Highcroft Hotline

April 26, 2020

Highcroft's Mission

At Highcroft, we help learners grow in a safe, caring community where ALL are valued and supported to become leaders.

Upcoming Events


  • April 27 - May 22: Virtual Learning, Building Closed
  • April 30: Spirit Day - Character Day (dress like your favorite book, movie or TV character)


  • May 1: No eLearning School on Fridays
  • May 1: School Principals' Day
  • May 6: Board of Education Meeting, 7:00 pm
  • May 8: No eLearning School on Fridays
  • May 12: Virtual Field Day
  • May 15: No eLearning School on Fridays
  • May 21: Last Day of School

Lucas Letter


Before our focus shifted to discussing eLearning and making sense of our current reality, once a month I shared the 7 habits learning our staff provided our students. That learning still occurs through our To-Do Tuesday presentations. While our students have engaged in learning about all of the habits, today I want to share with you the message of Habit 5 - Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. This is the habit of empathic listening. “Empathic listening is reflecting what a person feels and says in your own words,” (7 Habits Signature Program book, page 110). Empathic listening is listening to other people’s ideas and feelings, trying to see things from their viewpoint, and listening without interrupting. “Empathic listening is not about me,” (7 Habits Signature Program book, page 110). Don’t try to solve the problem for the other person, tell them what to do, or ask questions while they’re talking. Also, don’t judge, agree, or disagree, which can be challenging to do.

Habit #5 - Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood means that it is better to listen first and talk second. By taking the time to listen to another person, you reach a higher level of communication. Teaching Habit #5 to young children is done by first considering their age and development. Young children find it difficult to understand another’s paradigm (point of view). This habit is best approached by introducing listening as a skill we should practice. Learning to listen without interrupting and learning to listen with your ears, your eyes, and your heart will help children build a foundation for Habit #5. Simply put, we have two ears and one mouth so that we can spend more time listening with the intent to understand.

If you are experiencing some of the same interactions with your children that I am with mine during our current reality of quarantine, then you have been gifted many opportunities to embrace Habit 5.

In partnership, and be well!

Dr. Cartelia Lucas



Highcroft Highlights

Click the button below to see community activities and videos we have shared. As we continue to create and share things, the site will be updated.

Until We Meet Again

Saying goodbye can be extremely hard. In the word of A.A. Milne, “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” This year we say farewell to Mrs. Scharma Banks, one of our counselors, who will serve in another district. Mrs. Kathryn Bearman, our math specialist, is taking a position as a MOSAICS teacher at another school. Ms. Jill Epstein, one of our fifth-grade teachers, who is moving to Northeast Middle to teach math, Ms. Marla Mayer, our art teacher, who is retiring, Mrs. Melanie Maxvill, one of our PE teachers, who is retiring, and Mrs. Melinda O'Shea, our principal secretary, who is retiring.
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A Letter From Ms. Mayer and Mrs. Maxvill

Dear Highcroft Families:

It is with mixed emotions that Ms. Mayer and Mrs. Maxvill announce that we will be retiring at the end of this school year. We have had the pleasure of teaching generations of children, including yours! We are saddened that we won't be able to give you hugs in person, but please consider this a virtual hug from us to you.

Keep making beautiful art, move your bodies, and be the Highcroft sweeties we know you all are. We'll miss you.

Ms. Mayer and Mrs. Maxvill

Specialist Office Hours

Please click here for our specialists' office hours. This document shares with you the times our specialists are available to respond to communications and their email addresses so that you are able to communicate with them about assignments in their content areas.

The Reading Corner

Ms. Yelton, Reading Intervention Specialist

This month’s topic: More Free Reading Websites

Working online with your students in small groups and individual tutoring sessions brings me great joy. I hope you are well! Here are more free online websites. Check them out (source: Great Literacy Websites for Parents and Kids, Pennsylvania Department of Education)!

StoryPlace lets kids participate in story time, watch videos, and play games. The bilingual site also provides early literacy information and a guide to children’s books for parents and caregivers.

PBS Kids: Between the Lions is a virtual library where lion librarians host fun-filled activities with characters like singing vowels and dancing puppets. Children can entertain themselves or involve a grown-up in the educational video games, stories, and songs.

Reading Rockets has lots of games and activities for kids’ pleasure and learning. Parents, teachers, and other adults can access instructional videos, a blog, PBS TV programs, and videos to guide them in helping children learn to read.

Reading is Fundamental presents games, interactive stories, songs, and book recommendations for kids up to age 12 and their families, including bilingual activities.

Kidsreads offers book reviews, features, contests, excerpts from new releases, a blog, and author profiles and interviews for young readers and their parents.

The Stacks lets kids 8-14 play games, test skills and knowledge about books, work on writing activities and express opinions. They can connect with other readers on books, reading and authors on this well-moderated site.

Reading Lady is filled with a multitude of rich resources for teachers (and parents). It features comprehension strategies, poetry, assessments, readers theater scripts, and blogs.

Scholastic: In the “Parents” section of Scholastic, look for resources under the Books & Reading tab, such as Reading Resources & Help for Ages 8–10. A new feature that stands out is the e-reader app, Storia.

Counselor Corner

Cindy Beeler Grades K,1,2,4 cbeeler@parkwayschools.net

Scharma Banks Grades 3,5 sbanks@parkwayschools.net

Hope you had a wonderful Week 6. We are missing the kids more than ever! Hope you all are healthy and happy. Please contact us if you have any questions or need any support.

Coping Tool for Children

Counselor Check In Through this form students can request a private meet up with the counselors. Below are some simple suggestions for breaks or even a new thing to try.

Guidance for Parents

During this unprecedented time we are experiencing you may have had questions from your children you cannot answer. You probably have seen changes or unpredictable behavior in your children. In so many ways we are all feeling like we have no control over this and unable to give our little learners solid answers. This can often be the cause of changes in behaviors.

We would suggest steering the conversation about what we can control instead of the things that we cannot control. We have discussed this often in our classroom guidance and small groups to go along with Habit 1 - Be Proactive - I’m in Charge of Me! Below is an illustration of an activity you can do with your child to focus on what you can control. You could even turn this into a service learning project. For example, we cannot visit our relatives, but we can send them a card in the mail. Please contact us if you would like your child to have a meetup to discuss this more.


Parkway Meal Assistance

Operation Food Search

Technology Request or Assistance

Charter Spectrum Internet

Emergency Food Stamps

Drive-thru Emergency Diapers

Emergency Resources

911/Take your child to the ER

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Behavioral Health Response Crisis Line: 1-800-811-4760

Saint Louis Crisis Nursery: 314-768-3201

Salvation Army: 211 (mortgage, utility bills, clothing, medication bills, etc.)

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Library News

Mrs. Stilts, Librarian



Congratulations to our Highcroft Ridge Mark Twain Masters! The following students demonstrated excellence by reading most of the 2020 Mark Twain Award Nominees: Roger in Ms. Epstein's class; Henry in Mr. Noble's class; Gianna, Natalie, Sophia, Alice, Brooke, and Daniel in Mrs. Swanger's class; Nancy and Sophia in Mrs. Wright's class; and Aadrika in Mrs. Childes' class. Each Mark Twain Master will be receiving a special gift to commemorate this achievement. I am tremendously proud of these super readers!

Would your student(s) like to accept the challenge of becoming a Mark Twain Master? Or maybe you are just looking for your next great read. Look no further than the 2021 Mark Twain Award Nominees. All are also available to read electronically using Sora (available from Clever and the Highcroft Library webpage).

Speaking of Sora - it is an incredibly user-friendly eBook and audiobook application powered by Overdrive. There are books available at every level. Our students already have Sora connected to their Clever accounts and can access eBooks and audiobooks directly from any computer or Chromebook. You can also download the Sora app to any device or phone. Parkway continually adds new titles available through Sora. And since all students have a virtual St. Louis County Library card, you can even access thousands more eBooks and audiobooks through Sora! For help accessing Sora, connecting your SLCL card or any Sora questions, I am just an email away at dstilts@parkwayschools.net. Here is a quick Sora tutorial that might be handy.

Thank you so much for your support of the online book fair! 25% of the sales will come back to Highcroft in the form of Scholastic Dollars. Thank you!

Happy reading!

April Acts of Kindness Calendar Created By The 3rd-5th Kindness Leaders

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Virtual School Spirit Days

This Thursday is Backwards Day! Wear your clothes backward and post a picture on social media for all of us to see. Spirit Days are planned by Ms. Galanti and the Spirit Leaders!
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Virtual Gotcha

A Virtual Gotcha is used to recognize students when they display our ROSE Values. Please consider submitting a Virtual Gotcha for your child to be recognized.

Click Here to Complete the Form