Hillcrest Staff ARTery

We are the heART of Hillcrest!

Happy New Year!

The week of January 11th - 15th

Bus Duty:

AM - Kari, Rachel & Amy B.

PM - Beth, Tracy & Emily

Treats: Hazel, Helen & Jennifer

Word of the Week: Goodwill


Monday, January 11th, (Day 2)

Tuesday, January 12th (DAY 3)

  • 8:20 - 9:00 - Artful Learning Team meeting/conference room
  • (Tech Team meeting rescheduled for 1/12)
  • 9:45 - 12:15 - 5th grade field trip to Macalester to see African Music Ensemble

Wednesday, January 13th ( Day 1)

  • 8:20 - 9:00 - SWIM team meeting/Caroline's room
  • Susie at Meeting until 10:00

Thursday, January 14th (Day 2)

  • 8:00 - 1:00 - Calvin @ principal's meeting
  • 2:30 - School play - "Rock Around the Clock" mini show - Lunchroom

Friday, January 15th (Day 3)

  • 8:20 - 9:00 - ISST meeting/Caroline's room
  • 8:20 - 9:00 - BLT meeting/conference room

Friday, January 15th - 5th grade Band/Orchestra Schedule

12:30 - 1:15 All Strings

1:15 - 1:50 All Woodwinds

1:50 - 2:25 All Brass

2:25 - 3:00 Percussion

Upcoming Events

January 12th - PTSA Meeting

January 18th - MLK Day - NO SCHOOL

January 25th - PD and Grading Day - NO SCHOOL

January 29th - Rally in the Lunchroom - 3:15

January 29th - Report cards go home

Staff Meeting Schedule (Topics)

1/5 - VTS revisited and Artful Learning

1/19 - Close Reading w/Rachel Gens (3 of 4)

2/2 - Achievement Gap at HC

January 25th Schedule



HC will be following the same schedule as all other elementary schools on this day in order to allow for intra-district PLC meetings. This means that we will be starting at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m. If you have a conflict with this early start, please let Calvin know.

8:00 - 10:00 Standards Work Presentation (at school site)

  • PPT - what the future holds
  • Day 2 of PD Days - definition of the work
    • Day 3 has been dropped (reallocated to Unit creation)
  • EL, OEE, SPED, Learning Supports, IT, and L&T staff connected to the building will be present

10:00 - 11:00 Deeper Dive into RAT with building Super CT and MD (at school site)

11:00 - 12:00 Lunch (on your own)

12:00 - 2:00 Grading / Report Cards (on your own)

2:00 - 2:30 Travel Time

2:30 - 3:30 PLC Time (choice of the teachers)

Martin Luther King Jr. (Holiday on Monday, January 18th)

Help students in grades K-5 put in perspective the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., his impact on the Civil Rights Movement, and his significance to American culture and history. Learn more here. (This was taken from the NEA website and work shared is by Phil Nast, 1/8/16)

Lesson Plans

Dr. King's Dream
Students in grades K-2 learn about the life and work of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., listen to an excerpt from his “I Have a Dream” speech, and create picture books about freedom for Americans today.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Me: Identifying with a Hero
Students in grades K-2 learn about the life of Dr. King, record information on a KWL chart, and keep a journal of thoughts and ideas.

How Big Are Martin’s Big Words? Thinking Big about the Future
Students in grades 3-5 listen to a reading of Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and then analyze excerpts from King’s speeches for "big" words, words not necessarily as large in length as they are in importance: Freedom, Peace, Love.

Let Freedom Ring: The Life & Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Students in grades 3-5 view photographs of the March on Washington, read Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and investigate how Dr. King used language from "My Country 'Tis of Thee" in his own speech.


Martin Luther King Jr. Interactive Timeline
After listening to a reading of A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr. by David A. Adler, students in grades 3-6 use sequencing skills to create a timeline of MLK’s life.

Martin Luther King Jr. Quiz
A printable ten question quiz.

King Crossword
This printable crossword for elementary students includes an interactive version and an answer key.

Background Resources

I Have a Dream: Celebrating the Vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.
A source of activities, lessons, and websites.

Martin Luther King Jr.
NY Times archive of articles on MLK.

Commemorate the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This K-8 teacher source provides whiteboard resources, book lists, and activities.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site: Lesson Plans and Teacher Guides
This curriculum package for K-8 teachers includes a teacher guide, lesson plans and units, exhibits, a problem-solution project, and references. The package is available in 5 PDF sections totaling 303 pages.


Coaches Corner

​New Year! New Experiences!​

Over the course of the school year, students are faced with many new experiences and they will respond in a variety of ways. This week’s strategy, Compass Points, will provide information and insights about students’ thinking that might go unnoticed. Knowing how students feel and what they might need helps teachers make informed decisions regarding how to best prepare their students for learning or for new experiences.

A Compass Points activity might be used to reveal students’ thinking around:

  • ​S​tarting a new topic of study (fractions, writing a personal narrative)

  • ​H​aving a guest teacher

  • ​M​aking a change to classroom agreements

  • ​G​oing on a field trip

  • ​W​orking in a group

  • ​H​ow a character in a story makes a decision


  1. Explain the upcoming event or unit of study to your students
  2. Ask student to make an initial judgment or evaluation and share their perspectives
  3. Ask students what about the upcoming event or topic excites them and record next to the E.
  4. Encourage students to build off of previous responses.
  5. Ask students what they might find worrisome and record next to the W.
  6. Ask students what else they need to know and record next to the N.
  7. Ask students what suggestions they might have regarding the event/topic and record next to the S.
  8. To increase participation, you might ask students to write down their thinking or share with a neighbor before getting ideas from the group.
  9. After completing and reviewing the chart, ask them how their thinking has changed as a result of the discussion.

Once students know the routine, this activity can easily be done with small groups.

Preparing students for upcoming events can help them be ready for the learning, decrease anxiety, and increase excitement.




Tech Team Information

Information on the Tech Team. The tech team structure is a replacement for the former CT program, with the Media Director and a a teacher co-lead heading it up in every elementary school. (Lee Nelson is our HC NTL co-lead---shout out to him!) We meet on the first Tuesday of the month to discuss where we're at now as a building, and to make decisions about how things will look with more devices at Hillcrest. This is our year to get ready, and we'd like to do it well.

How it'll happen. By putting logistics into place that best suit how our school works, anything from deciding how we will organize and hand out Chromebooks to what we will teach our Hillcrest families about the devices. Our goal as a team is to think of it so you don't have to next fall.

I'll send out an information blurb every other Wednesday starting in December, in addition to Calvin's Artery newsletter updates. We have also assigned tech team members to groups of HC staff for questions and reporting. They are:

  • Trista: K-1
  • Cory: 2
  • Lee: 3-4
  • Jenn: 4-5
  • Belle: HC_Staff, Specialists, Parents
  • Calvin: Central Office & Support Staff, Peer Admin, Parents, Special Ed
  • Allie: FAQ

Stay tuned for more sharing as the weeks pass!

Hillcrest third grade class from 2014-15 published in COMPAS anthology

Lee's third grade class from last year will have their work published in Punch at the Wild Tornado, an anthology featuring the best student writing from the COMPAS Arts Education program. The students and their families are invited to a publication celebration at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at St. Paul’s Landmark Center.

Lee's class, under the guidance of COMPAS’s Charlie Maguire, created an original song about the sun, moon and stars titled “Way Up In The Sky.” The exercise put to work lessons from the class’s “discovery” Artful Learning unit.

COMPAS artist residencies were funded through a Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) grant, which helped provide Artful Learning experiences at each grade level (K-5). Hillcrest is an MSAB grant recipient again this year.

Visit www.compas.org to learn more about the program.

Building Winter and Break Reminders

Winter is here . . .

  • Please make sure students take their coats and boots home regularly, so that the hall can be kept clean.
  • All boots should be put up off the floor at the end of the day (on top of hooks or in lockers).
  • Please make sure that students stomp and wipe their feet before entering the hallways.

Personal Leave Requests Now Approved by Principal

Starting December 1st all principals will be approving personal leave requests. Be sure to submit your leave requests through MyLeave in MyView (TIES). If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. [Note - you do not need to ask Calvin in person. Unless you feel that you need to do so.]

Our weekly staff newsletter!

This newsletter will come to you every Friday afternoon for the upcoming week. If you have any information, small business items, or events to share, please email the title, narrative, and specifics to Jane or Calvin.