February 26, 2021

A Note from the Principal’s Desk - 2.26.2021


Dear Hillside Community,


I hope this message finds you well and that you have been able to enjoy some of the (slightly) warmer weather! This upcoming rainy weekend seems like a great opportunity to read a good book!  While Hillside celebrates literacy all year long, we’re excited to focus on literacy during Read Across America week. We hope to see many of our students participate in the different events we have scheduled throughout the week. Please see information and updates below.



3/1/21-3/5/21 A Week 


Registration for 3rd Grade Cycle 3 Aesthetics

3rd Grade Aesthetics and CI registration is now live. It will remain open until Monday, March 8th. Please use the included link to register your child: Third Grade Cycle 3 Registration Form


MFEE Annual Appeal: Fund Public. Fuel Community. For Them.

Your gift to MFEE fuels programs that support Hillside teachers, parents, and students. Hillside teachers have boosted their learning through out-of-the box Professional Development grants; families have participated in MFEE Programs like America to Me, the Healing Huddles, the You Got This! Conference; and students benefit from the innovative grants funded below. Hillside, we are $382 short of our goal. Please click here to support today!


Spanish Continues Monday

Señora Scott will start instructing her Spanish students on Monday. Please have students look out for new Google Classroom invitations from Señora Scott.



It is strongly suggested that you submit the vaccination documentation to Nurse Boyle as soon as the vaccination is received. Please send them via email to rboyle@montclair.k12.nj.us or fax (973) 509-1882. If you have questions or concerns please contact me at 973-509-4200 ext 4192.


Read Across America Week

March 1- March 5







Hillside Drama Department

Our Hillside students are busy preparing for their upcoming virtual production of Hopes and Dreams: A Hillside Broadway Revue. The Drama students are working extremely hard to make every line, every song, and every dance, as perfect as can be.


To keep our Drama department going strong, we have partnered with Chipotle (235 Prospect Ave. in West Orange) to host a fundraiser on Saturday, March 6th, between 5pm and 9pm. During those 4 hours, for any menu item ordered online or in person, using the code R9N8EBL, Chipotle will donate 33% of the proceeds to Hillside Elementary School Drama Program. 

All our welcome, so tell your family and tell your friends to come out and support Hillside’s Drama department. Help us to continue to deliver the magic of performing arts to our students. Fundraiser Flyer AND Fundraiser Online Ordering Instructions


Traveling Troupe Auditions: CURTAIN UP! LIGHT THE LIGHTS! 

For those 4th and 5th grade students who wish to be a part of Hillside’s Spring Traveling Troupe, please click on this LINK for more information. There you will find instructions on how to submit an audition video, as well as audition materials. All audition videos must be submitted by Monday, March 1st.


Lunar New Year Events for Families - 2/26 @ 4pm

Hillside Mandarin teacher, Ms. Li, will guide us through Chinese New Year traditions and customs, with song and a Kahoot game for prizes this afternoon Friday, Feb 26 4-5pm. 

Sign up before 3:30pm today at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0C4EAFAB2DA6F9C34-chinese

Explore this link to learn more about the Lantern Festival which closes out the Chinese New Year holiday: Lantern Festival by CCTV (4:59) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv4x2Z7VlKI


Black History Month Events for Families - 2/26 @ 6:30pm

Black History 365 Days: The Pan-African Edition Game Show 2/26 @ 6:30pm - 8pm.


Zoom Meeting ID: 953-3118-7286

Passcode: 011641


This is a Nishuane/Hillside event. Game Show questions will focus on Present, Past, American, International Black History!

Music • Recipes • Prizes 

No pre-registration required, all students and family members are invited!



Hillside Talent Show - New date 3/5

The Virtual Talent Show Movie date has been changed, the new date is Friday, 3/5 @ 6:30pm

There is still time to purchase an ad for the Talent Show Movie or to dedicate a message (with pictures!) to your child and/or friends, see CheddarUp link below. Your support is greatly appreciated! 


For information or questions about the Talent Show, please contact:

LaNa Jones-Jules (lalajojul@gmail.com) OR Denise Pignato (denisepignato@yahoo.com)


Volunteers Needed - PTA Nominating Committee

Per our PTA By-Laws, we need to elect a Nominating Committee of five members and one alternate to solicit interest and propose a slate of candidates for next year's PTA Officers/Executive Board. The Nominating Committee will be elected at the PTA's General Meeting on March 11, and will propose a slate of candidates for announcement at least one month in advance of our annual election meeting in June. We would ideally like to have a diverse Nominating Committee to identify a diverse slate of nominees. Please contact ptapres@hillsidepta.org or any current member of our PTA Executive Board if you would like to serve on our Nominating Committee this year. 


Hillside Spirit Wear Committee volunteers 

Are you looking for a way to get involved in the Hillside Community but not feel overwhelmed or overworked? The Hillside Spirit Wear Committee is looking for a 3rd or 4th grade parent (or two, or three) to take over for next year. Please let us know your interest ASAP so that the transition can begin this year - work alongside Tessa Vining so you can hit the ground running next school year! Please contact ptapres@hillsidepta.org if interested. Thank you!


Montclair PTA Council (PTAC) announcements

Montclair Public School District 101

The Montclair PTA Council (PTAC) is pleased to launch "Montclair Public School District 101" for parents, caregivers and families. The guide consolidates some of the most critical information about the school district in one place, is easy to read, and provides links to other resources and documents. We anticipate this document will be revised and updated over time, and we look forward to your feedback.




Montclair Kids News

A group of Montclair parents are trying to organize a student newspaper. They are hoping to put together a sort of "special issue" (in print) that will allow the kids to write in a journalistic way about their experience during the pandemic. Here is a recent article about the project from the Montclair Local (https://www.montclairlocal.news/2021/02/16/news-by-montclairs-kids-for-montclairs-kids/). The organizers are hoping to coordinate article submissions from interested Hillside students of all ages. If you have a child who might have interest in participating, you can let the organizers know by writing montclairkidsnews@gmail.com and they can share some guidance for submissions.    

 Montclair PTA Council (PTAC) Community Conversation - Understanding the Montclair Public Schools Budget Process - March 4, 2021, 7:30pm-9:00pm  


Do you have questions about the Montclair Public Schools Budget process? Come join us for a panel discussion featuring MPS Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Ponds, Business Administrator Emidio D'Andrea, Supervisor of Accounting Melissa Beattie, and former MPS Business Administrator and PTAC Vice President Brian Fleischer. 


Registration required via Zoom link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAlcOmpqDIqHdVlzZN3HhlgSwq2pmjgvI2o


The panel discussion will address your burning questions about the budget process, including:


· What are the roles and responsibilities of MPS Central Office, school principals, Board of Education and Board of School Estimate with respect to the operating budget and the capital budget?


· What laws and regulations govern the school budgeting process? What's the 2% cap?


· What types of revenues and expenditures are included in the operating budget, how are they projected, and how much of this is "science" versus "art"?


· How does MPS monitor and manage the operating budget during the year, and how does that budget management impact subsequent year budgets?


· What is a "fund balance"? A "position control roster"? "Salary breakage"? 


· How does the district predict staffing needs? How do the collective bargaining agreements affect budget development and management?


· How are capital construction and capital maintenance needs evaluated? What facilities and maintenance expenses would fall under the operating budget versus the capital budget (Township bond/debt issuance)? How does the district fund and utilize Capital Reserve and Maintenance Reserve?


· Why do we seem to face a budget gap every year despite the fact that Montclair's residential property taxes are so high? 


· Where do I find public information about the district's budget and financial management? What information does the BOE receive on a monthly basis? 


· How can I compare Montclair's spending patterns with those of other districts?


· How can I get involved in the budget process?


**Please note: this educational forum is about the MPS school budget process in general, NOT about specifics of the 2021-22 budget. 

 PTA Membership: https://hillsidepta.new.memberhub.store/store?category=Memberships. Join us.


Hillside Spirit Wear and Gear: https://hillsidepta.new.memberhub.store/store


PTA website: montclairpta.org/hillside/

PTA Facebook group: https://m.facebook.com/groups/2527911263932164/

PTA Email: ptapres@hillsidepta.org


A Message from School Counselor Ms. Scott:                                                                                               

Hello Hillside! As I mentioned last week, Mrs. Specht and I decided to try something new! We’re hosting a 🥳 "Hillside Hangout" 🥳  Zoom session that is JUST for socialization and fun. It will be a brief, open group time for children who want to pop in and chit chat with others.Since the whole purpose is to socialize, I am asking that everyone have their camera on. To maximize the number of students who are able to join, I am making the available slots during the “off screen” blocks for children. Therefore joining is completely OPTIONAL. Please let your children know so they can join us!


Here is the info for the first meet - Topic: Hillside Hangout

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Session 1: 11:35-11:50am 

Session 2: 12:25-12:40pm

Session 3: 1:15-1:30pm

Join Zoom Meeting

Hillside Hangout           Meeting ID: 835 4327 1776        Passcode: GoodTimes


If your children and/or you are having challenges managing stress and/or sadness, here are a few Healthy Coping Strategies and resources 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   


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


As we head into the second half of the year, there may be a need to revisit skills and tips for managing organization, socialization and/or social-emotional challenges. If you feel your child could use support in any one of these areas 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


A Message from Nurse Boyle:

Hello Hillside Families and Friends!


There will be an Emergency Food Distribution Event Thursday, March 4, 2021

9 a.m., St. Matthew AME Church, 336 Oakwood Avenue, Orange, NJ It will be held RAIN or SHINE.


Reminder for anyone who has a student in the fifth grade when they receive their Tdap and Meningococcal vaccines please provide me with a copy.  I will add it to their medical file. Students need these vaccines to start sixth grade.  If you are a new student to the Montclair school district I need your physicals. I need physicals and vaccines even during remote learning. Please send them via email  to rboyle@montclair.k12.nj.us or fax (973) 509-1882. If you have questions or concerns please contact me at 973-509-4200 ext 4192.

Take care and stay healthy! ~Nurse Boyle


Important Dates:

Monday 3/1-Friday 3/5: Read Across America Week

Monday 3/1: Women’s History Month Begins

Friday 3/5: Virtual Talent Show 630PM




Mara Mazur


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