Highland A Title I School 1845 NW Highland Ave 541-474-5765 September/October Newsletter
Highland Calendar

October 5th & 6th   Picture Day

October 9th            No School Statewide In-Service Day

October 16th          National Boss' Day

October 30th          No School Professional Development Day

October 31st          Halloween

Principal's Letter
by NVM

Highland Families,



As I write this we are rapidly approaching the end of September.  The trees are changing and fall is in the air.  If you feel anything like I do, it feels like anything but a “normal” fall, but slowly students are entering classrooms and the 2020 - 2021 school year is off and running.

Highland feels like two separate schools right now.  We have our Hybrid schedule with A group on Monday and Thursday, and our B group on Tuesday and Friday.  Then we have our fully Comprehensive Distance Learning program with all of our 4th and 5th grade students at home.  It has been so rewarding to have our hybrid students in the building, and the participation of our CDL students has been amazing.  Thank you again for your support in educating your child during these times.

You have been the recipient of many emails about our new after school pick up system called PikMyKid.  With any new system there are always bumps, but overall it is serving us well and helping to keep safe distances for our students and families during afternoon pickup.

This week your student came home with a plastic badge with their name and a bar code.  The purpose of this badge is to help streamline our check in process in the morning.  After having their temperature checked, we need to make a log entry to record that each student did not have a fever.  The badge allows us to scan and go as compared to having to look up each student by their last name.   I am very sensitive and committed to making sure we don’t turn each child into a number to be processed every morning.  We have found a happy side effect of the check in process.  Right now no student gets to “sneak” into school in the morning.  Every student is guaranteed to get at least two positive adult interactions before they have even set foot in the hall.   We know that the first interaction and positive relationships are crucial to a child feeling safe and welcome at school and setting their day off on the right foot.

I wanted to share a bit about our recess process.  We currently have the playground split into 3 zones of play areas.  At any given time we have one grade on the playground and each class cohorted into one zone for that day.  Classes will take turns rotating through zones during the week so that they all get a chance to play in all areas of the playground.  Each classroom also has their own set of playground equipment that stays only within their own cohort.  Students are allowed to take “mask breaks” when they go outside to play, and our assistants are working to kindly remind our students about keeping appropriate spacing while playing.  We are getting outside whenever the air quality and weather conditions permit.  We have a real time AQI station on top of our building which determines our ability to go out.  Anything over 100 on our AQI means we must stay inside.  If you click the “Air Quality Index” tab on the district website-it will give you the real time readings at each school in the district.  The station at North Middle School will be back up after their roof work is completed.

In the big picture of the school year, I remain hopeful that our Covid numbers will remain holding where they are or continue to improve, which in turn might allow us to consider bringing 4th and 5th grade students back to school in a hybrid model as well.  The district office has said that November would offer the first possible window of opportunity to make that change.

I know I have said this before but we have never needed to work together more than during a time where distancing and isolation can be necessary.  Thank you for joining us on this journey.



Together we will shine,

Mr. Van Manen




























Annual Notices
by Jennifer Thomason


2020-21 Annual Notice for Statewide Tests
Why does participation matter?
While no single test gives a complete picture of your child’s progress, having your child take the statewide tests provides educators and administrators with systems-level information about what educational approaches are working and where additional resources are needed. Your child’s participation is important to help ensure that schools and districts receive the targeted resources they need to help all students succeed, particularly those from historically underserved backgrounds.

Description of rights
House Bill 2655 permits parents and adult students to annually opt-out of Oregon’s statewide summative tests in English language arts and mathematics by submitting an annual form to the school the student attends. Schools will provide parents with the annual form for 2020-21 at least 30 days prior to the start of testing. Visit this link to learn more about House Bill 2655: http://tinyurl.com/OR-HB2655.

When will my child take the test?
Your child will be tested once. Your child’s school will determine the specific dates your child takes the tests within the statewide testing window.

oHelp identify schools and districts that need additional supports to ensure more students are meeting higher standards
oChallenge students to think critically and apply their knowledge to real-world problems
oUse multiple item formats to ensure multiple means of accessing item content
oAct as a snapshot of your child’s progress and may be considered along with other pieces of information to understand your child’s academic strengths and needs

In 2010, Oregon adopted higher K-12 standards in English language arts and mathematics to ensure that all students move from grade to grade with the academic knowledge and skills necessary for success beyond high school. We have adjusted the test blueprint for 2020-21 to allow for reliable estimation of student performance, while decreasing the time that students spend testing.

Talk to your child’s teacher or school principal if you have questions or want to learn more about how you can support your child in English language arts and mathematics. Here are some additional resources:
http://tinyurl.com/ELARoadmap & http://tinyurl.com/MathRoadmap
To view sample test questions: https://tinyurl.com/ORPracticeTest
To read more about your child’s test results: http://tinyurl.com/ORTestResults

High School English language arts & mathematics summative tests
January 5 – June 4, 2021
Grades 3-8 English language arts & mathematics summative tests
March 4 – June 4, 2021






Medication at School
by Martha Covrig RN


When your child must take prescription and/or non-prescription medicine at school, please follow these steps:

· The parent/guardian must bring the medicine, in person, to the office.  It may not be sent with the child.  

· Additionally, the parent/guardian must pick up the container when the child has completed the course of medication.

· The medicine must be in its original container.

· The parent/guardian must fill out the appropriate form with instructions/permission for the school to administer the medication.

· The parent/guardian must inform the school, in writing, of any  changes in medication  instructions.

At no time may a student be in possession of either prescription or non-prescription medications while at school.  All medications must be administered through the office, following the procedure explained above.  The office must be notified if your child is in this category.  The District and State discourage parents from asking the schools to dispense  non-prescription medication.


Picture Day is Coming!
by Jennifer Thomason


Picture day for Highland Elementary School will be on Monday, October 5th and Tuesday, Octobeer 6th. There are many picture packages available to purchase. Check out Newcomb's link for purchases


If you have any questions, please feel free to call the office at Highland at 541 474 5765


School Board Meetings
by Jennifer Thomason

School Board Meetings

2nd & 4th Tuesday of each month;  5:00pm,

Boardroom at 725 NE Dean Dr.  Via Zoom

October's scheduled meetings :

Tuesday, October 13 and Tuesday, October 27



Free Breakfast and Lunches
by Jennifer Thomason

Free Breakfast & Lunch!

We are pleased to inform you that GRANTS PASS SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 7

has implemented an option available to schools participating in  the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the Year 2020.

What does this mean for you and your children attending the school(s) identified above?

Great news for you and your students! All enrolled students of GRANTS PASS SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 7 are eligible to receive a healthy breakfast and lunch at school at no charge to your household each day of the 202  year. No further action is required of you. Your child(ren) will be able to participate in these meal programs without having to pay a fee or submit an application.

If we can be of any further assistance, please contact us at
The Food and Nutrition Services.

Michael Morris - Supervisor 541-474-5716  mmorris@grantspass.k12.or.us




Don't Forget!
by Jennifer Thomason

Just a reminder that our drinking fountains are closed, so be sure to send your student with a water bottle every day they attend.  A Schedule Monday & Thursday B Schedule Tuesday & Friday. We do have bottle filling stations available so you can send reusable water bottles with your student(s).

We also have given your student(s) ID cards that help us check your child in each morning and can easily be accessed on your child's backpack or on a lanyard. 

Finally masks are required if your child's mask malfunctions at school we do have replacements available but please everyday send your child with a face mask that covers nose and mouth.

Thank you






Nurse's Notes
by Martha Covrig RN

Nurse’s Notes - September 2020 - Resources

This has definitely been a challenging, unusual time we have all been through over the past 7 months.  As the school year starts with grades K-3 In-Person and 4-12 in Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) we are hoping for continued opening of schools.  I know we would all like to see things go back to normal…and it will…eventually…to a “new normal”.  It will take some time to determine what that looks like, but one thing for sure, we will need to keep working on staying safe.  I am just including a few links to some resources that you may find helpful. 

Oregon Health Authority/COVID-19 Up-dates - Resources are available at: https://govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-covid-resources  and for people with disabilities at: https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19 under “Community Resources for Specific Groups.”

Resources for Families of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs:


Take Steps to Protect Children and Others from Getting Sick

Help stop the spread of COVID-19 by doing some things everyone should do to stay healthy as well as some extra things that are part of life with COVID-19. Teach your children to do them too...

  • Clean hands often using soap and water or at least 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.
  • Avoid close contact: Use the 6 foot physical distancing around people that are sick, or that don’t live in your household.
  • Monitor your health daily and avoid people who are sick (Cover coughs and sneezes, use tissues and wash hands). 
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (like tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks).
  • Launder items including washable plush toys as needed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items. 
  • And remember to wash fabric face coverings-wear a clean one daily.

Please let me know if you and/or your children have a need that I may be able to help with.  When it comes to health needs or resources for your child (ren), know that I may be able to direct you to a resource I know about to meet a specific need.  


Shared with you by Martha Covrig, RN, District Nurse, Grants Pass School District #7, 541-218-1762

Spirit Days October 27 & October 29
by Jennifer Thomason

Spirit Days October 27th for our B group and October 29th for our A group

No school on October 30th so we won't be doing Halloween Costumes this year but looking forward to our first Spirit Days 2020/2021

More details to come

Library Time for 4th & 5th grades
by Mrs. Kriz

Fourth and Fifth Grade Curbside Pickup for Library Books

Our CDL students do have access to library checkout, via a Book Request Form posted in their Canvas course. Please plan to pick up your books on the Wednesday following the day you filled out the form, at your scheduled time. (The form has now been updated to include the date for pickup.) Books will be held for one additional week if not picked up that first Wednesday. A reminder will be sent out if books are not picked up. Any books not picked up within that two week window will be returned to the library to be available to other students. Please contact Mrs. Kriz with any questions or concerns. jkriz@grantspass.k12.or.us or by phone, 541-474-5765, ext 120.