Hillcrest Elementary

Excellence. Equipty. Engagement.


    March 17, 2020 Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced the immediate closure of all schools in Kansas for the remainder of the academic year. As a result, Hillcrest Elementary and all USD 497 schools will be closed through May 21, 2020.  All district activities are cancelled at this time, including Kindergarten Orientation and 5th gr. Promotion Activities.  The superintendent urges staff and families to heed this order. Please avoid gatherings, travel, and unnecessary socializing. 

    Please visit  https://www.usd497.org/Coronavirus for more information and local resources.

    Comments (-1)
  • Dear Hillcrest School Families,

    I hope this message finds your family staying safe and healthy and enjoying your summer break. I am excited to meet you, get to know your children, and begin working together to provide the best possible learning experience.

    Strong partnerships between home and school help our scholars achieve and succeed! Open communication will keep our school community safe, informed, and moving forward toward our teaching and learning goals. From what I have already learned about Hillcrest, I understand that this is a special place – a school that serves as a community center by welcoming, supporting, and celebrating families and staff. I am proud to serve as Hillcrest principal.

    Prior to joining Hillcrest I was the assistant principal of Brookside Charter School in Kansas City, Missouri, where I served two years as an instructional coach and six years as a teacher leader. Since 2016, I participated in a selective residency with Kansas City Plus (Pathway to Leadership in Urban Schools), a leadership development and principal preparation program for educators who want to become transformational school leaders. I previously served as a paraeducator for three years at Marillac Therapeutic Day School in Blue Springs, MO. I earned my bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, master’s at Rockhurst University, and a specialist degree in educational administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. 

    I am proud to be joining the Lawrence Public Schools and support its mission as a learning community committed to ensuring educational equity and excellence so that students of all races and backgrounds achieve at high levels and graduate prepared for success in college, careers, and life in a diverse and rapidly changing world. This work is too important to take lightly, the sense of urgency will be clear, and what is best for students will be at the center of all decisions.

    I have met with Miss Becker, teachers, school staff, and district staff so that I will be prepared to lead Hillcrest. I have received multiple emails from Hillcrest families, and they all contain positive statements about this beautiful and impactful school. I am thrilled to be joining a team that is committed to working with our diverse community to meet the social, emotional, and academic needs of every child while providing a safe and innovative environment that prepares students for their unique life journey. 

    My husband, Jim, son, Charlie, and I have been furiously packing for our move to Lawrence. We are excited to have found a home in the Hillcrest district and cannot wait to see some of you during our morning strolls through the neighborhood. 

    This is a very unique time to be joining a new school and community. I’m sure there are many questions and  concerns about what next year will look like. Due to the pandemic and increases in local and state COVID-19 cases, contingency plans are needed. Here is a link to the Together Again: Fall 2020 Planning Task Force website with the most up-to-date information. Please know that my priority, and the priority of the school district, is the health and safety of our school community.

    I would love to hear from you and your child/children. Feel free to respond with some information so we can begin to get to know each other. A few parents have sent pictures that will help me begin to learn everyone's names. I look forward to hearing from you. 


    Sarah Kruse


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  • Kindergarten Enrollment

    At this time Kindergarten Orientation Sessions have been cancelled due to school closings. We will be mailing Welcome Packets to those students who are enrolled for the 2020-2021 School Year. 


    Kindergaren Enrollment Directions:  

    Children who reach age 5 on or before Aug 31, 2020, are eligible for kindergarten enrollment for the 2020-2021 School Year.  Please share this information with your neighbors, friends and/or family who may also have an eligible student.

    Click Here to begin the on-line enrollment process.  

    Next, Fax (785-832-5722) or Scan the documents listed below to kkrannaw@usd497.org as a PDF. (If you do not have access to either of these, you may take a picture of the documents.  Please send a clear, bright picture void of shadows.) 

    • *Certified Birth Certificate - *We will need to see the original prior to the first day of school, but can use the scanned copy for now due to the Social Distancing Order that is in effect.  
    • Proof of Residency - Accepted: current water, gas, or electric bill, or your current vehicle registration 
    • Current immunizations - Immunizations that your child has had to this point
    • *Physical - *We understand that some children have not have their Physical yet and will have more immunizations at that time. You may scan that as soon as it is complete, or prior to the first day of school. 


    If your family is currently living with another person or family, you will need them to fill out an Affidavit of Residency for your "Proof of Residency".

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  • Enroll your incoming student for the 2020-2021 school year: click here to register

    Items needed at the time of enrollment: 

    • Current immunizations
    • Certified birth certificate
    • Contact information for previous school (e.g., name, address, phone, fax)
    • Proof of residency (e.g., lease agreement, current utility bill)
    • Physical (if entering a Kansas school for the first time and between the ages of 5-9)

    WELCOME & ENROLLMENT CENTER / 110 McDonald Drive Lawrence, KS 66044-1063   Office: (785) 330-1921

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School Announcements

  • Hillcrest Blue Ribbon School

    The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Awards Hillcrest Elementary School

    The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Every year the U. S. Department of Education seeks out and celebrates great American schools, schools demonstrating that all students can achieve to high levels. More than 8,500 schools across the country have been presented with this coveted award. The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing an entry or flying overhead is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. -Taken from the U.S. Department of Education Website

    Hillcrest Elementary National Blue Ribbon School Award Announcement

    See Us on LJWorld.com

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  • Hillcrest Elementary School
    1045 Hilltop Drive
    Lawrence, KS 66044
    Phone: (785) 832-5720
    Fax: (785) 832-5722
    Principal: Mrs. Sarah Kruse
    Admin. Assistant: Beth Hoinoski
    Secretary/Translator: Mary Carter

    Office Hours
    Monday - Friday
    8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    School Hours
    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
    8:45 AM - 3:50 PM 
    8:45 AM - 2:20 PM
    Boys and Girls Club Program
    Area Director: Scharla Paryzek
    PH: (785)813-6874

    2020-2021 District School Calendar (Updated 07/27/20)  Click Here