HMS Headlines

August 26, 2022

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Dear HMS Families,

It has been a busy first week back for our students and staff alike! From our half day on Monday where we welcomed our students for the school year, to our first full day on Tuesday with all of our was a week of smiles, high fives, community building, and FUN! Our fifth graders were welcomed with a special Yes You Can! Assembly to pep them up for the school year (thank you to HMS PTO IGNITE) and enjoyed the 5th Grade Connections Field Day activities on Friday, where they learned about their classmates and engaged in some fantastic teamwork! Our sixth graders enjoyed easing back into their HAWKS routines, as they received their iPads and set norms for their classwork together. Please enjoy some scenes from the week below!

We want to thank all of our fifth grade families who came out to Curriculum Night last night. It was wonderful to be in person and to have the opportunity to show off the wonderful things that are going on at Highcrest. We are looking forward to sixth grade Curriculum Night this coming Thursday (9/1). There is more information about that below.

Please read the messages today carefully, as there are many updates about safety, Picture Day, and our HMS Late Bus.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Kelly, Linda, & Susie

6th Grade Curriculum Night

Please plan to attend 6th Grade Curriculum Night on Thursday, September 1 from 6:00 - 7:30 PM. Curriculum Night is for parents only, and is a great time to see your child's teachers, learn about the curriculum for 6th grade and take a walk around the building. HERE is a preliminary schedule for the evening, and we will send additional information on Wednesday night to detail rooms and locations.

6th Grade Physical Reminders

All 6th grade students are required to submit proof of a physical exam to the school nurse, Mary McLone AS SOON AS POSSIBLE (the due date was today). Please email Mary at if you have any questions.

HERE is a link to find the required forms.


We are excited to announce that Late Activity Buses will be serving students attending clubs and athletics at both WJHS and HMS.

All the buses will depart from the front of WJHS at 4:45. They will then proceed to the upper deck of HMS to pick up those students.

  • Bus #1 will then take the students to Central School (9th Ave entrance)
  • Bus #2 will then take the students to MCK School (15th St entrance) and then continue on to Harper School (front entrance)
  • Bus #3 will then take the students to Romona School, the Rec Center, Indian and New Glenview (serving the northside students), and then Indian and Glenview (serving the southside students).

You do not have to be a bus rider to use this service at the end of the day.

PICTURE DAY - 9/13/22

Stuart-Rodgers is proud to be your official photography studio for Picture Day 2022-2023.

After picture day, you will receive an email providing you with your student’s personal password protected online gallery! Approximately 14 days after picture day you will also receive a printed proof sheet that will have your student’s photo and gallery password with directions on how to


Placing an order is easy! You can visit the website at > Order Photos > View My Session and enter your password. You can also mail in your printed proof to the Stuart-Rodgers Photography studio on Green Bay Road in Evanston.

Stuart-Rodgers Photography will offer free shipping on all orders placed by 9/27/22.

If you have multiple students, you can combine the online orders in the galleries by going to the top bar and selecting Change Gallery. You will need to enter each child’s password to combine galleries and put everything on one order!

If you have any questions please call Stuart-Rodgers Photography at 847-864-7322, or email

**MAKEUPS WILL BE ON 9/16/22**

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Safety Drills at HMS

As is our regular practice, we will be having safety drills throughout the year. We work with the Wilmette Police Department to conduct our Law Enforcement Drills and with our Fire Department to conduct our Fire Drills. We also regularly practice Shelter-In-Place Drills for severe weather, and have Bus Evacuation drills for all students. This fall we will practice all of these, and will again practice fire drills in the spring.

This October, in accordance with the Wilmette Police Department, Highcrest will be conducting our Law Enforcement (Lockdown) exercises with students and staff. Staff will review the procedures with students on the day of the drill, and students will be aware that this is a drill. A reminder that Wilmette Public Schools District 39 will always notify families before any Law Enforcement exercises.

The Wilmette Police Department will be present only to observe and evaluate the effectiveness of our procedures. Below are a couple of notes about our lockdown activities:

  • We will communicate with our students in an age-appropriate manner on what to do in the event of a lockdown situation.

  • All building occupants participate in these activities – students, staff, and any visitors who may be in the building at that time.

  • School administrators and school personnel may, at their discretion, exempt a student(s) from participating in a lockdown activities.

  • There WILL NOT be any simulations, gunfire or otherwise, in these exercises.

As a note, the Illinois School Safety Drill Act, Public Act 102-0395 includes:

  • A student may be exempt from participating in lockdown exercises through written notification from a parent or guardian at least 24 hours prior to the start of the exercises.

  • Schools are required to provide education and instruction related to lockdown procedures to non-participating students.

  • Students are allowed to ask questions during the exercises.

As always, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority and clear communication with our families is paramount. Wilmette Public Schools District 39 continues to have a strong working relationship with both the Wilmette Police Department and Wilmette Fire Department.

Resources for Safety

There are many reasons that a student may need to report something that is concerning to an adult or caregiver, and we want to highlight some of those for you that students will now see posted around the building. The image below is from the "Safety Starts With Me" poster that all D39 students will be able to refer to if they need to reach out to someone about a concern for themselves or for someone else.
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Starting at the bottom, the green row highlights a tool that we have had in place for reporting of bullying and teasing or social conflict in a confidential way to the Highcrest administrative team. This is called the HAWKS REPORTING FORM. This form is monitored during school hours and on school days by the administrative team, and we follow up on each report submitted.

The yellow row highlights a tool that can be used to share information to help prevent harm, school violence and other threats to safety. This is called SAFE2HELP.

The orange row is the newly introduced suicide and crisis helpline: 988. Students may call, text or chat if they are experiencing thoughts of suicide or emotional distress.

Finally, at the top of the graphic is the red bar which highlights 911. This is the direct line to the Wilmette/Glenview Police and Fire Departments, and should be used when there is a serious and immediate or life-threatening emergency.

Please review this with your child, and let them know it is also available to review in the HMS handbook and on posters at school.

Bike Safety

If your child is a bike rider, please take a few minutes to talk about bike safety with your child this weekend.

  • Students should always wear their helmets when riding their bikes to/from school.
  • Students should stay on the paths and sidewalks when biking to/from school.
  • Please remind your child to look out for others when riding on the path, especially when the path is more crowded at the end of the day. There are walkers and many bike riders, so even hanging out for a few minutes after the "rush" can help alleviate the congestion.
  • Please remind your child to carry your books, phone, and any other school items in their backpack when on the bike. Using a phone or having books in their arms or baskets can be a distraction or cause the bike to become unbalanced.
  • Students should listen to the supervisors around and follow their directions when arriving and leaving school. If there are any issues or accidents, they should find an adult right away.

Thank you! We want to make sure that we can enjoy biking to HMS and be safe while doing it!


As we continue to review our safety procedures and protocols for the district, we wanted to share some information with families about how we partner with the Wilmette Police to keep our schools safe and secure throughout the year. This week there was a parent presentation,

Feeling Safe in District 39 Schools. It shared information about our school drills, safety in the community, and how we partner as local organizations to support our children.

In case you missed it, the presentation recording can be found here.

Please keep an eye out for our Parent Education Event line-up for the school year. It will be shared soon! It's going to be a great year to learn together!


On behalf of our District 39 administrators, faculty, and staff, I want to welcome everyone back for the 2022-23 academic year! I hope the first week included plenty of smiles as we return to fulfilling our mission – to engage, empower, and inspire our students to lead academically successful, socially responsible, compassionate, and purposeful lives.

Substitutes Needed!

Looking for a way to contribute your time and talent? District 39 is looking for qualified substitute teachers, paraprofessionals and cooks. If you are interested in working in our schools, we would love to talk with you!! Click here to learn more and apply now.

Board of Education Meeting

On Monday evening, the Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting. In addition to reviewing the 2022-23 District 39 COVID Mitigations Plan, the Board held a Public Hearing on Budgets and adopted the FY22 budget for District 39 and the FY23 budget for the Wilmette Community Special Education Agreement (WCSEA). Click here for access to the complete meeting agenda and materials.

District 39 COVID Plan

The District 39 Board of Education reviewed our COVID Mitigations Plan for the 2022-23 academic year at this Monday’s meeting. D39 will continue to be a mask-optional environment for students and staff. Positive and symptomatic individuals must follow the public health guidance and the isolation/return to school protocol as defined by the most up-to-date Decision Tree for Evaluating Symptomatic Individuals from Schools. Please contact your school nurse if you have any questions about this protocol. As a district, we are pleased to align fully with the IDPH and CDC requirements for k-12 schools, and grateful for the opportunity to return to more typical protocol and procedures within our schools.



The Village of Wilmette’s Sesquicentennial Celebration includes many fun activities and projects. See flyer for details or go to

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.

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On Wednesday, our 5th graders welcomed Lloyd Bachrach back to Highcrest as he told his inspiring story through his Yes You Can Assembly. A former USA Paralymic athlete, Lloyd connected with the students by sharing how he overcame adversity in his life and made dreams happen. He also stressed the importance of accepting differences, self esteem and taking care of your mind, body and spirit. Thank you to the PTO IGNITE for sponsoring this Enrichment program!

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There are so many ways to get involved at Highcrest! Lunch duty and school store opportunities are back! We also still have a few openings on various PTO committees. There’s something for everyone! See links below to sign-up:

  • School Store - Hawk Hut sign-ups are available on Wednesdays during lunch

  • Lunch Duty - Volunteer to help with lunch on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays

  • Picture Day - Volunteers needed for Tuesday, September 13th

  • PTO Positions - We have openings for Environmental Awareness, Yearbook Orders, School Supplies, & After School Club Liaison


  • Skyline Studios at Highcrest - Skyline Studios and Highcrest School are pleased to announce Annie Jr. coming this fall. Bet Your Bottom Dollar you will have a ball! Get ready to sing, dance, and act all the way down Easy Street! Your script and music will help you keep the beat. Each actor will shine on stage at the end. Best of all, everyone is sure to make a new friend! First rehearsal starts 8/31 & all classes and final shows are at Highcrest. Registration open now!

  • Aces Debate Club - 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. Fall Club runs October 1 through early December. Registration opens 9/2 at 9am

  • Chess Club - Each week students will enjoy an engaging lesson with supervised time to play with classmates. Students will grow their knowledge of the game – from the basics through opening theory, middle game tactics and end game combinations. Students’ vocabulary and math skills will continue to advance. The chess program is open to all students in all grades and of all playing levels. Registration opens 9/2 at 9am

  • High Five Choir - 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! Registration opens 9/2 at 9am

  • Yearbook Club - Do you want to learn how to produce and promote our HMS Yearbook? Do you enjoy photography? Do you enjoy being part of a team? Then come be a part of the team that will organize photos for our annual yearbook and create videos for broadcast, promoting the sale of yearbooks. The 2022-2023 Highcrest Yearbook Club will record the events and activities of the school year. Your input will become a treasured memory of your time here at Highcrest Middle School! Registration opens 9/2 at 9am


You should have received an email from Membership Toolkit Directory on Sunday 8/2. It outlines how to join the PTO which gives you access to the school directory (including class lists). For convenience sake, you are also able to contribute to iGNITE (our main fundraiser), purchase Birthday Books and contribute to the Teacher's Holiday Gift Fund, which is a one-time gift given before winter break. One stop shopping! If you haven’t received this important email, please contact or visit


Show your Hawks pride with a variety of spiritwear options! Please contact Jen at if you would like to make a purchase.

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