your student to log on every day at home for at least 20 minutes daily. The program is located in the student's CLEVER page.

Please remind your student to demonstrate self-discipline everyday by working on his/her Dreambox, Lexia and A.R. goals for the week. Our school wide goal for Dreambox is 5+ lessons a week, for Lexia it is 100 minutes a week, and for A.R. it is 10% of the total points goal for the trimester. Please contact your student's teacher for any questions you may have related to these goals.

Attendance Matters

Our scholars' time in class is a significant factor for their success. It is important our students arrive on time to school and stay the entire school day. Our doors open at 7:15 am for students to arrive and have breakfast. The first bell rings at 7:40 am for students to line up and at 7:45 the instructional bell rings to begin learning. When our students arrive after 7:45, they miss critical minutes of social and emotional and academic learning. Just imagine arriving to class at 7:48 everyday, that is three missed minutes of learning for 180 days; this ends up being 9 hours of engaged learning lost. Please ensure your student(s) arrives to school between 7:15 am and 7:40 am so they engage in learning 100% of the day.

If your scholar is absent, please call our office at (951) 788-7296 to report his/her absence. In addition, reach out to his/her teacher to learn about what was missed in class and how the student can make up the learning.

NEU Highgrove Counseling Corner

At Highgrove Elementary, we are fortunate to have two Counselors who work together to help students in all areas of their life such as, academic, social and emotional as well as to prepare them for college because they are all COLLEGE BOUND! Our names are Vanessa Hurtado and Nidia Parra. Parents and Guardians please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns or would like your student to receive counseling. Our contact information will be below. Thank you!

Covid-19 has affected us in many ways and continues to do so. It can cause our students to feel anxious, fearful, sad and even angry. The following are a few tips and resources on how to speak to your child in regards to the new Covid-19 Omicron variant;

  1. Practice your own coping skills so that you may be calm when speaking to your child

Link: Coping skills

  1. Focus on what is currently happening not on what could happen

  2. Check in with your child using a feelings chart and let them know you are there for them and are listening to how they are feeling

Feelings chart:

Additional resource: Talking to your Child about their feelings.

  1. Continue with your routine as much as possible

  2. Continue practicing safety measures to prevent contracting the virus (i.e washing your hands)

Link: Precautions to take for Covid-19

  1. Always look for the positive

Additional resources: Counseling services; Care Solace

Riverside Unified School District Website for COVID-19 information:

Riverside Unified School District Family Resource Center Website

As always Riverside Unified School District and Highgrove Elementary School are taking the necessary precautions in order to keep everyone safe. We are continuing to have protocols in place such as, all employees and students wear a mask, disinfecting daily and asking our Highgrove Family to please stay home if they are experiencing any COVID-19 related symptoms. We appreciate you continuing to send your student to school as we know it helps them with their Mental Health. Thank you so much for all your support during this time!


Vanessa & Nidia 😊

Highgrove Phone number: (951)788-7296

Vanessa Hurtado, MSW LCSW, Student Assistance Program Counselor

Extension: 42249 Email:

Nidia Parra, M.A. Ed, Multi-Tier System of Support Counselor


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TERRIFIC Character

At NEU Highgrove, we pride ourselves in how well our students learn and demonstrate Terrific Character. For the month of November our scholars learned and practiced fairness and caring. For the month of December, we will continue to focus on these traits.

We will recognize scholars for these traits on December 16 and 17 via your student's grade level virtual assemblies. Teachers will send out invitations.

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Traffic Safety

The safety of our students and staff is our priority. We expect all of our parents and visitors to abide by traffic rules and common courtesy when dropping off and picking up students.

The back parking lot off of Garfield Ave is an area that we are working on to make it safer. Please park and walk to the gates to pick up your child. There is no parking between the small fence and parking spots. The curb is painted red and there are "No Parking" signs on the fence. The Handicapped parking spots are just for those with a visible Handicapped Placard. There is also no parking in the white lined areas. We will be asking law enforcement to help us keep everyone safe. Thank you for your help.

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School Site Council Meeting

Thursday, Dec. 16th, 2:30pm

This is an online event.

Winter Break

Monday, Dec. 20th, 12am to Friday, Dec. 31st, 12am

690 Center Street

Riverside, CA

Enjoy the winter break with your loved ones.