Hilltop Parent Council Minutes

September 17, 2019

In attendance:

· Pre-K: Fabrizzia Gamba (Serving 1st year); Kindergarten: Lauren Lynch (1), Pamela Diaz-Barriga (2); 1st Grade: Vanessa Cerchio (2), Amy Shammas, Co-Chair (2); 2nd Grade: Dorana Brunhammer (2), Taryn Cottone, Co-Chair, (1); 3rd Grade: Amy Golier (1), Cheryl Brown (2); 4th Grade: Bryan Hill (1), Suzy Markwick (1)

Position available for Secretary: filled by Dorana H. Brunhammer

Also in Attendance: David Heller, Principal

POSITIVE FEEDBACK - First Weeks of School

  • Opening days went smoothly
  • Nice transition with dedicated lunch time per grade
  • Mr. Heller’s Welcome to the New School Year Email was perfectly timed and very helpful
  • Cheers for Pickup Patrol (new App that allows parents to electronically update afternoon pickup preferences)
  • Successful streamlining of School Supply Kits purchased by parents were delivered directly to student’s classes - protected little bodies from hauling heavy supplies to school
  • Appreciation for the annual Kindergarten Ice Cream Social
  • Appreciation for the new main entrance lobby security doors - looks like it’s always been there
  • 4th Grade departmentalized schedule for middle school transition has been engaging
    • Mrs. Cohen teaches writing and word study
    • Mrs. McGoldrick teaches math and social studies
    • Mrs. Perfilio teaches Science and Reading

Follow-Up on Items from last meeting in May:

Parent-Teacher Conferences

  • Discussed using Sign-up Genius, “Knock when it is your conference time” signs for doors, parents with multiple students at Hilltop not scheduling back-to-back conferences
  • When conferences run late and parents schedule meetings back-to-back it causes a domino effect of late meetings
  • Parents are encouraged to schedule conferences at least 30 minutes apart

Parent Council Representative named to also serve as HSA liaison -

  • Pamela Diaz-Barriga - also HSA Co-Treasurer
  • The Mendham Boro Home and School Association (HSA) is a registered voluntary organization much like a PTA/ PTO, and represents all Hilltop and Mountain View School families. The HSA is dedicated to enhancing the educational experience of every student in Mendham Borough public schools. Led by parent volunteers (whose kids are attending the schools) who form the Board, HSA works in close collaboration with the School Administration, the teachers and the dedicated parents (Committees) to plan and support many school events and programs that benefit and support the students and the schools. These programs are organized with the money raised through our few fundraising events, spread throughout the year.

Hilltop Fundraising Efforts - the Fundraising arm of the school is the HSA. This year Hilltop has requested assistance in new gym equipment to support Mr. Coviello, our new gym teacher. We are also requesting assistance with new playground equipment to replace the current 20-year-old set.

  • There was no major Spring Fundraiser last year
  • Teacher Treasures Fundraiser for the Spring - Teacher Treasures is a fundraiser that sells raffle tickets for donated time/goods/activities sponsored by teachers - some examples: scavenger hunt, Principal for a Day, movie night, etc. HSA will coordinate an activity to sell Teacher Treasure raffles.
  • Boro Bash - being revamped this year - will likely be held in the Borough Park
  • Other events to support: Trunk or Treat (Sunday, October 27th - $40 family), Community Night in the Spring

New Business:

  • Hilltop Christian Nursery School Christmas Pageant same day/time as our school holiday pageant
    • Hilltop - New Holiday Show Time: 9:15am instead of 9:00

  • Review opportunity for an orientation/classroom open house for all grades prior to school starting
    • See classroom, meet teacher
    • Mr. Heller will speak with Dickerson and team leaders
    • Opportunity for New student orientation/parent meeting

  • Kindergarten having 2 teachers instead of 3 this year
      • 3 were presented at Kindergarten Parent Teacher Night as projection
      • projected influx of registrations from the closing of St. Joseph’s School did not occur
      • Kindergarten classes will have support from 9 am-10:45 am from fulltime lunch room teacher, Mrs. Simmons.
  • Lunch Menu: having healthier menus or options for the kids
  • Cafeteria operators are not school employees
      • Every child gets lunch regardless of the balance of their account, however, they are restricted from purchasing snacks with a negative balance
      • Cafeteria staff encourages children to make healthy choices
      • Parents can put restrictions on snacks on account

  • Pre-K new teacher/parent guide containing basic information needed prior to BTS night
  • Class Parents and Chaperone selections
      • Rotation vs “pick from a hat” so that all parents have an opportunity to be involved and not repeat year after year with the same individuals

    Next Meeting: October 22nd at 9am


The Parent Council serves on a volunteer basis as a liaison to the school community in Mendham Borough. Board policy Relations With Parents provides that there shall be a Parent Council for each school (see policies 1010.1, 10101P) to meet regularly with the principal to discuss matters of interest. The primary objective of this Council is to foster dialogue and communication between parents and administration and to provide advice and counsel to administration relating to school-wide topics.

The Councils are not a substitute for individuals having direct contact with the appropriate school personnel. There is a board policy entitled Public Complaints and Inquiries (see policy 1312). Although members of the Parent Council may be contacted for advice with respect to the most appropriate way (teacher, guidance, principal, superintendent, Board) for parents and other interested parties to seek resolution of complaints, grievances and misunderstandings, members of the Parent Council should not be contacted for the purpose of intervening in disputes between administration or staff members and individual students or parents.