Sunday, April 14, 2013

Rock the CRCT!!!

Quote of the Week: "People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success."
Norman Vincent Peale

We are going to Rock the CRCT!!

This is the week! Hilsman is going to "rock the CRCT" again this year.  For a CRCT schedule, click here. Many parents often ask what they can do to help their child. Students who are prepared, calm, and rested perform better on tests. Here are some tips from the GADOE to help your child approach the CRCT in a relaxed, positive way:

  • Encourage your child to employ good study and test-taking skills. These skills include following directions carefully, avoiding careless errors, and reviewing the work. Consider writing an encouraging note to your child to build their confidence.
  • Explain the purpose of the test. The CRCT gives students an opportunity to show what they have learned in school. It also gives teachers information that helps them plan instruction.
  • Let your child know that you consider the test important and that the child should try his or her best. All sections of the CRCT are important, not just reading and math.
  • Point out that some items may be more difficult than others and that some material may be new to the child. 
  • Reassure your child that there will be ample time to take the tests and that it is okay if he or she does not know all of the answers. Encourage your child not to worry and to take their time. Students should spend at least 45 of the allotted 70 minutes  on each section of the test.
  • Be sure that your child gets plenty of sleep and has a good, nourishing breakfast and lunch.
  • Test taking is hard work for many students and can require a lot of energy. Be sure your child is at school on time. Rushing and worrying about being late could affect performance on the test.
  • Remember to ask your child about the testing at the end of each day.

Here is the CRCT Schedule for Hilsman:

Language Arts-4/17
Social Studies-4/24

School Improvement Survey

Parents, please remember to take the school improvement parent survey located at this link.  The survey has been shortened to 25 questions this year and should take just a few minutes to complete.  You may complete it now or when you come in for your child's conference. It is very important for us to have your input, as we use this information in our school improvement planning process each year. Our goal is to have 100% of our parents take the survey. Thank you in advance.


Thank you, thank you to all who came out to HilFest 2013! While we don't have an exact count, we know know that several hundred people attended on Saturday for free food, fun, music, and games.  We are so grateful to the businesses who came out to support Hilsman and connect with our families:

Burger King
Mobile Tax Service
Jimmy John's
Pet Supplies Plus
UGA Marine Science Club
Edward Jones Investments
Wells Fargo
UGA Service Learning Club

The event was such a success we may consider having it as our back to school open house in the fall! If you attended and have feedback for us on ways we can improve for next time, please comment on this blog and I will share the information with the event leadership team. Here are a few pictures from Saturday:

HilFest 2013

There was a huge line for the dunking booth!

Dr. B gets dunked!

Everyone enjoyed the bean bag toss.

Face painting by Ms. Peterson was a success!

UGA Service Learning sponsored a Hilsman gets Healthy
 booth where attendees  could sample various fruits.

The band was fantastic! I sure will miss these 8th graders!

Want to try a smoothie?

One of our precious families

Mobile Tax Service served up free, delicious food to our families.

Improv Club performs

Test Prep and Skill Building

Looking for a way for your child to get a little extra help in preparation for the CRCT? Click here for a link to Successmaker that our students can use at home. Your student knows their log in information, as we use this program at school.  You will need to use this program on a device that runs Java.

New Promotion/Retention Policy

The new promotion retention policy which was passed in November can be found here. The most important item to note is that we will not be having summer school this summer. Therefore, students who are in danger of failing two or more classes (including connections and ELT) will need to attend Saturday School April 27th, May 4th, and May 11th. Administrators and counselors are meeting individually with students who, based on their the class average for the first three quarters, are in danger of failing for the year in at least two classes. We are making a plan with these students and are sending a letter and a copy of the plan home by mail. We want your child to succeed and are working with them to ensure they have every opportunity for success! If you want to learn more or have questions, please comment on this blog or email me at 

Subscribe to Panther Pointers!

Did you know that you can receive the Panther Pointers automatically each week by subscribing to the blog?  All you need to do is enter your email in the "Follow by email" field at the top right corner of the blog page.  You will receive a confirmation email, and once you have confirmed, you are set! Any time the blog is updated (which is about once per week) you will receive it in an email. Our goal is to have all our families subscribed.  This is your one stop information spot for all things related to Hilsman!

Follow us on Twitter!

Hilsman Middle now has a Twitter account.  This is one more way you can stay connected to Hilsman, keep up to date on all Hilsman news, and receive links to information related to your child's education.  Follow us on twitter @HilsmanPanthers.


Remember to ask your child to see their Panther card and sign it.  Students who bring back a signature can be entered into our weekly drawing!

PTO News

PTO Fundraising opportunities!
Please mark you calendars for some upcoming events to help raise funds for our PTO.

April 16
Barberito's Spirit Night
4pm - 8pm

April 26th
Walk-a-Thon @ Hilsman during morning connections time.
Information was sent home this week with your child. Students are currently getting pledges to walk laps to support Hilsman PTO in providing classroom grants, enrichment activities, and incentives for students.

May 2
Hilsman Skate Night @ Fun Galaxy
5pm - 8pm


State Track Meet April 19-20, 2013.  Good luck Panthers!

Yearbook - Order yours now!

The Hilsman yearbook is on sale now.  Order your student's yearbook for only $23.


Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here.  Please subscribe to our Hilsman Youtube site.  By subscribing you will receive an update weekly with links to new videos produced by Hilsman. You can view our weekly news video here. There is a special CRCT message this week!

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

April 16-25                   CRCT
April 22                         PTO

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