From the Hawk's Nest
Monthly Update--January 2023
Welcome 2023! The end of our 2022 together ended more abruptly than we had anticipated, but I appreciate the quick response of our families.
Starting last month, the City began enforcing residential parking on Harrison. I am sorry that this has been upsetting to our community: parking has been an issue long before my arrival and I am exploring every opportunity I am able to help alleviate the stress of pickup and drop off. In the meantime, please know that my control outside the Hawthorne gates is quite limited. I appreciate your understanding and support and hope solutions can be found soon.
I was so impressed (and quite surprised!) with all our students on January 3rd! Coming back from long breaks can be difficult, but our Hawks did quite well with remembering routines, PAX expectations around the building, and how we "do school". We created a PAX Vision for the cafeteria and many of the students received a Tootle for being great examples and modeling expectations for others. Way to go Hawks!
Finally, we will be spending a few weeks assessing students for the Winter Benchmark. Please see attached letter below. We will not have WIN the week of the 9th or the 17th.
Cold weather is still here... albeit, not as cold as the end of December! A few reminders:
- As always, please be sure to send your child with appropriate cold-weather gear each day. The students go outside if we are above zero, so it is imperative they are comfortable and weather-protected. Students only stay in if the Air Quality is in the "orange or red" or if the real temperature and feel like temperature is below zero. In the mornings where students are inside before school starts, you must walk and sign your children in if they arrive after 8:30. Please do not just send them in without an adult; we will continue to make phone calls to request your signature if this happens. Additionally, we will not be letting students in other doors after 8:30. We appreciate your consideration and efforts to get your students to school on time.
- After the break, it is important all our classrooms and learning spaces focus time on teaching and reinforcing expectations at school. Our greatest focus currently is helping our students keep physical space with others, respecting personal space, and using appropriate touch and language in all settings. We have also been talking about games that are appropriate for outside play. We appreciate any time you can take to reinforce these expectations and home and for your support!
- If your child is going to be out ill, for parent excused absence, or for an extended period of time, please let the front office know. We appreciate your cooperation with this. I will be sending out attendance letters for students over 10 absences for Trimester 2 and cumulative absences over 20 days since we started school. Please remember how important attendance and on time arrival is for your student(s).
- As stated in the student handbook, students are not to have cell phones out for any reason during the school day. They may have them for before and after school, but they are to be turned off and not in use during the day. If a phone is seen, we will collect the phone and ask you to pick it up in the main office. If a student needs to get ahold of you, they can use our student phone in the office.
Hawthorne is always looking to build our substitute pool. If you are interested in being a site-specific substitute, please let us know and we will get you started on the process. Thank you for being such a grand part of our community. We couldn't do the work we do without your partnership and support.
Standards Based Grading- Support Documents
Helena Public Schools kindergarten registration for Fall 2023 starts Jan. 3, at 8 am, at your neighborhood school! Students must be 5 years old by Sept. 10, 2023, to register. If you register, but decide to wait until Fall 2024 to start your child, please let your school secretary know as soon as possible.
HAWTHORNE STAFF SHOUTOUTS!
Parent Volunteers and Lunch with Your Child
Parent volunteers are welcome to begin volunteering at Hawthorne once they have been background checked by Helena Public School's HR department. Parents/ guardians interested in volunteering please contact Jacque Young @ 324.2010 to schedule an appointment at the Lincoln Center 1325 Poplar Street, 59601. Please reach out to Ms. Mitchell if you have been fingerprinted or have questions (406.324.1600).
Parents are welcome to join their child/ren for lunch once a month. All visitors must check-in at the front office- K-2 Lunch 11:50-12:10, 3-5 Lunch 12:15-12:35.
Below is information on our daily operations and schedule
- Playground Supervision- Supervision begins at 8AM each day and ends at 2:45 on Monday and 3:30 Tuesday-Friday. We understand this may be problematic for some families with work schedules, but ask you do not drop your child off on the playground before that time as we will not have supervision due to contractual hours of staff.
- Monday is early release- Students are released at 2:30 for teacher PLC time.
- Contact Information- Please ensure your contact information is up-to-date. Contact Ms. Carly in the front office if you have a change in address, phone numbers, or emergency contacts throughout the year. Also, give us a call to report your child's absence- firstname.lastname@example.org or 324-1370
- Inclement Weather and Air Quality- We continually monitor the air quality for unhealthy conditions and subzero temperatures. When "unhealthy for all groups" or "red" status is reached OR weather below zero, we refrain from spending our recesses outdoors. http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair/AirDataMap.aspx
- Transportation- First Student provides transportation services for the Helena Public Schools. Please register via their link or visit them to discuss transportation needs for the upcoming year. https://helenaschools.org/departments/transportation/parent-portal/
- School begins promptly at 8:30 AM! If you are arriving after 8:30, please walk your child to the front office to sign them in. This is required.
- If a student arrives after 8:30 until 9:00am they will be marked tardy
- Between 9am-noon they will be absent for the morning
- If a student is checked out before 2:45pm they will be marked absent for the afternoon.
- If your child will be absent for a full day or any portion of the day, please call the main office.
- If we cannot verify a child’s absence, then you will receive an automated phone call letting you know your child has an unverified absence.
- Finally, you must sign out your student if they are leaving for any reason and sign them back in if they return during the school day.
APPLY NOW-FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH
Apply now for Free & Reduced Lunch
Big changes are coming to Helena Public Schools breakfast and lunch program. Pandemic funding for free meals has ended and – beginning on the first day of school – there will be a charge for all student meals unless the student qualifies for Free and Reduced Lunch.
22-23 School Meal Prices
- K-12 Student Breakfast: $2.00
- K-5 Student Lunch: $2.90
- 6-12 Student Lunch: $3.00
If you need assistance paying for your child’s meal costs, now is the time to apply for the Free and Reduced Lunch program. Visit helenaschools.org/departments/food-services/ to get started.
When you apply for meal assistance, you not only help your family; you also help your school receive more funding for important student services like textbooks, and math and literacy programs.
If you’re concerned about paying your child’s meal costs, don’t wait until the first day of school. Apply now at helenaschools.org/departments/food-services/ or call Sharon Jensen at 406-324-2042. By signing up, you feed your family and support your school.
Food Packs: FREE food packs are available for every child in your home. These food packs contain nonperishable items and are given to students on Fridays for the weekend. You can always opt out or in to the food pack program throughout the year and all children in your home qualify if you can use this resource.
Anxiety: Returning to school after a break can bring anxiety for students. If your child is still struggling with drop off in the mornings, here are some great ideas to help them.
1) Make a drop off plan with the student and practice it at home.
2) Stick to the drop off routine.
3) Let your student know you are excited they get to go to school.
4) Validate their feelings but talk about strategies they can use at school if they feel worried.
5) Be positive when you drop them off and follow the plan!
JANUARY COUNSELING TOPICS
PAX- Peace, Productivity, Health, and Happiness
Check out the attached for information regarding PAX at Hawthorne! We will be using PAX Pebbles again this year to promote community and collaboration. We want our students to know that small actions DO support greater efforts.
DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR
- Winter Benchmark Testing Window January 9-27
- 11TH-Parent Council at 12
- Coffee with the Principal- TBD
- 16th- NO SCHOOL
- 19th- Half Day
- 20th- No School
- 27th-Hawthorne Family Night
- 2nd- Snow School for 3R, 4R, 4/5C and 5E on MacDonald Pass
- Week of the 6th- 4/5C at Starbase
- Week of the 13th- 5E at Starbase
- 6th-10th- School Counseling Week
- Coffee with the Principal-TBD
- 8th- Parent Council at 12
- 20th-NO SCHOOL
- 22nd-5th Grade Ski Trip
- 21 and 23- Parent Teacher Conferences
- Coffee with the Principal-TBD
- 8th- Parent Council at 12
- 17th- Family Night
- 27th-31-NO SCHOOL Spring Break
Parent Council Updates
VIRTUAL COMMUNITY BOARD
Location: 430 Madison Avenue, Helena, MT, USA
HAWTHORNE'S MISSION AND VISION
Hawthorne Elementary- Home of the Strong Minds and Gentle Hearts
Mission Statement -- Our Purpose
Hawthorne Elementary collaborates with students, staff, and the external community to provide a vibrant and robust education for all students by working to educate the whole child through infusion of culturally responsive teaching and learning. In addition to providing a safe and inclusive environment for students to grow, Hawthorne highlights each student’s abilities as a unique learner and individual person with the ultimate goal of instilling a love of learning and a sense of belonging that will follow students in future educational endeavors.
Vision and Guiding Principles
- Hawthorne honors the needs of students and provides opportunities for children to be children- to play, work through social encounters with support, and keep active learning a part of the academic day.
- Hawthorne staff and students collaborate with all stakeholders to build a sense of community, so students connect learning to real-world experiences.
- Hawthorne staff, students and community members work together to support our neighborhood school in building active and productive citizens of the future.
- Hawthorne students are engaged in high-level thinking and supported in accessing rigorous content to help students reach proficiency in all content areas and standards.
- Hawthorne supports student’s social-emotional learning and growth, providing them with many tools to support their independent sense of belonging, self-awareness, and ability to self-regulate.