Five Facts about the PTO and MPAEF

Support Our PTO and the MPAEF

1.  The Menlo Park City School District is “community-funded”, meaning approximately 88% of our school funding comes from local sources, including property and parcel taxes and your support of our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation (MPAEF).

2.  Our PTO is a volunteer non-profit organization.




3.  It organizes important school programs and activities and funds equipment and supplies for programs such as physical education, science, and the library.

4.  The MPAEF is a parent-led non-profit organization, raising funds to support education in our District schools –  Encinal, Laurel, Oak Knoll, and Hillview.

5.  It funds comprehensive education programs in the classroom and in specialized areas such as art, music, drama, library, and science.


For more information about the PTO and to donate, please click here.

For more information about the MPAEF and to donate or pledge, please go to

Parent Education

January Speaker Series Event Sold Out – Waitlist Open
On Friday, November 10, all district families received an invitation to reserve tickets for the Wednesday, January 17 event “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy” with Sheryl Sandberg. The response was enthusiastic and very swift! All seats have now been reserved but a wait list is open. If you did not reserve a ticket for the event, and would like to be on the wait list, please use the link in the email you received and click on the Details button to join the waitlist. If seats become available, they will be offered to those on the waitlist in chronological order of when you joined the waitlist. We are excited to offer this engaging event, and thank all families for their interest in attending.
If you are a ticket holder and become aware before the event that you can no longer attend, please use your original Eventbrite link to release your tickets(s) so that they can be offered to someone on the waitlist. If you no longer have your invitation and wish to release tickets, please email Kate Kennedy here.
The Speaker Series continues with what is sure the be another success with Author, Consultant, and Philosopher Michael Gurian speaking on “The Minds of Boys and Girls” on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at Hillview’s PAC. Please join us then. More details will follow in our January newsletters and are also available on the Speaker Series website here.

Lost and Found

Before Thanksgiving break everything in the lost and found will be donated . Come by November 16 and look for your lost item located outside of the Student Center.

The Site Council

A collaborative group of parents, teachers, and staff who meet monthly to discuss, assess, and establish school-wide goals and actions to meet those goals in support of our mission to inspire and empower all students to be curious and resilient problem solvers, compassionate and constructive contributors, and lifelong learners during their individual and collective journey of academic and personal growth.

Our next meeting will be Tuesday, November 14, 3:30-5:00 p.m., in the large conference room in the Hillview Office. We will be discussing the school survey and making recommendations for changes to the survey to be administered by Panorama in January. All parents in our community are welcome to attend these meetings.

After-School Academic Support

Is your student looking for additional support with academics? Go here to review the after-school academic supports Hillview has to offer. Hillview offers several programs to help students boost their learning. Go Hawks!

Outside of School Sports

Hillview parents the Yearbook team needs pictures of Hillview students doing sports outside of school, that are NOT run by Hillview. We would love pictures of ice skating, dancing, skiing, sailing, anything your child participates in. If you have any pictures please email them here to Amy Kingsley and include “Outside of school sports” in your message subject. 

Applications for Private School

If your student is applying to private school for 2018-19 school year, there is a process that Hillview requires you to follow listed here including the submission of the Student Information Form here. The final deadline for this information is December 1. The teachers and office would greatly appreciate receiving the information before Thanksgiving. This allows us time to provide meaningful and rich information to your student’s prospective schools as well as meet the application deadlines. If you are applying to schools that DO NOT use the Ravenna electronic system, you will need to provide the office with stamped envelopes, pre-addressed with the receiving school’s information.

Service Team

Gift Card Drive supporting North Bay fire victims through November 17. This effort is being done throughout the Menlo Park Schools in cooperation with the Menlo Park City Police Department. There is an envelope in the office to collect the gift cards of any amount. Suggested stores: Safeway, Target, and Starbucks.
Disaster Relief Thanks to our Hillview community of students and family for making the Disaster Relief Event such a success. We raised over $7,200 for the American Red Cross – Wildfire Relief Fund.

Help MPCSD Plan Its Early Learning Program

The district is excited to be planning for the roll-out of its new Early Learning Program, opening Fall 2018. If you missed the article in our recent district newsletter, read about MPCSD’s vision for early learning here
We are looking for community input as we shape the Early Learning Program. If you would like to share your thoughts on what you value in an early learning program, whether you have young children at home now, or have insight from when your children were preschool age, please complete our survey. English and Spanish versions are available. 
Please feel free to send the survey links to friends living in our district who have young children, even if they are not current MPCSD families. We value the community’s ideas and want to hear from as many parents as possible. Thank you for your help!

Library – 6th Grader Parents!

At the end of October and through November, sixth graders will be starting a big research project. We need a few parents to help students during the visits to the library. The sign-up, dates and times for your student’s teacher, and more information are available here. Thanks!

Science – Hillview STEM Fair

Registration is now open! Last year there were over 100 students who participated with some truly innovative and interesting experiments on a wide range of topics!
  • Students register by joining the Edmodo group using the code: bvzm2, then following the link.
  • Our first meeting will take place on November 1, lunchtime, Hillview PAC. Students do not have to be registered to attend.
  • Registration closes on November 3, 2017.
  • Students can earn up to 10 Block H points! The STEM Fair will be held on February 1, 2018 with support meetings between now and then.

Student Handbook and Reporting an Absence

If your student is going to be absent from school, please report the absence and the reason for the absence to Mrs. Cathy Bell, our Attendance Clerk. She is available by phone at (650) 326-4341 or by email here. If an absence is not reported, Mrs. Bell will contact parents/guardians to get the reason for the absence for attendance reporting purposes. See the Hillview Handbook here for more information.


At Hillview, we stress the importance of being on time for school and for class so that students set themselves up for success each day. A student earns a tardy for being late to school or class without a valid reason. Please see our Hillview Handbook here for more information. Our tardy policy for any class period is as follows:
Tardy 1 and 2 are “Free”
Tardy 3, 4, and 5 each earn an office detention
Tardy 6 and up each earn a Saturday School

The 2017-18 Online Directory is here!

 We have moved to an all new, stand alone version of the online directory this year. It’s available here. 
To access the directory for the first time, please register from the sign in page using your email address that is registered with the District. A confirmation link will be sent to verify your email address and you’ll be able to set a new password for your account. Your directory account is currently independent from the district login accounts and requires a separate login. Once signed in, you can search for student or parent/guardian names, and view class lists. The directory is also mobile-browser friendly. You can add its icon to your home screen on both iOS and Android devices.
If you have trouble accessing the directory, see information that needs to be corrected, or have suggestions and/or feedback, send email here.

Medication at School

If your child requires any medication at school, prescribed and/or over-the-counter, medication authorization from your child’s health care provider is required. Forms may be printed from the district website here.  

If you received new forms in the mail in June 2017 and you have not brought your completed paperwork and medications to the school office, please do so immediately. Medications should expire in June 2018 or later.

If your child no longer requires medication at school, please indicate so in writing here to Nancy McMahon, Health Services Assistant.

Smarter Balanced Student Score Reports

Families of fourth through eight graders will be receiving Smarter Balanced Student Score Reports within the next two weeks. The Educational Testing Services (ETS) alerted all school districts that there was  error on some of the reports. As a result, we delayed mailing the reports until we had the complete details. We discovered that not all reports contained the error. Only reports of students scoring in the Level 4 (Standard Exceeded) Performance Band contained a minor text error. The scaled scaled score and performance bands were not impacted. The scores, as indicated on the report, are correct and were not impacted. Therefore, we will be sending the reports even if they contained the text error. ETS is reprinting and sending corrected reports. The corrected reports will be sent to impacted families as soon as we receive them. These Score Reports will provide information on how your child performed against the California Common Core State Standards. You can view Examples here and Explanations of the Scores reports here.

8th-Grade Graduation Party 

Thank you to those who volunteered…we look forward to celebrating them at the 2018 Graduation Party and Dance.


Last year, Randeep Nandal, Hillview ASB Vice President, ran for office on a platform that included a promise to work on having the school day start later. In order to explore the viability of this plan, he has developed a survey here to gauge the thoughts of parents, students, and staff. Randeep’s efforts are supported by the Hillview administration, but please know that while your responses are welcome, they will not commit us to any particular path. Any changes would require a recommendation from the MPCSD Board of Trustees.

ASB Cards

Still interested in purchasing an ASB card to support our student activities program?  With an ASB card, you not only support ASB, but you also get your yearbook, a spirit shirt, and discounts to events like dances and the Talent Show.  ASB cards with student photos will be delivered to students in their Launch class in late September. You can purchase here and bring your receipt to the student center to pick up your spirit shirt. Any questions? See Mrs. Fichou in the student center.


Hillview Drama Proudly Presents Bugsy Malone Thursday, November 2 at 3:30 p.m., Friday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m., and Saturday, November 4 at 3:30 and 7:00 p.m. In this slapstick musical comedy, Bugsy Malone follows the rivalry between two half-witted street gangs, the message is one of good, clean fun; the characters are wonderful cartoon cutouts; and the weapons of choice are “splurge” whip cream guns, flour bombs, and custard pies. Tickets are $8.00 for students and seniors, and $10.00 for adults. Tickets are for sale at the door and online here. Hope to see you there!


Congratulations to all musicians in Band 2! We had an outstanding week of performances starting with the Menlo Park Downtown Halloween Parade followed by a brisk march around the block at Oak Knoll leading their Halloween Parade. The next day, we travelled to Upper Laurel and performed for the students. Well Done!

On Thursday, November 2, Hillview was treated to the sounds of M-A’s Jazz 3 Band. They played at lunch in the Quad. Did you know that they are touring Spain this March 2018!  3/4 of the total band (13) are Hillview grads! Congrats to M-A for Keeping Music Strong In Our Community!

This Thursday, November 16, Hillview Choir’s Fall Concert is at 7:00 p.m. in the PAC. We are being joined by Laurel’s Chorus as well. Come and hear the wonderful music of our children. Bring a friend and hope to see many family, friends and neighbors at our concert.

Get to Know Menlo-Atherton High School

Click here to find details for Menlo-Atherton High School’s Get to Know M-A program for the 2017-2018 school year.  Included are important dates and information for prospective M-A students and their parents.

  • Signups for shadowing begins on Tuesday, September 5.  Please note, every year slots fill up very quickly.
  • 8th-Grade Information Night is Wednesday, October, 18, 2017, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Campus Tours are on the first Wednesday of the month, October through March.
  • M-A Shadowing are on Mondays, Tuesday, and Fridays, October though February
More information here and on the M-A website.

Volunteer at Hillview in 2017-18

Hillview is a community-supported school – not just with money but with time. Our volunteers contribute hundreds and hundreds of hours of time that save our school, and our district, literally thousands of dollars, and free up time for our teachers and administrators to concentrate on what is most important: educating our children.

To be able to continue to offer our students the most innovative education in a supportive environment, we need each family to contribute 5 hours of volunteer time per year. There are dozens of ways to share your time with our community – in a classroom, on campus, or from home. Would you like to co-lead your child’s academy? Can you serve hot lunch once a month? Chaperone two dances, or a field trip? Coordinate a special event for a teacher via email from home? Fill out our volunteer questionnaire here or contact Hillview’s PTO Volunteer Coordinator, Nancy Witeck, and she will help identify a meaningful way for you to help!

Would you like to be an Academy Parent or part of the Academy Support Team?!

Do you wonder what middle school is really like?  Would you like to get a sneak peek of your kids in action and help out with events behind-the scenes?  Sign up to be part of the Academy Support team or Academy Parent.  It’s the middle school version of being a room parent and classroom volunteer – but less work with fewer events! If you are interested in learning more about how you can help starting in late August, please see the Hillview PTO Volunteer page under Academy Support.  If you have specific questions, please contact Academy Parent Coordinators Gina Skinner or Kelly Morehead.  Thank you!

For the future and to help to save our planet: Go Paperless for Announcements

If you did not get a chance to go paperless yet and would like to save time and MPCSD money, please use this link to request your household receives only digital copies of announcements from the Hillview Office. This includes the Summer Mailer so keep an eye on your Inbox!

Hillview Earns Apple Distinguished School Status

We are proud to announce that Hillview has been designated as an Apple Distinguished School for 2015 – 17!

This recognition validates the Hillview staff’s work in using the iPad to transform teaching and learning. From visionary leadership, to innovative teaching and learning, to ongoing professional development, Hillview – with the support of the district Tech Department, the PTO, and MPAEF – has in three years rolled out iPads to all its students, developed a suite of Apps that supports the development of such skills as collaboration and creativity, and implemented a Digital Drivers License program to enable our students to be efficient, productive, and responsible users of technology. Hillview is thrilled to be among 300 schools and districts worldwide to be cited for its exemplary 21st century learning environment, and looks forward to continuing to improve the experience of our students and teachers through the 1:1 iPad program.

Lunch Clubs

Hillview has expanded its Lunch Club offerings!  Remind your students to check them out!
New to the lineup are: Club 41, Club Tech, Coding, Community Service, Electronic Makers, Fiber Arts Club, French Culture, Girls Learn International, Law Enforcement, and Pokemon & MTG. Continuing clubs include: Anime Club, Art Club, Book Club, Cheer/Dance Club, Chess Club, Drama Club, Game Room, Intramural Sports, Math Club, Quiz Bowl, and Science Rocks. Click here for more information about these and other Lunchtime Clubs. Lunch Clubs are supported by the Hillview PTO.


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