Volume 28 | 14 March 2021
Better Resolution Hillview Hawk
Middle School Newsletter
This Week
Monday, March 15
Gold students on campus this week

MPCSD Speaker Series, "Are You Using Technology or is Technology Using You?”, 6:30 pm, Zoom register here

Thursday, March 18
California Healthy Kids Survey, 6th and 7th grade students, during SMART or PE/Electives

Service Team meeting, Surfrider Foundation, 3:30 - 3:55 pm, Zoom link on Schoology

Saturday, March 20
Surfrider/Service Team Beach clean-up opportunity

Looking Ahead
Tuesday, March 22
Deadline for Parent Survey here on MPCSD Cuts and Parcel Tax

Thursday, March 25
Distance Learning Day for BLUE students (see "Vaccine Plans" below for more information). We request that parents keep students home to allow our staff to recover from their second doses

Friday, March 26
No School - Staff Development Day

Monday, March 29
No School - Spring Break
(through Friday, April 2)

Quicklinks bottom of newsletter

Hillview School News
Dear Hillview Families,

This weekend marks one year from the time our world shifted dramatically. On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, our Board made the decision to close down MPCSD schools just as the coronavirus was being declared a world pandemic. On Monday, March 16, 2020, students shifted to asynchronous distance learning for the remainder of the school year, and we all did our best to organize our lives in a dramatically altered landscape. 

In this past year, many of us have suffered loss, and we’ve all experienced a range of emotions: fear, sadness, uncertainty, frustration. While the toll the pandemic has taken on us cannot be underestimated, we ultimately came together as a community to engage and plan through the summer so that the fall could yield the possibility of in-person instruction for those who wanted it. I’m so proud of our collective courage, resilience, and creativity! Right now we have great hope that the 2021-22 school year will be more normal, with students attending a full range of classes daily. Please continue to stay engaged as we move forward with our planning.

All the best,

Vaccine Plans for March 24 and 25
Important Information
As you know, many Hillview staff received the first dose of their vaccine on Wednesday, February 24. We are grateful for the efforts of MPCSD and San Mateo County to prioritize the vaccination of in-person teaching staff. Our staff all received the Moderna vaccine, and there is a 28-day separation between the first and second dose. This past Friday, March 12, we received the invitation from the County to sign up for dose 2 on March 23, 24, or 25, all of which are in person school days for BLUE students. The school and district have no control over these dates. 

Due to the high number of staff needing to get vaccines (over 50 teachers, classified, and other staff); important professional development scheduled for Friday, March 26; and the reports of Moderna dose 2 having significant side effects - including flu-like symptoms - that impact a person’s ability to work, we have made the following plan:

  • Wednesday, March 24 will be an in-person school day. Teachers will schedule their appointments in a way to minimize the disruption to instruction. We will have a lot of guest teachers and others pitching in to ensure classes are covered. While it may be necessary to have an academy shift to distance learning for the day, we are hopeful that all BLUE students will be able to come to school. Keep in mind that all MPCSD teachers are looking to schedule their appointments on these dates, so guest teachers will be in high demand. We will learn more as our teachers share with us their appointment times and we put together our coverage.

  • On Thursday, March 25, we ask that parents keep their students home as our staff recover from their vaccines (child care will be available for those who need it). Because the Moderna dose 2 is notorious for producing extreme side effects on the day after its administration, we don’t feel like we can adequately plan for guest teachers. However, please note that instruction will be synchronous to the extent possible, meaning that teachers who are able to will hold their classes at the regularly scheduled time. Some teachers will not feel well enough to teach, in which case they will assign asynchronous work.

We appreciate your understanding and partnership. We know that losing a day of in-person instruction is unfortunate, and we regret that the BLUE students have been impacted by both doses 1 and 2. Stay tuned for more information.

ACTION REQUIRED! Attention: Parents of Current 6th Grade Students
Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Tdap Vaccination, Two Doses Varicella, New Medical Exemption Law

All incoming 7th grade students in the 2021-22 school year are required by law to provide proof of a whooping cough booster shot (Tdap), administered on or after the 7th birthday (Td does not meet the requirement), a second dose of Varicella (chicken pox), or if your child has had Varicella, a medical exemption document from CAIR-ME. Please read the following carefully. 
In order to receive a class schedule and to avoid exclusion on the first day of school, provide an updated copy of your child's immunization record with your child's first and last name, date of birth, proof of Tdap administered on or after the 7th birthday, and a second dose of Varicella. Do not mark the record. 

If your child has had the Varicella disease, any medical exemption on file will no longer be valid due to a new immunization law that went into effect on January 1, 2021. To request a two-page CAIR-ME document, you must follow the instructions for parents on the CDPH CAIR ME website here.

Do not mark the record. Provide the record by email to Nancy McMahon, health services assistant here by fax to 650-292-2200, or bring a hard copy to the District office. 

ACT NOW and avoid the back-to-school rush!
For more information, visit the Shots for School website here.
The California Healthy Kids Survey

CHKS will be administered in SMART classes and in PE/Electives for DL students on Thursday, March 18. 

The survey will be done online and has different protocols for opting in and out for each grade: 

  • 7th grade families, an opt-out process
  • 6th grade families, an opt-in process 

The survey is both anonymous and confidential and cannot be tracked back to any individual student. On top of questions about school safety, it also asks for feedback about factors that promote school success, such as 'caring adults at school' and 'academic motivation'. Hillview highly values this data. We have provided links to preview the questions, for hybrid here and DL here, if there are concerns.
These are just previews; be on the lookout for emails to opt-in and out-of the survey if you haven't done so already.

Parent Information

Hillview would like to share information from Menlo Atherton High School pertaining to high school registration. See Community News.

PTO News

Hillview 2021-22 PTO Board Nominations

We are actively seeking volunteers to serve on the Hillview PTO Board for the 2021-22 school year. The PTO Board is a great way to get involved with Hillview and there are a variety of roles. New parents are welcome and encouraged to submit their names, and if you know others who might be great Board members, nominate them too! Please contact the Hillview PTO Nominating Committee team here to send nominations, ideas, or learn how you can get involved.

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.

Danielle O’Brien
Danielle is Hillview’s Associate Principal and has been at Hillview for 10 years. In her free time she enjoys walking her dogs (she has 2 black labs), running half marathons (she has run 10), scuba diving (she has 150 dives), reading (she has read over 50 books in 2021!), and knitting (though many projects are unfinished)
Favorite Quote: "We cannot all do great things, but we can all do small things with great love."  -Mother Theresa

Favorite Movie: Top Gun

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Gold Medal Ribbon from Baskin Robbins

Favorite Subjects as a Middle School Student: Social Studies and Band (I played the clarinet).

Words of Wisdom for Hillview Students: My dad always told me "hard work makes you lucky." It's the best advice I have ever received and one I always try to live by.....
What you probably didn’t know about me: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is my favorite book.....and it was assigned to me by Mrs. Hicks, my high school English teacher. I read it every year over Winter Break. You never know the ways your teachers will impact your lives in your future.....and I am so grateful to her for sharing this novel with me!

Staff Birthdays in March

Brian Benelli, Keenan Quijano, Tracy Berliner, Mike Bratt, Tom Lyons and Jennifer Noravian

Programs & Activities
Hillview Art
Attention 6th Grade Students

Are you interested in making a tile for an all-school mural on campus? 

Ms. Kogan, Hillview art teacher, has made supply bags for anyone who would like to be a part of this mural. Just stop by the main office to pick up a baggie and watch the linked slide presentation here for simple directions. Bring your finished tile back to the main office so your tile can be fired and placed in the mural. Questions? Contact Ms. Kogan here.

Hillview Service Team
Next Service Team Meeting and Project
Do you like going to the beach? Want to keep ocean animals safe? Come learn about the Surfrider Foundation and beach cleanup days at our next meeting on March 18!

Email here with any questions.


Hillview After School Athletics - Spring Athletics Survey

The California Department of Public has recently issued new guidance here for Outdoor and Indoor Youth Recreational Sports. This new guidance has opened a pathway for the Hillview PTO to offer students after-school sports. 
The Hillview PTO has developed a quick survey to gauge student interest in participating in a safe, fun after-school program:

Hillview After-School Athletics Survey here.

Note that the guidance restricts student participation to one team over the same season or time period. While we encourage all interested students to complete the survey, please indicate that those students already involved in a sport would be unable to participate unless that restriction is lifted. 


Please Help! Parent Survey: Cuts and Parcel Tax

Thank you to all who have been sharing input about our district's financial planning at Board meetings and Community Engagement Sessions. Here is a survey we invite you complete. It asks for feedback on specific proposed cost savings and important questions about the replacement parcel tax that will be on the ballot in November 2021.

Complete the survey by March 22. Thank you for your input!
MPCSD Speaker Series
"Are You Using Technology or is Technology Using You?” 
Monday, March 15, 6:30 pm, Zoom register here

Hillview Parents: Are you, or your children, using technology or is technology using you?

You are especially invited to attend our Speaker Series event with your Hillview students. Superintendent Burmeister invites you to watch the documentary "LIKE" with your child. It is a great conversation starter about how to use smart phones and social media. MPCSD is making this movie available to you when you register for our March 15 event. You will then receive a link to watch the movie at your convenience.

On March 15 at 6:30 pm, join us for a presentation and Q&A with Dr. Naama Barnea-Goraly, child and adolescent psychiatrist and former Stanford brain researcher. Dr. Barnea-Goraly is also the founder of “Girltelligence” - a girl empowerment app where GenZ girls and young women form a community, support, advise, and inspire each other. She will help decipher the information presented in "LIKE" as well as answer the audience’s pressing questions about social media addiction, drawing upon the latest evidence-based research to advise parents how to help our children use social media in healthy ways. Register and you will receive details on how to watch the movie "LIKE" at the email address you register with. The movie will be available to watch on your own through March 17. Hillview teachers may also be incorporating the movie into class discussions.

March 11 School Board Update

Special Education Services Dr. Stephanie Sheridan reported that MPCSD was the first district to bring students with special needs back to campus, and has also provided an individualized distance learning plan for every student in the district who received support through an IEP. Parent surveys showed very high support for the services MPCSD has provided through special education throughout the year. At a future meeting, Dr. Sheridan will present what MPCSD plans to do going forward to provide more mental health and wellness programming to students as we come out of the pandemic.

English Language Development Assistant Superintendent Jammie Behrendt detailed how the district will move toward an equitable and collaborative model of providing English Language Development. In order to ensure that students across the district receive equitable support, going forward staffing will change to match the services with the numbers of ELD students enrolled at each school.

Pandemic Response Superintendent Burmeister confirmed that MPCSD will offer a summer school program for all students this year with project-based, grade-level curriculum. More information to come regarding sign up for your students. All district staff have received the opportunity to be vaccinated, including substitute teachers and childcare partners. The district is planning for a full reopening in the fall, but remains flexible in order to meet the county health guidelines. MPCSD cannot bring all students to campus at the same time if we must still have a 6-foot distance between students, but he believes this requirement will probably be reduced in time for fall. Parents who want to advocate for new guidelines at the county level should email SMC here.

Cost Savings Measures Mr. Burmeister made several recommendations, including to eliminate site-based science aides while keeping one district science materials position; eliminate the health services administrative assistant position; reduce sub and overtime costs in MOT; and reduce the annual set aside for deferred maintenance. Together, these actions would save over $500,000. 

Assistant Superintendent of Talent and Technology Superintendent Burmeister announced his intention to submit Kristen Gracia to be appointed as the new Assistant Superintendent of Talent and Technology. There will be public discussion and a Board vote at the March 25 meeting. Email here prior to March 25 if you would like to give a comment to the Board. 

World Language Program Mr. Burmeister recommended that the Board not make any programmatic changes to the world language program for the 2021-22 school year, except changes that reflect COVID-related program modifications or lack of student interest in an elective class. The Board supported moving forward with all these recommendations. Final decisions about cuts will be made at a forthcoming meeting, and a robust conversation about the world language program will take place in the future.

MPCSD Calendar The Board approved the 2021-22 school start date of August 19, 2021 and end date of June 10, 2022. The calendar committee will continue negotiating for the other dates, after a conversation among Board members about whether the MPCSD calendar should align with SUHSD. As soon as the full 2021-22 calendar is approved, we will share it with parents and post it on the district website.

MPAEF Auction is OPEN and ends Monday at 9pm!
Access the Online Auction here.
Check the credit card you have linked to your Bidding for Good account to make sure it is up to date.
Don't forget! Review the 2021 Auction Rules and Guidelines here. It's everything you need to know about placing a bid, winning bidder notifications, auction item sales terms, and how to pick-up items you've won.
MPAEF Fund-a-Need: Supporting Your Child's Mental Health

Our goal is to raise $50,000 to enhance and grow the programs and staff training that will help support all of our K-8 students' emotional intelligence and well-being. By including emotional intelligence education into our curriculum now, we're equipping students with lifelong skills that will help them succeed not just in elementary and middle school, but into their teens and adulthood. Learn more here and make your Fund-a-Need donation today!
We are currently at about 54% of our $50K Fund-a-Need Goal! Ready to donate to Fund-a-Need? Go to the DONATE NOW section here in the upper right corner of the Online Auction and click DONATE here.
Don’t forget! Support this year's Fund-a-Need with a $250+ donation and be entered to win two (2) airline tickets valued at $2,500! Read the special drawing rules and guidelines here. And, if you are interested in donating to this year's Fund-a-Need via Donor Advised Fund or stock, contact Carrie Chen here.

Fund-a-Need Donor Roll: Join MPAEF in thanking the many parents, grandparents, staff and extended community members listed below for their generosity towards this year's Fund-a-Need. View here.

for your Support!

We want to take the opportunity
to show our appreciation for our business and realtor partners in the community.
Compass here

L&P Aesthetics here


Amici's East Coast
Pizzeria here
Lyn Jason Cobb Team here

Community News

8th Grade Parent Information

Menlo Atherton High School Planning webinar hosted by M-A Counselors was held last week.

On Thursday, March 18, parents will select elective courses through Infinite Campus. Parents will receive information and details on how-to on or before March 18.

Acterra has launched a free three week educational climate and environmental based after school program designed for middle school students in 7th and 8th grade. Our You(th) Be the Change educational program gives students the tools, knowledge, and agency necessary to advocate for themselves and their community when it comes to taking meaningful environmental action! Sign up here. Contact us here if you have any questions.

Object Presents: Amy Schatz- Director, Producer, Emmy and Directors Guild Award winner
Join us for a virtual workshop with Amy Schatz. Her films—a mix of animation, documentaries, celebrity performances, and interviews with kids—tackle historical issues and current events such as the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr, Parkland students’ healing journey through music and drama, and the impact of 9/11 on high school students. Amy will lead an interactive activity teaching girls how to design the opening scene for a movie while discussing her day-to-day life as a filmmaker, how she tells effective stories, and the role of confidence in her success. Sign up here for the March 20, 9:30-11:00 am event.

All Students Matter Help Students Who Need You Most - Learn about volunteering next school year, 1x/week in a K-8 classroom in eastern Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. Join us for an Information Session, Thursday, March 25, 10:00 am, Zoom (RSVP for link here.) Over 80% of East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park students are performing below grade level in reading and math. As a classroom volunteer, you will work with the same teacher and student for one hour, every week during the full school year; an opportunity to build a relationship with a student and impact his or her life. We provide training and coordinate logistics with you and your schedule in mind. Learn more or sign up to volunteer here

Legarza Basketball, All-Sports, and Volleyball programs give children the knowledge and motivation they need to achieve their personal best in sport and life. Our program is tailored to help your young athlete succeed on and off the court in a safe, professional and encouraging environment of learning and fun. Summer programs are now enrolling here. We will be offering morning, afternoon, and all day programs June - August. 

Bay Area Lady Sonics AAU Free Sonics Skills Clinic, Encinal Elementary School, Saturday March 20, 2:00-3:30 pm. Strict health and safety protocols will be observed. Bring your own basketball, water bottle, and mask. Email Nick Fogel here or (650) 346-9556 for more information.

Alpine Strikers FC We are back to playing GAMES!!! Register NOW for the upcoming Spring soccer season for Alpine Strikers FC. Go here to register and gain more info on our return to playing games safely!

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