SCHOOL CLOSING: Hutchinson Public Schools will close starting Monday, March 16 in an effort to limit exposure and protect our students, families, and staff members. More Info


Meet the New Staff!

Click here to see the new faces at Park Elementary!




Thank You Donors!

Summer Break Elementary Learning Opportunities

Come Visit the Park Elementary Library

During these summer months, you and your family are encouraged to participate in some fun learning activities to keep skills refreshed. One wonderful opportunity is visiting the Park Elementary Library during each Wednesday throughout the summer, from 8 a.m. through 2 p.m. (except for July 4th). Students have the opportunity to get rewarded for reading; the more they read, the more they can earn (additional information can be viewed here)!  In addition, the Park Library is hosting a photo contest.  The rules are as follows:

  • Snap a picture of a Park Elementary student “caught reading”.  Creativity is encouraged!
  • Bring picture to the Library or email image to our Librarian, Naomi Shadis by 9/1/2018.

All photos submitted to the contest may be featured in the morning announcements or online.

library books

Summer Learning for All

The Internet is full of terrific summer learning ideas that appeal to students with different interests and learning styles.  For your convenience, we have compiled different resources below based on content area. Each description contains a link to the website referenced; just select the bold, underlined text!

Arts and Music

Music in the Park

Throughout the summer Library Square Park will host various family-friendly music acts. It’s free for all people to attend!  Click here to see what dates/times this weekly event will occur.

Hutchinson Center for the Arts 

Where they focus on bringing the arts to life, Hutchinson’s Center for the Arts offers various exhibits, events, and educational opportunities all summer long!  Check out their site!

Health and Fitness

The Power of Produce Club

Heart of Hutch is a local organization committed to helping people of all ages live well.  Throughout the summer, they are offering a program that promotes healthy eating for kids, referred to as the PoP Club!  Eager to know more?  Click here!

Keeping Fit All Summer Long

This site categorizes information by kids, teens, parents, and educators.  A variety of resources are available that span numerous topics, from jobs to social studies.  What we particularly appreciate is the exercise/movement page, full of excellent content and tips!  Click here for access.


Get YouCubed!

Created at Stanford University, this website offers interesting and challenging tasks for students to complete based on grade level, concepts, and mathematical topics.  Get started and test your mind with one of the challenges.

Fun and Simple Math Family-Friendly Ideas

Math is all around us!  This site offers great ideas for incorporating easy math activities, from suggestions for outdoor games to things you can do around the house,  into your child’s lives.  Don’t delay, check out the article now!  


Maintaining Reading Motivation

With a listing of resources by grades, this site provides targeted and appropriate materials for children.  Podcasts, activities, projects, and digital games are all available when you open the website!

Reading Resources Designed for Parents

Designed for families of English language learners, this site offers informative and engaging learning opportunities for parents and students.  It also provides links to other websites for a more enriching experience.  Get started!


Bringing Science to Life

Science is everywhere around us and this site helps get students thinking in a scientific manner.  Follow some of the suggestions and/or activities that can be found in this article.

Understanding the Impact of Energy

Energy fuels us in different ways.  Not only is this site extremely informative, it also provides interactive games for K-5 children.  This is a great website to keep bookmarked!


Sparking Interest in High-Demand, Transportable STEM Skills for Kids

Project Lead the Way compiled some of the best (and fun) ideas to keep children interested in the world of STEM. Click here to read all 20 ideas!

Pinning Winning STEM Ideas

Pinterest seems to be have an infinite amount of resources when it comes STEM activities. Check out some of the pins that were found by the Girl Scouts of Northern California.


Digital Storytelling

This is a wonderful opportunity for families to craft their own digital stories.  You can also read others’ stories that have been posted on the website.  Get inspired by clicking here.

Discover Our World

Children can learn more about the earth and its residents through this interactive site.

Learning on the Road

Traveling this summer?  Have your child learn more about the people and the places that you’ll be visiting during vacation.  Click here for to read some interesting activity proposals.

Making Summer Count

Recipes, crafts, nature, and summer writing are just some of the categories that parents can peruse while trying to create a meaningful summer break for their children!

Have a safe and superb summer!

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!

Establishing a Healthy Habit

By Valerie Huepenbecker, Counselor, Park Elementary

January is a great time to start thinking about starting a new healthy habit. People are creatures of habit. A habit is something we do daily without thinking. As parents and educators we need to help our children establish healthy habits for learning. Some say it takes forty days to create a habit. The beginning of the year is a great time to create and establish personal and family routines that will someday become lifelong healthy habits.

Create sleep routines-

According to The National Sleep Foundation, “Inadequate sleep can lead to mood swings, behavioral problems such as hyperactivity and cognitive problems that impact on their ability to learn in school.” You can help your child establish a good sleep routine by limiting TV and computer time before bed, make the child’s room dark and quiet, and set and keep a regular and consistent bedtime. The Mayo clinic recommends school-age children receive 10-11 hours of sleep every night. Set a bedtime routine with reading and keep it consistent. Practice deep breathing or mindfulness exercises before bed to prepare the body and mind for rest.

Create nutrition and exercise routines-

Good nutrition and daily exercise is essential to healthy brain development which is critical to learning. The American Psychological Association states that children who eat a healthy diet and exercise daily are more likely to perform better academically, feel better about themselves and their abilities, and avoid feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. Simple things can lead to big health improvements for your child. Start your child’s day with a healthy breakfast, pack healthy snacks, and have fun being active with your child. Take a family bike ride or play catch in the yard, it is recommended that children get at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. By starting these habits early, maybe we can change the almost 30 percent of American children who are overweight. (Retrieved from the 2007 National survey of Children’s health)

Create organization/homework routines-

Provide your child with a time and place to focus, study, and read their school work. This environment might look differently for different students. Some children need a quiet place, like a desk in their bedroom, others prefer the kitchen table. What is most important is that the time and place be consistent, so the child forms the habit of doing daily school work.

Keep things organized by helping your child prepare for the next day. Keep backpacks in the same place every night, lunches packed the night before, and clothes laid out. This will help the morning run smoothly and create the environment for an organized good morning. Help your child create checklists of things that need to be done at night and in the morning. Hang the checklists in their room or on a bathroom mirror. If your child is very young, try adding pictures to help them become more responsible and organized for the things they need to get done. If you have a busy family schedule, try putting up a whiteboard by the door to have a weekly schedule and daily checklist.  Often family members are going in different directions and this is a way to keep everyone organized and “in the know”!

Try not to get overwhelmed by changing to many things at a time, start small, be consistent and before you know it you will be creating a healthy habit!

Park Elementary Welcomes a New Assistant Principal

The staff of Park Elementary is excited to welcome back one of our former educators in a new role: Mary Getzke has been selected as our newest Assistant Principal  Please take the time to read a short introduction, written by Mrs. Getzke, which is provided below.  She will be assuming her new position officially starting July 1st.  If you need need to contact Mrs. Getzke, please email her at:

It is an honor to introduce myself as the new Assistant Principal at Park Elementary School.  My name is Mary Getzke and I am looking forward to carrying on the great tradition that Park Elementary has of being a wonderful learning environment for all students.

I have loved being an educator for 23 years!  My first seven years I served in the Osseo School District as an Elementary Physical Education and  Adaptive Physical Education teacher, along with co-coaching responsibilities for the district’s Varsity Girls’ Swim Team. Thereafter, I took a break from my educational career since my husband, Mike, was transferred to different parts of the United States.  While keeping busy at home with our three great kids, I decided to pursue my Masters in School Counseling.  After being away from extended family for years, we made the decision to come to my husband’s hometown of Hutchinson.  Our children are all adults now, but we have felt fortunate to call Hutchinson home and have all our children go through the Hutchinson Public School system.  I too continued my learning path as an educator serving at Park Elementary for 12 years as one of the school counselors. Being a lifelong learner, I got my Educational Leadership license and took on a new role in the district serving as the Response to Intervention Coordinator at Hutchinson Middle School for four years.  I enjoyed collaborating with HMS staff to develop a supportive reading intervention program that addressed the needs of many secondary students.

My interactions with numerous educators have helped mold me into the leader that I am today. Great schools are a result of great teachers and I look forward to once again collaborating with the staff of Park Elementary to ensure that all students continue to grow emotionally, socially and academically.  Park Elementary is truly a special place to be and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to be back!

Yours in Education,

Mary Getzke

Park Elementary Assistant Principal

Ooooooh Enchiladas!

Tasting new foods can be an adventure!

Click here for monthly meal menus.

Questions about the District’s Child Nutrition program? Contact:

Renee Farenbaugh, Child Nutrition Administrative Assistant
Call 320-234-2603 or Email

Lesli Mueller, Director of Child Nutrition
Call 320-234-2607 or Email

Volunteer Coordinator Needed

Part-time Volunteer Summer Feeding Program Coordinator

The Summer Feeding Program was started in Hutchinson in 2012. It offers a free lunch to ALL, yes all, children 1-18 years, Monday-Thursday for 10 weeks this summer.

Lunch is prepared and provided by the Hutchinson School District, with funds from the USDA.

This year we will be operating and serving from the Hutchinson Middle School.

Here are some details about the position:

  • Recruit and schedule volunteers through email, phone contacts and in person (we have started a list on file).
  • Network with for-profit and nonprofit businesses in the community in order to recruit volunteers.
  • Delegate responsibilities to volunteers in their daily schedule and duties.
  • Market and promote the program to get the word out to the community.
  • Communicate information to parents and daycare providers.
  • Assist when needed, lunch crew with tallying participants with a compliant meal.
  • Enjoy working with kids.
  • Essential skills required:  strong organizational abilities, flexibility, adaptability to unforeseen changes, and professional communication skills.
  • The Coordinator should be friendly, energetic, positive, outgoing and demonstrate a very high level of follow-through.

If interested, please contact Lesli Mueller at 320-234-2607 or Renee Farenbaugh at 320-234-2603.


During a “Taste it Tuesday” Tatchos were introduced to our high school students – they loved it.

Tatchos are potato rounds with shredded romaine, cheese and other nacho toppings.

Park Elementary Earns Esteemed Award for Third Time

Staff and students of Park Elementary have just been honored with the special distinction of being named a Reward School by the Minnesota Department of Education for the third consecutive year.  This designation is reserved for the top 15% of all Minnesota schools that receive Title 1 funding.  As a school, we have demonstrated exceptional student outcomes in the following areas: proficiency, growth, and achievement gap reduction.  Our students performed at a very high level and are well-deserving of this special recognition.

Hutchinson Public Schools

Hutchinson Public Schools