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Raider communications!

January 7, 2024

Important Dates & Links

  • January 8-24: MAP Testing Window
  • January 9: PTO Meeting
  • February 28-March 1: Book Fair

Second 9 Weeks Report Cards

Report Cards for the second 9 weeks have been be posted in Skyward under the Portfolio tab. Parents are asked to digitally sign that they have viewed the report card. Please contact the MIS or HPMS Front Office if you need assistance accessing your Skyward account. As always, if you have questions about your student's academic progress, please contact the teacher for a conference or the grade level counselor for additional assistance.

Notes from the Raider Library

Raiders Read 2024

On February 5, we will launch the first Raiders Read. This will be a schoolwide initiative and will replace One School, One Book for MIS. Students in grades 5 - 8 are encouraged to read any of the novels by one of our Raiders' most popular authors (to be announced soon!). Extra copies of the novels will be available in the library and students are encouraged to "read it forward!" if they get their hands on one. Minutes can be tracked using our new tool, Beanstack (details to come!). 

Raider Library Book Fair

This year's annual book fair, formerly held in December, will follow the Raiders Read initiative and lead up to Read Across America Day. The fair will run from Wednesday, February 28 - Friday, March 1. Mark your calendars and watch for opportunities to volunteer!

Author Visit

To culminate all of this literary excitement, our featured author will visit MIS/HPMS the first week of March and will provide an interactive presentation for each grade level! Books will be available for purchase and signing as well.

The Raider Library

Our library is honored to support our students and staff in their reading and learning journeys. Please click HERE to learn more about our library services. 

Watch for more information about these upcoming Raider literary events, and please contact me if you have any questions or if I can be of service to your student. 

Happy 2024! I hope you and your families have an excellent start to the new year and new semester.

Jill Bellomy, Raider Librarian

Carpool Reminders

Please help us keep our students and staff safe by observing traffic safety guidelines around campus during drop off and dismissal.

  • Pull as far forward as possible before stopping.
  • Prompt your student to have his or her backpack ready, shoes on, breakfast eaten, and goodbyes said as you enter the queue lane so he or she can exit the car immediately upon stopping.
  • Queue lanes start at the intersections around the campus. Don't cut the queue lane.
  • Please remember, HPMS dismissal time is 3:20pm. Do not begin lining up in the queue lane before 3:10pm or you will cause unnecessary congestion for families coming to school for appointments. MIS dismissal time is 3:35pm. Do not begin lining up in the queue lane before 3:25pm or you will be caught in the HPMS dismissal traffic.
  • Queue lanes are single lanes all the way around the campus. If the queue lane is full, do not double stack, and do not cut in the lane. Having your student load in your car across moving traffic is very dangerous, and a double lane causes additional traffic congestion and will lead to a ticket from the UPPD for blocking traffic. When the queue lane is full, circle the block and come back around.

All carpool instructions and traffic guidelines are available HERE.

MAP Winter Testing Window, January 8-24

What is the MAP Growth assessment?


NWEA MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) is a computer-adaptive test that assists teachers in accurately measuring what students know and are ready to learn next. Regardless of grade level, MAP allows educators to measure growth over time and supports parents in tracking their student's progress throughout the school year and across multiple years. Click HERE for more information.


How often will my student take the MAP test?


In 5th through 8th grade, teachers administer the MAP assessment in the classroom during a testing window in the Fall (September), Winter (January), and Spring (April).


MAP tests are given in Math (Number Sense, Computation, Algebraic Concepts, Geometry, Measurement, Statistics), Reading (Word Meaning, Literary Concepts, Information Concepts), Science (Life Science, Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences), and Language Usage (Mechanics, Parts of Speech, Usage, Writing Process).


How do teachers use MAP Growth scores?


Teachers can use the scores to plan the next steps in instruction, personalize learning, and monitor the growth of individual students. Principals and administrators can use the scores to see the performance and progress of a grade level or school.


NWEA provides schools with norms by utilizing anonymous data from more than 10 million students across the US. Knowing the top, middle, and bottom scores of these students allows teachers to compare where your student is to other students and help them grow.


How can families find more information about student MAP Growth scores?


As soon as the MAP testing window is completed, the MAP score report is posted in the student's Skyward Portfolio. Available information includes: RIT score and percentile, comparison to district grade-level average and national grade-level average, growth and growth projection. Additional information about accessing your student’s test scores in HPISD is available HERE.

How can families help students prepare to do their best on MAP assessments?


Although the MAP test is not a test that you study for, like all tests students can be best prepared by being well rested, eating a healthy breakfast, and having the mindset to do their best. These tests are untimed, so students should take their time to read the reading passages and test questions carefully and give their best effort. This will give the best chance for a valid achievement and growth measure on the assessment.


Likewise, consistent school attendance and engagement in classroom instruction has the greatest impact on learning the reading, math, and science standards tested on the assessments.


In addition to achievement and growth scores and percentiles reported, other information is also available: time spent on the test, percentage of guessing, and percent of items correct.


What it is Like to Take a MAP Growth Test - Michael's Story (video)


Please contact your student's school counselor for more information or to discuss your student's scores or school progress.

Staff Kicks Off New Year with Breakfast & Fruitcake Toss

PC-Tag hosted a fun breakfast for teachers this past week to kick off the New Year with creativity. Thank you Jennifer Bergin and Paige Roby for coordinating Fruitcake Toss Day to celebrate fruitcakes - the gift that keeps on giving. Teachers and staff ate breakfast tacos and played fruitcake cornhole. 

2024-2025 PTO: Proposed Slate Available to Review 

The Nominating Committee met on Friday, January 5, 2024, and will present the proposed 2024-25 MIS/HPMS PTO Executive Committee at the PTO Meeting on Tuesday, January 9. The proposed slate will be voted on at the February Executive Board meeting. Click HERE to view the slate. The Executive Committee slate is also posted on the PTO website for convenience.


Please thank the members of the Nominating Committee:

Courtney Gerstenhaber

Gretel Shipley

Kitsy Smith

Amy Barker

Kelley Curtin

Laura Terry

Laura Hornbach

Rachel Stephens

Kristin Evans

Jessica Turner Waugh

Leigh Anne Haugh

Allison Lockard

Julie Melihercik

Nancy West

Jacque Green

Marisa Stockwood

Ashley Gray

Suzie Forsberg

Claire Swope

Meg Boyd

Jill Morrison

Catherine Baldwin

Questions? Please contact our Nominating Chairs, Kitsy Smith and Amy Barker, at

Join Us for Our January PTO Meeting

Tuesday, January 9 

Lunch service begins at 11:45am / Meeting begins at 12:00pm 

7/8 Assembly Room

Featured Guest Speaker

Chief Mark Rowden, Chief of Police for HPISD

The safety and security of all within HPISD is of the utmost importance. The Highland Park ISD Police Department has the primary responsibility of providing for the safety and security of students, faculty, staff, and visitors. As HPISD continues to be at the forefront of academic success, learn more from Chief Rowden how HPISD Police Department is the leader in the safety and security of our schools.  

Letter from the Principal

Dear Raider Families,

It felt like a soft start to the second semester with a short three day week, but we were excited to see everyone back on campus and back into our routines. As we say every day at McCulloch, "Let's work hard, have fun, and be kind."

Thank you for your help in making sure that students are ready for school every day. That means bring your notebooks, pencils, books, and supplies ready to learn, with any homework or reading assignments completed. Bring your lunch and water bottle to stay healthy and hydrated. Wear your school ID on a lanyard throughout the day to help us safely identify everyone who belongs in the building. Anyone who needs a replacement ID can purchase one in the front office before or after school.

Thank you for the support you provide at home to motivate and encourage students and to provide the resources for students to be able to do their best work. We are privileged to work with your students. Please contact your student's teachers or counselor with any questions about their academic or social progress at school.

Thank you for your support in raising safe, kind, respectful, and responsible students.

Go Raiders!

Dr. Skip Moran, Principal

McCulloch Intermediate School (214) 780-3500

Save the Date: Transition Meetings Coming in February

6th to 7th Grade Upcoming Transition Dates

HP Class of 2030


  • Monday, February 5: 6th to 7th Transition Presentations for Students during their Social Studies classes
  • Wednesday, February 7: 6th to 7th Transition Presentations for Parents in the MIS/HPMS Auditorium (9:00 a.m. or 6:00 p.m.)
  • Friday, February 16: 7th grade Elective Choice Sheets due to Students' Advisory Teachers
  • Friday, February 16: Deadline for 7th grade elective selections submission on Skyward
  • Friday, February 23: Deadline for Skyward Parent Verification of 7th grade elective selections


Google Slides from the Transition Presentations will be posted on Mrs. Richter's webpage after those meeting dates. Students & parents can also access additional helpful transition resources on the same website as the information is released in February.


Questions? Please contact 6th grade counselor Charlotte Richter.

5th to 6th Grade Upcoming Transition Dates

HP Class of 2031


  • Friday, February 2: 5th Grade Fine Arts Showcase for Students during their Fine Arts Specials classes
  • Thursday, February 8: 5th to 6th Grade Transition Presentations for Parents in the MIS/HPMS Auditorium (9:30am or 6:00pm)
  • Monday, February 12 - Friday, February 16: 5th to 6th Grade Transition Presentations for Students during their Advisory by House
  • Wednesday, February 21: 6th Grade Elective Choice Sheets due to Students' Advisory Teachers
  • Friday, February 23: Deadline for 6th grade elective selections submission on Skyward

Questions? Please contact 5th grade counselor Rae Harvill.

Letter from the Principal

Hello Parents and Families,

Welcome back and Happy New Year. I hope everyone had a great winter break. Our first week back from break was a successful one, and we are excited to begin the spring semester. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Please help us to ensure that all students bring their IDs to school every day. One of several reasons IDs are important involves lunch. When students have their IDs at lunch, it is much easier for our PTO volunteers. There are also safety and security reasons for requiring student IDs. And students have to have their IDs at high school so we are trying to prepare them for that as well. Please remind your students to bring their IDs or send them with $5 to get a new one in the main office.
  • Attendance is very important in middle and high school. Please help your student be an attendance HERO - Here Every Day Ready and On Time.
  • With the beginning of a new semester, students have an opportunity to start off strong and stay ahead of their tests and assignments. Please encourage your student to set goals and stay focused on being successful at school.

Study Skill Focus for the week of 1-8-24 - Setting Yourself Up for Success

  1. It is the beginning of a new semester.
  2. Set goals for success in each of your classes.
  3. Keep up with your homework and daily assignments.
  4. Come to school every day ready and on time.
  5. Listen and participate in class.
  6. Study for tests and quizzes.
  7. Take advantage of the opportunity to begin the semester successfully.

Our mission at HPMS is to ensure high levels of learning and personal growth for all Raiders in and beyond the classroom. Thank you for helping us achieve our mission!

As always, please let me know if you have questions, suggestions, or concerns.

Thanks and Go Raiders!

Dr. Kevin Hunt, Principal

Highland Park Middle School  214-780-3600

Raider Career Review

Recently, Emily Wang and Kennedy Delpho interviewed Maegan Brown, "The BakerMama." Maegan is a renowned culinary sensation and best-selling cookbook author of Beautiful Boards, Spectacular Spreads, and Brilliant Bites. Maegan's culinary expertise extends beyond the pages of her cookbook to her popular food blog,, where she shares a treasure trove of delectable recipes and creative meal ideas. With a passion for making entertaining effortless, Maegan inspires others to craft delightful moments with their loved ones through the joy of good food.

To view this interview, please click HERE.

TAG Testing Registration

TAG testing registration for students in grades 1-11 will open December 4 and will close at noon on January 8. No late registrations will be accepted. For detailed information about TAG Testing and to register your student, please click on the links below.

TAG details:


We are so grateful for our MIS President-Elect, Kitsy Smith

and HPMS President-Elect, Amy Barker, for chairing the Nominating

Committee. We appreciate the time and thoughtfulness you both shared

before, during, and after the Nominating Meeting.

Meet the Scots

Calling all baseball players and fans!  

Come Meet the 2024 Highland Park High School Scots on Saturday, January 20 from 1:00-3:00 pm at Scotland Yard. Our very own Varsity and JV Baseball Players will autograph baseballs and host fun activities including a whiffle ball challenge, photo button booth, and the opportunity to test your velo with speed pitch. Special guests and performances by Highland Belles, HP Drumline, Lads & Lassies and more. It will be a family-friendly afternoon of fun you won't want to miss! Purchase raffle tickets and burgers from In-N-Out Burger HERE.

HP Cheer

City of UP Centennial Art and Essay Contest

The City of University Park is calling on HPISD students to join in celebrating its Centennial through an art and essay contest.

This contest welcomes submissions from University Park residents and all HPISD students. Students from kindergarten through 12th grade are eligible to participate in the art contest, while the essay contest is open to students in grades 4-12. The deadline for all entries is March 8, 2024. For more details and to access the contest forms for both the art and essay competitions, please follow the links provided below.

Raiders Reaching Out

Raiders Reaching Out is ready to serve our Raider students, families, and staff in need of support and to honor those who go above and beyond to serve our school and children. Please let us know if you know someone in our Raider community who needs some sunshine sent their way! You can email us confidentially

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Quick Links

MIS and HPMS Website

Dr. Moran on Twitter

HPMS on Instagram

MIS/HPMS Attendance Offices

MIS Activity Calendar 

HPMS Activity Calendar 

Lunch Menu




Volunteer Sign Up

Raider Shop

Athletic Event Tickets

Skyward/HPISD Parent Portal

McCulloch Intermediate & Highland Park Middle School

3555 Granada Drive

Dallas, TX 75205

MIS Phone: (214) 780-3500

HPMS Phone: (214) 780-3600

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