May 2022 Fresh News

FRESH NEWS from Highland | 5.10.22
From the Desk of Ryan Henderson, Principal
Dear Highland Families, 
It's been a minute! Let's start with a little storytime: 
The other night, I drove around the corner from our house and registered my son for Kindergarten. It was a "WHAT THE WHAT?!?" moment. How fast five years flies, and now I embark on the journey of sharing my child with our neighborhood school. It helped me understand on a whole new level just what it is you do when you send us your children each day. It means the world to us as a staff and we are hard at work every day making sure we are doing right by our end of the bargain: to take good care of your kids and to empower them with the learning and the skills they need to succeed.
Read on for assorted celebrations, things to know and things to do as we navigate the remaining weeks of the year together here at Highland. 
Please reach out via the contact info below if I can be of help to your family! I am a call, text or email away. 
All my best, 
Mr. H
Do you have a Kindergarten in your home or in your "village"? 
We are currently registering students for the class of 2035! Registration forms are available in the office and we receive applications Mon-Thurs from 10:30-2 and Fridays from 10:30-3:30. Registering now also helps us plan for our Ready for Kindergarten program in August, which is a don't miss event! We have five wonderful teachers ready to teach these kids, so help us get on our roster!
Highland Helps Ukraine
We were blown away by the generosity of the Highland Community! Together we donated a mountain of supplies - 160 boxes in all, through partnership with a local nonprofit who we connected with through a Highland family. Way to go, Highland!
We are Testing!
As of yesterday, we are embarked on our spring round of state testing with the Smarted Balanced Assessment (grades 3-5) and the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (grade 5). Students are hard at work each morning, starting at 9:30 sharp, to show what they know on these important assessments. To help your child, ensure they are on time so they are ready to test shortly after bell. Our PTA has provided daily snacks, so our only need from you is to send your child to school on time, rested and with some breakfast in their bodies. (Remember we have free breakfast for all, every morning!)
With the rising use of smart watches, this is a good time to remind everyone that in order to keep the testing environment secure and distraction free, smart watches need to be put away during testing, just like we would with cell phones. To minimize the risk of devices being broken, stolen or lost, this may be a smart time just to leave them at home. 
Highland Way Tickets
Did you know that during the months of April through June we have a special focus on aspects of The Highland Way? This month is focused on "showing respect to everyone" and this is reinforced with each staff member noticing two kids each day who are showing respect. They give out two small tickets which are then entered into a big box in the hallway and drawn out to be featured on morning video announcements. Students get a sweet Highland Way water bottle if they are chosen and on Fridays we choose FOUR tickets to honor even more kids. 
Donation Bin
Have you noticed the two clothing donation bins near our south end bus loop? These are a great way for you to get rid of unwanted clothing items and for each collection, we do two things: support our Highland PTA, and ALSO plant trees! 

But wait: if you have sweats or pants (especially for boys!), please consider donating them to the Highland health room. They come in handy for bathroom accidents and for when students get a little too familiar with mud during recess time. 

One was lost, now is...found?

Our lost and found is overflowing! Please nudge your children to look for beloved outer layers. Items will be donated to our handy new donation bins in June, so this is a great time for a reunion! If you'd like to pop by to look through for items, the office is open 8-4 daily. 

A Special Message from Mr. Hedges, Counselor

Attached to this message are letters and some resources related to our teaching of Harassment. Please check them out and reach out to Mr. Hedges with any concerns or questions. 

Volunteers are back!

It's been wonderful to see volunteers back in our hallways and classrooms. If you are interested in volunteering, the first step is to review this information: It contains information on background checks, immunization requirements and exemptions. 

A few tidbits:

- As we head into warmer weather (hopefully!) please remember one basic of the Highland dress code: both top and bottom layers need to meet in the middle of the body to cover midriffs. I know this is not always fashionable, but it's important. Outer layers that can button can help cover shorter under layers.

- The best bet to let us know of your child's absence from school is by using our handy Attendance email, which goes to BOTH office professionals. Try it out! This will help avoid unnecessary absence calls. 

- The Highland Campus opens 9:00 am and that means the crossing guards are in place at 9:00, too. Please ensure your children are not crossing 113th at our north or south campus prior to 9:00. 

- We are dipping our toes into some in-person events this spring. If an event involving your child is open for visitors, your child's teacher will notify you. For brief larger events we will do our best to spread out a bit, limit crowds and are reminding folks to only come to campus if you are feeling well. For one time events for larger groups like 5th grade recognition and our Kindergarten celebration, vaccination is not required. 

- Our PTA spoiled us rotten last week for Staff Appreciation Week! We were treated to daily mailbox surprises, a delicious meal and a tiny-house coffee cart out front that whipped up my dirty chai! And the secret project your children contributed to sure did warm our hearts! 

Hello and Farewell 

This spring we have a few new faces at Highland. A special welcome to Ms. Dullum joining our fifth grade team and to Ms. Salameh and Ms. Vance working our SLC program.

We recently bid a fond farewell to Mrs. Naranjo, a paraeducator in the SLC who is moving to Texas; to Ms. Maw whose leave replacement in first grade has ended; to Mr. Challa who has returned to the Early Learning Center after him covering so wonderfully in Mr. Hedges’ absence.

I have already hired 8 new team members for fall, and there are more to come. We have VERY quality candidates for positions, and I am eager to introduce you to new teammates in the fall. They are TOP notch!

A special message from our LSSD Safety and Security specialist, Greg Lineberry: 

Guidelines for Students Walking or Biking to School

As spring season approaches we expect that we will see more students getting to school by walking, biking, and even on scooters. We support these healthy activities but want to make sure families and students keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • It is the family’s responsibility to decide whether their child is mature enough and demonstrates the good judgement required to walk or bike safely to and from the school.

  • Visibility is always a concern because of the extended hours of darkness and frequent cloudy/rainy weather we experience. Families should make sure that their children are wearing high visibility clothing when they are walking or biking to school, or when waiting for the bus at heavily trafficked locations. Clothing and backpacks with reflective panels are encouraged.

  • Families and students should agree on the routes that will be taken to and from school. Families should accompany their child on the route until the student is familiar with it, and knows what hazards exist (traffic crossings) and how to navigate them.

  • We encourage the use of the “buddy system” if students are walking or biking to school.  Students are more visible when in pairs, and the buddy system allows for one child to help get assistance if there is an emergency.

  • Students must comply with all traffic rules that apply to bikes and pedestrians. Lake Stevens School District requires that appropriate safety equipment be worn when on school grounds. This includes helmets for bikes and scooters.

  • For pedestrian safety, bikes and scooters may not be ridden on school sidewalks. Once at school and on sidewalks, students should walk the bike or scooter to the storage location.

  • Bikes and scooters may only be used to get to and from the school. They may not be used during school hours (like recess or lunch). 

  • Bikes and scooters may not be brought into buildings. We will designate an area for bikes and scooters to be stored during the school day. It is recommended that locks are used by the student to secure bikes and scooters. Lake Stevens School District assumes no responsibility for damage or theft to bikes and scooters brought to school.

  • Lake Stevens School District assumes no responsibility for bikes or scooters that are left at the school. Families are encouraged to have the bike or scooter clearly marked in some manner, and the serial number recorded so the owner can be contacted if the bike or scooter is lost or stolen.

  • Bikes and scooters may not be used in areas that are designated for bus traffic at the start of and the end of the school day. Individual schools may suggest specific routes to and from the school entrance in order to minimize conflict with vehicles. Schools may also suggest preferred times of arrival and departure for students that are walking or riding their bikes in order to minimize conflicts with vehicle traffic around the school. Ultimately, families are responsible for determining the times of travel and routes used by students as they come and go from school.



Ryan Henderson 

Principal | Highland Elementary 

Lake Stevens School District

360.618.2284 mobile/text | 425.335.1590 direct