24 November 2015

Interested in learning Chinese?

Students who have a study hall during the spring semester can opt to take Chinese.  Hilton high school and middle school are privileged to have two Chinese teachers coming to our district to teach about the Chinese language and culture. These teachers will be offering Chinese lessons to students who are scheduled for study halls from February – June.  Students who complete the course will earn an elective credit.  See your counselor if interested.

23 November 2015

Online Safety: Resources for Parents and Children

Merton Williams Middle School has a strong commitment to supporting youth with technology and preparing them for the ever changing world that they will someday work in.  We continue to provide students with engaging, interactive technology resources which facilitate learning and communication.  We expect our students to follow safety rules when using technology and will continue to enforce those rules. Ultimately, our combined efforts will help students to be better prepared for the digital world they encounter every day. 

Raising a “wired child” is often a challenge as they experience different forms of social interactions.  At Merton Williams, we occasionally see instances of bullying, taunting and other socially unacceptable behaviors emerge through the use of technology.  While most of these occurrences happen outside the school day, they transfer into the school day with residual feelings and/or stress building up among children.  We work with students every day who have been made to feel sad, hurt or neglected by technological bullying. As your child has learned through various programs and resources in elementary and middle school, kindness and compassion are central to a happy life. 

Social networking includes social websites, instant messaging, gaming, blogging, web surfing, email, cell phone conversations and texting (through cell phones or free services on iPod Touch).  You can access a great deal of family friendly information and videos on www.netsmartz.org.  Once there, you can “Choose an Issue” by clicking on one of the above mentioned forms of social networking.  There, you will find statistics, tips, discussion starters, activities, videos and more. 

Working through these activities alongside your child, you will benefit from conversation around sometimes challenging topics.  Hopefully, this will allow you to understand your child's beliefs about social networking while also supporting an ongoing dialogue.  

We find Netsmartz to be a family friendly, up to date website sponsored by one of the most reputable organizations committed to keeping our children safe; The National Center for Missing andExploited Children. 

13 November 2015

Report Cards

Dear Parents and Guardians of Grade 7 – 12 Students,

As noted on the comment section of your child’s first quarter report card, this quarterly report card will be the last one mailed home to all parents. Parents can access student grades through Infinite Campus. However, if you still would like a hard copy mailed home, you may request it.
If you desire to have a hard copy of your child’s (or children’s) report cards mailed home please contact:

Barbara Alessi , Merton Williams Counseling Office Secretary at 392-1000 ext. 3192 or at balessi@hilton.k12.ny.us and/or Marilynn Kundrata, Hilton High School Counseling Office Secretary at 392-1000 ext. 2240 or at mkundrata@hilton.k12.ny.us.

Infinite Campus is a web-based student information system that provides instant and real-time information to those users with an internet connection who have students in our schools. 

Additionally, Infinite Campus is a family-based system, which means parents/guardians of secondary [gr. 7-12] students can use one log-in to view information for their children. The Campus Portal is a secure web site that offers an easy way to access important school-related information about your children's attendance in each class, daily schedule of courses, status of any fees for which they are responsible, five-week reports and report cards to date, and current grades and assignments.

Activation Key: In order to gain access to Campus Portal, you must first activate and set up your Campus Portal account. If you have not set up your account yet, please contact the Counseling Office: Hilton High School: 585-392-1000 ext. 2240; Merton Williams: 585-392-1000 ext. 3191 or 3192 to obtain your Activation Key.

04 November 2015

8th to 9th Grade Scheduling Information - Upcoming Dates

 December will be a busy month for Merton Williams’ eighth graders!  This month the process will begin for High School scheduling
In early December, High School and Middle School counselors will be meeting with 8th grade students to provide information on graduation requirements, credits, course selection, and electives.  Required courses for 9th grade include Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, LOTE, and PE.  Taking the required Art or Music credit in 9th grade is highly recommended.  Most students will have room in their schedules to select one or two electives.

Staff and students are encouraged to wear a business or college shirt on these days to showcase options after HS graduation!

 Students will be required to bring home their course selection sheets and program of study booklets to share with you.  Once you and your eighth grader have discussed and completed the course selection sheet, please sign it and return it to Merton Williams. You may contact your child’s  counselor with any questions by email or by calling the MW counseling office at 392-1000 ex. 3192.   All course selection sheets should be turned in no later than December 18, 2015.

Parents of eighth graders are invited to attend an information night at the high school on 12/7/15 at 7:00 PM.  Graduation requirements, course selection and requirements, and elective opportunities will be discussed.  The information from this program will help you to guide your child through the course selection process. 

WEMOCO is also offering an information night for interested 8th grade students and their     parents.  It will be held on 1/21/2016 at 6:00 PM.  WEMOCO is located on big Ridge Road in Spencerport.  *Snow date is 1/28/2016.

Yearbook Order Form

Upcoming Dates for
Merton Williams

Wednesday, November 11
Veterans Day
No School

Tuesday, November 24
Evening Parent-Teacher Conferences

Wednesday, November 25
Morning Parent-Teacher Conferences
No School for Students


Thursday and Friday, November 26 & 27
Thanksgiving Recess
No School

December 16
Instrumental Concert
7pm, High School Auditorium

December 23 thru January 1
Winter Recess
No School

January 4
School Reopens

Thursday, January 14
Parent Forum Meeting

Approaches to Learning

Family and Consumer Science, Social Studies, Technology, Foreign Language, Music, Math, Art, Science, Health, English Language Arts, Physical Education…I’m sure you’re familiar with all of these course names.  They show up on your child’s schedule before the school year starts, and their report cards during the school year.  You attend Open House and learn what students are going to be learning in each of these courses.  What you may not know is that we are all committed to teaching your child how to learn.  Last year, our school began exploring what the International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) calls, Approaches to Learning. These include communication, collaboration, media literacy, informational literacy, affective, reflective, critical thinking, creative thinking, transfer, and organization skills that transcend compulsory education to post-secondary education, careers, and life in general.  These are meant to optimize learning in all settings.  As we do our work here to provide your child with the learning tools that lead to success, we ask that you talk about these at home.  Ask about how your son or daughter is applying these skills in various settings; ask about their strengths; ask about the new skills they need to learn in order to continuously grow.  We believe a concept-based curriculum that uses ATL skill effectively enables all students to become stronger, more self-regulated learners, but also know that their learning doesn’t stop when they leave our building.  This is why we appreciate all of the support from home.

02 November 2015

I will be holding a principal's forum on Wednesday, November 25, at 9 am in the Main Office Conference Room.  This is also the morning that parent-teacher conferences will be held, so I hope it will be a convenient time for some of you to attend.  Please RSVP with an email to Carolyn Greif  (cgreif@hilton.k12.ny.us) - if you are able to attend.
Welcome to November!  What a beautiful fall we are having - I cannot remember the last time we had such beautiful weather like this in November!  This month, we will host parent teacher conferences.  You will be hearing from your child’s teacher or team if they would like to meet with you.  In addition, please reach out to specific teachers or the entire team if you would like to discuss anything about your child’s academics, social interaction, or behavior during school.  You may also find emailing your child’s team leader or a specific teacher may be enough to support you with any questions you have. 

Middle school parent teacher conferences are slightly different than elementary school conferences. The Infinite Campus Parent Portal is an excellent resource for families throughout the school year, including conference time.  Please take time to review your child’s grades, attendance and overall averages prior to meeting with their teacher(s).  This will allow you to have a conversation with your child prior to the conference about any specific assignments or grades.  Many parents find the Portal an invaluable tool for the entire school year as it allows you to support your child on a daily or weekly basis if they are having difficulty navigating assignments, planning their studying, etc.…   

While preparing for a conference, please keep the following from Parent Toolkit in mind:

You should be able to get more specific insight into your child’s strengths and weaknesses by subject. Since your child will most likely have a different teacher for each subject, the teacher will have a good sense of how your child is performing in that particular class. You may find that he is excelling in math but falling behind in reading. This can help you target your learning reinforcement at home, or find tutors specific to a subject.

Ask your child’s teacher about homework and assignments specific to the class. Homework really goes up a notch in middle school and the teacher should be able to tell you how your child is doing with independent work, time management, and organization. Is he turning assignments and papers in on time? Does he wait until the last minute or does he have a good plan for getting everything done? Middle school is the time when your child will be taking more personal responsibility and it’s important to ask if he is meeting those challenges.

You should expect a less holistic view of your child than in elementary school. Since the teacher does not spend the entire day with your child, she will only know how he is doing in her class, and may not have an overall view of his performance. This is one of the main differences between elementary school and middle school.

You should still ask about social and emotional concerns. In middle school, your child will be going through a lot of changes physically and socially. How does he get along with his classmates? Is he getting along in social groups with other students? By speaking to each teacher, you may discover similarities across all the classes and be better able to identify any areas of concern.

In middle school, students often begin to be invited to parent-teacher conferences. If your child is invited, bring him along and ask him to contribute to the conversation. This is a good way to show you are all involved and have the same goals – to get the most out of your child’s time at school and ensure the best academic achievement he can.

Teachers can be great resources, if you ask the right questions. If your child needs extra help in one subject, his teacher may be able to suggest former students who would make good tutors. The teacher may also know of other resources – like clubs or study groups—that may help your child.

27 October 2015

Hilton Central School District

Capital Maintenance Project  
Vote to be held Tuesday, Dec. 8
6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Hilton High School, 400 East Ave., Hilton (Parma, Clarkson and Hamlin residents)
Northwood Elementary School, 433 North Greece Rd. (Greece residents)

Please mark your calendars and look for more information in the upcoming District Insight newsletter.

23 October 2015

Dear Merton Williams Parents and Guardians,
Your child received their Fall Picture Package during Math Classes this week.
If your child is new to the district, was absent on picture day or you did not like your child's Fall Picture, you have the opportunity to have your child's picture taken on the following date:

Date: Wednesday, October 28th, 2015
Time: 10 am - 12:30 pm
Location: Room 101

If your child is retaking the picture, please have them bring their original picture package to the retake.
Order forms for new orders are available with Mrs. Engel in the Main Office.

Please feel free to contact Mrs. Engel with any questions you might have @ 392-1000 Ext. 3097 or cengel@hilton.k12.ny.us .

19 October 2015

Band Students Visit the Corn Maze

Mr. Weber and Mrs. Russo, (High School), opened an opportunity for band students to join together for a little fall fun outside the school day.  
The students met their teachers at the Zarpentine Corn Maze. 

06 October 2015

New Resource for Families

The International Baccalaureate (IB) has created a new resource for parents.  This website is designed to support parents in deepening their understanding about the IB programmes.  Merton Williams is an IB MYP school - this means every student is part of the IB Middle Years Programme.  To explore and learn more, please visit the link below.  

From ibo.org
At the International Baccalaureate (IB), every student’s education is at the centre of all that we do.  Because we share every parent’s commitment to the success of his or her child, we’ve created this page to help parents understand, and to make the most of, the programmes we offer in partnership with IB World Schools.  

02 October 2015

Calling all Volunteers!

Merton Williams is looking for volunteers to supervise our                    Student-of-the-Month Room.
Our staff nominates students for this honor monthly in each grade level. If they are   Responsible, Respectful and Productive and set an example for the other students in the building, these students have the privilege to invite a friend to have lunch with them in the Student-of-the-Month Room. They can relax in a smaller, quieter environment, play pool,                  ping pong and more.
Lunches run from 10:35 until 12:09 daily.  This is a great opportunity to enjoy the company of some of our exemplary students, and your support of this program is great appreciated.
If you are willing to help, please contact Barbara Alessi in the Counseling Office @ 392-1000, Ext. 3192 or at balessi@hilton.k12.ny.us.
Merton Williams thanks you for your support!


The French club and SADD club teamed up to          celebrate International Peace Day which is celebrated around the world on September 21st.   We learned what it's all about:  spreading peace and making a difference!  On September 21st, every year, millions of people around the world recognize the need for peace; there are ceasefires, events and everyone tries to do something to make their family,            community, country, world, a better place.

The members of the French club and SADD club joined together to spread peace and  happiness around the school.  They encouraged everyone to wear blue in honor of peace.  They made posters, decorations, and posted peace pictures and quotes on EVERY student locker in the school!   At lunch time, students school-wide signed a pledge for peace and got their very own "peace tattoo" which spelled out P-E-A-C-E on their fingers.  
Great work kids!!!

From the Counseling Office

Another new year at Merton Williams!  The Counseling Department offers support for students, parents, and teachers. In late September and early October, counselors will be visiting classrooms on each team to introduce ourselves and let students know what services are available.  Individual counseling dealing with academic, personal, career, and social concerns, group counseling, mediations, consult and collaboration with parents and staff are all part of our daily work.

Counseling services are voluntary and confidential.  We encourage you to contact your child’s counselor with any questions or concerns throughout the school year.

Counseling Office Staff:

Mrs. Linda Fortin   ex. 3197   8th Grade Teams Novo and Brio A-L, 7th Grade Teams A-L
Mrs. Maureen Rundle   ex. 3198  8th Grade Teams Novo and Epoch M-Z,  7th Grade Teams  M-Z
Mrs. Beth Letters   ex. 3196  8th Grade Team Epoch  A-L and Team Brio M-Z (Tues., Wed., Thurs.)
Mrs. Kristi Travers  ex. 3095  Discovery & Imagine Teams and assigned students on all other teams
Mrs. Catherine Tortarella  ex. 3195  School Psychologist (Tuesday through Friday)
Mr. Rob Watkins  ex. 3191  Outreach Counselor (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
Ms. Jillian Malley  Counselor Intern ex. 3194 (Mondays. Thursdays, Fridays)
Mr. Ray Manioci   Counselor Intern ex. 3194 (Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays)
Ms. Barbara Alessi Counseling Office Secretary ex. 3192
Ms. Jodie Burns Counseling Office Secretary ex. 3191

30 September 2015

Managing Homework as Middle School Student

As the classwork and homework demands increase, you may find yourself in the evening stress of attempting to balance homework, sports, music, clubs, and social time.  Helping your child plan their week and their evening can pay off in dividends for them as they grow through school and life.  (It will also pay off for you as your child increases their independence – leaving you with more breathing room in the evenings.) Before your child begins their evening homework, encourage a to-do list with times.  This will allow them to plan out all that they would like to accomplish as well as all they need to accomplish.  If they are able to space out their work, include a TV show or screen time, connect with friends and also have some physical activity, they will likely feel much more fulfilled at the end of their evening.  This will also allow you to support the ongoing goal to balance screen time with academics and physical activity.  

29 September 2015

Well done!

As we progress into the second month of school, it is evident that the first day and week jitters have faded.  Students are quite comfortable with their schedules, have mastered their locker combinations and are arriving to classes in a much timelier manner.  While the initial growing pains of a new school year, especially for those students in an entirely new building, can feel overwhelming, time and practice truly do make a world of difference.  Give yourselves a pat on the back for the lessons and practices you have instilled in your child/children to allow them to successfully learn and navigate a new school, a new school year.  They are doing quite well and are growing having figured it out on their own.  

25 September 2015

LIMBS Walk Class of 2020

This upcoming Wednesday, September 30th 2015, your child will be taking part in a walkathon, where the purpose is to raise funds for Limbs International.  The goal of this walkathon is to raise at least $900 which will cover the cost of three prosthetic limbs for people in need.  Over the past couple of weeks, Merton Williams teachers have been infusing Community and Service Learning into the context of their lessons.  Ask your child about these lessons as we’ve seen some real excitement around this! 


On Wednesday morning, students will be walking to the high school track, under adult supervision, where they will continue walking on the track.  Ask your child about the pledge form that they received. They will be encouraging any contributor to use this website à www.tinyurl.com/mwlimbs2015.  After the walk, they will be transported back to Merton Williams by district bussing.   We hope you’ll support us in this endeavor by signing the field trip request form your child will bring home to you and for encouraging them in their service learning activities!

We believe our schools are the heart of the Hilton Community.  For this, we take pride in explicitly teaching students what it means to be passionate about working towards a goal that will have a positive impact on others. 

15 September 2015

News About Apple Devices - Please Read!

Please do not update district Apple devices until further notice
Apple is set to launch its new iOS9 operating system tomorrow, September 15, 2015. While this is very exciting news for Apple users, large scale OS updates can come with bugs in their first release. We want to make sure that our devices are functioning at the highest possible level for our students and staff. As such, we are asking that users refrain from updating their district Apple devices to iOS9 until further notice.
We are also asking that you encourage students not to update their HCSD devices. Because Apple’s new regulations require individual iTunes accounts for students we have limited management of iOS updates through our Mobile Device Management system. Please make an effort to reach out to students and parents and ask them to hold off on updating their HCSD Apple devices until we are sure the update will not impede their education. Thank you.
- See more at: http://www.hilton.k12.ny.us/news/Apple8.htm#sthash.Hj3hk7lO.dpuf

08 September 2015

Day One - A success!

Ask any incoming seventh grader how they are feeling about the start of middle school and they will likely mention two things: 1. Locker, 2. Schedule.  I can assure you - they are all doing well!  I have seen them working and practicing their lockers, finding their way to classes and figuring out the lay of the land.  

Eighth graders confidently moved through the halls, comfortably finding their way around, reconnecting with friends and staff. 

It's been a great day full of smiles, connections and excitement for all of us!