“School. Only different” makes for special week for Hillview 8th graders

by Parke Treadway on April 7, 2017

“School. Only different”came to Menlo Park for the fourth year at Hillview Middle School this past week. As part of the school year 2016-17 cuts that MPCSD took proactively to prepare for potential loss in parcel tax funding, Hillview’s mini-course program was reduced from serving the school’s entire 900 student population to just the eighth grade class of 300 students. [Note: the parcel tax measure subsequently passed.]

Of those students, about one third attended  the Washington, DC trip with five faculty members. The remaining 200 eighth graders on campus were given 8 exciting courses from which to choose, from perennial favorite Amazing Race to an entirely reimagined international cooking course.

While there are other inter-session programs in area schools, Hillview’s model continues to be the only example of such an undertaking in a public school with a large and diverse population.

Photo top: Ocean Odyssey students explore the shore and tide pools at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach. Photo right: Amazing Race students conquer the ropes of the Challenge Course at Pacific Leadership Institute in San Francisco.

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HillviewParent April 7, 2017 at 10:21 pm

It’s a shame that the administration had to make their point at the expense of the 6th and 7th grade kids. Minicourses have been a great idea for Hillview. But because they wanted to scare everyone into voting for the second attempt at a parcel tax, they went for something that doesn’t hurt test scores but gets everyone’s attention. Note that the cuts came AHEAD of the budget reduction that COULD have happened next year.

And yes, we voted for it anyway. Even though they put it on a special election at additional cost with lower turnout like they shouldn’t have done in the first place.

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