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Principal's Message

Welcome To Hillside Middle School, Home of the Huskies!

Hillside is a 7th & 8th grade middle school where students have an opportunity to learn, grow, and develop their skills to prepare them for the future and leave Hillside ready for high school.

My educational background and classroom experience varies from teaching 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade, three years as an assistant principal, and (most recently), the principal at Liberty Elementary for the past six years. I look forwarding to working with you to support your student throughout the year.

Middle school can feel like a tremendous change for parents and students alike, but there are many ways parents and guardians can stay involved in their child’s education. The most important and easiest way is to communicate with your child daily: ask probing questions specific to school, friends, and interests. Families can – and are encouraged to – regularly access students’ grades, assignments, and attendance records using PowerSchool and by reading email correspondence sent by teachers and administration. Additionally, checking your child’s social media accounts and knowing who your child’s friends are is a significant measure to support their ongoing academic and social-emotional learning. Please reach out to their teachers, school counselor, and administration if you have any concerns.

I encourage families to join our PTA, attend our School Community Council meetings, and keep current with ongoing school activities using our school’s website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages. You can also check with individual teachers or administration if you are interested in donating supplies, time, or talents.

Attendance is imperative to student learning. When students are mentally and physically prepared for learning, and are on time for class, they are more successful. Support your child’s attendance by ensuring your child is getting enough sleep, has well-balanced meals, has a good schoolwork/play/technology balance, and comes to school every day on time. School starts at 8:00 am every day with breakfast available at 7:45 am.

Hillside hires and retains highly qualified teachers to ensure your child has the best learning experience. We know that all students learn and grow at different rates and need varied experiences; our staff works daily to facilitate growth for all through differentiation and courses of varied rigor and content. Hillside supports student success through additional academic support with our Husky Den. Our Husky Den is a group of teachers and paraprofessionals who are available throughout the day to support students in their coursework and with other needs. If your student is struggling and you would like them to receive supplemental support, please reach out to their teachers, school counselor, or administration, and we will work to meet their needs as best we can.

Hillside believes in the whole child and supplies a wealth of experiences in and out of school hours. Students can get involved as Student Body Officers, participate in the yearly School Musical, enroll in after school sports (Track and Field, Volleyball, Soccer, and Basketball) or National Junior Honor Society, and select from a variety of elective classes (Art, Choir, Theatre, Band, Spanish, Orchestra, Family and Consumer Science, Study Skills, Exploring Technology). We encourage students to get involved in school through activities of their interest. Please contact your school counselor to inquire about how to enroll in classes that best fit your child’s needs.

Hillside has three basic expectations for student behavior to facilitate a healthy community: Be Respectful, Be Thoughtful, and Be Prepared. Students are expected to exhibit these behaviors

throughout the building. We also expect that students adhere to our cell phone policy which prohibits the use of cell phones and headphones during school hours – including between classes – and we appreciate your continued support of this policy. As we are having students use backpacks instead of lockers this year, it will be easy for your child to keep their cell phone near their person for safety but off their body for reduction of distractions.

Lastly, as noted above, students will not be assigned a hallway locker at this time and will instead be asked to carry backpacks or binders. This ensures that students have their course notebooks and handouts even as they change classes throughout the day or go home, results in improved hallway behaviors, and helps students get to class on time.

Our school goals include the following:

· Literacy Goal: Increase the number of students scoring proficient from the beginning of the year to the end of year RI test by 5%

· Numeracy Goal: Increase the number of students scoring proficient from the beginning of the year to the end of the year on RISE test by 5%.

· Achievement Gap Goal: Increase the student growth of Multi-Language Learners (MLLs) from the beginning of the year to end of year on RI test by 5%.

· Culture Goal: Increase our school initiative of providing a safe and respectful setting for student learning by 5%.

Thank you for being a part of the most amazing middle school in the Salt Lake City School District!

Check out the school website for calendars, events, our bell schedule, and full list of faculty (for email contact or to view course disclosures):

JaNeal Rodriguez

Principal Rodriguez

Principal Rodriguez