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News From Elementary Principal


News from Elementary Principal


Dear Parents,

It is hard to believe that the 2019-2020 school year is past the halfway point!  In fact, the 100th day of school is February 3rd .  During the month of February, our thoughts often turn to Valentine’s Day and our focus on those that we love.  At Hershey, most of all, we love our students.  We chose to be educators for the joy of helping children reach their full potential.  We love our staff members who are committed to being at the top of their chosen profession.  We love our families who work as partners with Hershey to prepare our children for the future.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conferences for grade PK-6 will be held from 4:00-8:00 PM on Thursday, January 6th and from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM on Friday, February 7th.  Thursday will be an early dismissal at 2:45, while Friday, February 7th there is NO SCHOOL (PK-6).  This is a great time to visit with your child’s teacher, celebrate your child’s success, as well as focus on the goals that still remain for the ongoing semester.  I encourage you to set up a time to conference with your child’s teacher as it is important that you have a hand in their learning process.  You may sign up for a time slot by going to our homepage https://www.hpspanthers.org/ and click on the Parent Teacher Conferences tab.  If you do not have an account, you will need to create one.  I’m looking forward to observing a high percentage of parents in attendance during conferences.

Kindergarten Orientation 

We are reaching out to all families in our district to remind you that enrollment for next year is starting now. If you have a child who will be 5-years old by July 31, 2020 please start gathering immunization records & birth certificates.  We will be holding a kindergarten orientation night on Monday, March 16th, 2020 from 6:00-7:00 pm where we will be able to go over enrollment procedures and answer any questions you may have.  Please call Stacy Carder if you are unable to attend this kindergarten orientation or have any questions about the enrollment process.

Preschool Orientation 

We are now accepting kiddos for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year for students who have not reached the age of five on or before July 31 of the current school year.  Preschool registration/open house is scheduled for Monday, March 23, 2020 from 6:00-7:00 PM.  If you know anyone with a child that will be eligible for preschool, please spread the word about our upcoming registration and open house evening!  Please call Stacy Carder if you are unable to attend this preschool orientation, or if you have questions about the enrollment process.

What a Difference Attendance Makes Every Minute Count!

Attendance in elementary school is the beginning of many habits for a lifetime. Students learn as much in academic areas as well as behaviors, socializing, working together, problem solving, and many more. These habits that are created and reinforced in elementary school are habits that develop in adult life. Attendance is so important to do correctly now when they are young and easier to support.  According to multiple studies, missing several days of school over the course of a year significantly reduces the likelihood that students will graduate from high school. With attendance a crucial factor to keeping kids on the right path to graduation.  Below is some of the research below on why attendance matters.

  1. Start Strong -  Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict frequent absences later in the school year. Nearly half of all students that missed more than two days of school in September went on to miss almost a month of school.
  2. Chronic Absences -  An estimated 5 to 7.5 million students in the United States miss almost a month of school every year. This adds up to over a year missed by the time of graduation. 
  3. Early Absences Lead to Attendance Issues in Later Grades -  Absenteeism starts early. One in 10 kindergarteners and first graders are considered to be “chronically absent.” 
  4. Chronic Absence = Missing two or more days per month -  Research shows students who miss 10 percent of school, or two days per month, show negative academic progress. In some schools, that adds up to 18 days a school year and is considered to be chronic absence.



Jared Thomsen

Elementary Principal

(308) 368-5572


Empowering students to reach their full potential.

“Educating Every Student, Every Day, Every Way”