The Scots' Scoop

Highland Park Middle School's Weekly Family Newsletter

September 25, 2022

All translations are computer generated.

We apologize in advance for any unintended errors.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 - October 16

Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.

- César Chavez, who was a Latino American

labor leader & civil rights activist

Important Upcoming Dates

  • Monday, 9/26: FCC Meeting — in Person; 6 — 7 p.m., Room 1314 (see agenda below)
  • Friday, 9/30: Spanish Immersion Program Autumn Social Event; 5 — 7 p.m., Como Park (see information below)
  • Monday, 10/10: Flipside begins
  • Tuesday, 10/11: Lifetouch Picture Day (see information below)
  • Thursday, 10/13: Student-Led Conferences in Person; 4— 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, 10/20: No School — Statewide Teacher Conferences
  • Friday, 10/21: No School — Statewide Teacher Conferences
  • Thursday, 10/27: Student-Led Conferences Virtual; 4 — 7 p.m.

Message from the Principal

Dear HPMS Families:

Thank you for your cooperation in dropping off your student after 8:00 a.m. on school days. As I have mentioned before, there is no supervision before 8:00 a.m., and we need to make sure that students are safe and supervised when in the building.

Reminder: If you drop your child off at 8:00 a.m, upon entering the school building, they must sit either on the ledge inside the building, right by Door 20 (along the parking lot side) or on the ledge by Door 13 (along the Snelling Avenue side) without going beyond the ramp on either side. By 8:15 a.m., students will be able to pick up Breakfast to Go and then go to their first class of the day.

Thank you, as always, for support with this matter.


John Andrastek ("Mr. A."), Principal

FCC (Family Communication Connection) Meeting

Monday, Sep. 26th, 6-7pm

975 Snelling Avenue South

Saint Paul, MN

Please park in the parking lot off of Montreal and come in Door 20. Once in the building, turn left up the hallway ramp from Door 20, and Room 1314 is the 3rd room on the left up the hallway ramp. We hope to see you there!

Agenda Items:

  • Principal's Update

  • Schoology Training for Parents — Important: Please bring either your student's iPad or your own personal device. If you bring your student's iPad, make sure to bring along their log-in code to gain access to their iPad. Students are encouraged to attend the meeting with parents.

Spanish Immersion Autumn Social Event this Friday!

Bonfire in Como Park / Fogata en el Como Park

What: a bonfire ~ pot luck (drinks, cups, plates, napkins, and silverware will be provided)

Qué: una fogata ~ pot luck (se proveen bebidas, tazas, platos, servilletas y cubiertos)

Where: The Como Park fire rings, east of Hamline Ave. on Como (see map below)

Dónde: Los anillos de fuego del Parque Como, al este de la avenida Hamline en la Avenida Como.

Who: All the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students of the Spanish Immersion Program and their families.

Quiénes: Todos los alumnos del programa de inmersión de sexto, séptimo y octavo grados.

When: Friday September 30th, 2022 from 5:00 – 7:00pm.

Cuándo: Viernes el 30 de septiembre 2022, de las 17:00 – 19:00.

You can bring: the whole family plus a dish to share (some hotdogs and buns to roast or some s’mores would be great!) some roasting sticks; a frisbee, football or soccer ball for the kids to play with; flashlights and some camp chairs to sit on…

Puede traer: toda la familia más un plato para compartir (¡algunos hot dogs o s’mores serían geniales!) unos pinchos o palos para cocinar, una pelota de fútbol o fútbol americano para que los chicos puedan jugar, una linterna y algunas sillas de campamento…

See you on the 30th for a fun and social evening!

¡Les vemos el 30 de septiembre para una tarde social y divertida!

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Parents of Cooking Students

Each student is asked to donate $15 to help cover the costs of cooking for the entire semester. You can send either cash or pay online (the exact web address is on your student's Schoology Multi-Cultural Foods class OR you can go to If you want to add any extra to cover the cost of another student who cannot afford it, that would be greatly appreciated! The deadline is tomorrow, Monday September 26, 2022. If you have any questions, please email Thank you so much!

Lifetouch Picture Day – Tuesday October 11

Lifetouch Picture Day at HPMS is Tuesday, October 11.

Order before picture day by going to and once there, entering wither the Picture Day ID: EVT7TDRKG.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month —a time to raise awareness of this stigmatized, and often taboo, topic. We want to ensure that students and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and to seek help if needed. Here is a link to a slideshow that will be shown in Foundations class next week to spread awareness to our community. This slideshow was inspired by an incredible 6th grader at Highland Park Middle School whose mission is to help other students learn about this important topic. Please don't hesitate to reach out to any of our school counselors or social workers to learn more.

Flipside Registration is Open

Flipside begins Monday, October 10, 2022. Flipside registration is now available through September 28th, 2022! There are over 15 after school classes students can choose from and many other opportunities available to get involved.


After school busing provided by SPPS will be available on Mondays/Wednesdays. SPPS/School busing will not be available for Tuesdays/Thursdays, however, Metro Transit bus tokens for will be made available for students who choose to take public transportation home on Tuesdays/Thursdays.


Flipside is offered from 3 - 5 p.m. Classes are offered in Monday/Wednesday tracks and Tuesday/Thursday tracks. Students may sign up for both Monday/Wednesday & Tuesday/Thursday tracks, or for either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday tracks. Flipside is not offered on Fridays.

New this year: all classes are 2-hour long periods.

The following Courses are available on Mondays/Wednesdays:

  • Trading Card Games
  • LEGO League
  • Intro to Theater
  • Debate (1st hour only) & Game Club (2nd hour only)
  • Board Game Club
  • ULA Club & the Study of Latino Culture
  • Exploring Art
  • Book Club & Creative Writing
  • Dungeons & Dragons & the Art of Good Story Telling

The following Courses are available on Tuesdays/Thursdays:

  • Adventures in Cooking
  • Knowledge Bowl
  • CAD/CAM Wood Product Design (Limited space)
  • Debate (1st hour only) & Game Club (2nd hour only)
  • Film Club
  • Disc Golf
  • Exploring Art
  • Craft World
  • Dungeons & Dragons & Beyond

8th Grade Opportunities: Outward Bound Leadership Program (One Friday a Month)

Students will engage in various outdoor activities to gain leadership skills and confidence. This program happens one Friday a month from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Students will be required to maintain academic standards and uphold Farnsworth expectations to continue in the program. A staff member will accompany students on their outings.


Paper registration can be found in the main office and in Nikol Gordon's (our Flipside Coordinator) room 1406. Students may register online through this google form:

Parents/Guardians Must Check In at the Main Office

Parents/guardians must ALWAYS check in with the front office immediately once inside the school building. This is required for safety reasons. It is always recommended that whenever possible, a parent/guardian set up an appointment to meet with a staff member or shadow your student. Then, if you need to go into the main parts of the building, you must always check in with the office staff first, where you will receive a "Visitor Pass."

We always want our families to feel welcome. If you are asked who you are while you are in the building, please know that we must do this to keep our/your students and staff safe.

No Cell Phone, Earbuds, & Electronic Devices During the School Day

Please see this link to our school policy as it pertains to cell phones, earbuds, and electronic devices.

Lunchroom Servers Needed

Our Nutrition Services is experiencing a shortage — HPMS needs lunch servers! If you are interested in a 15 hour-a-week part-time job, we would be happy to have you join our nutritional services team at HPMS! You would be providing a great service to our students and working with awesome people. For more information, please contact our Cafeteria Supervisor, Chris Wirtz at (651) 293-8950 or email at to request more information.

Application for Educational Benefits/Free or Reduced Price Meals

All families are strongly encouraged to complete an Application for Educational Benefits. These applications determine how much educational funding our school receives, and there are many other benefits for families who qualify for free or reduced meal eligibility. The application can be completed online at as part of iUpdate. Paper applications are available at school.

Meal Information

  • Breakfast: All students receive a free breakfast at school. As students arrive at school, they can grab their breakfast and go to class. Hot and cold breakfast options are available.

  • Changes for the 2022-23 school year: School lunch will no longer be free for all SPPS students.

  • Students who qualify for free or reduced price meals will receive free lunch. See information about the Free or Reduced Price Meal Application above. For students who do not qualify, the 2022-23 paid lunch prices are:

    • Grades PreK-5: $2.70

    • Grades 6-8: $2.90

    • Grades 9-12: $3.10

    • Second Meal: $5.00

All students will be charged for single item purchases, such as milk and second meals. The prices for single item purchases can be found at

In Need of Special Education Paraprofessionals

We are seeking 4 TA2/paraprofessionals to serve in our special education program. The SPPS Job number for this position is 1015229. You can enter that number in the "Search Jobs" space at the top of this webpage and apply there.

Minimum qualifications:
One of the following:

  • An AA, AS, AAS (or higher) degree, or
  • Two years of post-secondary coursework (60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits) from an accredited institution of higher education which are applicable toward a bachelors degree, OR
  • Passing score of 460 (or higher) on the ParaPro Assessment AND either a high school diploma or a GED certificate. (For more information on the ParaPro Assessment, contact Educational Testing Service at 1-800-772-9476 or

Knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics.
  • Basic skills in typing and duplicating may be required for some positions.
  • Ability to develop good relationships with students and staff.
  • Ability to be sensitive to the needs of others.
  • Ability to relate to students with warmth, friendliness and understanding.
  • Lifting may be required for some Teaching Assistant positions.
  • Must be on time to the job every day.


  • Work under the direction of a licensed teacher and/or other licensed instructional or nursing staff
  • Able to follow daily schedule
  • Prepared to support all students in the general education classroom, including those with 504 Plans or Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)
  • Monitor student behavior in the classroom by observing and keeping records. Observe that students are paying attention to their work and completing their assignments. Advise students and direct appropriate behavior. Review and correct student work. Help students with workbooks and other materials. Assist in keeping daily student records.
  • Tutor students in reading, language arts, spelling, mathematics, social studies, and other subjects.
  • Assist teachers with checkout and check-in of educational materials and consumables. Organize and maintain instructional materials such as books, flash cards, blocks, clocks, and rulers. Set up and take down equipment used in class.
  • Prepare, duplicate, and assemble materials for teacher and other professional staff, such as a nurse, social worker or counselor. Be comfortable using technology including iPads. Occasionally do some light typing. Maintain displays and bulletin boards. Assist in program registration and fee collection. File materials and answer phones. Deliver messages and meals to rooms.
  • Participate in physical education activities with students. Assist teacher with low-organized games.
  • Assist in planning parties and special projects.
  • Able to perform the duties in these various environmental conditions
  • Assist in implementing student Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), 504 Plans, Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP), and sensory plans.
  • Support the inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classrooms and environments.
  • Record data on students’ IEP objectives and BIPs for use in monitoring and adjusting student programs
  • Assist students with teaching students to complete functional skills, such as feeding, dressing, toileting and other self-help activities. Maintain toileting area and equipment. Set up meal area and equipment.
  • Assist teachers in working with individual students in with communications systems therapy, and discipline across the school day and in all environments.
  • Able to be mobile and move around classrooms and the schools to anticipate and meet the variety of student needs.
  • Complete Third Party billing daily
  • Provide follow up instruction on Positive Behavioral Interventions and implement de-escalation strategies to avoid power struggles.
  • Be trained in Non-violent Crisis Intervention (NVCI) for de-escalation and physical restraint techniques. Only use NVCI physical intervention techniques when needed to assure the safety of the student or other students
  • Assist in supporting students on field trips

Please apply if you are interested, or pass this information onto someone else who might be. For more information, contact Principal Andrastek at

COVID-19 Guidelines

Families should familiarize themselves with SPPS’s COVID-19 Student and Family Guidelines, which cover prevention strategies, health screening and monitoring, and isolation guidelines.

Face masks are optional in all SPPS buildings and on school transportation when community levels of COVID-19 are low or medium in Ramsey County. Masks are required when community levels are high. This applies to all staff, students and visitors (ages 2 and older), regardless of a person’s vaccine status, unless a student has a qualifying exemption. SPPS will notify families and staff if COVID-19 levels are high and masks become required.

If your child is exhibiting any symptoms, do not send them to school, even if they are fully vaccinated. Report the absence to the school’s front office and submit a report to the COVID-19 Reporting System the same day for next steps.

Find more information on COVID-19 guidelines for the 2022-23 school year, including vaccines, COVID-19 tests available to students, field trips and more at

Black Men in White Coats Youth Summit - October 1

Gillette Children’s Hospital is hosting a Black Men in White Coats Youth Summit on Saturday, October 1 at Metro State University in Saint Paul. The summit is a fun, free event with focus on supporting BIPOC youth in exploring and pursuing careers in health care.

Students of all genders in grades three and up are welcome to register along with their parent or guardian. Students who attend get a great opportunity to discover different career paths in health care, engage in hands-on learning activities, and meet professionals from diverse backgrounds who are leaders in their fields.

Established in 2013, the Black Men in White Coats campaign was created in response to an Association of American Medical Colleges’ report highlighting the decreasing number of black male applicants to medical school. You can read more about their work here. Please see the flyer below for more information.

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About HPMS

At Highland Park Middle School, it our mission is to:

  • Provide our students with a sense of community and global perception in a nurturing and caring learning environment,
  • Help students acquire the skills necessary to value themselves, and take pride in their accomplishments, and
  • Develop respect and understanding of other people and their cultures.

Location: 975 Snelling Ave S, Saint Paul, MN, USA
Phone: (651) 293-8950