Current Newsletter

March 4, 2019

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.


The “Momo Challenge”:  There has been significant attention given to an internet challenge known as “The Momo Challenge.”  While we have seen many positive social media and online “challenges” -like the Ice Bucket Challenge to support the ALS Foundation - the Momo Challenge targets young children.  It encourages children to text a number to online applications like YouTube, Minecraft and WhatsApp and then in return the child is sent instructions to complete a series of increasingly bizarre and dangerous tasks.  This could include watching a horror movie, engaging in self-harm or taking their own lives.

While there are reports that the threat of the Momo Challenge may be overstated it is important to make you aware of it.  Additionally, given the growing national media coverage of the Momo Challenge, experts on mental health caution that such hysterical news coverage could potentially prove harmful, possibly even inspiring imitators.  It can also cause some students to be fearful or anxious.

We encourage you parents to talk about what they may encounter online, including the Mom Challenge.  The following are some resources that work for children of all ages as well as tools for families looking to parent in a digital age.

tip411 – a collaborative Hastings Schools and Hastings Police Project:  The Hastings Police Department sponsors tip411, an internet based tool that enables the public to text message anonymous tips to police, and lets the police respond back creating a two-way anonymous “chat.”  Anyone with a cell phone can send an anonymous tip to the Hastings Police Department by texting the word Hastings and the tip information to 847411 (tip411).  In cooperation with the Hastings Public Schools the tip system is deployed in the schools. Students with any school safety concerns can send an anonymous tip by texting the word Raiders and the tip information to 847411 (tip411). Text message tips will be received by the school resource officer who will work with school administrators to investigate the tip information.

Is it 100% anonymous? Yes, none of the information exchanged over the system is logged so there is no way to track the originator of a text or web tip.  We have put up posters and aired promotional videos to get the word out to the HHS student body. 

It is important to note that many HHS students come to staff members and parents with concerns for their friends.  We know that some students want a caring adult to know about their friend, but do not come forward because they want to remain completely anonymous.  This is a way students can share concerns about their friends. 


Academic Letters:  We were able to recognize the academic achievements of our students who earned Academic Letters for the 2017-18 school year and seniors for semester one of the 2018-19 school year.  To earn an Academic Letter, as student must have a 3.75 GPA or higher for the entire school year, and for seniors we use only first semester.  Last year 259 students earned an Academic Letter!  This includes 77 seniors, 94 juniors and 88 sophomores.  First-time letter winners receive the chenille letter and are able to purchase a letter jacket – second and third-time winners receive a certificate.  We like to award the Academic Letters in the classrooms they earn them as a way to promote academics and recognize even more students for outstanding work.  Thank you for your support in helping students find success in and out of the classroom! 


CPR Training – Students and Staff:  On the morning of January 12, 2018, HHS students Sydney Radke and Addie Buck saved a man’s life by stopping, administering CPR and calling 911.  Sydney was certified in CPR through her job at a local daycare.  Syd and Addie’s actions have inspired others to learn CPR – even a year later!  Many students want to learn more about CPR.  All HHS Health 10 students are scheduled for CPR/AED training on March 28.  Thank you to the Allina Hastings Clinic for the staff support and resources to teach our students CPR and AED!


Stop the Bleed:  Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign and a call to action. It is intended to help bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.


No matter how rapid the arrival of professional emergency responders, bystanders will always be first on the scene.  A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes therefore, it is important to quickly stop the blood loss.  Those nearest to someone with life threatening injuries are best positioned to provide first care.  According to a recent National Academies of Science study, trauma is the leading cause of death for Americans under age 46.

We are fortunate to have this training offered to our grade 10 Health students and HHS staff members free of charge on April 1 and 2.  The training takes about 1 hour, is easy to learn and builds confidence and there will be hands on practice during the training. Participants will leave feeling much more confident dealing with severe bleeding injuries.  Thank you to the HealthEast medical system for the staff support and resources to teach our students Stop the Bleed!


MCA Testing 2019:  At Hastings High School we take MCA testing very seriously.  Please read below for more information and make every effort to have your student at school on the days of their tests.  Additionally, please make sure they are well-rested and have a healthy breakfast on the morning of the tests.  As parents you will be sent letters with specific information for the test or tests your child needs to take.


MCA Reading Test:  The MCA Reading test is required for graduation for all sophomores by Minnesota State Law.  Sophomores will take the MCA Reading test the morning or afternoon of

Wednesday, April 17 according to a schedule with their English class in a computer lab.

MCA Science Test:  The MCA Science test is required for graduation for all sophomores by Minnesota State Law.  Sophomores will take the MCA Science test on a morning or afternoon on Wednesday, May 8 according to a schedule with their biology class in a computer lab.


MCA Math Test:  The MCA Mathematics test is required for graduation for all juniors by Minnesota State Law.  Juniors will take the MCA Math test on a morning or afternoon on Wednesday, April 24 according to a schedule with their math class in a computer lab.


9th Grade Respect Retreat:  On Wednesday, April 17 all ninth grade students will participate in the Respect Retreat held during the day at two locations in our community.  The ninth grade students will work with their Link Crew leaders in small groups to develop leadership and communication skills around the theme of “respect”.  Look for a specific mailing to all ninth grade families in mid-March.  This is a required school-sponsored event for all ninth grade students.


Extended Student Absences – Making Up School Work:  As a school, we understand that there are times when families travel and student absences may not always coincide with breaks on the school district calendar.  To help plan for missed school work and to better serve our students who will be absent, we ask that students and families follow our process as outlined in the student handbook.  “Students who know in advance that they will be absent for 3 or more days are to pick up a pre-authorized absence slip in the student office. This slip is to be signed by parents and initialed by teachers prior to leaving.”  This process helps students and teachers communicate and plan for the absence and arrange for making up the school work.  Thank you!


Important dates:  Spring break - school will not be in session beginning Monday, March 11 and will resume Monday, March 18.  Have an enjoyable and safe spring break!  The end of the third quarter is Friday, April 5.  There is no school on Good Friday, April 19.  There are full days of school on Monday, April 22 and Friday, May 10 – these full days of school were added back to the calendar to make up for days lost due to weather. 


Credits for Grade-Level Distinction:  Please be aware of the following credit requirements that students must earn to be classified by each grade.  Students are not passed along to the next grade level by their age.  HHS awards credit each semester.  With a 7 period day there are 14 credits available each year (no credit is awarded for study hall/aide). If your child does not complete the required credits each year they will be retained in their current grade until those credits are earned.  HHS offers many opportunities for credit recovery.  Please contact your student’s counselor for more information.   Students need 10 credits to be a sophomore, 20 to be considered a junior and 30 to achieve senior status.  Counselors notify families of retentions (in writing) in the fall of each year.


Health Concerns with your Child:  The Health Office is available for immediate medical care of students who become ill or injured during the school day, need medications or treatments, or have other medical needs.  We encourage students to visit the Health Office between classes, only leaving class for emergencies.  If your child has or encounters special restrictions, is in need of support or will be missing a great deal of school due to illness or injury, please communicate first with the HHS Health Office.  The phone number of the Health Office is 651-480-7486.  Staff members and teachers are very willing to help, however take the direction and approval from the Health Office.    


“Gone Too Soon” – MINNESOTA STATE PATROL VIDEO – Grade 10 Health:  On Thursday, April 18 State Trooper Paul Kingery from the Minnesota State Patrol East Metro District will be promoting the wearing of seat belts and showing the effects of drunk/impaired drivers in a video called “Gone Too Soon.”  As parents, we are all concerned about our children when they are on the roads.  This effort by the State Patrol is to teach the reality of what truly happens in auto accidents involving impaired drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts.  This video shows actual crash scene footage and has a tremendous impact on anyone who watches it.

Tragically, our community has lost young people in automobile accidents – we want to do anything we can to help bring the message of safe and responsible driving to our students.  The State Patrol will be showing the video in grade 10 Health classes.  If you believe that this video would be too difficult for your child to view in light of a tragedy that has been close to them or your family, please let us know.  We can provide a different location for your child to be while the class watches the video.  Please let myself or your child’s counselor know at 651-480-7489 if that is the case for your child.  Thank you for your support.


“”:  What is this??  Your children know.  Teachers at Hastings High School are utilizing Turnitin as an effective online tool for evaluating student learning.  When students submit assignments to Turnitin they are turning work in to a comprehensive cloud-based program that helps students learn by facilitating efficient personalized feedback.   Teachers are committed to using the system to increase the amount of feedback students receive and to improve the quality of the feedback.  Turnitin also checks students' work for potential plagiarism by comparing it against the world's largest comparison database.  Many teachers are using this as a teaching tool so students can avoid unintentional plagiarism and ensure they are keeping their work original.  The system also streamlines peer reviews, enabling increased feedback students receive on their work.  Teachers using the program are huge fans of this opportunity for our students.

2019 All Night Grad Party:  The All Night Grad Party (ANGP) is a long-standing tradition for our graduating High School seniors.  It is a safe environment for our kids to spend the evening after graduation with their friends and have lots of fun!

Have you:  *Purchased a ticket?  *Signed up to volunteer?  *Started thinking about a senior poster? *Considered donating cash or a prize?

You can do all these things and more on our website –

You will not want to miss this great event held on graduation night – June 7 from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.  This fun filled night is a gift from HHS parents to our graduating seniors.  There will be tons of games, free food, great prizes, temporary tattoos, raffles, fun surprises, and a hilarious hypnotist show at the end of the night.  There is something for everyone!

If you have not purchased a ticket yet, now is the time.  The cost is $70 until after spring break on March 15 – then the price increases to $80.  Tickets will be $100 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at  If you find it difficult to pay the ticket price, partial and full ticket assistance is available. Please see Asst. Principal Kris Husaby to fill out a Scholarship Request form. All requests are confidential. No student will be turned away for financial reasons.

This party cannot happen without dozens of volunteers. We need you! Don’t have a senior this year? We need parents of freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors to volunteer! There are many different types of volunteer opportunities including jobs during the school year, the day of graduation, during the party, and cleaning up the morning after the party. We can find the perfect job for you. It’s easy to volunteer online at, or by calling Julie Larson at 651-335-7785 or emailing her at

Senior Posters - from funny childhood snapshots to family photos, to pictures with treasured friends, the senior poster is a way to showcase your graduate's personality and accomplishments.  And - they are a tradition at Hastings High School!  The posters line the hall during the All Night Grad Party for the graduates (and parent volunteers) to enjoy.  Use your imagination to make a poster that is a one of a kind tribute to your graduate.  When the grad party is over...proudly display it at your home during your own grad party! 

Check out our website for answers to all of your senior poster questions. 

If you have any questions or concerns about these or any other issues, feel free to contact me directly at 480-7474.  Thank you for your continued support!


Mike Johnson, Principal