May 2017 HHS Newsletter

May 2017 School Newsletter

May, 2017

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

Celebrate Youth Week May 15–19, 2017.  These efforts are brought to you from Hastings High School and the Hastings Police Department, as well as many community volunteers. The purpose of this week is to acknowledge the many wonderful youth in our community and to encourage good choices through Prom, Graduation and the summer months!  Every year there is an emphasis during Celebrate Youth Week on committing to a chemical-free lifestyle and wearing seat belts to save lives.  Throughout the school there will be posters, positive messages and video announcements.  Each year during Celebrate Youth Week, we host the perfect attendance airplane toss from the bridge.  This is a celebration of the outstanding efforts for our students committed to being here every day.  

The HHS Prom is Saturday, May 20, 2017.  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 “Above the City Lights.”

Senior Privileges.  This year seniors will enjoy Senior Privileges – this neat effort has been developed by a group of students from the senior and junior classes as well as staff members at HHS.  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 three 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.

Awards Night.  The annual Awards Night for academic awards and scholarships will be Monday, May 22 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!

Important dates.  

  • Friday, May 19 - this day is an early release day 11:17 a.m. due to staff development.

  • Memorial Day - school will not be in session on Monday, May 29.  

  • Seniors: the last day of school is Friday, June 2 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 8.

Final Exam Policy & Last Day Schedule – Final exams for students in grades 9, 10 and 11 will be held on Wednesday, June 7 and Thursday, June 8 – students must not have any outstanding fees, fines or overdue books in order to be eligible to take final exams.  Students must be present for their final exams and are not allowed to take them early.  The last day of school is Thursday, June 8.

Graduation.  The Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2017 will be Friday, June 9, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.  Weather permitting graduation will be at Todd Field – in the event of inclement weather graduation will be moved inside to the gym at Hastings High School.  No tickets are required to attend an outdoor graduation at Todd Field, however building occupancy of the gym means seating is limited for an indoor graduation.  Each graduate received a letter detailing graduation plans along with 6 tickets for family use in the event of an indoor graduation – no additional tickets are available.  Hastings Community Television broadcasts a live simulcast of indoor graduations for people to view from their homes.  If graduation is outdoors, HCTV will record then re-broadcast graduation at a later date.

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 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.

Athletics Uniform Request Process.  The HHS athletic department supports the temporary, off-season use of uniforms and equipment for student-athlete use.    Varsity game uniforms may be checked out to be used for senior pictures. “Uniforms” may include home and away jerseys, shorts or pants, and helmets. There is no cost to check out uniforms.   At times, some students may be required to have specific equipment in order to participate in a summer event (i.e., a helmet that is required at a football camp).  These items may be rented from the athletic department at a rate of $1/day per item.

In order to effectively serve you, and manage the volume of requests made, the athletic department has created an online request process and published a reservation timeline.  Students and families are expected to follow this process to ensure a satisfactory experience for the family and school. The timeline operates in monthly cycles.  Please plan ahead!  Reservations are expected by the 1st of the month in order to be able to use an item that month – with pick-up typically available in 5-7 business days.

Requests for uniforms and/or equipment must:

  • be completed via the online form located on the HHS athletics website (link below)

  • specify items like the exact sport, jersey number, and if home and away set(s) are desired

  • be completed according to published timelines, and picked up/returned on time

Please find the reservation timeline and link to the reservation form by reading posted information at:

2017 All Night Grad Party  Get ready for fun and games at the Hastings All Night Grad Party Tropical Paradise!  Seniors won’t want to miss this awesome event held on graduation night, June 9th 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 the HHS Student Office. Tickets are $75 and will increase to $100 at the door. There are full and partial scholarships available by contacting Assistant Principal Kris Husaby.   

We still need volunteers in the safety area. All parents are welcome to volunteer - junior and senior parents are especially encouraged to join in the fun! It takes many volunteers to make this a fun and safe night for our graduates. Please join us - 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 Sheri Fox at 651-324-8695 or with questions.

Hazing.  Please see the letter below.  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!

College Boot Camp August 8 and 9, 2017 - cost is $15.  Get ready for college application season with the College Boot Camp this summer.  The College Boot Camp offers 2 days of presentations and workshops led by representatives from local colleges and HHS counseling staff as well as campus visits.  The goals of the College Boot Camp are to help you prepare the best application and essay possible, become familiar with the resources and technology available to help you apply to college, and learn about the first-year college experience.  This is a unique experience that helps our students get an early start and feel more confident as they begin the college application journey.  The College Boot Camp will be August 8 and 9!  Exact times are being determined but will be roughly noon to 6:00 p.m. on August 8 and 8:00a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on August 9. Students need to register using their Family Connection account. The registration form is a survey on the “About Me” tab. Cost is $15. The fee will cover the bus for campus visits, supplies, and snacks and water.

Questions? Don't hesitate to ask Mr. Gooch and Mr. Cooper in the counseling office. See you this summer!

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 19 – July 14, 2017 (note: no school July 3 or 4)

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 2017 for your leadership and achievements!


Mike Johnson – HHS Principal


May, 2017


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.

It 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 Principal   Dakota County Attorney Hastings Police Chief

ISD 200  Hastings High School

COR/Hazing notice