Principal's Newsletter

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Hickory Point Happenings April 23, 2021

In this edition:

  • Class placement process

  • Autism awareness

  • PBIS

  • No pets on school property

  • Important dates

Class placement process

Dear Hickory Point Parents,
The class development process is incredibly elaborate and carefully planned each year to promote a nurturing culture for learning and a positive rapport between the children and the teacher. We have three primary goals when developing class sections:

1.     Ensure that each child’s academic needs are met.

2.    Pair each child with another student or group of children for social-emotional   


3.    Consider teacher styles.

The class sectioning process involves multiple school personnel who consider numerous factors while maintaining an efficient schedule that meets the needs of all our students. This process takes countless hours and goes through multiple iterations over the course of many months. Some factors in the process include:

  • Maintain the district class size of 17-22 with comparable class sizes across the grade levels

  • Balance the number of boys and girls in a class and across the grade level

  • Ensure the needs of students who receive support are aligned with the schedule of the grade level and support personnel working with them. This includes the following teachers:

    • Special Education teachers

    • Speech and Language teachers

    • English Language Learner (ELL) teachers

    • Reading Support teachers

    • Math Support teachers 

  • Review peer dynamics (students who work well together)

  • Create groupings of children in both math and reading so there are comparable abilities in the classroom for collaboration

School principals often receive many parental requests for children to be placed with specific friends. As you can imagine, this becomes an impossible task while trying to place children in an environment that best meets the needs of all children we serve. Given the complexity of scheduling, we cannot accept specific friendship requests or teacher requests by name. Should your child have specific needs that we are not already aware of, or if there is a known reason to separate children, it is a good idea to send a reminder email message to the principal. While parents sometimes want their child to be with a close friend or a specific teacher, it’s not always in your child’s best interest in the classroom environment. Ultimately, we share a common goal to place children in a classroom where each child thrives both academically and socially. We are committed to developing class sections with each child in mind while balancing the complex variables listed above. The lists are developed and reviewed over time and by many staff members. Through our elaborate and multi-step class development process, we intend to place our students in an environment where each child has a happy and successful school year.

Thank you for your support and understanding. 

For your children,

Maureen Deely and Meggan Buchanan

April is Autism awareness month

Dear Hickory Point Parents,

April is Autism awareness month. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Early diagnosis and intervention lead to improved outcomes for young children with Autism.  Some of the signs to look for include:

  • Lack of or delay in spoken language

  • Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)

  • Little or no eye contact

  • Lack of interest in peer relationships

  • Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play

  • Persistent fixation on parts of objects

Our goal at Hickory Point is to increase awareness of differences to create a culture of acceptance and belonging.

For your children,

Maureen Deely Meggan Buchanan


It is a great time to review expected school behavior with students now that we are all back together on campus. Students are focusing on being SAFE around all areas of the school. This includes social distancing, always wearing their mask, and hand washing. Students are acknowledged for their efforts with Bulldog Bucks. They will participate in a school-wide celebration for their hard work at the end of the month. Thank you for reinforcing these positive behaviors at home. More information about SAFE is here.

No Pets on School Property (final posting)

Due to allergies and health/safety concerns, pets are not allowed in any District 27 school or on school grounds during the school day. This includes arrival, dismissal, and other times when students are present.

Important dates

Friday, April 23              Teachers’ Institute - No School

Thursday, April 29         Remote materials pick up 9 am -4 pm

Friday, April 30              Spirit day- pajama day