December 11, 2020

A Note from the Principal’s Desk - 12.11.2020


Dear Hillside Parents/Caregivers:


Tis’ the Season, at no other time during the year is the spirit of giving and sharing more alive in people’s hearts. Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more. I wish you all the very best. Please see below for more information on how you can support our Hillside Care’s Annual Make-A-Wishinitiative.


COVID Awareness:

  • Mask-Wearing: As you know, all students will be expected to wear masks upon return to in-person learning. Nurse Boyle will be providing classroom lessons on proper mask-wearing protocols. If you would like your child to participate in a 1:1 session with Nurse Boyle to learn about and practice mask-wearing, please reach out to her at


You can help by giving your children time now to practice mask-wearing for extended periods of time (covering the mouth, nose, and chin and having elastic loops or ties), having a variety of appropriately-sized masks around your home to increase interest in mask-wearing, allowing your child to select a mask that they prefer, talking to your children about the health benefits of wearing masks (clickhere for the CDC’s explanation), and washing your masks with your children. For more information, you can visit the CDC’s websitehere.


  • Ventilation: As a reminder, Hillside rooms will be ready for students and staff either through mechanical ventilation, air purification, windows being opened and reduced class sizes. We currently have 50 rooms identified as having mechanical ventilation and 13 rooms which now have air purification systems. The CDC recommends that  we provide as much fresh air as possible. We will continue to provide you with updates as repairs are made to the ventilation systems.


Cycle 2 CI and Aesthetics Courses:

Please check your child’s Cycle 2 Aesthetic courses on Genesis and look for invitations to the Google Classrooms.  Cycle 2 aesthetic courses will begin on Monday. The week of 12/14 will be A-day aesthetics for all students.


School-wide Topics:

Hanukkah, (Hebrew: “Dedication”) also spelled Ḥanukka, Chanukah, or Chanukkah, also called Feast of Dedication, Festival of Lights, or Feast of the Maccabees, Jewish festival that begins on Kislev 25 (in December, according to the Gregorian calendar) and is celebrated for eight days. Hanukkah reaffirms the ideals of Judaism and commemorates in particular the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem by the lighting of candles on each day of the festival. Although not mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, Hanukkah came to be widely celebrated and remains one of the most popular Jewish religious observances. For more information:


MFEE Real Talk

Please join us on December 14th at 8pm for an engaging session withDr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruizan award-winning associate professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. Wherever you are in your racial literacy development, treat yourself to an hour with this warm, wise educator who was the co-creator of MFEE’s America to Me: Real Talk Montclair process. Dr. Sealey-Ruiz will lead an interactive session that energizes us to continue the life-long work of racial literacy development.


Racial justice work starts with the internal work of peeling back the layers of our own experiences, beliefs, biases, and ideas that shape our perspectives, thoughts, actions and inaction every day.  Racism is deeply embedded in our society, and if we do not think deeply about how it lives

within each of us, we compromise our actions to promote social justice. We risk doing more harm than good.


Register for the free event here:  


SEPAC Meeting

The next Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) parent/caregiver support meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 15th from 7-8pm. This call is intended for parents and caregivers of students with special needs to exchange information and best practices. 

Join the meeting:

Meeting ID: 852 3101 1212   Passcode: 145921


Hillside Virtual Talent Show: The Movie Edition!

Calling all dancers, signers, actors, comedians, magicians, and performers! Are you ready to film your talent? Mark your calendars! This year’s Talent Show will be held the last week of January. Virtual auditions/Rehearsal will be announced during the first week of January.


For additional information contact:

Tinu LaNa Julies at OR Denise Owens at


PTA/SATp Meeting

Zoom Info for PTA/SATp meeting next Friday, 12/18

Topic: PTA/SATp Meeting

Time: Dec 18, 2020 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 854 4007 6741    Passcode: 7iy0eM


MFEE Hurdles

Introducing Healing Huddles, starting January 2021 (sign-up by December 6th):


* 1-hour conversations, over a 6-week period, with 5-6 other parents and caregivers

* Parents and caregivers share stories, gain some connection with parents, and learn tools and strategies to manage today’s challenges

* Groups are led by parents trained to provide just-enough structure and support to the conversations (curious about this training? Learn more below) 

* Groups can be formed around shared affinities or challenges


Groups are starting January 4th. Reply by Sunday, December 6, to or click here to learn more or sign up


In the Huddle:

MFEE is looking for "Conversation Coaches." As a Coach, you'll get quick and specific training from Helaina Altabef, parent coach, and Dr. Melissa Robinson-Brown, clinical psychologist. You'll learn how to create space for fellow parents to build connections, find support, and manage stress. You’ll get tools and resources to share with your Huddle. The time commitment to be a Conversation Coach is two short interactive trainings, and then the 6 weekly one-hour conversations. 

Conversation Coaches can be anyone - no special skills needed.  Consider asking a friend and coach together. Groups can be formed around shared challenges -  like families with special needs children, parents of preschoolers, single parents.  As a Conversation Coach, you can create a group that speaks to you as a parent and caregiver. Conversation Coach training starts December 16.  Reply by Sunday, December 6, to or click here to learn more or sign up.


Trivia Night

Two trivia game...which school will be crowned the winner?! Team Hillside or Team Nishuane?

Join us on Saturday, December 19 at 5:00 pm and have some family fun playing team trivia on Winter themed trivia! The trivia questions will be geared to our student population (K-5), but we will include some older sibling/parent-focused questions so everyone can have some fun.


Please RSVP for Trivia Night by completing the short form on CheddarUp:

Suggested donation is $5 (any donation is appreciated) but not required to participate - you can go directly to the RSVP form. Proceeds raised from Trivia Night will go towards Hillside's 5th grade moving up ceremony activities and Nishuane's Community Cares committee and the 2nd grade moving up ceremony.


Holiday Gifts

As you are making plans for class parties (virtual for 2020) and collecting money for teacher gifts, please read the information below from the PTA regarding holiday gifting guidelines for homeroom/switch teachers, in-class support teachers, the related arts teachers, and paraprofessionals.  This guideline can also be shared with parents in your homerooms.


Every year Hillside families are so generous with classroom gifts, and every year individual classes have questions about how best to disperse the monies to reward everyone who helps to make the school experience so wonderful for our students. 


In response to requests to make this process simple and equitable, we're pleased to present the following gifting guidelines that all classes will used:

  • Classroom donations will be pooled between switch classes  (if applicable) and then split up at a rate of 80% and 20%. 
    • 80% Designation - “In Class” Teachers
      • If your class only has a homeroom teacher (no switch teacher), the 80% will be for that homeroom teacher.
      • If your class has a homeroom and switch teacher (2 teachers = 2-way split) - the 80% will be divided evenly between the homeroom and switch teachers.
      • If your class  also has an “inclusion teacher” (3 teachers = 3-way split) - the 80% will be divided evenly between the homeroom, switch and inclusion teachers.


    • 20% Designation - Paraprofessionals
      • Class Liaisons will send the 20% to the PTA via Venmo to (@Colleen-Dougherty-6) labeled "PTA - Para Holiday Fund" and note the Homeroom teacher name as well. Venmo transfers should be completed by Friday, December 18.  


The PTA will pool the monies and disperse them equally between all of the paraprofessionals that make our classrooms run so well for all.  


  • A Second donation will be collected by the PTA to be dispersed to members/teachers of:
    • Special Education Resource Room
    • Related Arts Teachers
    • Curriculum Support Teachers (Literacy Center & Math)

If you'd like to contribute to this second collection, please use the following link to donate:


PTA Memberhub Givebacks!

Introducing a great new fundraiser called Givebacks! You get to save on things you can actually use - and our PTA gets up to 20% back!


Here’s what you need to do:


1. Go to our eStore to shop, save, and support

2. Our PTA automatically gets up to 20% donated back!

3. We’ll be adding new Givebacks about every week from brands you know and love, plus some new finds to discover.


This is the perfect way to jump start your holiday shopping! It’s that Simple - CLICK - SAVE - SUPPORT. Don’t forget to share your purchases on social media! The more you share, the more funds we raise.


P.S. If YOU own a business and you're interested in doing a Givebacks to benefit our school, please let us know! We want to include your business.


Hillside Care’s Annual Make-A-Wish NOW through December 18th ONLY!

Many wishes are already taken, but there are still many more to go! If you haven’t already, please consider participating in

Hillside CaresMake-A-Wish. This annual Hillside tradition is made possible by your generous support. Let’s make wishes come true! 

Follow the link below to the Make-A-Wish Sign Up Genius for instructions on how to select one or multiple items and donate:

Sign Up Genius Make-A-Wish

Items must be returned to Ms. Best at the Child Study, Pre-K Door, Room 21 no later than Friday, Dec. 18th.  Monetary donations are also welcome. Please donate here: Memberhub . Or, checks can be dropped off to Ms. Best or Ms. Mazur (Door K) at Hillside. Please make checks payable to “Hillside PTA” with “Make-A-Wish” in the memo and place in an envelope marked “Make-A Wish”. Volunteers will use this money to purchase items that were not taken on the Sign-up Genius site. 


Have questions or want to volunteer to help sort and organize gifts? Please contact: Zoe La Salandra at


Holiday Knitting (or Crochet) for Make-A-Wish

Each year as part of Make-A-Wish, we ask those of you who knit and/or crochet in our community to put your talents toward a good cause and make warm hats for our Hillside/Nishuane students! It's that time of year again! 

Our local yarn store, Yarnia (127 Watchung), is collecting hat donations nowthrough December 18th!

Sign Up here and tell a friend. Questions: 


A message from Ms. Scott:                                                                                                            

Here are a few strategies for managing the stress and/or sadness you may feel in the coming weeks. Healthy Coping Strategies Remember-  make a plan and be purposeful about protecting your and your family’s mental health this season.     


If you feel your child is experiencing a social-emotional challenge and would benefit from counseling services, please do not hesitate to reach out. Need to See Ms. Scott Form. It is important that we continue to teach our children how to advocate for themselves and seek help when they need it. Therefore, a form is also available for students to complete in my Google classroom. Here is the link in case you would like to share it with your child(ren). STUDENT- Need to See Ms. Scott Form


Here is the link and code for my Google classroom for anyone who would like to join.Ms. Scott's Google Classroom. The class code is y5znwsx. There are daily affirmations, mind moments, and meditation activities to help calm some of the angst the children may be experiencing at this time. Signing up for the daily summary email will allow parents to experience some of these activities too. :) Have a wonderful weekend! ~Ms. Scott


Notes from Nurse Boyle:

Hello Hillside Families and Friends,

I hope everyone is doing well!   Please remind your children to log into my google classroom at zitgw4b.  I asked them another question this week about this cold weather.

Anyone that is celebrating Hanukkah this week I wish you a peaceful celebration!

NJ Hope and Healing along with The Mental Health Group of NJ are offering free after school chat and craft groups for students in Essex and Morris county.  The group meets on Wednesdays for children ages  seven to 12 years of age.  The group starts at 3:30pm and ends at 4:15pm. If you are interested please reach out to or call 973-509-9777 ext 151.Have a wonderful weekend! ~Nurse Boyle


Important Dates:

Happy Hanukkah!: 12/10-12/18

Thursday 12/17/20: Early Dismissal/Curriculum Thursday, classes end at 2:06PM

Friday 12/18: 930AM PTA/SATp Meeting

Saturday 12/19: Trivia Night 5pm

Wednesday 12/23: Early Dismissal/Winter Break, classes end at 2:06PM

Thursday 12/24- Monday 1/3: School Closed/Winter Break!!!

Kind regards,




Samanthaa Lennon Anglin, Ed.D.


Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.