Final 2017-2018 Perspectives

Final 2017-2018 Perspectives


Thanks for Another Great School Year It hardly seems possible that we have completed another school year. Each year goes by so quickly, perhaps because of how much I love the work I do. I want to say thank you to everyone who made this year successful. Thank you to the staff for your hard work and dedication. Thank you to the families for your support and involvement. Thank you to the students for being “the reason.” Thank you to everyone for your flexibility and positive energy during a year of construction! I am very excited to start the next school year in a new and beautiful space.


Good luck and best wishes to all our 5th graders as they look to start middle school.


Good luck and best wishes to our departing staff members: Rick Olson, Kelli Goldman, Megan Rinn, and Sahro Vedder. You might see Rick in a ranger outfit at some national park as he starts his retirement. Sahro is beginning her studies and internship to become a teacher. See Ms. Rinn’s letter below. We are still hoping to bring back Ms. Kelli if we can find some funding. They are all dedicated, fantastic people.



Jim Litwin, Principal


Farewell Letter I am sad to share that I will not be returning to Horace Mann next year. I will be working full-time at a different school in SPPS. If you have information, needs, or concerns that you would like me to pass on to the next counselor, feel free to contact me. I will be working through Monday, June 18. You can also reach out to the new counselor at the beginning of next school year.


It has been an exciting and rewarding two years getting to know all of you and working with our fabulous students. I will miss them all greatly! Thank you for your partnership, and have a great summer.


Megan Rinn


Incoming Kindergarten Playground Play Dates! Please join in the fun for some informal playdates this summer at the Highland playground. This is a great opportunity for entering Kindergartners to make new friends and to play before school starts.


Come as you can. There are three date. Come to one, come to all. No RSVP Necessary.


  • Who: Horace Mann Kindergartners and their families
  • Where: Hillcrest Playground – next to Highland Library (*if it’s raining, meet at the DQ on Ford Parkway)
  • When:
    • Tuesday, July 24th from 5-7 pm
    • Sunday, August 12th from noon-2pm
    • Monday, August 27th from 5-7 pm
  • Hosted by Maya and Peyman Missaghi, Maureen and Andy Hartung, Becky and Matt Clifford, and Amy and Nic Hannigan.


Questions? Call/text Maya at 952-237-9602 or email at Call/text Maureen at 218-831-0024.


Physical Scores for Upper Grades Fitness scores for students in grades 4 and 5 were passed out this week. If you didn’t see them and would like another copy, please Mark Castillo ( and they can be emailed to you.


All School Patrol Equipment Due - No Extensions All school patrols must turn in their flag and vest no later than 2pm on Monday, June 11. Everything need to be packed and stored for the summer. Patrols should leave their equipment at school Friday afternoon, but if there is equipment at home, it needs to be returned. It must be packed and stored for the by 3pm June 11.


2018-19 School Patrol Meeting Announced All school patrols will meet at school on Thursday, Aug. 30, at 2pm for next school year. Plan is to meet in the gym. At that time, patrols will receive their flag and vest, patrol training, and their assignments for the first day of school.  Questions-


New School Start Time Finalized for 2019-2020 Horace Mann School will begin at 7:30am and end at 2:00pm starting in the 2019-2020 school year.


End of the School Year News

  • Lost and Found will be in the main hallway June 4-11. It will be removed, washed, and donated at 3pm on June 11. Please come and check or send a note to your child’s teacher to have her/him check.
  • Major renovation will take place in the building over the summer. To prepare, all furniture will be removed on June 11. On June 12, everything we packed will be moved for the summer. Starting June 13, the building will be completely closed until August 27.
  • Our office will be relocated to Groveland Elementary School, 2045 St. Clair Ave. Our office hours will be 7:30am-3:00pm June 13-15 and August 6-20. The phone number, fax, and emails for Jim Litwin and Judy Browne will work through the construction.
  • We are working to plan a grand re-opening for the school and playground in the fall.
  • It will likely be some time in mid- to late-September.


PTA Minutes 2017-18 for June 5, 2018 The final meeting was well attended. We thanked Robin Larson for her 11 years of leadership and volunteerism.. She has been involved in everything at Horace Mann. Her time and spirit will be missed.

The principal presented the school improvement plan. Our goal is to have all students make at least one year of growth and some students make catch-up growth. The staff will focus on small group instruction with training in gifted and talented (now called Talent Development and Acceleration Services or TDAS), literacy, and math.


On the school climate side, we will focus on inclusivity, building character, and equity. We will continue to deepen our implementation of the Zones of Regulation.


We heard a construction update. We will be able to look at new scheduling with the new building.


The 2018-19 PTA officers were announced:

  • Nikki Mechelke and Karla Lauerman Cummins, Co-Presidents
  • Amy Kortuem, Teacher Representative
  • Jackie Hippen Treasurer
  • Allison Litzenberg and Libby Stanton, Communication Secretaries
  • Melanie McMahon, Recording Secretary
  • Katie Sexe Talbot, Volunteer Coordinator with Tracy RIckenberg shadowing


Alex Kotze presented the Treasuer’s report. She also provided a 2018-19 Proposed Budget Overview. The PTA will fund one TA with SPPS matching.  We also thanked Alex for her great work and sage advice.


We heard Committee Updates Carnival and Landscaping. We closed with a request for 2018-2019 volunteers.


Thank You to Carnival Help Laura Vanderwegen and Sarah Emrick wanted to thank everyone for helping out at the carnival.We had a beautiful evening and a great turnout for the carnival.  Thank you to everyone for coming and making it fun! Thank you to everyone who donated things! Thank you to all who volunteered to set-up, clean-up and run games!


It was a great event held with the intention of extending and strengthening the Horace Mann sense of community. Based on student and attendee feedback, we certainly did that. Thank you for your time and energy towards that goal



Girls on the Run Celebrate a Successful 5k on June 3


Highland Park Pool House Music and Movie Thursday June 14, 2018, 6:30 - 11pm come celebrate summer with outdoor music and a movie at the historic Highland Park Pool House (corner of Montreal Ave. and Edgcumbe Rd.) The free, family-friendly event is sponsored by Friends of Highland Arts, Highland District Council, and Saint Paul Parks & Recreation.

The event features local musicians performing on the lower patio behind the Pool House followed by the movie La La Land (PG-13), food trucks, kids' activities, and fun.   Bring a lawn chair, blanket, or hammock and enjoy an evening of entertainment in the natural amphitheater setting. Parking available in the Highland Park lots on both sides of Montreal. Click here for a flyer. 


Follow Horace Mann School on Social Media


Important School Dates Bookmark our school calendar and check it frequently. You can go to and click calendar or use the direct link,


Thursday, August 30

  • 5:00-5:45pm - Families with last names starting with A-K “Meet the Teacher”
  • 5:45-6:30pm - Families with last names starting with L-Z “Meet the Teacher”


Tuesday, September 4

  • First Day of School for Grades 1-5 and Kindergarten Conferences


Wednesday, September 5

  • Kindergarten Conferences


Thursday, September 6

  • First Day of School for Kindergarten

Perspective submissions are due by 7:30am on Thursdays. Submissions after 7:30am will be included in the next edition.