Current Newsletter

October 2108

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 2018-19 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 – 71.5% proficient MCA (state average is 59.0% proficient)

Grade 10 MCA Science – 70.9% proficient (state average is 51.7% proficient)

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

Graduation Rate – 95%

ACT – the HHS average ACT score is 22.0 which was 0.7 above the state average for the senior class of 2018.  This marks the 4th straight year that the HHS average ACT score grew more than the state of Minnesota average ACT score.


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!

411 Advanced Placement Exams in 9 AP courses and

381 students enrolled in 7 College in the Schools courses


Veterans Day Celebration!!

November 12, 2018 at 8:30 a.m.

Hastings High School Gymnasium

 SGM (Ret.) Edwin Adricula will give the Veterans Days Address


Retired Sergeant Major Adricula served a total of 24 years with the Army and the Army National Guard, continues to serve by helping military families as Vice President of Operations for the United Heroes League, is a proud Hastings resident and the father of three students in the Hastings Public Schools.

Hastings High School will honor and recognize the service and sacrifices of all veterans.

All veterans and current military personnel, their families, and Hastings High School students, parents and community members in the Hastings area are invited to attend the Veterans Day celebration Monday, November 12, 2018 at 8:30 a.m. in the school gymnasium.  The Veterans Day celebration is an hour-long program that includes a Presentation of the Colors by representatives of each branch of the military: The National Anthem and The Pledge of Allegiance: The Armed Forces Medley, which veterans stand for when their branch song is played: an emotional Testimonial to Liberty, and a Veterans Day Address.  We are very pleased Retired Sergeant Major Adricula has agreed to deliver the address to the veterans, students and community members.  The celebration will conclude with the entire audience singing “America the Beautiful.” 

Hastings High School was one of the first high schools to organize a community-wide Veterans Day Celebration to recognize all of our veterans and is proud to continue the tradition once every four years.  The Hastings High School band, choirs and orchestra are recognized regionally as outstanding programs, and the music at the Veterans Day Celebration is of the highest quality.  The community of Hastings has a strong tradition of military families and support from the community, and is one of five cities in the state of Minnesota to host a Minnesota Veterans Home.  In 2014 the Veterans Day address was given by United States Senator Amy Klobuchar.  In 2010 the Veterans Day address was given by the family of Lieutenant General (Brvt) James G. Sieben in honor of Lieutenant General (Brvt) Sieben and the Sieben family’s contributions to the military and Hastings community.  In 2007 the Veterans Day speaker was Governor Tim Pawlenty.  In 2003 the Veterans Day speaker was Brigadier General Timothy M. Kennedy, The Assistant Adjutant General – State of Minnesota.  In 1999 the speaker was Major General Eugene R. Andreotti, the Adjutant General – State of Minnesota. 

Please join us on November 12, 2018 at 8:30 a.m. in the Hastings High School gymnasium as our community comes together to recognize the service and sacrifices of all veterans!

Conferences October 16 & 17

The end of first quarter is Friday, November 10.  First quarter conferences will be held in the HHS commons Tuesday, October 16 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 17 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and Wednesday, October 17 from 12:00 to 3:30 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 16 and Wednesday, October 17 during conference times.  This is your chance to buy your Hastings Raiders clothing, Raider Nation t-shirts and Christmas gifts.  This year’s method of payment is cash or check.  If you can’t make it during conferences, the store is open daily from 7:30 to 7:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and some days after school. Feel free to stop in during any of those times or email Mrs. Katie Richardson or Ms. Kia Croone at or during school hours if you have questions.  We will be offering a 20% discount on most items during conferences. 

The Area Needed for Improvement – Attendance

The MN Department of Education (MDE) developed a new system of evaluating schools. The North Star system was designed to satisfy the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the state’s World’s Best Workforce law (WBWF).  Here is the link to the MDE School Report Card that you can view a wide variety of information as well as the North Star system.

One area HHS is below the state average is “Consistent Attendance” or the number of students who attend school at a rate of 90% or better.  90% attendance means a student misses one day of school during a two-week period.  This includes both excused absences (ill, family, trip, doctor, etc.) and unexcused absences (skipping school).  The state average is 85.6%, meaning that 85.6% of all MN students attend school at a rate of 90% or better.  Hastings High School has a Consistent Attendance rate of 83.7%.  Looking at this differently, that means 16.3% of our students (236 students of the 1,450 total students) miss more than one day of school during a two-week period – on average.  Note that school-sponsored absences like field trips, athletics and activities do not count against a student’s attendance rate.

Below is how Hastings compares to the state and surrounding schools.  I put this out to parents and staff members as this is an area of major emphasis.  Our students need to be in school more often.  Please work with school staff members as they verify appointments, share expectations with students and communicate with you students are missing more than 90% of the school days.  Please partner with us by scheduling appointments – as much as possible, we know this can be difficult – outside the school day, not allowing students to “sleep in” or take a day off of school, and scheduling vacations to minimize absences from school.


Consistent Attendance Rates

East Ridge                  90.6%

North St. Paul             88.4%

Tartan                         86.9%

State Average            85.6%

Mahtomedi                 85.2%

Park                             84.3%

Hastings                     83.7%

Woodbury                   78.4%

Simley                        78.3%

Henry Sibley               75.1%

South St. Paul             70.3%

Red Wing                    68.6%


The Attendance Office number is 480-7477, Health Office number is 480-7486 and the Student Office (for students needing a pass to leave) number is 480-7485.

Thank you for calling school when your child is ill or out of school.  If your student is late to school or needs to leave school for an appointment, please bring verification from the provider (doctor, dentist, ophthalmologist, chiropractor, therapist, etc.).  Most providers have a standard letter they print for this verification.

We certainly value and promote good attendance, and understand that all students’ and staff members’ health is very important.  Please remember that students who are not in school for at least four class periods are not allowed to attend games, practices and events. 

Sex Trafficking Awareness hosted by the HHS Feminism Club

The local chapter of the Christian Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation (CEASE) and the HHS Feminism Club will co-present “Sex Trafficking Awareness.”  This will include video testimonies and there will be a local police officer will be on hand to offer insight and answer questions.  This important presentation is free and open to the public. 

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 keep class failures at a very low rate of 4.5%, 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 $800 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 Tuesday, September 25 the Hastings volleyball team and parents raised between $10,000 and $12,000 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.  On Wednesday, September 26 the Powder Puff Football teams and parents raised $880 and 500 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.  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 nine years, NHS has collected over 39,800 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 98 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, 2017 grades to Spring, 2018 grades.  This is a major accomplishment and we have 22 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 76 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!

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 it Out!

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

Food Services Update

Happy Fall Ya’ll!!! Now proudly serving Whistling Well Farms local apples in all of our schools!!!  Founded in 1972, Whistling Well Farm is located in the beautiful St. Croix River valley town of Hastings, Minnesota.  They grow apples for local co-ops, farmers markets, and school lunch programs.  Farmer Charlie Johnson also writes books about his dog Emmy. 

Remember that 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 only $1.30.  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

Class of 2019 All Night Grad Party           

Planning has already begun for the 2019 All Night Grad Party!  The All Night Grad Party (ANGP) is a celebration organized by parents for our graduating seniors. It provides a safe and fun place for the graduates to celebrate together. The party will be held at the high school the evening of graduation, June 7, 2019, until early the following morning.  The night is filled with games, entertainment, food, and prizes. It takes many volunteers to make this party a success and provide a safe and fun experience for our graduates. Any high school parent that wants to get involved in the ANGP can volunteer to fill a variety of positions. Parents of freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors may volunteer!  If interested please contact Jody Rudh at her email her of or volunteer online at

ANGP Tickets will be on sale during fall conferences!

Tickets will be on sale for $50 (which is half off the final ticket price!) during the HHS fall conferences on October 16 and 17.  Bring your checkbook and get your ticket early!  Prices increase to $70 after Christmas break.  Tickets can also be purchased online at PaySchools or on the Grad Party website,

Thanksgiving Break

School will not be in session Wednesday, November 21 due to staff development and Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

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

Mike Johnson - Principal at HHS