Sunday, December 15, 2013

Get Ready. Winter (Break) is Coming...

Quote of the Week: "Remember happiness doesn't depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think." -Dale Carnegie



The Week in Review

There are cool things happening at Hilsman this week! Many students worked on finishing up their science fair projects. The Hilsman science fair will be held next Tuesday, December 17th. If you would like to view the science projects, they will be set up in our cafeteria. Parents and community members may visit the Science Fair Monday 12/16, from 2-4 PM, and Tuesday 12/17, from 11-2 PM. Here are a few photos of students working hard:





Additionally, several Hilsman students  participated in an Hour of Code in the media center and in their classrooms! (http://code.org/educate/hoc) Several students designed their own animated holiday cards using Scratch (http://scratch.mit.edu/). One student designed his own computer game and others learned processing (http://hello.processing.org/). Everyone should try out the free online tutorials for themselves! (code.org/learn)



Benchmarks: December 10-17

Our Quarter Two benchmark assessments began this week and run through mid-next week. The schedule is below:

Monday, December 16th: Make ups
Tuesday, December 17th: Math
Wednesday, December 18th: Make ups
Thursday, December 19th: Make ups


Student Incentives

Over 200 students earned "uniform free day" incentives for performance in Quarter One. Today, we recognized these students and gave them wristbands good for Uniform Free Days during this last week of school before the break. The wristbands are color coded as follows:

Monday - Perfect Attendance: Orange
Tuesday - A/B Honor Roll: Yellow
Wednesday - A Honor Roll: Green
Thursday: Pride of the Panther: Festive

If your student did not receive their wristband today, or their name wasn't called and they believe they earned one, please have them email Dr. Blankenship or see Mrs. Brinkley on Monday morning. We are human and sometimes make a mistake, so if that happens we will make the correction!


December- Acts of Kindness Month

Throughout this month, we encourage the Hilsman community to commit intentional acts of kindness toward others. Sites like Random Acts of Kindness and Kindspring have lists of ideas to help you get started. You might even want to take the 21 Day Gratitude Challenge from Kindness.org.  At Hilsman, each classroom will have a Grinch, and the goal will be to fill the Grinch with hearts that have our acts of kindness written on them. Please join us in helping to make our community a kinder place during the month of December.

Pax Panther is Coming to Hilsman!

The Hilsman administration and athletic program have had as a goal over the past several years to start a tradition of having a costumed mascot to attend sporting and other Hilsman events. At the same time, the Hilsman community has been searching for a way to remember our beloved Coach Paxson, who passed away two years ago November 4th. I am happy to announce that the PTO has graciously offered to help us raise the funds to purchase a top quality panther mascot costume! Additionally, we have decided to name our mascot Pax, to honor Coach Paxson's memory. Coach Paxson was a true Panther, and an avid sports fan. Not only is Pax a part of Coach Paxson's name, but also it is an international name that means "peace." As an IB candidate school, this name fits our mascot perfectly, and as a Hilsman family, we are honored that Coach Paxson's family has given their blessing to our naming Hilsman's mascot as a tribute to him. I hope you will join us in welcoming Pax Panther to Hilsman when he makes his debut, hopefully sometime early next year.

Update: The PTO will be selling wristbands that say "I support Pax Panther" when we return to school in January. The faster the wristbands are sold, the sooner Pax can take up residence at Hilsman!

Athletics

Basketball season is here!  Our next game is Wednesday at home against Gainesville. Game time is 4:30 for girls, with the boys game immediately following.

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here. In these announcements there is information regarding sports tryouts, club meetings, etc. Our weekly news show can be viewed by clicking here.


Not Seeing Enough News?

If you have Hilsman related news to share, please send it to me for inclusion in the blog.

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!


December 10-17                 Quarter 2 Benchmark Assessments
December  17                      Hilsman Science Fair
December 16-19                 Incentives for students Making Honor Roll, Perfect 
                                                Attendance, or Pride of the Panther
December 18                       Basketball vs. Gainesville
December 19                       Quarter 2 Ends/ Hilsman Your Pie % Night
December 20-January 5   Winter Break

Sunday, December 8, 2013

It's That Time Again...

Quote of the Week: "There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way it treats its children." - Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa



The Week in Review

What a great week we had at Hilsman this week! First, we began rolling out the pilot for the next phase of our 1:1 initiative. Students and teachers alike are very excited about students having digital access in every class. I have also noticed that students are being very responsible with their devices. I am including a link here to our guidelines for acceptable use; additionally, here is a link to the Technology Standards we teach, and a link to resources on the guidelines for digital citizenship that we are using with our students.

Here is a bit of additional information worth sharing. We have a mixture of devices. About half of our devices are Netbooks, and the other half are Chromebooks. Both devices allow students to connect to the internet and access the resources they need for class. The district has hired a Director of Instructional Technology to support schools in the move to a 1:1 environment. Mr. Balbed began work this week, and visited many schools. He spent part of two days at Hilsman listening, observing, and speaking with both students and faculty members about how things are progressing and what we need in terms of both infrastructure and support. I am excited that Mr. Balbed is committed to helping us have the smoothest transition possible.


We also kicked off our Month of Kindness with an assembly featuring kindness letters written by some of our students and a guest speaker, former UGA Bulldog football player, Aron White. Mr. White talked to the students about the role that kindness and respect plays in both academics and athletics, and about the importance of both. Now we are filling our Grinches with hearts!

Aron White, with Student Council VP Zac Holland

Finally, we got our Makerbot 3D Printer!

Hilsman Middle School just received a MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer from a campaign initiated by MakerBot http://3dprintboard.com/showthread.php?493-Announcing-MakerBot-Academy-3D-Printers-Supplies-and-Curriculum-for-Schools and DonorsChoose to strive to get a 3D printer in every public school in the U.S.

We were able to have our project approved during the first wave of this initiative and it was fully funded through a combination of corporate sponsorship and local support in just a matter of days.This 3D printer will be a vital component of our new media center Makerspace http://makerspace.com/. Makerspaces are becoming more commonplace as an educational STEM initiative to move learning into design, engineering, and creating. We believe that Makerspaces and 3D printing will play a huge role in helping to bring STEM education into all facets of our students' education and are excited at the possibilities that 3D printing provides.






Benchmarks: December 10-16

Our Quarter Two benchmark assessments will begin this week and run through mid-next week. We did a practice assessment last week to allow students the opportunity to become familiar with the new, online format. We had very few issues and those that we had are in the process of being resolved by the time we test on Tuesday. We have extra time built in should we need it. The schedule is below:

Tuesday, December 10th:  Reading

Wednesday December 11th: Science
Thursday, December 12th: Humanities
Friday, December 13th: Make ups
Monday, December 16th: Make ups
Tuesday, December 17th: Math
Wednesday, December 18th: Make ups
Thursday, December 19th: Make ups

December- Acts of Kindness Month

Throughout this month, we encourage the Hilsman community to commit intentional acts of kindness toward others. Sites like Random Acts of Kindness and Kindspring have lists of ideas to help you get started. You might even want to take the 21 Day Gratitude Challenge from Kindness.org.  At Hilsman, each classroom will have a Grinch, and the goal will be to fill the Grinch with hearts that have our acts of kindness written on them. Please join us in helping to make our community a kinder place during the month of December.

Pax Panther is Coming to Hilsman!

The Hilsman administration and athletic program have had as a goal over the past several years to start a tradition of having a costumed mascot to attend sporting and other Hilsman events. At the same time, the Hilsman community has been searching for a way to remember our beloved Coach Paxson, who passed away two years ago November 4th. I am happy to announce that the PTO has graciously offered to help us raise the funds to purchase a top quality panther mascot costume! Additionally, we have decided to name our mascot Pax, to honor Coach Paxson's memory. Coach Paxson was a true Panther, and an avid sports fan. Not only is Pax a part of Coach Paxson's name, but also it is an international name that means "peace." As an IB candidate school, this name fits our mascot perfectly, and as a Hilsman family, we are honored that Coach Paxson's family has given their blessing to our naming Hilsman's mascot as a tribute to him. I hope you will join us in welcoming Pax Panther to Hilsman when he makes his debut, hopefully sometime early next year.

Update: The PTO will be selling wristbands that say "I support Pax Panther" when we return to school in January. The faster the wristbands are sold, the sooner Pax can take up residence at Hilsman!

Athletics

Basketball season is here!  Check out the Spotted Gallery in the Banner-Herald this week!

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here. In these announcements there is information regarding sports tryouts, club meetings, etc. Our weekly news show can be viewed by clicking here.


Not Seeing Enough News?

If you have Hilsman related news to share, please send it to me for inclusion in the blog.

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

December 9                          Joint Orchestra Concert @ Cedar Shoals  6:00 PM
December 9                          Hilsman Band Concert  7:00 PM  in New Gym
December 12                        Hilsman Holiday Chorus Concert 7:00 PM in Old Gym
December 10-17                  Quarter 2 Benchmark Assessments
December  17                       Hilsman Science Fair
December 16-19                  Incentives for students Making Honor Roll, Perfect 
                                                Attendance, or Pride of the Panther

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Have you been kind to someone today?

Quote of the Week: "When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace."
- The 14th Dalai Lama (1935)



The Week in Review

On Thursday, November 21st we held our social studies curriculum night and our annual Hilsman Middle School Geography Bee. Throughout the first semester, students have worked hard on completing a Social Studies Fair project. This project is similar to a Science Fair project in which the students select a topic, formulate a question, collect research and data, and then draw a conclusion. The Social Studies Fair project fits in perfectly with our International Baccalaureate program as it fits the Design Cycle model that all students must go through at least twice a year.
Our social studies students were able to pick their own topic that fit one of the fields of the social sciences (civics/government, economics, psychology, sociology, history, anthropology, geography) so this project was really geared to the student and their interests. We had topics this year ranging from "Can You Pass the United States Citizenship Test" to "The Economic Impact of Coca-Cola on the State of Georgia" to a comparison of the Olympic Swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, and the History of Softball. The topics are endless and our students did an OUTSTANDING job. We had just over 60 tri-fold boards presented on curriculum night. This is just our first stage of the project. From now until the winter holidays, students will have time to finesse their projects and complete their research paper component. The actual Social Studies Fair will take place in January and we expect many of our students will move on to the next stage of the competition which will take place at The University of North Georgia - Gainesville Campus this winter. All of our students deserve a hearty congratulations for all of their hard work!
The second part of our curriculum night involved our final rounds of the National Geography Bee. This is a national competition put on by the National Geographic Society. Each grade level selected students to represent their grade at our school wide bee. Our final round started out with 20 students which we had to narrow down to 10 students. Each grade level did a fantastic job representing both themselves and their grade levels. Once we narrowed down the students to 10 we then continued to ask questions until we had only 2 students remaining. This year our final two were John Oates (8th grade) and Zach Holland (8th grade). Both gentleman are outstanding social studies scholars and our final competition went through many questions. In the end, returning champion, Zach Holland narrowly defeated John Oates. Zach will now take a test to qualify him for the state competition held in April at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, GA. We wish Zach good luck and know that he will represent Hilsman well!
All in all, our curriculum night was another outstanding event for our school community that showed off our Social Studies scholars!!!







6th grade Green Team and Science & Energy Team members toured the Athens-Clarke County Recycling Center, Landfill, and Compost Facility on Friday, November 22.
The students learned how the waste they are recycling at school is recycled and reused. Students toured the compost facility to learn how organic matter is recycled and reused to enrich the soil. The students visited the landfill to see where the waste that cannot be recycled is taken and how it is stored. Finally, students saw a brand-new methane gas collection station at the landfill site that is used to power 1,500 homes in the Athens-Clarke County area.





December- Acts of Kindness Month

Last year we began a tradition at Hilsman of making December a month of kindness. Throughout this month, we encourage the Hilsman community to commit intentional acts of kindness toward others. Sites like Random Acts of Kindness and Kindspring have lists of ideas to help you get started. You might even want to take the 21 Day Gratitude Challenge from Kindness.org.  At Hilsman, each classroom will have a Grinch, and the goal will be to fill the Grinch with hearts that have our acts of kindness written on them. Please join us in helping to make our community a kinder place during the month of December.

Technology

This week several of our teams will pilot the next phase of our 1:1 technology roll out, which will involve students taking devices with them from class to class. Teams involved are 6-1, 7-1, and the entire 8th grade. This pilot will help us make any revisions necessary before we roll out the plan to the entire school after Winter break. Teams that are not participating in the pilot will still have the same level of access to technology as they do now. We look forward to taking this next step in our 1:1 initiative.

Pax Panther is Coming to Hilsman!

The Hilsman administration and athletic program have had as a goal over the past several years to start a tradition of having a costumed mascot to attend sporting and other Hilsman events. At the same time, the Hilsman community has been searching for a way to remember our beloved Coach Paxson, who passed away two years ago November 4th. I am happy to announce that the PTO has graciously offered to help us raise the funds to purchase a top quality panther mascot costume! Additionally, we have decided to name our mascot Pax, to honor Coach Paxson's memory. Coach Paxson was a true Panther, and an avid sports fan. Not only is Pax a part of Coach Paxson's name, but also it is an international name that means "peace." As an IB candidate school, this name fits our mascot perfectly, and as a Hilsman family, we are honored that Coach Paxson's family has given their blessing to our naming Hilsman's mascot as a tribute to him. I hope you will join us in welcoming Pax Panther to Hilsman when he makes his debut, hopefully sometime early next year.

Athletics

Basketball season is here!  Our next basketball game will be this Wednesday at home vs. BHL. Tip off is at 4:30. 

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here. In these announcements there is information regarding sports tryouts, club meetings, etc. Our weekly news show can be viewed by clicking here.


Not Seeing Enough News?

If you have Hilsman related news to share, please send it to me for inclusion in the blog.

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

December 9-16                  Quarter 2 Benchmark Assessments

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gearing up for a Busy Week

Quote of the Week: "The art of life lies in the constant readjustment to our surroundings." Okakura Kakuzo


The Week in Review

Last week was a pretty quiet four day week. Before leaving for Fall Break, we held our first virtual Town Hall Meetings. The feedback was positive, and we may look to do additional meetings through this format in the future. Dr. E. and I discovered a few issues on our end (such as the video feed covers up some of the data we presented!) but we will take those into consideration in the future. You can view the meeting here

We also had a great time at our first ever Fright Fest. Below are a couple of pics from the event:


Two attendees with their cake walk wins

Thanks to our volunteers!

PTO Fundraiser

The PTO is conducting a Yankee Candle fundraiser over the next week. The funds raised will go back into the classrooms at Hilsman to help our students. Packets were distributed through homeroom, and there is also a way to order online. Please contact Beth Campbell if you need more information. 

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.

Art at the Lyndon House

Some of our students have art represented at the Lyndon House this month. Check it out!

Athletics

Basketball season is here!  Our first game is this Thursday against Coile Middle at Coile.

Moonlight Madness is coming Friday, November 15th from 6-8 PM. Join us that evening for lots of fun and school spirit!

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here. In these announcements there is information regarding sports tryouts, club meetings, etc. Our weekly news show can be viewed by clicking here.


Not Seeing Enough News?

If you have Hilsman related news to share, please send it to me for inclusion in the blog.

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

November 15th               America Recycles Day
November 15th             Chorus Rock a thon
November 15th              Moonlight Madness  6-8 PM
November 19th              Jimmy John's Percentage Night

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall Break is on the Way

Quote of the Week: "Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.” ― Anne Frank

The Week in Review

On Monday this past week, Caterpillar hosted a career fair for Hilsman students. The Athens Banner-Herald had a great article sharing about the event. You can read the article here. Thursday evening, our chorus held their first concert of the season and had great attendance. We had great participation in our Red Out on Friday. This week promises to be exciting as we have a special assembly planned with Dr. Arvin Scott, drumming against drugs!

A student interviews a Caterpillar representative at the Career Fair

Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week will be October 25-31. Below is a list of activities scheduled for Red Ribbon Week:

October 25th                 Red Out!  Wear Red to support your commitment to a drug free life!
October 29-30              Students take the drug free pledge and receive a wrist band
October 30th                 Band vs. Drugs Concert with Arvin Scott (sponsored by Athfest)

Town Hall Meetings This Week

This Thursday we will hold our quarterly Town Hall Meetings with each grade level. this quarter we are going to try something new and hold the meetings virtually. This will eliminate the transition time to and from the gym and help to preserve instructional time. We will also recognize Honor Roll, perfect attendance, and Pride of the Panthers during this meeting.

Flu Clinic

Students whose parents completed the form that Nurse Hurley sent home will receive their flu immunization in the old gym on October 28, 2013. 

Student Council

Our student council is off to a great start. In addition to 8th grade members attending a GASC Leadership day at the Capitol, the student body has also elected a President and Vice-President. Congratulations to Lily Campbell, President, and Zach Holland, Vice-President! I know you will serve the student body well.

ELA/Poetry Night

Our ELA/Poetry Night has been rescheduled to March.

Pathways to Success Program

PSP began this week and is off to a great start. Our program can accommodate 108 students, and we already have a waiting list. Due to the high demand for PSP, students who miss two days may be dropped from the program in order to accommodate students on the waiting list. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Stan Gaddis, PSP Coordinator.

Athletics

Moonlight Madness is coming! Join us to kick off basketball season on Friday, November 15th. More details coming soon!

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here. In these announcements there is information regarding sports tryouts, club meetings, etc. Our weekly news show can be viewed by clicking here.

Give Me Feedback!

Each week I try to communicate a recap of the past week's events, plus a snapshot of the week ahead. What kind of information would you like to see in the blog each week?  Leave a comment on this post and I will try to incorporate your suggestions. After all, the goal of this blog is to connect and communicate with the Hilsman community. I look forward to hearing from you!

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

October 24th             Fall Chorus Concert
October 28th             Flu Clinic for students
October 30th             Fright Fest Fall Festival
November 1-4           Fall Break
November 5th           ELA/Poetry Night

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Red Ribbon Week!

Quote of the Week: "If you'll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives." - Vince Lombardi


The Week in Review

We had a successful week of parent conferences this week. If you still need to meet with your child's teacher, please call the school to make an appointment.


Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week will be October 25-31. Below is a list of activities scheduled for Red Ribbon Week:

October 25th                 Red Out!  Wear Red to support your commitment to a drug free life!
October 29-30              Students take the drug free pledge and receive a wrist band
October 30th                 Band vs. Drugs Concert with Arvin Scott (sponsored by Athfest)


Career Fair

Caterpillar will be hosting a Career Fair for our students on Monday, October 21st in the New Gym. We are thrilled to be able to partner with Caterpillar and provide this opportunity for our students. Students will visit the Career Fair during their morning connections class.

School Council

Our first school council meeting was held Thursday, October 17th at 7:30 a.m. in the front office conference room. These meetings are open to the public. You will find the unofficial minutes for the meeting here.

ELA/Poetry Night

Join us on November 5th for our ELA/Poetry Night.  More details will appear in next week's Panther Pointers.

Pathways to Success Program

PSP begins this week after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week from 3:45-5:30. Mr. Stan Gaddis, our Academic Support Specialist, will be the coordinator for the program. Mr. Gaddis comes to us from Redan High School where he taught math for several years. In 2010-11, he was honored as Dekalb County's Teacher of the Year. Prior to working in Dekalb, Mr. Gaddis consulted as a school improvement specialist in math for the New Orleans area school systems. We are thrilled to have Mr. Gaddis' leadership and content expertise on our team. Stay tuned for more information that will be coming your way in the next couple of weeks. If your student is a car rider, please pick them up by 5:30.

Athletics

Our Cedar C-Team Football team will have their final game against Gainesville on October 24th.

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here. In these announcements there is information regarding sports tryouts, club meetings, etc. Our weekly news show can be viewed by clicking here.


Give Me Feedback!

Each week I try to communicate a recap of the past week's events, plus a snapshot of the week ahead. What kind of information would you like to see in the blog each week?  Leave a comment on this post and I will try to incorporate your suggestions. After all, the goal of this blog is to connect and communicate with the Hilsman community. I look forward to hearing from you!

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

October 24th             Fall Chorus Concert
October 28th             Flu Clinic for students
October 30th             Fright Fest Fall Festival
November 1-4           Fall Break
November 5th           ELA/Poetry Night



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fall Parent Conferences

Quote of the Week: " Before you speak, THINK. Is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Inspiring? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?"  Anonymous


The Week in Review

We finished our benchmark testing this past week. Yay! We will analyze the assessment results in our data teams and plan for reteaching as needed. 

I was so excited to have all three Eve Carson Award winners that attend Hilsman at the Foundation for Excellence banquet Monday night. They took a moment to humor their principal and pose for a photo, but I had trouble getting it to insert correctly. I will keep trying and hopefully post it next week. I am so proud of these young people!

On Tuesday we had Math Family Night. We had a great turnout, and many parents enjoyed playing math games, "being a student" in our math classes, and visiting the "math gallery" of student work. 


6th graders and parents having a good time at math night.


This week we have a very busy week! See below for all the details.


Fall Band Concert

Monday evening is our Fall Band concert. You will be amazed at what our students can perform under the direction of our band director, Ms. Laurie Camp. Last year our band received superior ratings at the Large Group Performance Evaluation. We are very proud of our band program and I know you will be impressed. The performance begins at 7:00 PM in the New Gym. Come on out and join us!


Book Fair is Here!

This is a great way to support Hilsman's Schoolwide Reading Initiative. Come check out our awesome books, posters, and fun items for everyone! Our Book Fair runs weekdays from Friday, October 11th to Friday, October 18th from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM except for Wednesday, October 16th when the hours extend until 6:00 PM.

Even more exciting (and convenient), anyone can shop our Book Fair online! The Online Hilsman Book Fair has already begun and runs until Octber 25th. This is a wonderful way to include family members that aren't able to attend the fair in person.

Online Book Fair:
http://onlinebookfairs.scholastic.com/default.aspx?f=3173137

Book Fair Homepage:
http://bookfairs.scholastic.com/bookfairs/cptoolkit/homepage.do?method=homepage&url=hilsmanmiddleschool1&appesp=CPT%2Fib%2F20120101%2F%2F%2Ftxtl%2FFairFindertoHomepage


School Council

Our first school council meeting will be Thursday, October 17th at 7:30 a.m. in the front office conference room. These meetings are open to the public.

Parent Conferences

Parent Conferences will be held this week, October 16-18.  We will be on an early release schedule, and students will be dismissed each day at 1:30 PMWednesday is our evening conference day. If you have not heard from your child's homeroom teacher about scheduling a conference time, please email or call them to schedule an appointment. You will receive your child's report card at the conference.

Fall Picture Make up Day

Thursday will be make up day for Fall pictures. Students will need to be in uniform unless they are getting a retake. 

Pathways to Success Program

Plans are underway to hold PSP after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week from 3:45-5:30. We are targeting October 22nd as our start date. Mr. Stan Gaddis, our Academic Support Specialist, will be the coordinator for the program. Mr. Gaddis comes to us from Redan High School where he taught math for several years. In 2010-11, he was honored as Dekalb County's Teacher of the Year. Prior to working in Dekalb, Mr. Gaddis consulted as a school improvement specialist in math for the New Orleans area school systems. We are thrilled to have Mr. Gaddis' leadership and content expertise on our team. Stay tuned for more information that will be coming your way in the next couple of weeks.

Athletics

Our Cedar C-Team Football team has a bye this week, but will have their final game against Gainesville on October 24th.

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here. In these announcements there is information regarding sports tryouts, club meetings, etc. Our weekly news show can be viewed by clicking here.


Give Me Feedback!

Each week I try to communicate a recap of the past week's events, plus a snapshot of the week ahead. What kind of information would you like to see in the blog each week?  Leave a comment on this post and I will try to incorporate your suggestions. After all, the goal of this blog is to connect and communicate with the Hilsman community. I look forward to hearing from you!

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

October 14th             Fall Band Concert 7:00 PM
October 17th             School Council Meeting, 7:30 a.m.
October 16-18           Early Release and Fall Parent Conferences
October 17th             Fall Picture make up day
October 24th             Fall Chorus Concert
October 30th             Fright Night Family Fun
November 1-4           Fall Break

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rise Up and Recycle!

Quote: "Dreams are extremely important. You can't do it unless you can imagine it." 
                 - George Lucas


The Week in Review

This week we began our benchmark testing with students taking the reading and math benchmarks. We continue this week and finish up with students taking the science benchmark on Wednesday, and the Humanities benchmark on Thursday. Please ensure that your student is well-rested and arrives to school by 8:25 each day. If they can be at school by 8:15 it would be even better! 

We also found out this week that Hilsman won the Falcons' Rise Up and Recycle September challenge! The school will receive a $500 grant to be used towards our recycling efforts. The campaign runs through December, and winners will be announced in January. If we are the overall winners, The Falcons will come visit our school!

In addition to the recycling campaign, Hilsman is participating in the FalCan Food Drive ChallengeThe FalCan Food Drive School Challenge, presented by Publix Supermarkets and UnitedHealthcare, provides an opportunity for communities to help fight domestic hunger. Hilsman will collect canned food/and or non-perishable items from Tuesday, October 1 to Friday, November 8, 2013 for the chance to win exciting Atlanta Falcons prizes! The three schools with the highest total pounds collected will be announced on Friday, November 22nd.


All participating schools receive:

• School name listed on the Atlanta Falcons Website

• School name included in press release announcing the kick-off of the FalCan Food Drive School Challenge

• FalCan Food Drive School Challenge posters


Additionally, schools will be eligible to receive prizes based upon the pounds they collect:
• 1,000-2,500 pounds collected: One (1) autographed FalCan Food Drive School Challenge Poster

• 2,501-4,000 pounds collected: One (1) autographed mini helmet

• 4,001-6,500 pounds collected: One (1) autographed white panel football

• 6,500 pounds and above collected: One (1) autographed replica jersey


The three schools with the highest total pounds collected receive:

1st place school will receive:

• 60 tickets to the Atlanta Falcons vs. Washington Redskins game on Sunday, December 15th Atlanta Falcons Fitness Flag Crew of the game

• Unfurl the Atlanta Falcons flag on-field during player introductions. Participants of the Falcons Fitness Flag Crew spend the day with members of the field crew beginning with an aerobic warm up led by some of the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders, an on-field rehearsal, lunch and culminating with unfurling the giant Falcons flag on the field before the game.

• Special recognition during the game

• (1) autographed official football

• FalCan Food Drive School Challenge Plaque


2nd place school will receive:

• 50 tickets to the Atlanta Falcons vs. Washington Redskins game on Sunday, December 15th

• Special recognition during the game.

• Visit to your school for a select number of students with a special visit from Falcons players, cheerleaders and/or Freddie Falcon


• (1) autographed official football

• FalCan Food Drive School Challenge Plaque


3rd place school will receive:

• 25 tickets to the Atlanta Falcons vs. Washington Redskins game on Sunday, December 15th

• Special recognition during the game

• (1) autographed official football

• FalCan Food Drive School Challenge Plaque


Help us win this challenge and help needy families through the NEGA Food Bank at the same time. Thanks to the PTO for giving us this opportunity!


School Council 

Our first school council meeting will be Wednesday, October 16th at 7:30 a.m. in the front office conference room. These meetings are open to the public.

Pathways to Success Program

Plans are underway to hold PSP after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week from 3:45-5:30. We are targeting October 22nd as our start date. Mr. Stan Gaddis, our Academic Support Specialist, will be the coordinator for the program. Mr. Gaddis comes to us from Redan High School where he taught math for several years. In 2010-11, he was honored as Dekalb County's Teacher of the Year. Prior to working in Dekalb, Mr. Gaddis consulted as a school improvement specialist in math for the New Orleans area school systems. We are thrilled to have Mr. Gaddis' leadership and content expertise on our team. Stay tuned for more information that will be coming your way in the next couple of weeks.

Athletics

Our Cedar C-Team Football team will play Clarke Central this week at CCHS. Game starts at 5:30.


Foundation for Excellence

Monday, October 7th, is the Foundation for Excellence banquet. We have one of our teachers, Ms. Holley Ziemann, who has been awarded the Cardee Kilpatrick award for Middle School Teaching Excellence. Congratulations, Ms. Ziemann!

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here. In these announcements there is information regarding sports tryouts, club meetings, etc. 


Give Me Feedback!

Each week I try to communicate a recap of the past week's events, plus a snapshot of the week ahead. What kind of information would you like to see in the blog each week?  Leave a comment on this post and I will try to incorporate your suggestions. After all, the goal of this blog is to connect and communicate with the Hilsman community. I look forward to hearing from you!

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

October 7th               Teacher PL Day - No School for Students!
October 8th               Math Night - Hilsman Middle (this is a change!), 6-7:30 PM
October 11th             Band Rock-a-thon
October 14th             Fall Band Concert
October 16th             School Council Meeting, 7:30 a.m.
October 16-18           Early Release and Fall Parent Conferences
October 17th             Fall Picture make up day
November 1-4           Fall Break

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Make this week awesome!

Quote: "The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be." –Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Week in Review

We enjoyed reading to children during our Reading Night that was held at East Athens Community Center. Here are some photos from the event.


Ms. Johnson reads to a Pre-K student who came to reading night.

One of our fabulous UGA volunteers greets a young participant at reading night

Mrs. Johns reads to a group of students.


This week I had the privilege of attending a luncheon honoring our Teacher of the Year, Dr. Pam Stratton, and Paraprofessional of the Year, Ms. Betty Fanning. Our district and community do a great job of recognizing these individuals for their accomplishments!


School Council 

Congratulations to the following individuals who will serve on Hilsman's school council for the 2013-14 school year:

Neil Hefner
Bridget Rataczjak
Kathy Peters
Scott Goodrick
Eric Blake
Paul Varnadoe

Our first order of business will be to approve the school improvement plan and the Title I Schoolwide Plan. 

Great American Fundraiser

If you haven't turned in your orders and payment for the Great American Fundraiser, please do so Monday, 9/30.

Pathways to Success Program

Plans are underway to hold PSP after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week from 3:45-5:30. We are targeting October 15th as our start date. Mr. Stan Gaddis, our Academic Support Specialist, will be the coordinator for the program. Mr. Gaddis comes to us from Redan High School where he taught math for several years. In 2010-11, he was honored as Dekalb County's Teacher of the Year. Prior to working in Dekalb, Mr. Gaddis consulted as a school improvement specialist in math for the New Orleans area school systems. We are thrilled to have Mr. Gaddis' leadership and content expertise on our team. Stay tuned for more information that will be coming your way in the next couple of weeks.

Athletics

Our Cedar C-Team Football team will play Thomson this week at home. Game starts at 5:30.

The Lady Panther Volleyball team is at home this week and takes on BHL at 4:30 October 1st.

Cross Country will be in action Wedensday, October 2nd. Congratulations to two of our runners! Phyrone Perry placed 2nd and Jamey Sellew placed 3rd at the 9/21 meet in Oglethorpe County. Both boys brought home medals.

Foundation for Excellence

Monday, October 7th, is the Foundation for Excellence banquet. We have one of our teachers, Ms. Holley Ziemann, who has been awarded the Cardee Kilpatrick award for Middle School Teaching Excellence. I hope you will plan to attend to see Ms. Ziemann and all the other wonderful award winners be recognized. The dinner is held at the Classic Center and tickets are $20 each. If you are interested in attending, Please RSVP to: 
and send payment by Oct. 1 to:
Office of Public Relations
Clarke County School District
240 Mitchell Bridge Road, Athens GA 30606


Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here. In these announcements there is information regarding sports tryouts, club meetings, etc. To watch our weekly Panther News show, click here.


Give Me Feedback!

Each week I try to communicate a recap of the past week's events, plus a snapshot of the week ahead. What kind of information would you like to see in the blog each week?  Leave a comment on this post and I will try to incorporate your suggestions. After all, the goal of this blog is to connect and communicate with the Hilsman community. I look forward to hearing from you!

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

October 1st               PTO Menchies Spirit Night from 5-9 PM
October 7th               Teacher PL Day - No School for Students!
October 8th               Math Night - East Athens Community Center, 6-7:30 PM

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Panthers Read!

Quote: "One finds limits by pushing them." - Herbert Simon


The Week in Review

This week was a quiet one as we finished up NRT testing and began performance tasks in science and math. On Friday afternoon we had a situation that several students reported to administration as well as to teachers, who then passed along the information. The matter was addressed by Dr. Ezekiel, Officer Rivera, and me. Below is the message I sent to the Hilsman community.

This afternoon, we had an unfortunate incident at Hilsman Middle School. A student brought an air pistol to school. It was discovered in the child's backpack. At no time did the student threaten others.

This is a serious infraction and we take this matter as such. Please be assured that student and adult safety is our top priority and your child's safety was maintained during this incident. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns.


While we never like to have this kind of situation come up, I see it as a testament to the safe and welcoming school climate we are working to strengthen at Hilsman when so many individuals felt comfortable enough to report what they knew or had heard. 

Ever wonder what our UGA Pre-Service Teachers do in their "spare time?" Ms. Cassidy Drysdale is a UGA cheerleader! Here is a photo of her cheering on the Dawgs to a win over North Texas in a very wet Sanford Stadium.



This week looks to be another calm and productive one. We are excited about Reading Night being held at East Athens Community Center. Come out and join us from 6:00-7:00 PM on Thursday evening.

School Council 

Congratulations to the following individuals who will serve on Hilsman's school council for the 2013-14 school year:

Neil Hefner
Bridget Rataczjak
Kathy Peters
Scott Goodrick
Eric Blake
Paul Varnadoe

Our first order of business will be to approve the school improvement plan and the Title I Schoolwide Plan.

Great American Fundraiser

If you haven't turned in your orders and payment for the Great American Fundraiser, please do so Monday.

Pathways to Success Program

Plans are underway to hold PSP after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week from 3:45-5:30. We are targeting October 8th as our start date. Mr. Stan Gaddis, our Academic Support Specialist, will be the coordinator for the program. Mr. Gaddis comes to us from Redan High School where he taught math for several years. In 2010-11, he was honored as Dekalb County's Teacher of the Year. Prior to working in Dekalb, Mr. Gaddis consulted as a school improvement specialist in math for the New Orleans area school systems. We are thrilled to have Mr. Gaddis' leadership and content expertise on our team. Stay tuned for more information that will be coming your way in the next couple of weeks.

Athletics

Our Cedar C-Team Football team has a bye this week.

The Lady Panther Volleyball team are at home this week and take on Clarke Middle at 4:30 September 24th.

Dream School Spotlight

As many of you know, last year we asked for your input on what our school would be like if we were able to build the school of our dreams and aspirations. Here is a narrative compilation of the input received from teachers, staff, students, parents, and community members.

This week's spotlight is on our teachers and their commitment to our students, both in and out of the classroom. Currently we have two students in an Atlanta hospital who need our love, light, thoughts, and prayers; and it is with their parents' permission that I share this information. Jadon Nessmith is one of our 7th grade students. He was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy and needs a heart transplant. Michael Dita-Solis is an 8th grader at Hilsman. He is at Egleston recovering from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident. Both students are precious to our Hilsman community.

Our teachers know that building positive relationships with students is paramount to student success. Several teachers made trips to Atlanta after school hours this week to visit these students. I share this, not to boast about the great effort made by our teachers, but to highlight an example of the type of commitment our teachers have to our students. Here is a pic from a couple of our teachers who visited Jadon and Michael this week.


Coach Wilson and Mr Heu pay Jadon a visit.

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here. In these announcements there is information regarding sports tryouts, club meetings, etc. To watch our weekly Panther News show, click here.


Give Me Feedback!

Each week I try to communicate a recap of the past week's events, plus a snapshot of the week ahead. What kind of information would you like to see in the blog each week?  Leave a comment on this post and I will try to incorporate your suggestions. After all, the goal of this blog is to connect and communicate with the Hilsman community. I look forward to hearing from you!

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

September 26th       Reading Night - East Athens Community Center, 6-7:30 PM
October 1st               PTO Menchies Spirit Night from 5-9 PM
October 8th               Math Night - East Athens Community Center, 6-7:30 PM