Welcome Back Highland Hurricanes!

We hope you and your family have had an enjoyable summer. We have missed you and are looking forward to a new school year.  The health and safety of Highland Arts students,  staff and their families is a top priority.  Thus, we have put together a plan for the 2020-2021 school year that reflects the new safety guidelines.


Birthday surprises will be offered again this year but will look different. When school resumes birthday surprises may be altered. We will also offer the option for staff and teachers to nominate students to receive a birthday surprise from PTO who would not otherwise receive one that can benefit from an act of kindness. 


Orders will be delivered to families or a pick up time will be scheduled.  

Throughout the year additional spirit wear will be offered in an online shop that is made to order and shipped directly to the family. PTO will receive a small profit from each sale.

In addition, PTO will host a monthly virtual spirit event to encourage family time and community. Events will be free. Examples are online bingo, painting kindness rocks for the senior center, and tiktok challenge/talent show.

We are working on creating “1st day of school” signs to share with our community that can be printed by families and used to take pictures. We will encourage families to share these pictures to social media with a Highland hashtag.



Supporting Staff

PTO would like to acknowledge staff members, nominated by the community, for all their hard work.  A nomination form will be available via Google for staff, students and families to fill out and submit. Staff members nominated will receive a handmade card. 

Supporting the Community

PTO will highlight a local business or two in the monthly newsletter to help draw business to them.

Supporting Students and Families

PTO is stocking a kindness closet with clothes and basic essentials for children and families that need assistance. We have applied for a $5000 community grant from Walmart to help fund this. We will also ask for community support to help stock the closet. Remaining spirit shirts from previous years will be put in the kindness closet.

Principal Cuddy is working with staff to curate a list of essentials that we can use for a supply drive. Many families will need assistance providing supplies this year and the burden shouldn’t fall on teachers to meet those needs.


In an effort to reach more of the community, PTO will use Mailchimp to keep in contact with families via monthly newsletters, additional reminders or special announcement when needed. Mailchimp has a plugin that allows the content to be translated to other languages as well so our non English speaking families can still stay informed. We will also highlight Highland family owned and other local businesses in our newsletters to help support them during these tough times.  In addition, we will continue to use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as forms of communication to the community.

 PTO packets will be distributed to teachers before school starts. The packet will contain info about PTO, how to find us, how to contribute, and a calendar for August. 


PTO will put up a back to school sign at the entrance of the staff parking lot to welcome everyone back to school. We know that we won’t be going to school in person but that staff will be in and out as they gather what they need to start school and we want them to know that we appreciate them. We will use the sign to welcome students back when we start back in person as well. 

When we resume in person PTO will provide meals for staff once a quarter. More if possible. 

PTO is ordering new spirit shirts for all staff at Highland. We will distribute them at the beginning of the school year when they arrive. 

PTO will provide all teachers with a $50 gift card to Amazon, Target, or TeachersPayTeachers to help supplement the cost of supplies that teachers buy to stock their classrooms. Teachers will select which retailer they’d like to receive their gift card from.


PTO has set aside the $11,000 from the fun run for use by student council. They will approve the use of these funds at their meetings and we write checks and purchase things as needed. Student council spent $930 of these funds at the end of the 2019-2020 school year so $10,070 remains.


We have the funds for the shade structure and are working on getting them installed. Things have been delayed because of the pandemic but we are working on it.


Due to limited fundraising opportunities in the fall we are going to put teacher and principal fund requests on hold until the spring. We will continue to assess our ability to provide financial assistance throughout the year. In the meantime, if needs arise we are happy to help apply for grants and find fundraising opportunities to help meet needs. 

We hope to be able to host a carnival in the spring, similar to our fall carnivals in the past. If conditions don’t allow us to do this, we may consider a read-a-thon.

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