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Archives for March 2018

Adverse Childhood Experiences – ACEs

By Anne Broderius, West Elementary Principal

Hutchinson Public Schools is a proud member of PACT for Families Collaborative, a children’s mental health and family services collaborative, that serves to strengthen children, families, and communities. One of their current initiatives, Partners for Resilience, is providing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) & Resilience training through the help of a Bush Foundation grant. I am honored to have been selected to represent our school district and McLeod County at this two-day training in early April.

According to Minnesota Communities Caring for Children, ACEs are being considered a public health disaster. The ACE Study confirms that adverse experiences in early life increase physical, mental, and behavioral problems later in life. The first step in trying to heal this high level of concern within any community is to start courageous conversations on how our community can work together to change the future of this increasing public health concern. Schools across the nation are being impacted by the mental health needs of our children and families, and together we can commit to helping prevent ACEs for our children.

The original ACE study was conducted in California in 1995 with over 17,000 participants focusing on the first 18 years of life. This study included a physical exam and surveys about childhood experiences and current health status. Since 2009, the study has been conducted in several additional states and continues to support the original research, a high ACE score puts individuals at  greater risk for developing negative chronic health conditions or negative life outcomes. The more ACEs a person has, the greater the risk for poor adult mental and physical health.

The original study looked at ten ACEs: emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, physical neglect, and household dysfunctions including mental illness, a mother treated violently, incarcerated relative, substance abuse, and divorce. Recent research is now including community and environmental ACEs such as racism, bullying, and community violence. They are proving to create the same biologic changes as the original ten ACEs.

ACEs directly impact the prenatal and early childhood years. Health in the earliest years, including a mother’s well being and overall mental health in the prenatal years, lays the groundwork for a lifetime of strong physical and mental vitality necessary for a child’s successful and positive life experiences. Sound health in the womb and in the early childhood years, provides a strong foundation for the construction of a child’s healthy brain, including the development of the body’s stress response system, cardiovascular system, immune system, and metabolic systems that continue well into the adult years. It’s simple, the brain undergoes its most rapid and important development during those critical early childhood years and those early experiences determine whether the architecture of the brain is robust or fragile.  Any negative impacts or disruptions during this important development period can cause problems far into the adult years and lead to lifelong challenges in both physical and mental health.

When people hear about the ACEs study, they often ask about how do some people overcome these experiences and others do not. This is clearly related to resilience. Many also wonder, how can we ensure resilience in our children. In order to successfully support our children’s future, science that looks at resiliency backs the need to first understand ACEs. Next, focus on creating healthy environments where children feel safe both emotionally and physically, find early intervention resources to build a child’s capabilities, and find support networks that include stable relationships, including strong community, faith, and cultural approaches. It’s truly all about relationships – one of our school district’s core values.

If your organization is interested in learning more about ACEs, please contact me at West Elementary. I am eager to share this information in more detail and work with you to build our community’s capacity.

Activity Schedule: March 26-31, 2018

Click Here for this weeks activities schedule.

Activities Department

Thayne Johnson, Activities Director
Meghan Laffen, Administrative Assistant



Tigers of the Week: Eli Sladek & Emma Trettin

Congratulations to Eli and Emma, the TIGERs of the Week for March 19 – 23

Eli Sladek – Robotics

Eli is new to the team this year, but he stepped in like a seasoned veteran to machine parts for our robot. He has kept his cool when parts have had to be redone because of a redesign and has been a wonderful addition to our team.

Emma Trettin – Robotics

Emma has been determined all season to complete our Chairman’s award. This is the first season in which we competed for the Chairman’s award and Emma stepped up, took the lead, and ensured that it was completed on time. There were numerous tasks related to the award and she made sure that everyone helping out completed their part on time.

Activity Schedule: March 19-24, 2018

Click Here for this weeks activities schedule.

Activities Department

Thayne Johnson, Activities Director
Meghan Laffen, Administrative Assistant



Measuring Students’ Progress: MCAs

The third, fourth, and fifth grade students will be participating in the Minnesota statewide testing program for reading and math during the month of April. These assessments are called the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments III; the tests measure how proficient students are based on the MN Academic Standards for reading and math. In addition, the Minnesota Department of Education mandates that fifth graders complete a science assessment. All assessments will be conducted online. The reading and math tests will be taken in three segments on different days. Parents will be notified of their child’s scores during the fall of 2018.

We are required to have a very high attendance rate during our testing dates. While the assessments are given over a series of days, the students will be tested only part of each day. The students and staff are ready for the challenge and together we can make this a positive experience for your child!

Testing will begin on April 16-April 27.  Fifth graders will complete the Science MCA in May.  Your child’s teacher should be providing the specific dates/times of when the class will be testing.  Please take a minute to check your schedule and consult your child’s teacher to avoid any vacation overlaps, doctor or dentist appointments, or any other conflicts. We appreciate your cooperation!

Improving Reading Comprehension

By Dan Olberg, Principal, Park Elementary

For most of you with young children, reading together is a treasured part of your evening ritual. We know the benefits of reading. We understand the importance. In some cases with young children, we’ve even memorized favorite books. But, parents/guardians are encouraged to do even more while reading with children. Research suggests that asking questions to our children, while reading, can greatly enhance their comprehension skills.  Here’s some suggestions: try asking your child a few questions that relate to the story, such as  “What do you think will happen?” or “Could this happen in Hutchinson?” Start small with asking your child one or two questions per book or chapter. Doing this will give you more and more conversations about the book. Once you feel comfortable discussing the book with your child, start to talk about characters and settings in the book. Ask your child what would happen on the next page. For example, “Do you think the Titanic will sink?” In the end, it makes for some very interesting and enjoyable conversations with your child.

Occasionally, children become bored during the middle part of a book and want to give up, missing the chance to read a great ending. Below are some questions, grouped by category, to use with your child to build a better understanding of the story and to make connections with their own experiences. A couple of questions here and there are all it takes. Keep the conversation as natural as you can. The objective is not to make reading time a question and answer session, but to enhance the conversations and connections with the literature in a way that helps us engage our children with the text they are reading. In this fast paced, quick read, world that our students live in, we need them to be able to build reading endurance so they will get to the end of the book where the most interesting and exciting part of the story is found.  Give it a try!


  • Where did this story take place and how do you know that?
  • When did it take place and what were the clues?
  • If you were going to make this into a play, what would you need on the stage?
  • What are the characters wearing?


  • Describe the best picture you see in the story.
  • What colors do you see?
  • What is happening?
  • What makes it so memorable?


  • Who do you think is the most important character in this story?
  • What is he or she like?
  • Would you like to have him or her as friend?
  • How is he or she like you?

So Far/Heart of the Story

  • What do you like about this story so far?
  • What do you think will happen next in the story?

Relate to this Story or Rising Action

  • Are you the same age of the character?
  • Have you had a similar situation?
  • How is it unlike or like you?

Resolution/Turning Point

  • How was the problem solved?
  • Would you have done it differently?
  • What kind of feelings did you have about how it was solved?
  • How do you think it should have turned out?

These are just some examples of how you can use questioning techniques at home to improve your child’s reading comprehension. The most important thing for children is to enjoy reading and enjoy the conversations that you have about books.  Parents/guardians, have fun with it!


Tigers of the Week: Anton Nunvar & Shari McRaith

Congratulations to Anton and Shari, the TIGERS of the Week for March 12 – 16

Anton Nunvar – Boys Swim and Dive

Anton has led the Tigersharks this season with his fast swims and leader’s mindset. This entire season, Anton has worked to improve his stroke and strength, while also helping out his teammates by demonstrating drills and technique in practice. Anton was a part of our state qualifying 200 Medley Relay and also was section champion in the 200 Individual Medley and 100 Backstroke. His time in the 200 IM was a new pool record at Sauk Rapids and a new team record. These swims earned him the title of Section Swimmer of the Year. At the state meet, Anton helped the relay qualify back for day 2 of competition. In the 200 IM, Anton finished 5th place and broke his own team record. In the 100 Backstroke, he finished 4th. The focus and determination he showed throughout the season, all the way to the final day and final race, sets a strong example for our younger swimmers on how to compete at the state level.

Shari McRaith – Speech

In the category of Humorous, Shari has shown consistent improvement every week and this culminated in her making finals at the Maple Grove Speech Invitational.  As only a Sophomore on the team, we look forward to two more seasons of a continually positive and funny spirit that helps to create a wonderful atmosphere for us.  Additionally, she has shown great commitment to getting better by her regular presence at practice and by her willingness to continually try out things she hasn’t done before.

Activity Schedule: March 12-17, 2018

Click Here for this weeks activities schedule.

Activities Department

Thayne Johnson, Activities Director
Meghan Laffen, Administrative Assistant


Congratulations Girls Hockey!

Our Girls Hockey Team was awarded the Class A Sportsmanship Banner during the State Tournament banquet.

Congratulations to the team and coaches!

Tigers of the Week: Special Olympics Unified Basketball Team

Congratulations to the Hutch Tiger Special Olympics Unified Basketball Team, our TIGERs of the Week for March 5 – 9.

Special Olympics Unified Basketball Team

The Hutchinson Special Olympics Unified Basketball Team is made up of HHS student-athletes with and without disabilities.  This group of student-athletes exemplifies the qualities of being a TIGER in a big way! They work and play hard on the basketball court, always strive to do their best, care about and support each other, treat each other with respect, and model excellent sportsmanship toward their opponents both on and off the court!


Hutchinson Public Schools

Hutchinson Public Schools