Hilltop Herald - Parent Edition

Be Respectful ~ Be Responsible ~ Be Resilient

Volume 2 ~ Issue 13~ October 23, 2023

Wonderful Falcon Families,

"You find out so many interesting things when you're not on drugs." ~Boy George~

The month of October is typically punctuated by schools participating in the National Red Ribbon Week Campaign. This campaign was created to commemorate the sacrifice of DEA Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena. He was decorated agent who was sent to Guadalajara, Mexico as an undercover agent to infiltrate the powerful Guadalajara Cartel known for its marijuana and cocaine trafficking. Much of his work was to infiltrate marijuana plantations that utilized new methods of production using seedless plants, also known as sinsemilla. His undercover work led to the destruction of 4000 sinsemilla at the time of the raid, making it the largest plantation raided in the 1980s. A subsequent raid on a larger plantain led to his capture, torture and eventual death. His death launched an extremely ambitious effort in investigating his death; this included the unearthing of the CIA's involvement in his death. Today, Camarena still represents and stands for a drug-free society, especially for youth. In 1985, his high school friend from Calexico, Henry Lozano, launched the first Red Ribbon Week, which later became a statewide effort to promote the drug free campaign. In 1988, the first National Red Ribbon Week was established by Congress and chaired by then First Lady Nancy Reagan whose campaign during her husband's presidency was "Say No to Drugs."

Today, drug continues to be prevalent, and with the advent of vapes, drug use in youth has increased and is insidious as it has become incredibly difficult to prevent youth from participate. Therefore, families, we must be diligent in our efforts to protect our children by having frank conversations about drugs. This year's theme of "Be Kind to your Mind. Live Drug Free" was submitted by Danielle Helm, a Youth Service Coordinator at Russell County Middle School, Kentucky. Her rationale for this theme was the nature in which drugs alter our brain development and slows brain growth, especially in children. Her hope is that her theme will encourage each of us to do our part in keeping our communities healthy, safe and drug free. There is no better time to start these conversations with them than this week.

Progress Report 2 is this Week

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 This Week

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

  • Thursday, October 26 @ 6:00pm: In support of Red Ribbon Week, HTM has partnered with CVPD to provide a workshop on the Dangers of VAPING. Officer Campolo will be providing this presentation. We have invited the high school to attend this highly informative training.
  • Friday, October 27 @ 9:00am: We will be discussing Progress Report 2 and the return to the regular promotion requirements for 8th graders.

Celebrating Red Ribbon Week on October 23 - 31, 2022

  • In support of our nation's efforts to be drug-free, HTM celebrates Red Ribbon Week starting tomorrow, Monday, October 23. The 2023 theme is "Be Kind to your Mind. Live Drug Free." Click HERE to access the nationwide activities for this important campaign.
  • For those of you who are artistic, the 13th Annual National Red Ribbon Week Photo Contest is still ongoing. There are monetary awards with your photo being chosen. Click HERE to access the details of the competition.
  • Please read the flyer below for the ENCOURAGED Spirit Gear for each day this week until October 31.

Make Up Picture Day is October 27, 2023

Students, if you have not taken your picture yet, please make sure that you go before or after school or during PE to have your picture taken. You may take your picture on Friday if:

  • you were absent on the original picture day
  • if you are new to the school
Friday is NOT make up day because you did not like your picture from the original picture day.

Halloween Dance Information

Students, we will have our second dance of the year on Friday, October 27, 2023. It will occur immediately after school. The cost is $5, and dance ticket sales will begin tomorrow on Monday during lunch at ASB. Students, a reminder that you cannot leave school and then re-enter school. If you want to change into nicer clothing or in your costume, you need to bring them and change in school.

Filipino American History Month Focus

We continue to learn more about the contributions of Filipinos around the world. This week, we focus on two individuals: Larry Itliong (Leader of the Delano Grape Strike) and Corazon Aguino (First Female President of the United States. Click on the videos below to watch with your families. Once again, thank you, Ms. Southam, for creating these informative videos.

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

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

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Event on October 31, 2023

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.

Pumpkin Decorating Contest in Advisory This Week

Students, each advisory received a pumpkin to decorate this week. Make sure you follow the pumpkin decorating rules (see below). These pumpkins will be displayed during the Trick-or-Treat Event on October 31 where students will have an opportunity to vote for the best decorated pumpkin.

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.

Let's have an amazing week!


Ms. Finley

Coffee with the Principal Information

Parents, please join me for both of these events. See you there!

Big picture
Big picture
Eighth grade families, we are expecting to return to the normal requirements of 8th grade promotions, which is 21 credits of classes out of 24 credits. While some of you are on track to promotion, there are some of you that are not. Please read the classes that you have to pass in order to participate in promotion and received a certificate of promotion. We are waiting for the district to send us the announcement by the end of October. I want you to be aware so that you can start working on raising your grades if you are currently failing. Any questions, please contact your counselors.

Eighth graders, if you failed four classes or more may be in danger of not participating in promotion and receiving a certificate or promotion. We are in the process of developing credit recovery courses for English/ELD, Math 7 or Compacted Math 7, General Science 1, World Cultures and PE. In the meantime, you cannot afford to fail any classes this year.

Seventh graders, work diligently to not fail any classes this year so that you do not need to go to summer school. In summer school, you will be able to recover only two Fs. Ensure your ability to participate in promotion exercises by passing all your classes with a grade of D or higher.

Big picture
Red Ribbon Spirit Week is October 23-27, 2023

This week, HTM celebrates Red Ribbon Week. The 2023 theme is "Be Kind to your Mind. Live Drug Free."

Big picture
Halloween Dance is on Friday, October 27, 2023

Students, tickets are on sale starting Monday during lunch. Tickets will NOT BE SOLD at the door. The cost is $5.

Big picture
Big picture
Advisory Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Staff, we are having our second annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest on October 31 when students will vote for the best decorated pumkin during the Trick-or Treat event. Use this week to decorate your advisory pumpkin.

Big picture
2023 HTM Trick-or-Treat Event

Students, we will be hosting our second annual Trick-or-Treat event on October 31 during lunch. Parents, if you are able to donate a bag of candy, our students will appreciate it so much.

Big picture
Big picture
October is Filipino-American History Month

We continue our celebration of Filipino American History Month. This week we look to learn about Larry Itliong and Corazon Aguino. Please watch the youtube video on them.

Filipino Heritage Month, Larry Itliong
Filipino Heritage Month, Corazon Aquino
2023 SUHSD Magkaisa Conference is October 28, 2023

Families, please join me this Saturday at Otay Ranch High School for the 21st Annual Magkaisa Conference. The keynote speaker is Kenneth Barliss, a Project Runway Designer.

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

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

Big picture
Falcon Scholars Every Monday - Thursday

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

Big picture
Saturday Academy This Saturday, September 9, 2023

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

Big picture
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.