Learn more about the new staff at Park Elementary!
Tutors: The District does not endorse or recommend specific tutors; however, a list of people providing tutoring services is available.
Click here to view a video tour for incoming 2nd graders
The Annual Online Enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year is now open for returning students.
To begin, log into your Parent Portal and click “More” on the bottom left side. Then select the option that reads “Online Registration” in the middle of the screen.
Then click, “Click here to go to Existing Student Registration”.
Please complete the enrollment process through the Parent Portal by Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Completing this process ensures that your student(s) will be enrolled for the 2020-2021 school year.
Please note that if this isn’t completed, your student will not be able to get their teacher assignment or schedule.
If you have questions or need to set up a Parent Portal account, call 320-587-2860.
By Anne Broderius, West Elementary Principal
COVID19 has changed the way we live, work, and learn. Many parents/guardians are now required to juggle the demands of several new and very important roles for children. All of us are in the position to possibly make major adjustments to our daily routines and for many families this includes creating the conditions for children to continue their education in the home. It’s our goal to continue to cultivate a love for learning even if we aren’t inside the traditional school walls.
Here are some strategies and key practices for a successful distance learning experience:
- Distance learning will be very different from being at school full time. It’s important to establish similar types of routines and schedules used in the traditional classroom.
- Set up a quiet, dedicated work space for your child away from TV and other distractions. Ensure all of the necessary materials are accessible, organized and ready for the day. During work time, eliminate access to phones, social media and video games.
- Students should continue with morning and bedtime routines including getting up and going to bed at regular school day times. Encourage them to complete the same daily personal hygiene routines (i.e.showering, brushing teeth, getting dressed, etc.) as if they were going to school.
- With your child’s input, create a schedule for the day. Include time for breakfast, lunch, snack breaks, outside time to get fresh air, exercise, acts of kindness and even include household chores. You should not expect your child to be in front of a computer for extended periods of time. Having a schedule for your child’s day from the start of the distance learning time will be critical.
- Distance learning is new for your child’s teacher too. Each day you should expect to connect with your child’s teacher. This might include completing an activity and sharing the work, a phone call, an email, responding to a daily question. Attendance will be taken each school day and your child’s participation each day is expected.
- Read-Read-Read. Some of our best learning is done through reading and conversation about what we read.
- Set up motivators and rewards for completing educational tasks each day. Include breaks or time to connect with friends over the phone or social media for getting some of the learning tasks completed. Children like to set and accomplish personal goals.
- Come up with ways to share back with your teacher what your child is learning and new things they are trying. This will be fun and help to inspire others who are on the same journey.
During the distance learning period, it will be important to stay connected with school staff such as the building principal, counselor or nurse. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or share concerns you have about your child. We are all in this together and ready to support your child along the way.
If you are also expected to work from home this may feel overwhelming. We all care deeply about being the best parent and employee we can be, and know this will feel stressful at times. Lean on your support network of adults, give yourself and others grace, and trust that we’re all doing the best that we can.
Finally, remember children are like mirrors and they reflect our attitudes about life. Be patient and know this will take time for both home and school to master well. Consider approaching this with the spirit of a learner and adventurer, and be open to doing things differently.
By Dan Olberg, Principal, Park Elementary
Leave a message, send a fax, write an email, jot down a post-it, make a list, meeting at 6:00, basketball at 7:00, hockey at 8:00, balance the checkbook, read a book, clean the house, wash the dog, fix the faucet, and if we are lucky – find time to fish. Sounds familiar doesn’t it. Today, we seem to put more on our plate than ever – for many good reasons. Children, too! How does this impact them? Will they continue with this trend? What can we do to help them acquire the ability to keep everything balanced?
For some children, it seems like they have it all together and that they need very little support from adults. They are the type that naturally keep their rooms in order and lay out their clothes for the next day. They even help keep the adults in their family on schedule with helpful reminders such as, “Dad, we need to get going or we will be late!” For others it is our job as parents to help put more emphasis on time management and have more discussions about how the after school activities throughout the week can cause a chain reaction to daily studying habits and personal free time. We know that in school, the connection between success and the ability to organize becomes very clear as children get older.
So what can we do as adults to help instill this very important skill? Should we let them learn the hard way? Do we structure their day for them? There is no answer that is the right answer for every child. In fact, within a family, siblings have different skills for handling time management and the ability to complete important tasks. One thing is for sure: all students do need direction and support from their parents regarding how to organize and balance their time for success at school and out of school activities.
The following suggestions may help you and your child manage their time and busy schedules.
- A study routine. Help your child decide when and where they will study. They should study every day, preferably at the same time. Their study spot should be quiet, neat and comfortable.
- Assignments. Have your child use an assignment app and calendar to keep track of due dates. Show them how to make daily “to do” lists. 7-8 year olds are totally capable of doing this for themselves.
- We just need to teach them and encourage them to do this on a daily basis until it becomes a habit.
- Belongings. Make sure your child has specific places to put things. For example, they might leave their book bag by the door each night or give their favorite jeans a special place in the closet.
- Screen time. Children should not be on their screens for more than 10 hours per week (outside of homework time). To limit viewing, ask your child to plan when they will be on their device each day and try to limit them to that time.
- Other activities. Encourage your child to write commitments, such as basketball practices and social events on a calendar. Use job charts to organize family chores that need to be done during the week and let them decide on when that will occur.
As in all experiences in life, some children acquire organization skills more naturally while others need constant support from kindergarten until 12th grade. When children start off with good time management, they’re more likely to stay that way throughout their life. As adults, being organized leads to less stress and better success. Remember that organizing saves time, and more time means more opportunities for fishing!
The school district greatly appreciates the community support that was evident based on the positive outcome of the bond referendum election, with 1630 “yes” votes to 1512 “no” votes. This is a great day for the children of our community and the future of our school district. Our school district is committed to building school facilities that will serve our community and students into the future and will be a source of community pride.
Smartphones: Making a Case for Waiting Until 8th
Kids these days. This phrase has been uttered by each generation as they progress into adulthood and reflect back on their own childhood. When I think of my own, I remember playing outside until the streetlights came on in the summer. My neighborhood friends and I were kept busy building forts, climbing trees, and exploring the world around us. Children are growing up in a different world than the one experienced by past generations. Technology use is now a given rather than a luxury. Smartphones have become constant companions.
The full impact of being constantly connected has yet to be ascertained, but there are several distressing effects that have come to light in recent years, including the negative impact on the mental health of our children. Early social media use is a contributing factor, as it allows kids to dwell on what their friends are doing without them.
One common pressure faced by families at increasingly younger ages is the question of when to get your child their first cell phone. The day before I left for college, I purchased my first cell phone because I wanted an easy way to keep track of friends and family. Today, students as young as elementary school begin making this request of their parents. You might hear about how everyone already has one, and how your child doesn’t want to be the only one who doesn’t. The word unfair might be thrown in for good measure.
According to a recent survey given to parents of students in grades 5-12 in Hutchinson Public Schools, 81.7% of parents believe that students should receive their first smartphone between grades 6-9. Just over 31% of parents feel that it is appropriate to introduce smartphones in Grade 6, and 50% of parents wait until their student is in grades 7-9 before purchasing their child a smartphone.
The decision on when to give your child a smartphone is a deeply personal one based on many factors, but typically revolving around the need to be connected. Kids today are busy, and parents need a method for knowing both where their children are and when they might need a ride. This issue alone tips the scales in favor of a cell phone purchase for many families.
There has been a push in recent months for parents around the country to sign a pledge to “Wait Until 8th.” This grassroots movement encourages parents to band together in support of letting kids be kids by delaying the purchase of a smartphone until Grade 8. They argue that smartphone use in childhood is altering the typical childhood experience because kids are choosing to be on devices instead of hanging out with friends, playing outside, or reading.
No matter what each family decides, it is important to weigh all options and avoid the early purchase of a smartphone due to the convenience of adding a child to the family plan. It’s more work to find a flip phone than it is to take advantage of a free smartphone offer, which may be what’s best for the wireless provider but not the child. To sign the pledge and learn more about the potential negative effects of smartphone use in children, visit www.waituntil8th.org.
At Parks, Recreation and Community Education, It Is About You
By Dolf Moon, Director of Parks, Recreation & Community Education
Even with cool temperatures, summer is right around the corner. The PRCE brochure is out and has plenty of opportunities for you and your family. We look forward to seeing your family at the Hutchinson Aquatic Center this summer. Your kids may be interested in the four free Passport to the Parks opportunities included in our brochure. We also have a variety of sports camp offerings led by the Tiger Coaching Staff.
This summer you will want to take advantage of our many community playgrounds. We encourage you check out our parks, trails and fitness park information at www.ci.hutchinson.mn.us or maybe even try geocaching. Perhaps consider registering for our new Youth Camps located at Rotary Park.
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 do not 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 fall/winter 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 are looking to use a facility, a park shelter or a ball field, 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 our schools, working together, can be greater than the sum of their individual parts.
Tour Hutchinson High School April 25, 2019
The Hutchinson High School will be open to the community for self-guided tours on Thursday, April 25, 2019 from 5:00 to 7:30 pm. Members of the Board of Education, high school students and staff will be available to visit and answer questions.
Courtesy of HCVN, Hutchinson Community Video Network