Parent Newsletter

September 11, 2020


Una gran noticia. Para traducir este boletín de noticias, oprima la barra que dice "traducir".

Great news. To translate this newsletter, click the bar that says, "translate."

Dear Highland Park Families,

We are ready for the big day where we reopen our doors and welcome back students on September 14th. We are starting with only 25% student capacity to allow for continued safety. Families that selected On-Campus learning have been notified by email if their student(s) will be retuning on September 14th or will continue with virtual learning. Highland Park had more than 25% of students requesting to return on campus. This required us to determine the 25% of students by using the District weighted point system.If your child did not meet the criteria, please know that we understand how disappointing this decision was. It was very difficult to not allow all kids who wish to return on campus come back on Monday. We are looking forward to the day when we can increase student capacity and we can welcome a higher number of students back on campus. I ask that you please be patient with us, as we navigate through this uncharted territory.

I hope you have a wonderful week, and please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions at all. Thank-you for being flexible and ready for information to come at you in a moment’s notice.

Check out the most recent campus and district updates below for the week ahead check out our Highland Park video below!

Highland Park Bulldogs WOOF!

Most Sincerely,

Lizbeth Ruiz


Highland Park Elementary Welcomes Students to the Fall 2020 Semester!
Huge SHOUT OUT and THANK-YOU to our friends Justin Lauria- our amazing videographer, and Eddie Banales- with Reliance Realty for helping us create this project to welcome our HPES students! We are so proud of our campus staff and bulldog students! Take a minute to check it out and see that while our campus may look and feel different with all the safety protocols, it’s nothing short of AMAZING!

Monday Morning Announcements

Morning announcements will be on our campus Facebook page this week on Monday!


Be sure your child has the following:

  • Children in PK-2nd grade should wear a tag with their name and teachers name. If your child is in 3rd -5th grade but new to HPES, please make sure they wear a tag as well.

  • Send your child with at least 2 clean masks.( they can wear one, and keep one in their backpack in case they lose it, or something happens to the one they are wearing) We will have extras but we know children feel more comfortable with their own.

  • Send your child with a water bottle. Students cannot drink directly from the water fountains.They will be using the water filter system to refill their water bottle as needed.

  • Students may purchase a lunch from the cafeteria or bring their own lunch. Please make sure to send a lunch bag with them as parents will not be allowed to have lunch with their child or drop off a lunch. This will minimize the exposure to the students and staff.

  • Students should bring their District or personal laptop or iPad. Teachers will continue to utilize the online learning platforms to turn in assignments. Please make sure the device is fully charged, but still send the charger cord

Arrival Process

All staff will be on duty to support students and assisting them in locating their classroom. Grades PK-2nd should arrive with a label to indicate their name and teacher.

7:05 a.m Bus students arrive on campus

7:15 a.m Front Doors open for car riders, walkers, and bike riders

7:20 a.m. Teachers will welcome students into their classrooms

7:35 a.m. First Bell- Students dismissed from cafeteria if eating breakfast

7:40 a.m. Tardy Bell- Students arriving after this time report directly to the office

  • Building will open at 7:05 a.m. for bus riders and 7:15 a.m. for car riders and walkers.

  • Students will sanitize hands upon entering school.

  • Parents/Guardians will not be allowed to walk students in.

  • Bus riders will enter the building through the 100 and 300 hallway doors adjacent to the bus loop at 7:05 a.m. If they are eating breakfast they will go directly to the cafeteria, if they are not eating breakfast they will go to the gym and wait. The bus riders in the gym will be sent to class at 7:13.

  • Car riders and walkers will enter the building through the front entrance at 7:15 a.m.

  • Walkers and car riders that arrive early will wait outside (back up plan for weather) - socially distanced - we will have dots/tape outside marking 6 feet.

  • Upon entering the building car riders, walkers and bike riders will go to the either the cafeteria or their classroom.

  • Students eating breakfast will be screened at the entrance of the cafeteria.

  • Students going directly to their classrooms will be screened for temperature at the foyer- 4 stations and will sanitize hands.

  • Once cleared, they will be dismissed to class. All students and staff must wear masks in building.

Dismissal Process

All staff will be on duty to support students and ensure social distancing during dismissal. Please make sure to inform your child's teacher how your child will need to go home.

Students will be dismissed in the following order:

  • Pre K /Pegasus

  • 100 Hallway

  • 200 Hallway

  • 300 Hallway

  • 400 Hallway

Teachers will line their students up inside their classroom in the following order: Bus Riders, parent walk ups, bike riders, walkers, EDP/staff care, & car riders. We ask that you please be patient as the students and staff get used to the new routine. Teachers will walk their class out the 100 and 300 hallway following the process below.

  • Load their bus students

  • Then, they will walk towards the grassy area next to the bus loop, and release the parent walkers. The grassy area will be socially distanced and marked with red flags.

  • Next, they will continue walking towards the flagpole where they will release the bike riders and walkers.

  • Teacher will then continue towards the front of the school and send the EDP/Staff care to the cafeteria through the orange door at the front entrance of the school.

  • Last, they will sit their car riders down in the marked spots facing forward and car dismissal will begin.

  • Other teachers / staff will be assigned to different duty stations to assist with students getting to the designated day care drop off sites and maintain social distance.


Big picture


Big picture
Big picture


Big picture


Updates this week...

Please be patient this week with our hardworking teachers as they navigate Phase 2 of Return to Learn. Many of them are teaching both the in person learners and the virtual learners concurrently and this will take some getting used to. While this is an amazing model to keep and foster the connections teachers and students already made, it does make balancing both teaching modes difficult. I want to assure you that if you were in the percent of students that chose to return to learn and were not selected, or if you chose to stay in virtual learning, your child will receive the same level of rigorous instruction as our in person learners. Our teachers and staff will continue to be available to support your child and you in any way we can.

Possible Changes With Synchronous Zoom Times

Your child's teacher will be emailing you an updated schedule. We are trying very hard to make minimal changes so as to not disrupt the routines you already have in place. If there is a change, it will be communicated to you by your child's teacher.

Virtual Learning Reminders - Zoom Camera & Audio

Just a friendly reminder that when students are logged in to zoom live lessons, the class is able to see what is going on in the background. Please try to provide an area free of distractions for your child while they are on live zoom lessons. Many times, parents and families don't realize they are visible on their child's zoom camera. We want to protect your privacy and prevent class disruptions as well. Thank-you for understanding.

Discipline During Zoom Meetings/Google Classroom Chats

Parents we need your help, please remind the student that inappropriate behavior during a zoom class will be addressed by following our district’s code of conduct. This includes posting comments on Google Classroom Stream. Most of our teachers have disabled the options to chat on zoom or post comments on google stream, however there are times when it is necessary to allow kids to have discussions with each other. All discussions must be related to the instruction.

Social Emotional Well Being

If your child is struggling adjusting to virtual learning, on campus leaning, understanding COVID 19, or has any social emotional needs, please reach out to our counselor Anna Vazquez at or 512.594.6826. We are here to support our students not only academically but social emotionally as well.
Big picture


Big picture

Changing Your In-Person vs. Online Choice

The choice selection window for virtual or on-campus learning has closed for the first 9-week grading period. Parents will have the option to change their student’s learning selection to virtual or on-campus learning at the end of the first 9-weeks grading period and can do so by contacting their campus registrar. We would, however, encourage you to avoid changing your selection multiple times. It is possible that when you switch from online to in-person or in-person to online that your child’s teacher or class schedule may change. We understand that circumstances may change and force a change in your decision as well. We want everyone to find a learning choice they are comfortable with for their children and family. Please keep in mind, that selecting In Person learning does not guarantee your child will begin on campus the next nine weeks. We will still follow the safety guidelines on the student capacity allowed on campus.

Please click here to learn about PfISD's Return to Learn Phase in Plan.

HPES Return to Learn Parent Presentation - English

Please click here to view short presentation

HPES Return to Learn Parent Presentation- Spanish

Please click here to view short presentation

PfISD Identification of 25% Student Population

Please click to learn about the Identification process for students selected to Return to Learn in Person on 09/14/20

Big picture


Our Let's Talk platform is designed for parents to ask questions or submit comments. It is up running and the district has received more than 100 questions and comments from our staff, parents, and students. It has buttons on the following topics: Payroll, Food Services/Meals, Technology, HR/Benefits/Leaves, Online Learning, Google Classroom and General Coronavirus Questions. Additionally, there is buttons for each campus to direct any questions or comments directly to the principal and the senior administrative associate a the campus. Click here to learn more about the system.
Big picture


09/14- First day on campus for students for 25% of students who met the criteria

09/17- Progress Reports go home to parents

09/17- Board Meeting (District YouTube channel) 6:00

09/28-09/30- Parents may change instructional setting selection for 2nd 9 weeks (virtual or in person)

10/08- 1st 9 Weeks Ends - Report Cards go home on 10/15

10/12- Holiday- No classes

10/13- 2nd 9 Weeks Begins

10/23- Staff Development for Staff & No Classes for Students

11/19- Progress Reports go home to parents

11/23- 11/27- Thanksgiving Break

12/21-01/01- Winter Break

12/07-12/09- Parents may change instructional setting selection for 2nd 9 weeks (virtual or in person)

01/04 - Staff Development Day, No classes for students

01/05- Staff Planning & Prep Day, No classes for students

01/05- 2nd 9 Week Ends - Report cards go home on 01/13

01/06- Students first day back from Winter Break

Big picture
Big picture


Please make sure you fill out the free and reduced lunch application:

Who do I contact?

Every summer, there are staffing changes. Staff members move on to other opportunities, and new staff members join the campus. Before emailing a staff member from last school year, it would be wise to check with our front office staff. It is also a good idea to consider which staff member is your first point of contact for questions before you send your email. You may also call the front office at 512-594-6800 and ask for the person you need to speak with. I hope this information is helpful!

Senior Admin. Associate: Mima Oiesen –

General questions regarding scheduling, procedures, teacher information, leave requests, substitutes, purchase orders (for your classroom/students), monthly and bi-weekly payroll, supplemental pay, staff travel, events, field trips, website updates, FB page, maintenance orders, after-hours events, fundraisers (any collection of money), Picture days, etc.

Receptionist: Anita General questions regarding scheduling, procedures, teacher information and schedule information.

Registrar: Miriam Ruvalcaba –

Student records, registration, residency questions, attendance, transfers, withdrawal, cumulative records, and folders, grade-book, etc.

Student Support Clerical Support: Mariela Moya-

Schedule LPAC and 504 meetings, and gather student grades, relevant classroom, and health data.

Nurse: Christine Henderson –

Shot records, allergy information, distribution of medication, general student health, Section 504, and SpEd as related to health, etc.

Instructional Coach: Gina Lochner –

General questions regarding master scheduling, campus procedures, curriculum, resources, SWAT, professional development, mentoring, lesson modeling, and virtually anything teachers need regarding curriculum and instruction.

Counselor: Anna Vazquez –

Student care and concerns, parent and student support, Credit by Exam, Gifted and Talented information, assessment, and Section 504

Assistant Principal: Jesus Olivas –

Primary contact regarding discipline, LPAC, and SpEd. Additionally, virtually everything you would contact Ms. Ruiz for. It is a good idea to copy Mr. Olivas on emails sent to Ms. Ruiz because both of them are able to respond to questions or concerns.

Principal: Lizbeth Ruiz –

Any and all topics not covered by the staff members listed above.

Please feel free to email or call us if you are needing support. We look forward to passionately serving the families of Highland Park Elementary!


Please let your child's teacher know if you haven't been getting the emails from HPES messenger or PfISD Communications. Our office staff will be happy to check your email and update any new emails for you in Skyward.

Below is a list of ways to reach out and stay informed with up-to-date information:

  • School Messenger: As part of Pflugerville ISD’s effort to enhance its communication capabilities, the district has implemented a parent notification system called SchoolMessenger. This powerful tool will increase the district’s ability to communicate important information to parents in a timely manner, through email, voice messages, and text messages. In addition to providing relevant information about emergencies, school closures, events and activities, the system will also be used to communicate student absences. If you are a parent or guardian of a student in Pflugerville ISD, you do NOT need to subscribe to this list. Your information is already in the system when you initially registered and subscribing to this list could sign you up to receive multiple emails. If you need to update use the “School Messenger” link above to change your contact information.

  • Grades & Attendance: access to your child(ren)’s grades and attendance through the Skyward district software student information system. Parents - Family Access Instructions (download PDF) If you do not have acess to it please send a email to: , Subject Line = Skyward Family Access Account

  • Language Line- This is an over-the-phone interpretation on demand service with 150 languages available for families of English learners. See Master Language Line Instructions below.


PfISD will provide food services to the greatest extent possible and allowable for PFISD ENROLLED students participating in virtual learning. District transportation will not be provided to curbside meal pick up locations.

Curbside meals will be provided at standard prices, reduced prices, or free depending on the student’s eligibility. Parents/guardians interested in applying for free or reduced meals must complete the USDA Income verification form online or access through this QR code .

PfISD will continue to offer curbside meal pick up for ENROLLED PfISD students at the locations listed below. Students can pick up meals at any location regardless of their home campus location.

  • Copperfield ES, 12135 Thompkins Drive, Austin, TX 78753
  • Northwest ES, 14014 Thermal Drive. Austin, TX 78728
  • Pflugerville ES, 701 Immanuel Road, Pflugerville, TX 78660
  • Timmerman ES, 412 Swenson Farms BLVD, Pflugerville, TX 78660
  • Wieland ES, 900 Tudor House Road, Pflugerville, TX 78660
  • Windermere ES, 429 Grand Avenue PKWY, Pflugerville, TX 78660
  • Dessau MS, 12900 Dessau Road, Austin, TX 78754
  • Kelly Lane MS, 18900 Falcon Pointe BLVD, Pflugerville, TX 78660
  • Park Crest MS, 1500 North Railroad, Pflugerville, TX 78660
  • Westview MS, 1805 Scofield Lane, Austin, TX 78727

Universal Free Breakfast Meals
All students, regardless of the campus they attend, will receive free breakfast.

Free and Reduced Application Meal:

You can now apply online for free and reduced-price meals for your children for the 2020-21 school year. Students who have been accepted to the program in the past must reapply each school year to keep receiving the benefits. To apply, click here

Meal Pick Up
Regardless of whether the student qualifies for free or reduced meals, each student/parent/guardian must provide the following information during each daily meal pick up:

  • Student Name
  • Campus Name
  • ID Number
  • Grade

Students can go by themselves to pick up meals and/or a parent /guardian can come without the student to pick up meals. Students can pick up both breakfast and lunch at the same time. However, we are no longer able to provide weekend meals.

Meal Pick Up Times

  • Breakfast- 7:00AM-9:00AM, Monday-Friday
  • Lunch- 11:00AM-12:00PM, Monday -Friday
Link to the 2020-2021 School Year Calendar

Highland Park Elementary School

For questions, please click on the "Let's Talk" link: or reply to this newsletter on the upper right hand corner.