Sunday, November 16, 2014

What Are You Thankful For?

Quote: "Often people ask how I manage to be happy despite having no arms and no legs. The quick answer is that I have a choice. I can be angry about not having limbs, or I can be thankful that I have a purpose. I chose gratitude."
Nick Vujicic

Dear Hilsman Family,
What are you thankful for during this season of gratefulness? I am thankful for a job that I love, that is really more of a calling than a career. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to work with amazing individuals who are passionate and dedicated to transforming the lives and minds of children. I am thankful that I am privileged to work with your incredible students, who inspire and bless me every day. And, I am thankful for each and every one of our parents for your support and dedication to your child's success.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Title I Survey  - Open until November 21st

We need ALL parents to take our Title I Parent Survey. It will take less than ten minutes, and will provide us with valuable information as we plan for the future of our school programs. We still need 70 parents to take the survey! Access the link to the survey here:

Please help us out with this. We need at least 20% of our parents to take the survey. The survey results are included as part of our School Climate Rating for CCRPI. The other middle schools are all right around 200. We have until Thanksgiving break to make our numbers.

Thank you for attending your child's Fall Parent Conference. We were thrilled to have 94% of our parents attend!

GAPSS Review December 2nd

Parents, we will be having a GAPSS review on December 2nd when we return from the Thanksgiving break. This means we will have a group of 8-10 educators from the surrounding area who will spend the day at Hilsman observing in classrooms, and interviewing teachers, students, and parents in order to help us know what we are doing well and what we still need to improve upon. They are scheduled to speak with parents at 8:00 a.m. in the Parent Center. Please join us that morning for coffee and pastries, and an informal time to talk with the review team. We need at least 8-10 parents who would be willing to attend, but all are welcome. If you can attend, please RSVP by clicking here.

Benchmarks - November 11 - 21

Our students will be taking the benchmarks over the next two weeks. These newly designed benchmarks will help us gather information on how our students are progressing in the curriculum, as well as how well we are preparing them for the new Milestones assessment (the new benchmarks are designed to align with the format of the Milestones). Below is the schedule:

November 11 - Reading/ELA selected response (multiple choice)
November 12 - Reading/ELA constructed response (writing)
November 13 - SS selected response (multiple choice)
November 14 - SS constructed response (writing)
November 17 - Math selected response (multiple choice)
November 18 - Math constructed response (writing)
November 19 - Science selected response (multiple choice)
November 20 - Science constructed response (writing)
November 21 - Make ups

Most students will take the benchmark for a particular subject on the date scheduled during their regular class period. Students who have testing accommodations will take the assessment during their ELT or morning connections (8th grade). We are doing this to minimize disruption to the schedule as well as minimize the amount of instructional time lost. We hope to gain useful information about our students' progress to inform our instruction during the next part of the school year.

7th Grade News

The seventh grade took part in the Second Annual Bioenergy Day sponsored by UGA. Our students had a great time at the Botanical Gardens learning about bioenergy, using microscopes, testing sugar concentrations, and discovering jobs that support renewable resources.


PTO and School Council News

There will be a School Council meeting on November 18th from 5:30 - 6:30 pm in Dr. Blankenship’s office. 

Our next skate night will be November 21st from 5-8 pm.

If you ordered another hoodie, we hope those will be in before Thanksgiving break. Please contact Kathryn Chetney <> with any questions.

Our Yankee Candle fundraiser was a big success. If you still have candles to pick up, please stop by the main office or contact PTO at We will be doing a “holiday cookies for the teachers” event in December, so be watching for information on donating cookies or other savory holiday foods to a nice spread we plan to create for the staff during the last week of the semester.


Please congratulate our Boys' basketball team on their impressive victory over Coile Middle this past Thursday. Our very young girls' team played together well, but fell to Coile's girl team. Come out and support them this week at CMS.

Hilsman Sports:

Thursday, 11/20/14 Hilsman @ Clarke Middle Basketball  Girls: 4:30 pm, Boys: 5:30 pm


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.

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

November 17th Progress reports go home
November 18           School Council Meeting 5:30
November 21 Skate Night            
November 24-28       Thanksgiving Break
December 2              GAPSS Review

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