Hillcrest Staff ARTery

We are the heART of Hillcrest!

The week of December 7th - December 11th

Bus Duty:

AM - Katie, Jen & Angie

PM - Ally, Amy G. & Trista

Treats: VISIONS

Word of the Week: Honesty

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Monday, DECEMBER 7TH (DAY 3)
  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANN CARR!!!
  • 12:00 - 3:00 - Media Mike in Computer Lab


Tuesday, December 8TH (DAY 1)

  • 8:20 - 9:00 - Artful Learning Comm. meets/Conference room
  • 12:00 - 3:00 - Media Mike in Computer Lab


Wednesday, December 9TH (DAY 2)

  • 8:20 - 9:00 - SWIM team meeting/Caroline's room
  • 12:00 - 3:00 - Media Mike in Computer Lab


Thursday, December 10TH (Day 3)

  • 8:00 - 1:00 - Principal's meeting
  • 9:40 - 11:15 - 3rd grade to "The Nutcracker"
  • 12:00 - 3:00 - Media Mike in Computer Lab
  • 2:00 & 5:45 - Grade 1 Festival
  • 2:45 & 7:00 - Grade 2 Festival


Friday, December 11TH (Day 1)

  • PAJAMA DAY!!!
  • 8:20 - 9:00 - BLT Meeting (Conference Room) ??
  • 12:00 - 3:00 - Media Mike in Computer Lab

Upcoming Events


December 18th - Winter Party

December 21st - January 1st - NO SCHOOL

January 4th - school resumes

Staff Meeting Schedule (Topics)

12/15 - First semester Data Dive

1/5 - VTS revisited and Artful Learning

1/19 - Close Reading w/Rachel Gens (3 of 4)

2/2 - Achievement Gap at HC

Winter Skate Party Schedule

You can find our 2015 winter skate party schedule at this link.


Here is the sing-a-long schedule:


9:45-10:35 Rachel L, Jody, Emily S., Beth

10:55-11:45 Amy G., Trista, Anna, Lee, Tracy

1:00-1:50 Amy W., Angie, Katie, ELA

2:10-3:00 Cici, Cory, Kari, Jenn, Amy B, Ally

Coaches Corner

Hope and optimism connects to the engagement question Can I do this? Teaching self-efficacy by sharing examples of people who persevered and by providing effective verbal feedback are powerful ways to encourage students to have a hope mindset.


To teach hope and optimism:

  • On a daily basis:

    • give affirmation

    • ask for kids’ dreams

    • reinforce their dreams

    • tell them why they can succeed

    • share positive stories

  • offer to provide any help needed

  • share stories and quotes from people who overcame obstacles through effort and strategy not through genetics or family connections

    • Bessie Coleman (first licensed female aviator of color)

    • Malala Yousafzai (defied the Taliban to stand for girls’ education)

    • Mary McCloud Bethune (educator and civil rights activist)

    • Susan LaFlesche Picotte (first Native American physician)

    • Cesar Milan (dog whisperer and Mexican immigrant)

    • Mae Jemison (first female astronaut of color)

    • Keith Ellison (first Muslim elected to US Congress)

    • “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why … I dream of things that never were and ask why not?” - Robert Kennedy

    • “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” - Pablo Picasso

  • share your personal stories of working towards a goal

  • access positive memories with the class often

    • Do you remember the last time we worked on partial-products? People made mistakes but, at the end, everyone was able to solve the problem.”

    • Yesterday, you worked on increasing your reading stamina and we all read independently for 15 minutes. I bet today we can make it to 17 minutes!”


Intentionally fostering hope and optimism in students can have a profound effect on their belief in themselves and their capacity to learn, even in challenging situations. If students believe that hard work and learned skills is more important than innate ability they are more likely to put forth effort and show perseverance.

Tech Team Information

Information on the Tech Team. The tech team structure is a replacement for the former CT program, with the Media Director and a a teacher co-lead heading it up in every elementary school. (Lee Nelson is our HC NTL co-lead---shout out to him!) We meet on the first Tuesday of the month to discuss where we're at now as a building, and to make decisions about how things will look with more devices at Hillcrest. This is our year to get ready, and we'd like to do it well.


How it'll happen. By putting logistics into place that best suit how our school works, anything from deciding how we will organize and hand out Chromebooks to what we will teach our Hillcrest families about the devices. Our goal as a team is to think of it so you don't have to next fall.


I'll send out an information blurb every other Wednesday starting in December, in addition to Calvin's Artery newsletter updates. We have also assigned tech team members to groups of HC staff for questions and reporting. They are:


  • Trista: K-1
  • Cory: 2
  • Lee: 3-4
  • Jenn: 4-5
  • Belle: HC_Staff, Specialists, Parents
  • Calvin: Central Office & Support Staff, Peer Admin, Parents, Special Ed
  • Allie: FAQ


Stay tuned for more sharing as the weeks pass!

Personal Leave Requests Now Approved by Principal

Starting December 1st all principals will be approving personal leave requests. Be sure to submit your leave requests through MyLeave in MyView (TIES). If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. [Note - you do not need to ask Calvin in person. Unless you feel that you need to do so.]

Building Reminders (Updated)

Winter is here . . .


  • Please make sure students take their coats and boots home regularly, so that the hall can be kept clean.
  • All boots should be put up off the floor at the end of the day (on top of hooks or in lockers).
  • Please make sure that students stomp and wipe their feet before entering the hallways.

ELEMENTS and DIMENSIONS ACADEMY - Dates for 2015-16

[you can include this in your classroom newsletters]


Elements is a program for 2nd and 3rd grade students whose academic talent and performance indicate their need for in-depth, complex and rigorous curriculum and instruction. Dimensions Academy (DA) is a program for students in grades 4-8 who are highly/profoundly gifted. If you are interested in learning about these programs, please note the dates and times of several informational meetings and tours.


Dec. 7 - DA/Elements INFO Mtg 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. @ Oak Grove

Dec. 9 - Oak Grove Elementary Tour 10:00 a.m.

Dec. 11 - DA Middle School Applications Due (for new DA students only)

Update your email signature!

Two updated signature examples are on display (below) as options you might consider!


Follow these steps for your very own hip-happenin' email signature:


  1. Download the attached .jpg and save it to your desktop.
  2. Click to open the settings menu. (It's the "Gear" symbol in the upper right corner of the window while you are in your isd271 Gmail account.)
  3. In the "General" settings (the window that will open when you click on "Settings") scroll down to your signature.
  4. Place your cursor wherever you so choose, then use the "Insert Image" icon (looks like little mountains) to upload an HC .jpg that will blast you into 2016 a month and a half early.
  5. Resize the image accordingly by clicking on the image and selecting "small," "medium," etc. found below it.


Followed the steps? Now you're rolling with the big dogs, yes you are.


XXXXXXXXXXXX
Third Grade Teacher
Hillcrest Community School
952-681-53XX

"Hillcrest is more than a school, we are a joyful community of learners.

Together through the arts, we inspire, challenge and empower."


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Our weekly staff newsletter!

This newsletter will come to you every Friday afternoon for the upcoming week. If you have any information, small business items, or events to share, please email the title, narrative, and specifics to Jane or Calvin.