Hidden River Newsletter

Week of September 19 - 23, 2022

Weekly Reminders

  • SAVE THE DATES (Safety Drill practice this week):

Tuesday, Sept. 20th - Fall Sports Start (must have all forms in to stay for practice and transportation home)

Thursday, Sept. 22nd - BINGO for Books Family Night 5:30-7:30pm (Flyer Here)

Next Week:

Monday, Sept. 26th - Picture Day

What's in the Newsletter?

- Principal's Note

- School Information (iUpdate)

- Online School Store - Otter Gear!

- Family Staff Organization (FSO)

- Ultimate Frisbee

- Counseling Connection Corner

- FLIPSIDE (After-school)

- Athletics

- Additional Opportunities for Students & Families

Principal's Note

Hello Hidden River Families!

The first two weeks of school have gone great! Students and staff are developing routines and rituals. Students are adjusting to building expectations.

A reminder about student personal electronics expectations. We have had a number of students lose or misplace their phones/electronics. Remind your student to keep their personal electronics off and in their lockers if they must have them at school. Staff are unable to help students locate their personal items, personal electronics expectations here.

Finally, we have had a number of students dropped off prior to our building opening at 8:15. Most staff do not start arriving before 8 a.m. and students are not allowed in the building as there is no adult supervision. If you arrive early, please wait with your student until 8:15 a.m. Additional, students need to be be picked up at 3:00pm at the end of the day, unless they are staying for after-school/athletics. Thanks for your understanding and partnership!

Principal Vibar

School Information

- Safety Drills: We will conduct the first set of safety drills for the 2022 - 2023 school year during the week of September 19-23. Students will practice a Lockdown Drill, Lockout Drill and a Fire/Evacuation Drill. Please reach out to administration if you have any questions or concerns.

- School Office hours: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm, Office phone 651-293-8860

- Attendance: If your child will be absent please call the school and leave a message with Sue Roach 651-744-4750

- Picture Day: Monday, Sept. 26th. Click here to access the ordering link: http://my.lifetouch.com/mylifetouch/pictureDayId/EVT76HDJZ

Online School Store

We are excited to launch our online school store to get students, families and staff new Hidden River gear. Please read the website carefully. Reach out to Advanced Sportswear with any questions.


iUpdate - Click Here

Needs to be done every year

Family Staff Organization (FSO) - formerly known as PTO



Volunteers are needed to assist LifeTouch photographers on Monday, September 26th as Hidden River students and staff have their pictures taken. You can sign-up to cover a two-hour shift through this link: CLICK HERE


Can you make a weekly commitment? Staff has requested help in the office daily from 8:30 – 9:30 am and 2 – 3 PM. Volunteers also help to make sure that students are responsibly sorting their trash, recycling, and organic compost in the lunchroom each day from 12 – 1:15 pm. Curious about any of these? Please fill out this form and we’ll reach out to you with more information! CLICK HERE

Ultimate Frisbee

Welcome Back!

If your student athlete is interested in participating in Ultimate Frisbee for the 22-23 school year, please fill out this Google Form with your information and look for an email this weekend with practices, dates, times, and events that are coming up for our fall season.

Here is a overview of what Ultimate Frisbee is if you don't know much about it:

Combining the non-stop movement and athletic endurance of soccer with the aerial passing skills of football, a game of ultimate is played by two teams with a flying disc on a field with end zones, similar to football. The object of the game is to score by catching a pass in the opponent’s end zone. A player must stop running while in possession of the disc but may pivot and pass to any of the other receivers on the field. Ultimate is a transition game in which players move quickly from offense to defense on turnovers that occur with a dropped pass, an interception, a pass out of bounds, or when a player is caught holding the disc for more than ten seconds. Ultimate is governed by Spirit of the Game™, a tradition of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the players rather than referees. Ultimate is played in more than 80 countries by an estimated 7 million people.

Hidden River has a tradition of having fun but yet being pretty competitive in the Minnesota Middle School League and Tournaments throughout the school year. We also have students joining us from different schools in the SPPS district as well as a few private and charter schools, but our home base is Hidden River Middle School. This is a great way to become connected to the Hidden River Community! We would love to have your student athlete join our team.

Please connect with Ms. Ekegren (Alicia.Ekegren@stpaul.k12.mn.us) if you have any further questions.

Counseling Connection Corner

Schedule Changes

As a clearer picture begins to emerge regarding Hidden River's overall student enrollment, counselors are looking for ways to reduce over-capacity class sizes at impacted grade levels. What this means is that students will see some schedule changes as we work to balance classes. And by changes, we are speaking of the order in which classes appear on their schedule. Usually, this process is not able to begin until October, so we appreciate starting the process earlier, as this goes a long way towards helping students feel settled. The overall process is rather random, therefore, at this time, we are unable to honor requests to leave a schedule "as is". Every effort will be made to minimize the overall disruption to student schedules, and we will connect with impacted students prior to making any change to their schedule.

**Requests to Change Lunch Periods​**

Ensuring adequate seating to cover each lunch period it vital, therefore requests to change lunch periods cannot be granted. Lunch is not a stand-alone class but rather, tied to 5th period classes. Each lunch period has a mixture of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students and is not grade specific.

New Faces in the Counseling Office

The Counseling Office has welcomed 2 counseling interns this Fall.

Lauren Beckman comes to us by way of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and

Eva Bulson-Lewis joins us from the University of Minnesota. Both are pursuing their graduate degree in School Counseling and have gotten off to a busy start supporting students in the counseling office. They will be wrapping up their learning with us between mid-October to early November.

Quarter 1: SEL, IAS & PLPs

This year, counselors are kicking off quarter 1 with the introduction (or re-introduction) to Social-Emotional Learning(SEL), Individual Advising Meeting(IAM) for 8th graders and Personal Learning Plans(PLP). Through Counselor Classroom Visits and lessons facilitated by Foundations Teachers, students will explore an array of topics that promote Social Emotional Growth, Career Exploration and Academic Achievement. Lessons will include Digital Citizenship, Positive Peer Connections, Academic Success and Career Exploration to name a few. Foundations teachers have received a robust toolkit of lessons/activities to get started this month.

Quarter 1 Goals:

  • Digital Citizenship (technology & internet safety) lessons complete by Sept. 30th
  • Individual Advising Meeting for each 8th grade student (with their counselor) by Oct. 19th *Uniform timeline​ set for all SPPS 8th grade students*
  • PLP-Personal Learning Plan review (via Xello & Clever iPad Apps) both in Foundations and during Counselor Classroom Visits
  • Weekly Foundations lessons focusing on Social Emotional Learning/Growth/Development

With so much information to take in at the beginning of the school year, we encourage students and families to reach out to the Hidden River Counseling Team with any questions that may arise.

~Barbie Woodruff: barbie.woodruff@spps.org (Grades 6-8, last names A-L)

~Ayoub Nigatu: ayoub.nigatu@spps.org (Grades 6-8, last names M-Z)

FLIPSIDE - After-School


Flipside programming runs Monday to Thursday 3-5pm. Our fall session begins October 10th! BUSSING WILL BE AVAILABLE ON MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS ONLY! Students must provide their own transportation on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

We have a wide variety of offerings from dance to math team along with musical and visual arts. Here is a class list with descriptions. Please follow the link below to see our offerings and register! Paper registrations can be found in the front office or Ms. Teanna's office (1009).


We are still looking for instructors for newspaper and lego league please let me know if you have any interest!!

Please contact the Flipside Coordinator Teanna Rouillard with any questions! teanna.rouillard@spps.org or 651-744-6969


Hidden River Fall Sports are Volleyball, Flag Football, Boys Soccer & Girls Soccer. There are no tryouts; every student who fills out a sports form and has a health physical on file with the school nurse makes the team. The fall sports forms will be passed out during lunch before the start of the season. There is also a fee of $10 which will cover the cost of the jersey.

Fall sports start on September 20th. Practice is right after school and usually lasts for an hour and a half to two hours each day. The student will practice at least four days a week but could practice five days; it depends on the coach and what days they choose to practice. There will be three games during the season, the season is eight weeks long, and the dates have not been announced yet by the district. Students will need their own transportation to the games. The games will be held at one of our seven high schools on a Saturday.

Students will need their own transportation home from practice each day; there is no transportation this year for students. If the Hidden River Middle does not have enough players to field a full squad, they will be combined with another school to have a whole team.

Please reach out to me with any questions.

Mr. Wathum-Ocama

Athletic Director


Additional Opportunities for Students & Families