HMS Headlines

April 21, 2023

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A Message from Our Administrative Team

Dear HMS Families,

This week has been fun celebrating Earth Week, and we hope you all continue the celebration this weekend on Earth Day, tomorrow. Students learned about bees and their contributions to our environment. Our Bug Club shared facts and coordinated theme days for us to celebrate, and our PTO sponsored some fun activities in our Outdoor Classroom. Enjoy some pictures below! Thanks to everyone who helped to make this such a great week of learning and celebrating our earth!

We hope you have an un-BEE-lievable weekend!

Kelly, Linda, and Susie

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23-24 Placement Input Forms - DUE 4/28

Input forms were sent out this week as we begin to plan for placement for next school year. If you would like to complete this optional form for your child, please click on the correct link below. FORMS CLOSE ON 4/28/23.

Rising 6th Graders (Grade Level Administrator: Mrs. Carlson) - FORM

Rising 7th Graders (Grade Level Administrator: Mr. Dees) -FORM

If you have additional questions, please reach out to the appropriate administrator.


Students will be MAP testing on 5/10 and 5/16 for the third round of our assessment. Results from the MAP testing will be mailed home at the end of the school year for parents to review.

Students Walking Home

We have again been contacted by homes neighboring the school with concerns about students crossing through yards on their way home from school. Please remind your child to stay on paths and sidewalks when heading home to make sure they are safe. Thank you!

Parent Resource for iPad Use

At Highcrest, students are issued a school iPad. Their school device has access to the internet and school approved apps. When used appropriately, it is a powerful educational tool. However, it can also be a distraction to students both in school and at home.

As a school/ district we already have the following safeguards in place: The District utilizes the built-in content filter that is provided by Apple. We set the iPad to "Limit Adult Content". We then block specific sites entirely when we know they are malicious, inappropriate, or a distraction. Any additional filtering, or blocking of sites can be implemented by families at home.

If you as a parent/guardian would like to increase your student’s restrictions or monitor their iPad more carefully at home here are a few ways you can do so:

  • Use Screen Time to Block Websites or Limit App Usage: Blocking specific websites, and setting time restrictions called “Downtime” are things that can be added using Screen Time. You will need to enter a passcode that is different from your student’s passcode. Do not share this passcode with your student, however it is helpful if you share it with their homeroom teacher. Directions for how to block additional websites can be found here. Please be careful about adding "app limits" as this could affect your student’s ability to access certain apps at school if they go over the time limit. Directions for how to set up “Downtime” can be found here.

  • Temporarily Restrict a Student Access to a Single App Using Guided Access: While using use feature you can disable areas of the screen that aren’t relevant to a task, or areas where an accidental gesture might cause a distraction, disable the iPad hardware buttons, and limit how long your student can use the app. Directions for how to use Guided Access can be found here.

Please note that there is no absolute solution to prevent student distraction, but using these tools can help drastically reduce it. In addition, it is important that students come to school with charged devices. We recommend having your student keep their device in a neutral place (like a kitchen or living room) and making sure it is charging every evening.


Please see a list of new and continuing interest-based clubs linked below. Please note that before- and after-school clubs are open to both grades. Lunch clubs will specify if they are for 5th grade, 6th grade, or both grades. Announcements about the clubs, and descriptions of the clubs will occur on MONDAY morning during the Broadcast. Remind your child to tune in if there is a new club they are interested in joining!

There are still some clubs being planned, so bookmark this list, and re-visit it frequently! Mrs. Jackson will have an announcement about the clubs on the broadcast on Monday, so get ready to hear more details then! RECENTLY ADDED: Lights, Camera, Action Club, and COMING SOON: Circle of Service Club. Stay tuned!



As you may have heard, WHMS LIVE NEWS is back! Every Monday (or the first day of the school week) at 8:52 am Highcrest students put on a live morning news broadcast. Each week a new homeroom is responsible for writing, producing, directing, filming and starring in WHMS News. Want to catch all the action? Please visit our WHMS News YouTube Page and subscribe to get alerts when we go live!


Tickets Available for District 39 Educational Foundation Event

The District 39 Educational Foundation will be hosting its annual “Cheers and Beers” event next Friday, April 28 from 7-10 pm at Double Clutch Brewing (2121 Ashland Ave., Evanston). Please join the Educational Foundation for an evening of fun, delicious food, and live music featuring local, well-loved bands Antler Chandelier and AM Slingers. Tickets are $100 each and include passed hors d’oeuvres and two drinks. The evening will include a silent auction, filled with goods and services generously donated by local businesses and is a great way to support D39. Visit the D39 Educational Foundation website for tickets.

Parent Education Opportunities

Our final D39 Parent Education presentation of the school year, titled “Maintaining Academic Skills Over the Summer”, will take place on Wednesday, May 10 at 11 am via Zoom. Register now to save your spot. Be sure to visit our D39 Parent Education webpage to learn more about our parent education program and find recordings of past presentations.

Board of Education Meeting – Monday, April 24

The Board of Education will hold its regular monthly business meeting on Monday, March 24 at 7 pm at the Mikaelian Education Center. In addition to committee reports, the Board will be presented with figures for student fees and transportation contracts for general and special education for the 2023-24 school year. Additionally, the Board will hear a presentation on the district’s ESSER III grant application. The Board will also honor our outgoing Board Member, Frank Panzica, who has served with distinction on the District 39 Board of Education for eight years. The Board will also welcome our new Board Member, Allyson Paflas, and reorganize itself for the upcoming term. Follow the link to access the complete meeting agenda and materials.

School Safety Reminders and Resources

Safety measures across our D39 schools are of paramount importance and partnerships with our entire community as well as with our local law enforcement agencies are critical to maintaining safe, supportive schools. We continue to partner with our Wilmette Police Department as well as other local and regional experts in school safety for ongoing review of our safety and security measures, for training, and for review of critical incidents. The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority and we are incredibly grateful for our close partnership with the Wilmette Police Department. If you would like to learn more, below are some resources and information regarding school security and safety in District 39.



Wilmette Park District seeks residents input and feedback to help create a clear vision for parks, facilities, and recreation to meet the needs of residents for play, health, wellness, open spaces and nature places. Project Parks and Play: Explore the Possibilities. Scan the QR code on the flyer or visit

Glide to Growth is a non profit organization that aims to provide one-on-one free figure skating lessons to children with disabilities. Ice skating is an excellent therapeutic activity that promotes physical, emotional, and social growth. Contact

Wilmette Wings / Chicago Rush North Shore - Learn more about travel soccer with the Wilmette Wings Soccer Club (U7-U12) and Chicago North Shore (U13-U19) and how to register for tryouts in May. OR

Kindergarten Boys & Girls - join Illinois Baseball Academy for Mini-Majors Spring League A great way to learn baseball fundamentals and have fun. Form your own team, register as a group or as an individual. Register through the Park District - last year sold out!

Wilmette Baseball Association Spring House League registration is open for K-8th grades.

Cub Scout Pack 1 Hiking Club is back! All are welcome to attend. The first hike is April 29 at 4:00 pm at Glenview Woods. email for more information.

Oakton College offers STEAM Youth Summer Camp with in-person and virtual options. Virtual courses: June 6 - August 26 and In-Person Courses: June 12 - August 3

Northwestern presents Wildcat Science Camp! Session 1: Insect and Pollinator Behavior July 10-14. Session 2: Engineering Rockets July 24-28. Scholarships available for families with need.

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.

Wilmette Food Pantry is open every Tuesday 10:00-11:00 am at Trinity United Methodist Church.

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Tickets are on sale NOW for Highcrest's spring party! The 2023 HMS Beach Bash will take place on Friday, May 12th from 5-6:30pm.

Take advantage of discounted pricing and buy your tickets in ADVANCE. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased HERE through Membership Toolkit.

Ticket prices will increase to $25 starting on Wednesday, May 10th at 6pm. Online ticket sales will close on Thursday, May 11th at 6pm. After online ticket sales close, students can purchase tickets day-of at the door, cash only, for $25.

This outdoor event is for Highcrest students only (a drop-off event) and features a DJ, dancing, Kona Ice Truck, giant inflatables, photo booths, and lots of fun! The rain date for the party will be the following week on Friday, May 19th from 5-6:30p.m.

Students who pre-purchase tickets online will receive a wristband during their homeroom period on the morning of the Beach Bash (Friday, May 12th). No admittance without a wristband.

Parents, we cannot do this party without your help! Lots of volunteer jobs are available. Get your parent friends together and volunteer as a group. It's a super fun outdoor evening! Find the Sign-Up-Genius HERE!

Questions, email Sarah Holcomb:

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This past Monday and Tuesday, the 6th graders enjoyed fun and exciting Enrichment programming by members of the CSz Theater Chicago.

The students worked with professional ComedySportz coaches on improv and amazing life skills such as teamwork, communication, listening, tolerance and good sportsmanship. Ask them about it!

All HMS Enrichment programs are sponsored and organized by the HMS PTO Enrichment Committee. Enrichment programs are funded by family contributions to iGNITE. Thank you for your iGNITE donations and making these educational programs possible.

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The Outdoor Classroom will be open to students on Wednesdays through the end of the school year! Please see the Sign-Up Genius below to volunteer. We need volunteers to help with projects and cleanup during lunch periods (11:20-12:45).


The HMS PTO is looking for volunteers for the 2023-2024 school year - there are so many great ways to get involved at the school to fit your schedule.

Open Positions:

Ignite (2 slots)

Yearbook (2 slots)

5th Grade enrichment (2 slots)

5th Grade connections (2-3 slots)

Freaky Friday/Spring Party (2-3 slots)

Hospitality (2-3 slots)

School Supplies (1-2 slots)

Community Service Liaison (1-3 slots)

Variety Show (1-2 slots)

Environmental Awareness (1-2 slots)

Outdoor classroom (1-2 slots)

Please reach out to Jennifer Englehaupt at to learn more - we would love to have you!


Make friends. Be in the know. Make a difference. Support our teachers and staff. Enrich our student’s school experience. There are so many reasons to serve on the PTO. Please consider sharing your talents as a volunteer for the 2023-2024 WJHS PTO. For more information, please email


There are many ways to get involved at Highcrest! See links below to sign-up:

  • School Store - Sign-ups are available on Wednesdays during lunch.

  • Lunch - sign ups for help during lunch period for both 5th & 6th grade


We are excited to announce District 39 Educational Foundation’s annual “Cheers & Beers” event at Double Clutch Brewing Company on Friday, April 28th from 7-10pm. Please join us for an evening of fun, delicious food, and live music featuring local, well-loved bands Antler Chandelier and AM Slingers. Tickets are $100 each and include passed hors d’oeuvres and two drinks. The evening will include a silent auction, filled with goods and services generously donated by local businesses. Purchase tickets HERE.

Wilmette AAPI Celebration on Sunday May 21

Wilmette will be having its very first Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) celebration! The event will be held on Sunday May 21, from 1 to 4 pm at Wilmette Community Rec Center. We will have tables set up for arts and crafts from different countries, Ikebana demonstrations, learning to dance Filipino Tinikling, and other interactive activities during the first half of the event. We will then have cultural performances in the auditorium during the second half of the program, including dance performances, music and martial arts.

If any families are interested in participating in this year's AAPI celebration, please contact Alice Chow, commissioner of the Human Relations Commission for the Village of Wilmette at


Want to learn more about what is going on at PASS 39? HERE is the PASS39 February/March Newsletter.


Plastic film collection – From Bag to Bench

The Trex Plastic Recycling Challenge is over, but we will keep collecting film plastic. We collected 260 lb. of film plastic during the challenge! Thank you so much to everyone who participated! We hope you like to continue to recycle plastic film items (polyethylene plastic: #2 and #4) such as produce bags, bubble wrap, and plastic mailers (see list below) and bring them to HMS. One bin is located at the entrance of the school office, one in the front lobby, and one in the teacher’s lobby. The Environmental Affairs Committee will collect and bring the plastic film material to the collection sites. The collected plastic film will be used for Trex outdoor furniture.

Earth Day Habitat Tree Workshop | Ravenswood Sculpture Garden

Date & Time: Earth Day, April 22, 2023, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Venue: 4501 N Ravenswood Ave 4501 North Ravenswood Avenue Chicago, IL 60640

Organizer: Ravenswood Community Council

URL to participate:

Come build pollinator nests to be included in Pino, a pollinator habitat/sculpture in the Ravenswood Sculpture Garden! Drop in for as long as you like to help assemble nesting materials. The workshop will be led by artists Janet Austin and Emily Moorehead-Wallace and is free and open to all ages.

Learn more about public art in the Ravenswood community by visiting

GGW Repair Cafe Event

Date & Time: April 29, 2023; 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Venue: St. John’s Lutheran Church, 1235 Wilmette Ave, Wilmette

Organizer: Go Green Wilmette,

Go Green Wilmette is holding a Repair Café to encourage people to repair rather than discard items like clothing, small appliances, lamps, bikes, toys, and kitchen items. Repair services are offered free of charge by volunteers who work with the community members to repair the item OR, if possible, teach you how to fix items yourself.

To volunteer at the event – click HERE

To Preregister for a repair – click HERE