HMS Headlines

January 14, 2022

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Dear HMS Families,

One of the highlights of every week is Friday when we have the opportunity to celebrate our students for their work meeting expectations of HAWKS: Honest, Accountable, Welcoming, Kind, and Safe. Students demonstrate these expectations throughout the school day, and teachers and staff hand out hawk feathers to recognize their contributions to a positive school community. Each Friday we pull hawk feathers from a basket, and celebrate four students over the announcements, and then we have the opportunity to deliver a small recognition to them during homeroom. It is so fun to see students celebrated by their homeroom peers, and to find confidence in knowing how they have been an important part of our community.

Be sure to ask your child if they have received any hawk feathers during their time at HMS!

Have a great weekend, and we will see you Tuesday!

Kelly, Linda, and Susie

2022 CRC SURVEY (SEL and Parent-Teacher Communication)

The District 39 Community Review Committee (CRC), comprised of parents, teaching staff, and administrators from the district, chooses a focus area to research each year and provide recommendations to the School Board for future work. This year’s topic, which is a component of Goal 2 of the District Strategic Plan, is Building Responsive Social-Emotional Learning through Strengthening Parent-Teacher Communication and Increasing Parent Understanding of and Engagement in SEL Instruction.”

The CRC is hoping to gather parent input to help inform our recommendations in this area, and has developed THIS SURVEY to help inform us in that effort. We will be looking to learn more about parent understanding of social-emotional learning, how SEL is integrated into the academic school day, and how teachers and staff can best partner with families as the SEL framework is implemented across the grade levels.


Welcome to the new edition of the quarterly D39 Library Newsletter,

Check-It Out: Parent Edition

News From Your D39 Library - Winter 2022

In this newsletter we share library information, recommended books, and news from our local public libraries. This edition features:

  • Information on the Likewise app for personalized book recommendations
  • Social Emotional Learning Recommended Books: Relationship Building & Decision Making
  • @Wilmette Public Library: Winter Reading Club
  • @Glenview Public Library: Winter Reading Challenge

5th Grade Family Book Club:

Our 5th Grade Family Book Club meeting will be in two weeks. There's still time to read the book if you haven't already. We will be discussing the book Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.

Book Clubs will be taking place over Zoom this year. Our meeting will occur on Tuesday, January 25 at 6:00 PM. Here is the Zoom Link for the meeting:

Some questions to think about while reading:

What does it feel like to be alone or lonely?
What do you think about when you are alone that you might not think about when you are with other people?
What do you like and dislike about being alone?

6th Grade Family Book Club:

Our 6th Grade Family Book Club meeting will be in two weeks. There's still time to read the book if you haven't already. We will be discussing the book Powerless by Matthew Cody.

Book Clubs will be taking place over Zoom this year. Our meeting will occur on Tuesday, January 25 at 7:00 PM. Here is the Zoom Link for the meeting:

Some questions to think about while reading:

  • What does it mean to feel powerful?
  • When have you felt yourself being powerful?
  • Is there something different about a person's 13th birthday?

Students and families can check the LC, Sora, Follett Shelf and the Wilmette Public Library for copies of the books.

Please let us know if you have any questions.


MAP Testing will take place this Wednesday for both fifth and sixth grades. Please be sure your child gets a good night's sleep and has a healthy breakfast!


Please upload your child(ren)’s vaccination status information via the PowerSchool Parent Portal. The information you provide helps make contact tracing more efficient and will assist us as we review health and safety protocols later this month. As of today, approximately 75% of our 12+ aged students and 40% of our 5-12-year-old students have submitted proof of full vaccination to their school.


Please see this letter regarding the roller skating unit, as well as additional options for students, set to begin Feb. 11 in HMS PE classes. The letter shares information about that unit, as well as other options available for students not wanting to do roller skating.


Thanks to those who attended this week's Parent Education Event:

Parenting in a Digital Age presented by Tony DeMonte, District 39 Administrator for Technology, Information, and Safety. It was an engaging presentation and gave several great tips on how to keep our kids safe in these times of increasing technology use. I encourage parents of all HMS students to check out the recording HERE.

Our next parent education event is Wednesday, February 16th at 11am. It is titled Raising Resilient Children in a Highly-Competitive, Digitally-Driven World and will be presented by Family Service Center. Please Register Here. There are multiple ways to participate - onsite at the district office, live over Zoom, or watch the recording on our YouTube channel.


New Quarantine Guidelines

This week, the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education aligned their COVID-19 Guidance for Schools with the new CDC guidelines. Effective immediately, students and staff will only have to isolate/quarantine for five days (instead of 10 days previously) provided that they are asymptomatic for the entire period or that symptoms are resolving at the end of the five-day period (including being fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication). Complete information can be found in our updated Family Response to Illness booklet. As is always the case, any individual who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, should stay home and seek testing.

Parent Education – Parenting in the Digital Age

Thank you to all of our parents who participated in this week’s Parent Education, Parenting in the Digital Age. A recording of the presentation can be found here. Our next event titled “Raising Resilient Children in a Highly Competitive, Digitally Driven World” is presented by the Family Service Center and scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 11 am. Register now by clicking here.

Distinction Between Quarantine and Regular School Absence

With winter upon us, student absences may occur for a variety of reasons. We want to clarify the difference between students in COVID-related quarantine and those who are absent from school for other non-COVID related reasons.

  • Typical Absences: For any absences unrelated to COVID-19 and/or absences of short duration (3 days or fewer), typical absence procedures will be followed. Work will be sent home and students will be provided directions for work completion and returning their work to school.

  • COVID-Related Quarantine: For absences of longer duration (4 days or more) specifically due to COVID-19 diagnosis and/or quarantine, work will be sent home and students will be provided access to the direct instruction portion of their day through synchronous or asynchronous means, as appropriate. Students will be provided directions for how to access this direct instruction by their teacher(s).

COVID Communications

When a case of COVID-19 is reported onsite within one of our District 39 schools, families receive direct communication via an email or phone call if their child is considered a close contact to a positive case. Families also receive a direct email if a positive case was confirmed within their child’s homeroom or class. However, schools no longer send an email to communicate positive cases in general within the building. Positive cases within a school building reported and communicated on our COVID-19 metrics page. Updated daily, our metrics page displays a breakdown of COVID cases reported by school in a variety of ways as well as local and regional trends for COVID-19 metrics.

  • Students will be provided directions for work completion and returning their work to school, and teachers support students in getting caught up on work and learning when they return to school.



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. A series of polls focused on plan themes, an online comment map, and ideas wall. Provide input at your leisure and as ideas come up: feedback shared to date is highlighted in this recent online post.Check out the Facebook Page

The Volunteer Center is offering many volunteer service opportunities. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Event will be held on Monday, January 17, 2022. Participate in a variety of service projects in support of over a dozen area nonprofits. Good for all ages and abilities.

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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Highcrest After School Clubs

There is still space available in select After School Clubs at Highcrest… CLICK HERE to register!

The Highcrest PTO has worked with several vendors to offer a variety of fun and educational clubs. Registration for Winter Session is open:


• Aces Debate Club

• Chess-Ed

• High Five Junior Choir Club

• Yearbook (WAITLIST)

Appreciation Certificates Available

Looking for a gift 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.

Highcrest Spiritwear

Show your Hawks pride with a variety of spiritwear options! Please contact Jen at to get your orders in!
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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

Order your 2021-22 HMS Yearbook!

CLICK HERE to order today!

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.