Hillside Elementary School

Empowering All to Learn, Create, Contribute & Grow

District Announcements

Principal's Messages

  • September 17, 2023

    Posted by Carlos Gramata on 9/17/2023

    Hello, Hillside Families!


    I hope this message finds you enjoying the weekend and this lovely weather!  Shanah tovah to our families and friends who celebrate Rosh Hashanah!


    Hillside's Back to School Night is this Thursday evening.  Please see the letter in the reminder message below for information.  As a reminder, for families interested in the optional Schoology parent information session at 6:15 p.m., we ask that you use the main entrance (door 1) to enter starting at 6:10.  We will see everyone else for the General Session starting at 6:45 p.m.  Door 9 (pillar doors) will open at 6:35 p.m.  Please remember that the parking lot is for staff only.  Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you there!


    We have our first School Store of the year on Wednesday, where students will have the opportunity to shop for items during their recess times.  Families interested in having their children shop are asked to please send in money in either an envelope or sealed bag that is labeled with your children's names and "School Store".  This is particularly helpful for our younger students.  Thanks so much!


    The PTA's Outdoor Movie Night is this Friday starting at 7:00 p.m.  At the moment, the forecast looks great for the event, and we hope to see many of our families there!  Please see this flyer for details.  


    The PTA's online Miss Chocolate Cookie Sale begins next Saturday.  Information will be sent home with students this week and can also be found here.  Thank you, in advance, for helping to make this a successful fundraiser!


    Mrs. Lisa Bowe is our school counselor who works to support all students throughout the year.  Families are always welcome to reach out to her should your children require someone to chat with, or support with friendships, changing families, etc.  Please see her welcome letter for additional information about her role and for her contact information.  


    We are super-excited about our upcoming 10th Annual Back to School Pep Rally scheduled for Friday, September 29th!  Grade levels have each been assigned one of our Six Pillars of Character, and will soon prepare songs, chants and/or dances about their assigned pillar to showcase at the rally!  On this day, we are also asking students to wear color shirts that correspond with their assigned pillars.  The pillar assignments and colors are as follows:

    • Kindergarten:  Trustworthiness (blue)

    • First Grade:  Respect (yellow)

    • Second Grade:  Responsibility (green)

    • Third Grade:  Fairness (orange)

    • Fourth Grade:  Caring (red)

    • Fifth Grade:  Citizenship (purple)

    Thanks to families, in advance, for supporting our rally and we look forward to a fun, school-spirited time!  And, since this is a special anniversary of our pep rally tradition, students can expect a special celebration of our mascot, Hank's, 10th birthday!  More to come!


    Student Absences:  Families often have questions about absences, particularly what counts as "excused" or "unexcused", and what impact extended absences have on their children.  Please see the following note regarding absences and extended absences:

    • Most absences from school are considered "unexcused", regardless of the reason.  The exceptions mostly include religious holidays and are dictated by the NJ Department of Education.  There are two types of unexcused absences–ones that count towards truancy (no documented reason) and those that do not (reasons/doctor's notes are provided to school).  We want to avoid having absences that count towards truancy. It is important that daily attendance is communicated/entered via the Genesis Parent Portal, but we cannot make absences excused, other than the ones the NJDOE deems as excusable.  

    • Extended Absences:  While there may be instances during the school year when it is necessary for students to be out of school for extended periods of time (e.g., trips), the school cannot condone these absences and they will be unexcused.  Families who find it necessary to pull their children out of school should carefully consider the school calendar and do so prudently.  Families are advised that teachers are not obligated to provide any work in advance, as thoughtful instructional planning happens from week to week, but teachers will do their best to make up any missed major concepts when students return.  Families considering such absences should contact their children's teachers and the main office in advance as much as possible, and should be aware that any absences that exceed 10 consecutive school days may result in withdrawal from the school's roll and may require re-enrollment upon return.  Thank you!


    Construction Update:  The trailers were set in place last week.  They are now in their expected locations for the duration of their stay.  This week, interior work will continue, including wiring and plumbing.  The tentative turnover date is sometime in early October.  Stay tuned!



    1)  The PTA's Apparel Sale begins on Monday, 9-11, and ends on Friday, 9-29.  I encourage you to take this opportunity to get your children (and yourself!) some school spirit wear!  Go, Huskies!  The flyer can be found here and in the calendar below.  Thank you!


    2)  Families often ask how they can partner with the school to ensure a positive experience for their children, and my first suggestion is always to join our partner in education, the amazing Hillside PTA!  As such, I encourage all families to become members of the PTA.  Please see this flyer for Membership Drive information.  Your support is greatly appreciated!


    3)  Back to School Night will be held in person on Thursday, September 21st.  Please see this letter for complete information.  Thank you and we look forward to seeing you there!


    Thank you for reading and have a great week!


    Best regards,

    Mr. Gramata


    P.S. These weekly messages are also posted on the school's site for your convenience.  

    P.P.S. Follow Hillside School on X/Twitter at @Hillside_Elem!


    Upcoming Dates to Remember!


    Week of September 18, 2023


    Wednesday, 9-20:  School Store


    Thursday, 9-21: Back to School Night, 6:45 p.m.


    Friday, 9-22: PTA's Outdoor Movie Night, 7:00 p.m., Back Lawn (Movie at 7:45)


    Saturday, 9-23: PTA Online Miss Chocolate Cookie Sale Begins


    Week of September 25, 2023


    Monday, 9-25: Yom Kippur, Schools Closed


    Tuesday, 9-26: Young Audiences Assembly: A Journey Through Latin Percussion

    Courtesy of the Hillside PTA

    BOE Voting Meeting, 7:00 p.m., BOE Conference Room


    Thursday, 9-28: Fifth Grade Team-Building Activities by New Horizons Day Camp, 12:30 - 

    2:30, On-Site, Courtesy of the Hillside PTA


    Friday, 9-29: Back to School Pep Rally!

    PTA Apparel Sale Ends

    Fifth Grade Team-Building Rain Date

    PTA's Outdoor Movie Night Rain Date


    Week of October 3, 2023–Week of Respect in all NJ Schools


    Friday, 10-6: PTA Online Miss Chocolate Cookie Sale Ends

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