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:

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.


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.


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

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