Hillside Elementary School

Empowering all to learn, create, contribute and grow.

District Announcements

Principal's Messages

  • October 17, 2021

    Posted by Carlos Gramata on 10/17/2021 8:00:00 AM

    Hello, Hillside Families!

    I hope this message finds you enjoying the weekend!

    We announced the winners of our annual Respect Poster Contest earlier this week.  We received so many wonderful posters and, while it was difficult to choose just a few, I am happy to announce the following winners by grade level:

    • Kindergarten:  Suzan S.
    • Grade 1:  Emma L.
    • Grade 2:  Camilla C. and Jayden J. (tie)
    • Grade 3:  Elena G. and Joshua H. (tie)
    • Grade 4:  Hunter L.
    • Grade 5:  Kyleen L. and Davin M. (tie)

    Congratulations to our winners, whose posters are hung in the main hall for the school to see!

    We also announced the winner of our Student Council Special Election that took place on Pep Rally Friday.  This Special Election was the result of our formerly-elected Student Council Vice-President moving away over the summer.  We had four amazing candidates put themselves forward for the position, but we congratulate Bradley T. on his victory and look forward to working with him on the Student Council Executive Board!

    Our first PTA School Store sale in over a year and a half took place this past week and was a resounding success!  Thanks to the families who supported the store, which just about sold out of items!  We have our next store scheduled for November 10 and the PTA Committee responsible for the store has already ordered some new and exciting items.  More to come, but we thank you, again, for your support!

    This week is School Violence Awareness Week across NJ schools.  Hillside will observe the week with classroom lessons about managing anger and dealing with conflict appropriately, and our fourth and fifth graders will have an assembly with the Livingston Police Department to discuss a variety of topics, including cyberbullying.  

    We wrap up our observance of Hispanic Heritage Month on Tuesday with a fun dance assembly with latin dance instructor, David Cross.  Thanks to the Hillside PTA for arranging this visit!  Students observed Hispanic Heritage Month with other activities across special areas, including library-media, art and world language classes.  A description of these activities can be found in this document

    Parent-Teacher Conferences will take place the week of November 1st.  Students will have partial days of school and will dismiss at 12:00 p.m.  Information regarding conferences will be sent home this week.  The online scheduling link will be emailed to families on Saturday, October 23, at around 10:00 a.m.

    Please see Nurse Lisa's October Newsletter for families here.  

    Regarding lunch ordering, please remember that lunch can no longer be ordered for this week.  Lunch orders for next week (week of October 25) are due by this Friday at 3:00 p.m.  The October lunch menu is available on the school's site. It can also be found here.  October dates have been added to the dropdown menu.  Thank you!

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    Reminders from prior messages:

    1)  Halloween is approaching and I plan to send families complete information soon.  But, for your planning purposes, please know that we expect to have an outdoor parade and parties, weather permitting, all starting at 1:15 p.m. on Friday, October 29.  Children will be permitted to wear costumes to school that day.  Class parents will plan parties in conjunction with classroom teachers and will be the only parents permitted to attend the parties.  All families are welcome for the parade.

    2)  Families are also reminded that you can now enter your children's absences into the Genesis Parent Portal (phone calls to the school are no longer required).  Information on how to do so can be found here.  

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    Thank you for reading!  Enjoy the extended weekend and have a great week!

    Best regards,

    Mr. Gramata

    P.S.  All of my messages are posted on the school's site under "Principal's Messages" for easy future reference. 

    P.P.S.  Please be sure to review the calendar below with each new message as events/activities are sometimes added, deleted and/or changed.  

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    Upcoming Dates to Remember!

    Week of October 18, 2021:  School Violence Awareness Week in NJ Schools

    Monday, 10-18: Start Strong Make-ups, Grades 4 & 5

    Tuesday, 10-19: Start Strong Make-ups, Grades 4 & 5

    Hispanic Heritage Month Assembly, PM

    BOE Voting Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

    Wednesday, 10-20: Note Regarding Parent-Teacher Conferences Emailed to Families

    Thursday, 10-21: Hispanic Heritage Month Assembly Rain Date, AM

    Livingston Police Department Visit w/Fourth & Fifth Graders, PM

    Saturday, 10-23: Parent-Teacher Conference Scheduling Link Sent to Families, 10:00 a.m.

    Week of October 25, 2021:  Red Ribbon Week (see dress up days below!)

    Monday, 10-25: RRW:  “Don’t Let Drugs Find You”—Camo Theme Day!

    Tuesday, 10-26: RRW:  “Peace Out to Drugs”—Tie Dye and Peace Signs Day!

    Wednesday, 10-27: RRW:  “National Wear Red Day”

    Thursday, 10-28: RRW:  “Team Up Against Drugs”—Favorite Sports Apparel!

    Friday, 10-29: RRW:  “Say ‘Boo’ To Drugs!”—Halloween Costume or School Spirit Wear!

    Halloween Parade, 1:15 p.m.; Class Parties to Follow Parade

    Sunday, 10-31: Halloween

    Week of November 1, 2021

    Monday, 11-1: 12:00 p.m. Dismissal for Students; Parent-Teacher Conferences

    National Native American Heritage Month Begins

    Tuesday, 11-2: 12:00 p.m. Dismissal for Students; Parent-Teacher Conferences

    Election Day

    Pizza Party for Summer Bridge Students (for invited first and second 

    graders)

    Wednesday, 11-3: 12:00 p.m. Dismissal for Students; Parent-Teacher Conferences

    Thursday, 11-4: Diwali

    NJEA Convention, Schools Closed

    Friday, 11-5: NJEA Convention, Schools Closed

    Sunday, 11-7: Daylight Savings Time Ends (clocks "fall" back one hour!)

    Comments (-1)
  • October 10, 2021

    Posted by Carlos Gramata on 10/10/2021

    Hello, Hillside Families!

    I hope this message finds you well and enjoying the weekend!

    We had a blast at Friday's Back to School Pep Rally!  We took the amazing school photo seen below, enjoyed six character pillar songs, met our Student Council representatives and had a Student Council Special Election for Vice-President (the one elected in June moved on us!).  We also introduced Buddy Class assignments this year, where classes of younger and older students are paired for special activities, acknowledged our Summer Readers and Summer Bridge students, and awarded mascots Hank and Holly to their first classes of the year (Havrilla and Lalli, respectively).  Special thanks to our Student Council advisors, Mrs. Havrilla, Mrs. Hinds and Mr. Grossman, for planning, coordinating and preparing the event, and to Hillside parent, Mr. Shyu, for taking the photo from the roof!  It was a fun-filled day and we thank you for your support of the event!

    The Hillside PTA is hosting its first "School Store" of the year for students on Wednesday during recess.  We are happy to bring back the store after a long hiatus, which is popular among students, and thank the parent volunteers, in advance, for spending their time with us on Wednesday and helping our students shop!  We ask that families send in any shopping money in an envelope clearly marked as "School Store Money", particularly for our younger students, to help expedite shopping.  Thank you!

    Our fourth and fifth graders take the state's Start Strong Fall Assessments this week.  This new assessment is designed to measure students' proficiency in the prior grade's standards and to inform our instruction, particularly after the last year and a half.  While we are confident in our own school and district assessments, and the learning that has taken place over that time, we look forward to receiving data that can provide us with additional information to assist our students.  We expect that parent reports will also be available and I will be in touch with fourth and fifth grade families regarding this when I receive more information.  

    Halloween is approaching and I plan to send families complete information soon.  But, for your planning purposes, please know that we expect to have an outdoor parade and parties, weather permitting, all starting at 1:15 p.m. on Friday, October 29.  Children will be permitted to wear costumes to school that day.  Class parents will plan parties in conjunction with classroom teachers and will be the only parents permitted to attend the parties.  All families are welcome for the parade.

    Regarding lunch ordering, please remember that lunch can no longer be ordered for this week.  Lunch orders for next week (week of October 18) are due by this Friday at 3:00 p.m.  The October lunch menu is available on the school's site. It can also be found here.  October dates have been added to the dropdown menu.  Thank you!

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    Reminders from prior messages:

    1)  Families are also reminded that you can now enter your children's absences into the Genesis Parent Portal (phone calls to the school are no longer required).  Information on how to do so can be found here.  

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thank you for reading!  Enjoy the extended weekend and have a great week!

    Best regards,

    Mr. Gramata

    P.S.  All of my messages are posted on the school's site under "Principal's Messages" for easy future reference. 

    P.P.S.  Please be sure to review the calendar below with each new message as events/activities are sometimes added, deleted and/or changed.  

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    Upcoming Dates to Remember!

    Week of October 11, 2021

    Monday, 10-11: Columbus Day

    Indigenous Peoples' Day

    Schools Closed for Students; Professional Learning Day for Staff

    Tuesday, 10-12: Start Strong State Assessment, Grade 4 English Language Arts

    BOE Workshop Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

    Wednesday, 10-13: Start Strong State Assessment, Grade 4 Mathematics

    PTA's School Store for Students (shopping during recess)

    Thursday, 10-14: Start Strong State Assessment, Grade 5 English Language Arts

    Friday, 10-15: Start Strong State Assessment, Grade 5 Mathematics

    Week of October 18, 2021:  School Violence Awareness Week in NJ Schools

    Monday, 10-18: Start Strong Make-ups, Grades 4 & 5

    Tuesday, 10-19: Start Strong Make-ups, Grades 4 & 5

    Hispanic Heritage Month Assembly, PM

    BOE Voting Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

    Thursday, 10-21: Hispanic Heritage Month Assembly Rain Date, AM

    Comments (-1)
  • October 3, 2021

    Posted by Carlos Gramata on 10/3/2021

    Hello, Hillside Families!

    I hope you have enjoyed the weekend with your awesome children!

    Thanks so much to the families who attended Thursday evening's Back to School Night.  Teachers worked hard on their presentations, which you surely found informational.  If you ever have any questions about our classrooms or programs, please do not hesitate to ever reach out to our awesome teachers or me.  As promised, you can find links to the videos that were shared that evening during my General Session below.  Enjoy!

    It's not too late to join the Hillside PTA!  Please see this flyer for information on just how to do that!  Your support is sincerely appreciated!

    We have our next installment of the PTA's "Hillside Eats Out" fundraiser this Tuesday.  Calabria's will donate 20% of their daily proceeds to the Hillside PTA.  So, if you're hungry and looking for takeout on Tuesday, please consider supporting this fundraiser and don't forget to mention Hillside School!

    The PTA's Hillside Apparel Sale ends on Wednesday.  Please see the flyer linked in the first reminder message below for ordering information.  Looking forward to seeing my students in that Hillside swag!

    This week is the "Week of Respect" across NJ schools.  While Hillside engages in activities and discussions about respect regularly (it is one of our pillars of character!), we plan to observe the week with additional activities, including our annual Respect Poster Contest and an additional lesson about being an "upstander".  Students and teachers will also be rehearsing their songs, chants and/or dances for Friday's Back to School Pep Rally!  Please don't forget that, for Friday, we are asking students to wear color shirts that reflect their grade level's assigned pillar of character.  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, character-filled, school-spirited time!

    Emergency Pesticide Use Notification from the School District's IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Coordinator, Mr. Perrette:  As is required by law when pesticides are used in schools, families must receive notice.  Kindly click on the link above for a notification of pesticide use.  We have had some issues with bees and the service was provided on Saturday to, hopefully, remediate the issue.  Service was provided on the exterior of the building along the roofline near room 113.  Thanks for your understanding!

    Regarding lunch ordering, please remember that lunch can no longer be ordered for this week.  Lunch orders for next week (week of October 11) are due by this Friday at 3:00 p.m.  The October lunch menu is available on the school's site. It can also be found here.  October dates have been added to the dropdown menu.  Thank you!

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    Reminders from prior messages:

    1)  We are super excited about this year's PTA Apparel Sale!  Please see this flyer for information.  The sale ends October 6th!

    2)  Families are also reminded that you can now enter your children's absences into the Genesis Parent Portal (phone calls to the school are no longer required).  Information on how to do so can be found here.  

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thank you for reading!  Have a great week!

    Best regards,

    Mr. Gramata

    P.S.  All of my messages are posted on the school's site under "Principal's Messages" for easy future reference. 

    P.P.S.  Please be sure to review the calendar below with each new message as events/activities are sometimes added, deleted and/or changed.  

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming Dates to Remember!

    Week of October 4, 2021:  Week of Respect in NJ Schools

    Tuesday, 10-5: PTA's "Hillside Eats Out" Fundraiser--Calabria's (20% of proceeds benefit 

    the PTA and school!)

    Wednesday, 10-6: PTA's Hillside School Apparel Sale Ends!  (click for flyer)

    Friday, 10-8: Hillside's Back to School Pep Rally!  (Please remember to have children 

    wear their assigned pillar color shirts!)

    Week of October 11, 2021

    Monday, 10-11: Schools Closed for Students; Professional Learning Day for Staff

    Tuesday, 10-12: Start Strong State Assessment, Grade 4 English Language Arts

    BOE Workshop Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

    Wednesday, 10-13: Start Strong State Assessment, Grade 4 Mathematics

    PTA's School Store for Students (shopping during recess)

    Thursday, 10-14: Start Strong State Assessment, Grade 5 English Language Arts

    Friday, 10-15: Start Strong State Assessment, Grade 5 Mathematics

    Week of October 18, 2021:  School Violence Awareness Week in NJ Schools

    Monday, 10-18: Start Strong Make-ups, Grades 4 & 5

    Tuesday, 10-19: Start Strong Make-ups, Grades 4 & 5

    Hispanic Heritage Month Assembly, PM

    BOE Voting Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

    Thursday, 10-21: Hispanic Heritage Month Assembly Rain Date, AM

    Comments (-1)
  • September 26, 2021

    Posted by Carlos Gramata on 9/26/2021

    Hello, Hillside Families!

    I hope you have enjoyed the beautiful weather this weekend!  

    Friday evening's Outdoor Movie Night was awesome!  Thanks to the families and staff who attended, and special thanks to the Hillside PTA for coordinating and hosting the event.  The turnout was amazing as was the weather for this fun community event!

    Our Back to School Night is scheduled for this Thursday, September 30.  The event will be held virtually, in much the same fashion as last school year.  The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with me, and will then be followed by teacher presentations.  Classroom, special education and ESL teachers will contact their respective families directly this week with Zoom link information.  The letter from me that was sent home on Friday can be found here.  Please note that the link for my general meeting and a link to a document with special area teachers' Zoom links are found in this letter. 

    We are super-excited about our annual Back to School Pep Rally scheduled for Friday, October 8th!  Grade levels have each been assigned one of our Six Pillars of Character, and are preparing songs, chants and/or dances about their assigned pillar to showcase at the rally!  On Friday, October 8, 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!

    Regarding lunch ordering, please remember that lunch can no longer be ordered for this week.  Lunch orders for next week (week of October 4) are due by this Friday at 3:00 p.m.  The October lunch menu will be made available shortly on the school's site. It can also be found here.  October dates have been added to the dropdown menu.  Thank you!

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    Reminders from prior messages:

    1)  We are super excited about this year's PTA Apparel Sale!  Please see this flyer for information.  The sale ends October 6th!

    2)  Families are also reminded that you can now enter your children's absences into the Genesis Parent Portal (phone calls to the school are no longer required).  Information on how to do so can be found here.  

    3)  Please accept this reminder that morning arrival is between 7:35 and 7:50 a.m.  Students who arrive at school after 7:55 will be considered tardy.  We understand that the traffic around school can make it difficult to park, but appreciate your assistance in ensuring that students are in school by 7:50 so that they can start school days on time with their teachers and classmates.  Note that the parking lot is not intended for daily drop-off/pick-up and families must not pull into the lot for arrival or dismissal.  Thank you!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thank you for reading and I wish everyone a wonderful week ahead!

    Best regards,

    Mr. Gramata

    P.S.  All of my messages are posted on the school's site under "Principal's Messages" for easy future reference. 

    P.P.S.  Please be sure to review the calendar below with each new message as events/activities are sometimes added, deleted and/or changed.  

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming Dates to Remember!

    Week of September 27, 2021

    Tuesday, 9-28: BOE Voting Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

    Thursday, 9-30:  Back to School Night, 6:00 - 8:45 p.m.

    Week of October 4, 2021:  Week of Respect in NJ Schools

    Tuesday, 10-5: PTA's "Hillside Eats Out" Fundraiser--Calabria's (20% of proceeds benefit 

    the PTA and school!)

    Wednesday, 10-6: PTA's Hillside School Apparel Sale Ends!  (click for flyer)

    Friday, 10-8: Hillside's Back to School Pep Rally!  (Please remember to have children 

    wear their assigned pillar color shirts!)

    Week of October 11, 2021

    Monday, 10-11: Schools Closed for Students; Professional Learning Day for Staff

    Tuesday, 10-12: Start Strong State Assessment, Grade 4 English Language Arts

    BOE Workshop Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

    Wednesday, 10-13: Start Strong State Assessment, Grade 4 Mathematics

    PTA's School Store for Students (shopping during recess)

    Thursday, 10-14: Start Strong State Assessment, Grade 5 English Language Arts

    Friday, 10-15: Start Strong State Assessment, Grade 5 Mathematics

    Comments (-1)
  • September 19, 2021

    Posted by Carlos Gramata on 9/19/2021

    Hello, Hillside Families!

    I hope you had a fantastic weekend with your children and look forward to a full week of school as much as we do!

    Last Spring, Hillside alumna and sibling of current fifth grader, Arnik Narang, contacted me about having Hillside serve as the beneficiary of his Eagle Scout Service Project (I said "yes", of course!).  The project was completed just before the start of the school year and you may have already noticed it on the school's playground.  The wooden xylophone was the culmination of a thoughtful project that was completed by Arnik with the support of his troop and family.  We are grateful for their service and look forward to having our students enjoy the wooden xylophone for years to come.  Thanks to Arnik, his troop and the Narang Family for thinking of Hillside School!

    We look forward to an exciting and busy week ahead!  

    Our after school enrichment programs (ASEs) offered through Brainiax begin this week for students who have been signed up by their families.  Questions regarding the programs should be directed to the program coordinator.  

    We have our first PTA meeting of the school year on Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m.  The meeting will be held virtually and the link for the meeting is in the calendar below.  Look forward to seeing you there!  

    On Wednesday, we have Picture Day (please refer to the flyer that was already sent home and have your children come to school with their best smiles!) and the PTA's first installment of the "Hillside Eats Out" fundraiser at Salad House where 10% of the day's sales will benefit our PTA and school!  If you're looking for takeout that day, please consider supporting the fundraiser!

    After a hiatus last fall, our annual PTA Outdoor Movie Night is back and will take place on Friday evening!  I love every event, but I've always appreciated this one as our first of the year because it brings the school community together in such a special way.  I hope many families have signed up and I look forward to a great evening under the stars!  

    Our Back to School Night is scheduled for Thursday, September 30.  Families will receive detailed information this upcoming week.  For your planning purposes, the event will be held virtually, in much the same fashion as last school year.  The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with me, and will then be followed by teacher presentations.  Classroom, special education and ESL teachers will contact their respective families directly with Zoom link information.  Special area teacher Zoom link information will be provided in the forthcoming letter. 

    We are super excited about this year's PTA Apparel Sale!  This flyer is hot off the press (completed just minutes ago) and contains some very hip, school-spirited apparel.  Can't wait to purchase my own!  The sale ends October 6th!

    Regarding lunch ordering, please remember that lunch can no longer be ordered for this week.  Lunch orders for next week (week of Sept. 27) are due by this Friday at 3:00 p.m.  Thanks for your understanding!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Reminders from prior messages:

    1)  Families are also reminded that you can now enter your children's absences into the Genesis Parent Portal (phone calls to the school are no longer required).  Information on how to do so can be found here.  

    2)  Please accept this reminder that morning arrival is between 7:35 and 7:50 a.m.  Students who arrive at school after 7:55 will be considered tardy.  We understand that the traffic around school can make it difficult to park, but appreciate your assistance in ensuring that students are in school by 7:50 so that they can start school days on time with their teachers and classmates.  Note that the parking lot is not intended for daily drop-off/pick-up and families must not pull into the lot for arrival or dismissal.  Thank you!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thank you for reading and I wish everyone a wonderful week ahead!

    Best regards,

    Mr. Gramata

    P.S.  All of my messages are posted on the school's site under "Principal's Messages" for easy future reference. 

    P.P.S.  Please be sure to review the calendar below with each new message as events/activities are sometimes added, deleted and/or changed.  

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming Dates to Remember!

    Week of September 20, 2021

    Tuesday, 9- 21: PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m. (virtual; click here)

    Wednesday, 9-22: Picture Day

    PTA's "Hillside Eats Out" Fundraiser; Eat at Salad House today and 10% 

    of the proceeds will benefit the PTA and school!

    Thursday, 9-23: GT Art Begins (for enrolled fourth and fifth graders only)

    Friday, 9-24: PTA's Outdoor Movie Night, 7:00 p.m.

    Sunday, 9-26: World Character Day

    Week of September 27, 2021

    Tuesday, 9-28: BOE Voting Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

    Thursday, 9-30:  Back to School Night, 6:00 - 8:45 p.m.  (virtual; information forthcoming)

     

    Comments (-1)
  • September 12, 2021

    Posted by Carlos Gramata on 9/12/2021

    Hello, Hillside Families!

    I hope you are enjoying the weekend!  The weather has been just fantastic!

    Regarding lunch ordering, I want to thank families for their patience as we work through evolving logistics.  In an effort to, hopefully, improve the process for families, we have made the following changes on the form and in procedures:

    • The order form now includes a drop down menu for classroom teacher names.  Families can select teacher names from the menu, rather than typing them into the form. 
    • The order form also now includes a drop down menu for dates on which school is in session, rather than selecting from a generic monthly calendar.  Note: We only have dates through Oct. 1 listed for now; dates will be added for each new month as lunch menus become available.
    • The order form will no longer be "closed" or "opened" for ordering.  Instead, we will remove dates for which families can no longer order at 3:00 p.m. every Friday.  
      • For example, dates for the week of September 20 will be removed this Friday, 9-17, at 3:00, which means that after this time, families can no longer order for the week of Sept. 20.  Families can still order, in advance, for any dates listed. 
    • REMINDER:  The order form and monthly menu can be found on the school's site.  Payments can be processed only through MySchoolBucks

    Thank you and we are hopeful that these changes will streamline ordering for families and logistics for our staff!

    Picture Day is scheduled for Wednesday, September 22.  Information regarding Picture Day went home with students this past week.  Families should check student folders/backpacks for the flyer and ordering information.  

    We are fortunate at Hillside and in Livingston to have school counselors in each elementary school (not the case everywhere).  Please see this welcome letter from Mr. Bowe, Hillside's school counselor, about services she provides students.  Should the need ever arise, please do not hesitate to reach out to her for assistance and support.  

    The Hillside PTA has partnered, once again, with Brainiax Innovative Learning, to provide after-school enrichment opportunities for our students in grades K-5.  Please look out for a flyer that will be coming home this week.  Information can also be found on this site

    Please accept this reminder that schools are closed this Thursday, September 16, in observance of Yom Kippur.  

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Reminders from prior messages:

    1)  Families are also reminded that you can now enter your children's absences into the Genesis Parent Portal (phone calls to the school are no longer required).  Information on how to do so can be found here.  

    2)  Please accept this reminder that morning arrival is between 7:35 and 7:50 a.m.  Students who arrive at school after 7:55 will be considered tardy.  We understand that the traffic around school can make it difficult to park, but appreciate your assistance in ensuring that students are in school by 7:50 so that they can start school days on time with their teachers and classmates.  Note that the parking lot is not intended for daily drop-off/pick-up and families must not pull into the lot for arrival or dismissal.  Thank you!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thank you and have a great week ahead!

    Best regards,

    Mr. Gramata

    P.S.  All of my messages are posted on the school's site under "Principal's Messages" for easy future reference. 

    P.P.S.  Please be sure to review the calendar below with each new message as events/activities are sometimes added, deleted and/or changed.  

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming Dates to Remember!

    Week of September 13, 2021

    Tuesday, 9-14: BOE Workshop Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

    Thursday, 9-16: Yom Kippur, Schools Closed

    Week of September 20, 2021

    Tuesday, 9- 21: PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m. (virtual; click here)

    Wednesday, 9-22: Picture Day

    PTA's "Hillside Eats Out" Fundraiser; Eat at Salad House today and 10% 

    of the proceeds will benefit the PTA and school!

    Thursday, 9-23: GT Art Begins (for enrolled fourth and fifth graders only)

    Friday, 9-24: PTA's Outdoor Movie Night, 7:00 p.m.

    Week of September 27, 2021

    Tuesday, 9-28: BOE Voting Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

    Thursday, 9-30:  Back to School Night, 6:00 - 8:45 p.m.  (virtual; information forthcoming)

    Comments (-1)
  • September 8, 2021

    Posted by Carlos Gramata on 9/8/2021

    Hello, Hillside Families!

    I hope you enjoyed the long weekend and Rosh Hashanah holiday if you celebrate!

    We had a great first couple of days of school and students have already begun settling into school and classroom routines.  Your children are doing great and we appreciate all of your assistance and support!

    Please accept this reminder that morning arrival is between 7:35 and 7:50 a.m.  Students who arrive at school after 7:55 will be considered tardy.  We understand that the traffic around school can make it difficult to park, but appreciate your assistance in ensuring that students are in school by 7:50 so that they can start school days on time with their teachers and classmates.  Note that the parking lot is not intended for daily drop-off/pick-up and families must not pull into the lot for arrival or dismissal.  Thank you!

    Note about lunch:  Families who opt to purchase school lunch must do so by each Friday before.  The order form will be closed over weekends to ensure that orders can be processed without any being missed.  The form is currently closed, but will open tomorrow morning for next week's orders.  Orders for this Friday will not be accepted.  Orders can be accepted for weeks in advance, should families decide to order for the month.  The order form and monthly menu can be found on the school's site.  Payments can be processed only through MySchoolBucks.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!

    Families are also reminded that you can now enter your children's absences into the Genesis Parent Portal (phone calls to the school are no longer required).  Information on how to do so can be found here.  

    Calling all Summer Reading Logs and Summer Bridge Packets (current grades 1 and 2)!!  Reading logs and bridge packets are due back to school by this Friday, September 10.  Students who submit completed logs and packets will be recognized at our annual Back to School Pep Rally in October!  

    Thank you for reading and enjoy the rest of the week!

    Best regards,

    Mr. Gramata

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming Dates to Remember!

    Week of September 6, 2021

    Friday, 9-10: Hillside Summer Reading Logs/Summer Bridge Packets (grades 1 & 2) 

    Due to Classroom Teachers (see information on school site)

    Week of September 13, 2021

    Tuesday, 9-14: BOE Workshop Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

    Thursday, 9-16: Yom Kippur, Schools Closed

    Week of September 20, 2021

    Tuesday, 9- 21: PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m. (virtual; click here)

    Wednesday, 9-22: Picture Day (information forthcoming!)

    PTA's "Hillside Eats Out" Fundraiser; Eat at Salad House today and 10% 

    of the proceeds will benefit the PTA and school!

    Friday, 9-24: PTA's Outdoor Movie Night, 7:00 p.m.

    Week of September 27, 2021

    Tuesday, 9-28: BOE Voting Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

    Thursday, 9-30:  Back to School Night (virtual; information forthcoming)



    Comments (-1)
  • Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!

    Posted by Carlos Gramata on 8/31/2021

    Hello, Hillside Families!

    I hope this email finds you well and excited for the start of the school year!

    Tomorrow is the first day of school and the Hillside faculty and staff are thrilled to welcome your children to what promises to be a fantastic school year ahead!  Welcoming our Kindergarteners at yesterday's Play Date and our new families today was so special.  Welcome, again!

    Given the immense amount of information provided to you in my welcome letter, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of a few items for the start of school as follows:

    • School doors open at 7:35 a.m.  Doors 5 (by the playground) and 9 (the pillar doors) will be the only two doors open for students.  Students of any grade can enter through either door, although we encourage our students in grades K-2 to enter through door 9. 
    • Supervision will be provided for students as they arrive.  Students in grades K-2 will enter and gather in the school's upper gym and students in grades 3-5 will enter and gather in the lower gym.  We would greatly appreciate it if families can remind children of this at drop off.
      • Kindergarten Families:  Unfortunately, tomorrow's forecasted rain means that we will forego outdoor lineup on the first day.  Please be sure to drop off your little ones at door 9.  We will have extra hands available to ensure their safe transfer to the upper gym. 
    • Students must be in school by 7:55 a.m. to avoid being considered tardy.  Families arriving after this time must drop off children at the main entrance to be signed in by office staff.  
    • For reasons of safety and security, parents and other adults will not be permitted to enter through doors 5 and 9.  Anyone needing assistance must go to the main entrance adjacent to the parking lot.
    • Students in grades 1-5 will dismiss at 2:37 p.m.  Kindergarteners will dismiss at 2:30.  Dismissal doors are as follows:
      • K and 1:  Door 9
      • 2 and 3:  Door 7
        • Note: Mrs. King's and Mrs. Padilla's third grade classes will dismiss from door 8.  Families must wait at the bottom of the staircase.
      • 4 and 5:  Door 6
    • For students enrolled in the YMCA or JCC aftercare options, or for those taking a district bus home, we will ensure safe transition to these programs at dismissal.
    • Lunch from our food service will be served on the first three days of school for families who were able to successfully access the order form before it was closed.  The form will be reopened for next week beginning Thursday.  If you were unable to order, please be sure to send children to school with lunch from home.  We apologize for any inconvenience. 
    • Students in all grades are permitted to have snack.  Families are encouraged to pack children with a daily, healthy snack. 
    • Weather permitting, we will have lunch outside.  We also have an indoor plan that allows students to eat safely apart in one of our two gyms (that we anticipate using tomorrow!).  Families are encouraged to send children in with a towel or cushion in a bag on which to sit daily.  To maximize use of both spaces, students will sit on gym floors while they eat as they did to end last school year.
    • Students will be required to wear masks all day, other than during lunch and snack, or when outside.  Families should pack at least one extra mask in student backpacks.

    Our new physical education team has crafted this welcome letter for families to review. 

    In addition, please see Nurse's Lisa September Newsletter for important health information. 

    Thank you very much and we look forward to seeing your children tomorrow!

    Best regards,

    Mr. Gramata

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming Dates to Remember!

    Wednesday, September 1:  First Day of School for Students!  (Full Day of School)

    Monday, September 6:  Labor Day, Schools Closed

    Tuesday, September 7:  Rosh Hashanah, Schools Closed

    Wednesday, September 8:  Rosh Hashanah, Schools Closed

    Friday, September 10:  Hillside Summer Reading Logs Due to Classroom Teachers (see information on school site)

    Thursday, September 16:  Yom Kippur, Schools Closed

    Tuesday, September 21:  PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

    Wednesday, September 22:  Picture Day

    Friday, September 24:  PTA's Outdoor Movie Night, 7:00 p.m.

    Thursday, September 30:  Back to School Night

    Comments (-1)
  • Welcome Back Letter and Family Guide

    Posted by Carlos Gramata on 8/26/2021

    Hello, Hillside Families!

    Please see attached for my welcome back letter and the school family guide.  I encourage you to read the guide carefully, and take particular note of the sections noted as "**NEW**".

    Thank you very much and we are all excited for the first day of school!

    Warm regards,

    Mr. Gramata

    Principal

    Comments (-1)
  • Faculty Lineup!

    Posted by Carlos Gramata on 8/19/2021

    Hello, Hillside Families!

    I hope this email finds you well and enjoying the summer!  We are all excited for the start of the school year and hope your children are, too!    

    As you know, class placements become available to parents in the Genesis Parent Portal today, August 19th, after 5:00 p.m.  I am writing to you, in advance, to make you aware of the teaching/certificated staff lineup for this upcoming school year.  

    First, let me share with you that we have had a number of changes that were the result of varying circumstances, including the shifting of section numbers, maternity leaves, resignations or reassignment of staff.  We also welcome several new faculty members and are very happy to have them as part of the Hillside School community.  

    Notable changes in the faculty lineup include the following:

    • Mrs. Kathryn Pezzuli (Librizzi in the portal) and Miss Cassie Skwirut are new additions to Hillside's first grade team.
    • Miss Samantha Russo and Mrs. Amira Padilla are new additions to Hillside's third grade team.
    • Mrs. Havrilla and Mrs. Hinds both join the fifth grade team.
    • Miss Sara Araujo and Miss Alyssa Ratner join the Special Education team at Hillside.  Note: Miss Ratner is with us until Mrs. Erika Yersak's return from maternity leave in November. 
    • Mrs. Lindsey Gursky returns from maternity leave as Reading Specialist, replacing Mrs. Lauren Szaro in that role as she begins her maternity leave.
    • ESL teacher, Mrs. Michelle Kang, has been reassigned to Harrison School as the school's full-time ESL teacher.  While we will truly miss her, we wish her well at her new school!
    • Mr. Leopoldo Caraballo replaces Mr. Schinelli as Hillside's full-time physical education teacher.  We also welcome Mrs. Christine Alamorian and Miss Jackie Gronek to the physical education team at Hillside. 
    • Mrs. Jaqueline Kestler replaces Mrs. Michelle Bodow as teacher of Gifted and Talented.  

    The following list summarizes the changes above and outlines our current faculty lineup:

    • Kindergarten:
    • K-1:  Mrs. Pam Lalli
    • K-2:  Mrs. Caroline Dugan
    • K-3:  Mr. Kevin Sinsimer
    • First grade:
    • 1-1:  Miss Katelyn Viverito
    • 1-2:  Mrs. Kathryn Pezzulli (Librizzi in portal)
    • 1-3:  Miss Cassie Skwirut
    • Second Grade:
    • 2-1:  Miss Janene DePalo
    • 2-2:  Mrs. Chani Levine
    • 2-3:  Miss Jessica Reid
    • Third Grade:
    • 3-1:  Mrs. Amanda King
    • 3-2:  Mr. Justin Grossman
    • 3-3:  Miss Samantha Russo
    • 3-4:  Mrs. Amira Padilla 
    • Fourth Grade:
    • 4-1:  Mrs. Jade Eden
    • 4-2:  Mr. Eric Hazelcorn
    • 4-3:  Mrs. Allison Devine (Fedele in portal)
    • Fifth Grade:
    • 5-1:  Mrs. Lauren Castoro
    • 5-2:  Mrs. Bridget Marshall
    • 5-3:  Mrs. Amy Hinds
    • 5-4:  Mrs. Kristen Havrilla
    • Special Education:
    • Ms. Marisa Gengaro
    • Mrs. Patricia Price
    • Miss Sara Araujo
    • Miss Alyssa Ratner (in for Mrs. Yersak until November)
    • Mrs. Nicole Hanna
    • Specialists:
    • Mr. Leopoldo Caraballo (Physical Education)
    • Miss Jackie Gronek (Physical Education)
    • Mrs. Christine Alamorian (Physical Education)
    • Mr. Richard Battista (General Music, GT Music and Chorus)
    • Mrs. Michele Matten (General Music)
    • Mrs. Melissa Mondanaro-Protocollo (Art, GT Art, STEAM)
    • Mrs. Rosa Gonzalez (World Language-Spanish)
    • Mrs. Colleen Donnelly (Library-Media, STEAM)
    • Mr. Jim Hegedus (Band)
    • Mrs. Etleva Vatoci (Strings)
    • Support Specialists:
    • Mrs. Pia Bauer (Reading Interventionist)
    • Mrs. Lindsey Gursky  (Reading Specialist)
    • Mrs. Laura Dugan (Mathematics Basic Skills Instructor, Grades 3-5)
    • Mrs. Dana Wallock (Mathematics Basic Skills Instructor, Grades K-2)
    • Mrs. Kristina Dugan (ESL)
    • Mrs. Jaqueline Kestler (Gifted and Talented, STEAM)
    • Mrs. Lisa Bowe (School Counselor)
    • Mr. Mitch Wasserman (Technology Coach, STEAM)
    • Child Study Team/Related Services:
    • Mrs. Danusia Rampolla (Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant)
    • Mr. Dean Smith (Social Worker/Behaviorist)
    • Mrs. Alexis Finley (School Psychologist)
    • Mrs. Diana Miller (Physical Therapist)
    • Dr. Carla Flynn (Occupational Therapist)
    • Mrs. Jaime Brodsky (Speech and Language Pathologist)
    • Nurse:
    • Ms. Lisa Garamella 

    Of course, along with this awesome faculty lineup, we have an amazing crew of support staff that includes office personnel, instructional and lunch aides, and our custodians, all of whom play an important role in our success.  And, we appreciate them very much!

    Note about class placements:  

    I respectfully advise parents that all class placements are final.  Changes will not be made.  The formation of each class has been carefully considered over the last few months, taking into account individual student needs, strengths, and personalities, student programming and behavioral needs, as well as teacher input among other factors.  We have an amazingly talented staff who are all well-suited to teach your children and, so, I thank you, in advance, for your understanding, cooperation, and trust, and look forward to what promises to be yet another wonderful year at Hillside School! 

    I will be in touch with you, again, next week with my official "welcome back" letter and some housekeeping items.  You should also expect to hear from your children's teachers next week as well.  

    In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the last of these summer days with your children.  Thank you and we look forward to seeing everyone soon!

    Warm regards,

    Mr. Gramata

    P.S.  School supply and Summer Reading information can be found on the school's website. 

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming Dates to Remember!

    Monday, August 30:  Kindergarten Play Date & Classroom Tours, 6:00 p.m. (information 

    forthcoming)

    Tuesday, August 31:  New Family Meet & Greet (Grades 1-5), 3:00 p.m. (information 

    forthcoming)

              Kindergarten Play Date Rain Date

    Wednesday, September 1:  First Day of School for Students!  (Full Day of School)

    Monday, September 6:  Labor Day, Schools Closed

    Tuesday, September 7:  Rosh Hashanah, Schools Closed

    Wednesday, September 8:  Rosh Hashanah, Schools Closed

    Friday, September 10:  Hillside Summer Reading Logs Due to Classroom Teachers (see information on school site)

    Thursday, September 16:  Yom Kippur, Schools Closed

    Tuesday, September 21:  PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

    Wednesday, September 22:  Picture Day

    Friday, September 24:  PTA's Outdoor Movie Night, 7:00 p.m.

    Thursday, September 30:  Back to School Night

     

    Comments (-1)
  • photo of apples and "order lunch" wording

Report an Absence/Tardy

  • In order to ensure the safety of our students, parents should report their child's absence or tardy in the Genesis Parent Portal before their child's school starts for the day. This system replaces the "Call For Safety" procedure. 

    • Click HERE to log onto the Genesis Parent Portal.
    • Click HERE for instruction on how to report a child absent or tardy. 

     

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  • Hillside Character Education

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