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Hillsborough City School District: Newsletter


9 / 4 / 2014 | CROCKER VIKING NEWS

Hillsborough City School District

Crocker Principal's Message


Welcome Back and Happy September!

Crocker Middle School is up and running and your children look like they are having a fantastic time!  WEB Day was a confidence builder for our sixth graders, and our seventh and eighth graders are back to their regular routines of working and playing hard!

Just a few reminders:

Thursday, September 4, 2014 is our annual What to Expect Night (WTEN).  We are thrilled to meet all of our parents as they rotate through their child’s schedules.  Please don’t forget that Recreation Director Tony Giacomazzi will be hosting his fall sports information night from 6:00 to 6:40 PM in the gym.  WTEN will start promptly at 6:45 PM and end at 8:30 PMThis is a correction to the original time.

The reason for extending WTEN is because we did not want you to have to choose between one class over another when visiting your child’s schedule, especially if that class was science; therefore, science will be presenting, to all three grade levels at the end of the night, inside the gymnasium from 8:15 to 8:30 PM.

The sixth grade retreat is Friday afternoon on September 26, 2014 and Outdoor education information packets will be coming home soon.  Don’t worry parents, you are in good hands.  Ron Frankel, our Outdoor Ed Lead will be hosting an Outdoor Education meeting on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 6:00 PM.

Thank you for a wonderful start to the year.  We hope to have our NEW Website updated by the end of the week.  This website will provide you with the latest and greatest news happening here at Crocker Middle School.  Until then, we will be sending Eblast out so that you stay informed!

Lastly, Ms. Maureen Sullivan, Director of Technology is working on setting up and opening the Power School Portal and plans to open the portal by the end of this week.  After the portal is open, an eblast will be sent with information on accessing and creating accounts. Grades will just begin to post later this week.  Please do not worry that you have not been able to get into the portal; there is nothing to report!

Thank you so much for all of your kind words of support as we open the 2014-2015 school year, which will accommodate our largest student body population, ever!  It has never been more exciting to be a Viking, and things are only getting better!

Stay Tuned!

 With pride and appreciation,
Catherine Ward-Mikes, Principal


In This Issue

Principal Message 

From the PG President

Choice Lunch Begins September 8

Parent Group Dues Deadline Sept 12

Thank You to Our Volunteer Parents!

Parent Survival Guide and Back-to-School FAQs

Grade 6 Upcoming Events and FAQs

Grade 8 Networking Coffee on 9/26 – Transitioning into High School

APG News

State Testing Update

Hillsborough Schools Foundation (HSF) Update

Community News


Upcoming Events

Sept  3    WDC Informational Meeting, 6-8 pm, Library

Sept  4   Crocker Early Dismissal at 1:15 pm

Sept  4    Fall Sports Information Night, 6:00-6:40 pm, Gym

Sept  4    Back-to-School Night, 6:45-8:30 pm (see Principal’s Letter below)

Sept  8    Picture Day

Sept 10   Superintendent’s Coffee at 8:45 am, District Board Room

Sept 10   HCSD Board of Trustees Meeting at 6 pm, District Board Room

Sept 11  Crocker Early Dismissal at 1:15 pm

Sept 17  Crocker School Site Council at 2:15 pm, Crocker Library

Sept 19  Resource Parent/APG - Special Ed Coffee

Sept 19   Welcome Back Dance for 7th/8th Grade from 7-9 pm, MPR

Sept 23   Superintendent’s Coffee at 8:45 am, North MPR

Sept 26   Grade 8 Networking Coffee at 8:45 am (High School, see below)

Sept 26   Grade 6 Retreat (in the afternoon)

Sept 26   Progress Report Checks

Important Links

Crocker Website

Crocker Calendar

Volunteer Opportunities

Choice Lunch Information

Choice Lunch Volunteering

Crocker HTV Channel

Hillsborough Recreation

CLICK HERE for the complete online Crocker calendar, including the option to search or download events to your own device

CLICK HERE to download a PDF Summary of 2014-15 Superintendent Coffees and HCSD Board meeting dates


Crocker Parent Group President

Greetings Crocker Parents,

I am honored to be serving as Crocker Parent Group President for the 2014-2015 school year. This is a great time to be part of the Crocker community and I want to extend a special welcome to those new to Crocker Middle School this year.

You have landed in a wonderful place. We are fortunate to have the continued leadership of Principal Catherine Mikes & Counselor Bonnie Slater and welcome to the Crocker team Assistant Principal Heidi Felt. Ms. Felt has hit the ground running and is already making an impact at Crocker. These administrators, along with all the new and returning staff members, have been hard at work throughout the summer to ensure that our children are off to a great start!

There is a lot of positive energy and enthusiasm at Crocker. WEB leaders hosted our second successful WEB day on August 18th for incoming 6th graders, Chromebooks are on their way and our Technology TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment), Mr. Caroll, is hard at work making sure students and staff are ready. Mandarin classes are in full swing and Student Council officers have already hosted one Bagel Wednesday!

Crocker would not be same without the incredibly dedicated parent volunteers. The Parent Group Executive Board has been hard at work this summer and these past few weeks on behalf of parents. I am thrilled to be serving on the board with:

  • Lori Williams and Sandi daRoza, Co-VP Volunteers & Events

  • Cindy Chase, Treasurer

  • Lana Guernsey, Newsletter

  • Mairin Macaluso, Secretary

  • Kim Hooker, Networking Chair

  • Kelly Scandalios and Sarah Murphy, Co-Trustee Representatives

  • Celine Shimizu, Grade 6 Head Room Parent

  • Liz Schenk, Grade 6 Head Room Parent

  • Melissa Hessekiel, Grade 7 Head Room Parent

  • Barbara Kim, Grade 7 Head Room Parent

  • Racky Friedman, Grade 8 Head Room Parent

  • Christina Ip-Toma, Grade 8 Head Room Parent

I encourage you to get involved at Crocker as much as possible:

  • First of all, if you have not already done so, please pay your membership dues as we entirely depend on them to fund our activities and allocations for the school. Simply click here to pay parent group dues online.

  • Second, read this bimonthly Viking newsletter as it is always full of information and can answer many questions for you.

  • Also, attend the parent group and networking meetings (we will include a complete schedule for the year in the next newsletter); these are great opportunities to not only get information, but also to socialize.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and I hope that you and your children have an amazing year!

Kindly, Kirsten Patel,

Crocker Parent Group President 2014-15

Crocker News

Choice Lunch Begins September 8

HCSD is pleased to confirm that lunch service with our new provider, Choice Lunch, will begin on Monday, September 8.  The deadline to order for the first day is Sunday, September 7 by 9 am.

To access the welcome letter and ordering information, please go to:

We still need parent volunteers to help run the program and distribute lunches each day. It is a great way to volunteer at Crocker and directly interact with the students. We need the most support at Crocker and hope you will sign-up today.  Volunteer to Help with lunch service:

Parent Group Dues Deadline Sept 12

 Thank you to all who have paid your parent group dues!  We are off to a great start, but our goal is to achieve 100% participation. 

Your parent group dues pay for student programs, staff recognition, parent networking events, one all-school directory and so much more.  In fact, the all-school directory will be distributed on October 1, but only to families who have paid dues.  Please submit your dues by the deadline of SEPTEMBER 12.

To pay online, click here:
To pay by check, print the form for your child’s grade and mail to:  Crocker Parent Group, Cindy Chase, 1029 Vista Road, Hillsborough CA 94010 or drop by the school front office and place in the Parent Group inbox.

If paying by mail or in the office, use the links below to download specific grade level forms:

Grade 6 Parent Dues Form

Grade 7 Parent Dues Form

Grade 8 Parent Dues Form

Thank you for your support!


Thank You to Our Volunteer Parents!

The Crocker Parent Group would like to give a GIANT thank you to the following parents who spearheaded a fantastic New Parent Reception on August 22. It was a smashing success. Thank you to: Ingrid De Moor Kitahata, Barbara Streett, Jana Fore, Mahtab Hafezi, Michelle Fowler, Anna Schaffner, Ann Lloyd, Margaret Pardasani, Margaret O'Connell, Heather Berry, Lindsay Ranii and Barbara & Anthony Rodio.

On the first day of school, August 25, Elizabeth Battat and Denise Orwin organized a fantastic lunch for teachers and staff at Crocker. Thank you to Elizabeth and Denise for going above and beyond to make sure all Crocker staff enjoyed lunch.

Parent Survival Guide and Back-to-School FAQs


Whether you are new to Crocker, or your fifth child is an eighth grader, the first few weeks of school bring up many questions for parents.

The following documents were distributed at our first Parent Group Meeting on Friday, August 29. In case you missed it, please print out these helpful documents: 

(See also: FAQ for specifically Grade 6 linked below)

Grade 6 Upcoming Events and FAQs

Welcome to the Sixth Grade! Our grade level looks forward to the following exciting events coming up soon:

  • Sixth Grade Retreat – Sept 15

  • Sixth Grade Outdoor Ed – Oct 20-24

  • Sixth Grade Parents’ Networking Meeting – Oct 22

  • Sixth Grade Ice Skating Party (see below) – Nov 7

You should have received a list of the customized FAQs to help parents transition to sixth grade. If you would like an extra copy or didn’t receive one, please download the 6th Grade FAQ PDF.  If you have any ideas or contributions for the list, to help next year's new sixth grade families orient to Crocker, please forward them to Liz Schenk ( and Celine Shimizu (, your head room parents.

We have recently assigned room parents per homeroom and you should be receiving announcements and reminders to keep you informed throughout the year.

Don’t Miss the 6th Grade Costume Skating Party!

Skate on over to Belmont Iceland on Friday, November 7 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. for some fun Fall skating.  We’ll have pizza, treats and prizes for the best costumes.  Simply recycle your Halloween costume or dress in head-to-toe NEON.  No need to be a good skater…just a desire to have a fun Friday night with your friends!  Be sure to have your parents pay and submit your permission slip, available online and in the school office.  Permission slips are required to attend the party.

Grade 8 Networking Coffee on 9/26 - Transitioning into High School

Transitioning into High School

8th Grade Networking Meeting on Friday, Sept 26

Eighth grade parents are invited to join us at 8:45 am on Friday, September 26 at the Crocker Library to hear Principal Catherine Mikes discuss transitioning into High School.  A few of the topics she will cover will include information about public and private high schools, the application process and important decision making factors for your child.  Eighth grade parents will not want to miss this!

Come by the Crocker Library for coffee and knowledge!

Angela Castellino, Melissa Jones, Schyler Tollmann
8th Grade Networking Chairs

Associated Parent Group (APG) News 

Parent Coffee - Sept 19:

The Resource Parents and APG, in association with Student Services, invite all parents to "A Parent Coffee Celebrating our Children in Special Education." Please join us as we "Share the Journey" on Friday, September 19th from 9:00 - 11:00am at the home of Barbara and Anthony Rodio, 521 Roehampton Road. 

Superintendent Ranii and District Staff will provide updates and gather parent input. Parents are encouraged to ask questions and network! Please RSVP by Wednesday, September 17th, to or 375-0445.


Special Kids on Hillsborough Together (HT):

Want to hear about local events and resources for families with children with special needs?  Sign up for Hillsborough Together and then join the online discussion group “specialkids”.  The Resource Parents are also collaborating with HT to build out a “Special Kids” section of the HT Directory.  To access recommended private therapists, doctors, camps, etc., click on “Directory” and then scroll down to the “Special Kids” section.  Please feel free to add your own recommendations as well!  We look forward to hearing from you online.

State Testing Update

As you may already know, state testing was very different during the 2013-14 school year. Instead of taking the old STAR CST or CMA tests**, all students in 3rd – 8th grade participated in the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) field test of the new assessments designed for the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress system, known as CAASPP. Since this was a practice test for the new system, NO results are being reported for either individual students, schools, or districts.

Two of the “old” STAR tests did remain in place, however.  Last year’s fifth and eighth grade students only (current 6th and 9th) were given the STAR CST/CMA assessments in Science. In addition, students who were eligible for the alternative CAPA assessment did receive it. Scores are being reported for these specific tests, and results are being mailed to parents the week of September 1st.

Looking ahead, for the 2014-15 school year, the new CAASPP testing program in English Language Arts and Mathematics will be fully operational for grades 3-8 (not 2nd, as in previous years). In addition, the science tests will continue to be given at grades 5 and 8. The CAPA test will not be given this year, but an alternative assessment will be field tested. More information about these tests will be forthcoming throughout the year.

If you have any questions about the test itself or your child’s participation, please contact your site principal or Modell Marlow Andersen, Director of Educational Services.

** Here is a list of Acronyms to help you out!

STAR              (Standardized Testing and Reporting)

CST                (California Standards Test)

CMA                (California Modified Assessment)

CAPA              (California Alternate Performance Assessment)

CAASPP         (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress) 

Hillsborough Schools Foundation (HSF) Update


Save the Dates!  The Hillsborough Schools Foundation (HSF) is excited to start a new school year and invites our entire community to participate in our 3 Signature Events this year:


Hillsborough Classic – Thursday, October 16 (tennis); Friday, October 17 (shopping and luncheon), 2014

Dinner Dance – Saturday, April 11, 2015

Hillsborough Fun Run – Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mark your calendars and join us as we build community and raise money for our award-winning schools.  Go to for more information or call the HSF office:  650-344-6685.


  • – Don’t forget to register or renew your credit cards with eScrip!  Make your shopping count for our kids!  Groceries = dollars (Mollie Stone’s, Lunardi’s, Piazza’s, Trag’s and Draegers all donate a percentage of your sales to the Hillsborough Schools Foundation for all eScrip-registered credit cards)

  • Back to School Shopping – buy supplies for the kids and give to the kids, all at once!  Click through the website on your way to purchase all of your back-to-school needs.  Amazon, Office Depot, REI and so many more merchants donate a percentage back of every purchase originated at!  Click on their logo to be directed to their website and shop as usual! 

  • Look for Hillsborough Classic invitations in your child's backpack next week!  This year, HSF is excited to offer two days of fun:  Sign up for a no-stress game of Round-Robin Tennis on Oct 16th at some of the most beautiful courts in Hillsborough.  Whether you play tennis or not, treat yourself on Oct. 17th to boutique shopping, lunching with friends old and new, and enjoying an exquisite fall fashion show sponsored by Wilkes Bashford!  All to benefit our award-winning public schools!

Community News

Hillsborough Recreation Fall Activity Guide Online: Hillsborough Recreation offers a number of opportunities for middle school students to enjoy after-school sports, recreation and enrichment classes. 

For more information regarding registration deadlines and enrollment or to view the complete Fall 2014 Activity guide, please visit:

Sate Routes to School:  Safe Routes to School has several events planned again for the 2014/2015 School year and we welcome volunteers to assist with any of the events to encourage safe walking, biking and carpooling to and from school.  Please note the following Safe Routes to School Event Dates:

Wednesday, October 8th - International Walk to School Day

Wednesday, March 11th - Golden Sneaker Contest

Wednesday, May 6th - National Bike to School Day

Additionally, Safe Routes to School will also be collecting student data twice this year (once in the Fall and once in the Spring) on ways students are traveling to and from our schools.  This is a new contractual agreement between the San Mateo County Office of Education and the National Center for Safe Routes to School.  Analyzing our student travel data year to year helps Safe Routes to School track progress towards increasing active (walking/biking/scootering) and shared (carpool) modes.  We hope to build our community support for the program as well as identify ongoing barriers that the program can seek to overcome in future years.

Please feel to contact me throughout the school year if you have further questions at

Christian Lilly
Safe Routes to School Coordinator


HNN: CERT Classes offered:  Be Prepared!  Register for the fall CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) classes offered to Hillsborough residents by our Central County Fire Department (CCFD). Classes are only one evening a week for six weeks starting September 11th. Courses are inter-changeable with other towns and make-ups are simple. Get started now to learn how to better protect your family and home. For more information please go to: To register, please go to: or call Lisa Bartolo at 650-558-7668.

Thank you,
Terri Cruce
HNN Program Coordinator

  300 El Cerrito Avenue,
Hillsborough, CA 94010
  Phone (650) 342-5193
Fax (650) 342-6964

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