WELCOME TO THE HILLSIDE TIGER FAMILY! “Once a Tiger, Always a Tiger”
Principal Jeff Cook 440-885-8449 email@example.com
Assistant Principal Mark Tanski 440-885-8455 firstname.lastname@example.org
7th grade Counselor 2010-2011, 8th grade 2011-2012: Kathi Zacharias 440-885-8451 email@example.com
8th Grade Counselor 2010-2011, 7th grade 2011-2012 Richard Judson 440-885-8452 firstname.lastname@example.org
Main line to Hillside 440-885-2373; Donna Kowicki. (This number shows on your CALLER ID whenever anybody calls you
from any phone in our building.) All teachers and staff members welcome e-mail communication.
**Everyone’s e-mail address follows this format: last name, first initial @parmacityschools.org
Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010
1. NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION/WALK-AROUND9:30 am -10:30 am. Come to the gym to get a tentative copy of
your schedule, be welcomed by staff, and learn how to read your schedule. You’ll then have time to walk around the
building and find your classes. Parents may attend or may drop their child off and pick them up by 10:30 am.
2. Parents only: PLEASE PICK UP YOUR OPENING DAY PACKET 7 am – 6 pm. (Opening day packets will not be
given directly to students; parents can pick them up inside the main doors. Follow the tiger footprints!)
The OPENING DAY PACKET (which you pick up) contains important information including:
The EMERGENCY CARDS that your child MUST BRING the first day of school, WED.,AUGUST 25, 8 am. (7:50)
The School Calendar noting school vacation dates, days off, Testing dates, Honors Night, Progress Report and
Report Card mailing dates, and much more.
MEDICATION FORMS. If your child needs to take medication during the school day, you and your child’s doctor
MUST complete these forms. It’s okay to send the form to school with your child, but parents must bring
the medication to school personally. Students are not allowed to carry medication to school, and can’t keep
medication in their pockets, purses, lockers, etc. Carrying medication can result in drug possession charges.
“Sharing” any kind of prescription or over the counter medication with peers is considered drug distribution.
Free and Reduced Lunch Application forms. If your child received free or reduced lunches at the end of 6 th grade in
the Parma School System, then he/she will receive the same kind of lunch in August and September, However,
you must reapply for the program by Oct. 1 to continue receiving free or reduced lunches.
DRESS CODE information. Please note that students may not wear clothes with holes or tears.(even if they cost a
fortune to buy with tears in them!) Hair must be natural colors, not blue or purple or any other non-natural
hair colors. (We don’t even allow colored streaks.) Earrings that show in places other than ears must be
removed or covered with a band-aid at all times.
The dates of the two Evening Parent Conference Nights. Parent Teacher conferences can also be arranged during the
school day whenever they are needed.
School picture day forms, Testing Dates, PTA information, Honors Night and more!
First day of school: Wednesday, August 25. THE SCHOOL DAY STARTS AT 8:00 AND ENDS AT 2:50. Students should
always arrive by 7:50 so they can get to their lockers and be seated in homeroom when the 8 am. Children who are driven
to school may arrive after 7:15 in the morning. (The school doors are locked until 7:15 am when we have teacher
supervision.) Students must vacate the building by 3 pm unless they are attending an after school activity. We don’t offer
before or after school care.
There are 9 periods in the school day, each period is 42 minutes long, and students have 3 minutes to change classes.
Parma City School District’s website is parmacityschools.org
The site contains all kinds of information including policies, cafeteria information and menus, the Summer Reading
Program and written assignments due in August, athletics, the Senior Freedom Card (free pass to events for Senior
Citizens), Board of Education information, Bus Transportation, and Hillside’s site. To get to our site you go to the district
site, then click on “Buildings” on the top bar, click on “Middle Schools” in the box that appears, and then click on
“Hillside” in the box that appears. Click near Mr. Cook’s photo to enter our site.
GRADES ON LINE - You will also be sent a password next fall so that you can access some of your child’s
ongoing grades online in his or her teachers’ grade books. Many teachers voluntarily keep their grades on
line. You will go to the PCSD website, click on and then enter your password. If you forget your password,
just fill in your name and click on “Forgot my password” and your password will be sent to your e-mail
The BUS TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT (440-885-2326) will mail your bus information to you If you live more
than 2 miles from Hillside. Notifications are mailed in August prior to the start of school.
Preteens and Teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep a night. 9 pm is a reasonable bedtime for our students.
If your child doesn’t get enough sleep (perhaps because they are up texting or on Facebook or My Space until 2 or 3 am,) expect
him or her to have academic problems, lower grades, and more trouble handling their emotions and functioning in general.
Breakfast is also important; some students don’t eat lunch until 12:45.
THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, WED. AUG. 25, YOUR CHILD SHOULD ARRIVE BY 7:50 AND BRING:
1. THE EMERGENCY FORMS so that you can be reached in an emergency and we’re aware of any medical issues.
2. A folder, paper, and pens or pencils. Lockers will be assigned the first day, so your child can bring all of his/her supplies if
3. A LOCK for his/her locker. Locks can be purchased at Hillside during the August Orientation for $5.00 (or $10 for a two
lock set with the same combination) or locks can be purchased at any store and brought into school. Combination locks are
recommended. Combinations must be turned in to the office. If students use key locks, they must give the key to the office.
Key locks are NOT recommended because students usually lose or misplace the keys. Students will need a 2 nd lock when they
take gym in 8th grade.)
4. LUNCH, LUNCH MONEY, or MONEY IN THEIR LUNCH ACCOUNT (unless they were on free lunches in June at
Dag, Dentzler, John Glenn, or Green Valley.) The complete student lunch will cost $2.25. Items are also available a la carte
daily. Only cash or debit from your account is accepted in the cafeteria- we do not use lunch tickets. PLEASE encourage
your child not to borrow orlend money from friends. It’s a great idea to put an emergency $2.25 in an envelope in his/her
bookbag because children eventually forget their lunch money, their account runs out, or they forget their lunches. If
they keep emergency lunch money somewhere in their bookbag, they’ll have a back up plan for days when they are without a
You may also want to monitor what they eat. Many middle school students love to eat two orders of French fries, a sugary
drink, and a candy bar for lunch.
SCHOOL ABSENCE LINE- You must call in your child’s absence or Mrs. Maphis will call you to make sure your child is safe.
You can call 440-885-8453 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and leave a message. School attendance is important because absences
create gaps in learning that accumulate and often result in academic deficits. Absent students miss out on instruction, often fail to
complete their make-up work, and end up with lower grades. A student who misses 20 school days a year, for example, will have
missed the equivalent of an entire school year by the end of 8th grade.
The State of Ohio mandates schools to monitor absences and have programs in place to improve attendance. Our school will notify you in
writing if your child misses 5, 10, or 15 days of school. When absences are excessive, the Administrators and/or Social Worker have to make
contact with you. The next step our school must take is to refer you to Seven Hills Mayors Court to discuss excessive absences and make a plan
to improve attendance. If attendance still doesn’t improve, the school is forced to file truancy in Juvenile Court.
Any time you have an Excuse from School from your physician, it’s documentation of the medical reason your child missed
school, and your child can give it to Mrs. Maphis upon his or her return. Any time your child has serious medical issues, please
inform us so that we can work with you to help your child have a successful school year.
If your child is absent more than two days, you can call Mrs. Maphis (440-885-8453) to arrange to pick up your child’s make-up
Students have the following problems with lockers:
1. They can’t open their locks. Please have them practice at home until they can open their lock quickly.
2. They can’t remember the combination. It can be written on a special page in their agenda book (which should be carried at
all times including going home with them every night.) Gym locker combinations can be written in their agenda and on a
label in their gym uniform when they take PE (It may be only in the 8 th grade.)
3. They go to their locker every period and end up getting to some classes late. Students can’t go to their lockers between every
period; they need to figure out the best times to go to their lockers and what they need to take with them each time. They can
ask teachers or counselors for help if they have trouble figuring out the best times to go to their lockers.
4. They share their locker combinations with their best friends. The friendships change or end and the former best friends still
know their locker combination. Please encourage your child to keep his or her combination a SECRET.
SOCIAL ISSUES are huge in Middle School. Please encourage your child to be friendly to
everyone and he or she will develop a nice circle of friends. Most friendships from elementary school change in
middle school as students make new friends and develop new interests. “Losing” previous best friends is
devastating to many students, but changing friendships is a natural development we all experience in life (even
though your child may not have experienced that yet.)
Please also help your child understand that if she “talks behind other people’s backs,” it will eventually
come back to bite her. When the person she badmouthed finds out what someone said, she will often enlist many
friends to collectively ignore or collectively badmouth the child who originally talked behind someone’s back.
School then becomes an intolerable place, words fly on Facebook and My Space and in phone texts, and everything
rapidly spirals out of control The best way to avoid this situation is to live by the rule:
“If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything.”
If your child spends a lot of time texting or communicating online (Instant Messaging, on Facebook or My Space, or in online chat
rooms) expect his or her focus to be on social issues, not academics. Children get unbelievably wrapped up in online
communications, and their whole life ends up revolving around gossip, rumors, accusations, bullying, and perhaps “sexting.”
Recent studies show that children who spend a lot of time in these communications earn up to 1 grade lower than peers who don’t
communicate through these methods.
The best (only?) way to make sure your child isn’t doing these things in the middle of the night is to keep the computer out of
his/her bedroom and not provide texting on your child’s phone. No child NEEDS to have texting or My Space or Facebook
pages or access. Some kids have multiple Facebook pages and are able to show parents a clean, appropriate site with no night
activity when parents query or check up on them. They keep their other sites and night time activity secret.
And yes, some kids this age are sexually active, use drugs or alcohol, “pick up” guys or girls at the Mall and elsewhere, develop
on-line relationships with people they don’t know, meet up with people they talk to on-line, send and receive sexual photos of
themselves and others, and end up in legal trouble. Middle school students really need adult supervision. Their brains are not
developed enough to adequately think through potential consequences before they make choices that could harm them.
SCHOOL FEE STATEMENTS are mailed in October. They can be paid anytime after that in the Attendance Office.
IF YOUR CHILD HAS A PROBLEM with a teacher or in a class, please follow these steps:
1. Get in touch with the teacher immediately if the problem is occurring in a class or with the teacher.
Our teachers are here because they want to teach and help children. If there’s a problem, they want to work it out. However, if
they don’t know about the problem, they can’t help resolve it. If there’s an issue that your child isn’t discussing with his or
her teacher, you’re the only one that can inform the teacher and help resolve the issue.
2. If the problem is not adequately resolved after talking with the teacher, or if it’s a peer or personal problem that
doesn’t involve a teacher or a specific class, please contact Ms. Zacharias, your child’s counselor, so she can
assist in resolving the problem
3. If the problem continues, please contact Mr. Tanski, the Assistant Principal.
4. Lastly, if the problem is still not resolved to your satisfaction, please contact Mr. Cook, the Principal.
IF YOU HEAR ANYTHING THAT CONCERNS YOU, PLEASE CALL SOMEONE AT THE
SCHOOL to relay or discuss the issue. We all need to work together to get all our children safely and
successfully through the upcoming years.
**IF YOU EVER HEAR ABOUT A STUDENT DOING SOMETHING THAT CAN HARM HIMSELF
OR HERSELF OR OTHERS, OR IF YOU HEAR YOUR CHILD OR ANOTHER CHILD SAY THAT
THEY WISH THEY WOULD DIE (or your child tells you a friend said it), THIS IS AN EMERGECY
SITUATION. PLEASE talk with the child’s parents OR talk with Ms. Zacharias, Mr. Jusdon, Mr. Tanski,
or Mr. Cook (don’t just leave a message on their phone) OR talk with a mental health professional, your
physician, or your child’s pediatrician IMMEDIATELY. NEVER ignore these kinds of comments.
Children lack perspective; they haven’t lived long enough to know that their bad feelings and bad times pass,
or that “getting dumped” by someone they feel they love or having other painful experiences isn’t the end of
the world. The right help can get children through tough times. Many helpful resources exist, but kids can’t
access them without adult assistance. In any immediate emergency crisis that involves a child, call 911; the
police are trained to deal with all kinds of emergencies and situations.
We want your child’s time at Hillside to be a wonderful experience for them. If your child hits any
kind of bump in the road, please let us know so that we can help smooth things out.
As summer progresses and going to Middle School for the first time gets closer, things may seem scary to your child.
(Remember how it felt to start your last new job, and then multiply that feeling by about 5 times since our new Tigers are only 11,
12, or 13 years old and may have spent their whole life in just one school.) Your child may get anxious or worried, be more
crabby than usual, become frustrated more easily, or get “touchy” about things said to him or her. The best thing to do is
understand his/her situation, reassure him/her that everything will work out okay, and encourage him/her to talk about feelings
and worries. You can also remind your child of other new situations he or she successfully handled in the past.
HILLSIDE IS FILLED WITH ADULTS WHO ARE HERE TO HELP YOUR CHILD AND WITH
MANY WONDERFUL NEW FRIENDS THEY WILL START MEETING ON THE FIRST DAY OF