Current Newsletter

May, 2019

Dear Parents - with a busy end of the school-year upon us, please be aware of these important items.

"In this issue”

Promise Fellow positions at HHS            Full-day of school May 10 and key 
Senior Privileges and positive behavior
  Prom and Awards Night
Graduation Information and All-Night
Grad Party
  Final Exams
 Junior Immunizations   Achievement and Integration Grant



AmeriCorps Promise Fellow at Hastings High School 2019-2020 – job openings.  Our school needs passionate, student-centered Fellows to engage identified students and our academic middle in making positive connections and engaging in THEIR school! Hastings High School is committed to academics, arts, athletics and clubs and believe we are large enough to offer a wide variety of experiences and small enough to create a place where all students can belong.

Hastings High School Promise Fellow Responsibilities.  The Promise Fellows will work with a dedicated group of students throughout the school year in addition to serving students in small groups or alongside teachers. We will provide excellent training and skills to help the Promise Fellows be successful and have a positive impact for students. We are committed to the new program AVID and will utilize the expertise of our Promise Fellows to expand this at Hastings High School. Students have strong support and expectations for career and college readiness and our Promise Fellows will help students find their area of passion and make plans for education after high school. This is an exciting time at our school!

General AmeriCorps Promise Fellow Qualifications

  • Interest and experience in youth, service, education, and non-profit work
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to deal effectively with a variety of tasks, priorities, and people in order to meet goals
  • Ability to work effectively with people of a variety of backgrounds and cultures
  • Self-motivated, able to work in a team, take initiative and work independently
  • Ability to present oneself in a highly professional manner and be an ambassador of the program

Work Hours, Pay & BenefitsPromise Fellows serve 20 hours per week (minimum) for a total of 900 hours (minimum) from September 1st to July 31st (staggered start dates available beyond Sept 1st) and receive: Modest Living Allowance (approximately $318 twice per month, pre-tax); Qualified Federal Student Loan Forbearance; $3,047 Education Award upon successful completion of service; Ongoing, extensive support and training. Additional benefits information is available at

If you or someone you know may be interested in becoming a Promise Fellow, please contact HHS Principal Mike Johnson at 651-480-7474 or


Full-Day of School Friday, May 10, 2019.  Please remember that Friday, May 10 is a full-day of school.  With the cancellation of school for several snow days, the previously scheduled half-day early release was changed to a full-day of school.

The HHS Prom is Saturday, May 19, 2018.
  Grand March begins at 4:00 p.m. in the gymnasium of HHS.  The doors to get into the Grand March open at 3:00 p.m. and the cost is $1.00 or a canned food item.  All proceeds from the Grand March go to Hastings Family Service.  The dance is from 9:00 p.m. to midnight in the high school commons.  This year’s theme is “Moonlight Garden.”

Awards Night.  The annual Awards Night for academic awards and scholarships will be Monday, May 20 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium.  The Jazz Ensemble will perform at 7:00 p.m. for entertainment as families enter the auditorium for the awards presentation.  Award recipients will receive a letter indicating if they are to receive an award, scholarship or both.  Many scholarships will be awarded by presenters from local families and businesses. This is a great evening of honoring students!

Senior Privileges.  This year seniors will enjoy Senior Privileges  The purpose of the partnership is to recognize seniors in a positive way, foster mutual respect through graduation day, and provide opportunities to thank and honor students, staff, the school and community.  To be honest – in the past, behavior of seniors on their last days was chaotic, unsafe, disruptive and mean-spirited.  For the last five years the Senior Privileges and the end of the school year has been fantastic!  Seniors enjoyed the extra privileges, our school climate was positive and the staff and students felt good about our seniors.  We look forward to another great senior class and the end of their high school year.

It was clear from students that they were appreciative that the change resulted in privileges that no senior class had in the past, that they did not want the poor behavior of a few students to define them as a class, and that if students did behave poorly they should be held accountable – even if that meant not participating in graduation.  Simply put – any student who is disruptive or disrespectful will be sent home for their last days of high school and have their participation in the graduation ceremony jeopardized.  Participation in the graduation ceremony is a privilege, not a right.  Last year we had a few students that lost their Senior Privileges.  As students are naturally excited, we expect all seniors to view school during the spring of their senior year as meaningful, legitimate school days. 

Student Behavior in the Last Weeks of School.  We recognize and appreciate that many students respect their school and community, and are very appreciative of the education provided for them.  They take the time during the spring to thank those staff and community members who have been important to their education, and want to finish their final days of school at HHS with dignity and respect.  As a staff, we appreciate their efforts and support the many ways they show their thanks.  Unfortunately, there can be a small number of individual students that want to create disruption, show disrespect to our school, other students and community, or “trash” the school.  We can all agree that there is no place for this in our school and community, and we will work to keep our school the positive and respectful place it is.  Thank you for encouraging positive behavior in all students at the end of the school year.

Graduation Ceremony.  The 2019 Commencement will be held on Friday, June 7, 2019 at 7 p.m. in the Hastings High School gymnasium.  Due to the size of the graduating class and space considerations, we recommend that each graduate’s family respectfully limit those attending the Commencement ceremony to six (6). There will be additional seating in the high school auditorium with live telecast of the graduation ceremony on a large screen, as well as on Hastings Community Television Facebook. 

Please note that there are no tickets for admittance to the graduation ceremony.  We ask each family respect the limit of six (6) attendees per graduate.

All gradates will wear the school-provided cap and gown – the only additions are the National Honor Society stole and the Global Languages Honor Society, Youth in Government and Top 10 Percent honor cords.  There is no rental charge; however, if a student wants to keep his/her tassel and cap, they may be purchased as a set for $10.00 the night of graduation.  Students who purchase a cap & tassel may tastefully decorate the top of their cap to reflect future plans, “thank you” to family members, personal cultural significance and the like.   Caps, tassels (if not purchased) and gowns must be returned immediately after the ceremony. 

Important dates.
  Memorial Day - school will not be in session on Monday, May 27.  Seniors: the last day of school is Friday, May 31 as long as there are no “Senior Skip Days” and individual students are not failing classes required for graduation.  The last day of school for students in grades 9-11 is Thursday, June 6.

Final Exam Policy & Last Day Schedule – Final exams for students in grades 9, 10 and 11 will be held on Wednesday, June 5 (periods 1, 3, 5 & 7) and Thursday, June 6 (periods 2, 4 & 6).  Students must be present for their final exams and are not allowed to take them early.  The last day of school is Thursday, June 6. 

Student-Athlete Academic, Performance Achievements.  The average grade point average (GPA) for fall athletes this year was 3.50, while the average GPA for winter athletes was 3.36 – or an overall average GPA of 3.43 for all student-athletes to date in the 2018-19 school year.   These numbers are representative of all athletes, in all sports, all levels.    The multi-sport rate to date this year is 66%.  This means that for every fall and winter Raiders sports team, two out of three kids play at least one additional sport at HHS.  Congratulations to our student-athletes and coaches for their great efforts in the classroom, and across all of their athletic teams.

2019 All Night Grad Party  Get ready for fun and games at the Hastings All Night Grad Party Tropical Getaway!  Seniors won’t want to miss this awesome event held on graduation night, June 7th from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.  This fun filled lock-in is an incredible gift from HHS parents to our graduating seniors.  There will be tons of food, games, great prizes, temporary tattoos, raffles, some fun surprises, and a hilarious hypnotist show at the end of the night all included in the price of the ticket! This will be a night your children will never forget!

Tickets can be purchased online through our website, or at PaySchools. Tickets are $80 and will increase to $100 at the door. There are full and partial scholarships available by contacting Assistant Principal Kris Husaby.

In Order to make the All Night Grad party a fun and safe night for our graduates we need lots of parent volunteers from all grades. Please consider volunteering, especially if you don’t have a senior, it’s fun! Volunteers must be age 25 or older. If you’ve already signed up to volunteer, you will be contacted by the appropriate committee head with details soon. It’s easy to volunteer online at or by emailing Julie Larson at

Memory Lane Senior Posters. You and/or your graduate are invited and encouraged to create a senior poster to display during the party. These posters will be displayed during the party and sent home at the end of the night. The graduates have a lot of fun looking at them. Please go to our website to see some examples from past years.  Click on “Senior Posters” on our home page.  

*Find us on Facebook!  *Follow us on Twitter!  Please contact Jody Rudh at 651-438-0130 or with questions.

Junior Parents – Immunizations.  All juniors are required to receive a 2nd Meningococcal vaccine prior to starting their senior year, or have a notarized conscientious objection on file.  Please check with the nurse if you are unsure of your student’s status.  We are a “No Shots, No School” district, so there will be no grace period.  Thanks for your attention to this important matter.

Achievement and Integration Grant –written by HHS senior Deanna Small for HHS Raiders’ Digest

Over the long weekend, Superintendent Tim Collins announced that our school district will be receiving $276,000 every year for the next three years and potentially more money in the years after that. This money was granted to us after we submitted a proposal to the MN Department of Education’s Achievement and Integration program. This proposal was created by our curriculum director, Jenn Reichel. This is an exciting development in our school that can potentially help many of our staff and students.

The purpose of this MN program is to help integrate students with different racial and economic backgrounds, improve student achievement, create educational opportunities, and reduce academic disparities based on students’ backgrounds. We will be among 134 other school districts getting funding from this program.

The district will use the money to hire an equity coordinator for our schools. The equity coordinator is a teacher who is specially assigned for this role. They will support our students of color and American Indian students when it comes to their attendance, academic success, and college/career prep. They will also work to help our staff with culturally responsive teaching strategies, and participate and lead development sessions for our staff to improve knowledge and skills. Alongside this, they will help develop educational programs for students to help build racial, cultural, economic, and linguistic awareness and sensitivity.

The equity coordinator will also be working on four district goals. The first goal is to increase the number of students of color and American Indian students enrolled in AP and CIS courses from 18, to at least 24 in 2022. The plan is to expand the number of AVID sections and staff who participate in formal AVID training. Training will come from multiple places including the Summer Institute, Pathway, and district-hosted training. The coordinator will also be working to ensure that every student takes at least one college entrance type exam during their junior year. Another strategy is to increase the number of students who have consistent access to technology. This will be done by putting more chromebook carts in pod areas, having a chromebook cart just for checking out, and 100 Kajeet (which are in-home internet providers) for check out as well.

The second goal is to increase the number of high school teachers who have been formally trained in Culturally Relevant Teaching strategies from 2 in the 2018-2019 school year to at least 30 by 2022.

The coordinator will also be working on goal #3 which is to help students increase their understanding of diversity and intentional actions to be inclusive. A strategy to accomplish this is to partner with South Washington County school district, and to offer leadership opportunities for students with Equity Alliance’s Youth Executive Board. This means providing the enrollment fee for 4 students to attend weekly leadership seminars to help improve our school’s culture.

The fourth goal for our district is to increase the 4-year graduation rates of our students of poverty by 3% every year. The 2017-2018 graduation rate for these students in our district was 86%. The strategy to accomplish this goal is to hire a cultural liaison/equity leader whose job is to connect with our diverse and low-income students. Another strategy the district will use is to partner with TransAct to provide increased access to school communication in home languages. This means paying for subscription fees to translation services for our students.

This is an incredible opportunity for our district. This grant has the potential to help our students and staff of all backgrounds create a more equitable environment to learn in.

Hazing.  Please see the enclosed letter addressing hazing.  Students have been and will continue to be informed that hazing is wrong and will not be tolerated.  If you suspect any hazing activities please contact any school official, Hastings Police or the Dakota County Attorney’s Office.  Thank you for your part in putting an end to hazing!

Summer School Credit Recovery Program.  If your child has failed English, Math, Science and/or Social Studies they are encouraged to consider taking a class or two during our summer session. With the state of Minnesota’s increased graduation requirements it has become more difficult for students who have failed classes to complete graduation requirements within four years without attending summer school. 

Summer Session:  June 17 – July 12, 2019 (note: no school July 4 and 5)

Classes:  Block 1 (8:00 - 10:00 a.m.), Block 2 (10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)


If you are interested in summer school please contact the counseling office at 651-480-7489 and speak with your child’s counselor or e-mail your concerns to your counselor.


(A-F) Kim Hoff                        

(G-L) Naomi Marietta              

(M-R) Drew Cooper                 

(S-Z) Davis Gooch                   


If you have any questions or concerns about these or any other issue, feel free to contact me directly at 480-7474.  Thank you to the Class of 2019 for your leadership and achievements!        


Mike Johnson – HHS Principal

May, 2019


Dear Parents,

Hazing is abusive and unacceptable behavior that not only violates School District policy, but could also constitute a criminal offense. About eight years ago, several students in the Hastings community were subjected to hazing. The students who did the hazing were charged with crimes by the County Attorney and received sanctions from both the Juvenile Court and the School District. It is important that this type of behavior be stopped and that we join together in the community to ensure the safety of our students.

The Hastings School District policy on hazing is very clear – any activity that intimidates, threatens, harasses or humiliates a student in order for that student to be initiated or affiliated with a group constitutes hazing even if that student gives implied permission. Unfortunately, hazing rituals involving paddling as well as dousing other kids with food items such as eggs, ketchup, mustard and flour occur across America. The culture of hazing is one of power, threats, humiliation and intimidation. Some see hazing as an acceptable “rite of passage” from middle school to high school. These individuals are flat out wrong.

Hazing results in long lasting emotional scars and lingering threats. Victims are often told that if they don’t submit or if they go to the police, they will be sought out and paddled again ten times worse or even beaten up. Fear of such consequences leads many victims and their families to never report these incidents to school and law enforcement officials. We need to make sure that offenders are identified and held accountable. By doing so, we believe we can make a big difference in ending this inappropriate and criminal conduct in our community.

Mike Johnson, Hastings High School Principal, will address the student body at HHS to specifically address the hazing policy and communicate the expectations for their behavior as outlined in the student handbook. The high school will have many hazing announcements at the end of the year for all students to hear. Hastings Middle School has a bullying and hazing curriculum that helps students understand the lasting effects of hazing and the proper procedures for reporting any activities that occur. The reverse side of this letter contains information pertaining to possible civil legal action if a member of your family is a victim of hazing.

t doesn’t matter whether hazing occurs on or off school property or is directly or indirectly related to a school activity. Hazing in any form or for any reason is unacceptable behavior that must not be tolerated in our community. Offenders need to be held accountable and victims supported, and we are committed to doing so. We need your cooperation and support in this effort. If you learn of any information pertaining to hazing, please contact the School District at 651-480-7002, County Attorney’s Office 651-438-4438 or the Hastings Police Department 651-480-2300 as soon as possible. Thank you.


Tim Collins   Mike Johnson   James Backstrom    Bryan Schafer  
Superintendent ISD 200    Principal Hastings High School   Dakota County Attorney 
  Hastings Police Chief