Sunday, December 16, 2012

Last week of the semester!


Quote of the Week: “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Science and Social Studies Fair

Our Hilsman Science and Social Studies Fair will be held from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Wednesday, December 19th, in the cafeteria.  We welcome parents to drop in during that time to view the projects. Please sign in at the front office.

Connecticut Tragedy

Just in case you did not receive Dr. Lanoue's message to the CCSD community regarding the shooting tragedy in Connecticut, I have posted it here:

"Like you, our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the tragedy today in Connecticut. Please know that your child's well-being is our top priority. Today's events certainly re-emphasize our commitment to diligently follow our safety procedures, in cooperation with school resource officers and the CCSD and Athens-Clarke County Police Departments.

Please know that if your child needs to talk with an adult to process any concerns they have, our school counselors and psychologists are readily available. Please be assured that teachers, administrators and support staff are committed to providing a safe and encouraging learning environment for your child." -
Dr. Phil Lanoue



At Hilsman Middle School, our priority is and will remain keeping our children safe. On Monday, we will to return to school to carry on with our normal activities and to provide consistency for our children in a time of great tragedy. While some families have discussed the tragedy with their children, others may have shielded their children from the details of this terrible event. We will respect each family's individual decision on this matter.


Therefore, as a school you can expect us to respond as follows:

1. Faculty/Staff members will not initiate discussion of the details of the events in Newtown with students at any time. Details of what students are aware of are solely at the discretion of each individual family.

2. Students who bring up the event at school and have a need for further dialogue may do so as developmentally appropriate. The school's focus will be on reassuring students that they are safe at school. The following article has been shared with our faculty: http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/15/how-not-to-talk-with-children-about-the-sandy-hook-shooting/?emc=eta1

3. Students who seem upset or who may be having trouble processing information they may have learned at home may be seen by one of our counselors or the administrative staff.

4. The administrative staff will be available in the office or front lobby in the morning to discuss any safety concerns that parents may have.


Hilsman has appropriate safety procedures in place for students and staff regarding intruders. The administrative team will be reviewing our emergency protocols in the morning, as we do periodically. Officer Rivera, our School Resource Officer, will continue to monitor the hallways and the perimeter of the building to ensure that our doors remain closed and locked. We will continue with our current safety /crisis management plan that we have had in the past, and notify you if any changes take place.
If the school district decides to increase security in our school or make changes with our current visitor protocols in the coming days, you will be notified.

Coping with a tragedy is never easy. The National Association of School Psychologists have posted on their website some tips for parents and teachers in helping children process events such as the one that occurred in Connecticut. You can find those tips here.

PARK

Our P.A.R.K. of trees continues to grow! I am so proud of our students and faculty in how they have embraced the opportunity to spread kindness here at Hilsman and throughout our community.  Encourage your child to keep up the good deeds, and to make sure they add their PARKs to their grade level trees. 

Quarter Two Benchmarks

We will be concluding our Quarter Two Benchmarks this week on December 17th (Science) December 18th (Social Studies).  Makeups will be conducted on December 19th.  Benchmarks help our teachers have a better understanding of how well your student understands the material they have learned over the previous nine weeks. You can be involved in benchmarks by making sure that your child gets plenty of rest the night before (at least 8-9 hours per night according to the National Sleep Foundation) and eats a healthy breakfast either at home or at school.

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here. Our weekly news video can be viewed here, with a special holiday treat!

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

December 19th -       Hilsman Science and Social Studies Fair 
December 13-19th - Quarter 2 Benchmarks
December 20th -       7th grade field trip (morning); PARK celebration (afternoon)
Dec. 21- Jan. 6th -    Winter Break
January 9th -                Hilsman Spelling Bee

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Music is in the air...


Quote of the Week: "The wealth of this world is in the people around you and how you care for them and treat them is of the utmost importance." - Collin Klein


Our P.A.R.K. of trees is growing! Just within the first week of our PARK initiative, we have nine trees in our cafeteria that are filled with Panther Acts of Random Kindness. I am so proud of our students and faculty in how they have embraced the opportunity to spread kindness here at Hilsman and throughout our community. Encourage your child to keep up the good deeds, and to make sure they add their PARKs to their grade level trees!

Holiday Joint Concert

Please join us this Monday evening, December 10th, at 6:30 p.m. in the new gym for our joint holiday concert.  You won't want to miss this special treat, and have to opportunity to hear our band, chorus, and orchestra all perform on the same evening. We look forward to having a full gym for this special occasion.

Quarter Two Benchmarks

Quarter two benchmarks will begin on Thursday, December 13th and will conclude on December 18th.  Makeups will be conducted on December 19th.  Benchmarks help our teachers have a better understanding of how well your student understands the material they have learned over the previous nine weeks. You can be involved in benchmarks by making sure that your child gets plenty of rest the night before (at least 8-9 hours per night according to the National Sleep Foundation) and eats a healthy breakfast either at home or at school.

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here. 

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

December 10th -       Joint Holiday Concert featuring Band, Chorus, and Orchestra
December 13th -       Hilsman Science Fair
December 13-19th - Quarter 2 Benchmarks
December 20th -       PARK celebration
Dec. 21- Jan. 6th -    Winter Break

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Help us build our P.A.R.K.


Quote of the Week - "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
                                         - Mother Theresa

During the month of December we are engaging in an activity that will undoubtedly have a positive impact on Hilsman, the surrounding community, and all those who take part. One of our goals as an IB Candidate school is to help our students understand and embody the IB Learner Profile characteristics, found here. We also continue to strive to make Hilsman a better and increasingly positive place to learn. According to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, "Research shows that students who learn in a positive classroom environment have a better school experience. They enjoy higher test scores, learn new skills at a faster rate and are overall happier at school." Building our P.A.R.K. is one way to help us work toward this goal.  

Hilsman students and staff are committing Panther Acts of Random Kindness (PARK) each day from December 1st through December 20th. Students and staff will record their PARKs on paper cutouts and paste them on the paper trees that will decorate our cafeteria. As soon as a tree is filled, we will put up another. Our goal is to decorate the entire cafeteria and possibly the hallway with all our kindness trees! Additionally, students will have a Kindness Log provided to them for their personal use, on which they can record their acts of kindness each day. On the last day of school before our Winter break, we will run an afternoon activity schedule. During the last period of the day, everyone who has joined in the initiative by committing at least one Panther Act of Random Kindness will gather in the gym to celebrate all of the kindness we have shared with others as a Hilsman community. We are looking forward to having everyone join us for this celebration.

While this is a totally voluntary initiative, we hope that every staff member and student will engage random acts of kindness (RAK) each day. With over 750 students and staff members, if we accomplish the task of committing one RAK per day December 1-20, we will have committed over 15,000 Panther Acts of Random Kindness! You have to agree that so many acts of kindness are bound to have a positive effect on Hilsman and our Eastside community.  Our students and staff seemed very excited when we spoke to them this week about the PARK initiative. Some even asked if we could keep it going all year! We invite our Hilsman families to join us in our PARK initiative.  You can share your Panther Acts of Ransom Kindness with us by email, in person, or by leaving a comment on this blog.  We will add them to our trees in the Hilsman PARK!



Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here. You can view our weekly video announcements here.

Sports

Our basketball teams played great against Clarke Middle Owls. Our girls won their game, while the boys suffered a heartbreaking loss by just a few points. Our next game is this Wednesday, against the BHL Lions.  Tip off for the girls is at 4:30 p.m. The boys' game will immediately follow.

PTO News

Our PTO meeting was well attended and we welcomed our new PTO President, Angel McCoy. Angel has a seventh grader at Hilsman. We were so excited that over 100 parents and friends came to support our students during our Social Studies curriculum night, which included a display of 8th grade social studies projects as well as our Geography Bee competition. Below are a couple of photos from the event.


8th grade students sharing their SS project on how Apple products have changed our lives

Geography Bee winner Zach Holland with his SS teacher Ms. Scott



Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

December 3rd -          School Council, 4:00 p.m.
December 10th -       Joint Holiday Concert featuring Band, Chorus, and Orchestra
December 13th -       Hilsman Science Fair
December 13-19th - Quarter 2 Benchmarks
December 20th -       PARK celebration
Dec. 21- Jan. 6th -    Winter Break


IB

View Ms. Clark's IB blog here.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Post-Thanksgiving Update


Quote of the Week - "Once you choose hope, anything is possible." 
                                         - Christopher Reeve

I hope everyone had a great week off from school and enjoyed spending time with family and friends. I began and ended my Thanksgiving break with Bulldog football.  While at the UGA-GSU game, I ran into one of our bus drivers, Mr. Willie from bus #290. Mr. Willie says Bus 290 rocks!

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here.

Sports

Our basketball teams played great and won both games against Coile. This Thursday we play Clarke Middle. Girls tip off at 4:30, followed by the boys. Both games are at Clarke Middle.

PTO News

The next PTO Meeting will be November 27th at 6:00 p.m. at Hilsman. Following a short meeting, we will have our annual Geography Bee, with over 30 students competing. Come out and get involve with PTO and support our students as we test their geographical knowledge!

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

December 10th -       Joint Holiday Concert featuring Band, Chorus, and Orchestra
December 13th -       Hilsman Science Fair
December 13-20th - Quarter 2 Benchmarks

IB

View Ms. Clark's IB blog here.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thankful Thoughts


Quote of the Week: "Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least."
                                ~  Goethe

Students had a great time listening to motivational speaker Reggie Dabbs last Thursday. We are excited to welcome him back this year. He shared a very poignant story about a time when he was in middle school and was bullied, and he talked about the hurt he felt. He also shared that each one of us has the power to stop bullying by befriending those who are the victims of this awful act. One of the most powerful statements he made was to ask students to remember that their words have the potential to heal or hurt, and that they have the power to choose which it will be. Our students responded well to the message and as always, displayed exemplary assembly behavior. 

Reggie Dabbs honoring our teachers for the outstanding work they do!

November is Parent Involvement Month

One of the many things I am thankful for here at Hilsman is the support that our students and teachers receive from the Hilsman parents.  Since November is Parent Involvement Month in Georgia, I thought I would share with you a few ways that you can be involved in your child's education and in the work we do here at Hilsman:
  1. Sign up for Parent Portal with Infinite Campus and check it weekly. We ask our teachers to update their gradebook every 7-10 days. Ask your child about their work.
  2. Communicate with teachers and administrators. Communication with school staff helps parents learn how to get involved and stay involved. Parents can request a meeting with their child’s teacher anytime throughout the school year in person or by teleconference.
  3. Get involved in PTO. Parents often strive to get involved in their child’s education by becoming an active member and decision-maker in school parent organizations.
  4. Observe classroom instruction. During a classroom visit, parents can observe what their children are learning, become aware of who their friends are, and get a jump start on how to help them with their homework. Observing your child at school will also show them that you care about their academic performance and achievement.
  5. Attend school events. Attending school events is important across all grade levels. Parents can show their support for their child’s education by attending events such as curriculum nights, award ceremonies, fine arts events, and parent-teacher conferences.
  6. Volunteer at Hilsman. Volunteering your time as a parent can be as simple as chaperoning a field trip, helping out in the media center, monitoring hallways, or reading a book to your child’s class; the possibilities are endless. School staff will often inform parents about volunteer opportunities throughout the academic year.
You can read Superintendent Barge's letter to parents here. For more information on parent engagement, click here

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here.
Our Panther News video can be viewed here.

Sports

The first basketball game of the regular season tips off Thursday afternoon against the Coile Cougars. Girls tip off at 4:30, followed by the boys. Both games are at Hilsman.

America Recycles Day

November 15th is America Recycles Day at Hilsman. We are having a contest among the students to see how many create ways we can recycle trash.  Students should bring their contest entries to the media center by 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning.

PTO News

PTO will soon host it's first fundraiser for the year! We will be having skate night on Tuesday, November 20th at Fun Galaxy (formely known as Skate Around USA). It will be from 5pm to 8pm. The cost will be $5 (which includes skates). There will be a drawing for students who attend to win a free pair of skates.

The next PTO Meeting will be November 27th at 6:00 p.m. in the media center. Following a short meeting, we will have our annual Geography Bee. Come out and get involve with PTO and support our students as we test their geographical knowledge!

IB

View Ms. Clark's IB blog here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Reggie Dabbs is coming to Hilsman!


Quote of the Week: "It's not what you are that holds you back, it's what you think you are not." - Denis Waitley

That's right.  Reggie Dabbs is back.  And he will be at Hilsman this Thursday. 

Reggie Dabbs is a powerful motivational speaker who came to visit Hilsman students last year. We are excited to welcome him back this year. On Thursday he will share an anti-bullying message with our students. Make sure to ask your student what they learned from Reggie this week!


Saturday Success

Our Saturday Success Program will be held again November 10th here at Hilsman. The program will run from 9-12 and transportation is provided. This quarter our focus will be on Math and ELA. We have identified 75 students as excellent candidates for the Saturday Success program, which will help them be more successful in ELA and Math. Letters were sent home with students on Monday, October 29th.  

Who Let the Dawgs Out?

Our artists enjoyed attending the unveiling of "Pioneer Dawg" in front of the AT&T building on Prince Avenue. We were honored that the Pioneers, a service organization whose members are current and former Southern Bell, Bellsouth, and AT&T employees, invited Hilsman to take part in this project.



Principal's Coffee

Please come join us Friday morning from 7:45-8:30 a.m. for our monthly principal's coffee in the Parent Center.

Look at Our Students

This past week our students participated in two events and represented Hilsman well. First, a group of consultants in training with the Etiquette and Leadership Institute, led by Debra Lassiter and Cindy Haygood, worked with our leaders and potential leaders on the seven characteristics of effective introductions. Here is a snapshot of our students and one of the consultants from Hong Kong:


Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here.
Our Panther News video can be viewed here.

IB

View Ms. Clark's IB blog here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall Festival and Moonlight Madness


Quote of the Week: "High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering


I hope everyone had a relaxing Fall Break. The Hilsman community is cordially invited to participate in our annual Fall Festival this evening, from 6-8 p.m. To view the promo for the Fall Festival, click here.

Saturday Success

Our Saturday Success Program will be held November 3rd and November 10th here at Hilsman. The program will run from 9-12 and transportation is provided. This quarter our focus will be on Math and ELA. We have identified 75 students as excellent candidates for the Saturday Success program, which will help them be more successful in ELA and Math. Letters were sent home with students on Monday, October 29th.  

Who Let the Dawgs Out?

The gentlemen from AT&T came this morning to pick up the Dawg that our art students painted for the Pioneer group. The Dawg will be dedicated Friday morning and will sit in front of the AT&T store on Prince Avenue.  We are excited and honored that our students and Ms. Campbell invited to complete this project.


Technology

Students and teachers continue to be excited about our new technology. This week, all 8th grade Math and ELA teachers teachers will roll out net books. These teachers, as well as two 7th grade Math and ELA teachers, will pilot the Teacher Resource Link for the next several months. Teachers can access these resources to provide individualized remediation and enrichment to students in their classrooms. 

Pride of the Panthers

We had over 30 students across all grade levels receive the Pride of the Panthers award for the first nine weeks.  These students had perfect attendance for the quarter, zero discipline referrals, and made A honor roll. In addition to having a celebration last Thursday afternoon, these students also receive a no uniform pass for the entire week this week! Each quarter students have the opportunity to earn the Pride of the Panthers award, so we are looking forward to even more students next quarter. Here is a photo from our September attendance incentive:




Athletics

Our basketball teams kick off their season with their annual Moonlight Madness.  Come join us this Friday from 6-9 p.m. in the new gym.

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here.
Our Panther News video can be viewed here.

IB

View Ms. Clark's IB blog here.



Saturday, October 20, 2012

Seeing Red

Quote of the Week: "Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


That's right!  I want to see RED on Monday...
This upcoming week is Red Ribbon Week in Clarke County.  Each day we have something planned to help out students realize that "The best me is drug free!" On Monday, all students, faculty, staff, and CCSD families are encouraged to wear red to support Red Ribbon Week. At Hilsman, we would love to "RED OUT" the school with red shirts on everyone who walks in the building!  Students should still wear their khaki uniform pants, shorts, or skirts with their red shirt.

Technology

Students and teachers continue to be excited about our new technology. This week, we will prepare the next set of teachers to roll out the net books, as well as receive our two new mobile laptop labs. In other exciting news, Hilsman has been selected to be a pilot school for the new Teacher Resource Link, which is a part of the Statewide Longitudinal Data System that the GA Department of Education has implemented this year. The Teacher Resource Link connects teachers with vetted resources directly aligned with the new Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. Teachers can access these resources to provide individualized remediation and enrichment to students in their classrooms. All 8th grade Math and ELA teachers, as well as two 7th grade Math and ELA teachers, will pilot this resource link for the next several months.

Students in Mr. Heu's class using the net books.

Students working together, helping each other with the new technology

Student Recognition

This week we will be recognizing students who had perfect attendance in the month of September with Popcorn Parties.  Perfect attendance winners will receive a sticker from their teacher to redeem for a bag of popcorn after lunch. We will also be recognizing our All A and All A and B honor roll students on Wednesday this week. On Thursday, we will have a special recognition celebration for our Pride of the Panther winners for first quarter.  These students are those who had perfect attendance, all A's, and zero discipline referrals during the first quarter of school. 


Athletics

Our Cedar Shoals C-Team football will see their final action of the season at Gainesville this Thursday, October 25th.

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here.

IB

View Ms. Clark's IB blog here.

Family Engagement and Fall Festival

Thanks to all parents who came to parent conferences.  We had a great turnout! Remember that this Friday, October 26th, is CCSD's Fall Break. Monday, October 29th, will be Hilsman's 2nd Annual Fall Festival. Ms. Griffith needs parent volunteers to help with the games, please contact her at griffithj@clarke.k12.ga.us if you are available to help.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Netbooks are Here!!!


Quote of the Week: "It is through cooperation, rather than conflict, that your greatest successes will be derived." - Ralph Charell


Well....it has been very exciting around Hilsman Middle School this week.  Our student devices arrived and we began the process of "roll out" to the classrooms.  A group of eight teachers, our "early adopter" group, are piloting the use of the net books in their classrooms for a week or two so that we make sure that we have a smooth process in place for the rest of our teachers.  Our goal is to have our roll out process complete by Thanksgiving break.

Both teachers and student were excited to use these devices for instruction.  Below are a couple of pictures so that you can see the students and teachers in action.

Mr. Heu and Mr. Wilson get the devices ready for students.

Mr. Hussain gave an assessment that combined using traditional paper/pencil and the net books. 


On October 15th, we return to our original schedule. The day will begin with first period and end with seventh period.  We will follow that schedule until November 16th. When we return from Thanksgiving break we will "flip" again! You can find the list of the dates on which we will flip our schedule posted here.


Athletics

Hilsman's Cross Country team will be in action on Tuesday afternoon at Athens Academy.
Our Cedar Shoals C-Team football will be in action at Washington-Wilkes this Thursday, October 18th. The game starts at 5:00 p.m.

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here.
Additionally, we are also producing a weekly news show that students watch on Mondays.  The news show is posted to our Hilsman Youtube channel and can be viewed by clicking here. To limit questionable thumbnails when using YouTube, scroll to the bottom of the page when accessing YouTube, open the "Safe Mode" link, and simply click "on."

Family Engagement

Parent Conferences will be held this Wednesday through Friday.  Students will be released at 1:30 p.m. each day. On Thursday at 6:00 p.m., our Math department will be sharing resources with parents that they can access to help their students with the new math curriculum.  If you missed the presentation at the Nellie B. Community Center, please come join us Thursday evening from 6:00-7:00 p.m.



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Week of October 8th


Quote of the Week: The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear. -Socrates


Students with perfect attendance had a great time being out of uniform on their uniform-free days this past week! This week we will finish benchmark testing, and end our first quarter grading period on October 10th. Student report cards will  be given out during parent conferences, which will be held October 17-19. If they have not done so already, your student's homeroom teacher should be contacting you this week to schedule your conference time. Here is the benchmark schedule this week:

October 8th - No School
October 9th - Make ups
October 10th - Science
October 11-Social Studies
October 12 - Make ups

Testing will occur from 8:30-9:55 each day.  Please make sure your student is well rested and either eats breakfast at home or at school.

On October 15th, we will return to our original schedule. The day will begin with first period and end with seventh period.  We will follow that schedule until November 16th. When we return from Thanksgiving break we will "flip" again! You can find the list of the dates on which we will flip our schedule posted here.

You Rock!

Each month we celebrate faculty members who, through their contributions in and out of the classroom, are making Hilsman a great place to teach and learn.  We call these our "You Rock" awards.  We took nominations for winners last month and presented those awards at the September faculty meeting.  This month, the teachers who won last month had to pass the award along to a deserving individual.  Our winners for October are pictured below being presented the award by the September winner.  Mr. Pratt (not pictured below) also won a You Rock award, but was not present to receive it as he was coaching our cross country team at a meet. Mr. Blake presented Mr. Pratt with the award for October. In addition to the traveling You Rock award, the winners also receive the opportunity to have Dr. E. and me come in to teach one of their class periods.  We love this part of recognizing our faculty for the great work they are doing.

Mr. Hussain presents to Ms. Ziemann

Mr. Slover presents to Mr. Watkins

Ms. Kulmala presents to Ms. Murphy

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here.
Additionally, we are also producing a weekly news show that students watch on Mondays.  The news show is posted to our Hilsman Youtube channel and can be viewed by clicking here. To limit questionable thumbnails when using YouTube, scroll to the bottom of the page when accessing YouTube, open the "Safe Mode" link, and simply click "on."

Athletics

    Hilsman's volleyball team ended their season with a tough loss to BHL.  Our girls played their hearts out, and I was proud to watch them play with determination and confidence.
   Our Cedar Shoals C-Team football will be in action against Clarke Central this Thursday, October 11th at Cedar Shoals.  The game starts at 5:30 p.m.

Family Engagement

Our fundraiser through Great American Opportunities raised over $4800! The cookie dough will be in this week and will be ready for pick up after 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3rd. If you have not picked up your cookie dough, please contact Ms. Griffith at the school. Also, this Friday, October 12th, will be our next Hilsman Parent Coffee with the Principal at 7:45 a.m. in the Parent Center.

School Council

The Hilsman School Council will meet Wednesday, October 10th, at 11:00 a.m. in the Parent Center. The public is invited to attend all school council meetings. The school council members for this year are:

Neil Hefner -Parent/Community
Spencer Smith -Parent/Community
Rico Mack- Parent
Bridget Ratajczak - Parent
Eric Blake - Teacher
Paul Varnadoe - Teacher
Selena Blankenship -Principal


Monday, October 1, 2012

It's Benchmark Time...


Quote of the Week: If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. - Jim Rohn


It is hard to believe that in just eight short days our first nine weeks will come to a close.  The end of the nine weeks signals both benchmark testing, and a return to our original schedule.  Benchmark testing will occur October 4-12, 2012. Here are the subjects that will be tested each day:

October 4th - ELA
October 5th - Math
October 9th - Make ups
October 10th - Science
October 11-Social Studies
October 12 - Make ups

Testing will occur from 8:30-9:55 each day.  Please make sure your student is well rested and either eats breakfast at home or at school.

On October 15th, we will return to our original schedule. The day will begin with first period and end with seventh period.  We will follow that schedule until November 16th. When we return from Thanksgiving break we will "flip" again!

This past week, Dr. Ezekiel and I had the opportunity to teach a social studies class. We had a great time interacting with our students and helping them learn more about different economies.

Students had to agree or disagree with the statements on the Smartboard using the "thumbs up or thumbs down" symbol in this activating strategy.

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here.
Additionally, we are also producing a weekly news show that students watch on Mondays.  The news show is posted to our Hilsman Youtube channel and can be viewed by clicking here. To limit questionable thumbnails when using YouTube, scroll to the bottom of the page when accessing YouTube, open the "Safe Mode" link, and simply click "on."

Perfect Attendance

This week students who have had perfect attendance for August and/or September will be recognized.  These students will be rewarded by being able to be out of uniform one day this week! 6th graders will have their uniform free day on Wednesday, 7th graders on Thursday, and 8th graders on Friday. Students must wear the sticker they are provided the day prior to the uniform free day in order to be out of uniform, and they must still comply with the CCSD dress code policy, found here.

IB News

Ms. Clark, our IB Coordinator, has started a blog to keep parents and community members updated about the IB program at Hilsman.  You can read it here.

Athletics

    Hilsman's volleyball team participated in a volleyball tournament this weekend. Our girls played hard and ended up winning the bronze division! Congratulations, girls! Our next volleyball match will be this Tuesday, October 2nd, against BHL. The match will begin at 4:30 at BHL.
   Our Cedar Shoals C-Team football will be in action against Hart County this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Come out and support our C-Team Jags!
The Cross Country Team will be in action again this Wednesday at Athens Academy. We have a dedicated group of runners and they keep getting faster and faster!

Family Engagement

Our fundraiser through Great American Opportunities raised over $4800! The cookie dough will be in this week and will be ready for pick up after 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3rd.
We had a great meeting at Nellie B. Community Center. our math teachers presented information on our new curriculum and resources that parents can access to help their students with math. During parent conferences, we will repeat this session on Math tips and resources at 6:00 p.m. on October 18th so that more parents will have this information.

Mr. Martin and Mr. Pratt sharing math resources at Nellie B. Community meeting

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall is in the air...


Last week was a great week at Hilsman.  Everyone seems to be settled into the flipped schedule and many of our students have shared with me that they like being able to have their afternoon classes in the morning sometimes, and vice-versa. This week we have 4-H meetings during connections for each grade level on Monday, 9/24. If your child is interested in being a part of 4-H, they need to speak with one of the following people:

6th grade - Janice Davis
7th grade - Regina King
8th grade - Jennifer Murphy

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here.

IB News

Ms. Clark, our IB Coordinator, has started a blog to keep parents and community members updated about the IB program at Hilsman.  You can read it here.

Advisement

This week, on Wednesday, we will have Advisement sessions with students.  This week it is sixth grade's turn to head to the computer lab to work on GaCollege411, while seventh and eighth grade work on other lessons. Be sure to ask your students about their time in advisement and the types of activities we are doing.

Athletics

    Hilsman's volleyball team had a great win against Coile this past Tuesday, winning both games. Our next volleyball match will be this Tuesday, September 25, against Clarke Middle. The match will begin at 4:30 in the new gym at Hilsman.
   Our Cedar Shoals C-Team football won an exciting game against Gainesville this past Thursday. The C-Team Jags will travel to Thompson this Wednesday for another exciting match up. Here is a shot of our teachers/fans supporting our guys this past Thursday:

Celebrating another touchdown!

The Cross Country Team will be in action again this Tuesday at North Oconee. We have a dedicated group of runners and they keep getting faster and faster!

Family Engagement

We will be visiting Nellie B. Community Center on Thursday, September 26th from 6-7:30 p.m. this week. The purpose of this quarter's meeting will be to talk about progress reports, upcoming benchmark tests and parent conferences, and to share Math tips and resources with parents. During parent conferences, we will also have a session on Math tips and resources that parents will be able to attend.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Get Your Smile On!


This Friday, September 21st, is Picture Day at Hilsman. At Hilsman, we have a tradition of students wearing their uniform shirt and pants for Fall picture day, and then for Spring picture day they are allowed to dress in non-uniform clothing. This year will be no different. All students and staff will be photographed as these photos are used for our yearbook. Several parents are helping out as volunteers for picture day, and we appreciate that! You can also help by making sure that your child arrives at school on time and dressed appropriately.  Pictures will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m.

Speaking of pictures, look who I ran into at the UGA game this weekend! Aron White, a former tight end with the Bulldogs, stopped by our tailgate to say hello.  This was his first UGA tailgate ever! He promised me that if/when he returns to UGA to finish his graduate degree, he will volunteer at Hilsman!

Hanging out with former Bulldog tight end, Aron White


Progress Reports

I hope everyone got a chance to review their child's progress report with them. Progress report time is an important time to celebrate the areas in which they are excelling, and help your child make an action plan for how to improve in the areas in which they want to improve. Remember, if you have concerns about your child's progress, contact your child's teacher.  They should be able to offer you additional insight about your child's performance in class.

School Council

Congratulations to Neil Hefner, Rico Mack, and Spencer Smith who were elected by your votes to serve as your School Council representatives. I am looking forward to our first meeting in October. Remember, school council meetings are open to the public.  We meet at 11:30 a.m. in the Parent Center four times per year.

IB News

Ms. Clark, our IB Coordinator, has started a blog to keep parents and community members updated about the IB program at Hilsman.  You can read it here.

Adopt-a-Class

This week, on Thursday, we will have our first Adopt-a-Class sessions with students.  Adopt-a-Class is a program in all the middle schools in which various businesses send representatives to the school to meet with students and share a lesson related to skills they will need for future success. Our students always get excited for visits from our Adopt-a-Class partners, and our Adopt-a-Class partners get excited to see our students!

Athletics

    Hilsman's volleyball team had a tough loss this past Tuesday against BHL. Our next volleyball match will be this Tuesday, September 18, against Coile. The match will begin at 4:30 in the new gym at Hilsman. 
   Our Cedar Shoals C-Team football will be in action again on September 20th as they take on Gainesville at Cedar Shoals. Come out to support our C-Team Jags!
The Cross Country Team will be in action this coming Saturday at Oglethorpe County. Looking forward to some fast times!
     

Schedule Flip

The students and teachers settled in to our new schedule this week. We ended up having to make some adjustments, and now all of our classes "flip"! This makes it much easier for all of us to remember, as we simply run the schedule backward beginning with 7th period and ending with 1st. I asked the some of the students this week how they liked the new schedule. One young man told me that at the end of the day he was ready to go home, and that was bad because he had math and couldn't really focus too well.  Now he has math first thing in the morning and he already feels better about how he can focus on his work. This absolutely supports the research on rotating schedules. We will be monitoring the role that scheduling plays in our students' performance this year.

Flipping the schedule gives students the opportunity to learn each subject during their optimal learning time, whether that be morning or afternoon (Brimfield, 2003).

We are looking forward to another happy, safe, and productive week. Great things are happening at Hilsman!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Progress Report Time!


This week was a short but busy week at Hilsman. We are half way through our first quarter of school, believe it or not.  That means it is progress report time! Students will bring home progress reports on Thursday of this week.  Please spend a few minutes looking over the progress report with your child. Celebrate the areas in which they are excelling, and help your child make an action plan for how to improve in the areas in which they want to improve. If you have concerns about your child's progress, contact your child's teacher.  They should be able to offer you additional insight about your child's performance in class. Many times parents ask what they can do to help their child be successful in school. Click here to learn more about how you can be involved at home to help your child be more successful in school.

Advisement

This week, on Wednesday, we will hold our next advisement session with students.  During advisement we work on exploring interests and careers, and developing study habits for school and soft skills needed in today's workplace. All administrators, teachers, and some support personnel have advisement groups. If you would like to learn more about Teachers as Advisors, please contact our counselor, Larry Davis. You can also learn more about some of our advisement activities by visiting GACollege411.

Athletics

     Our Cedar Shoals C-Team football won their game against Clarke Central C-Team on Thursday, with a score of 19-12. These 7th and 8th grade young men from Hilsman and Coile are a treat to watch. Come on out and support these young Jaguars! The C-Team will be in action again on September 20th as they take on Gainesville at Cedar Shoals.
     Finally, Hilsman's volleyball team had a tough loss this past Thursday against Clarke Middle. Our next volleyball match will be this Tuesday, September 11, against BHL. The match will begin at 4:30 in the new gym at Hilsman.

Schedule Flip

Each progress report period, we will "flip our schedule." What does that mean? Right now, your child attends classes in order, first period through seventh period.  Beginning Monday and lasting until the end of the first nine weeks, your students will attend classes beginning with seventh period and ending with first period. At this time, we are only "flipping" the academic classes; which means that connections classes will remain stationary.  Here is what the schedule will look like for each grade. The numbers stand for the class periods:

Sixth grade - 1, 7, 6, 4, 5, 3, 2

Seventh grade - 7, 2, 5, 4, 3, 6, 1

Eighth grade - 6, 5, 3, 4, 2, 1, 7

Flipping the schedule gives students the opportunity to learn each subject during their optimal learning time, whether that be morning or afternoon (Brimfield, 2003).

We are looking forward to a happy, safe, and productive week. Great things are happening at Hilsman!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hello, September!

"Thinking too well of people often allows them to be better than they otherwise would.
- Nelson Mandela

I hope everyone enjoyed their three day weekend! I spent the weekend cheering on Cedar Shoals in their first victory of the regular season, as well as watching the Bulldogs pick up their first win of the season against Buffalo. Even though this week is a four day school week, we still have plenty going on!
Officer Rivera stopped by to get some of Dr. B's famous Rotel grits!

Dr. B. with her husband and two of her children, headed to the game!

Fundraiser

This week brings our Great American fundraiser to a close.  Money and order forms are due by Wednesday, September 5th. If you have questions about the fundraiser, please contact Ms. Joann Griffith, our Family Engagement Specialist.

Student Profile

The Clarke County School District is beginning to feature student profiles from around the district.  One of our 8th grade Hilsman students, Atiya Middleton, is featured this week.  Read about Atiya here.

Advisement

This week we held our first advisement session with students.  For those of you who are wondering what advisement is, it is a time that students meet with an adult (their advisor) to engage in activities that support their success as a student.  Students are assigned to an advisor by grade level, so the advisor may or may not be a someone who teaches the student for an academic subject or connection class. The advisees will stay with their advisor until they leave middle school, allowing them to build a trusted relationship with another adult in the building. During advisement we will work on exploring interests and careers, and developing study habits for school and soft skills needed in today's workplace. All administrators, teachers, and some support personnel have advisement groups.  The feedback from our first session was very positive! If you would like to learn more about Teachers as Advisors, please contact our counselor, Larry Davis. You can also learn more about some of our advisement activities by visiting GACollege411.

Athletics

     We have several athletic activities taking place this week. Cheer tryouts are scheduled for this week, September 4-7, 2012. Information can be obtained in the front office.  All ladies intending to try out must have a current physical on file. 
     Our Cedar Shoals C-Team football will be in action against Clarke Central C-Team on Thursday, September 6th at Billy Henderson Stadium. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. These 7th and 8th grade young men from Hilsman and Coile are a treat to watch. Come on out and support these young Jaguars!
     Finally, Hilsman's volleyball team will see their first action of the season on Thursday, September 6th, against Clarke Middle. The match will be held at Hilsman in the new gym, and is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. Let's cheer our volleyball team to victory! 

Progress Reports

     The progress report grading period ends on Friday, September 7th. It is hard to believe we have already been in school nearly one month! Progress reports will be sent home with students on September 14th. Please don't hesitate to follow up with your child's teacher if you have questions or concerns about your student's progress. We want all students to be successful and strive to be proactive in addressing issues/concerns.
     This year we are going to try something new.  Each progress report period, we will "flip our schedule." What does that mean? Right now, your child attends classes in order, first period through seventh period.  Beginning September 10th and lasting until the end of the first nine weeks, your students will attend classes beginning with seventh period and ending with first period. At this time, we are only "flipping" the academic classes; which means that connections classes will remain stationary.  Here is what the schedule will look like for each grade. The numbers stand for the class periods:

Sixth grade - 1, 7, 6, 4, 5, 3, 2

Seventh grade - 7, 2, 5, 4, 3, 6, 1

Eighth grade - 6, 5, 3, 4, 2, 1, 7

Teachers will prepare students for this transition during this week.  We will have posters on each hallway reminding students the order we are following. Flipping the schedule gives students the opportunity to learn each subject during their optimal learning time, whether that be morning or afternoon (Brimfield, 2003).

We are looking forward to a happy, safe, and productive week. Great things are happening at Hilsman!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Where did August go?

Curriculum Night and Title I Meeting

Thank you to those of you who were able to make it to our Title I Annual Meeting and Curriculum Night held last Tuesday evening.  We had a nice turnout, and we were able to share some very important information with those who attended. Here are a few pictures from the events of the evening:






In addition to Title I information, we also heard from PTO and School Council.  We are desperately seeking someone to serve as PTO president this year.  If you would be willing to serve in this capacity, please email Dr. Blankenship. In school council news, we will be electing new school council representatives this week. Nominations were open all this past week and we have several people who have been nominated.  Please stop by Hilsman between the hours of 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. to cast your ballot for school council representatives.

Fundraiser

As you know, your student brought home a packet for our school wide fundraiser. The profits from this fundraiser will be used primarily to supplement funds for educational field trips and to provide incentives to students through our positive behavior program. Participation in the fundraiser is voluntary. You can view information about the fundraising opportunity here. Orders are due by September 5th.

Fall Sports

This past Saturday, our C-Team football players participated in a middle school football jamboree at Athens Academy.  The first regularly scheduled game is set for September 6th at CCHS' Billy Henderson Stadium. Please come out and support our C-Team Jaguars!
Volleyball will have their next match September 6th as well at Hilsman, and Cross Country got underway this past week.  Please come out and support the Panthers whenever you can.

Text and Email updates

Parents, remember that you can sign up to receive text reminders for important dates and activities at Hilsman.  Simply send a text to (845) 406-9803 with one of the following messages:

6th grade parents - @drblan
7th grade parents - @drblan7
8th grade parents - @drblan8
Students - @drbla

If you would like to receive email reminders, send an email with a blank subject and body to the code above @remind101.com.  For example, 6th grade parents would send a blank email to drblan@remind101.com. We hope you will take advantage of this easy way to receive information about upcoming events. The beauty of it is that whenever you change phone numbers, you can simply sign up again with your new number and you will continue to receive updates.

ELT and TAA

Finally, ELT and our Teachers as Advisors program will begin this week. ELT will meet every day during fourth period, and will run on an A/B schedule.  Teachers as Advisors will meet approximately twice per month. On those days we will run our 8 period activity schedule so that students will still meet with all of their classes. We look forward to another productive week.  Remember that we have a holiday on September 3rd as we celebrate Labor Day.

Great things are happening at Hilsman!

Dr. B.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Looking back, looking ahead...

Hilsman has had a fantastic first eight days of school! We welcomed over 700 students into our building on August 8th, and began immediately to make connections, build relationships, and begin to learn. As you can see from the pictures below, our teachers wasted little time and jumped right in to teaching standards and refreshing our students' memories about what makes us an International Baccalureate candidate school.



The upcoming week is a busy one for Panthers. Our annual Title I meeting, PTO, and Curriculum night will be taking place on Tuesday, August 21st. We will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the gym and then move to homeroom classes from there shortly after 6:00 p.m. We encourage all families to attend to meet their child's teacher, learn about our Title I program, and hear about our new Common Core curriculum. 

We also begin Norm-Reference Testing (NRT) this week.  Students brought home a letter on Friday that gave information about the test.  This test is also one of the available criteria that can be used in combination with others to determine Advanced Content eligibility.  We will begin testing on August 22nd and continue over the next two weeks.  The testing is done in the regular class period so there is minimal interruption.

Finally, we begin a school wide fundraiser on August 21st.  Your student will be bringing home a packet of information to share with you. Hilsman will be using the profits from the fundraiser to supplement educational field trips as well as provide incentives to our students through our positive school culture initiative.  We hope you will consider particpating in this fundraiser to benefit the students of Hilsman.

We are enjoying your children and we are happy that you are part of our Hilsman family.  Remember that we are a team working together to achieve our mission to prepare our students to be productive members of a global society through challenging and innovative learning opportunities that honor our diversity.
Until next time....

Dr. B