HMS Headlines

December 22, 2022

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A Message from Our Administrative Team

Dear Families,

We have had a great week filled with spirit, fun, and joy as our kids have prepared for winter break. From a fun winter event in the Learning Commons featuring stories and poems from the season, to spirit days where students dressed to show their HAWKS spirit, it has been great!

We want to wish you all a very happy winter break filled with family, friends, and hopefully some screen-free time to just talk, take a walk (in the snow!?!), or enjoy some treats. We look forward to hearing about all of your adventures in a couple of weeks, and to seeing you in the new year!

Take care,

Kelly, Linda, and Susie


A La Carte Line at HMS is Open!

The A La Carte line is now open at Highcrest/WJHS, offering your child an alternative to hot lunch, or additional offerings to add to their lunch every day. Available items in the A La Carte line include bagels, yogurt, cheese sticks, fresh fruit and side salads. There are also many vegetarian selections for students who are not able to eat meat. Students may also purchase beverages such as milk and La Croix a la carte.

If you are curious about what your child is purchasing, and what they are choosing from the A La Carte line, you can check purchases through the parent portal by following the instructions below.

  1. Login to PowerSchool Parent Portal

  2. In the left hand navigation, click on Balance

  3. Click on the green Make a Payment button on the right side

  4. Sign into RevTrak

  5. Click on Lunch Accounts

  6. To view the purchase details, click on the arrow next to Show Details

If you are concerned by their purchases (i.e. you see they have purchased 4 bags of chips in one day), we encourage you to have a conversation with your child about making the best choices for lunch.

For more information about food services in D39, please refer to the D39 Food Services web page.


As you may have heard, WHMS LIVE NEWS is back! Every Monday (or the first day of the school week) at 8:52 am Highcrest students put on a live morning news broadcast. Each week a new homeroom is responsible for writing, producing, directing, filming and starring in WHMS News. Want to catch all the action? Please visit our WHMS News YouTube Page and subscribe to get alerts when we go live!


Shine on 39

This edition of “Shine on 39” highlights the students and educators in our Lechner Early Education Program (LEEP)! We are extremely proud of how we develop our youngest learners and are grateful for all of the hard work and dedication from all of our LEEP educators.

Join Us for a Virtual Presentation on KEEP39

Have a child that will be entering kindergarten in the Fall of 2023? Please join our elementary school principals for an informational presentation on our KEEP39 program (Kindergarten Enrichments and Enhancement Program). This presentation will be held virtually via Zoom on January 18 from 6-6:30 pm. Please check your child(ren)’s school newsletter for more information.

Parent Education Opportunities

District 39 hosted a Parent Education event last week titled “Talking with Your Teen About LGBTQ+ Identities.” You can watch a recording of that event by clicking here. This recording will be available through the end of December. This event was the first of a three-part series, with part two taking place on Wednesday, Feb. 8. In addition, District 39 will be hosting an event on January 18 titled “Supporting Friendship, Development, and Connection.” Parents can participate in this event virtually via Zoom or in-person at the Mikaelian Education Center. Please click here to register for this event or to learn more about upcoming D39 Education Events.

We also invite our families to check out the additional Parent Education events presented by the Family Action Network (FAN).

Join Our District 39 Family!

District 39 is looking for outstanding individuals to join our teaching and learning community! We are looking for daily substitute teachers as well as teaching assistants, custodians, and cooks. Click here for a list of openings and to begin the application process.

Winter Break and Weather-Related School Closure Procedures

There is no school on Friday, December 23, 2022 as this is our first day of winter break. Thankfully, our calendar committee planned for this Friday to be our first day of winter break with a no-school and non-attendance day. With winter weather upon us, it appears we are expecting blizzard-like conditions beginning Thursday evening and continuing possibly through Saturday. Please plan accordingly and be safe. As a reminder, there will be no after-school D39 clubs, activities, or sports on Thursday, December 22. Our D39 schools will be closed for winter break from Friday, December 23, 2022 through January 8, 2023. School resumes on Monday, January 9, 2023.

As we look ahead to January, we remind parents that if inclement weather conditions warrant cancellation of school, District 39 parents and guardians will receive an email, automated call, and text message from the school by 5:30 am on the morning of the school closing. School closure notifications are also posted to our district website and communicated to all major Chicago radio and television outlets. When extreme weather conditions exist, parents are encouraged to check email, cell phone messages or the district website for information regarding school closures. Although we always hope to avoid school cancellations, the safety of students and staff is our top priority. For additional information, please visit our D39 webpage regarding emergency closures.

Holiday Safety Reminders

District 39 continues to partner with the Wilmette Police and Fire Departments to support safety throughout our community. As we prepare for Winter Break, we want to reiterate the importance of firearm safety and remind you of the many firearm safety practices and programs offered by the Wilmette Police Department. Additionally, please remember that fire safety begins with fire prevention measures and WFD encourages all families to check the batteries and status of their in-home smoke detectors.


The last news of 2022!!


New Trier Chorus is looking for 4-8 graders to audition for the production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat Auditions will be 5 minutes long and take place on January 13 & 19. A FREE audition clinic will be held on January 11, 2023 from 4-5 p.m. at Northfield Campus, 7 Happ Rd., in choir room E122. Contact Amy Branahl for more information at 847-784-7520.

Loyola Youth Lacrosse Program is taking registrations for students in Kdg-8th grades. Contqact Greg Sprenzel for more information.

New Trier Township offers a Food Pantry 10am - 4pm weekdays for families that live/work in the township. NT Township also offers Emergency Financial Assistance, Legal Aid Clinic, property tax assistance, social service referrals and other available resources. Go to for more information.

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.

Cub Scout Pack 10: Dens 3 (Lions) & 4 (Tigers) is West Wilmette's local troop for Kdg - 1st graders. Email: for more information

HMS/WJHS: For 6th - 8th grade girls

SKATE FOR GIRLS aims to decrease the gender gap in STEM by teaching math through figure skating. Girls can skate weekly for FREE at Centennial Ice Rink on Sundays, January 15-Feburary 19, 1:00 - 3:30 pm. Register at

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There is still room available in the Skyline Studios: The Lion King After School Program!

Skyline Studios: The Lion King – Registration is Open Now

Broadway Stars gives growing actors an immersive musical theater experience, from an exciting first day of getting to know the show to an exhilarating final performance. Every child will be assigned a named role and have a chance to shine. With the guidance of an experienced teaching artist, actors will memorize lines, sing solos, and learn fundamental musical theater choreography to bring the story of The Lion King Jr. to life on stage. Families will be provided with instructions for how to assemble a costume for the final performance on the Highcrest School Stage.

  • Club dates/times: Wednesdays 3:45-5:45pm, from 1/11/23-3/22/23

  • Club fee: $365

HMS Student Variety and Talent Show - Information Session and Audition Dates Announced!

Calling all students who might be interested in the annual HMS Student Variety and Talent Show - Friday March 17th at 5:30pm. Last year the show was a huge hit and with acts that included music, dance, comedy, martial arts, spoken poetry and more!

Information Session (Optional)

Friday January 13th after school auditorium. If anyone is interested, has questions or wants to discuss a potential act to perform, please stop by and talk with the show producers.

Audition dates (sign up coming soon)

Friday January 20th - 3:40- 5:00pm

Friday January 27th - 11:50am - 1:30pm (note: early dismissal)


Registration dates/times:

  • Registration is now open for Skyline Studios: The Lion King

  • Wednesday, 1/11 at 9:30am - Registration opens for High Five Junior Choir and Aces Debate Club.

Yearbook Enrichment Program - Registration is Full

Chess Enrichment ProgramRegistration is Full

High Five Junior Choir Registration opens on January 11th at 9:30am

The Wilmette High Five Junior Choir provides a safe learning environment in which students of all abilities come together to create and experience music, build friendships, and raise awareness against stereotypes of individuals with physical and mental disabilities. This club is based off of the High-5 Choir that is offered at New Trier High School. The Wilmette High Five Junior Choir aims to share the love of music with peers regardless of abilities, share our voices through music, and have a lot of fun! For more information: Email Jana Martin,

  • Club dates/times: Thursdays 3:45-4:45pm on the following dates: 2/2/23, 2/9/23, 2/16/23, 3/23/23, 3/2/23, 3/9/23, 3/16/23, 3/23/23, 4/6/23, 4/13/23, 4/20/23, 4/27/23.

  • Club fee: $150

Aces Debate Club Registration opens on January 11th at 9:30am

Where you’ll learn to think fast and speak well! Learn research, writing, and oral argumentation. Programs for beginning and experienced debaters, 5th thru 8th grade! All programs consist of weekly class sessions held at HMS for 60 minutes with supplemental debate activities. All programs conclude with a 2-hour session to give students an opportunity to demonstrate their new skills in full debates.

  • Club dates/times: Thursdays 3:45-4:45pm (Advanced Debate), Fridays 3:45-4:45pm (Intro to Debate)

  • Club fee: $275

Also, following our successful first season of HMS girls volleyball, 6th grade boys volleyball is coming soon! The team's 6-week season will be in late winter (Feb-Mar), with registration in January. More info to come soon. Please reach out to Dan Magestro ( with any questions.

D39 Educational Foundation: Appreciation Certificates Available

Looking for a holiday gift to say thank you to a special teacher, staff or administrator?

For your $39 donation, the staff member(s) of your choice will be honored with a personalized certificate sent via email and their name posted on our website's virtual Wall of Honor. All donations will benefit our schools by funding the Foundation's Gripp Grant program and, if needed, assisting our school community more immediately through special gifts.

Purchase your Appreciation Certificate here.

Order your Yearbook

Order your Yearbook today!

Click HERE to order your 2022-2023 HMS yearbook!

Not sure if you have already ordered one? You can check your inbox for an e-mail confirmation from Jostens. Email with any questions.


The Parent Association for Student Services in District 39 (PASS39) is a parent organization committed to supporting parents of children with learning, behavioral, emotional, and developmental challenges.

Check their latest newsletter for more information HERE


Trex Plastic Recycling Challenge – From Bag to Bench

The Trex Plastic Recycling Challenge is ongoing! Thank you to all that collect their difficult to recycle plastic film items, such as produce bags, bubble wrap, and plastic mailers (see list below) and bring them to HMS. One bin is located at the entrance of the school office, one in the front lobby, and one in the teacher’s lobby. The Environmental Affairs Committee will weigh, collect, and bring the plastic film to the collection sites.

Holiday Styrofoam Recycling

Location: Wilmette Public Works, 711 Laramie Ave., Wilmette (ring bell)

Date: Weekdays only, Dec. 27 – Jan. 9

Time: 7 am – 3 pm

The Village of Wilmette and Go Green Wilmette are sponsoring a Styrofoam collection for the year-end holidays. Residents can drop off white block Styrofoam for which will be taken to Abt Electronics for recycling.

Please observe the following guidelines:

· Only clean, white Styrofoam in blocks and sheets accepted.

· NO Styrofoam “peanuts.”

· NO Styrofoam food containers, trays, or cups.

· Styrofoam coolers must be clean and empty.

· Remove Styrofoam from bags or boxes and take bags & boxes with you.

· Do not leave Styrofoam outside building – it will blow away.

Holiday Lights Recycling Drive!

Location: Wilmette Public Works, 711 Laramie Ave., Wilmette

Date: 24-hour drop-off in the front parking lot through Jan. 31

Contact: (847) 853-7500 for questions.

Don't put holiday light strings in the trash - recycle them! Bring old or broken string lights and extension cords to the Village's Public Works facility for recycling. The Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) and its member communities are offering a Holiday Light Recycling Program, free of charge, for all SWANCC area residents.


There are many ways to get involved at Highcrest! See links below to sign-up:

  • School Store - Sign-ups are available on Wednesdays during lunch.

  • Lunch - sign ups for help during lunch period for both 5th & 6th grade