Principal's Newsletter

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Hickory Point Happenings September 11, 2020


In this edition:

  • STAR testing for second grade

  • BARRK at home

  • Required safety drills 

  • Mask breaks

  • Introducing our new staff 

  • Daily health questionnaire

  • Hybrid information about art and music (Grade 2)

  • Save the date picture day

  • Important dates

STAR Testing

Dear Second Grade Parents,

Every year we administer STAR assessments in September, January, and May. We give the math test to students in grades 2-8, with the exception of students in our Algebra and Geometry courses. The STAR Reading assessment is administered to students in grades 2-5. 

Testing will begin the week of September 14. 

  • Students attending in-person school: We will administer the assessments across two days per content area to ensure that students are able to take them in the classroom. Your child’s classroom teacher will communicate the schedule for your child.

For additional information on STAR assessment, please consult the District 27 website.

BARRK at Home


This framework is a part of our District 27 PBIS program (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) to promote positive behaviors in our schools. During their BARRK lessons, teachers demonstrated the right way and wrong way to behave at school. Then, students practiced the expected behaviors. Additionally, classroom teachers will be instructing students on how to successfully BARRK through their classroom expectations over the coming weeks. During the school year, students will earn Bulldog Bucks to acknowledge positive behaviors. These are randomly given when students demonstrate the desired behaviors or go above and beyond expectations. Bulldog Bucks will be kept in classroom jars and used towards class, grade level, or school goals.

If a student is not meeting expectations, the teacher will redirect them, and in some cases, an office referral will be completed. Students and teachers keep track of classroom redirections and office referrals so we can thoughtfully reflect and plan for improvement as a school, class, or individually. Consistent communication between the school and home is an essential part of our PBIS process. Therefore, parents will be notified of concerns when a child receives several redirections or when referred to the office. We always want our students to do well and will be coaching them towards increased success throughout the school year.

Please help us as we instruct our students by praising and encouraging these same expectations within your home and your child’s activities. Feel free to print out these special “home” Bulldog Bucks to use at home. Please review and post-school and home expectations for your child. Together we can make this an incredible year for our Bulldogs.

Required Safety Drills

Each year we are required by the state of Illinois to conduct safety drills. We will practice at least one of each of the following drills: Bus Evacuation, Shelter in Place (Tornado), Evacuation (Fire), and Active Intruder (Lockdown). Over the next month or so, we will be practicing all of the drills. The staff is informed before most of the drills. We are starting our drill practice next week.

Mask Breaks

We have been taking quick walks and going outside under the tent to take mask breaks throughout the day. We do have outside recess each day (weather dependent). Additionally, we have outdoor physical education when the weather allows us to do so.  Many classes also take breaks under the tent. 

Introducing Our New Staff

Please welcome two new staff members to our Hickory Point Community! 

Ms. Bari DeGraff-Korner is an instructional assistant. Ms. DeGraff-Korner is a former District 27 parent. Both of her daughters attended District 27 schools. 

Additionally, we welcomed Mr. Christopher Watts. Mr. Watts is the Structured Recess teacher for kindergarten and an instructional assistant in Ms. Spangler’s class. Mr. Watts graduated from Eastern Illinois University. He recently lived in Japan for eight years. 

Welcome, Ms. DeGraff-Korner and Mr. Watts! 

Daily Health Questionnaire(Final posting)

I also want to remind parents to complete the health questionnaire for your child each day. As children arrive, they move through a temperature check and scan their ID, which verifies that parents have certified they are symptom-free. When the survey is not completed, it slows the line of children that can enter the building. Additional information about this process is available on our district and school websites


Information about Art and Music for Students on Hybrid Schedule (Grades 2-5)

Art: If your child attends school in person but does not have art due to the class schedule, please be on the lookout for an art sketchbook that your child will be bringing home. When your child is on a remote day, he/she has the option to do the art lessons on the art teacher’s Canvas page. Your child should do the projects in the sketchbook. 

Music: If your child attends school in person but does not have music due to the class schedule, please encourage your child to do some of the activities on the music teacher’s Canvas page during the remote days. 

At the semester mark, we will be adjusting schedules so that students will have access to art and/or music in-person if they did have one of them during the first semester. The adjustment in schedules will NOT have any impact on the overall  A/B schedule.

Picture day is Coming

Save the dates! Picture days are Wednesday, September 23 for in-person Kindergarten and First grade students and Second grade Group A students. Thursday, September 24 is the date for Second Grade Group B students. Additional information will be shared with families of children that are fully remote. Picture ordering information will be sent home soon. If your child is absent from school on picture day, he/she will be able to take pictures on the make-up dates on November 4 and 5.

Important dates

Monday, September 14                        STAR Testing begins- Second grade

Friday, September 18                           HP Spirit day- Color wars day