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.