Hilltop Herald - Parent Edition

Be Respectful ~ Be Responsible ~ Be Resilient

Volume 2 ~ Issue 2 ~ July 24, 2023

Amazing Falcon Families,

"The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”~Paulo Coehlo~

I want to express my deepest gratitude for all your efforts to make last week an amazing one. Every student was in a classroom within the first two minutes of the second bell for Advisory. Parents, thank you for entrusting us with your children. It is our mission that they will be inspired, guided, and empowered to thrive in a healthy environment that fosters a culture of learning.

Students, as you begin journey into middle school, you will experience highs and lows, successes and failures. You will readily and enthusiastically embrace successess and highs. What will be more difficult is to embrace failures with the same enthusiasm and readiness. Paulo Coehlo, author of the Alchemist once said, "The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and get up eight times." So true! We live if we get up one more time than we have fallen. That is success. Students, embrace every experience middle school, whether or not it leads to success or failure. Each experience will give you a nugget of wisdom that will help you at some point in your life. If not now, then definitely later in life. Take time to enjoy every step of the journey because the next thing you know is that you are walking on stage on promotion day. Embracing means you accept the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the easy and the hard, the laughter and the tears. In the end, these experiences, even the ones in middle school, will shape you and your life journey. Your response to every experience will determine how your successes and failures will shape you.

Master Schedule Changes This Week

The counselors, Ms. Cruz and I will be discussing the numbers on Monday and start making changes meet the teachers' union daily contact deadline, which is August 1. While some students' class schedules will remain the same as the day they started, many students will experience at least one class change even if they did not ask for it in order for us to meet this deadline. Some students may have more than one class schedule change. In addition, we will be looking to see if consolidation of classes is necessary. If students request to change a particular class, for example, they want a different elective, and is not related to the changes admin needs fit the master schedule, they need to follow the Class Change Request Protocol in the section below. We do not change for teacher preference unless there has been evidence of prior conflict between student and teacher or student to student. Thank you for being patient during this process.

Separate Grade Level Lunches and Advisories

Per SEA Contract, the teachers' votes from Spring 2023 was not enough to keep the one lunch schedule; therefore, the daily schedule reverted back to the two lunches / two advisory schedule. This begins on Monday, July 24. Here are some important information that you will need to know:

  • 8th Graders will have lunch first and then go to their Advisories.
  • 7th Graders will report to Advisories first and then go to lunch.
  • As we return to this model, students will not be able to go to the restrooms during advisories, to begin with. I spoke about this during orientation as we are in the process of setting up the protocols for a two-lunch schedule. They have enough time to go before advisory, lunch and before 5th period.
  • To prevent movement between buildings, all clubs who meet for lunch must hold their club meetings on Fridays when we have one lunch or after school.
  • Students will not be allowed to go to teachers' rooms for lunch as this makes supervision between buildings nearly impossible.

California Universal Meal Program in Schools

California is the first state to provide free meals to all students regardless of income. All students will be able to eat for free (one breakfast and one lunch). Your child can eat at the cafeteria. Students will need their Student ID number to get their free meal. If they want a second helping, they will have to pay for it. As the students figure out the lunch lines, they may take longer to get through; however, do not fear, we will make sure that all students get through the lines and will receive their food. NOTE: students may tell you that we ran out of food. We do not. Many times, students will say because they did not get the food they liked such as pizza. If you have any questions, please call us.

Behavior Expectation Assembly

The APs and SROs will be speaking to the students about behavior expectations for this year. During these assemblies, general behavior expectations will be discussed in addition to disiplinary issues and related consequences. Much of these will be in the general discipline policy in the student and parent handbook. To ensure that ALL students received the information, the APs will take attendance separately from the PE teachers. This way, we will be able to identify students who did not receive the information and do a make-up session for them. Lilly Esparza and Claudia Garcia will be able to provide discipline support during the periods they are available.

Student and Parent Handbook

The newly revised and revamped handbook is now updated. It is located on the website and at the very end of this newsletter. This handbook is discussed partly in the Advisory Toolkit. APs will also be discussing the handbook during the Behavior Expectation Assembly. Parents take the time to review the discipline policy for this year.

ASB GEAR for Sale

Falcons, we have PE clothes for sale including ASB Spirit gear. Every Friday is Falcon Friday where we encourage all of you to wear blue or anything with Falcon logos. Below is a flyer that shows you what we sell. Sales are Cash Only. The ASB Store is open on during lunch and after school. Click HERE to access the order form. Complete before arriving to order.

Falcon Flight Information

If you are interested in participating in Falcon Flight, read the flyer in the Falcon Flight for information and also to access the enrollment form. Additionally, all athletics information is in the same section below.

Finally, below are important information regarding HTM. Please read the information on the images provided so that you know as much information as possible.


Mrs. Finley

Bell Schedules for Most Weeks

Schedule A and B are the most-used schedules for the entire school year.

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IPAD/Textbook Distribution Information

Students, you will be getting your IPADs and textbooks this week. Make sure that you have a backpack to put these school-issued materials.

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Attendance is Important!

Parents, please view this map to determine the safest way to drop off your children. Thank you for maintaing a safe drop off zone.

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Weekly Dress Calendar

In an effort to support weekly dress suggestions, below is the "general" description of each day to guide you in your outfit.

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Students, please read below on how to go about changing classes.

Students and Parents,

For the next 10 days, the counselors have been given a directive from me to do three things during school day:

  • Correct any errors on students' current schedules.
  • Adjust the master schedule as needed.
  • Balance classes as mandated by teachers' contract. Deadline is the 10th day.

If your child wants to change classes/period/electives in the first 10 days, they need to follow this protocol:

  • They can come to the counseling center before school, nutrition break, lunch or after-school
  • Fill out a “request to see a counselor” form. Please help us by making sure that students are in the correct classes and in the correct grade level when they come to your class.
  • Email their counselors about the change of requests.
  • Any change of classes DUE to a medical issue will require a doctor's note with a potential for a 504 accommodation.

Thank you for understanding.

Behavior Expectation Assembly on July 26, 2023

Assembly will take place during PE on Wednesday. Please review Student & Parent Handbook with students/

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Families, please read the cell phone use policy for this year.

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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Families, please read the image below to know the expectation of dress code for all students.

Falcons, it is our expectation that you will follow our dress code guidelines. Our board policy states that students are responsible for appropriate dress and grooming. So.... make sure that you are always asking, "Is what I am wearing reasonable and appropriate?" If the answer is no, then, you probably should change.

Click HERE to read the HTM Dress Guidelines for 2023-2024 school year. If you have any questions, please talk to admin.

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Families, please read the policies regarding bullying and harrassment of all kinds.

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Black Learners Advisory Committee Picnic

Falcon Families, please join us for a picnic to celebrate our African American students in the district.

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Parent Engagement Dates

Parents, please mark your calendar to attend these events and meetings.

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ASB Gear is Available for Sale - Cash Only

Falcons, ASB has exciting events and activities planned for you. We want you to be involved this year. Please read the image below on how you can participate.


It is time to get GEARED UP as the most spirited Falcon. You will need spirit gear to earn this title! So, get your gear on! Let's see you in blue!

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ASB Message
Falcon Flight Information

Falcon Families, HTM offers before and afterschool program called Falcon Flight. It requires enrollment into the program. Click on the title bar to access the website. Or get information below. Click on the enrollment forms below & submit to school.

Falcon families, access the enrollment by clicking on one of the links below:

Athlete Participation Information

  • Register your child on Aktivate.Click HERE to enter Aktivate.
  • Physical Exams – All student- athletes must have a pre-participation physical screening completed prior to being cleared to participate in a sport. The physical must be current (within 1 year from the date completed) and be valid through the entire season of sport. Note: Athletic Physicals must be completed by an licensed Medical Doctor (MD), Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), Physicians Assistant’s(PA) or Nurse Practitioner’s(NP). Chiropractic Physicals will no longer be allowed (Board Policy 6145.a).

  • Without Insurance, a student athlete will not be able to clear for a sport. For Sweetwater Union High School District offered insurance plans, please contact your schools ASB office for more information.

Fall Sports | HTM

  • Boys and Girl Basketball
  • Softball
  • Baseball
  • Cheer (All Year)
  • Cross Country

Winter Sports | HTM

  • Boys and Girls Soccer

Spring Sports | HTM

  • Co-Ed Flag Football
  • Girls Flag Football
  • 7th and 8th Grade Girls Volleyball
  • Boys Volleyball
  • Girls Field Hockey
  • Track and Feild
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Falcon Flight Video
Registration & Enrollment

If you have not completed the registration process, please read below.

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School Map

For your information

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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.