Saturday, August 2, 2014

Are You Ready for HilFest??

Quote of the Week:  "Education is the passport to our future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

Welcome to the 2014-15 school year! In just a few weeks, our halls and classrooms will be filled with the wonderful sound of students and teachers excited about the upcoming year. I would like to invite you to HilFest, our back to school event this year. HilFest will take place Saturday, August 9, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. At HilFest you will be able to meet your child’s teaching team for the year and receive information about various organizations and programs at Hilsman by visiting information booths. There will be tours of the facilities, and new families can participate in a short orientation at 10:30, 11:30, and 12:30. We have a number of Athens area businesses and organizations that will be providing activities, information, music and food as well, so stop by for a few minutes, or stay the whole morning. The best part is that it is all FREE! Access the HilFest site here.

We want your child to be happy at Hilsman; we try to create a safe environment where courtesy and kindness prevail and where there is respect for differences in other people, customs, and cultures. Our staff is dedicated to ensuring that all students receive rigorous instruction in all classes, and teachers collaboratively plan to improve student achievement and to build relationships. For our students to reach the level of success we desire, we need everyone to partner with us! There are many ways for our parents and community members to get involved by becoming active members of the PTO, serving on school council, and by volunteering.

Please take time to review the student handbook with your child once they receive it. The student handbook provides important information about our school's philosophy, procedures, policies, curriculum, and the bell schedule. It is a guide to the way we operate as a school. Also included in the student handbook are uniform dress code and behavioral expectations for students. Please use the handbook as a reference throughout the year.

Here are some important reminders for the start of the year:

• Our school hours are from 8:25 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. The building opens for students at 7:45 a.m. We cannot guarantee supervision of students prior to that time, so please do not drop your student off earlier unless they are here for a supervised activity and prior arrangements have been made. Access the daily schedule here.

• Students are tardy if they arrive after 8:25 and must check in at the front office. Parents should refrain from checking out students between 3:15 – 3:45. Not only is this the most hectic time of day in the front office, but students will miss valuable academic time if checked out early on a regular basis.

• Students are expected to wear uniforms Monday through Friday. The principal may allow students to dress out of uniform for special occasions to show their participation in school activities. If coaches permit, athletes may wear team jerseys on game days, as long as the khaki pants are still worn. Hilsman logo shirts (i.e. SET team shirts, Pride of the Panther shirts, band shirts, etc.) and individual team shirts will be permitted on Friday ONLY and must be worn with khaki pants. Access the uniform dress policy here.

Again, we look forward to having your child as a student this year. The best way for you to help your child is by being an involved parent. Please share with your child’s teacher any information regarding his or her special needs that will help us better serve your family. We believe that communication among parents, students, and teachers is critical in assuring student success. Please know that my door is always open if you have questions or concerns. I look forward to working with you and your child throughout the school year to provide a productive and safe learning environment that supports student success.

School Council

The A+ Education Reform Act of 2000 established school councils in Georgia to "bring communities and schools closer together in a spirit of cooperation to:
  • solve difficult education problems,
  • improve academic achievement,
  • provide support for teachers and administrators, and
  • bring parents into the school-based decision-making process."
School councils provide advice, recommendations, and assistance to principals and local boards of education. Each term is for two years. One of the business positions is filling an unexpired term, and therefore is a one year term.

We have three openings on our school council this year: 
Parent representative: 1
Business representative (must also be a parent): 2

Our school council meets once per quarter (four times per year).

If you are interested in serving in either of these capacities, please complete the form linked here. There will also be an opportunity to nominate individuals (or self nominate) at HilFest.

Upcoming Dates:

August 9           HilFest     10 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Hilsman Field)
August 11         First day of school
August 22         School Pictures (Students may be out of uniform)

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