Sunday, May 26, 2013
From the Principal’s Desk
As you know, we have entered into a new leadership structure for Highcrest Middle School and Wilmette Junior High School. Over the course of the year, we have solicited feedback from parents and staff about the structure. Based on this feedback we have made adjustments to the structure when needed. We purposely waited to make a decision on whether or not we would follow an administrative looping model (staying with students over two years) or opt for grade-level experts (remaining in the same grade). As you can imagine, there are pros and cons to each model, and this decision was well-discussed with parents and staff.
After much deliberation, we have decided that a grade-level-expert model is best for our schools. One of the main goals of the new leadership structure is to ensure smooth transitions for kids and parents, and we believe that grade level experts help to facilitate smoother transitions. Below are some of the reasons that we feel this is the right decision for our schools.
- During our parent and our teacher focus groups, we were advised that this model will help to best meet the needs of students. Teachers like the idea of having a constant administrator at each grade level, and parents like the idea of having an expert at the helm of their grade.
- The assistant principal is a position where there is much turnover, (generally the position turns over every two to three years) thus a looping model could mean a new administrator every year for our staff and families. A grade level expert model will ensure more stability for our community.
- Each grade level has specific events and milestones, which lend themselves to a grade level administrator. For example, our 5th grade administrator coordinates our world language sign up, the 6th grade administrator coordinates the transition to the junior high, the 7th grade administrator helps to acclimate the students to the new building and increased expectations, and the 8th grade administrator heads up the transition to high school. These events run more smoothly when the administrator in charge has prior experience with the event.
- A grade level expert model also allows for our administrators to become experts in the developmental differences of 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th graders.
As you can see, we believe that grade-level-experts is the model that will best meet the needs of our students and our school community. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly.
Thanks, and have a great weekend,
For the Week of February 19 - 25, 2012
Calling all Highcrest parents! The nominating process for executive and general board positions for the 2012-2013 Highcrest PTO has begun. Here’s a list of the open positions; you can also find the information on the Highcrest PTO website at highcrestpto.org. If you are interested in a position, or if you have questions, please contact Rhona DiCamillo, chair of the nominating committee, at email@example.com.
The HMS Factor, the 2012 variety show, takes place one night only on Friday, March 2. There will be two shows, at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. at the Wilmette Junior High Auditorium. Tickets are $5 each and will be sold in the cafeteria on Wednesday, February 29, Thursday, March 1 and Friday, March 2 during lunch. Watch the Highcrest Headlines for more details about this fantastic student-run show!
Night Sky Viewing has been scheduled for Monday, February 27th between 7 - 10 pm on the Community Playfields (between Highcrest and WJHS). Our evening will, once again, be hosted by our Nasa Ambassador, Mark Schneider. Through his telescopes, students will be able to see the planet Jupiter and all four of its Galilean Moons: Callisto, Ganymede, Io, and Europa (which appear as tiny stars around Jupiter). Our moon will be in its waxing crescent phase, and visible. If there's time we may be able to look at Messier 42 (M42), the Orion Nebula. Please encourage your 6th graders to attend. Each student will need an adult chaperone and unfortunately, we cannot accommodate any siblings. In the event of bad weather, an email will be sent out canceling the event. At this time, no rain date has been set.
Hope to see you there and have clear skies!
Variety Show parents: It’s time to sign up for volunteer shifts for the HMS Factor performance on Friday, March 2. We rely on volunteers to help us keep the show running smoothly, so we appreciate your help. To sign up just go to the Highcrest PTO website (www.highcrestpto.org) and click on Variety Show to find available shifts and times. Any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Parent-student bowling party. Parents, bring your Highcrest student and join the HMS Parent Connection for a bowling party!
Where – Wilmette Bowl, 1902 Schiller Avenue
When – Sunday, February 26, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Price - $15 (cash or check) at the door (includes bowling, shoes, soda & a slice of pizza!)
Games, prizes and another chance to meet the parents of those new friends your kids have been talking about! Please sign-up by emailing Roxy Freel (firstname.lastname@example.org), Gayle McCormick (email@example.com, or Karen O’Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cafeteria help needed! Come and volunteer for a shift (or more) at the Highcrest cafeteria. Not only is it a great way to get in to see your child, even if they don’t come through the lunch line, but the cafeteria workers cannot get our kids fed in a timely fashion without our help. The shift is no more than two hours. To sign up, go to www.highcrestpto.org and click on the cafeteria sign up link on the left side of the page. Thank you!
TGIF is coming on Friday, March 16 from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. at Highcrest. TGIF is a Youth Connection-sponsored event for Highcrest students only. There are inflatables, a DJ, and snack food. Tickets cost $10 and will go on sale the week of the event. Parent volunteers are needed to chaperone and work the event. Please email Toni Stapel (email@example.com) if you are interested in volunteering!
Save the date! The Youth Connection Spring Fiesta Fund Raiser Party will take place on Saturday, April 21. More details to come.
For more information on this week’s news and other PTO activities, please visit www.highcrestpto.org.
What’s Happening This Week
Monday, February 20
No School – President’s Day
Tuesday, February 21
No School – Teacher Institute Day
Thursday, February 23
HMS Book Banter, 6:30 p.m., LMC
Sunday, February 26
Parent/Student Bowling Party, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., Wilmette Bowl
Monday, February 27
HMS/WJHS Band-O-Rama, 7:30 p.m., Regina Dominican Auditorium
Tuesday, February 28
HMS/WJHS Stringapalooza, 7:00 p.m., Regina Dominican Auditorium
Friday, March 2
HM Variety Show, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., WJHS Auditorium
Monday, February 20
No Lunch – President’s Day
Tuesday, February 21
No Lunch – Institute Day
Wednesday, February 22
Grilled cheese on whole wheat, veggies, tomato soup, baked chips, fresh fruit (Salami)
Thursday, February 23
Pizza, salad, soup, fresh fruit, Italian ice (Egg salad)
Friday, February 24
Vegetarian egg rolls, brown rice, egg drop soup, salad, mandarin oranges, fortune cookies (Tuna salad)
The only way to teach respect is to model it ~ Todd Whitaker
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