Hilltop Herald - Parent Edition

Be Respectful ~ Be Responsible ~ Be Resilient

Volume 1 ~ Issue 7 ~ August 29, 2022

Amazing Falcon Families,

"It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best." ~ W. Edwards Deming~

When you think of Nike, you inevitably connect it to the slogan "Just Do It," which conjures up champions like Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, just to name of few. The slogan is so simple yet so impactful that it is synonymous with champions. The question that begs to be asked is , "What is it that these champions do and how did they know to do it?" As a tennis fan, I have heard countless interviews with Serena and Nadal, where they have iterated concepts of sacrifice, practice, willingness to be coached and learning to never give up. These are actions that the BEST demonstrates at all times. It does not mean that they end up winning a tournament but what they will say in post-interview is that they prepared the best that they could to be in a position to win a championship. That BEST was done prior to the final outcome. As Deming's quote states: "It is not enough to do your best, you must know what to do, then do your best." I often hear students say and this includes my own children, "I have done my best." What does that mean when you say that statement? Did you know what needed to be done? Did you know what was expected of you? If you wanted an A in class, did you know what the class required for the grade of A? It requires knowing what is expected to reach the end goal; in school, this means the highest grade possible, and then do the work that is needed to reach that end goal. Students, as you evaluate the grades that you will be receiving, I challenge you know what it is you need to do in order to do your BEST for each class moving forward. Know that while your teachers will vary, it will require sacrifice on your part, practicing what you have learned, willing to receive feedback from your teachers and learning to never give up. In the end, if you do all of this, your BEST will always shine.

First Progress Report is September 2, 2022

The first progress report is fast approaching. If you are doing well in your classes, then continue what you are doing. If you are NOT doing well in one of your classes, now is a good time to catch up. Falcon Scholars is open as a homework center starting tomorrow after school. All teachers have to submit their grades by Wednesday, August 31. So make sure that you do not wait until the last minute to make up any missing work. Please thoroughly read the section on Understanding Grades and Evaluation of Student Work.

Coffee with the Principal on September 2, 2022 from 9:00am - 11:00am

This Friday, I will host a hybrid Coffee with the Principal for parents and guardians. If you are able to attend in person, I would love to see you in the cafeteria. If you are not able to, please join us virtually. The link is found below in the section Coffee with the Principal. You can also click HERE to access the meeting. I hope to see at least 200 of you in person.

Jupiter Grades Access

If you have not accessed your child's grades on Jupiter, now is the time to start checking up on them. If you do not know how, please email on of your child's teachers as they will be able to give you a temporary password. You can set Jupiter Grades to give you weekly notification if you want to. If you need help, please contact Ms. Garcia at claudia.garcia3@sweetwaterschools.org or Mr. Zaragoza at adrian.zaragoza@sweetwaterschools.org.

Suicide Prevention Community Forum

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. To kick-off this month, on September 1, Olympian High School will host the 2022 Suicide Prevention Community Forum. The forum begins at 5:30 PM. The flyer is below. This community forum will include a resource fair and a keynote speaker, Bertha Loaiza—a national expert and documentarian on suicide prevention. If you have any questions, please contact Margaret Sedor at Margaret.sedor@sweetwaterschools.org.

HTM Fall Sports Practice and Games Schedules

Below is a flyer that contains practice information for Fall Sports. While we have the dates for the Saturday games, we do not have the times yet. Once we receive it, we will forward the information to you. There is also tryouts for Cheer this week (see flyer below) and information on Cross Country (see flyer below).

NEW!! Celebrating Birthdays: July and August

This Wednesday, August 31, HTM will be celebrating all July and August birthdays. ASB will be giving each celebrant a birthday card, which will serve as their ticket to get a birthday treat. Happy Birthday to all July and August Babies!

Please make sure that you read the newsletter in its entirety to ensure that you are in the KNOW of what is happening at HTM.


Ms. Finley

Understanding Grades and Evaluation of Student Work

Students and Parents, please read the information below regarding grades.

Falcon Families,

As students receive their first progress reports, many will experiences a variety of emotions as they see the grades. Some students will love their grades while others may be shocked at what they have received. I want to emphasize: This is a progress report. This is not the final grade. By the time you receive this report, the grades may have already changed. Below is the district policy regarding student grades. All policies are governed by California Educational Code. So I want to emphasize Point #4 below. Many students and parents will call counselors and administration to change grades. Per Ed Code and SUHSD Policy, no one except the teacher can change grades. Per Ed Code, grades may only be changed due to one of the four reasons stated in Ed Code.

Here is what California Ed Code on Grades states:

49066. (a) When grades are given for any course of instruction taught in a school district, the grade given to each pupil shall be the grade determined by the teacher of the course and the determination of the pupil's grade by the teacher, in the absence of clerical or mechanical mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency, shall be final.

Thus, it is essential that when students are currently failing a class or more, the student and/or their parents should confer with the teachers of these classes. It is suggested that these conferences or email or phone calls be done well in advance of any grading period but especially before the end of the semester when grades are final.

Additionally, HTM provides opportunities and spaces for students to catch up on their work. Many teachers have their own tutoring or make up sessions. We also have Falcon Scholars, a tutoring place, where students can make up missing assignments.

The good news is that this is the first progress report. This means you have time to raise your grades. Take charge of your grades and approach your teachers as to how you can change a bad grade into an acceptable or top-notch grade. It is in your hands.

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Happy Birthday July and August Babies

Happy Birthday to all our July and August Babies. Please see the information below regarding our celebration.

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First Coffee with the Principal is September 2, 2022

Parents, I would love to see many of you attend our first Coffee with the Principal of the year. It is hybrid format. This means, if you can attend in person, we would love to see there. If not, then join us virtually.

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District Event: Suicide Prevention Community Forum

Parents, whether or not you have had a child who has experienced this kind of trauma, it is always helpful to learn more about how we, as a community, can support our students through their mental struggles. I hope to see you there.

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HTM Intervention Programs

Students, do not get behind in any of your classes. Start Attending Falcon Scholars on August 15, 2022

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HTM Sports Practice and Game Schedule

Families, below is the information for our Fall Sports. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Reimund at sarah.reimund@sweetwaterschools.org or Ms. Pulido at jessica.pulido@sweetwaterschools.org. Can't wait to see you at the games.

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Falcon Flight Before & Afterschool Program

Families, our Falcon Flight Before and After-school program is fully open. Below is a video of how each day functions. You must sign up for the program.


If you want your child to participate in extra-curricular activities such as athletics, tutoring, drama, strings and other programs, follow the instructions below. We need you to sign up TODAY!!

Click HERE to sign up. Once a staff member enrolls your student into the program, you will receive an email stating that they are now part of the program.

NOTE: SUHSD mandates that all students participating in extracurricular activities such as are offered in the Falcon Flight will be required to test weekly. Here are two ways in which you may test:

  1. Participate in the SDSU-NIH Weekly Testing Program. Click HERE to sign up for the testing program. The results will go directly to the district and will be provided to all schools.
  2. Provide a weekly test results provided by your healthcare provider or other verified healthcare organization such as 211.org or pharmacies that provide free testing. Submit test results by 5:00pm Tuesday each week.
  3. You may use a store-bought home test kit but you will have to submit test by 5:00pm Tuesday each week. You must take a picture of the results with your full name written on the test kit and the date you took the test.
Falcon Flight Sign In&Out
COVID Information

Students and Parents, please read the latest about COVID and the associated protocols that go with it.

Click HERE on the latest COVID Update. At this point, masking is strongly recommended. As the numbers changes, so will our protocols. Thank you for your patience.

Students, if you test positive for COVID, click HERE to determine which scenario fits your situation. Once you have identified the correct scenario for you, please follow all safety protocols that go with the scenario.

For classwork, you will be placed on independent study. Please contact the attendance office to report the absence or email our assistant principal secretary, Ms. Garcia at patricia.garcia2@sweetwaterschools.org. It is important that once Ms. Garcia sends you the independent study form, you sign it immediately.

At this time, teachers are NOT required to host a virtual synchronous session during her in-person instruction. This is being negotiated with the teachers union right now.

Weekly COVID testing is mandatory for all athletes and extracurricular activities. If you have not done so already, please sign up with SDSU-NIH Testing program [Click HERE] or you will have to provide test results from your healthcare provider or other verified health organizations.

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Click HERE to Access the Student/Parent Handbook

Click on this title bar to access the student/parent handbook. This is the latest iteration of the handbook. In the next few weeks, we will be updating the information. For now, this is what students and families will be accountable for.