Hillcrest Staff ARTery

We are the heART of Hillcrest!

December 21st - January 3rd


Monday, December 21st


Tuesday, December 22nd


Wednesday, December 23rd


Thursday, December 24th


Friday, December 25th


Monday, December 28th


Tuesday, December 29th


Wednesday, December 30th


Thursday, December 31st


Friday, January 1st


Upcoming Events

December 19th - January 3rd - NO SCHOOL

January 4th - School Resumes

January 12th - PTSA Meeting

January 25th - PD and Grading Day

Staff Meeting Schedule (Topics)

1/5 - VTS revisited and Artful Learning

1/19 - Close Reading w/Rachel Gens (3 of 4)

2/2 - Achievement Gap at HC

Winter Weather and Break Reminders

Winter is here . . .

  • Please make sure students take their coats and boots home regularly, so that the hall can be kept clean.
  • All boots should be put up off the floor at the end of the day (on top of hooks or in lockers).
  • Please make sure that students stomp and wipe their feet before entering the hallways.

For BREAK . . .

  • Please make sure that student lockers are cleared off and all boots are up off the bottom
  • Please make sure that chairs on the tile floor are up and off the floor
  • Please make sure sinks and counters are clear

Coaches Corner

This week's engagement strategy was one of the most used strategies from last year! Since we don't have any snow (yet), make some of your own through this FUN and movement filled activity!

It's time to have an indoor snowball fight!!

But first, please enjoy this JIB JAB Snowball Fight (featuring Q-Comp Coaches. (Humor is a well-researched engagement strategy!)

Here's what to do:

  • Teacher provides a prompt. For example on a piece of paper (preferably scrap paper), write a :

math problem

compound word

definition for one word from a list

fact or opinion on a given topic

  • Students write their idea on the paper and crumple it into a ball

  • At a predetermined signal from the teacher, the students throw their "snowball" then freeze!

  • At a predetermined signal from the teacher, students pick up the snowball closest to them and answer the question, read the word, figure out what vocab word is defined etc.

  • After the task is complete, students crumple the paper and throw it again

With an activity such as this, expectations will definitely need to be taught. Students who are not able to participate responsibly might be asked to sit out for a round.

  • Here are a few ways to increase engagement and accountability

  • After picking up a snowball, students check their answers with a partner

  • Before each round, select 2 students at random to share their answers

  • Teacher generates content of the snowballs, perhaps a higher level question to be discussed with a partner

ECSE Connection:

Creating and manipulating the snowball could be a way to practice motor skills and grasp!

Handy Links:

Snowball Fight engagement strategy (with additional examples and a less "active" modification)

Tech Team Information

Information on the Tech Team. The tech team structure is a replacement for the former CT program, with the Media Director and a a teacher co-lead heading it up in every elementary school. (Lee Nelson is our HC NTL co-lead---shout out to him!) We meet on the first Tuesday of the month to discuss where we're at now as a building, and to make decisions about how things will look with more devices at Hillcrest. This is our year to get ready, and we'd like to do it well.

How it'll happen. By putting logistics into place that best suit how our school works, anything from deciding how we will organize and hand out Chromebooks to what we will teach our Hillcrest families about the devices. Our goal as a team is to think of it so you don't have to next fall.

I'll send out an information blurb every other Wednesday starting in December, in addition to Calvin's Artery newsletter updates. We have also assigned tech team members to groups of HC staff for questions and reporting. They are:

  • Trista: K-1
  • Cory: 2
  • Lee: 3-4
  • Jenn: 4-5
  • Belle: HC_Staff, Specialists, Parents
  • Calvin: Central Office & Support Staff, Peer Admin, Parents, Special Ed
  • Allie: FAQ

Stay tuned for more sharing as the weeks pass!

Personal Leave Requests Now Approved by Principal

Starting December 1st all principals will be approving personal leave requests. Be sure to submit your leave requests through MyLeave in MyView (TIES). If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. [Note - you do not need to ask Calvin in person. Unless you feel that you need to do so.]

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.