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Archives for October 2014

Healthy Kids

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Healthy Kids – Top 5 List

By Mandy Sturges, RN, LSN


Life is busy!  If you have kids in school, you are running here, there and everywhere.  Sometimes having a list can help you stay organized.  Here is a short list to stick on the fridge; the top five things you can do to help keep your kids healthy this school year.

  1. Encourage good hand washing. Nothing beats good hand washing when it comes to preventing illness.  Teach your kids to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy water.  Have them sing the Happy Birthday or ABC song twice while they wash to help make it more fun!  Make sure they lather up their hands with soap, interlocking their fingers together as they wash. Encourage them to wash their hands before and after eating, after using the bathroom, after blowing their nose, and anytime their hands are visibly dirty.  Hand sanitizers are a convenient option, but good old fashioned hand washing with soap and water is best.
  2. Cough and sneeze etiquette. Kids are actually really pretty good about this, but it is always good to remind them of how to properly cover their coughs and sneezes.  Teach them to use their elbows to cover their cough or sneeze instead of their hands.  This helps keep germs of hands, which can then be easily spread to others.
  3. Encourage healthy sleep habits. Being well rested is important for learning and for staying healthy. The CDC website recommends 9-10 hours of sleep for teenagers and at least 10 hours of sleep for school aged children.  Establishing a good bedtime routine of going to bed at the same time each night is beneficial.  Do your best to provide a quiet, dark, relaxing environment, free from all “gadgets”.
  4. Breakfast anyone? Children need fuel to get them through the day, and eating a healthy breakfast is essential!  If your children eat at home before school, that is great.  If the mornings are busy, remember that West and Park Elementary have free breakfast in the mornings.  Even if your child does grab something quick in the morning for breakfast, be sure to remind them they are always welcome to come eat breakfast at school.  Breakfast is also available at the Middle School and High School for a small cost.
  5. Proper dress. As the temperature drops over the next few months, please remember to send winter jackets and boots for your children, as well as hats and gloves.  Having the proper attire will help to keep them safe during these Minnesota winters.  Dressing in layers is always a good idea as temperatures can really fluctuate throughout the day.  Be sure they have tennis shoes for physical education or gym class.

Thank you for letting us borrow your children during the school day.  It is a pleasure to watch them grow and learn.  I hope this list helps you to keep your kids healthy.  If you have any other questions or concerns about how to keep your kids healthy this school year, please don’t hesitate to call the District Nurse at 320-234-2629.

PTO Family Fun Night

You are invited to the first Family Fun Night of the school year. Don’t miss this family-friendly activity hosted by the PTO!
Thursday, October 30, 2014
6-7:30 pm
Park Elementary
Click Here for Complete Details


Facebook Like-a-Thon supporting the Spooky Sprint

October 17 – 31, 2014

For every person that likes Citizens Bank on Facebook from October 17 – 31, 2014,
they will donate $2 to support the Hutchinson REACH team and the Spooky Sprint fundraiser!

Spooky Sprint – October 25, 2014 – Click Here for Info 

Click here to visit Citizens Bank & Trust Co’s Facebook page.

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“Home” in Homework

Putting the “home” in Homework

By: Keri Buker, Middle School Counselor


We are already 6 weeks into the school year, half way through the trimester, and conferences are right around the corner.  The vast majority of students have transitioned well into their new grade and for some, into a new building.  The allure of a new school year has worn off, and for some students, this is about the time that complacency and lack of motivation begin to reveal themselves once again.  This is when missing assignments and poor test scores may start occurring more frequently.

Conferences are an opportune time to meet with your student’s teachers and get a full picture of how he/she is doing thus far. By coming to conferences you are sending the message to your student that school is important and that their education is a priority to you.  If you should leave conferences somewhat underwhelmed, there are some things you can do at home to increase your student’s success.

First, establish a routine.

  • Start by discussing the best time to do homework.  Does your child need downtime before starting homework, or does he prefer getting it done right after school?
  • Try different homework conditions.  Some students work better in silence, others with background noise.
  • Make homework a daily event.   Even on the days where they have no homework, use the time to study for a test or work on a long-term assignment.
  • Utilize the planner!  Make sure your student is utilizing it in the most effective manner (i.e. not just writing down what they did and then never looking at it again).  Stress the importance of looking at it each day and bringing home the appropriate materials.

Second, provide support.  To get the most of homework, your child needs to complete the work himself.  Resist the urge to leap in and solve problems for him.  Instead, use these ideas for supporting his efforts:

  • Make sure they understand the directions.  Encourage rereading them.  Did he/she follow them correctly?
  • Rather than answering their question, you could say, “let’s read this paragraph together and see if you can spot it.”
  • Discuss a plan for tackling his work.  He might do harder assignments first and save easier ones for later.  Or he might start with his least favorite subject and save the best for last.
  • Help your child break large projects into smaller chunks.

Third, keep it interesting.  Your child may never love homework, but there are ways to make it more enjoyable.  Try these:

  • Encourage your student to start a homework group.  Having friends around will make homework more fun, and they’ll learn more too.  Quizzing each other and explaining material helps children remember facts.
  • Involve the whole family with games like “Jeopardy.”
  • Encourage your student to take breaks, especially when it involves long or tough assignments.  He might work for 30 minutes and then take a 10 minute break.

Ultimately, we want all students to be successful.  It comes easier for some and more difficult for others.  My best advice is to seek help early.  Take advantage of the great teachers, counselors, and administration we are fortunate to have in this district.  Together we will do great things!

Homework suggestions adapted from: Middle Years Copyright 2011 Resources for Educators

Go Mobile Today!

Access the Campus Portal anytime, anywhere!

One touch, tons of info – daily planner, assignments, attendance, grades, schedule, and food service.

Click here for download instructions.

Questions? Contact Renee Farenbaugh to sign up for a Campus Portal password. Contact Kayleen Jensen if you have questions about the Campus App. Click their name to email or call the District office at 320-587-2860.

Walk & Bike to School Day 2014

Thank You Heart of Hutch

for organizing the Walk & Bike to School Day!

Volunteers from left to right: Amy Martin (Hutchinson Health), Dan Olberg (Park Elementary Principal), Fire Chief Mike Schumann (walking leader), Daron VanderHeiden (Superintendent), Police Chief Dan Hatten (walking leader), Mayor Steve Cook (walking leader), Candace Hoversten (Hutchinson Health), and Karen Gensmer (Heart of Hutch – Eat Smart).

This event was sponsored by the Connect Committee of Heart of Hutch on October 8, 2014 for Park Elementary students.

Participants were greeted upon their arrival to Park Elementary with an apple and a bottle of water. A banner with signatures of proud participants will be on display at Park Elementary.

Thank you to all who participated!

It’s About You!

At Parks, Recreation and Community Education,
It’s About You

By Dolf Moon, Director PRCE

With crisp weather and leaves changing color winter is right around the corner.   The PRCE fall brochure is out and has plenty of opportunities for you and your family. Skating activities will soon be starting at Burich Arena. Youth and Adult basketball signup is underway. There are many adult programs you may find appealing. And when the weather finally turns the indoor playground is open Monday thru Thursday mornings.

Maybe you will want to take advantage of the new features at the mountain biking terrain course located at Tartan Park. Or check out our park/trails information at or try geocaching. You could also rent a kayak or canoe weekends at Masonic West River Park.  Keep an eye on the Heart of Hutch activities by eating smart, moving naturally or connecting wholeheartedly. And check out the new Farmers Market located at the Historic Depot site.

The PRCE Department offers a wide variety of educational and recreational opportunities to district residents.  The uniqueness of the program starts with you.  If you have an interest and don’t see a program that meets your needs, let us know.  We will try to arrange a program.  If you have a skill you would like to share with others, give us a call. We are currently putting together the winter/ spring brochure

PRCE reaches out to the entire community whether you are a parent with a preschool child (Early Childhood Family Education), a student taking a program after school, participating in Middle School athletics, an adult in a class or league, a senior citizen dropping by our center there’s something for all ages.  PRCE also provides Adult Basic Education opportunities.  Whether you dropped out of high school, are looking for a new job or trying to receive your GED, we can help.  If you’re looking to use a facility, a gym or the pool, we can help.

Parks, Recreation and Community Education understand that “community” extends from neighborhoods to the world.  We are flexible enough to meet the needs of a fast-changing society.  We can extend the reach of education and bring people together in a common purpose.  We like getting people involved in our schools.  We can become partners in addressing community needs.  We do this by offering a scope of activities and services that evolve with new generations of people and technologies, making the community a learning center open for people of all ages.

Parks, Recreation and Community Education reaches out to be inclusive.  Every day it proves that the community and the schools, working together, can be greater than the sum of their individual parts.

Hutchinson Public Schools

Hutchinson Public Schools