HMS Headlines

March 4, 2022

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A Message from the Administrative Team

Dear HMS Families,

I got a reminder on my social media page about this week 2 years ago. The first week of March in 2020 was filled with uncertainty about the situation ahead with this thing called COVID...and not soon after we entered a whole new world of mitigations and restrictions, remote learning, and Zoom. It was a good reminder of all of the challenges that we have...and also how far we have come!

We are moving into another new normal here at Highcrest, and it has been fun to get back to some of our "old" routines like having special events such as the one that took place in Mandarin classes this week, and having opportunities to play concerts together, like our bands and orchestras did last week during Band-O-Rama and Stringapalooza. We are even working with our HMS PTO at planning events that have been on pause for the past couple of years such as Aloha Spring, and the Variety Show.

Take some time to reflect this weekend on the challenges that we have overcome over the past couple of years, and the exciting things on the horizon for us all as we start to slowly bring back some traditions and opportunities that were not available during the pandemic. We have come a long way in two years! Let's celebrate!

Have a great weekend,

Kelly, Linda, and Susie


This year all fifth and sixth graders will take IAR at Highcrest. There are three tests for ELA, and three tests for Math. ELA tests will take place, one each day from March 16- March 18. The Math tests will take place the following week, one per day from March 21-23.

In anticipation of these testing days, please try to avoid appointments and vacations. Additionally, it is important students get plenty of sleep and have a good breakfast before coming to school on these days. IAR reports generally are sent home during the fall following the year they are taken, so you will receive information once the reports are ready to send home.

MARCH MADNESS...HMS LC STYLE! Let's Vote for our Favorite Books!

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We have received many reports of unsafe drop offs in the HMS car line. Please be sure to adhere to these reminders as you drop off your child, so that we are able to keep all of our students safe as they arrive to school.

  • DROP OFF STUDENTS AT THE DEDICATED DROP OFF POINT ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE SCHOOL. Dropping students off on the bike path or at a different location causes the line to be disrupted and prevents the smooth movement of traffic. We have also had students run across traffic and the parking lot to get to the school building. Please only drop at the designated spot.
  • THE BUS LOT IS FOR BUSES ONLY. When students are dropped off by the playground by cars, this is generally after all of the students out there have entered the building. The upper lot is for buses only due to the supervision that is available out on the playground. If your child is dropped by car in the bus lot, there is a chance they will not be able to get in the building from that entrance.
  • GET TO SCHOOL BEFORE 8:45. Supervision begins at 8:20 at school. The bell rings at 8:45 to let students in the building. Please get here before 8:45 so your child can be on time to homeroom, which starts promptly at 8:50. We have had many students arriving after homeroom has already begun.

Order a Student Council Tee Shirt or Hoodie!

The Highcrest Student Council is happy to announce that the link to order your 21-22 Can’t Mask Our Pride! t-shirts and hoodies is live! You can order directly from Custom Ink with the above link. Ordering closes on March 7 which is Monday!

A special shout out to Alison Eakley for the winning slogan and sixth grader Graham C. for the winning artwork!

Mandarin classes had fun learning the Chinese game, Weiqi this week!

Kids Heart Challenge 2022

Once again our HMS Student Council is sponsoring the Kids Heart Challenge for the American Heart Association. We are excited to engage in this fun and healthy activity! Please see this flyer for more details!


Join American Heart Association Kids Heart Challenge participants, family and friends for a legendary group outing with the Chicago Bulls.

Register Here:

Fundraise $100 Receive a discounted ticket offer to four Bulls home games:

Fundraise $250 Receive a discounted ticket offer to attend a Bulls home game and participate in the Court of Dreams event on April 2 from 2 to 4 p.m.

A ticket to one of the four games is required for Court of Dreams entry.

Russia-Ukraine War - Resources for Families

The events in Ukraine have had an impact on many of our students. People around the world are feeling stress and fear from watching the violence and wondering what will come next. Our children are also seeing the images and hearing discussions that are scary and unpredictable. This may be compounded for some children by the two years of stress and anxiety that have been associated with the pandemic. As adults, we want to be aware of the potential impact these events can have on children, even if we believe that our children are not paying attention to the events. Here are some resources you might find helpful as your children navigate yet another challenging situation.


That mid-week warm-up has us all ready for D39’s Summer Enrichment Programs 2022! This year we are very excited to welcome back some of our summer camp options for our kindergarten through seventh grade students. We intend to open our online registration process on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Be sure to browse our Summer Enrichment Programs website for our new online Summer Enrichment Programs 2022 brochure. We hope to see you with us for some summer fun!


Registration remains open for the 2022-23 academic year. For returning students, visit the PowerSchool parent portal, click on the registration link and follow the instructions. For new students to D39, visit for instructions on the four-part registration process. We encourage parents with new kindergarten students to enroll as quickly as possible. Additionally, D39 is offering its KEEP39 afternoon enrichment program for kindergarten students. Click here for more information. You can register your child for KEEP39 at the same time that you register for kindergarten.


Board of Education Meeting Highlights

The District 39 Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting this past Monday. At the meeting, D39 presented its mid-year strategic plan update, which included progress towards identifying key performance indicators. Additionally, the Board heard updates on COVID mitigations and approved our school calendar for the 2022-23 academic year, which was designed specifically to provide our students with uninterrupted periods of learning around breaks and holidays. Note that next year the first day of school is Monday, August 22, that parent teacher conferences align with fall and spring breaks, and that President’s Day is named as a holiday but may be used as an emergency day if a weather-related school closure occurs prior February next year. Click here for more information on the meeting.

Summer Enrichment Registration is Open

With the calendar flipping over to March, it is time to think about summer and D39’s Summer Enrichment Programs 2022! This year, we are very excited to welcome back some of our summer camp options along with our academic programs for our kindergarten through 7th grade students. Be sure to browse our Summer Enrichment Programs website and our new online Summer Enrichment Programs brochure. Online registration is now open. We hope to see you with us for some summer fun!

Register Your Child(ren) for 2022-23 Academic Year

Registration remains open for the 2022-23 academic year. For returning students, visit the PowerSchool parent portal, click on the registration link and follow the instructions. For new students to D39, visit for instructions on the four-part registration process. Additionally, D39 is offering its KEEP39 afternoon enrichment program for kindergarten students. Please complete the registration process ASAP.. Although the deadline for a guaranteed spot in our KEEP39 program has passed, families can still sign up and be put on our waiting list.



In honor of Black History Month, the Village of Wilmette is sponsoring a Black History Month Student Contest. Submit posters, essay, poems and multimedia items relating to the prompt, "Why do we celebrate Black History Month?” Submissions are due TODAY, March 4th, by 4:00 pm. See contest rules for details.

PASS39 is hosting a community event for D39 families, tomorrow, March 5th at 4:00 pm at Wilmette’s Valley Lodge. The Trinity Dancers will perform. A private room has been reserved to meet and chat following the performance.

The Village of Wilmette’s Sesquicentennial Celebration includes many fun activities and projects. Donations of $25 and up will receive recognition in the Commemorative 150th Edition of the Wilmette Communicator. See flyer for details or go to

The Village of Wilmette & 'Ready Set Wilmette' Comprehensive Planning Team want to hear from Wilmette residents. Help ensure Wilmette is welcoming, thriving and vibrant for years to come. Talk #2 will be held at Regina Dominican High School on March 15th at 6:30 pm. Black History Month student contest winnners submissions will be on display.

The Volunteer Center is offering many volunteer service opportunities. Kids Against Hunger Event will be held on March 19th. Help pack nutritious meals for over 100,000 starving Nicaraguans.

Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA) is hosting Campyardigan Summer Camp options for students ages 5-13 with disabilities. The Spring Guide lists summer recreation programs.

Loyola Academy offers Junior High Enrichment Summer Programs. For more information contact or

The Trevian Girls Softball Association is adding 8-10 year olds to their spring and summer teams. Contact Kelsey Farmer 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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Have an incoming 5th or 6th grader next year? We need you! Get involved at the school through the Highcrest PTO! We have many different options available to fit your schedule and interests! Freaky Friday, Aloha Spring, Enrichment Planning, Teacher Appreciation, Yearbook, After School Clubs, 5th Grade Connections, Communications and so many more ways to get involved. Please reach out to Megan Gemp at to talk about possibilities. We look forward to working with you!

After School Clubs at Highcrest: Spring Session Registration Coming Soon!

The Highcrest PTO is happy to announce a spring session of some favorite After School Clubs. Registration for Debate, Chess, Skyline plus two new clubs, Rubik’s Cube and Newspaper, will open on the HMS PTO website on Monday, March 14th at 7pm. More details and club descriptions coming soon.

Spirit wear is now online and ordering is super easy!

Show your Hawks pride with a variety of spiritwear options!

CLICK HERE to get your orders in! Please contact Jen at with questions!

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It’s time to think 🌷 SPRING with PASS39

Please join us for our next event on March 5th at 4pm to watch the Trinity dancers perform ☘️

Feel free to bring the kids to watch the dancers or leave them at home! Your choice! ❤️

We also have a private room secured for adults to meet and decompress afterward.

See you there!!

Until then, catch up on all our latest news by checking out our February Newsletter!

Appreciation Certificates Available

Looking for a way to say thank you to a special teacher, staff member or administrator? For your $39 donation, the staff member(s) of your choice will be honored with a personalized certificate sent via email and their name posted on our website's virtual Wall of Honor. All donations will benefit our schools by funding the D39 Educational Foundation's Gripp Grant program. Purchase your Appreciation Certificate here.

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Trex Plastic Bag Challenge

The Trex Plastic Bag Challenge is happening from November 15, 2021-April 15, 2022. Students, teachers and families (and the community at large) are asked to dispose of their plastic bags at conveniently located bins by the front office. Collections will be weighed and logged each week and will help HMS to compete against other middle schools nationwide. Plastic MUST be clean and dry. Questions? Please contact

Membership Toolkit

AtoZ Connect is now powered by Membership Toolkit to bring you the best directory experience available. PTO memberships, directories, communications, online store, and more will all run through the newly improved online software. Click here if you haven’t already signed up!

To access the new 2021-2022 Highcrest PTO Directory, please visit Bookmark this site now!

All announcements to be included in Headlines must be submitted via the Communications Request Form by Wednesdays at 2pm.