November 13, 2020

A Note from the Principal’s Desk - 11.13.2020


Dear Hillside Parents/Caregivers:


I hope this message finds you and your families in good health. As each day passes I learn of another person that has been affected by the virus in some way. My family and I continue to practice CDC guidelines prioritizing our and your health and safety. 


As per the notification that was published by Dr. Ponds, the hybrid opening has been postponed and he will be making a determination for next steps on December 1.  Please be clear that Dr. Ponds did not indicate this was the new reopening date, but a date for a review.  Please refer to all of his communications for specific details and dates.  


I know this is frustrating for those families that had opted for in-person instruction. And I know this uncertainty is overwhelming for all families, our students, and staff members. The Hillside daily schedule will continue as is, at this time there will be NO adjustment to your child’s daily schedule. 


  • Hillside Hybrid Plan: Mr. Adamo and I will continue to make adjustments to the plan, inclusive of your feedback and need for clarification. Our goal is to create a document, which outlines clear procedures and protocols for all aspects of in-person learning. We want the document to be well understood by all. There are many nuances to explaining a master schedule. Hillside is a place of offerings and opportunities and that is challenging to encapsulate, however, I do understand your need for in-depth information. An updated plan will be provided when necessary along with an oral explanation.  


  • Ventilation: It is recommended from the CDC that we provide as much fresh air as possible. Our classrooms will be ready for students and staff either through mechanical ventilation, air purification, windows being opened and reduced class sizes. Currently our school has 50 rooms identified as having mechanical ventilation and 13 rooms which will have the air purification systems installed. Please be mindful that we will continue to update the community as repairs are made to the ventilation systems.


  • Mounties & Bulldogs: For those students who have opted for in-person learning, Mountie and Bulldog assignments are projected to be visible in Genesis by the end of the day. 


  • Re-entry Health and Safety Contract: The district will issue a Re-entry Health and Safety Contract prior to in-person learning, more information to be forthcoming.


4th & 5th Grade Aesthetic Classes:

Week of Monday, 11/16: A-day aesthetics for 4th & 5th graders


3rd Grade Aesthetic Rotation: 

The 3rd grade rotation schedule has been revised and updated for weeks 8-13.  We recommend printing out the updated schedule for your reference. This schedule is based on your child’s homeroom teacher as listed on Genesis.  

School-wide Topics:


Family Fitness with Mrs. Lever & Mrs. Smeriglio

You're Invited to Be ... FIT AS A FAMILY! Join your child / sibling / cousin during their Health, Physical Education, Gymnastics, or Dance class on Friday, Nov 20th (for A Week students) or Tuesday, November 24th (for B Week students)

*Zoom Links and Meet times are located in our Google Classrooms* 

We hope to see you in class! With you in health, Mrs. Lever & Mrs. Smeriglio


Diwali, the Festival of Lights - 11/14

In India, festivals are at the heart of celebrating culture and tradition. This month, many Indians celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Diwali is a Hindu festival that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, and goodness over evil. People celebrate with fireworks, by displaying clay lanterns called Diyas, or string lights. They may also visit temples, exchange gifts or sweets with family and friends. To learn more about how Diwali is celebrated in India, please watch this short video with your family.

Consider lighting a candle or offering some type of light this Diwali. This could even be in the form of an act of kindness that brings light into the life of others. Kids and families may enjoy creating and decorating diyas, lighting sparklers and eating sweets. Here is a simple recipe for an Indian sweet called Doodh Peda if you are feeling adventurous. Happy Diwali!

Read-o-Ween book bags

We still have some book bags! Please email to arrange a curbside pickup/drop off. First come, first serve.


Hillside Coat Drive - 10/19-11/20

Starting Monday, October 19, until Friday, November 20th, please drop off your CLEAN and GENTLY-USED Adult, kids and infant WINTER coats in the collection bins outside of door K, parking lot entrance.  Last year, Hillside collected 121 coats for the Jersey Cares Coat Drive. This year’s goal is 125 coats! 


Montclair PTA Council Statement regarding school re-opening



PTA Membership Join us!

Hillside Spirit Wear and Gear:

PTA website:

PTA Facebook group:

PTA Email:


A Message from Ms. Scott:                                                                                                            

Well it looks like it will be a bit longer before we greet our students face to face. I’m sure news of the delay to begin hybrid instruction was disappointing for some families. Remember to take really good care of yourself during this next leg of remote learning. Here are a few strategies for managing the stress and/or sadness you may feel in the coming weeks. Healthy Coping Strategies Again. I encourage you to make a plan and be very purposeful about protecting your mental health in 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


Thank you to all the families who have participated in the anonymous survey. Teachers have expressed this information has been helpful in supporting and engaging with their class as a whole. If you haven’t had an opportunity to complete the survey, and would like to, the following link will direct you to it. Hillside Social-Emotional Survey This anonymous survey has four questions and will take you less than three minutes. The survey is designed to gather general information about ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) within our school, in an effort to help Hillside school better meet the social and emotional needs of our students.  This is especially important during this phase of remote learning. More specifically, this survey will help us to identify the needs of the homerooms, which in turn will help me to program and provide social-emotional supports.


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 am sorry that I will not be able to see my hybrid students on Monday.  However, we all need to stay safe and do our best to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Please continue to wash your hands, wear your masks if you are going out and if you do not feel well please stay home.  I have visited all the third grade classrooms virtually.  I will reach out to the other teachers and see if they would be willing to let me stop by and provide health information on mask wearing and other health topics.  Stay safe!    Sincerely, Nurse Boyle


Important Dates:

Thursday, 11/19: Curriculum Thursday/Early Dismissal - school day will end at 2:05pm 

Monday, 11/23: Make A Wish Launch

Wednesday, 11/25: Early Dismissal

Thurs. & Fri., 11/26-11/27: School Closed



Kind regards,




Samanthaa Lennon Anglin, Ed.D.


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