Volume 20 | 10 January 2021
Better Resolution Hillview Hawk
Middle School Newsletter
This Week
Monday, January 11
Gold students on campus this week

Service Team - Cereal Drive, each day this week, bins near PAC
(through Friday, January 29)

Tuesday January 12
Hillview Site Council Meeting, 3:30 - 5:00 pm, Zoom

Wednesday, January 13
Panorama SEL and Cultural Awareness surveys during:
SMART period - GOLD in-person students
PE/Elective - Distance Students

"An Equity Walk through MPCSD," MPCSD Speaker Series, 6:30 pm, register here

Thursday, January 14
Service Team meeting, 3:30 pm, Zoom

Friday, January 15
PTO Board Meeting, 8:30 - 10:00 am (new date/time)

"The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America...and Menlo Park," MPCSD Speaker Series, 4:30 pm, register here

Hawks Nest student writing submission deadline

End of Hexmester 3 and current elective/PE classes
Looking Ahead
Monday, January 18
No School - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Tuesday, January 19
Blue students on campus

Hexmester 4 begins with new elective/PE classes

Service Team - Cereal Drive, Just for fun, let's see if BLUE brings the most breakfast items! BLUE WEEK tally January 19 - January 22, bins near PAC

"The Future of Educational Equity in the South Peninsula," MPCSD Speaker Series, 6:30 pm, Zoom register here

Monday, January 25
Service Team - Cereal Drive, Just for fun, let's see if GOLD brings the most breakfast items! GOLD WEEK tally January 25 - January 29, bins near PAC

Wednesday, March 10 - Tuesday, March 15
Save the Date MPAEF Online Auction


Quicklinks bottom of newsletter

Hillview School News
Dear Hillview Families,

We are back at it in 2021, having one week under our belts already and looking forward to seeing our GOLD students this week. I want to share my deepest appreciation for families who are being cautious and quarantining after travel to help keep our school community healthy. It is an extra step, and it’s a hardship to have a student miss a precious week of in-person learning; nevertheless, it makes fellow students and staff feel safe and supported. In light of the continued Stay-at-Home Order, decreasing ICU capacity in San Mateo County, and the emergence of new, more easily spread COVID strains, the MPCSD Board of Trustees did meet on Thursday to revisit the discussions about other triggers that could close in-person learning. The result of this discussion was that we will stay the course, with the caveat that if we start to see spread occurring as a result of students being at school, this would be cause for looking more seriously at a temporary closure. Neither Hillview nor any MPCSD school has yet seen any spread of COVID within the school.

The past week has kept us riveted to national news. I hope you saw on Thursday my note about talking to your children about the attack on the U.S. Capitol here. Follow-up stories, even those with a local angle, continue to give us fodder for rich discussions. Common Sense Media published a new piece entitled Talking to Kids About the Violence at the U.S. Capitol here. It covers the same ground as the resource I shared Thursday, but with some more relevant talking points.

Also, if you missed Part 1 of our January Speaker Series, Race, Prejudice & Policy: A Conversation of Segregation and its Legacy on Education around Menlo Park, an additional installment of “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America...and Menlo Park” has been scheduled for Friday, January 15 at 4:30 pm for those who needed to process the events of Wednesday and decided not to attend. See details below about how to register for this event, as well as Part 2 of the series, which is set for this coming Wednesday.

All the best,


High School Placement Assessments

All 8th grade students, regardless of where they plan on attending high school, will take high school placement assessments.

  • For Math, our students will take the MIRA (Mathematics Initiative Readiness Assessment) during the week of January 11.

  • For English Language Arts, our 8th grade students will take the SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory) during the weeks of January 19 and January 26.

8th grade families were notified via email about the high school placement assessments, see here
Panorama SEL Survey

This week our students, grades 3 - 8 will take the Panorama Social Emotional Learning survey. In addition, our Hillview students will also complete Cultural Awareness and Action questions. We do this survey each year in order to understand how our schools and programs are supporting student wellness. 

All families were notified via email from the district office in early December about these surveys. For more information, including a preview of the survey questions, check here.  
Hillview Fields and Basketball Courts
Closed to the public 8:00 am - 3:00 pm Monday through Friday. If accessing these facilities outside of those hours, wear a mask at all times and physically distance from others. These facilities are also closed to individuals with pets.
Closed to Pets
Courts and fields closed
8:00 am - 3:00 pm weekdays
On campus
8th Grade Parent Information
Joint Open House - Everest Public High School and Summit Prep High School Wednesday, January 13, 6:00 - 7:30 pm, via Zoom here. Check out our flyer here.

PTO News

Each week a staff member will be randomly selected to share a little bit more about themselves so the Hillview Community can get to know them better.

Arion Espinoza
Arion teaches 6th grade science and has been at Hillview for 10 years. When not teaching Arion enjoys drumming, gardening and backpacking.
Favorite Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Mint Chip

Favorite Subjects as a Middle School Student: Math

Words of Wisdom for Hillview students: There are no wrong answers, except for a no answer or IDK.
Students are often so afraid of being wrong, they dismiss their instincts and quit without getting involved. Give your best effort and don't worry about what you can't control. 

What you probably didn’t know about me: I played center field for my high school baseball team. I led the team in OBP and stolen bases. I also played clarinet, ran track, and later became a certified EMT while attending fire fighter academy. 
One more thing:  I love cats! Almost as much as people. 
January Staff Birthdays

Matthew Tom, Isabel Garcia, Alfredo Solache, Helen Poplack and Katrina Hagg
Programs & Activities
Hillview Service Team
Cereal Drive for Families in our Community
Service Team Meeting - Cereal Drive, Samaritan House
Thursday, January 14, 3:30 pm, Zoom

Service team is excited to start 2021 with their second annual Project WeeCare here Cereal Drive to help local families in our community. Your student can earn more about the cereal drive and our upcoming monthly projects at the Zoom meeting.

We wish we could erase hunger and homelessness with the flip of a calendar page. Since the pandemic hit San Mateo County, Samaritan House in San Mateo has a client caseload that increased from 15,000 clients to around 23,000 clients and daily food distribution has doubled.

How Can You Support Your Student?
Consider buying extra boxes of your student’s favorite breakfast cereal for them to donate, or encourage students to ask friends and neighbors if they would like to contribute.

Cereal, oatmeal, granola, pancake/waffle mix, cocoa, instant coffee, and creamer can be dropped in the blue bins near the PAC each weekday through Friday, January 29.

Just for fun, let’s see if Blue or Gold brings the most breakfast items!
BLUE WEEK Tally: January 19 - January 22
GOLD WEEK Tally: January 25 - January 29

Email here with questions.

MPCSD Parent Education Speaker Series
A Three-Part Special Mini-Series begins this week:

MPCSD Special Series "Race, Prejudice & Policy: A Conversation of Segregation and its Legacy on Education around Menlo Park" continues this week, including an additional event!

January 13, 6:30 pm "An Equity Walk Through MPCSD with Dr. Mary Montle Bacon of Images of Culture" How a district responds to and supports students of all backgrounds is foundational to how we succeed as a whole. Dr. Bacon has decades of experience working with youth, parents, and educators across the country. She will lead us through what the MPCSD experience may look like from the perspective of different families, and how we can work to make sure that all talents, cultures, languages, and achievements are valued and elevated at our schools. Register here in advance for this webinar.

Just added! If you missed, "The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America...and Menlo Park," we have added a second time: Friday, January 15, 4:30 pm. Two hundred people joined us last week for this powerful workshop. You are welcome to attend again, tell a friend or neighbor, or come this week if you missed it. Local organizations Menlo Together and Community Equity Collaborative share how the policies and practices that segregated America affected Menlo Park, including information presented in Richard Rothstein’s book The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. We will learn, reflect, and discuss how to move toward an equitable future in Menlo Park and beyond. Register here for the January 15 Color of Law event

School Board Update

The Board met on January 7 for its first regular meeting of 2021.

Parcel Tax
The Board engaged in a discussion about the next parcel tax, which will be placed on the ballot in November 2021. This parcel tax is meant to replace Measure X, which was passed in 2017 to provide a four year runway of financial stability; that runway is ending this year and now the Board looks to use a replacement parcel tax, along with budget cuts, to provide greater long-term financial stability for the district. The Board will continue discussing the amount of the new parcel tax, and Superintendent Burmeister presented some options during the meeting. You can see a brief timeline of MPCSD’s parcel tax history on the meeting Agenda here and also link to Mr. Burmeister’s presentation slides from the Agenda.

Update on MPCSD’s Pandemic Response
Superintendent Burmeister also gave his regular update on MPCSD’s Pandemic Response. The Board discussed its trigger for closing in-person school, and decided to stay the course for now and continue to follow the county’s guideline of closing a school if 5% of the in-person students and staff test positive for COVID over a 14 day period. Mr. Burmeister shared some early data from the parent survey indicating that large percentages of parents continue to be comfortable with the 5% trigger, would even like a higher percentage trigger, or would not like in-person learning closed for any reason. However, the Board will continue monitoring the local COVID situation carefully, especially looking for any indication of spread within our schools sites, which we have not seen so far. The Board agreed that Superintendent Burmeister should make the call to close a campus as soon as any indication of spread within the campus is noticed. MPCSD will be flexible and responsive to COVID case data and do all it can to continue keeping our schools open safely. Mr. Burmeister also addressed the news about Curative and false negative tests. MPCSD’s testing team is working with Curative to understand their response and remains confident at this time in their testing as part of a broader strategy for mitigating risk. As always, anyone with symptoms or concerns should consult their physician. MPCSD recommends students attending in person be tested every two weeks, and families should use the test provider that they are most comfortable with. There are many options listed on MPCSD’s FAQ page here.

The Board reported on San Mateo County’s vaccination efforts. Education workers are part of Phase 1b, Tier 1 to receive vaccines. A live stream will be provided by San Mateo County Health to address vaccine FAQs. You may watch the live stream on January 13, 11:30 am on the Health Department’s Facebook here, Twitter here, or YouTube here pages.

New Science Materials
In other business, the Board was presented with new science materials recommended for adoption for grades K-5. The materials will be on display at the District Office during the month of January for parents who would like to preview them. The Board also accepted the annual audit report here for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020.

Next Meeting
Stay involved with the Board’s ongoing parcel tax discussion. The next meeting is scheduled for January 21, 2021. (Agenda and Zoom details will be published on the district website by Monday, January 18.)

MPAEF Online Auction Save the Date March 10 - 15!

Join us for our online auction, “It’s For The Kids!” from March 10-15. Although our auction is going to look a bit different this year, our mission remains the same - to come together in support of our schools. Mark your calendars!
Great Donations Make Great Auctions!
Help make our auction a success! We are looking for popular and desired auction items such as: 
  • Vacation homes  
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Season tickets to Bay Area sports teams 
  • Professional services
  • Hosts for a fun Covid-friendly kid or adult party
You can also make a $ donation here towards an item that we would purchase and include in the auction! This year, we have compiled a “wish list” with some creative ideas for donations of all sizes. Check it out!  
Ready to donate an item for the auction?
Fill out the Auction Donation Google Form here.

Thank you for your generosity! Email us here if you have questions!
For your support!
We want to take the opportunity to show our appreciation for our business and realtor partners in the community.


Community News

Portola Valley Theatre Conservatory
Stuck at home for the winter? Looking for a creative outlet to battle the short days and long nights? Look no further. Portola Valley Theatre Conservatory's theme this winter is Light Up Your Screen! Join us for a virtual theatre class that will keep you moving, creating, and connecting. Sign up with your friends to continue having a fun, safe, and creative outlet this winter! Register online here. Winter session begins the week of January 11 and ends the week of March 22. Questions? Email here.

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