Highcroft Hotline

February 23, 2020

Highcroft's Mission

At Highcroft, we help learners grow in a safe, caring community where ALL are valued and supported to become leaders.

Upcoming Events


  • 24 & 25: Parkway Food Pantry - Food Drive
  • 26: Late Start, School begins at 11:05 am
  • 27: PSO Meeting, 7:00 pm


  • 2 - 6: Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • 5: Special Olympics - Basketball at West High
  • 5: Parent-Teacher Conference Night, 4:15 pm - 8:15 pm
  • 6: STEM FEST at Southwest Middle, 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • 7: STEM FEST at Southwest Middle, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • 11: Board of Education Meeting, 7:00 pm, 471 N. Woods Mill Road
  • 12: All Read, 3:25 pm - 3:45 pm
  • 13: Talent Share
  • 14 - 22: Spring Break
  • 25: Late Start, School begins at 11:05 am
  • 26: PSO Meeting, 7:00 pm

Lucas Letter


Highcroft's Spring Conference Night is Thursday, March 5th, from 4:15-8:15 pm. We will once again use MyConferenceTime, an online platform, to schedule conference meetings.

The website is now open for sign-ups.

There are a few easy steps to register for your conference. If you have one child at Highcroft Ridge:

  1. Go to myconferencetime.com/highcroftridge
  2. Click your child’s teacher from the list of teachers.
  3. Choose your preferred conference time from the list of available conferences and click “Sign Up” under your preferred time.
  4. Fill in all required information and any necessary optional information and click “Sign Up for Your Conference.” Please be assured that all information is submitted securely and will only be used by the school for confirmation purposes. It will not be available to outside sources.
  5. You will receive a confirmation email confirming your conference time.

If you have multiple students at Highcroft please click “Register for Multiple Conferences,” then follow the steps to enter the information for each child. You will then be presented with the schedules for multiple teachers to compare.

If you do not have access to a computer or have difficulty scheduling, please contact Sherry Heyse at sheyse@parkwayschools.net or call at 314-415-6406.

In partnership,

Cartelia Lucas



Celebrating Black History Month

Big picture
Big picture

February's Acts of Kindness Calendar Created By The 3rd-5th Kindness Leaders

Big picture

Library News

Mrs. Stilts, Librarian

We spend a great deal of time teaching students how to be good citizens. What about digital citizenship? In this 21st century digital world we find ourselves in, learning to be a digital citizen is as important. “Digital citizens think critically about what they see online, understand the benefits and risks of sharing information, and balance screen time with other activities” (commonsense.org/education).

In library classes this month, all grade levels will engage in exciting digital citizenship lessons from Common Sense Media. This award-winning curriculum will empower students to think about their digital lives. Topics will include media balance & well-being, privacy, digital footprint, relationships & communication, cyberbullying, and media literacy. From kindergarten to 5th grade, our Highcroft Ridge students will begin to think critically about their role in the digital age and how to emerge as amazing digital citizens!

Reading Corner

Ms. Yelton, Reading Specialist

3 Test-Taking Strategies for Elementary Students

from Sadlier’s English Language Arts Blog


Strategy 1: Review the Different Question Formats

Multiple-Choice Strategies

It’s always a good idea to review and practice multiple choice (selected-response) strategies before an assessment. On multiple-choice tests, the vocabulary and layout of the answers can confuse students.

These are my six tips to help students feel like they Multiple-Choice Champions before a big test:

1. Reread the question. Make sure you understand what is being asked.

2. Come up with an answer to the question before looking at the list of choices.

3. Read ALL of the answers and cross out the choices that don’t make sense.

4. Underline the section in the text or question that supports your reasoning.

5. Look carefully at similar-sounding answers. Find the more precise answer.

Open-Ended Response Strategies

Most schools have an acronym they use school-wide to help their students with open-ended responses. If your school has not adopted an acronym that is used throughout the school, I highly recommend you do. It promotes consistency as the students move from grade level to grade level. The acronym we use at my school is ACE:

Answer the question:

Turn the question into your answer and answer it

Cite an example:

Give a specific example from the text to support your answer

Extend your thinking

Give another example OR state another thought about the text that supports your answer

Basic Strategies for Answering Test Questions Download Now

For younger grades, I use a fabulous handout from the amazing Vocab Gal. This handout delves into some of the strategies I discuss when reviewing multiple choice questions and gives students concrete examples to look over.

This resource will show students the following strategies to puzzle out questions they may find confusing. It highlights the following strategies:

1. Substitute each answer in the blank

2. Justify answers my underlining information from the passage

3. Cross out answer that don't make sense

Strategy 2: Strengthen Student Vocabulary

Unfamiliar vocabulary in a literary text or a standardized test can confuse and/or discourage students.

I always make sure my students are armed with the vocabulary strategies they need to come out victorious rather than feeling defeated after taking a test. Below are word strategy resources to ensure students come out on top!

A similar download you may find useful is Vocab Gal's 10 High-Stakes Test Terms to Know Poster. Vocab Gal suggests that teachers incorporate these terms into classroom activities and should clarify how best to answer each question stem while the stakes are low.

For example, a teacher could ask an introductory question such as

· “Infer from the reading on page 3 how Jimmy felt about his friends.”

· “Compare the reading we did for homework with the passage on the board.”

· “Analyze how Martha came to make the decision she did.”

Break the Word Down

The last strategy/handout teaches students how to break down individual words and puzzle out their meanings. Here's an example using the word submersible:


Submersible → sub mersible

What does the word sub make you think of?

  • Subway
  • Submarine

You can investigate even further by asking, “Do subways and submarines have anything in common?”

  • Both are used for transportation and traveling from one point to another
  • Both are underground


"Explorer, the submersible watercraft, sank deeper into the ocean.”

From the passage clues we know that:

  • Submersible is describing a feature of the watercraft.
  • The watercraft can travel deep into the ocean.


I know a sub or submarine travels underwater.

The passage says, "...sank deeper into the ocean."

You can conclude that submersible means a vessel or vehicle that is capable of traveling and operating underwater.

This example is a great resource to share with students as a handout or you can hang up the poster on the classroom wall. Once students have reviewed this strategy, assign them words to break down themselves using these three steps.Download Now

Strategy 3: Use Practice Prompts

Reading Practice Prompts

As a literacy specialists there are a few “key literary elements” that I make sure to emphasize in my teaching because I know they will help my students perform well.

Fortunately, these “key literary elements” support strong reading comprehension and should be focused on even if there were no standardized tests to be taken.

Available for download are reading practice prompts for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry texts. Download Sample Reading Prompts for Standardized Test Preparation for grades 3–5 now.

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture