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State Testing Dates

May 1-2            4th & 5th Grade ELA Reading

May 7-8            3rd, 4th & 5th Grade Math

May 9-10          5th Grade Science

Please be sure your student gets a good night of rest before all testing days. If your student does not eat at home, a nutritious breakfast is available in the cafeteria each morning. If you have any questions about testing, please call the office and ask to speak with Mrs. Van Hook.


What a great year this has been! The students have worked so hard to get ready for 1st grade. We can’t believe it is almost time to say goodbye. Thank you for all your support this year as we teamed up to help your child be successful. We had a blast at the Kindergarten Learn to Swim at the YMCA. Our students learned the importance of swim and water safety. In the last few weeks of school we will be working on 3-dimensional shapes, measure, and brushing up on other skill learned in math. In English language Arts  we will finish up our high frequency words, continue to master our ELA standards through texts about how to be good citizens and how to be problem solvers in taking care of our Earth. Please make sure your child is studying their sight words every night. In science we will work as a class to do science experiments. We hope that you have an amazing summer as you spend time with your children. They grow up so quickly so take full advantage of this time. Summer is also a time when students can forget some of what they have learned if they do not practice. It is imperative that they continue to read over the summer.

First Grade

We hope all of our students and families had a restful Spring Break and are ready to finish first grade strong! In English Language Arts, we will read texts to find the character’s point of view, problems and solutions, cause and effect and the theme. In math, we are working on data and geometry. In science, we are going to explore living organisms. We will become scientists and complete our very own science projects. Please make sure your child is reading each and every night. Thank you for your support.

Second Grade

We have had a fabulous year with our second graders! we are looking forward to our upcoming field trip to Cobb Theater Lakeside on Friday, May 10th. We will watch Disney Nature Penguins to wrap up our study of Earth Day. We will work on a class Science project for our Fine Arts/Science night on May 21st. In math, we will be ending our year with a Geometry unit. In English Language Arts, we will read fables and folktales and continue identifying the main idea of a text. Please continue to read with your child over the summer. Also, practice addition and subtraction facts. Thank you again for all your support throughout the year. Happy summer.

Third Grade

We have finished our ELA FSA! Thank you for making sure all students were here and on time. We had 100% in attendance both days. We are currently continuing standard based skill as well as standards that need additional practice. Students are working hard to prepare for the Math FSA in May. Math Module 8 is a time for students to show off what they have learned throughout the year and put the Math into action. We will be task driven with a focus on Mathematical Practice Standards. We will review and apply what students have learned from the previously taught content standards.

Fourth Grade

May is going to be a very busy month for us. This month will begin with FSA testing in reading and math. Please make sure your child comes to school on time, relaxed and in plenty of time for breakfast. We will take a field trip to the art museum on May 9th. This is an interesting trip and the students always enjoy seeing the beautiful and unusual art work on display at the museum. On May 21st we will have our art and music showcase as well as our annual Science fair. Students will work on their projects in the classroom and this will give you an opportunity to see all the wonderful things they have done this year. We will be busy all month working to prepare for fifth grade, so it is important our students work hard, come to school, read books and stay on task.

Fifth Grade

As a grade level we have been focusing on FSA review in all subjects. For the remainder of the year we will be acceleration and re-mediating to make sure all students are ready for middle school next year. Thank you for your support this year.

Gifted Program

Students have learned about circuits and created paper circuitry. We hope to move on to E-textiles and create wearable items that light up. We are tackling the laser engraver and improving our performance. Students are trying to identify and solve real world problems in our school and at home. One person we know and love collects sports themed bobble head figures – occasionally these are missing their baseball bat or hockey stick – we are trying multiple ways to replicate them. We also designed and created things to celebrate Mrs. Van Hook for Assistant Principal week and Ms. Weingarth’s birthday. This is one creative bunch of students. The most important thing we are learning is how to fail. Classroom educators are under a lot of pressure to create proficient students in a short window to be successful on a standardized test. I provide the kind of exploration that leads to independent discovery and deep learning. I teach kids to fail and encourage multiple iterations/prototypes. STEM careers rely on taking risks, experimenting, failing, and revising to create an opportunity. At Makerspace and in Gifted class, we focus on how students arrive at a solution – not which solution they present – revisiting the process they used to reach a solution. Reducing focus on the “right answer” limits anxiety over failure.

We would like to thank the  Industry Community Advisory Panel of Polk County and School Matching Funds Grant through Polk Education Foundation for matching funds provided by the ICAP grants awarding Makerspace $2500!  Students are 3D printing, laser engraving, sewing, and coding!  THANKS FOR BEING PART OF OUR VILLAGE!!!



Be sure to come to our annual Fine Arts Night & Talent Show on May 21st! Come support your superstars and enjoy the talent show and the student art gallery.

Congratulations to 5th graders Kayla, Kaviya, Kaleb, and Kaydance. Their artwork was selected  to represent HCE at this years Elementary Visual Arts Showcase. This prestigious ceremony will be held at Florida Southern College on May 3rd.

Be sure to check out more great HCE artists at the “Heart for Art” childrens’ art display at Mayfaire-by-the-Lake in downtown Lakeland on Lake Morton. This festival is during Mother’s Day weekend, May 11 & 12 and you can find the kid’s art on the corner of Chiles St. and Lake Morton Drive.


Clinic News

We would like to welcome our new nurse, Mrs. Miller. We’d like to provide a few reminders to help our clinic run smoothly.

Please remember that medication can be given at school ONLY with a medical authorization from the student’s physician.

Please keep all contact records up to date so we can contact you in the event your student is sick. Information can be updated via the the office or the Parent Portal.

Connect with Us

The best ways to stay informed about what’s happening at HCE are through our Facebook and Remind groups. Like us on Facebook for updates, news, and pictures of what’s happening at HCE. Text @hce2016 to 81010 to receive test updates.

Attendance, Tardies and Early Checkouts

At Highland City Elementary, every minute of every day is important for student success. Please be sure your student arrives on time. Our bell to go in classrooms rings at 7:55 AM and the tardy bell rings at 8:00 AM. Early checkouts are not recommended. Our students are receiving instruction until the end of the school day, 3:00 PM.

Early Dismissal Days

Polk County Schools will dismiss two and a half hours early on designated days to allow for teacher work days and teacher planning. Highland City students will be dismissed at 12:30 on

September 12

October 3

November 7

January 16

February 6

March 13

April 24

Cafeteria News

When students are receiving a breakfast or lunch from the cafeteria, they should not bring additional items from home to the cafeteria. Food items are allowed for specific grade levels for snack time during the school day, but are not allowed in school hallways before or after school. Thanks for your help with this!

Reminders for Car Riders and Walkers

To help us in arrival and dismissal, please remember:

No drop-offs or walk-ups before 7:30 AM. (There is no supervision on campus until 7:30.)

All students wanting to eat breakfast must be in the cafeteria by 7:45 AM.

Please do not stop on the crosswalks around the school. This is dangerous for our students who walk to school as well as the crossing guards.

Don’t forget your cart tag! This is a precaution we take to keep your child safe.


Notice To Building Occupants And Parents


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final rule, 40 CFR Part 763, Asbestos Containing Material in schools, commonly referred to as AHERA. This rule requires all Local Education Agencies (LEA’s) to identify asbestos containing materials (ACM) in their school buildings and to take appropriate actions to control release of asbestos fibers.

All inspections for Highland City Elementary have been completed and a Management Plan describing the results of the inspection and the action plan to control any asbestos found during the inspection, where applicable, has been submitted to the Governor for approval. A copy of this plan is located in the administrative office of this school and at the District School Board of Polk County Environmental and Safety Department and is available for review upon request.