Hilltop Herald - Parent Edition

Be Respectful ~ Be Responsible ~ Be Resilient

Volume 1 ~ Issue 22 ~ January 30, 2023

Wonderful Falcon Families,

“Nothing good ever comes of violence. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

On this rainy Sunday, I need to address the issue of physical altercations among you, our students. Friday was a tough day at HTM as we had two fights, one on campus during the school day and one outside of campus after school. And what was sad was last week was the Great Kindness Challenge Week.Violence of any form is never acceptable, especially in schools. The incident on campus actually began from a negative post on Instagram the night before and it was brought on campus the next day. And while these incidents were taken care of efficiently by our staff, at the end of the day, I pondered on how do children reach a decision to start a fight or engage in a fight. In my 30 years in education, I have yet to hear a good enough reason to participate in provoked violence in schools. Falcons, I believe that our staff have taught you to seek adults nearby or the admin team if another student is trying to provoke you to participate in such violent behaviors. Always reach out to an adult BEFORE you get to a level of frustration that you think the only solution is to fight. Fighting is never the solution.

Fighting also does not represent our HTM's mantra, which states: Be Respectful ~ Be Responsible ~ Be Resilient. In fact, when we engage in violence, it is disrespectful, it is irresponsible and we are not being resilient. Know that such action will ultimately result in a consequence that you will not like such as suspension or transfer to a school or expulsion depending on the severity of the situation. Falcon families, please review this behavior expectation presentation that was provided for students back in July. Click HERE to access the presentation. We are planning to repeat this presentation in February.

Falcons, let's have a week that is free of violent acts. I know you can do this. Parents, please discuss this issue with your students. Thank you.

Instagram Accounts Created with HTM or hilltopmiddle or with our logos

Falcons, please be aware that as a result of the fight, we have found two accounts that appear to be new or undiscovered. We are in the process of investigating these accounts. Please check your children's phones for the following accounts:

  • htmh0es
  • htm.people

LCAP Parent Survey

Falcon parents, in the next section is a link, both in English and Spanish, that the district needs to create the LCAP plan for the 2023-2024 school year. Please take the time to complete as soon as possible.

Chronic Absenteeism Issue

As you know attendance in all schools nationwide since the pandemic has been dismal; this includes HTM. Currently, we have 20% of our students with a tag of chronic absenteeism; that is, students have 8 absences or more. Ideally, all schools should be at 95% attendance rate. We are working on a rigorous attendance review process of all these students to get them back to school. Please review the section below on Chronic Absentees.

Falcon Flight and Spring Sports

Students, we are in the process of adding new activities to our Falcon Flight for before and after school. Additionally, spring sports tryouts will start next week. In order to tryout, you must be signed up to participate in Falcon Flight. Please read the information below regarding Falcon Flight and/or Spring Sports. For more information, please email our to coordinators, Ms. Pulido at jessica.pulido@sweetwaterschools.org or Mr. Horton at joshua.horton@sweetwaterschools.org. Also, Spring Break field trips will occur this year and you must be signed up in Falcon Flight to participate.

Eighth Grade Promotion Information

Eighth Graders, your promotion ceremony will be held at Hilltop High School on May 31, 2023 at 5:30pm. Due to the COVID pandemic, many of you did not have a chance to make up your failed classes, so you have been given an opportunity to participate despite that you have not made up your Fs. In order to participate, you will need to pass ALL your classes THIS SEMESTER - NO Fs. Pass all 6 or 7 classes, participate in promotion. Fail one, you will not be able to participate in promotion. Please read this letter from the Office of Curriculum and Instruction [Click HERE for English] Click HERE for Spanish].

FLAGS Parent Information Night

Falcon families, if you have incoming 7th graders and are interested in the FLAGS program, please join us for an informational meeting on February 7 or March 8 at 6pm in the cafeteria. Please read the information below.

Future STEAM Opportunities for our Lady Falcons

Lady Falcons, do you love science? Do you want to pursue a career in science. Or are you just curious about how things work? If so, there are two opportunities in the next few months in which you can participate. Be Wise is a program for girls who applied and accepted into the program where they will participate in STEAM activities. Expanding Your Horizons is an annual conference that takes place at the University of San Diego. It is a free event but it requires you to register to attend. Both have deadlines. If you are interested, please don't forget to submit your application for Be Wise and register for EYH.

Parents, if you are scientist or work in the STEAM field, this is also an opportunity for you to volunteer or be a mentor. Click HERE to sign up.

Finally, the rest of the newsletter contains reminders of our cell phone policy, dress code policy and bullying/harrassment policy. Please read it again especially with your parents so that there are no surprises.

Falcons, let's have an amazing week.


Mrs. Finley

SUHSD LCAP Parent Survey

Parents, please complete the district LCAP Survey by clicking on the title bar. Or, click on the link in the description below.

Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) survey

Dear parents, please take a moment to complete the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) survey for Hilltop Middle School. Your input is very important to ensure we capture your thoughts and suggestions based on the needs you see at our school and community. I hope you can participate to make our school even better for your children’s education.
Please see the attachments for the QR Code for 22/23 LCAP Parent Survey or click on this link:


Estimados padres, tómense un momento para completar la encuesta del Plan de responsabilidad de control local (LCAP) para la escuela secundaria Hilltop. Su aporte es muy importante para asegurarnos de capturar sus pensamientos y sugerencias en función de las necesidades que ve en nuestra escuela y comunidad. Espero que pueda participar para hacer que nuestra escuela sea aún mejor para la educación de sus hijos.
Consulte los archivos adjuntos para el código QR de la Encuesta para padres LCAP 22/23 o haga clic en este enlace:


Thank You. Gracias

Chronic Absenteeism Issue

If your child has been absent for 8 days or more, please read the information below.


This semester, we are being more persistent about your child attending school in-person, especially if they have been absent for eight (8) days or more. This is what is referred to as chronic absenteeism. Ms. Garcia and Mr. Toms are collaborating on how to get your child or children back in school. Please read the flyer below as to the attendance review process. Ultimately, if we cannot find you or convince you to return to campus, we will have no choice but to drop you from HTM.

These absences can be made up and corrected in your child's records by attending Saturday Academy for four hours. Below is the information for Saturday Academy. The last thing we want is to drop your child from our system; however, if Mr. Toms and Ms. Garcia have done all they can by following the process below, then we are left with no other option but to drop your child from the school.

Any questions, please email Ms. Garcia at claudia.garcia2@sweetwaterschools.org.

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Falcon Scholars Information

Falcons, progress report is fast approaching. Don't wait until grades are due to go to tutoring. Attend Falcons Scholars now.

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FLAGS Parent Information Night

Falcon Families, if you have an incoming 7th grader, and are interested in the FLAGS Program, please join us for this informational meeting.

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Falcon Flight and Springs Sports Information

Falcons, we are in the process of starting new activities in Falcon Flight. Come and join other classmates in our program. Spring Sports is almost upon us. Complete the Falcon Flight Interest Form first.

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2023 Be Wise Conference

Lady Falcons, if you want to be a science major in college or pursue a science career, this application to participate in the Be Wise Program might be just the right fit for you.

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Expanding Your Horizons Conference

Lady Falcons, this is a great conference to attend if your intested in pursuing science.

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Falcons, this is a reminder of our cell phone policy.


As we start Semester 2, this is a reminding that all students are required to follow our cell phone policy at HTM.

It is our collective expectation that everyone on campus will uphold the cell phone use policy as outlined in the district's board policy as well as in our handbook:

  1. Upon entry, all cell phones must be turned off and placed in the backpack.
  2. If your a staff member directs you to put it away, please listen and put it in your backpack.
  3. Cell phones are not allowed in the bathroom. If you are caught with it in the bathroom, your phone will be taken immediately and must be picked up by the parents. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  4. If a staff member takes a cell phone away, they will give it back to you at the end of each period UNLESS it warrants being taken to the main office.
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As we begin the new semester, it is important that we remind you of our Bullying/Harrassment Policy. Please review as a family.

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Click Here to Access the Student Handbook

Falcons, click on the button to access your handbook.