Volume 4 | 6 September 2020
Better Resolution Hillview Hawk
Middle School Newsletter
This Week
Sunday, September 6 - Friday, September 11
MPCSD Helps, paper grocery bags, bin at District Office at 181 Encinal Avenue, Atherton

Tuesday, September 8
"Talking to Your Kids about Race and Racism", 6:30 pm, via Zoom

Wednesday, September 9
Back-to-School Night, 6:30 pm, video presentations on Schoology

Physical Education live Q & A, 7:20 - 7:50 pm
Looking Ahead
Monday, September 14
Grade Level and Subject Area Q & A’s
  • 6:30 - 7:15, 6th Grade Academy
  • 7:20 - 7:50, World Language

Wednesday, September 16
Grade Level and Subject Area Q & A’s
  • 6:30 - 7:15, 7th Grade Academy
  • 7:20 - 7:50, Math 7B/8 Compacted

Thursday, September 17
Grade Level and Subject Area Q & A’s
  • 6:30 - 7:15, 8th Grade Academy
  • 7:20 - 7:50, Algebra and Geometry

Quicklinks at bottom of newsletter

Hillview School News
Dear Hillview Families,
I hope this message finds you well, and keeping safe and following all public health protocols during this Labor Day Weekend! As you may be aware, California has a new COVID-19 monitoring system in place here, and San Mateo County is currently in the purple tier, the highest tier representing “widespread” COVID-19. Moving into the red tier will eventually allow our hybrid program to begin, which we greatly look forward to. We all play a part bending the curve in San Mateo County.
Hillview has now completed its first two-week learning cycle, and students have attended all their classes and met all their teachers. What this means is that Hawks can now expect to be using their Work Block periods to engage in “off-week practice” for the subjects of Math, ELA, and World Language, as well as fitness for Physical Education. For example, a BLUE student during the upcoming week of September 8 - 11 should expect to compete daily practice for Math (and World Language, if enrolled); GOLD students should expect practice this coming week for their ELA classes, and they should be engaged in fitness activities for PE, if currently enrolled in PE. Utilizing the Work Block not only solidifies critical skills and knowledge from the prior week, but also allows students to grow their core skill of Ownership. We will be quantifying this practice for students and families so that there are clearer expectations.
This coming Wednesday will mark the first of several Back to School Night events for Hillview. Wednesday, September 9, at 6:30, I invite you to watch my keynote presentation and then make your way through your child’s teacher’s video presentations. These 5 - 10 minute course overviews will give you a good idea of what you child can expect this year, and they will contain the usual information we share at Back to School Night. Our Physical Education teachers will also hold a live Q & A on Wednesday from 7:20 - 7:50. I will send out a link to the keynote Wednesday morning via School Messenger. Teachers’ course overviews (and Zoom links for PE) will be posted to their courses on Schoology, Hillview’s learning management system. As you can see in today’s newsletter, there will be more opportunities for you to meet your child’s teachers during the Q & A sessions scheduled on September 14, 16, and 17. For more details on all of our Back to School Night events, refer to our webpage under the Family Resources section here.
And speaking of Schoology,. we hope you have all received your join codes to set up your Schoology Accounts. The directions to getting started are located here in the "App Assistance for Parents" section of the Hillview website. Please join before next Tuesday so that you can access each teacher's Back To School Night video presentation. If you have not received your code, please reach out to Johnna Becker here. We ask that you use Schoology to communicate with your child's teachers. Also, please note that when you are in your Schoology account you can toggle between your account and viewing your child's account. You will need to be in your account to view messages sent by your child's teachers. You will know you are in your account because you will see the envelope icon in the upper right corner.
In other news, this coming Tuesday, September 8, Dr. Julie Lythcott Haims will be our Parent Education Speaker Series guest, as she engages in a conversation with Superintendent Burmeister on How to Talk to Your Kids about Race and Racism here. And finally, it is the season of MPCSD’s annual One Community Campaign. Now through October 2, I encourage you to support our community-funded schools at a level that is comfortable for your family here.
All the best,
Virtual Back to School Night
Wednesday, September 9, 6:30 pm, video presentations on Schoology

On this evening, teachers will post to Schoology video presentations about their classes that parents can watch at their leisure. Willy Haug, Principal of Hillview, will post a keynote welcome. Grab a bucket of popcorn and get a good overview of your child’s experience in their classes!

Grade Level and Subject Area Q & A’s - At these times, parents will get to see their children’s teachers live in-person and bring any questions they have after having watched the course overview videos. These optional events have been scheduled so that families can attend multiple grade levels and multiple subject areas:

  • Wednesday, September 9,
  • 7:20 - 7:50, Physical Education live Q & A
  • Monday, September 14
  • 6:30 - 7:15, 6th Grade Academy Q & A
  • 7:20 - 7:50, World Language Q & A

  • Wednesday, September 16
  • 6:30 - 7:15, 7th Grade Academy Q & A
  • 7:20 - 7:50, Math 7B/8 Compacted Q & A

  • Thursday, September 17
  • 6:30 - 7:15, 8th Grade Academy Q & A
  • 7:20 - 7:50, Algebra and Geometry Q & A
6th Grade Parents
Moving up to Middle School Research Project

Last year Menlo Park City School District partnered with researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the American Institutes for Research to better understand the experiences of middle school students as they enter 6th grade. The goal of this project, Moving up to Middle School, is to improve the experiences of our 6th grade students. 

As middle school educators, we recognize that focusing on social-emotional needs is essential for learning and well being. We also know the transition from elementary school to middle school can be a stressful experience for both students and families. 5th grade parent nights, WEB day, and Humanities Core are examples of how we ease the transition of 6th graders. We nevertheless still see that students are having unmet needs, and the pandemic can magnify these needs.

Prior research has shown that students, with intervention can:
  • become more engaged in school (as measured by attendance);
  • increase their sense of belonging and connection to their peers, teachers, and school
  • improve overall academic achievement.
Your son or daughter’s participation in this project is important to us so we know how to improve their experience at Hillview.

Participation involves two surveys and two short writing assignments. The study protects student privacy in a number of ways. The Google Form here contains more details about the study, and it also gives you the option to remove your child. If you do nothing, your child will participate in the research.
Attendance Reporting

Class attendance is mandatory in both hybrid learning and distance learning modes, unless a student is registered as absent through SafeArrival. 

Attendance will be taken during each period, including Launch period at 8:55 am, a mandatory period during the school day.  

If your student will not be participating in distance learning or hybrid learning for any reason, you must:
  • use the SafeArrival app (easiest method)
  • call SafeArrive toll free number, #844-290-7698
  • Hillview office at 650-326-4341 x2001

For any issues in reporting an absence, email Hillview attendance clerk, Monica Bosch here.

For more detailed information on attendance, check the Hillview Middle School website here.

Funding Our Future!

Times are tough and so much is uncertain. Your donation to the One Community Campaign enables us to retain all of our amazing staff and resources this year and going forward.

As a community-funded District, we rely on generous families like you to participate in the One Community Campaign here to bridge the gap between what the District needs to fund our children’s education and what it receives from state and local taxes. With your support last year, over $4m was raised between the MPAEF and the four PTOs! 

Thank you so much to those who have already participated in the One Community Campaign. If you haven’t yet donated there are so many ways to give - You can pledge to pay by March 1, 2021, donate using a credit card, Venmo, Paypal, donate stock, pay in monthly installments, mail a check made out to “One Community Campaign” to PO Box 584, Menlo Park, CA 94026-0584, or drop a check off at the District Office.
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.
Anna Kogan
Teaches Art, Photography, and Makerspace (during blended learning, she will be teaching Art and Makerspace and Advanced Art Club). Makerspace.

Anna has been teaching at Hillview for 10 years. When not teaching Anna enjoys acrylic painting, yoga, jogging, and more recently BollyX! 

  • Favorite Quote: "Swim far from the shore." I had an art professor say this to me about my art and it stuck with me. Taking risks in my art has made me grow and improve.
  • Favorite Movie: All Woody Allen movies, but most favorite is Manhattan Murder Mystery.
  • Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Hazelnut with Chocolate Chips
  • Favorite Subjects as a Middle School Student: Industrial Arts and English

Words of Wisdom for her students: Do not be afraid of making mistakes. Do not worry about your art looking "perfect." Some kids think they are not good at art or making things, but they have very creative ideas and are actually "good at art." Those creative ideas are golden and really what makes great designers and artists later in life. Learning the skills to execute your ideas is what school is about and we are ALL learning.

Artists work on their skills over a lifetime and continue to learn and hone their skills.
What makes great creative individuals are independent ideas. 

What you probably didn’t know about me: Back when I was in middle school, I was really concerned about fashion. And, when I was in middle and high school, I played on the basketball, cross country, track, and tennis teams!

One more thing: I really love teaching Makerspace, which is newer for me.... it taps into students' creativity and building skills and encourages students to experiment. It is really closely tied to art. I like it so much that I am also doing a makerspace program on my own to learn more about the field to bring new projects to my future makerspace classes.
Staff Birthdays! 

August Susan Churba, Yogi Sullivan, Kathryn Rippentrop, Jonathan Coldoff, Bill Hairston, Richard Vaughan, Ron Christopherson, Courtney Thomas, and Katie Deanda

September Mario Orozco-Mendoza, Arion Espinoza, Rob Lawrence, Amy Kingsley, Danny Chui, Leo Schneiderman, Jacky Schlegel, Lexy Keller, Kim Staff, and Sia Langi

Meet Our PTO Executive Board 2020-2021!
* Co-Presidents and Treasurer were elected to serve 2-year terms. 

Unless otherwise specified, all PTO General Membership meetings to be held in the Hillview PAC or via Zoom. Zoom information will be posted in the newsletter the week prior. Take note of the dates, we’d love to see more parents attend our General Membership meetings.

  • Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 9:00 - 10:30 am
  • Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 9:00 - 10:30 am
Hillview Volunteer Opportunities from Your Home

Hillview PTO is seeking a volunteer to fill an important position as part of our PTO committee. This position can be performed from the comfort of your home. This opportunity is critical to supporting our communications strategy. For more information, or if you are interested in this opportunity, email here.

Newsletter Editor #1 Manages and tracks all submissions including collection of images. Works closely with Newsletter Editor #2 who manages the final approvals, newsletter composition, and mailing. Commitment level 2-3 hours per week. 
Programs & Activities
Hillview Music
Hillview's very own Mr. Vaughan in the news!

We want to take a moment to recognize Richard Vaughan. He and graduates from the Hillview and Jazz Band were featured in an article that recently hit the online publication InMenlo. What a great way to bring entertainment to the Menlo Park community! You can read the full article here.  
Hillview Library
Check out books from the library with a new and improved system! 

  • Check out Hillview's Library Catalog here
  • Log in with student's username and password (same as PowerSchool or Schoology) 
  • Find a book, put the book on HOLD 
  • Mrs. Mathenia will let students and parents know when it’s ready in the office for pick-up
  • Email Aimee Mathenia here if you have any questions
Teen Section
Hillview Library has a collection of books, eBooks and audiobooks recommended for grades 8 or higher or ages 14+. These Young Adult (YA) books have more mature themes, profanity, violence or sexual situations. 

  • 8th grade students automatically have access to the Teen section unless parents opt-out by sending an email to Aimee Mathenia here.

  • 7th grade students may access the entire Teen Section with parental permission by sending an email to Aimee Mathenia here.

  • 6th grade students may get permission to access individual books with parental permission by sending an email to Aimee Mathenia here.
Hillview ASP
Fall 2020 Enrollment
open now through September 11
After-School Program (ASP) enrollment has moved to a single online portal called Homeroom. Visit Homeroom here for more information on individual programs, vendors, and registration. (At top of page search window, enter "Hillview", then a list pops up, scroll down to find "hillview")

French Club – intermediate/ advanced speakers
Some ASP vendors are offering virtual courses on their own, visit After School Programs here for more information. Or go directly to their websites:
Starfire Education here

Omega Teaching here
Hwa Shin Chinese School here

J ACE J Music here

MPCSD Speaker Series Opens This Week

"Talking to Your Kids about Race and Racism"
Tuesday, September 8, 6:30 pm, Zoom information here

Join us for this conversation with Julie Lythcott-Haims and Erik Burmeister.

Race and racism are such important topics. Black and brown parents have to have these conversations earlier than others. But all of us can struggle with what to say to our kids about race or how to say it. MPCSD Superintendent Erik Burmeister sits down with activist, writer, and former Stanford Dean of Freshmen Julie Lythcott-Haims to discuss how to engage in meaningful discussions with our children about race, racism and the BLM movement. 
Interested in buying Julie's books? Visit Kepler's here to read about and purchase her books.

MPCSD's renowned Speaker Series is funded in part by the One Community Campaign. To learn more about the OCC and how you can support the campaign and all it provides for our district, visit here.
Got Paper Grocery Bags?
Sunday, September 6 - Friday, September 11, bin outside District Office at 181 Encinal Avenue, Atherton

MPCSD Helps, our initiative that supports district families with weekly food deliveries, could use brown paper grocery bags for packing up the donated groceries. If you have extra bags around your house, you may drop them off in the marked bin outside the District Office. Thank you!
September 3 Board Meeting

At its September 3 meeting, the Board began a discussion about submitting a waiver application to return kindergarteners and first graders to campus. Superintendent Burmeister's presentation here included a summary of the state's new Tier system that replaces the "monitoring watchlist," our county health data, and the results from last week's K-1 parent survey. After input from MPEA and CSEA, the district's two union partners, and public comment from teachers and parents on both sides of the decision, the Board voted unanimously to continue the discussion and potential vote on submitting the waiver at its regular meeting on Thursday, September 10 at 5:00 pm. Over the next several days, Board members, district staff, and MPEA and CSEA representatives will work together to identify ways teachers and staff can be assured that MPCSD’s reopening safety protocols are sufficient to garner support for a waiver application. Find details for joining the September 10 meeting over Zoom at the district homepage here under "Announcements" by Monday evening.

Community News

Menlo-Atherton Grizzlies Youth Lacrosse working with boys / girls in a positive coaching environment, fostering a desire / passion for lacrosse. Beginner through advanced lacrosse Fall Program for 6-14 years old. Sessions on Sundays, September 27-November 8, Hillview Middle School. Following San Mateo County Health Order guidelines - non-contact, groups of 12 or less, division by gender/age. Contact Matt Bond here with questions and more information here.

Enroll TODAY in Fall Theatre classes with PVTC! We've become accustomed to what’s possible inside the confines of our screens. But how can we stretch the digital boundaries of 2020? If you can log onto Zoom, we have something for you. Join us for creative classes that challenge the student to think outside the box and keep moving and imagining! Register online here. Fall session begins the week of September 14. Questions: Email here. All classes this session are digital and are held on Zoom platform.

Bulldog Fall 2020 Outdoor Youth Fitness Classes Whether your child is an aspiring, highly competitive athlete or just in need of some general fitness, Coach Law and Bulldog Fitness will teach, coach, and inspire your child through fun and consistent outdoor workouts. All workouts follow social distance rules with no shared equipment. Only 12 spots per class; sign up here today. Get your child healthy and fit with the Bulldog Gym team!

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