HMS Headlines

September 22, 2022

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Dear HMS Families,

We are looking forward to a fun fall four-day weekend this weekend. We are as well, but first we are focused on learning and growing professionally tomorrow as a D39 staff. You may be asking yourself, "What is it those teachers do when they have an Institute Day?"

Tomorrow's day is made up of a series of breakout sessions focused in three areas: academic growth, social-emotional learning, and systems of behavior support. Our teachers will be engaging with colleagues across the district to learn more about goal setting across content areas, math approaches to support student learning and questioning, and effective small grouping and writer engagement in ELA. They will be developing strategies to use in their classroom using the Responsive Classroom approach to supporting classroom community and social-emotional learning, and they will be exploring techniques to support executive functioning. Finally, our school-based behavior teams will be receiving the first training in our newly-adopted behavior framework called Foundations from Safe and Civil Schools.

While it isn't a day "off" per se, we are truly looking forward to having the time out of the classroom to learn new things so we can bring them back to the classroom and support your children in their educational experience at HMS. We can't wait to share what we've learned!

Have a wonderful weekend, and we will see you on Tuesday!

Kelly, Linda & Susie


We continue to have reports of unsafe incidents involving students at HMS and WJHS who are riding their bikes to and from school. We have many students choosing to ride through the HMS parking lot, where there are cars in and out all day, and we have other students who are not stopping to look for cars at intersections. Concerned neighbors have been calling the school after having near-misses before and after the school day.

PLEASE HELP by reviewing bike safety with your child. Remind them to wear a helmet, stop at intersections, and be aware of cars. They should ride on sidewalks and paths to and from school, and pay attention to stop lights, stop signs, and crossing guards. They should also be aware of students who are walking, and make room for all on the path.

This weekend with the prediction for nice weather, you are encouraged to review a safe route to Highcrest from your home, so your child is aware of the dangers on their route, and can be reminded of safe practices throughout their journey.



Just a reminder that the HMS Playground is for use of students/staff only during school hours (8:50 AM - 3:35 PM). This includes use of the equipment, Ga-Ga Pit, and basketball courts. Please also refrain from having younger children play on the equipment during dismissal (usually between 3:35 - 4:00) as there is a lot of activity out there at that time as we load buses and try to keep track of our Highcrest students. Thank you!

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.


Our HMS Lost and Found is growing each day, and we have noticed that many of the items are water bottles and lunch boxes. Please make sure your child's items get back to your child if they are misplaced by putting their first and last names on them. Thank you for your help!


Welcome Back from PASS39!
PASS39 stands for The Parent Association for Student Services in District 39. It’s a district-wide parent organization that works in collaboration with Administration to help provide education and support for families who have children with learning, behavioral, emotional and developmental challenges.

September Newsletter/2022-2023 Calendar of Events

PASS39 Email List

Join our email list to receive information on area and district events related to children with learning disabilities and/or special needs. Email us at to be added to the PASS39 group e-mail. All addresses are blind copied for confidentiality.

PASS39 on the Web

The PASS39 website below provides more information about Wilmette D39 Student Services and contains educational, therapeutic and recreational resources for parents with children with specialized needs.

PASS39 also has a private Facebook Group. To receive access, open the “Upcoming Events” link listed above, scroll to the bottom and click on Facebook.


Board of Education Meeting

The Board of Education gathered on Monday evening for its regular business meeting and also conducted a public hearing on the District’s e-learning plan. During the meetings, the Board approved the 2022-23 action steps for our D39 strategic plan as well as our e-learning plan, which was updated to more accurately reflect its original purpose of creating flexibility to make up an emergency closure day (ie. a snow day). Additionally, the Board completed a final review of specified Board policies. Click here for access to the complete meeting agenda and materials.

Parent-Teacher Conferences: Save the Date

Please save the date for our fall parent-teacher conferences on Nov. 16-18, immediately preceding fall break (Thanksgiving week). Conferences will be held via Zoom, with in-person appointments available by request. More details, including sign-up information, will be provided in the coming weeks.

Parent Education Event

District 39 recently held its most recent parent education event titled “Setting Goals with Students”. You can find a recording of the presentation by clicking here. Make plans now to join us on the morning of October 12 for our next event, “Parenting in a Digital Age.” Please click here for the full schedule of 2022-23 parent education events and registration links.



Good Fest: Good Music, Good BBQ, Good Cause: Join the concert/bbq on Saturday, October 1st at St. Johns Lutheran Church, 1235 Wilmette Ave. Fest features Tributosaurus, Acoustic Fight Club & Backyard BBQ. Portions of the proceeds go to Family Promise Chicago North Shore. Get tickets here.

The Wilmette Theatre hosts a Flashback Family Film Weekend featuring Field of Dreams and E.T. films on Thursday, September 22nd through Sunday, September 25th. Tickets are $5. Movie times on the website.

Destination Imagination (DI) is open for registrations. DI is a creative competition for teams of 3-6 kids led by parents. Kids put together a skit and also practice for spontaneous instant challenges. Sign up for a DI information session or join a team.

Wilmette Jr. Trevians are recruiting Kdg-2nd graders to play hockey in House Mite and Mini Mite programs. Season runs from September - February. Contact:

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.

PICKLES - kids supporting kids is a local nonprofit that provides free peer-to-peer support and resources for kids ages 6-18 affected by a parent’s cancer diagnosis. These fun, supportive youth groups meet monthly at Winnetka Community House. 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.

Scout Troop 2 Wilmette hosts Open House on September 25 at Erickson Woods from 2:00 - 4:00 pm for boys & girls grades 6-10. email:

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This week we had our first Outdoor Classroom session during lunch. The kids helped plant cold season crops before the Equinox, learned to identify weeds and pull a few while at it and helped us organize the awesome outdoor classroom closets and tools. Thank you to our parent volunteers for helping make our first session a success!

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The Hawk Hut is open!!

Every Wednesday, students can visit the Hawk Hut during lunch hours. The Hawk Hut is the student store where students can purchase pens, bracelets, keychains, etc. All items run $1-$5. Cash only.

The Hawk Hut is run by parent volunteers so please consider volunteering! Additional slots have been added. Sign up HERE.


On September 27th-30th, 6th grade students will be taking a field trip to the Heller Nature Center to participate in a series of activities, cooperative games, trust initiatives, and team-building exercises. The HNC will be providing opportunities for students to discover leadership, respect, and support - all while having fun! A schedule was sent out with the day/time that your student will attend. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your student's homeroom teacher. Thank you to the PTO for sponsoring this field trip!
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There are many ways to get involved at Highcrest! See links below to sign-up:

  • School Store - Hawk Hut sign-ups are available on Wednesdays during lunch. More spots have been added!

  • PTO Positions - We have an opening for an After School Club Liaison


Are you interested in joining the Village Wide PTO? There are a few positions open to choose from, including 2nd Vice President (Enrichment), Communications and Outdoor Classroom. The positions require that you communicate with the D39 school representatives and report back to the Village Wide PTO at their meetings. The Village Wide PTO meetings are as follows:

9.21.22 at 9:15 am

11.16.22 at 9:15 am

3.15.23 at 9:15 am

5.17.23 at 10:00 am with luncheon to follow TBD

Please contact the President of the Presidents’ Council, Barb Bentivenga, at for more information. Thank you!


  • Volleyball - Volleyball will be HMS’s first team sport, joining several individual sports (Cross Country, Wrestling, Track and Field), and will be piloted in 2022-23 as an Intramural Club Sport to test student interest, work through logistics, and establish the program. Each session will be a mix of individual and team drills, and scrimmages. A maximum of 18 students can register, following first-come, first-serve registration: This fall, we have Sam Piecoro, a Curriculum Coordinator from D39, coaching the girls’ team, and will be looking to support her with parent volunteers. INTERESTED PARENTS, please reach out to Dan Magestro about volunteering. Season Starts on Tuesday, September 27 (10 sessions) Registration is open!

  • 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! 7th and 8th grade registration opens on 9/7. Note: There will be NO REFUNDS given for clubs after 1 week of each program. Registration is open!


Please join your fellow Highcrest Hawks on Friday, October 21st from 5:00-6:30 pm for a night of outdoor games, DJ, Kona Ice, photo booths, inflatables, and more! Halloween costumes are encouraged! Please note that this event is exclusively and especially for Highcrest students!

Tickets are $15 each and will go on sale soon via the PTO Membership Toolkit! Check your Highcrest Headlines next week for ticket sales!

Parents, we need your help, too! A Sign up Genius to volunteer will go out in next week's Highcrest Headlines. Lots of fun jobs are available. Get a group of parents and volunteer together! Your help will make this night a success!

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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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