Volume 23 | 31 January 2021
Better Resolution Hillview Hawk
Middle School Newsletter
This Week
Monday, February 1
Blue students on campus this week

Tuesday, February 2
Hillview Conversation Chat, "Living with Uncertainty: How Storytelling Connects Us During Uncertain Times," 6:30 pm, webinar, register here in advance

Friday, February 5
Deadline to order your yearbook

Deadline to buy your Student Congratulatory Ad

Deadline to submit your 8th grade student's baby picture for yearbook
Looking Ahead
Wednesday, February 10
New student club Lunch Bunch, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm, Zoom (details in Hillview school news)

"Community Minded - Parenting through COVID Fatigue," 5:30 - 6:30 pm, via Zoom

Thursday, February 11
Service team meeting, 3:30 - 3:55 pm, via Zoom

Friday, February 12
PTO Board Meeting, 8:30 - 10:00, via Zoom

Parent Survey - Hillview Middle School due

Deadline to request a program change hybrid or distance

Monday, February 15
No School - Mid-Winter Break (through Friday, February 19)

Quicklinks bottom of newsletter

Hillview School News
Dear Hillview Families,

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Black History Month, and Hillview will be celebrating it in a number of ways. In addition to all students having at least one lesson or classroom experience about the history and culture of people with African roots (some of which are ongoing), our counselors will be posting weekly facts on their Schoology pages that students can make connections with and discuss. 

We also have some great parent events you won’t want to miss both this coming week and next. On Tuesday, February 2, we hope you and your student will join our PTO Conversation Chat, "Living with Uncertainty: How Storytelling Connects Us During Uncertain Times" with Krista Rosa (see more information below). On Wednesday, February 10, we invite all parents to engage in an important conversation about how we can work together to combat COVID fatigue and practice responsible, community-minded behaviors.

Finally, I wish to remind you that now more than ever, Your Choices Matter. We all have choices to make as we approach the mid-winter break. Choosing to stay local and resist the urge to travel, to avoid gatherings on Super Bowl Sunday, and to ensure that help our children uphold the social contract implicit in our hybrid learning program, are all decisions that support and affirm Hillview’s and MPCSD’s efforts to provide in-person learning. Thank you.

All the best,

Feedback February starts with Family Surveys

Tomorrow you will receive an email from Willy Haug, with your unique login information to take the annual Hillview Middle School Parent Survey by February 12. Your responses are confidential and Panorama Education will be managing the survey process to ensure data privacy and security. Every parent for each child will receive a unique survey link. We hope every individual parent will share their thoughts.

The survey will take about 5-10 minutes and you will be able to provide anonymous feedback to your child’s school as a whole as well as to his/her specific teachers. To ensure that Hillview Middle School continues providing high-quality, rigorous learning experiences to our students, your participation is essential.

Thank you in advance for your time and input.

Timeline for Learning Program Changes

As stated in MPCSD's reopening plan, each trimester families may request to change their child's learning program, from hybrid to distance or vice versa. While Trimester 3 does not begin until March 8, we do have a timeline we will be following, below. Please reach out to your grade level counselor to request an official change (Kellie Raczkowski, Grade 6 here ; Christina Johnson, Grade 7 here; Robyn Watts, Grade 8 here). In addition, the district will be sending out a form for all parents to capture requests. Requests will be granted if we have the capacity to fulfill them.

  • February 12 - Deadline to request a program change
  • February 26 - Notification of request status
  • March 8 - Beginning of Trimester 3

New Club Lunch Bunch
We are happy to share that a new club called Lunch Bunch will be starting on Wednesday, February 10, and will meet every Wednesday from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm!

Lunch Bunch is a virtual club, headed by counseling intern Jasmine Jaciw, that will allow students to socialize with other students, play games, practice mindfulness, and create arts and crafts virtually!

If you’re interested in checking out the Lunch Bunch Club, the zoom link is here meeting
id: 987 2138 3212. See you there! 

Deadlines due this Friday, February 5
Yearbook Student Congratulatory Ads
Open to all grade levels. Design and submit your congratulatory ad
  • 1/8 Page Ad - 6, 7 and 8th grade families - $55.00
  • 1/4 Page Ad - 8th grade families ONLY - $100.00
See our flyer here for additional information on uploading and designing your page.
Yearbook 8th Grade Baby Pictures
8th graders ONLY. Send us your cute baby pictures for a special 8th grade tribute. Submit your 8th graders baby picture here. Use code hillviewmiddle21. For more information see flyer here.
Purchasing your Yearbook
The cost is $45.00 per book. An additional $10.00 and you can have your book shipped directly to your home. Order a yearbook today here and use Hillview Number 10070.

Deadline due Monday, March 15

Submit Your Photos for the Yearbook
To make this year’s yearbook “full of fun”, we want our students to share photos of themselves based on the topics listed in the flyer here.

Choose 2 to 3 topics (max) and submit your photos. The yearbook staff will include at least one image of every student who submits a photo. Have fun with it!

Submit your photos here and use the code hillviewmiddle21 

Parent Information

Everest Public Charter High School information in Community News at bottom of newsletter.

PTO News
Hillview Conversation Chat

An opportunity for parents AND students to engage in thoughtful discussions about issues affecting our middle school students today. These events are intended for parents and students of Hillview Middle School.

"Living with Uncertainty: How Storytelling Connects Us During Uncertain Times"
Tuesday, February 2, 6:30 pm, register here in advance for this webinar

Join Krista Rosa for an evening of storytelling and honest conversation as she shares her own stories and discusses strategies on how to connect to our families and friends during uncertain times. No stranger to quarantines and having a strong case of FOMO (fear of missing out), Krista has spent time quarantined in hospitals - Eight years ago, Krista survived a devastating cancer diagnosis while she was 21 weeks pregnant with her second daughter. Her steadfast healthcare team and chemotherapy treatment plan were a big part of her recovery and current cancer-free status. But there's more to it than just medicine...

Krista has always believed in the miraculous. Her profound journey of surviving these life-altering events gives her a genuine and direct approach to transcending life’s difficulties. By sharing her story she motivates change – in people, their families and their environments that nurture and inspire them. Incredibly, Krista views her life’s experiences as a tremendous gift, one that helped her find strength, resolve, and ultimately, her life’s work.

Krista's honest conversation on what inspired her positive attitude and how telling stories about her healthcare crisis has cracked the door open to feeling connected to others and maintaining hope in every realm. Bring your questions and curious open mind - Hillview parents and their children will do a deep dive on how living with uncertainty can change relationships and forge meaning.

Example questions parents and Hillview students may have for Krista:

  • Have you ever felt differently about yourself when you've been vulnerable and honest about an event in your life?
  • Are you afraid to tell your parents/friends about the real stories that happen in your life?

If you have a question for Krista that you would like addressed during or after the event please fill out this form. We will also allow time for an open Q&A at the end of Krista's presentation.
Krista Rosa knows that a well told story has the power to transform lives. She is a regional speaker and Patient Advisor for Kaiser Permanente and uses her personal healthcare experience to connect with doctors and clinical staff to build a more connected, positive patient experience across all disease units. Krista has quickly become a leading educator - helping to alleviate stress, moral injury, and burnout, offering support for compassion fatigue, and providing a preeminent program on patient-centered care as it relates to health care reform. Her keynotes often provide Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Education Units (CEU). Krista invites you to connect with her here.

New PTO Vice President for the 2020-2021

The Hillview PTO is excited to announce a newly nominated addition to our PTO board. Welcome Ward Bullard as one of our Vice Presidents for the 2020-2021 school year! We are excited to have you for the remainder of this school year and in the lead role as President for our 2021-2022 school year. Congratulations Ward!

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.

Danny Chui
Danny is Hillview Assistant Principal and has been at Hillview 3 years. When Danny isn’t attending to his many duties as Assistant Principal he enjoys distance running, fishing, reading nerdy fantasy/sci-fi novels (all the things that make for a great Assistant Principal).

Favorite Quote: “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”

Favorite Movie: Goodwill Hunting

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Ube (from Mitchell's)

Favorite Subjects as a Middle School Student: English

Words of Wisdom for Hillview students: Be kind. Do your best. In our beginning-of-the-year assemblies, I sum it up as, "Be nice. Work hard."
What you probably didn’t know about me: I was deathly afraid of heights growing up, so much so that I stopped my entire family from going up the Space Needle in Seattle by throwing a tantrum at the base. I overcame that fear by continually finding tall buildings/ledges/cliffs and scaling them. Sometimes, I jump off (safely, into a large body of water) to keep telling myself that I'm not scared anymore.
One more thing: Middle school is awkward and transitional for everyone (students and parents). It's all part of the learning process, so lean into it.
Programs & Activities
Hillview Art
Artist Mark Kistler visits Friday, March 12

Enjoy the video called "Drawn Together," 
a Virtual Family Drawing Night for K-8th graders and family.

Sponsored by MPAEF
Hillview Service Team
Meeting about Upcoming Projects
Thursday, February 11, 3:30 - 3:55 pm, Zoom

Our next meeting link will be posted to Schoology the morning of the meeting. All students are welcome to join and learn about upcoming projects.

Lytton Gardens Baking Buddies
We will be baking and making cards for the Seniors at Lytton Gardens as a way to spread cheer, create connections, and make their isolation a little less lonely! Starting out 2 times per month - weekly spots can be added if there is interest. Students can sign up via the Signup Genius on Schoology. Email here with questions.
Samaritan House Cereal Drive

Congratulations to Blue students for bringing in the most cereal boxes! And thank you to the entire Hillview community for participating!

295 boxes of cereal will be distributed to food-insecure families through Samaritan House, at a time when hunger and homelessness has increased exponentially. 
Hillview World Language
Cultural Family Night Latin Art Edition
MPCSD Spanish World Language Teachers

What 3rd Virtual Cultural Family Night: Latin Art Edition! (K-8)

When Participate anytime at your leisure

How Watch the pre-recorded link and do some fun "Latin Art Activities” with Señora Malone here

Materials needed A pencil, a piece of paper, any food you can find around the house

Why To learn about two famous Latin artists from around the world, create some art projects inspired by these two artists, and partake in a creative activity as a family!

New Resource for Families to Access Mental Health Support

This year has been unlike any other, and mental health supports are more important than ever. The San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) is pleased to announce a partnership with Care Solace. In collaboration with the Peninsula Healthcare District and the Sequoia Healthcare District, SMCOE is able to bring Care Solace to all San Mateo County schools. Get started here.

Care Solace is an online resource with a live 24/7 concierge meant to assist individuals in finding local mental health related programs and counseling services. Care Solace is a tool for school staff and families to connect with community-based mental healthcare resources and providers. Their proprietary care navigation system taps into a vast database of mental healthcare resources to find carefully vetted local therapists and programs in minutes. 

Learn more in English here and Spanish here.
School Board - January 21 Special Meeting

District Plans for Long-term Financial Stability There will be a parcel tax on the ballot in November 2021. The Board began its discussion of the $1.5 million in cuts that will be made regardless of the parcel tax passage. The theory of action guiding those decisions is "student-centered stewardship that achieves efficiency without sacrificing quality." MPCSD staff prepared an initial list of potential cuts here, and Mr. Burmeister previewed long term costs savings strategy here.

The Board voiced broad support for the superintendent's three immediate cost-saving recommendations:

  • elimination of the Director of Finance position and creation of a new classified level position
  • elimination of the Directors of Technology and Human Resources positions and the creation of one new combined position, Assistant Superintendent of Talent & Technology
  • the ability to implement “combo classes” when doing so would save the need to hire another full time teacher at certain schools/grade levels and still maintain class size goals

The potentially eliminated positions mentioned here all reflect retirements in those existing positions. These three measures alone could save over $450,000.

There will be special meetings planned to hear from you about your priorities and thoughts as the district makes these tough yet necessary decisions.

Public Health Reminders
The Board and Superintendent implore MPCSD families to continue following public health guidance.
For schools to stay open:

Stop all non-essential gatherings. Daily we hear stories of families gathering unnecessarily. Indoor sleepovers, birthday parties, playdates, etc. can all wait. We see your social media posts and it heightens everyone’s concern. None of it is worth sacrificing our in-person school experience.
Ensure facemask fit. In order for facemasks to work well, they must fit on the face without falling down. Please ensure your child’s mask fits their face.
Don’t travel. We know it’s ski season and you’re feeling shut in. However, those slopes can wait until we all have the vaccine. This season let’s stay home and stay safe.

Highlight from this year’s Jeanie Ritchie Grants:  
STEAM Bins at Home
Did you know that MPAEF Jeanie Ritchie Innovation Grants are funding 21 exciting new programs across all 5 school sites this school year? This unique program provides over $39,000 to district teachers who want to test out a new idea in their classroom.

Megan Stone, a 3rd grade teacher for the Virtual Academy, worked with teacher Rachel Naishtut (also Virtual Academy) on their project “STEAM Bins at Home”. The bins provide hands-on supplies for students to use at home for unstructured inquiry, imaginative play and an opportunity to interact with each other and get engaged in a shared activity. The STEAM Bins are plastic school boxes filled with engineering manipulatives such as Legos, pattern blocks, base ten blocks, unifix cubes, toothpicks, Playdough, popsicle sticks, index cards, tape, mini cups, Plus-Plus blocks, etc.  
Support your school and beloved local institution - Jeffrey’s Hamburgers! 
For the next four (4) Thursdays, which started January 21, order from Jeffrey’s Menlo Park and 10% of your entire order goes back to our schools! Order on Thursday, February 4 and February 11.
Three easy ways to place your lunch or dinner order:
  1. Jeffrey’s website here for pick-up **preferred method**
  2. Delivery via DoorDash here
  3. Call 650-322-1959
Mark your calendars! 10% back to our schools. For more information, visit here.
MPAEF Auction - Last Call for Donations!
Help make our auction a success by donating any desired items. 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” here with some creative ideas for donations of all sizes, many of which can be enjoyed at home. Check it out! If you plan to order one of these items, let us know here

Ready to donate an item for the auction now? 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.

Coldwell Banker Realty here
Tom LeMieux, Realtor here

Community News
Menlo-Atherton High School is hosting a book drive, and we need your help! We are collecting new and used books for the Boys and Girls Club of Menlo Park. You may drop them off in the donation bins at Hillview, Oak Knoll, and M-A. Bins are located outside the main offices of each school from January 25 - February 12. Contactless donation available - we can pick up books from your front porch. Just visit here to fill out the form. If you would like to make a monetary donation, you can visit our GoFundMe here. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated!

All Students Matter You can make a difference in the life of a student. 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. It’s an opportunity to build a relationship with a student and impact his or her life. All Students Matter provides training and coordinates logistics with you and your schedule in mind. Sign up now and start mid-September. Learn more about us or sign up to volunteer here.
YMSL Enjoy serving others? Looking for more ways to spend quality time with your teen son? Consider joining YMSL. The Young Men’s Service League (YMSL) here offers moms service opportunities and time together with her son(s) to grow their relationship and to instill in him a heart of service to last a lifetime. In addition to service, as part of its four-year comprehensive program, YMSL teaches leadership and life skills to develop our young men to become the capable, confident and compassionate leaders of tomorrow:

  • Silicon Valley Chapter We are hosting two prospective member meetings on February 9 and February 11. Contact Claire Thompson here to learn more and to register for one of these information sessions.

  • Alpine Chapter Interested in joining our chapter here, email Virginia Huffman here for an invitation to the Prospective Members meeting February 23, 7:00 pm.

National Charity League - Mid Peninsula Chapter is now conducting its membership drive for girls in the Class of 2027, current 6th-graders. National Charity League (NCL) is a non-profit philanthropic organization of mothers and daughters, from 7th - 12th grades, who journey through a six-year program together that encompasses community service, educational opportunities, and leadership development. Our membership deadline extended through February 15. More information about NCL and the Mid-Peninsula Chapter of NCL here. We will arrange a Zoom information session for you.

Common Sense Tip of the Week Find the Best of Streaming Whether or not you've cut the cord, streaming is here to stay. And the number of options just keeps increasing. So how do you find the good stuff?

Disney+ is a go-to for a lot of parents, and there are quality titles for both TV shows here and movies here. Netflix also has some ever-evolving, great content for kids to watch alone or for families to watch together here. Though teens usually know what they want to watch, sometimes we can steer them in the direction of the best stuff out there here. And when you're in the mood to learn or get a window into someone else's experience, check out some documentaries here. If you lump in Amazon Prime here, HBO Max here, and Hulu here, you're bound to find something you all agree on.
8th Grade Parent Information
Everest is a free, innovative public charter high school that prepares students for success in a 4-year college or university. 99% of Everest graduates are accepted to college or university. Everest here prides itself on personalized learning because not all students learn the same. Have your student apply here before our deadline on February 26!

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