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!