Monday, January 19, 2015

No Name Calling Week!

Quote: "Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday is a B day.

6th Grade News and Highlights

Sixth grade math and ELA classes are piloting a new learning tool called Get Waggle. Students are using this tool in ELT, regular class, and at home to build and improve their skills. What's really exciting is that CCSD leaders and teachers are partnering with Triumph Learning to develop this engaging tool. Ask your sixth grader about it!

7th grade News and Highlights

7th grade teachers are testing an online learning platform for the state of Georgia. We’re excited to help influence this tool that will be used by thousands of teachers and millions of students across Georgia. It has similar features to Google Classroom or Edmodo. Students learned how to login last week at (which is where students can access their grades), and then go to the SLDS Portal and then the Backpack. A great advantage of using this is that parents can easily see their student’s work when by logging into Parent Portal. If you need access to Parent Portal, visit this CCSD page for information.

8th Grade News and Highlights

On February 3rd, eighth grade students will be going on a field trip to view the movie “Selma”. Look for information to come home soon.

No Name Calling Week

This week, Hilsman will engage in activities that affirm our commitment to a culture of kindness and respect by observing No Name Calling Week. To learn more, go to this link.

Foundation for Excellence

The award nominations window for the Foundation for Excellence in Public Education in Clarke County, Georgia, is now open. The mission of the FFE is to encourage, recognize, and reward excellence in the Clarke County School District, and one of the primary ways this is accomplished is through monetary awards presented to deserving CCSD faculty, staff, and administrators. Parents, colleagues, students, and community members are encouraged to nominate stellar educators by going to the FFE website and downloading appropriate application packets. Please contact executive director C.J. Amason at 706/224-7636 with questions or for more information. The nominating period will close on Friday, March 6th.

SET WEEKLY UPDATES: January 18-21+

Dr. King Day of Service - Monday, January 19 & Wednesday, January 21
Tomorrow is a school holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Each year in Clarke County and around the nation, that date is also designated as a "Day of Service." Our team serves year-round and reserves that special day to work with other community service projects. Many of you will be helping the FFA in the school garden tomorrow, and I will be at Oconee County High School volunteering. If you are involved in an activity tomorrow that you would like to share with our group, please feel free to share photos.
In honor of Dr. King's legacy, our team will have a service activity to complete at this week's team meeting. Weather permitting, we will have a school grounds clean-up and litter pick-up. Please wear appropriate clothing and shoes for an outdoor activity. If it is raining, we clean all of the recycling stations and prep boxes for shipping to Terra Cycle.

Conservation Fair
The 2015 Conservation Fair was a success, despite the cold weather! 213 people chose to spend the coldest night of 2015 (so far) with us learning about science and conservation! ​I appreciate all of you for your hard work and dedication that made the night a success. A special thank is extended to Matt Brenneman and Tristan Lankford for wearing the Binny costume. Photos from the Conservation Fair can be found on my webpage here: Hughes - Teacher Webpage

Trash Hunger Fall Semester Update
I am very, very proud to let you know that we surpassed our yearly goal for the Trash Hunger Campaign already! Our goal was $750.00 for the school year. Just before the break, our grand total for UNICEF was$1,193.93. This does include our CrowdRise site contributions. It will stay active as long as we continue to receive donations for UNICEF. Just in case you wanted the link, here it is:
All of our earnings during the 2nd Semester will be donated to the Food Bank for the Food 2 Kids Program.

Ripple Effect Film Festival Entry deadline extended to February 13
Ripple Effect Film Festival Entries are due by February 13. Colin & Melanie Frick won the middle and high school level competition last year, and 4 other SET members were finalists. There were over 50 entries. If you want to submit an entry and need help, Mr. Cain has offered his expertise. If you want his assistance, please let him know as soon as you can so that he can schedule time to work with you. Mr. Cain has lots of experience with movie-making. If you need more information about the competition, it is linked here: Ripple Effect Film Festival Competition Information

PTO and School Council News

Greetings Hilsman families... hope everyone had a great holiday season and is enjoying this long weekend as we get back in the swing of spring! I met today with our treasurer and wanted to bring you up to date on some PTO activities and events. Sorry this is so LONG but I want to update you all on a bunch of stuff! smile emoticon

1. Budget
First of all, a BIG thank you to Kathryn Chetney, our treasurer, who is a record keeper extraordinaire! We both believe in total transparency where the budget is concerned... after all the PTO is for all of us and so our books are wide open. Kathryn has prepared a detailed spreadsheet laying out our income and expenditures for the year so far.


As a reminder, we started off in July with $400 in the bank, and we now have around $2,000. This is thanks to the hard work of everyone who sold Yankee Candles, registered their Kroger card, and took the time to click on the amazon link for shopping over the holidays! We have about $150 coming in from Amazon (we have to get that linked up with our tax info), and more money coming in from skate nights, as well. As you can see from the spreadsheet, we haven't quite broken even on our spirit items (t-shirts, hoodies, car magnets) but we still have a good bit of inventory on hand, and so as those items sell, we'll have more money in the bank. We made about $2K on the yankee candle sale, which is great. We have made a couple of donations to school events -- Fright night, and the school dance which served as a fundraiser for the 8th grade field trip. So all in all, our budget is in strong shape at this point in the year, and we will go into next year with at least $1,000 in the bank (as well as some spirit inventory)

2. Events and Activities for Spring

Part of our focus this spring is deciding how to spend some of the money we have in the bank! smile emoticon As we discussed at the fall meeting, our mission for PTO is 3-fold:

1. promote communication and school spirit (facebook page, email listserv, events like skate night)
2. support the teachers in tangible ways (meals on long parent-teacher nights, "treats" at the holidays and end of the school year, and as our budget grows, hopefully we can do grants for classroom activities and equipment down the road)
3. raise money to enhance meaningful educational experiences for the kids.

On that last point, what we discussed at the fall PTO meeting was field trips. This year the 8th graders are going to Washington DC. We have already donated $250 towards this cause, and we will likely put in around another $300-500 towards this trip. We also have discussed with Dr. B whether there might be some activity or field trip that the 6th and/or 7th grade teams would like to do. That is still pending, but we will keep you posted. If nothing works out this year, we might save more of it towards events that could happen next year. As always, if you have other ideas of tangible ways we might spend the money to benefit the student body, please let me know!

We will once again provide food on the night of the long parent-teacher conferences (and will have parents donate food as well as catering), and we'll have our annual "dessert cart" for the teachers in May. more on those events to come later. I hope we can also have a spirit night or two at local restaurants this spring.

3. Spring PTO meeting and new officer elections! smile emoticon

We are still working on a date, but we will have our spring meeting at some point in April (perhaps April 7 or 21, but stay tuned) to discuss what we've done this year and elect new officers. Kathryn would VERY MUCH like to be replaced as treasurer, although she is willing to train and assist the new treasurer next year (and she has set up some great systems so you would not be starting from scratch!) I am more than happy to assist a new president if there is someone interested, but I am also willing to serve as president for another year, *if* we can elect a vice-president who can then step into the role of president for the year after that. I would like us to have a model of president/vice-president and treasurer/vice-treasurer going forward to make sure we have continuity and support. So please be thinking about whether you might be willing and able to step into one of these important roles. I will send out another email getting specific nominations as we get closer to that meeting.

Other roles that would be nice to have in place:
*secretary: someone who could be in charge of adding new folks to the email listserv and sending out communication about school events. (I have done this this year and would love some help!)

*Yankee Candle fundraiser chair or co-chair. Cara Thompson did a great job this year; she could use a co-leader next year?

*Skate night: Rachel Ashton has done a great job this year. I can't remember if she will still be at Hilsman next year though?

*Teacher meals coordinator: I would love to have someone who would oversee the two nights that we feed the teachers, as well as the two days that we have donations of sweets / baked goods... very small time investment, and could be shared with another parent.

*Spirit night coordinator: someone or a team of people to try to plan nights where we could eat out at local restaurants and get a percentage of the profits back to the school

*free money coordinator: Kathy Peters and Jeannie Linkous graciously took this over this past year and are getting it built up! (this is things like the publix key cards, target, kroger, box tops -- other things that bring free money into the school).

I think that's all for now -- as always, please let me know if you have ideas for how PTO can work better. We are who we are because of involvement of all the parents, teachers, and supporters of Hilsman students.

PTO Skate Night was well-attended once again, and once again Ms. Crenshaw's homeroom won the competition!


Cedar Sports

Tuesday, Jan. 20                       9th/JV Boys Basketball vs. Winder 4:00/5:30
                                                   Wrestling @ E. Hall 5:00

Thursday, Jan. 22                      9th G/B Basketball @ Clarke Central 5:00/6:30

Friday, Jan. 23                           Wrestling @ Habersham 5:00

Saturday, Jan. 24                       Basketball @ Clarke Central JVG-B 11/12:30 VG-B 2:00/3:30
                                                   9th Boys Basketball @ Flowery Branch 10:00 am

GO JAGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hilsman Sports

January 22 Hilsman vs. BHL 4:30


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!

January 21 HMS Spelling Bee
January 27-31 Middle School Basketball Tournament
February 4 Impact Check (School Improvement mid-year review)

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