October 2017 Newsletter

October 2017 Newsletter
Posted on 10/16/2017

Dear Parents,

The Values of Hastings High School in Partnership with our Community

  • The finest school in our area.

  • Known regionally for three keys to our school:


  1. strong and varied academic offerings,

  2. strong involvement in fine arts & activities and

  3. strong involvement in athletics.

  • Positive staff-student relationships and school climate develops a safe, trusting and supportive learning environment.

  • Promotion of the value of service to others.

Outstanding Student Achievement from 2017-18 School Year!!

As a staff and community we are very proud of the academic achievement and improvement from last school year.  Students, parents and staff worked very hard together to challenge students to do their best in classes and on very important standardized tests like the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) by subject.  HHS continues to improve each year with more students passing these tests and scores that are well above the state average!  Go Raiders!!

Grade 10 MCA/GRAD Reading – 70.2% proficient MCA (state average is 60.5% proficient)

Grade 10 MCA Science – 74.1% proficient (state average is 56.3% proficient)

Grade 11 MCA/GRAD Math – 62.4% proficient MCA (state average is 48.4% proficient)

Graduation Rate – 96%

ACT – the HHS average ACT score is 21.9 which was 0.4 above the state average for the senior class of 2017.

Advanced Placement (AP) and College in the Schools

As we work to create more challenging opportunities for students at HHS, we are pleased that more students completed AP course exams and earned college credit in the College in the Schools classes last school-year than in the previous school-year!

450 Advanced Placement Exams in 9 AP courses and 374 students enrolled in 7 College in the Schools courses

Sexual Assault Resource Network

St. Olaf’s Sexual Assault Resource Network will be presenting in the HHS auditorium on October 23 at 7:00 p.m.  Their presentation is for students and/or parents and is about sexual assault on campuses, and they will address these issues plus more:

  • What constitutes sexual assault?

  • What should you look for when you tour colleges?

  • What questions should you ask when you tour colleges?

  • What conversations should you have with your child before they leave for college?

This event is co-sponsored by the Hastings American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the HHS Feminism Club.  Below is a list of topics our presenters from St. Olaf’s SARN (Sexual Assault Resource Network) will address:

  • Terms, definitions, and student rights

  • What colleges are legally required to do and what they should be doing

  • What parents and students should ask a potential college to ensure that the college has addressed the issue, has resources for students, and takes the issue seriously

  • Guidance for parents on talking with their child about sexual assault before heading off to school

  • Guidance/advice/tips for students once they are on campus to put themselves in the best position possible to prevent an assault

  • Guidance for students on what to do if they become a victim

Open House Online Survey

Thank you to the hundreds of parents that participated in the online survey regarding the HHS format for the Open House.  The Open House was Thursday, September 14 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  There is a brief welcome in the commons then parents follow their child’s schedule. We have the bells on for a mini-schedule that allows for 10 minutes each class period, then the parents experience “passing times” between each class period.

Parents indicated that the most preferred time block is from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  The primary reason parents that indicated they were not able to attend was due to a scheduling conflict.  The comment sections were very helpful as parents wrote they enjoyed the format, the opportunity to learn more about each of their child’s classes and getting to know their child’s teachers.  Parents also wrote that it is difficult to really have in-depth conversations with teachers, it is difficult to see each child’s teacher if parents have more than one child at HHS and the 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. time block is not accessible for parents working that shift.  As a Staff Advisory Committee we will look at all the comments and see how we can continue a positive Open House experience while taking the opportunity to address the solid feedback in areas we can improve.

Increased Student Efforts = Academic Gains

Again this year at HHS we will be demanding more of our students and ourselves as a staff to work towards dramatic improved academic achievement.  Over the years we have worked very hard together to decrease the failure rate to a very low rate of 3.4%, and will continue to push all students towards high grades, higher standardized test scores and specific planning for education beyond high school.  Research indicates that students must believe in themselves and work hard in order to help them achieve.  Please continue to encourage your child to do the best they can, see teachers before and after school for additional help, and instill the values of a positive attitude and good work habits.

“Studies have demonstrated that changing children’s beliefs from a focus on ability to a focus on effort increases their engagement in learning, which in turn improve outcomes (achievement).  When children believe that their efforts make them “smarter”, they show greater persistence in learning.” Foundations of Success 2008 report

“A student’s belief in his or her efforts rather than his or her innate ability is the most important determinant of student learning.”  Saphier, Jonathan (2005) On Common Ground

Service to the greater Hastings community during Homecoming Week

We are VERY proud of the students, staff and parents that combine serving others with great activities at HHS.  Homecoming is a time rich in tradition, pride in school and community, and reflecting on all that is great within Hastings.  A major value at HHS is the promotion of serving others in need.

The Hastings football team and parents raised $848.50 for “Tackle Cancer.”  The Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund challenges every high school football team to sponsor at least one “Tackle Cancer” night during the months of September and October.  On Wednesday, October 4 the Powder Puff Football teams and parents raised $876 and 457 pounds in food items for Hastings Family Service.  Hastings Family Service offers a variety of emergency and supportive services to people living in Hastings school District.  On Thursday, October 5 the Hastings volleyball team and parents raised $15,000 through “Dig Pink” which raises awareness for breast cancer, the girls play their game in honor of someone effected by cancer, and money is raised for the Side-Out Cancer Foundation.  The Side-Out Foundation teams with the volleyball community to inspire science and hope in the match against breast cancer.  Thank you students, staff and parents!!

National Honor Society will hold their annual Halloween Food Drive and Bake Sale
NHS members will visit homes in our community to collect non-perishable food items for Hastings Family Services on Halloween night between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.  In the past eight years, NHS has collected over 33,500 pounds of food for Hastings Family Services.  Students will drop off grocery bags in the week before Halloween and pick them up Halloween night. So have those canned foods on hand for our NHS members on Halloween night!

The National Honor Society is hosting a fall bake sale at parent/teacher conferences.  All support is welcomed and greatly appreciated.  Money goes to support NHS activities including (but not limited to) the HHS Blood Drive, the Gillette Walk-a-Thon and NHS Food Drives.  They are requesting a minimum donation of $3.00 per plate.  However, NHS members encourage everyone to go above the minimum.  Raise the bar, eat a bar and donate what you can to the Hastings Chapter of the National Honor Society!

“Academic Effort and Attitude Honor Roll”

In addition to the A and B Honor Rolls to recognize student achievement, we have an honor roll to recognize student effort and academic improvement.  It is called the “Academic Effort and Attitude Honor Roll” and we have 90 students that are on it.  In recognizing the importance of student effort, we wanted to reinforce the hard work and great attitudes of some of our students that turned their grades around, “got it” or finally were able to put issues affecting their learning behind them.  Effort and attitude can be measured in many ways – in this case we want to put the list of students who greatly improved their grades next to the students who earn A’s and B’s.  In some cases, students will be on both honor rolls.

The “Gold” Honor Roll recognizes students who improved their overall GPA for all classes by at least one-full letter grade, comparing Fall, 2016 grades to Spring, 2017 grades.  This is a major accomplishment and we have 19 students that did - in fact - do just that.  The “Blue” Honor Roll recognizes students who improved their overall GPA for all classes between one-half and one-full letter grade – there are 71 students on the “Blue” Honor Roll.  We are very proud of these students and want them to know that we recognize their work, effort, attitude and achievement just as much as the students on the A and B Honor Rolls.  Congratulations students!

Conferences October 17 & 18

The end of first quarter is Friday, November 10.  First quarter conferences will be held in the HHS commons Tuesday, October 17 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and Wednesday, October 18 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  Please make every effort to attend your children’s conferences.

HHS School Store

Please visit the HHS School Store during fall conferences.  We will be open on Tuesday, October 17 and Wednesday, October 18 during conference times.  This is your chance to buy your Hastings Raiders clothing, Raider Nation t-shirts, Christmas gifts and gift cards.  This year’s method of payment is cash or check only.  Sorry, no credit cards.   If you can’t make it during conferences, the store is open daily from 7:30 to 7:50 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and most days after school. Feel free to stop in during any of those times, check out the School Store link or email Mrs. Katie Richardson or Ms. Kia Croone at krichardson@hastings.k12.mn.us or kcroone@hastings.k12.mn.us during school hours if you have questions.

Peer Tutors Are Here to Help!

ATTENTION ALL STUDENTS WHO …Are struggling to pass a class? ~ Need help with homework? ~ Having a tough time staying organized? ~ Need help studying for a test?  Whatever the issue…. PEER TUTORS ARE HERE TO HELP!  Peer tutors are available in the HHS Counseling Office every Tuesday and Wednesday after school from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. and every Wednesday morning from 7:00 to 7:40 a.m. We look forward to helping you!     

Special Education Website: Check Us Out!

If you have questions about a child’s development or about special services available in the Hastings Public Schools, take a look at our Special Services website. Go to the ISD 200 district website – www.hastings.k12.mn.us and then click on Special Services.  Our website is designed to provide a parent-friendly information source that is easy to navigate and includes pertinent links.  CHECK US OUT!         Dave Haveman, Special Services Director

Food Services Update

Breakfast is served each morning from 7:15 a.m. to 7:43 a.m. and again from 8:15 a.m. to 8:40 a.m.  If your child qualifies for free or reduced meals, their breakfast is free each day!  Full price student breakfast is $1.30.

Parents can block their child from purchasing items in a la carte or allow their child to only purchase a “student lunch” by contacting Kris Mamer, HHS food service at 480-7546 if you would like this option for your child.  Students using cash however, are allowed to purchase items from a la carte and the regular lunch lines.  Weekly low balance calls will be sent out to the parents of all students with an account balance of $9.00 or less. Negative balance calls will also be sent out to the parents of any students with a balance of less than $0.  No student will be allowed to charge if they have a negative balance.

MyPaymentsPlus does allow parents to view what their child purchased each day and make online payments.  To register for MyPaymentsPlus, click on the link located under Parent Links at the Hastings School District at http://www.hastings.k12.mn.us/

HHS College Fair – Wednesday, October 25 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at HHS

This year HHS has teamed up with the National Association of College Admission Counselors to bring you more than 100 Colleges, Technical Schools, Trade Schools and Universities. This FREE event to students and adults of all ages will take place on October 25 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the HHS commons.  For more information and a list of schools, check out the Career Center tab on the schools website! http://hs.hastings.k12.mn.us/services/career_center/m_e_f_college_fair/