Sunday, February 28, 2016

Hold On - Spring Break is on the way!

Quote of the Week:

Monday is a B day.                                    

Congrats to HRRB and Regional SS Fair Participants

This weekend, our Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl team competed in the Eastern Divisional Championships. Their hard work and dedication paid off with a 3rd place finish, which makes them Top Six in the state! Congratulations!

We also had fifteen students compete in the Regional SS Fair in Gainesville. Of the 16 projects in our region moving on to state competition, Hilsman captured five of those coveted spots! A complete list of winners is below:

Moving on to the state competition in April:
Zollie Mattox- 1st place
Daniel Garcia-Pozo- 1st place
Klara Lankford- 3rd place (class 2), 1st place (category)
Emma Dowling- 1st place
Isabella Gonzalez & Amelia Pisarik- 3rd place (class 2), 1st place (category)

2nd Place in Class-
Gabbi Jones
Stephany Gaona- Perez
Adetokunbo Ojo
Tariah Berry-Morse
Toni Jackson

3rd Place in Class-
Genesis Mendoza
Violet Calkin


All middle schools and high schools have adopted the Family Life and Sexual Health curriculum (F.L.A.S.H.) that has been taught for the past several years, and will be taught as a portion of your child's health and physical education class again this spring. These lessons are developed and geared toward the age of the students (Grades 4-6, Grades 7-8, and Grades 9-12) and are taught in same gender settings. As parents, you have the option to OPT OUT of these lessons for your child, but you must notify the school by returning the opt out form provided with the letter that will be sent home prior to the lessons taking place. Hilsman sent these letters home on February 19, 2016. You may preview the F.L.A.S.H. curriculum by contacting Michelle Hayes, Hilsman Instructional Coach, at .

Can We Talk? 

We had a very productive Can We talk? session with our 7th grade parents. 7th grade meeting notes are forthcoming. Our next Can We Talk? session will be just for 8th grade parents. This time together will give us an opportunity to have a conversation and share challenges as well as identify possible solutions to continue to support the work of each other and most importantly, our students.

I invite all 8th grade parents to join us on Tuesday, March 15, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. in the Hilsman cafeteria. We will have a light meal and discuss how we can all partner together and develop ways to ensure that our students finish the year strong academically, socially, and behaviorally. We are all in this together – administrators, teachers, counselors, parents, community members and students. By working together, we can continue our strong record of partnering for student success.

In order to ensure that we have enough refreshments, please let us know you plan to attend no later than March 15th by either emailing your child's homeroom teacher, Ms. Griffith at, or calling the school at 706-548-7281 and speaking to our receptionist, Ms. Postero. I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, March 15th.

Teacher and Staff Member of the Month

Congratulations to Meagan Nix and Leslie Gonzalez for being selected Teacher of the Month and Staff Member of the Month for February. Both of these ladies are incredibly busy giving their time and energy to making Hilsman a great place to be and succeed for our students. You ladies rock!

Go ahead and nominate teachers and staff members of the month for this month. Please follow the links below and nominate someone by February 29th!

FFE Award Nominations - Last Call!

Time is running out to nominate a deserving educator for a Foundation for Excellence award. 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 at and downloading appropriate application packets for the annual and even numbered year awards. Individuals may be nominated in more than one category if applicable criteria are met.

Please contact executive director C.J. Amason at 706/224-7636 or with questions or for more information. The nominating period will close on Friday, March 4th.

The FFE is accepting nominations for the following 11 awards in 2016:

  • Frusanna S. Booth Chair for Teachers of English and Language Arts ($1200 for two years)
  • Charlotte Brown Chair for Teachers of Special Education ($1200 for two years) 
  • Lamar Dodd Chair for Teachers of Fine Arts ($1200 for two years)
  • Jenny Penney Oliver Chair for Counselors and Student Support Personnel ($1200 for two years)
  • Margaret & Raymond Ponsoldt Chair for Elementary School Teachers ($1200 for two years)
  • Friends of Eve Carson Excellence in Teaching Award ($500 for two years)
  • Newland Family Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award ($500 for two years)
  • Walter Allen, Sr. Inspiring Teacher Award ($500)
  • Seasoned Teacher Award ($500)
  • Freida M. Thomas Teacher of Promise Award ($500)
  • Howard B. Stroud Community Service Award (please note that this is now for non-certificated CCSD employees ONLY)

Hilsman Middle has led the way in nominations for these awards over the past several years. We have many deserving educators, so please join me in recognizing their outstanding work by nominating a deserving educator for an FFE award!

21st Century CLC

Save the Dates!

Click here to see the dates for 21st CCLC Open Saturdays!

Greetings Parents and Students! 

We are excited to share some ideas as next steps for 21st CCLC. Please take a look at the linked document to see the descriptions for some classes we would like to make available. Let us know which ones interest you the most by completing the survey on the last page.

If you can facilitate one of the classes, parents, or know someone in the community who may do so, please let me know. This invitation is also extended to the host of UGA students assisting with 21st CCLC each day to fulfill course requirements.

Starting this week, on Monday and Tuesdays, we are offering “Step Up and Move Up”. This class will have you up and moving while also teaching some critical content about staying healthy at any age.

Students, if you have not completed an application, you may get one in the main office or from Ms. Hayes.Remember, 21st CCLC is an afterschool enrichment program open to every Hilsman student. Your involvement is all that’s needed to make it better!

Panther Cafe

We had a great turnout of rising 5th grade parents and students for Panther Cafe this week!
Join us next time!

Shout Outs!

Students, parent, and community members - Is there someone at Hilsman to whom you would like to give a public "shout out" for something positive they have done? We have so many positive activities going on here at Hilsman, and we need to get the word out! If you would like to give someone a shout out, please share it with us in the form below. You may give a shout out to a student, teacher, staff member, etc. and we will share it with them. 

Hilsman Jubilee and Inaugural Panther Prowl 5k

Save the date! May 14, 2016 is the date we have set for our Hilsman Jubilee celebration, honoring the 50th anniversary of the school's opening. There will be more information in the coming months regarding our plans, and we would love to have some parents and/or Hilsman alumni to help us!

We will kick off the day with the inaugural Panther Prowl 5k, which will raise funds for a variety of causes such as enrichment/service-learning opportunities for our students, and providing incentives as a part of our positive school culture plan (PBIS). The course will be a great one, winding through the beautiful Cedar Creek neighborhood, and the race will be part of the Run and See Georgia Grand Prix. You won't want to miss it!

This Week at HMS

This week, more 7th grade scientists dissected frogs in Life Science. Check it out!

Counseling News

Save the Date for Day as a Dawg

CALLING ALL 8th GRADERS! Inspire UGA is an organization that wants to make sure every 8th grader realizes that achieving a college degree is possible. Day as a Dawg is a full day event on April 16, 2016, that is completely FREE! The 8th graders will spend the day at the University of Georgia with a UGA mentor to inspire the students to earn a college degree. There will be speakers, workshop activities, the opportunity to attend the UGA football scrimmage game, and a chance to tour the campus. We hope that this day will leave you feeling that you are capable of accomplishing anything that you put your mind to. Applications for Day as a Dawg will be sent out in March and will be due in the beginning of April. We hope to see you there!

Yearbooks! Spring Pictures!

Yearbooks on Sale! They are $22.00. They will go up to $24.00 on February 25, 2016. Did you know you can order online? Order yours today by following this link: electronic yearbook form

Spring Pictures will be on March 3, 2016. Individuals may choose to have their picture taken. Winter/ spring sports groups will also be photographed. Order forms have been given to homeroom teachers and sports sponsors.

Chess News

From Coach Pratt:
"Hilsman performed well at the Team State Qualifier and should receive an invitation to the State Championship in the next few days. Over 1,000 K-8 students were in attendance at the biggest Georgia tournament of the year. Our top five will face off with about ten of the best schools in Georgia on March 19."

Way to go, Chess Team!

PTO News 

Current February PAB Minutes are here.



Tuesday 3-1-16        Hilsman Soccer Girls vs. BHL   4:30   

Thursday 3-3-16        Hilsman Soccer Boys vs. BHL   4:30          

Cedar Shoals:

Monday 2-29-16                  JV Baseball @ Jefferson 5:30

Tuesday 3-1-16                  Tennis vs. Loganville ( Athens Tennis Ctr. ) 4:00
                                           Track @ Jefferson 4:30

Wednesday 3-2-16            Tennis vs. Athens Christian ( Athens Tennis Ctr. ) 4:00
                                          Varsity Baseball @ Discovery 5:55

Thursday 3-3-16                JV Soccer vs. Flowery Branch 5:30/7:00
                                          JV Baseball @ N. Oconee 5:30
                                          Tennis @ Lanier 4:15

Friday 3-4-16                     Tennis vs. Heritage ( Athens Tennis Ctr. ) 4:00
                                          Varsity Baseball vs. Discovery 5:55
                                          Varsity Soccer @ Loganville 5:30/7:30

Saturday 3-5-16                JV Baseball @ Clarke Central TBA

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


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. You can access the weekly Panther News video here.

More Ways to Connect

Here are several other ways to stay connected to Hilsman.

Follow us on Twitter!

Hilsman Middle 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.


Hilsman has a Facebook page that is updated regularly. Go to the Hilsman Middle School Facebook page and Like Us! You can also join the Hilsman Middle PTO Facebook page. It is a great forum for parents to get information and ask questions.

Team Websites

You can also visit the team website for the teaching team to which your child belongs. From there, you can access individual teacher webpages, resources, and Hilsman news. 


Remind 101 is now Remind. Remind is a great way to receive important updates on Hilsman happenings. To sign up to receive reminders and news flashes click on the link for the appropriate grade below for three easy choices to sign up:

6th grade - Class of 2022

7th grade- Class of 2021

8th grade - Class of 2020


Follow us on Instagram at

Download the CCSD App (It's Free!)

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars

February 29 Black History Month Event 5:00 p.m.
March 3 Spring Picture Day
March 7-11 Spring Break
March 21-25 Spring Book Fair
March 23-25 Spring Parent Conferences

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