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HFA News & Announcements

Teachers’ Lounge Update! 

About a year ago, the HFA ran a fundraiser to help make some improvements to the Teachers' Lounge at Highland.

The lounge is an important place for teachers to be able to refuel and recharge, get a little quiet time, and do some collaboration and team planning. But it needed some updating - from little things like the silverware drawer being a random mix with never enough spoons, to appliances like a refrigerator/freezer that dripped condensation onto its contents, to the old couches that were tossed out when Covid required social distancing, there were plenty of potential improvements.

Thanks to our generous donors, we raised almost $6,000 for lounge updates and improvements. The HFA collaborated with a group of teachers to identify some goals that would be feasible and within our budget. While the updates are not entirely finished and in place, we're far enough along to warrant an update and a thank you to all our donors.

  • New* Refrigerator. While not new new, we got a good deal on an almost-new refrigerator that was being sold due to a kitchen remodel. It's larger and doesn't drip condensate inside. We hope to run a water line to it for filtered water and ice.
Old Fridge

Old Fridge

Mr. Romano and the new staff lounge refrigerator.

Mr. Romano likes the new fridge.


  • During the week of conferences in mid-October, the cupboards and drawers in the lounge kitchen were emptied and reorganized. A full compliment of new plates and bowls (they nest and stack!), new silverware, and new drawer organizers were added to help keep things straight. Additionally, we got an organizer for all the coffee and tea accessories. We also added a few seasonal decorations.
Wire rack holding tea, sugar, sweeteners, stirs, and other supplies.

New organizer for coffee and tea supplies.

New silverware and other kitchen tools organized in a drawer organizer.

New silverware and drawer organizers to keep things neat.


  • Our couches arrived last Friday, coffee table is still en route. After a fruitless search for some appropriate used furniture we decided it would be best to just buy new. The folks at Sell-A-Cow helped us select these couches and a slim coffee table that will eventually go between them.
Two brown leather couches face each other in the teachers' lounge.

New couches were delivered on Friday! Still waiting on the coffee table, but a good start.


  • Another item the teachers requested was a TV to screenshare onto so they could hold planning meetings in the lounge more easily. The donated funds allowed the HFA to purchase a 50" TV and an articulated wall mount. They are in the lounge and ready to be mounted. We'll give an update when that's up and running, but it is planned to go on this section of wall (couches are just behind camera).
Empty wall space in teachers' lounge.

Future location of our new wall-mounted TV. Teachers will be able to project their laptop screens onto it for planning meetings.


That's the lounge update. A huge thank-you to everyone who chipped in to help with this fundraiser last Fall! Every donation, large or small, makes a difference and is appreciated.

Board Positions

October/November 2022

October was full of HFA events. The teachers really appreciated the meal from Pita Inn that we provided during conferences. We held our first Treat Day of the year, and students enjoyed the chocolate chip cookies we handed out. We had a huge response to our Rocky Mountain Candy Apple sale, surpassing our budgeted profit by almost $700. The 6th graders attended Outdoor Ed, decked out in spirit wear from our sale. We’d like to give a huge thank-you to all the families that have contributed to our Staff Appreciation and Treat Day funds, participated in our spirit wear sales, and/or ordered Rocky Mountain apples for Halloween! Additionally, directory orders were taken, and the directories have now been distributed to those who ordered them via students’ Studio One classes.

Did you know that everyday activities can support our HFA? Holiday shopping provides an easy opportunity to help the HFA raise funds to be used for our students. Each year, we look to support the HMS community and enhance our HMS students' experience with activities, such as Treat Days and Movie Nights, and facility improvements. We have several ways for families to financially contribute to HFA efforts where it works for you.

  1. Families shopping via Amazon can benefit the HMS community just by using smile.amazon.com and selecting "Highland Family Association" as their charity of choice. This is a very simple way to have your normal purchasing do double duty to also benefit your students! To date, our parents' activity has generated $716.81 for Highland Family Association!
  2. iGive.com is another shopping portal where normal purchases from 2,400+ online retailers can also provide a rebate to the HFA, with no additional cost to HMS families. Join and select "Highland Family Association" as your cause of choice. 
  3. Use the Friends of the HFA Pledge Form to make a donation to the HFA. Don't forget that this is tax deductible, and if your employer matches donations, gifts to the HFA are match-eligible by many Corporate Charity Gift Matching programs. And, we'll deliver a car magnet to your student for you to proudly display the HMS colors!

Your questions and suggestions on the Giving program are important. We look forward to hearing from you -- reach out via the HFA email address, highlandfamilyassociationd70@gmail.com. Thank you for your support!

Many activities are on the horizon for December and January. Please keep the following dates in mind:

  • The Book Fair will be held the week of 12/5. A volunteer sign-up is coming soon.
  • Our first Dine & Donate event of the year will be Wednesday, 12/7, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Chipotle. If ordering on the app, please use code 4N4F2V3. If ordering in the restaurant, please show this flyer.
  • The next Treat Day is Friday, 12/16; the kids will receive candy canes during their lunch periods.
  • Please join us on Sunday, 1/29, for Highland Family Night at the Chicago Wolves game. The game starts at 3 p.m. Ticket-sale information is coming soon!

Finally, please note that there will be no December HFA meeting. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, January 10th, at 9:30 a.m. Happy Thanksgiving!

The objective of the HFA is to promote good will, effective communication, and cooperation between and among parents, faculty, administration and students.  

In addition, the organization will work to plan/coordinate social functions for each grade level, and provide volunteer resources for a variety of programs/activities that support Highland Middle School. Each parent/guardian is automatically a voting member of their school Family Association once their child is enrolled in the school. 

Each academic year, the HFA is responsible to plan and execute fundraisers where the proceeds/profits are used to purchase items and/or fund programs that enhance the educational experience of the students. The organization’s largest fundraiser is Friends of the HFA – that requests families to make an annual pledge to the school.

Highland Family Association (HFA) is an Illinois-based nonprofit organization recognized under section 501(c)(3).

Here’s a Snapshot of What We’ve Done| HFA Projects 

  • Spring, 2021 - HFA is working on sourcing new outdoor furniture for the Court Yard Space so students can enjoy reading outside and small groups can meet in this outdoor space.  
  • Summer, 2020 – HFA supported Learning Center Renovation | Phase 2, that created meeting rooms.  These new spaces are additional work areas for students to collaborate.  
  • Summer, 2019 – HFA supported Learning Center Renovation | Phase 1, sponsoring a “Collaboration Corner – The HIVE” where students can work together on projects and creative tasks, as well as collaborate with teachers for extra help. HFA provided furniture for the new workspace.  
  • Spring, 2018 – HFA funded the installation of a Projector/ Screen System in the Multi-Purpose Room.  
  • Spring, 2017 – HFA transformed the Outdoor Courtyard (adjacent to Learning Center) into usable space for the Staff and Students to enjoy.