Hillcrest Staff ARTery

We are the heART of Hillcrest!

The week of March 28th - April 1st

Bus Duty:

AM - Tracy, Emily & Beth

PM - Kari, Amy B. & Rachel

Treats: Cory & Angie

Word of the Week: Self-Reliance


Monday, March 28th (Day 2)

  • MCA testing - grade 5/Science
  • K - 2 play practice

Tuesday, March 29th (Day 3)

  • Jane out all day for training
  • 8:30 - 9:15 - VISION K-2 Team Meeting
  • 2:00 - 3:00 - Mayor visits Grade 4

Wednesday, March 30th (Day 1)

  • Jane out all day for training
  • 8:20 - 9:00 - SWIM team meeting/Caroline's room

Thursday, March 31st (Day 2)

  • 8:30 - 12:00 - Principal's Meeting
  • First day of mini Boule
  • K - 2 practice

Friday, April 1st (Day 3)

  • 8:20 - 9:00 - ISST Meeting/Caroline's Room
  • FIRE DRILLS @ 10:00, 1:15, and 3:00
  • Mini Boule

Upcoming Events





Staff Meeting Schedule (Topics)

4/5 - Staffing and Schedule for SY17

4/19 - TBD

5/3 - Classroom Placement for SY17

5/17 - TBD



30 ways to celebrate . . .

  1. Order a free National Poetry Month poster and display it at work or school.
  2. Sign up for Poem-a-Day and read a poem each morning.
  3. Sign up for Teach This Poem, a weekly series for teachers.
  4. Memorize a poem.
  5. Create an anthology of your favorite poems on Poets.org.
  6. Encourage a young person to participate in the Dear Poet project.
  7. Buy a book of poetry from your local bookstore.
  8. Review these concrete examples of how poetry matters in the United States today.
  9. Learn more about poets and poetry events in your state.
  10. Ask your governor or mayor for a proclamation in support of National Poetry Month.
  11. Attend a poetry reading at a local university, bookstore, cafe, or library.
  12. Read a poem at an open mic. It’s a great way to meet other writers in your area and find out about your local poetry writing community.
  13. Start a poetry reading group.
  14. Write an exquisite corpse poem with friends.
  15. Chalk a poem on the sidewalk.
  16. Deepen your daily experience by reading Edward Hirsch’s essay “How to Read a Poem.”
  17. Ask the United States Post Office to issue more stamps celebrating poets.
  18. Recreate a poet’s favorite food or drink by following his or her recipe.
  19. Read about different poetic forms.
  20. Read about poems titled “poem.”
  21. Celebrate National Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 21, 2016. The idea is simple: select a poem you love, carry it with you, then share it with coworkers, family, and friends.
  22. Subscribe to American Poets magazine or a small press poetry journal.
  23. Watch Rachel Eliza Griffiths’s P.O.P (Poets on Poetry) videos.
  24. Watch or read Carolyn Forche’s talk “Not Persuasion, But Transport: The Poetry of Witness.”
  25. Read or listen to Mark Doty’s talk “Tide of Voices: Why Poetry Matters Now.”
  26. Read Allen Ginsberg’s classic essay about Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.”
  27. Watch a poetry movie.
  28. Sign up for a poetry class or workshop.
  29. Get ready for Mother’s Day by making a card featuring a line of poetry.
  30. Read the first chapter of Muriel Rukeyer’s inspiring book The Life of Poetry.


Displays . . . fresh and new

A big shout out to Janet and Beth for creating the awesome COMPAS artist display by Door 3 and for making the bulletin boards in the hallways look fresh and clean. Hip hip hooray!

COMPAS Artists Coming to HC

February 1 - 5: Gita Ghei w/ 2nd Grade

February 2 - 24: Joko Sutrisomo w/ Music

February 16 - 24: Tri Sutrismo w/ PE

February 22 - 26: Anne McFaul Reid w/ 5th Grade

March 14 - 18: Marie Olofsdotter w/ 3rd Grade

March 28 - April 1: Christopher Lutter-Gardella w/ 1st Grade

April 4 - 8: Mick la Briola w/ ELA and TBD

May 2 -6: Mica lee Anders w/ 5th Grade

May 2 - 20: Soli Hughes w/ 4th Grade

Instructional Update

Testing Starts on March 29th

Be sure that you have your MAP and MCA tests on your calendar! You can find the Hillcrest testing calendar here.

Student Placement Considerations for 2016 - 17 School Year

Student placement consideration requests for the 2016-17 school year can be made between March 28th and April 29th. Starting March 28th placement consideration forms will be available in our school office. Completed forms must be received in person or by mail to our school office by April 29th.

Tech Team Update

From the tech team: More info for you to ponder over your break.

How we will prepare students: Media Directors are working on iPad and Chromebook Boot Camp Curriculum for you to deliver in your classrooms next fall. We decided to do this as a whole building the week before devices are handed out. All for one, and one for all style!

If your classroom is getting iPads, you can expect a set of devices set up to charge in your room. If your team would like to have 1:1 access, we're relying on your team's communication to schedule the iPads between your classrooms.

If your students are getting Chromebooks, fourth and fifth grades come with the expectation that the Chromebooks will be going home with your students on a daily basis and charging at home. They will receive cases and luggage tags with the device and it will be checked out to them personally. Third grade classrooms will have charging carts, but are asked to send the Chromebooks home for at least a week or one major project.

What happens if a device isn't charged or is forgotten at home?

Every 3-5 classroom will have at least two desktop machines on which these students can work, so that your classroom flow won't be disrupted by it. Management of this is yours to decide. These desktops will also serve as printing station for you, should you need them!

What happens if a student's device is damaged or not working properly? When they come to tell the Media Center that news, they will check out a loaner Chromebook until the device can be fixed.

How you can help now:

Grades 2-4...do you have any kids/families who you suspect or know might not have internet? We'd like to get their family connected for a reduced rate, if we can. Please let Belle or Calvin know who they are so we can contact them.

Think about how you will share work with students, will it be Seesaw, Google Classroom...something different? How will printing and handing work in look different?

Think about what electrical devices you might not need in your classroom anymore. For instance, is there a bank of white computers that could go because it will be replaced with iPads?

Up next month, behavior and expectations surrounding technology. Stay tuned...

Belle Nelson, Media Specialist

Hillcrest Community School

Learning Supports Update

The Sheridan Story and Hillcrest UMC Partnership

Elementary schools throughout Bloomington ​are building a partnership with The Sheridan Story. The Sheridan Story works with schools and districts to partner with local faith communities to sponsor a school in providing Friday food backpacks for students to fill the gap of not receiving school food over the weekend and extended breaks. The Sheridan Story handles the logistics. Hillcrest United Methodist Church (UMC) has partnered with us (as the faith based partner) and The Sheridan Story to provide funding and volunteer support to carry the program forward. You can read more about The Sheridan Story here.

The current plan is to have The Sheridan Story start providing food support for students starting next school year (Fall of 2016). Hillcrest UMC is currently working on raising funds to support food donations (we expect that 25-35 families will enroll in the program) and are hoping to provide support to our school in other ways as well (volunteering, mentoring, etc.).

More details will be coming later this spring.


HR Staffing Timeline

February 15th - Retirement/Job Share/Coming back from leave deadline to tell HR

February 29th - Internal Transfer Process FORMS DUE!!

March 10th - 17th - Principal Staffing Meetings

April 4th - 11th - Elementary Postings on Web

April 15th - Top candidates picked and shared with HR

May 2nd - Elementary hiring

Note: If you have questions about any of this information, please contact Calvin.

Coaches Corner

Imagine the following scenario:

You spent hours over the weekend planning a fun lesson for the day before spring break. You have all the materials ready and are excited about your plan. You teach the heck out of the lesson and ask what questions the students have. A hand goes up and the student asks, "What am I supposed to do?"

Has this ever happened to you? It has definitely happened to me! While we may not be able to have students' attention 100% of the time, here are some things we can do to communicate more effectively with our students:

  • Face the students, make eye contact and limit movement both by you and by the students when giving instructions or explaining content

  • Establish an auditory and visual signal and provide wait time for students' attention

  • Wait to pass out papers, have students get out materials, erase white board, turn off LCD, etc. until you are done talking and students have asked any clarifying questions

  • Always repeat directions like it's the first time the student is hearing it - give just one direction at a time - post the directions, sequence or schedule

  • Revisit the objectives at the end of the lesson with class to do a check-in on progress - connect to exit slip

  • Have students restate objective or directions (if possible) in their own words and understand why it’s important

  • In addition to explaining the learning objectives at the start of a lesson, also explain the success criteria in student-friendly language

Is there a lesson you have planned this week that would be a good candidate for intentionally applying some of these strategies?

​Have a nice week and a WONDERFUL break!​


2016 Summer Educators’ Institute: Transforming Education Through Absent Narratives

2016 Summer Educators’ Institute:

Transforming Education Through Absent Narratives

Dates: Sunday, June 26-Friday, July 1

Location: Minnesota Humanities Center | 987 Ivy Ave. E, St. Paul 55106

Cost: $150/person registration fee (10% discount if you register with a team of three or more) | Limited Space Available

Intended Audience: K-12 educators residing in Minnesota

Strengthening relationships…one educator at a time.

The Minnesota Humanities Center is excited to offer a weeklong Summer Educators' Institute in the last week of June 2016. This Institute provides educators with an opportunity to engage deeply with the Humanities Center's proven approach to increase student engagement through absent narratives - those voices often left out or marginalized. The experience will develop classroom strategies for bringing absent narratives pedagogy into practice, while building a community of educators committed to relationship-based educational change in Minnesota.

Learn more at: www.mnhum.org/institute & http://conta.cc/1QIYXhF.

Join one of the two optional information sessions via webinar from 4-5 p.m. on Thursday, February 25 and Tuesday, March 8. Visit the website for details.

Questions? Eden Bart, 651-772-4261, eden@mnhum.org

This event is funded in part with money from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund that was created by a vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

Our weekly staff newsletter!

This newsletter will come to you every Friday afternoon for the upcoming week. If you have any information, small business items, or events to share, please email the title, narrative, and specifics to Jane or Calvin.