Hillcrest Staff ARTery

We are the heART of Hillcrest!

Happy New Year! And, Welcome Back!!!

The week of January 4th - 8th

Bus Duty:

AM - Holly, Janet & Anne

PM - Katie, Jen & Angie

Treats: Tracy & Beth

Word of the Week: Kindness

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Monday, January 4th, (Day 3)


Tuesday, January 5th (DAY 1)

  • STAFF MEETING - 8:20 - 9:00
  • (Tech Team meeting rescheduled for 1/12)


Wednesday, January 6th ( Day 2)

  • 8:20 - 9:00 - SWIM team meeting/Caroline's room


Thursday, January 7th (Day 3)

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMY G.!!!
  • 8:00 - 1:00 - Calvin @ principal's meeting


Friday, January 8th (Day 1)

  • 8:20 - 9:00 - ISST meeting/Caroline's room

Upcoming Events


January 12th - PTSA Meeting

January 18th - MLK Day - NO SCHOOL

January 25th - PD and Grading Day - NO SCHOOL

January 29th - Rally in the Lunchroom - 3:15

January 29th - Report cards go home

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

Congratulations to 1st and 2nd grade teams for having wonderfully successful festivals!

Hillcrest third grade class from 2014-15 published in COMPAS anthology

Lee's third grade class from last year will have their work published in Punch at the Wild Tornado, an anthology featuring the best student writing from the COMPAS Arts Education program. The students and their families are invited to a publication celebration at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at St. Paul’s Landmark Center.

Lee's class, under the guidance of COMPAS’s Charlie Maguire, created an original song about the sun, moon and stars titled “Way Up In The Sky.” The exercise put to work lessons from the class’s “discovery” Artful Learning unit.

COMPAS artist residencies were funded through a Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) grant, which helped provide Artful Learning experiences at each grade level (K-5). Hillcrest is an MSAB grant recipient again this year.

Visit www.compas.org to learn more about the program.

Coaches Corner

This might be the most important Engagement Strategy of the Week email you receive all year!


Along with fostering h_____ and o________, (think last week’s strategies) building students’ self-efficacy includes developing thinking patterns associated with a growth mindset.


To encourage a growth mindset:

  • Teach children that learning from mistakes is critical

    • “Oh, you got it right the first time? Bummer! I need to make this harder for you!”

    • “That’s too bad! We didn’t match up the work with your level. Maybe next time we can get a better match so you can learn new things by making mistakes.”

    • “You worked hard and gave those problems a try. Now that we know what we don’t know, we can figure out what we need to learn!”

    • “What did you learn from correcting your mistakes?”

  • Acknowledge student’s effort, strategy or attitude rather than labeling kids as smart

    • “When you didn’t get the answer right the first time, you thought about what you did and tried a different strategy.”

    • “Even though reading that passage was difficult, you didn’t give up and you read it through to the end.”

    • “ When your group had a problem, you told them you could work together and figure it out. That’s an example of optimism!”


To begin your day, ask your student to answer the following questions

  • What are you grateful for? (hope)

  • What is newly learned from yesterday? (growth mindset)

  • What are you looking forward to? (optimism)


“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” - Howard Thurman


What makes you come alive?


Click on this link to post your response to a Padlet!

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.]

Building Winter 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.

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.