Perspectives 02-21-2020


Students and staff celebrated National African American Parent Involvement Day on February 10. Over 70 family members attended. It was a day filled with positive, uplifting messages and work.


Report to PARENTS: Setting Goals

The middle of the school year is a great time for families to check in with students on goals. Setting academic and personal goals helps motivate, energize, and focus students, and it is a valuable skill that will benefit learners throughout their lives. Parents can help students set and achieve these goals.


Goal-setting can be tedious, even intimidating, for some students. Parents can support students in this process by following these steps: pick it, map it, do it, own it, and celebrate it.


Pick it. Encourage your child to consider his or her dreams and passions and pick goals that are important and meaningful. Guide your child to think about, “What motivates me? What would inspire me to give my best effort? What would make me feel good while I’m doing it? What achievement would make me feel proud?”


Map it. After your child picks a goal, help map the path from where he or she is now to where the child wants to be. Offer the following analogy: If we want to drive across the country from New York to California, we don’t just get in our car and start driving—we use an app to find a choice of directions or find a map, pick a route, and follow it until we get to California.


With your child, analyze different approaches and define clear steps to reach their goal. For instance, if the goal is to finish a large project that is exceptional, each part or component is a step on the path to the higher goal: reaching exceptional.


Do it. Once you and your child have mapped a path to their goal, encourage him or her to take action, focus on the first step and give it his or her best effort. Remind your child that no goal is ever reached without focused action.


Own it. As your child makes progress toward their goal, help him or her to take responsibility for making it happen. Teach the mantra, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!”


Reflect with your child. Ask, “How are you doing? What’s working?  What’s not working? What can you or your family change to get to this goal?” From there, analyze the map, and make changes to the plan if necessary.


Help your child keep a positive attitude and own mistakes as well as successes. Remind your child that if something comes along that holds him or her back temporarily, to look at the experience as feedback. Failures, or bumps in the road, can provide us with information we need to succeed. Reinforce the message that we can learn from our mistakes and move on with new, valuable knowledge.


Celebrate it. Acknowledgment and celebration are huge parts of achieving goals. Acknowledge every effort and celebrate your child’s mini-successes along the way to achieving a goal. This builds his or her confidence and motivation. Your child will feel good and understand that perseverence will result in another mini-success and finally goal achievement.


Try going through the goal-setting process as a family. Pick a family goal (perhaps a charitable activity) and work together to achieve it. After the family experience, have each family member pick a personal goal. Support and acknowledge one another as you move through the above steps.


Success is assured when students believe in themselves and in their ability to achieve. Parents are key to helping them believe and succeed.


This Report to Parents was written by Bobbi DePorter of Quantum Learning Network.


Report to Parents, written to serve elementary and middle-level principals, may be reproduced by National Association of Elementary School Principals members without permission. It can be posted to school websites, blogs, or sent via email. Back issues are available to members at


Office Paper Needed

Thank you to everyone who donated office paper to start the school year. It took until February, but we have finally used up our supply. If your family is able, we'd ask for you to donate one more ream of copy paper. We should be able to get through the rest of the school year. Feel free to send it in your child's backpack or bring it to conferences in a few weeks. Thank you again!


Time to Sign Up for Spring Conferences

Spring conferences will take place on Wednesday, March 18 from 3-7pm; Thursday, March 19 from 3-7pm; and Friday, March 20 from 8-11am. Please click the link below to sign up for each child's conference.

Principal Litwin will be out of the country during conferences. If you'd like to arrange a time to meet, he is available on Friday, March 6. There is no school that day as teachers prepare for confernences. He is also available in the weeks following conferences. Email to schedule an appointment if needed.


Yearbooks - ordering information and updated share site access!

Yearbook order forms will be coming home this week in Friday folders. Yearbooks cost $16 each. 

Since not all families have room in their budget for these momentos, we are also collecting donations to help ensure that families who want a yearbook are able to get one. If each family were to round up their payment to $20, we could likely fund yearbooks for all. We also have a pay-what-you-can option, or a space to indicate if your family does not want a yearbook. Please fill out the form with at least one option checked and return to your child's teacher so that we can understand demand. 

Please also consider submitting photos of your children and their friends at fieldtrips, school events, clubs or extracurricular activities. 

Do you have photos from:

  • Cub Scouts
  • Girl Scouts
  • Girls on the Run
  • Band
  • Lego Robotics
  • Discovery Club
  • School Store

or events, such as the:

  • Sock Hop
  • Readathon
  • Book Fair
  • Fall BBQ
  • Boo Bash
  • Make it, Take it
  • Free Family Fun Night
  • Family Volunteer Service Committee
  • Great Gatherings (that occurred this school year, since September 1, 2019)
  • field trips

There are a couple options for sharing your photos. The first is a great way to download a larger number of photos.

  1. ***UPDATED***You can go to a Shutterfly Share site to upload pictures.
    1. If you don't have a Shutterfly account, register for a free account. Then go to 
    2. Enter the password when prompted: 2020fun
    3. You should be able to upload photos without needing an invitation.
  2. You can attach your photos to an email and send it to and they will be automatically uploaded to the share site. 
Please include a comment on your photos with the teacher's name/club/extra-curricular so we know where it goes. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Sara Mielke at Thank you for sharing your photos to help capture all of the fun we've had at Horace Mann in 2019 and 2020! 

Are you ready for this year's Silent and Live Auction on March 20, 2020?

We've got your checklist right here:

  1. Purchase your tickets for the event in person in the office or by completing the RSVP card and sending it in along with payment ($25/ticket).
  2. Want to make the night out even more of a treat?  Leave the driving to us!  Join us before the auction on Friday, March 20, at Tiffany's Sports Lounge (2051 Ford Pkwy) and grab a shuttle ride to and from the event. The shuttle will depart from Tiffany's around 6:00 pm, and will leave the University of St Thomas to return to Tiffany's at approximately 10:30pm. Cost is $10/person, round trip.  The fee for your ride will be added to the auction bill you pay at the end of the event. The cost to rent and run the shuttle has been donated by Tiffany's owner, Blake Montpetit. All of the money we raise from fares will go directly to Horace Mann! SHUTTLE SPACE IS LIMITED, PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Please contact Angie Rust to sign up at or 651-216-2227.
  3. Check out the Great Gatherings website, check out the lineup, and consider hosting an event this year.  It's a big part of our fundraising efforts, and hosting may be easier than you think.  Check out the Great Gatherings website for more information, ideas and support or contact the Great Gatherings team of Karla Lauerman Cummins, Aaron Litzenberg and Karen Vander Sanden by email at
  4. We need your talent and service donations!  Frequently some of the most popular items in our silent auction offerings aren't things - they're the donation of the time and talents of members of the Horace Mann School community. Love to bake?  Have a particular knack for household repairs?  Consider donating your services and skills as an auction item!  Watch for flyers coming home in backpacks with more ideas and a donation form.


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Important School Dates

Bookmark our school calendar and check it frequently. It can be found at the top of our website.


Monday, February 24

  • 2:00-3:45pm EDL
  • 6:30pm PTA Silent Auction Meeting in the Library

Tuesday, February 25

  • 7:15-7:30am School Store in 1500 Hallway
  • 2:00-3:10pm Community Education classes

Wednesday, February 26

  • 8:30-10:30am Tennyson Field Trip to Como Planeterium
  • 2:00-3:45pm EDL

Thursday, February 27

  • 7:15-7:30am School Store in 1500 Hallway
  • 8:30-10:30am Boos & Jalonack Field Trip to Como Planeterium
  • 2:00-3:10pm Community Education classes

Friday, February 28

  • 2020-2021 School Application Deadline for All New Student and Kindergarteners
  • 8:50am All School Assembly led by First Grade on Kindness/Caring
  • 6:00-7:30pm Horace Mann School PTA Bingo Family Fun Night in the Cafeteria

Monday, March 2

  • 2:00-3:45pm EDL
  • 6:30pm PTA Meeting in the Library

Tuesday, March 3

  • 7:15-7:30am School Store in 1500 Hallway
  • 2:00-3:10pm Community Education classes

Wednesday, March 4

  • 9:30-11:30am Boos and Simmons Field Trip to Minneapolis Institute of Arts
  • 2:00-3:45pm EDL

Thursday, March 5

  • 7:15-7:30am School Store in 1500 Hallway
  • 2:00-3:10pm Community Education classes

Friday, March 6

  • No School - Conference Prep Day

Sunday, March 8

  • Daylights Savings Time begins. Turn clocks ahead one hour.


Perspective submissions are due by 8:00am on Thursdays. Submissions after 8:00am will be included in the next edition.