Sunday, January 25, 2015

News You Can Use for the Week of January 26th

Quote: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato


Monday is a B day.

Georgia School Parents' Survey

It’s time once again to take the Georgia School Parents’ Survey, as part of each school’s College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) scores. The deadline for the survey is Fri., Feb. 27.

This survey is critical in the state's assessment in assigning a School Climate Star Rating to each school and is different than the Title I Survey you recently took. The survey will take 5-10 minutes to complete - and again is crucial in rating our schools. Please note this does not replace our annual School Improvement Survey, as that is our internal diagnostic survey.
School Climate survey results are confidential and will not be made public or posted online. I appreciate your time and consideration, as your feedback is both needed and appreciated.
The survey is located here: http://www.clarke.k12.ga.us/survey 

Thanks in advance for your valuable participation! To those of you who have already taken it, thank you!

Students will be taking the student survey this week in ELT.


8th Graders Going to See "Selma"

On February 3rd, eighth grade students will be going on a field trip to view the movie “Selma”. Letters and permission forms went home on Friday. Please return the permission forms as soon as possible.


No Name Calling Week

Last week, Hilsman engaged 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. Here are some pictures from last week's Pink Out!







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 atwww.athensffe.org and downloading appropriate application packets. Please contact executive director C.J. Amason at 706/224-7636 orcj.amason@cru.org with questions or for more information. The nominating period will close on Friday, March 6th.


PTO and School Council News


Spring PTO meeting and new officer elections!

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.



Athletics


Cedar Sports

Monday, Jan. 26              9th Boys Basketball vs. Salem 5:30

Tuesday, Jan. 27             Basketball vs. Salem JVG 4:30 VG-B 6:00-7:30
                                        Wrestling @ Oconee 5:00

Friday, Jan. 30                Basketball vs. Loganville ( Sr. Night ) JVG-B 4/5:30 VG-B                                                      Swimming @ Ramsey 5:00 ( Sr. Night )
                                       Area Traditional Wrestling @ Flowery Branch 5:00


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

Hilsman Sports

January 27-30 Middle School Basketball Tournament 4:30 each day



Announcements

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 27-31 Middle School Basketball Tournament
January 30 Quarter 2 Honors Celebration (morning connections)
January 30 Regional Science Fair
February 4 Impact Check (School Improvement mid-year review)
February 5 District Spelling Bee
February 5 Progress Reports go home

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 campus.clarke.k12.ga.us (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 atwww.athensffe.org and downloading appropriate application packets. Please contact executive director C.J. Amason at 706/224-7636 orcj.amason@cru.org 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: https://www.crowdrise.com/SETUNICEF2014
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.

Budget: https://drive.google.com/…/0B4bCh6SxqwCiRnpZLUtabDNod…/view…

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!



Athletics


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



Announcements

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)


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Hilsman Rocks the Science and Social Studies Fairs!

Quote: Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him." –Maya Angelou


Monday is an A day.


Teacher of the Month/Staff Member of the Month

The January Teacher of the Month is Ms. Starr Campbell. Ms. Campbell teaches Visual Art to all grade levels.

The January Staff Member of the Month is Ms. Myrlricka Little. Ms. Little is a paraprofessional in our Low Incidence Special Education classrooms. She works all grade levels.

Congratulations to these deserving faculty members!

Conservation Fair - What a Success!

Hilsman's 3rd Annual Conservation Fair was another successful one. Although the cold weather kept some people at home, the fair was still well-attended and everyone enjoyed the interactive stations. Here are a few pictures!





Hilsman Dominates Science and Social Studies Fair

Hilsman Panthers dominated the district science and social studies fairs this weekend. Overall Hilsman students took first place in 8 out of 11 categories! These students will move on to the regional science fair now.

In the District Social Studies Fair hosted at Hilsman this past week, Hilsman had sixteen projects selected to move on to the regional social studies fair on February 14th. Way to go, Panthers!


Chess Tournament and Entrepreneurship Competition

Hilsman also represented well at the Community Chess tournament and conference. The conference also recognized winners of the Real Ledge Middle School Entrepreneurial Challenge. Car’niyah Dunn and Kyala Conner, both Hilsman students, each got $500 to start their enterprises after submitting business ideas to Real Ledge. Congratulations, girls!


PTO and School Council News

PTO Skate Night this Friday night from 5-8 p.m. Hilsman Students can celebrate their three day weekend coming up!! Let's see which homeroom can have the most participation and win the uniform free day (can someone take the crown from Mrs. Crenshaw's homeroom?). Hope to see you there!!


Athletics

Cedar Sports

Tues., Jan. 13           Basketball @ Loganville JVB 4:30 VG-B 6:00/7:30

Wed., Jan. 14           9th Boys Basketball @ Newton Co. 4:30

Fri., Jan. 16              Basketball vs. Heritage JVG-B 4/5:30 VG-B 7/8:30

Sat., Jan.                  Basketball vs. Woodward Academy 4/5:30

                                 9th Boys Basketball @ Hart Co. 11:00 am

                                 Swimming @ Ramsey Center 1:00

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

Hilsman Sports

Basketball
January 15 Hilsman vs. Clarke Middle 4:30



Announcements

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 13 PSP begins
January 15 Open House, 9:00 a.m.
January 16 PTO Skate Night
January 19 MLK Holiday - No School

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year!


Welcome back, and welcome to 2015! We are ready for the second half of the school year and there are a lot of exciting things in store for Hilsman. Please note that students return on Tuesday, January 5th. Tuesday will be an A day.


Student Council

Student council is off to a great start! We have had our first meeting, and will continue to meet at 7:45 a.m. before school twice per month. The 2014-15 HMS Student Council members are:

Alvin Yang
Tykerius Monford
William Fang
Kamrie Branch
Bryant Harper
William Lineberger
Thomas Peters
Destiny Kelly 
Nyah Carlson
Amun Bassue-Youngblood
Bonterris Turner
Rodney Wright
Little Reese Ransom Iv 


"No Flex Zone"

Happy New Year parents. Welcome back!

We are excited about the direction that we are headed in during the 3rd quarter of school. As many of your children may have mentioned, we are entering a " No Flex Zone" at Hilsman. This simply means we are going to design our environment to ensure that we are focusing on academics and 
continue creating a culture of excellence at Hilsman. Of course with every New Year comes changes and we will be implementing several changes to our discipline system for the remainder of the year. These policies have been created and revised with input from both faculty and students, particularly our student council members. 


Cell Phones

When students return to school they will NOT be allowed to use personal cellular devices between the hours of 8 and 4. If students need to make emergency phone calls to parents, they will be allowed to use the teacher's phone or the office phone with a pass from the teacher. All of the students have access to their personal learning devices therefore cell phones are not needed during instructional time.

Every student will be allowed allowed to bring their cell phone to school with parent permission; however, they will be given the option of either leaving the phone in their locked locker or in a designated container in their teacher's classroom. Many teachers are already offering this option to students with great success.

If a student is found in violation of the new cell phone policy, the following will happen:


First offense: The phone will be confiscated and given to an administrator until the end of the day. If a student refuses to give the phone, they will be placed in ISS for refusing to follow directions and the phone will be confiscated pending a parent conference.


Second offense: If the phone is taken a second time, the phone will be confiscated and given to an administrator pending a parent conference. The phone will NOT be given be back until the parent conference. No exception will be made to this policy.


Third offense: If the phone is taken a third time, the phone will be confiscated pending a parent conference and the student will be assigned to ISS for 3 days.


Although the policy is strict, we ask that you help us enforce the new policy. This will help eliminate disruptions to our school environment that are caused by social media or text messages that are delivered among students during the day. We want ALL of our students to be successful and with your help we can get off to a great start the second half of the year!


Merits and Demerits

Our PBIS system has gotten off to a great start! Students are earning merits and opportunities to become involved team/school wide incentives. Students are able to earn merits by simply being a good Hilsman Panther and exhibiting PAWS behaviors. Demerits are assigned for inappropriate behaviors such as disrespect, uniform policy violations, and off task behavior. Merits can offset demerits which provide students with every opportunity to achieve Hilsman's behavior expectations. When students earn a specific number of demerits a consequence is assigned weekly. Your child's team should have provided you with the specific consequences. Please ensure that you know the consequences that apply to your child. If you have any questions, please see your child's team leader.


Uniform Policy

Students are to wear khaki pants and collard white, black, or gold shirts. Undershirts that can be seen should be one of the school colors. The male students shirts should be tucked at ALL times. There is no change to the uniform dress policy - this is the same policy that has been in place since the beginning of the school year. It is imperative that students follow the uniform policy. If your family is in need of assistance with uniforms, please contact Mrs. JoAnn Griffith. For your convenience, the uniform dress policy is linked here.


It is our goal to finish our year on top academically! We also want to limit the number of discipline interruptions that have occurred that may have impeded the learning of our students. Our environment must be conducive to learning. Please join us and help us design and implement the plays to create a No Flex Zone! Thank you in advance for your support.

Teacher of the Month/Staff Member of the Month

It is time to nominate a deserving faculty member for Teacher of the month, and staff member of the month.  Please use the links below to nominate someone. Nominations will close on January 6th.

Conservation Fair - January 8th


PTO and School Council News

We are in the process of hiring a receptionist, as Ms. Jernigan will be assuming the school secretary/bookkeeper responsibilities. If you would be able to volunteer for a few hours to help out at the front desk during the transition, please see Ms. Griffith to complete a volunteer form. If you are already a CCSD volunteer and are willing to help, please email Dr. Blankenship.


Athletics


Basketball
January 8 Hilsman @ Coile 4:30
January 9 Hilsman @ Gainesville 4:30


Announcements

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 5                                    Professional Learning Day - No School for Students
January 8 Conservation Fair
January 9 Report Cards go home
January 13 PSP begins