HMS Bearcat Bulletin

March 2017

A Note from Ms. Buschmann

We are finishing up last minute preparations for Missouri Read In Day. The day was created as a way to bring about awareness of the importance and benefits of reading and to encourage greater emphasis on reading both in the school and in the home. Reading is a major factor in a child's success in school.

For me, the preparations have brought back memories of hiding under my covers with a pen light, past my bed time, to read (Yes, I was that kid); Mrs. Bradbury reading, and crying through, Where the Red Fern Grows to my 4th grade class; laughing at Amelia Bedelia; crying when Beth died in Little Women; and wanting be Claudia Kincaid hiding in the Met in From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Even if you are unable to join us for our reading events or the book fair, I hope you will share some book memories with your students and take a little extra time to read with them this month.

The Gasconade Co. R-I School District $0.50 Levy Issue

The Board of Education for the GCR1 Schools voted to place a 50 cent operating tax levy increase on the April 4, 2017 ballot. The $0.50 increase will support operating expenditures including:

  • instructional materials and supplies
  • technology
  • transportation costs
  • recruitment and retention of staff.

Approval will allow the flexibility to provide the needed resources to prepare students to be competitive in careers and post-high school education.

Below are some graphics that provide more information about school finances in Hermann, the state of Missouri, and neighboring school districts.

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Transportation Costs

Gasconade Co. R-1 District covers 370.5981 square miles and transportation of students spans that area. The district is the 13th largest in the state and buses travel in excess of 1,100 miles per day to bring students to school and take them home safely.

The costs of transporting students is approximately $700,000 per year. Although it is state law to fund transportation at 75% of the costs, this has been overridden by our legislature and Governor when setting the state budget.

The projections, based on the Governor's budget for 2017-18, allow no funding for transportation from the General Revenue. This directly impacts the operations budget of the District. The operating budget of the district is the fund that will be supplemented by an increase to the tax levy by $0.50.

Recruitment and Retention of Quality Educators

In comparing the Gasconade Co. R-1 teacher's salary schedule to schools in our conference, beginning teacher salaries rank 7 of 8, and the highest end of the salary schedule teachers rank last at 8 of 8 in the conference.

It is not uncommon for teachers to get their start in our school and move to a different school district to earn a higher salary. We must retain the highest qualified teachers if we are to make a significant impact on high student achievement.

HMS Student Showcase

Tuesday, March 28th, 5:30-7pm

Blue Pride Drive

Hermann, MO

We invite you to see what we've been up to this year. There will be a variety of performances and displays of student's work throughout the building. Come visit and see what your child has been working so hard on. A "menu" of what is available to see and where it is in the building will be available soon!

Missouri Schools Read-In Day

Friday, March 10th, 11am

Blue Pride Drive

Hermann, MO

Missouri Schools Read-In Day is March 10 this year. HMS will observe the day by hosting activities that will bring about an increased awareness of the importance and benefits of reading. Reading is a major factor in determining a child's success in school, so we will be setting up "Camp Read-a-Lot" for the day.

A flyer was sent home with students on February 28 and included an order form for lunch. An electronic version was sent on February 24 if you need more information.

Counselor's Corner

Hello parents! As many of you may already know, I am spending time with your students in the classroom talking about careers.

The 5th graders are learning about the six career paths. The 6th graders completed an interest survey and worked in groups on a scavenger hunt to help them become more familiar with the Missouri Connections website. The 7th graders also worked in groups on a scavenger hunt and the students selected an occupation based on seven occupational characteristics and identified what information is important to them in selecting an occupation.

Mrs. Pazdera and I met with the 8th grade students to explain the process to sign up for Freshman classes. That registration form is due Friday, March 16th, remember if your student signed up for Spanish you will need to sign the Rosetta Stone: Spanish Information Letter. After the forms are turned in I will work with the students in small groups to help them complete their Personal Plans of Study.

-Mrs. Pehle


March 13 is a full-day of professional development for teachers. School will not be in session this day; enjoy the day off.

3rd Quarter report cards will be sent home soon. You WILL NOT need to return report card envelopes; please keep them. From now on, report cards will be sent with students and a School Messenger call made to let you know they are coming home. We trust that you will communicate with your child to ensure you get the grade card and hope that you are making regular use of the Parent Portal a habit.

Spring Book Fair

March 10, 14-16: 7:30 am- 3:30 pm

March 17: 7:30 am- 12:30 pm

Lunch Event- March 10

Breakfast Event- March 15

Student of the Month

The character trait of the month for February was Self-Discipline. Self-Discipline is about perseverance and choosing appropriate behaviors- both maintaining good behaviors and refraining from bad ones. We shared with students a video from Mike Smith of "The Harbor by Jostens." Mike talked about GRIT- having stamina, passion, and sticking to your long-term goals. GRIT allows you to continue even though it is difficult and is as important or more important than talent to success. Mike talked about the 5 characteristics/ habits of mind that contribute to grit: (1) courage, (2) intentionality, (3) endurance, (4) resilience, and (5) the pursuit of excellence, not perfection. All of these require people to leave their comfort zone and choose to do the hard thing. It is hard for kids, especially at the middle school age, to try something and not be perfect but the idea of falling down and getting back up is so important for them to understand and it leads to GRIT!

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The nominees were:

Back Row (L to R): Hannah, Parker, Morgan, Allyson, Ryan, Madison, Kaleb, TJ,

Front Row (L to R): Hannah, Isaac, Garret, Gracie, Iteara, Alaina, Hattie, Lydia

Not Pictured: Katelyn, Brady, Macy

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Congratulations Student of the Month Winners

5th Grade- Brady

6th Grade- Isaac

7th Grade- Ryan

8th Grade- Madison

A Few Photos from Around HMS this Month

Below are some highlights from the month including the start of volleyball season, a visit from the St. Louis Symphony, contributions to Blue and White night, acting out an equation in Mr. Hosick's class, science experiments in Mrs. Engemann's and Mrs. Stiegman's classes and a performance of "1000 Paper Cranes" by the Imaginary Theater. Special thanks to the Hermann Arts Council for sponsoring both the Symphony In Your Neighborhood and Imaginary Theater programs.
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Trash Bag Sales

Order pick up will be on March 28 to coincide with our Student Showcase Night (more info on that to come!). The highest selling homeroom will receive a pizza party and the top 3 individual sellers will receive cash prizes. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and continued support!

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Ongoing Fundraising Efforts

Please keep in mind a couple of easy ways to raise funds for HMS.

1. Boxtops for Education

2. Shutterfly- start your order at our storefront and 13% of each purchase will be sent to HMS.

Visit our Storefront:

3. Best Choice UPC's