SCHOOL CLOSING: Until further notice, Hutchinson Public School buildings will be closed due to COVID-19 to help limit exposure and protect our students, families, and staff members. More Info

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Archives for February 2020

HHS Sports Marketing & Special Olympics

The POLAR PLUNGE is February 28, 2020, 4 of the 5 Sports Marketing Fugitives have been Captured.

Only 1 fugitive remains – Jeff Peterson.

If you want to see Mr. Peterson “Face the Clippers” go to: https://reg.plungemn.org/team/hutchtigers2020 and donate any member of the Hutch Tigers team.  He will “Lose his Hair for Special Olympics” if the Hutchinson team raises more $ than the Litchfield team.

Money raised will be used to pay for equipment, uniforms, transportation, entry fees and meals.  Thank you for supporting the Hutch Tigers Special Olympics athletes.

Congratulations Alyssa!

Activities: February 24 -28, 2020

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Tiger Pride!

Value of Civility

By JoEllen Kimball, ISD 423 Board of Education

 

On New Year’s Day 2020 my husband and I went to a pig roast at my college roommate’s home in Arizona. There were about one hundred people present. We joined young and old people, neighbors, co-workers, high school and college friends and friends of the hosts’ adult children. It was a great party with lots of food, beverages, and conversations. We celebrated the excitement of a new year without the divisiveness of current hot topics. Everyone was civil though there were probably many different opinions on politics, religion, and social issues represented.

Opal Tometi defines civility as “the recognition that all people have dignity that is inherent to their person no matter their religion, race, gender, sexuality, or ability.”

If it was easy to be civil at a party with mostly strangers, could it be more or less difficult to be civil to people we know well? I have come to learn that my parents and grandparents had strong and differing opinions about politics, religion, education, and child rearing. However, growing up I never doubted their love and respect for one another or for my siblings and me.

My grandparents cared for and celebrated us. They each gave us a specific gift, like the fairies in Sleeping Beauty.

My Grandpa Bailey shared his love of reading. He took us to the Dixon Public Library whenever we visited. Grandma Bailey, in her house dress and apron, worked all day to make our visits comfortable. I remember her advice to me, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

Grandma Hughes shared her love of music with instruments and records for us to play. Grandpa Hughes helped us learn to love animals and playing outside. He gave us rides to his barn in the back of his truck. I remember riding pigs, gathering eggs, and catching insects with the butterfly net he made us.

Our visits were always civil because my parents and grandparents shared the values of courtesy and kindness. They believed in looking at people when you spoke to them and modeled learning and working hard throughout your life.

Now in 2020 civility is still a virtue to be taught, modeled, and practiced. I will not disagree aloud with parenting, education, religious, or political decisions of my own children as they raise my grandchildren. I will care for, comfort, and celebrate their lives and the lives of any children I come in contact with. The gifts I received of love for reading, music, nature, and meaningful work are still to be valued.

In the words of Cindy Ann Peterson, “Civility requires that we listen and interact with intent to learn and respect other’s opinions.”

Grandma, I will not put off working on this until tomorrow.

Congratulations Sam & Blake

Activities: January 17-22, 2020

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Tiger Pride!

Daycare Express for Daycare Providers

Congratulations Alex & Tanner

Activities: February 10-14, 2020

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Tiger Pride!

Restorative Practices in the School

By: Robert Danneker, Principal, Hutchinson High School

 

American philosopher and educational reformer John Dewey once wrote, “We do not learn from experience; we learn by reflecting on experience.” This quotation is taped to my assistant principal’s computer screen and is a constant reminder that personal growth is an intentional process.

Personal growth impacts the collective community, as well. We are all familiar with concepts like “paying it forward” or “random acts of kindness.” Similarly, establishing community norms based around empathy and compassion can result in a self-fulfilling environment. But how do we ensure that voices of understanding and mutual concern drown out the negative or unproductive options that abound?

At Hutchinson High School, we are in our first year of introducing a framework for our school community known as “restorative practices.” The International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) defines this work as “an emerging social science that studies how to strengthen relationships between individuals as well as social connections within communities.” Start with individuals, extend to others, then impact the larger social network through this lasting, positive change.

Informally, we began this work at Hutchinson High School over a year ago when our in-school suspension supervisory position became available through attrition. Instead of simply filling this vacancy, we re-imagined how we might better serve our students and our school community. Thus, we hired a Behavioral Interventionist and we ended our practice of in-school suspension. Now, instead of providing a holding pen for students struggling with behaviors and interpersonal relationships, we provide them an opportunity to talk, de-escalate, re-center, and reflect.

This approach is present in our classrooms, as well. Beginning this school year, we are training our teachers and staff on the basics of restorative practices in hopes of learning of, sharing, and refining more tools that might be used to best support our students in their most difficult times. One of these skills is the check-in circle. Sitting in a circle and individually taking turns responding to a prompt, students learn from and with one another, building community, empathy, and shared understanding.

The circle concept is adaptable, as well. For instance, circles can be used to restore relationships after harm (emotional or physical) has occurred. At a school I worked at previously, it was not abnormal for a student to approach a school counselor, social worker, or member of the administrative team to request a circle. “We need to circle up and settle this,” a student might say. In this manner, restorative practices empower students to proactively, and respectfully, resolve their disagreements.

And then there are the five questions. Or, perhaps more accurately, the Five Questions. We use these questions privately with individual students when they are struggling or with students returning to our school community from suspension. We start with, “What happened?”, learning first-hand and from the student’s perspective. “What were you thinking at the time?” allows the student to explore the processes of decision-making, and “What have you thought about since then?” permits the student to evaluate the effectiveness of their choices. “Who has been harmed?” directs the students towards an understanding of empathy and the (sometimes) far-reaching impacts of personal actions. Finally, “What will you do to repair the harm?” challenges the student to develop a plan to fix relationships in the short-term and to build a stronger community in the days ahead.

When the actions or behaviors of a student rise to the level of an out-of-school suspension, the whole school community suffers. Each of our students is an important contributor to who we are and when a single student is missing, we are not whole.

The events we experience certainly have an impact on who we are, but how we interpret and reflect upon those moments that shape our lives dictate who and what we can become: our best selves.

Hutchinson Public Schools

Hutchinson Public Schools