Hilltop Herald - Parent Edition

Be Respectful ~ Be Responsible ~ Be Resilient

Volume 2 ~ Issue 12 ~ October 16, 2023

Amazing Falcon Families,

"Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. Your habits shape your identity, and your identity shapes your habit" ~James Clear~

Around this time of the year, I like to give you encouragement on how to work through the challenges you may encounter mid-semester. Many of the challenges are about your academics, specifically, how you may struggle to mainitain good grades or how to get back on track, if you are behind. Many of these challenges are tied to your habits. Last year, I read a book by James Clear titled Atomic Habits. In it, Mr. Clear speaks about how our habits are derived from the identities we hold dear and display to the public. For example, if we believe we are great students, our habits will show that. On the other hand, if we believe we are poor students, then we show habits that reflect that. He states that if we want to change our habits, we begin by claiming the identity that we want and then change our habits to match that chosen identity. He also states that habits are changed incrementally, in small amounts. So, if we want to be a successful student, then we need to look at our actions and see if they match the identity we desire. If they do not match, then change one action at a time, such as attending Falcon Scholars for work not finished in class. If you do this regularly, it becomes the habit that matches what successful students do; they finish their work and turn it in on time. If your goal is to become an avid reader, then you intentionally include time in your daily routine to read. Students, I challenge you this quarter, to identify one habit that needs to be changed. And then, identify one good habit that you can replace it with. Then, you must implement that chosen habit daily so that you either become a more successful student or you move toward being a successful student. Once you have mastered that one habit, then find another habit to change in your journey to attain the identity you seek.

Change your Password and Protect It

It has been brought to my attention that some of you have used your birthday as your password, which has been shared with other students. Consequently, these other students have been logging in to Jupiter Grades accounts that are not theirs. Students, remember the privacy of your identity is especially important and should only be known by you. You are accountable for what is being emailed or utilized via your district-issued accounts. Do not freely give your password to anyone. If you still have a birthday password, please take time this week to change your password to be more secure and then do not share it. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Great California Shakeout on Thursday, October 19, 2023

Students, in support of the Great California Shakeout, we have an earthquake/Fire/Evacuation drill on that day. Remember to take these exercises seriously as we never know when these disasters will occur.

Hilltop Con is this Friday, October 20, 2023

Students, on Friday, Hilltop Con (our Comic Con version) returns to HTM on Friday. This is a 12:58pm release day (Schedule D). We hope to see many of you stay after school for this event.

Progress Report 2 Is Around the Corner

Families, this is a reminder that Progress Report 2 will be released on Friday, October 27 at 8:00am via Campus Portal. No paper copies will be distributed. Progress Report 2 is an important academic marker for all students as this serves to notice that we are six weeks away from the end of the semester. Here are a couple of important information about Progress Report 2:

  • This progress report serves as official notice of failure at the end of semesters for students who are currently getting an F in one or more classes.
  • Students receiving a scholarship grade of D will receive paper notifications from teachers of classes where Ds have been reported. This Report of Student Progress report will inform you in detail why they are receiving a D and will serve as official notification that students can potentially fail their D classes.

Students, it is important that you make up all your work sooner than later. Below are the flyers for Falcon Scholars and Saturday Academy. Attend these tutoring opportunities until your grades go up to a passing grade. Students, if you are passing your classes with a grade of C or higher, keep up the good work.

Coffee with the Principal Information

Coffee with Principal will coincide with Progress Report 2. Below are the two dates of the meeting, which will be held in person.

  • Thursday, October 26 @ 6:00pm
  • Friday, October 27 @ 9:00am

Make Up Picture Day is October 27, 2023

Staff, if you have not taken your picture yet, please make sure that you go during your prep or before school to have your picture taken.

Filipino American History Month Focus

Families, please use this video as a family to learn more about the contributions of Filipinos in the United States and around the world. This week's focus is Jose Rizal, martyr of the Philippines during the Spanish Rule in the Philippines. Thank you, Ms. Southam, for creating this video for advisory.

Magkaisa Conference Filipino Student/Parent Conference is on October 28, 2023

In celebration of the Filipino American History Month, Otay Ranch High will host the 21st Magkaisa Conference on Saturday, October 28, 2023 from 8:00am - 2:00pm. This event is open to everyone. Please read the flyer below and join me on that day.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

HTM recognizes the importance of doing our part in bringing awareness of this important topic in our community. We will have a couple of ASB events to demonstrate our support for breast cancer awareness.

Halloween Information

Students, we will be ending October with a Halloween Trick-or-Treat during lunch on October 31. To accommodate this activity, we will have one lunchtime/advisory on that day instead of split lunch/advisory. To participate in the Trick-or-Treat event, you will need to wear a costume or some form of Halloween gear. No Halloween costume/gear, no Trick-or-Treating.

Parents, while ASB will buy much of the candy, we are also looking for additional donations of candy to pass out during lunch on October 31. If you want to donate, please bring your candy donation to the school. No chocolate or candies with nuts, please.

We will also have a couple of advisory competitions. More information to come from ASB:

  • Pumpkin Decorating Contest
  • Door Decorating Contest

Wellness Wednesday T-Shirt Competition

We would like to be able to sell our won HTM Wellness Wednesday T-Shirts in the ASB. Students, you will have the opportunity to participate in a competition for the chosen graphic design. This is a nice way to leave a legacy at HTM. All original designs must be submitted into this google LINK. The deadline is October 16, 2023. Please see flyer below.

2023-2024 Yearbook Orders

It is time for us to start selling yearbooks. While the deadline for students and staff is on April 15, 2024, we encourage everyone to order as early as possible. We typically order 250 copies, so it is first come-first served. We sold out last year.


Ms. Finley

Hilltop Con Friday Bell Schedule on 10/20/23

Students, Friday, October 20, 2023 will be a Schedule D bell schedule with release time at 12:58pm so that you can enjoy Hilltop Con.

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2023 HTM Halloween Activities Information

Falcons, we have several Halloween activities planned for you. We want to make sure that you plan your participation in these activities, especially your Halloween costumes. Please read the costume guidelines below.

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October is Filipino-American History Month

This month, we will be celebrating the contributions of Filipinos in the United States and around the world.

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Filipino Heritage Month, Jose Rizal
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Wellness Wednesday T-Shirt Competition

Students, we are in the process of creating our first-ever HTM Wellness Wednesday. Please click on the title bar to enter your T-shirt Graphic Design in the competition. Deadline is October 16, 2023.

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It's time to Order Your Copy of the 23-24 Yearbook!

Students, we have ordered a limited number of copies of the year - 250 copies in all. If you want to have a memory of this year, order your yearbook now. Click on the title bar to order one today.

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Falcon Scholars Every Monday - Thursday

Students, go to the cafeteria if you need help with your classes.

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Saturday Academy This Saturday, September 9, 2023

Falcons, if you have already been absent, you can make up one absence this Saturday

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Click HERE to Access the Student & Parent Handbook

This handbook is the guide to all the protocols in place at Hilltop Middle School. It is interactive in that you can click on the page number associated with the topic from the table of contents and it will take your there.