Five Hawks Parent Newsletter

November 2023

Hello Five Hawks Families~

I am excited to share some important news regarding enhanced safety measures at our school entrance. We have recently installed a new video intercom system outside the main entrance that will serve as an additional layer of security, allowing us to better control access to our school.

All visitors must press the call button on the video intercom to notify front office staff in order to gain admittance to the building. Our staff will be able to communicate with visitors directly through the intercom, ensuring only authorized individuals gain access. Signs will be posted to help everyone learn how to use the system.

Once inside, authorized visitors will still be required to sign in using our visitor management system to gain access beyond the front office/check-in area.

The intercom system has been installed as part of the district’s partnership with the Department of Homeland Security to conduct assessments at our schools called, “Security at First Entry” or “S.A.F.E.”

If you have any questions or concerns as we launch this new feature, please let me know so we can work to ensure our school remains a safe and welcoming learning environment. Thank you for your assistance in keeping our school safe!

In partnership,

Katy Schuerman


Read-a-Thon update

Thank you to all families who participated in our annual Read-a-Thon fundraiser! We are still a bit shy of making our goal of $29,000 but it is not too late to contribute! We can still receive donations until Friday, November 3rd. Please help us reach our goal!
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Student Leadership!

Five Hawks students have many opportunities to learn and practice leadership skills at school. We hope to instill the importance of leadership and positive role modeling in our older students so they carry those skills forward to the middle and high school.

Bus Captains - In a continued effort to create a safe and positive environment for students on the bus, 4th grade Bus Captains reward students who are showing C.A.R.E.S. by passing out Brilliant Bus Behavior tickets. Students turn tickets in at the end of the week for a chance to earn a prize and to be recognized for their bus behavior.

GLOBES - Students in 5th grade who lead service learning efforts in the building. They help with special projects, mentor younger students and assist with Five Hawks outreach to incoming Kindergarten families. They help plan and administer projects to support local food shelves and other community organizations.

Junior Naturalists - Students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade who lead environmental and recycling efforts at Five Hawks. They plan environmental projects and educate the student body about the impact of our habits on the environment. The help lead monthly All School Meetings and assist with maintaining bird and squirrel habitats in the Outdoor Learning Center.

Tower Garden Farmers - Fourth and fifth grade students who are making farm-to-table eating a reality for Five Hawks! These students are responsible for planting, maintaining and harvesting lettuces and herbs on a 6-9 week cycle. They monitor the pH balance of the water and the germination progress of the seeds to full growth.

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Lockdown Drills

Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools’ number one priority is the safety of all students and staff. Each year we practice fire drills, severe weather drills and lockdown with options drills. During the months of September and October students completed bus safety, fire safety and participated in two practice fire drills. On November 8th, we will practice our first lockdown with options drill. The lockdown options are: run, hide and fight.

Lockdown drills are practiced so that staff and students understand the options to either run, hide or fight if an intruder enters a school. Rather than only hiding, we want staff and students to run away from an emerging crisis if it is safe to do so. If not, they should hide and protect their hiding place, while keeping open the options to run and fight. Fight is the last option. It is used to distract, subdue or incapacitate an intruder if there is a direct confrontation and running is not possible.

On November 8th we will share age-appropriate information with students on the three lock-down with options drills explaining each of them in child friendly language. If you have concerns about your student’s sensitivity to information about lock-downs, please contact your child’s teacher, social worker or administrator. This information has been developed not to be alarming or intentionally frightening, but we recognize the topic of a school intruder may be upsetting to some students.

Please use optional discussion guide (linked below) which we have developed for parents/guardians to talk at home with their children about Lockdown with Options.


Your child’s teacher is excited to share news with you regarding your child and the progress they have made this fall! Conferences are scheduled for November 14th, 16th and 20th. Our goal is to connect with 100% of our families so if you have not yet scheduled a conference, please use the following link to sign up for a date and time using PTC Fast.

Conference Sign Up

Thank you for making a commitment to your child by coming to the conference. We look forward to our visit with you.

Winter Gear

Although it doesn't feel like it....WINTER IS ON ITS WAY! Please see below for our Five Hawks snow guidelines for grades K-5.

Coats, hats, mittens, boots and snow pants are required gear for outside learning and recess. As a general rule, guidelines are followed when there is snow on the ground or extreme temperatures. School personnel will determine if the need for snow clothes no longer exists and communicate it to students and families. When in doubt, send the gear!

Pedestrian Safety

What is Pedestrian Safer Journey?

Pedestrian Safer Journey helps educators, parents and others who care about pedestrian safety to get the conversation started with children and youth.

Why do children and youth need skills for safe walking?

Whether walking with adult family members or with friends, learning basic pedestrian safety may help prevent injuries and prepare school-age children and youth for a lifetime of safe walking.

First, students can watch the video (see below) to see three kids learn how to choose the safest places to walk and cross streets and the importance of watching for cars and other traffic.

After watching the video, students can take a quiz to test what they know.

Pedestrian Safer Journey

Mark Your Calendars

November 1 - Early Release at 1:00 PM

November 10 - No School

November 14 - Conferences (3:30-5:30 PM)

November 16 - Conferences (3:30-7:30 PM)

November 20 - Conferences (3:30-7:30 PM)

November 22 - No School

November 23 - No School

November 24 - No School