Volume 7 | 27 September 2020
Better Resolution Hillview Hawk
Middle School Newsletter
This Week
Tuesday, September 29
Schoology Parent Engagement Session, 6:30 - 7:30 pm, via Zoom

Wednesday, September 30
Materials pick-up, 6th grade students in certain courses ONLY, 9:00 am - 3:30 pm, Hillview campus

Service Team will collect CalFire thank you cards, 12:00 - 4:00 pm, Hillview campus

Thursday, October 1
Materials pick-up, 7th and 8th grade students in some courses ONLY, 9:00 am - 3:30 pm, Hillview campus

6th grade Lunch Bunch, hosted by Mrs. Mathenia, link in student’s Launch class in Schoology

Service Team will collect CalFire thank you cards, 12:00 - 4:00 pm, Hillview campus

Friday, October 2
One Community Campaign through today

Hexmester 1 ends
Looking Ahead
Monday, October 5
Hexmester 2 begins, students rotate to new PE or elective courses

Tuesday, October 6
MPCSD Speaker Series “Permission to Feel: A Conversation with Dr. Marc Brackett”,
6:30 pm, register for Zoom

Parent-Teacher-Student Conference day, 12:00 - 4:00 pm (school dismissal 11:30 am)

Wednesday, October 7
Picture Day, 10:45 am - 4:00 pm by appointment only, photo stations at back parking lot

Parent-Teacher-Student Conference day, 12:00 - 4:00 pm (school dismissal 11:30 am)

Friday, October 9
PTO Executive Board Meeting, 9:00 - 10:30 am, via Zoom

Tuesday October 13, and Wednesday, October 14
Parent-Teacher-Student Conference day, 12:00 - 4:00 pm (school dismissal 11:30 am)

Thursday, October 15
"MPCSD Governance and Finance 101",
5:00 - 6:00 pm, register for Zoom

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Hillview School News
Dear Hillview Families,

We suddenly find ourselves on the cusp of October, which usually signals a settling in to routine and familiarity with the new school year. This is the season of parent-teacher-student conferences and a change to a new elective or PE program at the beginning of hexmester 2. This year, however, also sees us sailing into uncharted waters as our county enters red tier status and we contemplate reopening for in-person instruction (see "MPCSD Reopening," below). With this news I have been receiving requests from parents about changing their child's learning preference from Hybrid to Distance, or vice versa. It's important that we all remind ourselves of MPCSD's comprehensive Reopening Plan here and spend some time reviewing it as we get closer to a possible return. For example, our plan clearly states that preferences for Hybrid or Distance are binding for the entire first trimester (ending on November 13), and that changes can only be accommodated if we have capacity. We also need to begin re-familiarizing ourselves with the Health and Safety practices we will need to follow if we are returning to campus. Change and transition are going to be the norm for 2020-21, and we have done a lot of work and planning to help everyone through these times. The Reopening Plan is but one example.

We enjoyed spending time with parents this past Friday at our first Coffee event of the year, "How to Support Your Child During Distance Learning." If you missed it, a link to the session can be found here, and there are some great resources to help you partner with us. Another parent engagement event is set for this coming Tuesday, 6:30 - 7:30 pm, where we will demystify Schoology, our Learning Management System, and help parents better understand how to use this tool. You'll also see this week that we have a well-organized materials distribution event; please note that only certain academies and classes need come. I also want to highlight the opportunity for students to engage in service on this Wednesday and Thursday. Even if they are not picking up materials, students can drop off a card in support of our heroic California firefighters who are battling blazes state-wide (see "Programs and Activities," below).

All the best,

Hexmester 2 Materials Distribution
With hexmester 2 beginning, some students will need to pick up mandatory materials for their classes. Students will receive specific instructions from their teachers.

For social distancing, we request that only one family representative or the student come on campus; everyone must wear a mask. Enter the gates and follow the signs to your teacher’s table, it is a self-serve, grab and go format.
Wednesday, September 30, 9:00 am - 3:30 pm, 6th Grade Students in the following courses ONLY:
  • Mrs. Rippentrop, Humanities Core 6, Everest - Egypt Note Packet and Informative Essay Packet
  • Mr. O’Brien, Humanities Core 6, Everest - Egypt Note Packet and Informative Essay Packet
  • Mr. Coscia, Humanities Core 6, Olympus - Egypt Note Packet and Informative Essay Packet
Thursday, October 1, 9:00 am - 3:30 pm, 7th and 8th Grade Students in the following courses ONLY:
  • Mrs. Kogan: Cloud 9 Academy ONLY, Art+Maker Space Hex 2 Elective - Art Bag
  • Ms. Cypert, Cloud 9 - ELA Bag
  • Ms. Slaughter: ELA 8, Pioneers, 8th grade Writing Folders
In addition, if you have a 7/8 student in the following classes and have NOT picked up past materials, come on Thursday, October 1 as well.
  • Mr. Lawrence, Math 7, Pipeline - Course 2 Textbook 
  • Mr. Lawrence Math 7, Pipeline - Course 2 Practice Journal
  • Mr. Lawrence - Algebra 1 Textbook
  • Mr. Lawrence - Algebra 1 Practice Journal
  • Mrs. Beirne - ELA 8, Pioneers and Trailblazers - StudySync Suspense and Composition Book
  • Ms. Dara-Abrams - ELA 8, Trailblazers - StudySync Suspense and Composition Book
  • Mrs. Arrington – Science 8, Trailblazers – Elevate Science Book

If you are unable to attend, contact your teacher or Monica Bosch here.  
Science Assembly 8th grade
Monday, September 28, 2:30 - 3:35 pm, via Zoom

Hillview Middle School is proud to host Dr. Paul Estrada for a virtual science assembly for 8th grade students. Dr. Estrada will be sharing his knowledge and expertise about the formation of our Solar System and the objects within. The Zoom link for the event will be posted on Schoology.

Dr. Paul Estrada is a senior research scientist for the Planetary Systems Branch at NASA Ames Research Center. His research role focuses on the study of protoplanetary disks, planet and satellite formation, and the origin and evolution of planetary rings. He was an active participant in the Cassini mission at Saturn, and former chair of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute.
Parent Schoology Talk  
Tuesday, September 29, from 6:30 - 7:30 pm, via Zoom

Join us for A Parents’ Guide to Schoology. During this event, we will present important features for parents to know about our new Schoology Learning Platform. Please be sure you are connected to your student in Schoology before the event and then join us on Zoom here with your device. Email Danielle O’Brien here with questions.  
Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences are coming!
Thursday, October 1, online conference scheduler opens

Conferences will be held between 12:00 - 4:00 pm:
  • Tuesday, October 6
  • Wednesday, October 7
  • Tuesday October 13
  • Wednesday, October 14 

Families can schedule appointments with academy, math, PE, electives, and world language teachers. While conferences are available for all students and families, it is not possible for our teachers to conference with every student.

An email will be sent on Thursday, October 1 with information about signing-up for a conference through Canyon Creek, our online conference scheduler. The conference scheduler will open at 11:00 pm on Thursday, October 1 and will close at 11:00 pm on Sunday, October 11.
On conference days, students will have minimum days with 11:30 am dismissal, see the schedule attached here.
Hexmester 2 begins
Monday, October 5 

Each hexmester students rotate electives and PE teachers: 
  • 6th grade students and 7th grade students in Mavericks and Cloud Nine Academies will move from PE to elective classes 
  • 8th grade students and 7th grade students in Pipeline Academy will move from elective classes to PE classes
Check PowerSchool on Tuesday to see hexmester 2 elective and PE classes.
School Picture Day
Wednesday, October 7, 10:45 am - 4:00 pm, photo booth stations at back parking lot, by appointment only here

  • we request that all students attend for a school-issued photo ID
  • students may walk or bike to school, or you may drop off your student at the turnabout, then park where available
  • photos take no more than 5 minutes
  • students must wear a mask and maintain a 6 feet distance from others at all times

If you miss this event, we will run a makeup day on Tuesday, November 3, details TBA.

Yearbooks available at a $10 discount

Want a copy of last year’s yearbook? Hillview still has limited quantities waiting just for you! They can be purchased for a discounted rate of $35.00. Come to the office 8:30 am - 3:30 pm, Monday-Friday with a check made out to Hillview and claim this beautiful addition of Hillview memories!
6th grade Lunch Bunch
Thursday, October 1
Is your 6th grade student looking for a place to eat lunch and hang out with your friends? Invite them to join us for our first 6th grade Lunch Bunch hosted by Mrs. Mathenia. The link can be found in your 6th grade student’s Launch class in Schoology.
Hillview Off-Week Learning Expectations

Hillview’s Steering Committee has developed the criteria for off-week learning. Here’s what you need to know:

1) Those classes that require off-week learning are ELA (literacy), math (numeracy), world language (fluency), music, and physical education (activity). There may be times when social studies or science will “host” the literacy; this will be coordinated within the academy.

2) The time commitment for off-week learning will be 30 minutes per day per class (music is the exception, at 20 minutes of practice per day). The expectation for students will be to complete the work daily, but it will be submitted once a week, by 11:59 pm Fridays. This deadline is not to encourage late night submissions, but is reflective of a deadline if a teacher sets a Friday due date in Schoology.

3) Learning tasks will be assigned and awaiting students by the start of their school days on Mondays in Schoology in a folder entitled, “Off Week Work - Week of M/DD - M/DD.”

4) Off-week learning is a requirement, not an option. It will be assessed weekly. The work will be practice, application, or preparation. Teachers will provide clear guidelines so that students can complete the work independently. For the advanced high school-level courses of Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry,
French 2, Spanish 2, and Spanish for Spanish Speakers 3, students can expect new material during the off week.

5) Students should prioritize off-week learning for their Work Block time. If students complete their required off-week learning, they may utilize the remaining Work Block time for on-week homework.
Because the coming week is an B week, students should expect the following:
  • BLUE students will have off-week learning in literacy (ELA), music (if applicable), and a daily physical activity log.
  • GOLD students will have off-week learning in numeracy (Math), fluency (if they take a World Language), music (if applicable), and a daily physical activity log.  

A note about physical activity: All students, whether or not they are enrolled in PE this hexmester, will be enrolled in a Schoology course called “Daily Activity Log.” All students, whether or not they are enrolled in PE, will submit their log weekly. For those students enrolled in PE during a given week, they can submit their class activity to fulfill the requirement.

To visualize how a hypothetical 6th grade student would organize his weekly learning, see Moe Hawk’s sample planning template here. Academy teachers are creating templates for their students, and please note that student schedules do vary and your child’s template will be unique to their schedule. Teachers will orient students to these expectations next week, and we will be reminding students daily during Launch of their off-week learning requirements.
Scholastic Reading Inventory

Over the next few weeks, all Hillview students will be taking the SRI, Scholastic Reading Inventory. This online assessment is designed to track student reading growth and progress. Your student will take this assessment at the end of each trimester this year, as they did in elementary school.
Health Screening Flowchart

Many Hillview parents have had questions about what the process will be like for checking for symptoms when students return to campus.

See the district flowchart pictured or a larger version attached here that details our protocol for inquiring parents.
One Community Campaign - 5 Days Left!

Your support means everything to our children! Your donations fund the educational experience we know and love in Menlo Park and your support today means we will be able to return to a strong and thriving school experience when this pandemic passes.

We need you to act now! here

  • Donate or Pledge today here. The suggested donation is $2,000 per child. Please give at whatever level you can.
  • Submit your donation to corporate match to double your impact.  
  • Vote on our Principal Challenge 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.

Shalann Kunkel
Teachers 7th grade social studies and has been at Hillview for 20 years.
When not teaching Shalann enjoys traveling, reading, hiking, gardening, baking, and watching foreign movies and TV shows
Favorite Quote: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Favorite Movie: The Lives of Others, and sometimes I just need a few minutes of Will Ferrel or Jim Carrey

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Chocolate or vanilla with caramel

Favorite Subjects as a Middle School Student: English, art, and plastics
Words of Wisdom for Hillview students: I sometimes tell students that they're like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz: They've already got the ruby slippers, they just have to figure that out, decide to put them on, and then walk the road ...
What you probably didn’t know about me: I am left-handed, but I play sports as if I am a righty, and actually "lettered" in high school playing varsity tennis.

Programs & Activities
Hillview Service Team
Thank our CalFire firefighters
Wednesday, September 30 and Thursday, October 1
12:00 - 4:00 pm, drop-off cards at Hillview

While the smoky skies have passed, our California firefighters are still fighting to put out fires all over the Bay Area. Join the Service team in expressing gratitude for the heroic efforts of our CalFire firefighters by making a thank you card.

We will be collecting these cards this week at the materials pick-up on Hillview campus. Email here with questions.
Hillview Relay for Life
Saturday, October 3, register online

The annual Hillview Relay for Life event was cancelled last spring due to COVID-19. Hillview students are now invited to participate in the city of Menlo Park's virtual event on October 3.

Register and join Hillview's Relay for Life virtual team here, or to donate to the American Cancer Society as part of the Hillview community. Email here with questions.
Hillview Music & Notes
Before and After School Music Classes

Hillview Musicians and Families, for those students who were unable to fit music into their schedule, the Music Department is offering some additional classes. These will be set up as "clubs" while we are in the distance learning mode.

Jazz Band will be meeting on Tuesday and Friday mornings. There will also be extra classes for the 7/8 Orchestra and 6th Band.
Note that these classes will meet every week until we begin the Hybrid Schedule. 

7/8 Band or 6th Orchestra have the opportunity to create clubs as well. Clubs can be created with a minimum of three students.

Reach out to Mr. Vaughan here with any questions or if you would like to sign up!
Hillview Library
Keep reading, Hawks! 

  • Students can check out four books at a time 
  • Books are checked out for two weeks and can be renewed on the Hillview Library Catalog here
  • Log into the Hillview Library Catalog here with student's username and password (same as PowerSchool and Schoology) and put a book on HOLD
  • Students can have five books on hold at a time 
  • Books can be returned to the Hillview Office and students can pick up new books 
  • Email Aimee Mathenia here if you have questions 
Sora! Hillview's Digital Library 

  1. To get ebooks and audiobooks on Sora
  2. Add Sora app to your iPad here
  3. Log in to Sora first to Explore and Borrow eBooks and audiobooks
  4. User ID: 62+iPad Passcode
  5. Need a video on how to access Sora? Check it out here.

MPCSD Reopening
The district's waiver was officially approved on September 23 and we are welcoming kindergarten and first grade Hybrid students back to campus tomorrow! Your teachers, principal, and the whole school staff are so excited to have you back. Be sure to send your child with a face covering and review the reopening information shared by the district, school, and your teacher. See you tomorrow!

San Mateo County has also been moved into the Red Tier of the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy here. The Red Tier is equivalent to "being off the watchlist" as we used to say. If our county data keeps us in Red until October 6, that means schools can then begin to reopen without a waiver. The School Board will meet October 1 to discuss how to move forward with the next phase of reopening in our schools. To join that meeting, see the district homepage 72 hours prior to the meeting, under Announcements for Zoom information.

Want to Learn More about How MPCSD Works?

"MPCSD Governance & Finance 101" is for YOU!
Thursday, October 15, 5:00 - 6:00 pm, via Zoom. Register in advance here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The pandemic's effect on our schools has created a boom in interest in our School Board meetings, and one advantage of meeting over Zoom is the ability for so many parents to attend. However, we realize that many people may not understand just how our district governance and finance operate.

School Board President Stacey Jones will offer a brief primer on how the district runs and be joined by Superintendent Erik Burmeister and MPAEF Executive Director Carrie Chen to answer additional questions about our policies, procedures, and finances. This is the perfect meeting for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of how the governance and finance of our public schools work.
MPCSD Speaker Series
“Permission to Feel: A Conversation with Dr. Marc Brackett”
Tuesday, October 6, 6:30 pm, via Zoom, register in advance here

A discussion between Dr. Marc Brackett and MPCSD Superintendent Erik Burmeister on emotional regulation, emotional intelligence, and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in MPCSD schools.

Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is the Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and a Professor in the Child Study Center of Yale University. He is the lead developer of RULER, an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by nearly 2,000 pre-K through high schools across the United States and in other countries. Listen to Dr. Brackett and Superintendent Burmeister as they discuss the importance of social emotional learning (SEL) in schools, and learn about how MPCSD schools are using Dr. Brackett’s framework.

Register in advance here for this webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Interested in buying Permission to Feel? Read about and purchase the book at Kepler's here.

Community News

CIRCLE, The Center for Informationand Research on Civic Learning and Engagement 2020 Election - Why The Youth Vote Matters Join a conversation with Kristian Lundberg here, researcher at CIRCLE here, to discuss the latest research in youth political engagement, what needs to happen for youth to show up to vote, and what actions we can take to be a more civically engaged generation. This event is free and open to the public, Thursday, October 1, 4:00 pm. Details and RSVP here.  

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