HMS Headlines

October 15, 2021


Dear HMS Families,

Fall is always an exciting time at HMS, and this year is no different!

We are looking forward to two big events that are coming soon. NEXT FRIDAY is our annual Freaky Friday celebration. This year the celebration is taking place out on the fields, and will involve some haunted fun, a dee jay, inflatables and more! Please see the PTO information below about signing up, and keep your eyes peeled for important emails regarding logistics for the evening. We are looking forward to a safe, FUN experience for all of our students!

Also coming soon is the annual Make A Difference Day celebration. This event, held yearly, is an annual event where Highcrest families support the surrounding community through donations of clothing, toys, kitchen items and more! Collection takes place at the Indian Hill train station in Winnetka, and this year instead of bringing donations to HMS prior to the collection day, we are asking students to share pictures of their separated and tagged donations at home before bringing them to the train station. More information can be found in this flyer, and your children have information in Schoology to help guide their collection. The collection takes place next Saturday, October 23.

Have a great weekend,

Kelly, Linda, and Susie

Fall 2021 5-8 Walk Against Hate

Last weekend we had many families come out for our 2nd annual WALK AGAINST HATE! We had beautiful weather, and a lot of fun showing Highcrest's commitment to a community free of hate. Thank you to all who donated and participated in this year's event! Check out some pictures below.

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Be sure to order your yearbook for this school year!

For a limited time get FOUR FREE ICONS (valued at $18.00) when you upgrade the cover by adding a student name for $6.50. OFFER ENDS TODAY, OCTOBER 15.


We are so excited to be welcoming students back into the Learning Commons this year. Our Makerspace is also open and we are accepting donations. Don't throw it away- send it our way! If you have any of the following supplies:

  • Arts and craft supplies (popsicle sticks, pom pom balls, fabric, felt, foam, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, string, ribbon, yarn etc.)

  • Old shoe or tissue boxes

  • Plastic cups

  • Legos

  • Cotton Balls

Please consider donating it to our Makerspace. Please contact our LC team with any questions about our space or other supplies we may need!


This year we will once again host virtual parent-teacher conferences at Highcrest. Please see the graphic below of the dates and times for conferences. Conference sign-ups will be completed online and will open on October 25. They will stay open until 11:59 on November 8. More information will be sent directly to you regarding login and sign up on October 22.
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Institute Day Highlights

We hope our students and families enjoyed a day off of school on Monday! Despite the day off of school, our schools were busy with learning as teachers and staff engaged in their Institute Day. Our entire district staff engaged in a full day of learning on Monday about the Responsive Classroom approach to building community inside the classroom. We have adopted this method district-wide as a way to build a foundation that spans all classrooms, schools and grade levels, from which we can develop essential social emotional skills and advance learning. This training taught our staff techniques and strategies to use in their classrooms and across the school to engage students in academics, build a positive community, effectively manage the learning environment, and provide developmentally responsive instruction. This is just one step as we continue to build a toolbox of strategies to support the social emotional needs of our students while building academic readiness and rigor.

Parent Education Webinar Recording

As an extension of our activities from Monday, our Parent Education series this week offered parents the opportunity for “Learning About The Responsive Classroom Model and Tips to Take Home.” This webinar shared many of the components of the Responsive Classroom approach, and how some of those strategies could be integrated at home. If you missed the presentation, you can view the recording here. Please see this information sheet from Responsive Classroom for more details and feel free to review the Responsive Classroom website, too. We look forward to continued communication and partnership with you as we strengthen community across our classrooms.

Strategic Plan Update

As we continue to lay the foundation for implementation of our strategic plan, I want to thank our entire district staff for their engagement in this week’s work on Responsive Classroom. One of the goals of the strategic plan calls on us to continue to facilitate a supportive community. The Responsive Classroom approach helps to cohesively address the social emotional needs of our students as they progress through their educational journey.



PICKLES EMPOWER is hosting fall sessions/activities from October 18 - November 19 for 1st - 12th graders with a parent/guardian being treated for cancer or requiring close monitoring for disease progression. Please fill out the interest form TODAY. Information and links are posted online.

The Volunteer Center is offering many volunteer service opportunities. Make a Difference Day, October 23rd, donate gently used and new goods to benefit over a dozen community nonprofits.

National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 - October 15. Join in recognizing Hispanic Americans achievements and contributions. See website for events and activities.

Wilmette Food Pantry is open every Tuesday 10:00-11:00 am at Trinity United Methodist Church.

"Best Step Tutoring” offers free online tutoring for PreK-12 grades.

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Freaky Friday is one week from TODAY!

Freaky Friday is BACK! Please join your fellow Highcrest Hawks on Friday, October 22nd from 5-6:30 pm for a night of games, DJ, Kona Ice, a photo booth, inflatables, and more! Our event is outside for the first time and students can remain unmasked, but please bring a mask for instances where 3 feet of distancing cannot be maintained (bounce house) or to use the restrooms. Speaking of masks, Halloween costumes are encouraged! Please note that this is an event exclusively and especially for Highcrest students!

Buy your tickets EARLY before the price increases to $25 on Wednesday, October 20th at 6:00 pm. Our online ticket sales store will close on Thursday, October 21st at 6:00 pm.

Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased HERE.

Go to the store and use your email to login. You may need to reset your password, but do not create a new user. To buy a ticket, you do not need to be a PTO member and you do not need to make any other purchases.

Parents, we need your help, too! Sign up to volunteer HERE!

Questions? Contact Megan Leahy at

Make A Difference Day coming soon - 10/23/21

Trying to find those fall favorites but can’t because your kids’ closets are overstuffed with summer stuff. Now more than ever local charities need our help! The D39 community is partnering with the Volunteer Center of the North Shore for National Make A Difference Day on 10/23/21. CLICK HERE for more details!

Order your 2021-22 HMS Yearbook!

CLICK HERE to order today!

Highcrest After School Clubs

MATH CLUB Registration Opens Monday, October 18th at 9am!

During Math Club, students will participate in 3 National competitions: MATHCOUNTS, MOEMs and Perennial Math. Read more about this awesome club HERE

Club Meets: First and Third Tuesday of each month (except December) 3:45–4:45 pm

Dates: 11/2, 11/16, 12/7, 12/14, 1/4, 1/18, 2/1, 2/15, 3/1, 3/15

Student Fee: $100

Register HERE beginning October 18th

Are you interested in joining the Village Wide PTO?

We now have one remaining open position: Communications Chair. The VWPTO meets 4 times a year and includes representatives from all D39 grade level schools, D39 Board of Education, Pass39, Civics & Safety, Dr. Cremascoli and more. As chair, you would reach out to all school Communication reps and report their information to the VWPTO at the meeting. Please contact the VWPTO President, Barb Bentivenga, at for more information. Please note that the remaining VWPTO meetings are Nov. 10, 2021 at 9:15am, March 9, 2022 at 9:15am, and May 11, 2022 at 10am.

Welcome Back from PASS39!


PASS39 October Newsletter

Save the Date!

Connecting Parents Gathering

Tuesday, November 2nd


More details to come!

Supporting Friendship Development and Connection

Wednesday, November 17th at 11am

Zoom Meeting

Please use the October Newsletter link to register for the Zoom meetings.

Membership Toolkit

AtoZ Connect is now powered by Membership Toolkit to bring you the best directory experience available. PTO memberships, directories, communications, online store, and more will all run through the newly improved online software. Click here if you haven’t already signed up!

To access the new 2021-2022 Highcrest PTO Directory, please visit Bookmark this site now!

Volunteer Opportunities

Looking to get involved with the PTO? We are looking for an Environmental Awareness chair for this year! Please contact Megan at for more information.


Show your Hawks pride with a variety of spiritwear options! Please contact Jen at if you would like to make a purchase.

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All announcements to be included in Headlines must be submitted via the Communications Request Form by Wednesdays at 2pm.