The Hornet's Nest

Keeping up with all the BUZZ at HPE!

Head Hornet's Message - July 20, 2022

Dear HPE Community,

Welcome back to another great year at Highland Park Elementary! I am excited and honored to begin my fourth year as your principal. I am looking forward to meeting all our new families and welcoming back all our returning Hornets! Our school is dedicated to promoting lifelong learners and fostering a safe, nurturing environment for all or our students. Throughout the year, you will hear your Hornets talking about being a PARK student. Our vision at HPE is that Highland Park Hornets are Positive and Persevere, Accountable, Responsible, and Kind. This ties directly into our mission at HPE, which is Highland Park Elementary is a caring community school that supports each student achieving academic and personal success.

Please take some time to read through the entire newsletter as it has lots of important information. Even if you have been at HPE for a couple of years, there are always new changes each year.

Our Hornet's school day will begin at 8:10am and conclude at 2:55pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Our Wednesdays will begin at 8:10am and end one hour early at 1:55pm. Students will be allowed on campus at 7:45am daily for breakfast and recess. Please remember that there are not staff on duty prior to 7:45am to supervise students.

Meet the Teacher Night is this Friday, July 22, from 4:00pm – 5:30pm for PS-6 grades. Everyone needs to enter the school building through the cafeteria doors in front of the school. Inside the cafeteria our PTSO will be selling a variety of things including HPE spirit shirts, family PTSO memberships and many other things.

PTSO will also be looking for parents to sign up to get involved in various ways in the many activities they sponsor throughout the school year. Our PTSO is a very strong organization and is an integral part of our school. If every parent volunteers to help out at just one or two events/activities/fundraisers then we can ensure all of our planned activities will run smoothly and that no parents are “burned out” having to help at all of the activities. The PTSO also has a user-friendly website at which you will want to bookmark on your computer and check out on a regular basis. Having taught for several years at Highland Park, I know first hand the culture of collaboration that exists between our staff and our community.

Our School Supply Wish List for each grade level is available on our school’s website. Families are welcome to bring these supply items to school on Meet the Teacher Night as they can be heavy for students to carry during the first week of school. Thank you for getting as many items as you can as this helps to ensure we have all the supplies we need for our students and teachers.

Welcome to (or back to) “The Park!”

Jason Failla


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Parent Pick-up & Drop-off

Like we've done in the past, we are asking that students enter the campus either through the Park "big gate" entrance (off of Park Ave. on the south side of the campus) or through the cafeteria doors. This will allow us to utilize the entire Cole Dr. parent pick-up/drop-off loop in front of the school and keep the traffic on Cole Dr. moving. This will ensure those students who need breakfast, get it before going to recess. We will still have the Cole Dr. bike rack open for students to use before and after school.

Kindergarten parents are encouraged to use the Cole Dr. loop as their classrooms and playground is located there. Kindergarten parents can choose to use the Cole loop or park in a parking spot and walk their students to the Kinder gate.


First Day of School

The first day of school for all of our K-6 students is Tuesday, July 26. The campus opens for students at 7:45am. At that time, students should either head to breakfast or directly to recess.

Parents are welcome to take pictures and say goodbye outside, as only students will enter the building. We will have banners hung around the campus for you to take those "first day" pics!


Annual Update Reminder

Annual Update - It is very important that all families complete the online ‘Annual Update’ to prepare for the new school year. The ‘Annual Update’ in Infinite Campus allows you to tell us of any updates to your contact information, address changes, and updates to emergency contacts. In order to ensure we can communicate with you regarding your student, or in case of emergency, it is essential that we have your up to date contact details. Please log in to your Infinite Campus parent portal and complete your student’s ‘Annual Update’ today. To access the IC portal visit


Safety and Security Update

Please see the following email from GPS district office sent on July 14:

Dear GPS Elementary Parents and Families,

As we prepare for the beginning of a new school year we are introducing a number of initiatives designed to further promote the safety of our students and staff on campus. Thank you in advance for your support of our efforts. These initiatives are in addition to ongoing safety and security projects which include the installation of integrated security cameras and secured entryways on all campuses. Please read on for key information to prepare for the upcoming school year.

Video Intercom Entrances

You may be aware that a number of our schools, including all five comprehensive high schools and one elementary school, already have secured entrances installed. The process of adding these to all of our campuses is ongoing.

For those schools that do not yet have secured entrances including Elementary schools, Junior Highs, Gilbert Classical Academy, Global Academy, and Canyon Valley there will be a video intercom buzzer system in place at the beginning of the 2022/23 school year. Visitors will be required to state the purpose of their visit prior to gaining entrance into the office area to the campus and if the office staff member doesn’t know the visitor they will be required to show ID. Once approved, visitors will be allowed into the office area in which they will need to sign in and out as well as wear a visitor’s badge.

Student ID Badges

For the 2022/23 school year students in grades 7-12 will be expected to wear their student ID badges at all times. Students will be provided with their badge and lanyard during the first weeks of school.

Currently, the intention is to introduce student ID badges for our elementary students later on in the school year, following several schools piloting the wearing and use of student ID badges. This will allow us to further identify best practices to support our elementary students, families, and teachers with this transition. Opportunities will be provided for feedback during the pilot process before we transition to all schools.

Not only are the badges used for identification purposes but they also can be used for purchasing breakfast and lunch from the school cafeteria, checking out library books, and getting on and off the school bus. Please expect further communication and updates on this throughout the school year for elementary students.

Here Comes the Bus App

We are excited to announce the introduction of ‘Here Comes the Bus’, a new service for our families whose students ride the school bus. Once the student ID badges are introduced parents will be able to know when and where their child boards and exits the bus. Prior to the introduction of elementary student ID badges, parents of bus riders can still use the app to view the real-time location of their student’s bus, receive alerts, and ensure their student gets to the bus stop on time.

Parents can easily download the ‘Here Comes the Bus’ app (please see the attached flyer with instructions). Once downloaded select whether you would like email, push notifications, or both, regarding your student’s school bus. You can also select what you would like to be notified of.

As a school district, we remain committed to the safety and security of our schools. For further information on all safety and security initiatives and updates please visit our website.


Class Placement

Class placement is finalized and posted in Infinite Campus. Parents are able to log in to see the class placement of their student(s) in preparation for Meet the Teacher this Friday, 7/22 from 4-5:30pm



HPE Vision and Mission

Vision - Highland Park Hornets are Positive and Persevere, Accountable, Responsible, and Kind.

Mission - Highland Park Elementary is a caring community school that supports each student achieving academic and personal success.

Highland Park Elementary Virtual Tour | Gilbert Public Schools District | Gilbert, Arizona


21/22 AASA Scores are coming...

Your student’s Spring 2022 State Assessment Results will be mailed via USPS no later than August 31, 2022.

Students in grades 3, 4 and 6 during the 2021-2022 school year, will receive AASA (Arizona’s Academic Standards Assessment) Reports for English Language Arts and Mathematics. For students in grade 5 during the 2021-2022 school year, they will receive AASA Reports for English Language Arts and Mathematics as well as a AzSCI (State Science Assessment) Report.

Students who were not enrolled in a GPS school during the 2021-2022 school year will receive their state assessments results from their previously enrolled school.

If you have questions regarding your student’s result, please contact our school office.


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Accelerated K-6 | Gilbert Public Schools District | Gilbert, Arizona



22/23 PTSO Executive Board:

President -Julie Pickrell

VP - Ashley Palmer

Secretary - Melissa Cohee

Co-Treasurer - Nicole Gardiner

Co-Treasurer - Laurie Sang

Upcoming Events...


PTSO Sponser Spotlight

A HUGE thank you to our Whole Hive Sponsors:
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If you are interested in being a sponsor, or learning more about the sponsorship levels, please visit our PTSO Website to find out more information!


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