PINE HOLLOW MIDDLE SCHOOL

November 15, 2019

Pine Hollow Parents,

What's new this year at Pine Hollow? Lots! Read below to learn more about the biggest improvements, adjustments, and changes we've implemented this year. There's a lot to read, because there's lots of great new things happening! Thanks for your support in making these changes possible and for getting involved to help us however you can. Have a great Friday and Go Mustangs!


Ben Campopiano
Principal
Pine Hollow Middle School

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New Staff

This year we have many new staff members who have joined our team:
  • Maria Anthony, Science Teacher
  • Erica DeGuzman, Speech Therapist
  • Treva Del Bene, Attendance Secretary
  • Rachel Hagen, Science Teacher
  • Jenny Rose Jimenez, Spanish Teacher
  • Lynn Nguyen, Nurse
  • Veronica Peiffer, Music Teacher
  • Mona Robinson, Librarian
  • Dean Walker, Science Teacher

Walk-Through Registration

This fall we overhauled our Walk-Through Registration in several meaningful ways:
  • Increased spring/summer communication about Walk-Through Registration.
  • Went from two-day process a week before school starts to a one-day process the day before school starts.
  • Added evening hours.
  • Implemented online/credit card payment options.
  • Added textbook distribution.
  • Increased PTSA involvement.
  • Improved flow, organization, and efficiency for parents.

Chromebooks

With help from the PTSA, we have ordered 108 new Chromebooks and 4 new Chromebook charging carts at a cost of about $24,000. These Chromebooks will replace about 20% of our oldest Chromebooks, which are over five years old. Moving forward, we plan to repurpose or recycle about 20% of our Chromebooks each year so that we have an annual purchasing plan to keep our Chromebook inventory up to date and sufficient for all of our students and staff.

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination)

This year we have joined many schools in our district and thousands of schools across the state by implementing AVID at our site. Our AVID staff team attended multiple trainings last year and a summer conference funded by the PTSA.


Students will notice AVID's impact in several ways. First, all 6th graders who take a rotation elective class receive "AVID Light" for one quarter with Mrs. Kahl-Hernandez. In this class they work on goal setting, character building, note taking, organization, study skills, and other foundational topics to support overall student success.


Second, all staff members are teaching and implementing "Focused Note-Taking" strategies to help students improve their ability to take and utilize notes.


Third, we are making efforts to introduce the idea of college and career more regularly to our student body. We are aiming to add college pennants to classrooms, have college dress up-days, and host college/career events and activities that teach students about what's down the road for them. If you are interested in purchasing a classroom some college pennants, we would greatly appreciate it! And if you are interested in helping set up a career day at Pine Hollow, please reach out to us!

PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports)

After a year of staff training last school year, we have launched PBIS this fall to our students. PBIS is a common program in schools across our district, state, and country and aims to reward and honor good behavior, modify poor behavior, and support the overall climate and culture of a school. We are seeing great success so far, and our students are extremely excited as they earn and "spend" their PRIDE points.


Students earn PRIDE points for showing "Positive, Respectful, Inclusive, Determined, or Engaged" behavior. They then redeem these points online for supplies, treats, and other goodies that we stock in our Student Store. Please take a minute to talk to your child about Mustang PRIDE, and if you have candy, chips, or school supplies that you can donate, we need them! Just mark them "PBIS", and drop them off in our main office. Thank you!!!

Facilities

  • Windows: New windows for our Main Office, and the Student Store located in the Quad.
  • Landscaping in Front of School: Ivy, weeds and dead trees removed; Trees, plants, and tanbark added.
  • Gym Floor: Gym floor was resurfaced for the first time since gym was built in the 90s.
  • Baseball/Softball Field: New dirt was added to the baseball/softball field and the backstop was refurbished.

7-Period Day

This year our teachers voted to pilot a 7-Period school day at Pine Hollow. This bell schedule change allows all students to have two elective courses instead of one elective class as in prior years. This change has been a big hit with our students as they are now able to take more courses, and choose more electives than in the past. As part of this change, we are also offering new elective courses including, Digital Media Arts, Robotics, and STEM (Hands On Technology).

Safety

  • Pine Hollow Road: We have worked with the City of Concord to install flashing stop signs, new and improved signage, and crosswalk pylons for Pine Hollow Road. We are pressing for further work to be done such as, electronic speed limit notifications, flashing crosswalk signs, new street paving and striping, and sidewalk installations/improvements.
  • Fencing/Gates: New fencing and gates were installed in the front of our campus to increase security, improve safety, and ensure ADA compliance. Further work is expected to be done on other gates/fences across campus.
  • Safety Assessment: The district has contracted with an outside firm to do a safety assessment of Pine Hollow's facility and all district campuses. More information will be shared about this later this year.
  • Bus Loading Zone: We moved the bus loading zone from Pine Hollow Road to our parking lot to reduce congestion on Pine Hollow Road, improve lines of sight, and make student loading process simpler and safer.

Leadership / Student Council

Under the guidance of our new Leadership teacher, Danae Quinn, our Leadership class has created Homeroom reps that are part of the Student Council system. This ensures that every 2nd Period (Homeroom) class has a representative at Student Council meetings each month. This change helps us increase student engagement and improve communication to all students, staff, and parents.

Homework Club Improvements

Our Homework Club has gone from two days per week (last year) to three days per week (this year). It also has three grade levels, instead of two, and has an improved teacher/student ratio. This year, for every 15 kids, we have an adult present. These changes have dramatically improved the success of Homework Club... however, they are expensive! We are paying twice as much out of our budget to fund these changes, which means they will only be sustainable if we continue to raise more money throughout the year.


Besides Homework Club, we have a number of student clubs, programs and organizations that we have started or improved this year. Check them out here and encourage your child to get involved!

PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association)

  • New Website: The PTSA has a new website, (PineHollowPTSA.com) that has more information about our parents club and all they are doing to support our students, staff, and school.
  • New Events: The PTSA is creating more events, activities, committees, meetings, and opportunities for parent engagement. It's not too late in the year to join us... The PTSA meets next Tuesday, November 20th at 6:30pm in the Library.
  • New Fundraisers: The PTSA is on pace to double its fundraising numbers from previous years! This has come about because of the great work from our PTSA board and members and a renewed focus on closing the budget gap because of district-wide cuts. Click here to get all the details about the PTSA's See's Candy Fundraiser that begins this week!