Hilltop School FAQ

2022-2023 Parent FAQ

WELCOME!

Be sure to check out this page for important information for new and returning families.

Where can I find the school calendar?

Big picture

What supplies does my child need for the year?

School Kits orders are over. For a list of supplies CLICK HERE.

When will class lists be sent out?

Class lists will be posted on AUGUST 17, 2022.


All teacher assignments will be available on the Genesis Parent Portal.


All parents must log onto the Parent Portal to complete important district documents. These online forms replaced the tedious paper copies that were sent home in the past.

NEW THIS YEAR - OPEN HOUSE - AUGUST 23

This year, we will have an Open House for ALL STUDENTS! This is a time for you to come in with your child to see their classroom, meet the teacher and classmates and drop off school supplies.


Teachers will be in the rooms, but there will not be any presentations. It is an informal meet and greet and you can come anytime in the 30-minute window provided below.


You can enter through the doors on the back patio and walk to your child's classroom.


Pre-K - 2:30-3:15

Kindergarten - 2:15-3:00

1st & 3rd Grades - 12:45-1:15

2nd & 4th Grades - 1:30-2:00

What is the Hilltop Student Code of Conduct?

Hilltop School has a Student Code of Conduct that shares the rights and responsibilities that they all have as members of our school. The Code of Conduct is reviewed each year by parents in the Parent Portal, and is discussed by teachers throughout the school year, and as needed when reminders are needed.


The Code of Conduct also has our basic school rules and expectations.


The Code of Conduct can be found ON OUR WEBSITE.

ARRIVALS AND DISMISSAL

What's the first day like?

The first day of any school year is memorable for all! Students arrive starting at 8:15 (our regular arrival time) on our back patio. There are signs indicating where students line up. Teachers will be outside with nametags. Students will enter the building at 8:30.


Parking is limited, so we recommend carpooling, arriving early or driving to a nearby neighborhood, and walking.


The HSA has a welcome coffee for parents at the Gazebo at Borough Park after 8:30, stop by and catch up with friends.

When should my child arrive at school?

Arrivals at Hilltop School

SUPERVISION OF STUDENTS - 8:15-8:30


This year, ALL students will line up on the BACK PATIO.


Students should report to the back patio upon their arrival at school. There are teachers supervising on the patio and the drop-off line.

STUDENT DROP-OFF 8:15-8:30
From 8:15-8:30, students can be dropped off using Hilltop’s driveway. Please drive down the side of the building and drop off adjacent to the back patio.


Students shall exit the cars without the parents needing to get out. Please give kisses and say goodbye at home so that the line can move quickly and subsequent cars can promptly drop off. Please remain in your cars as this will help the line move efficiently.


ARRIVING AFTER 8:30
Cars arriving after 8:30 will drop off their child on the front sidewalk along the driveway.

The front circle will not be used for drop-off.

THE INSTRUCTIONAL DAY STARTS AT 8:35

At Hilltop School, teachers begin instruction at 8:35 with the school-wide Pledge of Allegiance and morning announcements.

When is dismissal?

Students are dismissed at 3:15.


All default and changes to your child's dismissal plan must be made in our app Pickup Patrol.


You can pick your child up in the back by pulling down our driveway and waiting in the line. You can also park and wait in the front or back of the school.


Any student who is not picked up in time will be brought to the office and we will contact the parents/guardians.


Please do not arrange last-minute playdates or rides home without consulting the Hilltop office.


Students are not permitted to ride bikes, scooters, or the like to and from Hilltop School.

What is Pickup Patrol?

Good News! No more notes to the teacher about changes in dismissal or your child staying after school for an enrichment class!


Hilltop School uses an app called Pickup Patrol (PUP) to help us manage your child's dismissal. You will establish an account and set your child's default dismissal plans before the first day of school. Any changes that you need to make (playdates, enrichment, Girl Scouts, etc.) will be made in the app. The best part is that you can look at the calendar and make changes in advance.


YOU WILL RECEIVE AN EMAIL ON AUGUST 18 TO CONFIRM YOUR CHILD'S PICK-UP DEFAULT PLAN.

Does Hilltop have before or after school program?

Our before and aftercare is provided by the Apollo After School Program. It is housed in the Cafeteria at Hilltop and runs from 3:15-6:00.


Apollo Aftercare has run before care (7:15-8:15) in the past and can offer morning care when there are enough students to make the program feasible. If you are interested in before-care services, please contact Apollo at 855-543-7277.

Can I bring my dog to drop-off and pick-up?

The only area in which leashed dogs are permitted on school grounds is in the back on the far grass. This allows ample space for our students who are scared of dogs to stay on the back patio without interacting with dogs. NO DOGS are permitted in the front during drop-off and pick-up.


If you prefer to bring your dog to pick-up or drop-off, please change your default plan and pick up your child in the back of the building.

ATTENDANCE

AT WHAT TIME WILL MY CHILD BE MARKED TARDY?

Any student who is not in their classroom at 8:35 will be marked tardy. If your child is tardy, there will be a sign-in on a table inside the front doors of the school.

The contacting of families and consequences for excessive tardies will be at the discretion of the principal, which will typically occur if your child is absent for 10% of the school days up to that point.

WHAT DO I DO IF MY CHILD IS GOING TO BE LATE OR ABSENT?

Please call or email the Nurse’s Office at 973-543-4251, Ext. 142 before 8:15 a.m. if your child will be absent.

Note that students must be in attendance at school for a minimum of four hours in order to participate in school-sponsored activities.

Any unexcused absence is considered truancy and is so designated for attendance purposes by the State Department of Education of New Jersey. When the school office compiles the absence list for the day, parents who have not notified the school will be called to verify student absence. Please visit our website www.mendhamboro.org or click the policy link to view the Attendance Policy in its entirety.


The contacting of families and consequences for excessive absences will be at the discretion of the principal, which will typically occur if your child is tardy for 10% of the school days up to that point.

Attendance

The Board of Education has an obligation to require students of this district to be present at school so that he/she may be educated appropriately. This policy is for the benefit of the students, their parents/guardians, and the community at large. This policy is based on the belief that a student must attend class on a regular basis if he/she is to receive the maximum benefit from the classroom instruction and to profit from the exchange of ideas within the classroom. Absences, for any reason, restrict and inhibit the ability of the student to master and complete the prescribed curriculum requirements and the various subject proficiencies. The Mendham Borough Board of Education and the Hilltop School staff recognize and accept the responsibility to provide a thorough and efficient education for every student and expect the cooperation of students and parents/guardians in this endeavor.


Note that students must be in attendance at school for a minimum of four hours in order to participate in school-sponsored activities.

Any unexcused absence is considered truancy and is so designated for attendance purposes by the State Department of Education of New Jersey. When the school office compiles the absence list for the day, parents who have not notified the school will be called to verify student absence. Please visit our website www.mendhamboro.org or click the policy link to view the Attendance Policy in its entirety.

HILLTOP HAPPENINGS

When is Picture Day?

AUGUST 31, 2022


Make-Up Picture Day - November 9, 2022


We will be using School Craft Studios for our pictures. Most ordering will be available online.

When is Back to School Night 2022?

Back to School Night will be held on Thursday, September 15th. The tentative schedule is as follows:

  • 6:00-7:00 - Related Arts Teachers (Gym, Art, Music, Library) and Child Study Team will be in their classrooms for Open Visits

  • 6:15-6:50 - Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd Grade teachers will present in their classrooms

  • 7:00 - 7:40 - General meeting in Gym

  • 7:45-8:20 - 3 & 4 and Pre-K teachers will present in their classrooms


If you have more than one child in the time slots above, you can split up if your spouse is available. If not, you can attend part of each session. You can always contact your child's teacher with any concerns.


Back to School Night is meant to be an adult-only event. If this is an issue for your family, please contact Mr. Heller.

How is Halloween celebrated?

We have a Halloween Parade on Monday, October 31, 2022.


More details will be shared as Halloween approaches.

When are the winter concerts?

The Hilltop Winter concerts are back! They will be held on December 21, with a snow date of December 22nd.


Specific details to follow.

How are birthdays celebrated at Hilltop School?

On each student's birthday, their names are featured on our front hallway TV, names are announced during morning announcements, and teachers and classmates celebrate together in the classroom.


There is NO FOOD or any other giveaways in the classroom for birthdays.


If you are looking to invite the entire class to a private celebration, invitations may only distributed in school if the ENTIRE CLASS is invited. Please do not send your child in with invitations to hand out - it is going to cause hurt feelings. Contact your child's teacher with any questions.


Sorry, we cannot supply class emails for electronic invitations. By joining the HSA, you will have access to their email directory.

When is Field Day?

Field Day is a fun end-of-year (end of May, early June) activity for students to enjoy great weather and fun activities outside. Field Day is organized by Mr. Mahr, our PE teacher, a committee of HSA members, and parent volunteers.


More details will be sent out in the spring.

What is Walk-n-Roll?

Walk-n-Roll usually happens in the Fall and Spring. These are walk-to-school days. Talk to your friends and neighbors to make your own "Walking School Bus." Many Fridays families meet at the Gazebo to walk together - often I will join the group!

If your child walks to school, please stop by one of the HSA tables (in the front or the back of the school) to let them know. The homeroom with the highest percentage of walkers on these Fridays earns extra recess.

Our goal with these days is to educate children about the benefit of exercise, minimize traffic in town and understand that walking, rather than driving, is good for the environment and community!

MEALS AND SNACK AT HILLTOP SCHOOL

What's the menu in the Hilltop Cafeteria?

Here is the webpage for our Pomptonian lunch menu.


Look here for more FAQs about the cafeteria.


There is an APP for Pomptonian as well - search FD MealPlanner on your phone to download it.


You can easily set up a PayForIt account for your child (payschoolscentral.com.).

Will my child have snack during the day?

Students will have a Crunch and Sip snack during the day. The time of Crunch and Sip is determined by teachers, based on their lunch and academic schedule. At Hilltop, we follow the Crunch and Sip program. Other than fruits and vegetables, the only other food permitted is a cheese stick. Contact Mrs. Pagana if your child has dietary restrictions or with any other questions.

CAN MY CHILD BRING PEANUT BUTTER TO SCHOOL?

During lunch, students can bring peanut butter! Mrs. Pagana, our school nurse, will work with the families with allergies to develop a plan so that our students are safe in the cafeteria.


Due to the tighter quarters, peanut butter and food with other allergens may not be permitted during Crunch and Sip. Your child's teacher will let you know if this is the case in your classroom.

WHERE CAN I FIND INFORMATION ABOUT FREE/REDUCED LUNCHES?

Information regarding the Free/Reduced Lunch Program can be found on the Mendham Borough School Website Free/Reduced Lunch Information

Know anyone looking for family friendly hours working in our cafeteria?

POMPTONIAN FOOD SERVICE is our food provider in the cafeteria and is looking for individuals to join their team and help to prepare and serve meals in the kitchens at Hilltop and Mountain View. CLICK HERE to learn more and apply.


THE MENDHAM BORO SCHOOL DISTRICT is looking to add to our cafeteria team, monitoring students in our eating area. Hours are 10:50-1:20 each day. CLICK HERE to apply or contact Mr. Heller for more information.

PARENT INVOLVEMENT

What is the HSA?

The HSA is the Home and School Association for Mendham Borough Schools. This group (similar to a PTA) is comprised by parent volunteers from their executive Board to committee chairs and other volunteers.


The HSA runs many annual events such as the Harvest Hustle 5K run, Bingo Night, socials for students our 4th graders, and in some years, a fun spring fundraiser for adults!


All HSA funds are donated back to Hilltop and Mountain View Schools. The HSA has been integral in funding the purchase of technology in our schools, from Smart Boards to laptops, helping to fund the new Lions Den Media Center at Mountain View, murals at Hilltop, and helping to fund our new playground, and many, many other initiatives.


Being a member of the HSA gives you access to their online portal and regular communication of events. The HSA is ALWAYS looking for volunteers, especially helping in our cafeteria and Library.


VISIT THE HSA WEBSITE.

Can I volunteer at Hilltop?

We are happy to welcome volunteers into our schools. All volunteers must start by completing this form. Volunteers include cafeteria and Library support among other roles.


All volunteers, regardless of past experiences in our schools, must attend in-person training, complete on-line safety training, and be approved by the Board of Education before being eligible to volunteer.


General expectations include:

  • Arriving at school at your designated time and signing in at the office.
  • Letting our school staff know about any concerns you notice with regard to students.
  • Maintaining confidentiality of what you see and hear during your visit.
  • Signing out in the office following your visit.


Volunteers at Hilltop help mostly in our Cafeteria and Library:

IN THE CAFETERIA - If you help in our cafeteria, you will be circulating around the students as they eat. Some things to expect, include:


  • Communicating with our lunch room teachers and our school staff to see how you can help.
  • Assisting students with their lunches, including helping with food items like opening milk, yogurt, and lunch boxes, and helping cut items like pancakes, waffles, etc.
  • Ensuring students are following the basic rules such as staying in their seats and using an inside voice. We do not expect nor want our volunteers to be disciplinarians - just to provide simple reminders of our expectations.
  • Reminding students to recycle items.


IN THE LIBRARY - If you are helping Mrs. LeMay in our Library, your responsibilities include:


  • Using the computer system to check in and out books for students.
  • Shelving books in their proper location.
  • Organizing returns for easy shelving for Mrs. LeMay and other volunteers.


There are other opportunities within our HSA for volunteers.


CLICK HERE to start the volunteer process of being approved by our Board of Education.


All volunteers from the prior school year will be automatically approved each August. To be eligible, volunteers will need to complete the steps mentioned above each year.

What is Parent Council?

The Parent Council is a group of volunteer parents who meet with the school principal about 6 times per year to discuss whole school concerns and issues. The Parent Council serves as a liaison to the school community in Mendham Borough. The primary objective of this Council is to facilitate communication that positively impacts our school and enriches the environment for our children and community. Some of the changes that have resulted from our meetings include the format of Back-to-School Night, recess improvements, arrivals of our kindergartners, and healthy cafeteria choices.


The Parent Council is not a substitute for individuals having direct contact with the appropriate school personnel. Your representatives are available to guide you through the proper channels should you need assistance.


The Parent Council meets throughout the year (CLICK HERE for dates). All items must be approved for our agenda, so please contact your representative(s) in a timely manner.

What do parents need to know about security around school?

All exterior doors at Hilltop are locked. You must come in through the front entrance and be buzzed in by the office staff. All visitors must wear a visitor badge during their stay at Hilltop and must sign out when leaving.


NJ state law requires us to conduct one fire drill and one safety drill per month. These drills are introduced to your child in an age-appropriate manner.


You will see Mendham Borough police officers at Hilltop School. The Mendham Borough School District has a class III officer, Officer Behre, who works between both schools. We work together to help our students understand that the police are valuable community members and are always here to help.


If your child forgets something, it can be dropped off in the office. No one is allowed into the school without authorization. We will only call students down if it is absolutely necessary at that time so as to not interrupt instruction.