December 18, 2020

A Note from the Principal’s Desk - 12.18.2020


Dear Hillside Parents/Caregivers:


I hope this message finds you all well. Thank you for attending our PTA meeting today, the next meeting will be on Thursday, January 7th. Please see the outline below of Hillside events and activities. 


Cycle 2 CI and Aesthetics Courses:

The week of 12/21 will be B-day aesthetics for all students.


Cycle 2 Add/Drop Period:

The Cycle 2 aesthetics/CI Add/Drop period will open the morning of Tuesday, December 22nd.  It will remain open until Tuesday, January 5th. You will receive an email on December 22nd with a link to the Add/Drop form with instructions.


School-wide Topics:


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


Little Read 2020

This year, Montclair Public Library’s Little Read, the read-aloud event that brings together neighbors and families in a celebration of literacy and community, comes to your home! Join us for this virtual event, FREE to the public, from 6pm - 8pm on Friday, December 18 for a holiday-themed storytime. The librarians and educators you miss - from MPL and our town’s wonderful elementary schools - will share their favorite Winter, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa picture books. The event is geared to children in preschool through grade three, but all are welcome to join. The program will be streamed live on the Montclair Public Library's Facebook page. Visit We hope you'll cozy up at home and join us for the Virtual Little Read 2020!


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 Cares Make-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 now through December 18th!

Sign Up here and tell a friend. Questions: 


Holiday Gifts - due today 12/18

Class Liaisons 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:

Trivia Night - 12/19

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.

Hillside & Nishuane Spirit Wear Holiday POP-Up Shop 

WHEN: Thursday , Dec 24th

TIME: 11 AM – 1 PM



Kwanzaa Festival - 12/19 - 12/31

Celebrate culture, community and creative expression at NJPAC’s annual Kwanzaa Festival and Marketplace!


This year’s virtual festival runs through December 31, featuring online programs inspired by the seven principles of Kwanzaa (unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith). Don’t miss out on any of the fun! Tune in for a panel discussion about storytelling with the elders, social justice or Black theater. Take an online class to explore West African dance, stepping, Zumba, drumming,  capoeira, Bebop Graffiti Arts or Afrobeats. Or stop by the community marketplace for some online shopping.


To Learn more about Kwanzaa, visit



On Monday December 21, 2020 at 4:30pm Rabbi David Greenstein and Rabbinic Intern Lily Lucey from Congregation Shomrei Emunah have volunteered to host a 20-minute Hanukkah event for HILLSIDE AND NISHUANE FAMILIES.  Children are encouraged to invite their friends!   They will read some children’s books, hold a kid-based Q&A, and host some fun activities!

Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 419 643 5057                  Passcode: ICAP_radio

Meeting ID: 419 643 5057                  Passcode: 7203527162

Find your local number:


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


Restorative Justice Montclair - Book Club 

Representatives from Restorative Justice Montclair will be offering a virtual book club beginning in January on The Little Book of Restorative Justice In Education. This text serves as foundational reading with respect to restorative justice in the educational context. While unpacking the restorative justice philosophy, families will also have an opportunity to learn more about how restorative justice is being implemented throughout the district. We're excited to have our Montclair families join us in this endeavor. 

Please use this link to sign up:


MFEE Huddles

The Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence (MFEE) has created a new program called Healing Huddles to support the social and emotional needs of caregivers in our community. The program was shaped by insights shared by over 200 parents and caregivers during MFEE’s Remote Learning Community Thinks last August. One of the biggest concerns expressed was the social and emotional toll of the pandemic on children and parents alike.  Participants shared that what they really wanted - more than websites and webinars on how to cope - was the opportunity to connect to other parents and caregivers who understood what they were going through. This highlighted the universal problem we are all facing -  the combination of stress and isolation.


Introducing Healing Huddles, starting January 2021:

  • Huddles are small weekly conversations, lightly guided by parents and caregivers who have been trained by local therapists/parent coaches to provide just-enough structure and support.
  • Free to everyone (through the support of our generous donors)
  • 1-hour conversations (on-line), over a 6-week period, between 5-6 parents and caregivers
  • Every week, in each Huddle, folks can share what they are dealing with, listen to and support each other, and learn tools and strategies to manage challenges. 
  • Community members can opt to join a Huddle based on a  shared affinity or challenge (for example, new to Montclair, single parents, parents of BIPOC children, parents of middle schoolers, parents with 2+ children)

To learn more about Healing Huddles or to sign-up, visit

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.


A Message from Ms. Scott:                                                                                                            

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Seeing the outdoors covered in a blanket of snow was both refreshing and exciting for me and my children. I hope you and your family had a chance to go outside and play in the snow yesterday. If not, try to get out there sometime this afternoon/weekend. The fresh air is good for your body and playing in snow always lightens the mood. 


I hope everyone has been practicing self-care. Vaccines are available and I believe we are in the home stretch of getting closer to “normal” but we’re not quite there yet. Now more than ever, be purposeful about protecting your and your family’s mental and physical health this season. If your children and/or you are having challenges managing stress and/or sadness, here are a few Healthy Coping Strategies to help.


The Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris is offering two support groups facilitated by registered Art Therapists where children and teens can chat, create and de-stress. All of the services are free. Additionally, they offer emotional support groups and individual sessions for adults as well. If you or anyone you know is emotionally struggling during this pandemic, please feel free to reach out to them.  MHA Information   


Another resource is The New Jersey Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) Division of the Children’s System of Care. They offer free or low-cost access to behavioral health support 24/7/365. Please see their flyer here.  NJDCF Information


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  ~Ms. Scott


Notes from Nurse Boyle:

Hello Hillside Families and Friends,

I hope everyone is doing well and staying warm! If you have a child in third grade or younger the Montclair Public Library will be hosting a virtual reading night tonight from 6PM-8:00PM. Log on with a cup of hot chocolate and get ready for some holiday stories!


The Essex County Food Distribution will be held December 22nd at the Essex County Hall of Records at 9:00AM.The address is 50 West Market Street,Newark NJ. Distribution will be held at the Employee Parking Deck.  


Do you need some last minute gifts, or stocking stuffers?  How about face masks, chapstick, small hand sanitizer or small tissue packs?  They will come in handy for hybrid learning.  I know Santa is dropping them in my familys’ stockings this year!


Please remind your children to log into my google classroom at zitgw4b. I enjoy keeping in touch with my students.  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:

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!!!

 Have a wonderful weekend!




Samanthaa Lennon Anglin, Ed.D.


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