The Heron Nest

Hillcrest Family Newletter | February 2023

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Feb. 3: Vision and Hearing Screenings

Feb. 7: PTA Meeting | 3:45 PM | HCE Library

Feb. 10: Parent-Teacher Conferences | NO SCHOOL

Feb. 14: Election Day

Feb. 17: Popcorn Friday

Feb. 20: Presidents Day | NO SCHOOL |

Feb. 21-22: Pacific Science Center's Science on Wheels

Feb 24: STEM Family Night | 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Mar. 1: First Grade Musical Performance | 6:30 PM | HCE Gym

From The Principal's Desk

Hello Heron Families!

February may be a short month, but at Hillcrest, it's packed full of celebrations, learning, and celebrations of learning! Here are just a few of the activities, lessons, and discussions our students, staff, and families have the opportunity to engage in this month:

  • STEM Night
  • The 100th Day of School
  • Pacific Science Center Visit
  • Valentine's Day
  • President's Day
  • Black History Month

In addition, Hillcrest continues to care for our Oak Harbor community. We celebrate our certification as a National Kindness School and our 100 Days 100 Ways to Care Collection Drive.

Finally, we will celebrate and share student learning during our Parent-Teacher Conferences. We are so grateful to have such engaged and caring parents, and our teachers are excited to meet with you this month!

As always, thank you for supporting your child, our staff, and our school.


Paula Seaman



Be Sure to Sign Up for Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences are Friday, Feb. 10. During conferences, there will be no school for students, but students are encouraged to attend these meetings with their parents.

Parents will use Family Access (Skyward) to schedule a parent-teacher conference with their child's teacher(s). Scheduling remains open until Thursday, Feb. 9 at 4 PM. Please contact your child's school if you need to schedule a conference after the conference scheduler is closed. As a reminder, we encourage families to contact teachers throughout the school year to check in on their child's progress. For more on Skyward Conference Scheduler, view the embedded video below.

Skyward Conference Scheduling Tutorial for Families | Crescent Harbor Elementary
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Join Us for Hillcrest S.T.E.M Family Night!

It's back! Join us for a fun night with your family including hands-on exploration and experimentation! We'll have family-friendly science, technology, engineering, and math activities in addition to presentations and demonstrations from community members. We'll even provide free hot dogs and chips! Below are just a few of the planned activities:

  • NASA Astronaut Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper
  • Hands-on Family STEM Challenge Stations

  • Wildcats Robotics Station

  • NAS Whidbey Robotics Station

  • OHHS Drone Club

  • Computer Coding

  • Makerspace Activities

  • Rocket Launchers

  • Green Screen Studio

  • ...and so much more!

We look forward to hosting you and your family on Friday, Feb. 24 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM!

Hillcrest Recognized As A Kindness Certified School

Hillcrest has a long tradition of partnering with service organizations on Whidbey Island and those efforts have once again been recognized by the Great Kindness Challenge and Kids for Peace Organization. Hillcrest learned last week we have been designated a 2023 Kindness Certified School! This marks the fifth year in a row that the Kids for Peace Organization noted Hillcrest's "commitment to creating a culture of kindness on your campus". Way to go, Herons!

Would you like to take on the Great Kindness Challenge Family Version? Download the checklist here.

100 Days - 100 Ways To Care

Mid-February means the 100th day of school which brings our "100 Days of School - 100 Ways to Care" community supply drive. We invite each grade level to collect 100 personal care items to be donated to North Whidbey Help House for distribution throughout our local community. Check out the images below to find out what item each grade is collecting.
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Pacific Science Center to visit Hillcrest—your PTA Dollars at Work!

Thanks to generous funding provided by our out-of-this-world PTA, the Pacific Science Center's Education on Wheels Department presents two full days of its amazing Space Odyssey Program complete with two pop-up planetariums! The Science on Wheels Program visit takes place throughout Feb. 20 and 21.

Whole School Assembly: Help our astronaut-in-training prepare for a trip to the moon! This assembly takes off with a mind-blowing demonstration about balloons in the vacuum of space. Contemplate the real size of the moon and investigate astronomy tools like spectroscopes and telescopes.

Interactive Pop-Up Exhibits: Herons will explore meteorites, constellations, and Jupiter’s storms. They get to be an astronomer while manipulating a robot arm or looking at the surface of Mars. What would the Big Dipper look like from the other side of the universe? How much do you weigh on Venus? Find out answers to these questions and more when Space Odyssey visits!

Classroom Programs

  • Grades K-2: Lighten Up, Up in the Sky
  • Grades 3-5: Star Search, Plan It: Mars

Want to volunteer to help? Sign up here: Hillcrest PTA: Pacific Science Center Visit (


Exchanging Valentine's cards is a cherished elementary school memory, and our incredible PTA has a unique way for students to show their love! Luv Birds and Luv Bugs are on sale beginning Monday, Feb. 6 during lunch and recess in the main hallway. We will also have before and after school hours on Feb. 8, 9, and 13. Spring-loaded Luv Birds are $1.00 each, and cute fluffy Luv Bugs are .50¢ each. Both are attached to a heart-shaped card to address these adorable Valentines! All purchases will be delivered to classrooms on Feb. 14. Check out the dates and times to get yours!


  • Monday 2.6 | 11:00 AM -1:00 PM
  • Tuesday 2.7 | 11:00 AM -1:00 PM
  • Wednesday 2.8 | 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM | 11:00 AM -1:00 PM | 2:30 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Thursday 2.9 | 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM | 11:00 AM -1:00 PM | 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Monday 2.13 | 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM | 11:00 AM -1:00 PM | 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The PTA would "love" some volunteer help during this time. Click this link to sign up! Hillcrest PTA: Luv Bug Sales! (

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What's Happening in the HCE Library?

  • Our third graders are busy reading the 2023 Washington State Library Association's Otter Award nominees. Research shows that often many students struggle to make the transition from picture books & beginner readers to longer, more complex chapter books. The result: they stop reading. The Otter Award books ponder a solution to solve that problem. With a short list of nominees – six titles per year – and titles that include traits that support transitional readers (font size, line spacing, white space, meaningful illustrations, etc.). Students have access to titles that are developmentally appropriate for their reading needs which allows them to gain confidence to pursue more complex chapter books.

  • Does your child have a tablet available at home? If so, did you know they can download free digital and audiobooks from Sno-Isle Libraries with the Libby App? Check out this video for details on downloading the Libby App. Here's more information on how to get a library card for Sno-Isle as well.

  • The February Spotlight Bookshelves in the Hillcrest library features a variety of books in honor of Black History Month. Ms. Trueman will also read some of the choices to students during their weekly library visits this month.
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Vision and Hearing Screenings

This Friday, February 3rd we will be conducting vision and hearing screenings on K-3rd grades and 4th graders with concerns. Over the next couple of weeks, referrals will be sent out for students that do not meet current Washington State standards. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Rhonda Coker, RN at or (360)279-5241.
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February Focus: Honesty

Through our PurposeFull People curriculum, students participate in monthly lessons and activities focusing on character traits, including courage, respect, responsibility, gratitude, perseverance, empathy, cooperation, creativity, and February's focus on honesty.

Check out these Family Connection Newsletters for more details on how you can develop and support honesty in your child:


First Grade

Second Grade

Third Grade

Fourth Grade

Empathy and Perseverance Award Winners

Congratulations to our most recent Purposefull People Students of the Month! Our December character trait focus was EMPATHY and these students were nominated by their classmates for their efforts "in understanding and connecting to other people's feelings ". Our January character trait was PERSEVERANCE and this group was nominated by their classmates for "pushing to work through challenges and obstacles". Earlier this week both groups were treated to a Purposefull People Principal's Pizza Party and awarded certificates honoring their commitment to empathy and perseverance. Way to go, Herons!
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Oak Harbor School Bond - Don't Forget To Vote!

On February 14, 2023, Oak Harbor voters will consider a $121 million school bond measure that will replace three aging schools, enhance safety at all schools and address critical needs of the community.

If approved by the voters, the bond measure would do the following to enhance our schools and utilize available funding from the federal and state governments:

  • Enhance safety at all of the Oak Harbor Public School sites
  • Rebuild Crescent Harbor Elementary on its current site to address the critical infrastructure needs of the school
  • Rebuild Hand-in-Hand Early Learning Center and Home Connection to move the schools out of the military flight path and address critical infrastructure needs of the school
  • Build a school on the OHPS-owned fields at Fort Nugent Park to address the growth in the area
  • Reutilize the Oak Harbor Elementary school site to address the growing need for early learning and child care in Oak Harbor

Washington state is one of 11 states that requires a supermajority of 60% approval in order to pass a bond.

In an effort to be responsible fiscal stewards of taxpayer dollars, the Oak Harbor Public Schools continues to seek out additional funding sources to address the critical facilities needs of schools in the District. Due to the poor condition, overcrowding, and the locations of Crescent Harbor Elementary and Hand-in-Hand Early Learning Center/Home Connection, the Department of Defense is providing 80 percent of the funding to rebuild these schools. This money is time-bound and if the bond is not passed, the funding from the Department of Defense goes away.

If the bond is approved by voters, the tax rate for taxpayers is expected to be approximately $1.24 per 1,000 assessed property value, which would be 30 cents less than what taxpayers paid in 2022 for the previous bond measure passed by voters.

For more information please visit

Bond 2023 - Projects & Needs

Heron Photo Gallery

The last day of January covered the playground with a light dusting of snow. Our Herons took full advantage of what Mother Nature had to share on that cold snowy morning!
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  • The PTA’s annual Luv Bug Sale is back for Valentine's Day. Send one of these cute telegrams to a student for just 50 cents. “Jumping” Luv Birds will also be available for $1. Purchases can be made at lunch recess on Feb. 6-9 and Feb 13. Extended sale hours before and after school are happening on Feb. 8-9, and Feb.13.
    We need people to help us sell—click this link to sign up! Hillcrest PTA: Luv Bug Sales! (

  • Reading is Sweet! The Spring Scholastic Book Fair returns to Hillcrest March 6-10. Even though it's a month away, we are already forming our decorating committee. Want to contribute ideas and some crafting to our fun Candyland theme? Want to get a jump on reserving your volunteer spot during book fair sales? Click this link to sign up: Hillcrest PTA: Spring Book Fair (

  • Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep informed about all our exciting events this year!

February Menu

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