January 15, 2021

A Note from the Principal’s Desk - 1.15.2021


Dear Hillside Community,


I hope this message finds you and your families in good health. This communication is chock full, please take the time to read it. As noted in the Hillside Hybrid Plan, which was distributed on Tuesday, the Hybrid Schedule will begin on January 19thThe week of January 19th will have A-Day Week 1 aesthetics in the afternoons. The Hybrid Schedule does not require us to change Google Classrooms and/or web conferencing links, it’s simply a shift in times. 


Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.


History Lesson for Our Families: The concept of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a holiday was promoted by labor unions. After King’s death, US representative John Conyers and US Senator Edward Brooke introduced a bill in Congress to make King’s birthday a national holiday. The bill first came to a vote in the US House of Representatives in 1979; however, it fell five votes short of the number needed for passage. Two of the main arguments mentioned by opponents were that a paid holiday for federal employees would be too expensive and that a holiday to honor a private citizen would be contrary to longstanding tradition, as King never held public office. At the time, only two other figures had national holidays honoring them: George Washington and Christopher Columbus.


Soon after, the King Center looked for support from the corporate community and the general public. The success of this strategy was cemented when musician Stevie Wonder released the single “Happy Birthday” to popularize the campaign in 1980 and hosted the Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981. Six million signatures were collected for a petition for Congress to pass the law, and is considered the largest petition in favor of an issue in US history.


President Reagan originally opposed the holiday, citing cost concerns. But on November 2, 1983, Reagan signed a bill, proposed by Representative Katie Hall, to create a federal holiday honoring King. The bill had passed the Senate by a count of 78 to 22, and the House of Representatives by 338 to 90. The holiday was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986. It’s observed on the third Monday of January rather than directly on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday because it follows the guidelines of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.


At Hillside, we have been at work teaching, modeling, and demonstrating lessons to be learned and upheld. Here are a few of our learning objectives for the week:

  • Students will select three activities from a choice board to complete in peer groups to learn about the life and legacy of MLK. They will also research MLK quotes to find one that is meaningful to their life and goals for 2021.
  • Students will be taking a virtual field trip to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. They will also participate in a virtual field trip to the National Civil Rights Museum. 
  • Students will go on a “six-station” Virtual Field Trip that includes a visit to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, video presentation of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech, a reading of “Martin’s Big Words” by Doreen Rappaport, “Fun Facts” video, Virtual Timeline of MLK, Jr. Life events, and a display of 2 of Dr. King’s most famous quotes ending with student-created reflections.
  • Students will write poetry using lyrics/poems that have been written in honor of Dr. King, as well as incorporating their own original thoughts/lines.  These poems will focus on themes of equality, inclusivity, friendship, acceptance, love, and friendship.
  • Students are creating a slide presentation based on the timeline of events in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They are conducting research, writing and recording their narration for each slide to be presented at the Hillside annual assembly. In addition, students will have access to a virtual classroom filled with various books about equality, love, and acceptance. Each day, we will read one book and discuss the importance of these texts. Students will hear the famous “I Have a Dream” speech and write down their own thoughts on how we can all make the world a better place.
  • Students will discuss the impact of the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. King’s contributions through presentations, videos, and texts.


The culmination of the week was our annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Assembly. This assembly is a student run program to highlight the life and lessons learned by Dr. King. The program was created virtually and shared with all teachers and students. Here a link for your viewing: https://drive.google.com/file/d/16orqRXaqoIvXsIT0M1SV05KIuWTDwaHX/view?usp=sharing



What an amazing teachable moment for every teacher and parent to have with our children?

On Jan. 20, 2021, President-elect Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States.

The theme for Biden’s inauguration will be “America United,” an issue that’s long been a central focus for the former vice president but one that’s taken on added weight in the wake of the violence at the U.S. Capitol. Mr. Biden’s running mate was the first woman vice president-elect. She is the first Black woman and the first South Asian woman vice president-elect. She's the first vice president-elect to have graduated from a historically Black university. She is Kamala Harris. Harris’ win is a groundbreaking moment for our country. But before shattering one of the highest glass-ceilings on Saturday, Harris had already made history. She was also the first woman of color — daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father — on a presidential ticket for a major party, and to serve as attorney general of California and district attorney of San Francisco.



The calendars in Genesis for Feb-June have not been updated yet for any of the schools. As long as the current rotation group (Mounties/Bulldogs/All Days/Virtual) for your child is indicated, then parents should disregard the calendar for now. 


PTA Meeting

Thank you for attending the PTA Meeting. We hope that by now you have had time to read the Hybrid Plan and watch the informational video. Please submit all questions you have about the hybrid plan by Tuesday (1/19) at 10am. I will work to answer all questions by Wednesday. A spreadsheet of questions and answers will be forwarded to all families.


Special Education Note: We currently have outstanding scheduling details to work out for our students that are classified. All case managers and related service personnel are working to reschedule Wilson, Study Skills, and Related Services. Our goal is to provide you this information by tomorrow end of the day. Thank you for your understanding.




1/19/21-1/22/21 A Week 


Spanish Teacher Update

We have recommended a candidate for hire and hope to communicate the board’s approval in the near future. There will be no live instruction until the week of February 1st.  There will be no asynchronous work posted next week. 


Hillside Explorers - Winter Session

Only a few spots left, register today!! Registration has been extended and will close on  Wed, 1/20 at 8:00am https://my.cheddarup.com/c/hillside-explorers

 Classes begin Feb 1, 2021 and will run for 8 weeks. Any questions? Contact us: EXPLORERSHILLSIDE@gmail.com


Hillside Cares Week of Service Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

We are organizing Blessing Bags & Peace Notes project, and supporting Toni's Kitchen Food Drive on January 11th-15th2:30-5:30pm & January 18th, 10am-3pm. See attached flyer.

Please drop off food donations and blessing bags outside the cafeteria door in the school parking lot. Make sure donations are dropped off within the designated time frames above. Questions? Contact: Jodi Holmes, JodiFholmes@aol.com or Mrs. Harris, 3rd Grade Hillside Teacher, Sharris@montclair.k12.nj.us

Hillside Talent Show! Last chance to audition 1/15 at 3:45-5:15 via zoom

Meeting ID: 890 5267 4744    Passcode: Talent

Virtual tryouts - 1/14 and 1/15 at 3:45-6pm

Virtual Rehearsals - 1/20-1/29at 4-6pm

Virtual Show Time - 2/5 at 6:30pm

If you’re not able to audition today 1/15 or have questions, please contact:

LaNa Jones-Jules (lalajojul@gmail.com)

Denise Pignato (denisepignato@yahoo.com)


Nishuane/Hillside Trivia Night #2 - Saturday 1/23 @ 5pm

If you attended the last Trivia, you know how much FUN this is. 

Topic to be decided, please vote on our Facebook Poll! 


Restorative Justice Montclair Bookclub

Representatives from Restorative Justice Montclair is 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.

Restorative Justice Bookclub Zoom info:


Meeting ID: 873 5215 0576

Passcode: LBRJE

Restorative Justice Bookclub dates:

Tuesday, January 5th 6pm - 7pm (Introduction and Chapter 1)

Tuesday, January 12th 6pm - 7pm (Chapter 2 and Chapter 3)

Tuesday, January 19th 6pm - 7pm (Chapter 4 and Chapter 5)

Tuesday, January, 26th 6pm - 7pm (Chapter 6 and Chapter 7)


Dyslexia Forum information 

On January 7, 2021, the Montclair PTAC Community Building Committee and SEPAC co-hosted a Forum on Dyslexia, which we are writing to share with you. The following are resources that were shared by our presenters:

1)      Norma Francullo: Diagnosed with Dyslexia PPT 2020 (attached)

2)      Marcos Vargas: Dyslexia Screening and Procedures Handbook

3)      Dee Rosenberg and Susan Miller: Dyslexia Parent Presentation for Montclair 2020 (attached)

The recorded presentation is available here (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1l7EiGBOBBfXwxTnS3uxI0fjBZn_b1uj3/view).Please feel free to share with your networks. Several questions were submitted via email and via chat during the presentation. We will circulate answers to those questions as soon as possible.


PTA Membershiphttps://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 Ms. Scott:                                                                                                

Be sure to engage in self-care this weekend. Go for a walk, take a bubble bath, listen to your favorite songs, Do whatever it is that makes you feel good. You deserve it! 


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.


COPE Center is offering free workshops via Zoom to help parents/caregivers find ways to manage stress. The first workshop is this Sunday, January 10th. Additional information can be found on this flyer


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


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,

Reminder for parents and students returning to hybrid learning please practice wearing your face masks at home for a few hours.  We will be doing this during our hybrid learning.  If you child is new to the district I must have a current physical and vaccine record.  If your child is returning to hybrid learning and takes medication during the school day I need the medication form filled out by the physician.  If you are traveling outside of NJ anyplace other than  New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Connecticut you have to quarantine 10 days prior to the return to school.  Please email me so we can clarify the date of return to hybrid learning. Take care! Nurse Boyle


Important Dates:


Monday 1/18: District Closed Martin Luther King Jr. Day






Samanthaa Lennon Anglin, Ed.D.


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