Principal Michele Janke

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    Welcome to the 2023-2024 School Year!

    Dear Highland Family,

    On behalf of the staff at Highland Elementary School, I am happy to welcome you to the 2023-2024 school year.  We are looking forward to a productive partnership with you to ensure our children can achieve their highest potential. We recognize that in order to be successful in school, our children need support from both the home and school. We know a strong partnership with you will make a great difference in your child’s education. We look forward to welcoming you at Open House on August 31st.    

    Our first day of school is Tuesday, September 5, 2023, for all students in grades 1-5. Kindergarten students and PreK 4 students will have a gradual start which is explained below. Highland students attend school from 7:55 a.m. – 2:20 p.m.  The first bell rings at 7:45 a.m. signaling students to go into their classrooms. The morning tardy bell rings at 7:55 a.m.; please make every effort to arrive on time for school. All students arriving at school after 7:55 a.m. will be marked as tardy to school and they miss valuable morning information and instruction.

    PreK 4 and Kindergarten Gradual Start - PreK 4 students and parents will have orientations on Sept. 5th and 6th. Your child’s PreK teacher will contact you the last week of August with more information and to schedule your orientation time. Kindergarten students with a last name beginning with A – L will start on September 5th and will not come on Sept. 6thStudents with a last name beginning with M – Z, will start on September 6thAll Kindergarten students will return on September 7th

    Parent Drop-Off or Walkers - If your child is dropped off at school or walks to school, please have him/her arrive between 7:25 a.m. and 7:50 a.m. This is very important because we do not have adult supervision before 7:25 a.m.  Students will not be allowed to wait inside the entryway before 7:25 a.m. as unsupervised behavior can become dangerous. Thank you for respecting the 7:25 a.m. student arrival time. When dropping off or picking up students at our school, please slowly and safely enter through the designated west entrance and depart through the east exit. Students must quickly exit the vehicle and come into the building. If you need to come into the building, please use the visitor parking slots directly in front of our building. Visitors should only use these designated slots; if none are available please use the north parking lot across 49th Avenue NW. Parking along the curb is not allowed.

    Early parent/guardian pick up - If a student needs to leave during the school day, the parent/guardian is requested to send a note to school stating the reason and time to be released. The parent/guardian must sign the student out at the school office. The office will call the classroom and the child will meet you in the entryway.  Students are only released to the people who are listed in our student information system. Please be prepared to show your driver’s license/picture ID at the time of checkout. Calling school after 12:00 p.m. for an early release or dismissal change is very difficult to accommodate. Please make every effort to call the main office (763-528-4400) by 12:00 p.m. with any change to after-school pick-up, busing, walking, or Adventure Club. For safety reasons, students will not be taken off a school bus if you “show up” unannounced to pick up a student(s) at dismissal. Classes and teachers will not be interrupted after 1:30 p.m. for any reason.

    Transportation - Monarch Bus Service continues to be our contracted bus company. Monarch can be reached at 612-843-0118. Information regarding bus stop locations, morning pick-up times, and afternoon drop-off times will be mailed directly to families who opted-in for transportation by August 1st or can be found online on ParentVue. To request a bus stop change or to address concerns about bus safety, contact Columbia Heights Transportation at 763-528-4424. Track your student’s bus with the Zonar MyView app! For more information, visit

    Beginning this year, all Columbia Heights Public School students must OPT-IN to receive transportation.  This is a change from previous years when eligible students were automatically routed. No students will be placed on a bus route without completing the opt-in form. Students only qualify if they live within the bus zone. If you are not sure if you qualify for busing, please contact CHPS Transportation at 763-528-4424. It is important to understand that this does not take away busing from any student. The change is that in previous years we routed all students who lived in the busing zone but many never used the bus. Having this Opt-in will help us to just route buses to the students who fill out the form indicating they need busing which will decrease unnecessary bus stops, saving time and money.

    If you did not opt-in for busing by the deadline, and live within the busing zone, you can sign up, but the request may take up to two weeks. Please contact CHPS Transportation if you decide to opt-in after the August 1, 2023 deadline.

    Open House - open house will be on August 31 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Events planned for the open house include finding your classroom, meeting your teacher, and dropping off school supplies. Staff will be available in the gym to assist with completing the yearly free/reduced lunch applications, completing the yearly technology agreement, and signing up for ParentVue if you don’t have an account.

    School Supplies - Students are encouraged to drop off school supplies at the open house or to bring them on the first day of school.

    Community Education/Adventure Club - Registration for Adventure Club is first come-first serve; you may register a student for one to five days a week. This is a fee-based program. Please call Jodi Gadient at 763-528-4512, if you have questions about the Adventure Club program. Morning Adventure Club is not available during the school year. Registration is also open for Early Childhood Family Education and PreK 3-year-old classes. Call 763-528-4517.

    Food Service – All families are asked to complete the educational benefits application prior to the first day of school. Even if you applied last year, you will need to reapply this year. The form is available on the district website, available in the Highland Office, or will be available at Open House. Breakfast and lunch will be available at no charge to all students this year.

    Benefits Application:

    Breakfast will be available in the cafeteria for all students beginning at 7:25 a.m. Students will go directly to breakfast as they arrive at school. Breakfast will be served until the tardy bell at 7:55 a.m. Lunch begins at 10:40 a.m. daily with each classroom having a scheduled time in the cafeteria and at recess. Students may bring a lunch from home, however, please do not send pop/soda to school. Students will enter a personal PIN number for breakfast and lunch. This number will be provided by your child’s teacher. 

    Our first Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) meeting is on September 21st at 6:00 p.m. This meeting will be held in the Highland Media Center. All parents/guardians are encouraged to participate to hear about plans for the school year and to share your ideas for new events or projects.

    All of us at Highland Elementary School are committed to providing your child with the best possible educational experience. We look forward to your involvement and participation in our school this year. Please email me at or give me a phone call at 763-528-4405 if you have any questions or concerns.


    Michele Janke, Highland Principal