Sunday, May 12, 2013

All Good Things Must Come to an End...

Quote for the Week:
“When you take the time to actually listen, with humility, to what people have to say, it's amazing what you can learn. Especially if the people who are doing the talking also happen to be children.” ― Greg Mortenson, Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan



Last Week of School!

Here we are, our last week together. This has been a great year at Hilsman and I want to thank every parent, teacher, and student for making it so. I want everyone to have a safe a fun summer, but I also expect all students to read over the summer. Reading is one of the most important activities your child can engage in during the summer months. We have links to several reading programs on our website, as well as our Hilsman Summer Reading List. Click here to access those.


Teacher Appreciation Week and More Celebrations!

This week we took a little time each day to shower our teachers with appreciation for the work they do every day. On Monday, we provided donuts in the mail room. On Tuesday, the nutrition staff provided fruit as a snack for the teachers. Wednesday, PTO took a dessert cart around to each classroom. I want to say a big "thank you" to all who provided desserts for our teachers on Wednesday afternoon. The teachers were so surprised, and loved the special treatment! 

Thursday, we announced our Teacher of the Year and Paraprofessional of the Year. Dr. Pam Stratton, Agriscience teacher, was selected by her colleagues to represent Hilsman as our Teacher of the Year. Ms. Betty Fanning, paraprofessional, was selected to represent Hilsman as our Paraprofessional of the Year. Both ladies will be honored in the fall at a reception for all CCSD Teachers and Paraprofessionals of the Year.

On Friday, the teachers were treated to a duty free, catered lunch thanks to Star 94 Radio and Georgia United Credit Union. This was due to Audrey Hughes, 6th grade science teacher, being named a Top Five Finalist in the "Teachers Make a Difference" contest sponsored by those organizations. During the luncheon, we learned that Audrey was not only in the top five, she is the Grand Prize Winner! Here is the press release!

Star 94 & Georgia United Credit Union Name Audrey Hughes of Clarke County as “Teachers Make a Difference” Grand Prize Winner
& Heather MacKenzie Thompson of Henry County as Star Choice Winner
Georgia United’s Athens District Director Bill Bland; Clarke County Superintendent Dr. Philip Lanoue; Hilsman Middle School honoree Audrey Hughes; STAR94 National Sales Manager Karen Miller; Hilsman Principal Selena Blankenship;  Clarke County Deputy Superintendent Dr. Noris Price; (kneeling)Georgia United’s Business Development Officer Megan Bonaccorso.

Athens, GA  (May 10, 2013) Congratulations to Audrey Hughes, 6-8th grade science teacher at Hilsman Middle School in Athens (Clarke County), chosen as one of Georgia United Credit Union & Star 94 Radio’s Top Five “Teachers Make a Difference” Award Winners.  During her award luncheon today, Audrey was also announced as the GRAND PRIZE recipient of this year’s recognition program.   As part of Georgia United and Star 94’s commitment to stronger schools and stronger communities, this was the second year that this educational credit union and metro Atlanta radio station teamed up - to reward teachers who make a difference in the lives of students and their parents.
We asked for your nominations and the response has been overwhelming. More than 400 individuals across the state wrote to us about a teacher who has made a difference in your life. The week of May 6-10, we honored one of the Top Five teachers each day with a reception and lunch at their school (thanks to our friends at Jimmy John's). Each of these Top Five teachers received a $500 cash prize and a $250 prize for their school, and one Grand Prize winner was awarded a $2,000 scholarship towards his/her Continuing Education studies. Congratulations to Audrey Hughes who was selected as this year’s top teacher from a very qualified group of finalists!
Parent Kristina Schultz Tanner had this to say about Mrs. Hughes: "When guided by an excellent teacher, enthusiasm towards education itself can be contagious! My daughter has had the unique opportunity to be a student of Mrs. Audrey Hughes, who motivates her students to explore science on a practical level, especially with her after-school Science and Energy Team work. In a mere matter of months, she has transformed a handful of students into an energized organization that is actively working to educate others about recycling and energy conservation as they themselves learn through trips to the ACC Recycling Center, joining Terracycle and spearheading a school wide recycling campaign, and even seeing a local farm and learning how food is produced and distributed to grocery stores. The "Trash Hunger" campaign uses recycled items to raise money for food banks, and the "Teens for Jeans" collected 838 pairs of used jeans for donation to homeless shelters! She and her students met with Athens Mayor Nancy Denson to ask for official recognition of Energy Education Week (March 3-9), during which these middle school students will be formally educating their peers and local elementary school students about energy and resource conservation. Mrs. Hughes has gone above and beyond her classroom, bringing students into the community and teaching them to be leaders themselves as they bring their lessons to life. Education ultimately shapes our youth into adults who become productive members of our society. Mrs. Hughes has taught our children not only how we impact our environment, but how we can impact our own communities and the lives of others by reaching out to those less fortunate. This creates the kind of person who can not only succeed, but help others reach a higher potential. If all teachers had the kind of enthusiasm and passion for education as Audrey Hughes, classrooms would become launching pads for kids who would enter the world confident and empowered, and our community would benefit from these citizens set on using what they have to improve the lives of all."


School Improvement Survey

Parents, we still need parents to take our survey!
Please 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. Thank you in advance.

Cedar Summer Transition for Rising 9th Graders

Cedar Shoals will be having a Transition Program for rising 9th graders July 8-11, 2013. The program will run from 8:30-12:30 a.m. each day. Contact Erica Fletcher at CSHS if you are interested or have questions. 

CRCT Retest This Week

8th grade students who did not pass the reading and/or math portion of the CRCT on the first administration will retake the portion needed this week.  

Reading - May 13th 9:00 a.m.
Math - May 14th 9:00 a.m.
Reading CRCT-M and make ups - May 15th


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 have had an opportunity to remediate during Saturday school. Administrators and counselors met 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 will be sending home letters this week to parents of students who are still failing two or more classes and did not attend Saturday School.

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! Like us on Facebook!

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. We also now have a Facebook page. This is simply one more way for parents to receive news about Hilsman. Click here to Like us on Facebook.

Yearbooks Are Here!

The Hilsman yearbook is here and will be distributed this week to students.


Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here.   You can view our weekly news video here.

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

May 15th                      6th grade Honors Assembly & Olympic Field Day
May 16th                      7th grade Honors Assembly & Olympic Field Day
May 16th                      8th grade Olympic Field Day (a.m.) & Moving On rehearsal (p.m.)
May 17th                      8th grade Honors and Recognition Ceremony @ 9:00 a.m.
May 17th                      Early dismissal - Students leave at noon.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

We Love our Teachers!


Quote of the Week: "A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others." ~ Mustafa Kemal Ataturk


This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. I hope you will join me in acknowledging the hard work and dedication of Hilsman's teachers and staff.  The National PTA website has simple, yet meaningful ways you can show your appreciation to your child's teacher. I am thankful each and every day for the commitment of our teachers to the success of each student. 

The School of Our Aspirations

Over the past few weeks the staff has begun the process of revisiting our mission and vision with some preliminary activities. This week, we would like to get student and parent input into what we are calling our "Dream School" activity. students will be working in teams to provide their input during a portion of one of their classes this week. We would welcome parent and community input as well. Please click here to complete a short activity to help us create the school of our aspirations here at Hilsman. 

No Place for Hate

Our No Place for Hate assembly was a great way to start our week! Our students enjoyed poems written and recited by some of our own students, as well as performances by the step team and chorus. They especially enjoyed hearing words of wisdom from Olympic Gold Medalist and UGA swimmer Shannon Vreeland, Olympian and UGA swimmer Andrew Gemmell, and UGA soccer player Callie Langford.



Counselors, Student speakers, and UGA student athletes



School Improvement Survey

Parents, we need at least 50 more parents to take our survey!
Please 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. Thank you in advance.

8th Grade Camp Hilsman

Parents, Camp Hilsman, a transition camp aimed at ensuring our students are prepared for 9th grade, is up and running. Teachers will be reviewing 8th grade standards, as well as previewing 9th grade material. some of the learning activities will occur in small group settings, while others will be whole class. Encourage your student to be engaged in the activities, ask questions, and make sure that they are prepared and ready to be successful in 9th grade in the fall.

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 met 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 blankenships@clarke.k12.ga.us. 

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! Like us on Facebook!

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. We also now have a Facebook page. This is simply one more way for parents to receive news about Hilsman. Click here to Like us on Facebook.

PTO News

May 10th
Panther Pride Walk 
The PTO walk-a-thon fundraiser has been rescheduled to May 10th during morning connections. Students who raise at least $1 in pledges/donations can participate. Students who raise a minimum of $25 will receive a uniform free day. 

Yearbook - Order yours now!

The Hilsman yearbook is on sale now.  Order your student's yearbook for only $23. There are only 29 books left!

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here.   You can view our weekly news video here.

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

May 6th                        School Council Meeting @ 4:00 p.m. (Parent Center)
May 6th                        Orchestra Concert (6:00 p.m. @ Cedar)
May 6th                        Band Concert (7:00 p.m. @ Hilsman)
May 7th                        Rising 6th graders visit Hilsman
May 15th                      6th grade Honors Assembly
May 16th                      7th grade Honors Assembly
May 17th                      8th grade Honors and Recognition Ceremony @ 9:00 a.m.