September Bulletin

What’s Happening at Hillside

Spotlight on…



If you are interested in one (or more) of our clubs, please make sure to sign up with Joel (!
Animation begins on Friday, 9/7
Games Club begins on Monday, 9/10
Fencing begins on Tuesday, 9/11
Drama Club begins on Wednesday, 9/26

Performing Arts


Hillside teacher Brynne Garman returns to the stage in Tacoma this fall, September 8-30, with Neil Simon’s award-winning, autobiographical coming-of-age story, Brighton Beach Memoirs. This production stars four talented teenagers, supported by three veteran adult actors. It is appropriate for ages 12 and up, dealing with sensitive and timeless issues such as racism, sibling rivalry, and the overall challenges of adolescence in an overcrowded two-family home in the 1930’s. The cast is very talented and the show promises to be both comedic and powerful. For ticket information, contact the Lakewood Playhouse.

Community Building Day

Dear Hillside Families,
You are invited to a Community Building Day for all students and their families in grades 5 to 12 who wish to join us on Saturday, Sept. 8, starting at 1:00 pm and ending at 8:00 pm.
We plan to drive to Twin Falls near North Bend, enjoy a hike in the woods, and return to Hillside by about 4:00 for pizza and an evening of games.  Any potluck additions are welcome, but not required.
Please email Joel to let us know whether you and your student wish to attend.
For students riding a school van:
Notify Joel ( by Wednesday, September 5, to reserve a space.  To ride a van, students must be dropped off at the school shortly before 1:00.  We can transport up to 26 students in the school vans.  Please let Joel know so we can plan appropriately.
To meet us:
Meet us by 1:30 pm at the Twin Falls Trailhead off Exit 34 near North Bend.  A Discover Pass is required for parking.  We will hike about 3 miles round trip to the views of the Falls. See details about the hike at
Attending part of the day:
If a student or family wishes to join us for one part, but not the other (the hike, but not the evening, or vice versa), again, please let us know.  We expect to be back at the school by roughly 4:00.
For the hike wear/bring:
  • comfortable clothes and hiking boots or walking shoes
  • a small daypack with:
  • a small snack
  • a full water bottle
  • a rain jacket just in case
  • maybe a camera.
For the evening bring:
  • Possibly a game (although we have several available)
  • You may bring potluck dish, but as noted above, that is not required.These can be left at the school before the hike.  A limited number can be stored in the school refrigerator.

PNWA Presents a FREE Young Author’s DayFreeEventKid

Saturday, September 15thfrom 9:00 am – 1:15 pm at the SeaTac Double Tree.
This event includes a keynote address by iconic young adult horror author R.L. Stine, revision workshops, plot development workshops, craft classes, and a graphic novel workshop
Writing Workshops and activities for age groups 8-13 and 13-16 only.
Click HERE to register, and click HERE for a schedule .

Curriculum Night—Thursday 9/13

Please join us to learn about your student(s) upcoming year! You will get to meet your student’s teachers, experience a truncated version of their schedule, and meet other members of our community!

Events Calendar


First Day Teambuilding

Monday, September 3
NO SCHOOL – Labor Day

Wednesday, September 5
Teachers’ Meeting—11:35 a.m.

Friday, September 7
Animation Club—3:00 p.m.

 Saturday, September 8
Community Day—1:00 p.m.


First Day Teambuilding

Monday, September 10
Games Club—3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 11
Teachers’ Meeting—11:35 a.m.
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 13
No Fencing
Curriculum Night—6:30 p.m.

Friday, September 14
Animation Club—3:00 p.m.

Monday, September 17
Games Club—3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 18
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 19
Teachers’ Meeting—11:35 a.m.

Thursday, September 20
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Friday, September 21
Animation Club—3:00 p.m.

Monday, September 24
Block IA begins
Games Club—3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 25
Teachers’ Meeting—11:35 a.m.
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 26
Drama Club—3:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 27
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Friday, September 28
Animation Club—3:00 p.m.


June Bulletin

What’s Happening at Hillside

Spotlight on…


Solar Panels



In mid-May, Julie organized a workshop with Nicholas Montoni, a PhD student from the Clean Energy Institute at UW. He came and helped the Environmental Science class build their own solar panels.



Community Service

Brynne and the Community Service elective have cleaned up Hillside, cleared trails, planted a garden
at a women’s shelter, visited an animal sanctuary, and more. In addition to their good work, they need our help with their food drive.
Brynne writes, “We are specifically serving the specific deficits for food in the Renton community, as the East side food banks did not need our help. Our school goal is at least 10 of each item on the wish list, and we are far short of this goal at this time.
Canned food can be directly deposited in the bin by the front door, and packaged, bagged or boxed food goes in the barrel you can see through the window in Huckleberry.
The last day for the food drive is Tuesday, June 19. Note: all donations are welcome, but there are shortages in the “wish list” areas.
Contact Brynne with any questions. Thanks!

salmonScreen Shot 2018-06-01 at 2.23.50 PM

Pioneer Farm Museum

Sigrid, Brynne, and some brave parents took 14 kids on an overnight to Pioneer Farm Museum and Ohop Indian Village. We learned about life in the 1800s for both American pioneers and the Nisqually people. Activities included shaping arrowheads, grinding coffee, learning songs, cooking over an open fire, and carrying a lot of water for the animals. This hands-on experience will be remembered long after the stains on our clothes have been washed out.
Screen Shot 2018-06-01 at 3.03.31 PM
Keeping with the 1800s theme, the 5th/6th is planning a Pioneer Potluck on Wednesday, 6/13 for the students and their families. We will be bringing foods made by the Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie as well as foods that Zitkala-Sa, a member of the Dakota tribe and author of Impressions of an Indian Childhood, might have enjoyed.

Junior Projects Presentation—Noon, Tuesday, June 12finalquilt

 This month our Juniors will be presenting their Junior Projects to their classmates. These projects are self-designed, independent investigations by the student into an area of interest. If any parents would like to attend, please contact Karen at to insure enough space for seating. It is always surprising to see the variety and depth of our students’ interests. 

Animation Night

This yearly event is great fun. Come see the hard work and wonderful imaginations of the student in the Animation elective in this showcase of their work during the year. Animation Night is on June 17th at 7:00 p.m.


You have two chances to see the Hillside production of Midsummer’s Night Dream: Friday, June 22nd and Saturday, June 23rd at 7:30 p.m.
However, you have only one chance to attend our 2018 Graduation! That is on Saturday, June 23rd at 4:30 p.m.

Civil War

To the 5/6 students, the Civil War project has been almost as epic as the Civil War itself, stretching over months and involving a lot of effort. The culmination of this project was to create 9-square quilts of paper or fabric, with each square graphically representing the student’s learning on a specific topic. The topic for each square was assigned, but the order of what square goes where was up to them.

Events Calendar

Monday, June 4
Games Club—3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, June 5
Fencing—3:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 7
Fencing—3:00 p.m.
Friday, June 8
Animation Club (Term I)—3:00 p.m.
Monday, June 11
Games Club—3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, June 12
Fencing—3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, June 13
Little House at Hillside Pioneer Potluck—6:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 14
Fencing—3:00 p.m.
Friday, June 15
Animation Club (Term I)—3:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 16
Animation Night—7:30 p.m.
Monday, June 18
Games Club—3:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 21
Half Day—Last Day of School
Friday, June 22
Drama Performance—7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 23
Graduation—4:30 p.m.
Drama Performance—7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 24
Set Strike—11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, June 26
All-School Outing/Picnic–stay tuned for details!
Wednesday, June 27
Work Party—5:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 30
Work Party—11:00 a.m.
Sunday, July 1
Work Party—11:00 a.m.
Monday, July 16
Europe Trip Begins!

Thank You


Today is the day!

IMG_3610GiveBIG is on!

Thank you so much to those who have already donated–we are already at $2,800!

This will be my final reminder about GiveBIG, but I will give you all an update when we have our final numbers.

I hope that, if you have the resources, you take some time to support Hillside and other non-profits near and dear to you. Thank you!

Teacher Appreciation Day Today + GiveBIG Tomorrow

Usually the phrase “Teacher Appreciation” means families and communities demonstrating their appreciation for teachers.


I absolutely encourage that! In fact, a donation to Hillside as part of GiveBIG would be appreciated.
However, this year, I’m looking at Teacher Appreciation differently. I’m asking, “As a teacher, what do I appreciate?”

Appreciation for Teaching:

  • The willingness of students to engage with class activities, share their thoughts, and grow
  • How funny my students are–I cannot think of a single day of teaching without at least one hearty bout of laughter
  • Fresh minds and eyes keep mine fresh too–No matter how many times I have read a book or a poem, my students will find new things and enrich my experience
  • Working with people who care deeply about helping students develop who they are and what they can do

Appreciation for Teaching at Hillside:

  • Small classes promote close connection between students and teachers–each student is an integral part of the class, and students learn to work together and support each other
  • I can pay great attention to the work and progress of each student
  • Passionate colleagues who care deeply about both their subject areas and life beyond the classroom
  • The verdant forest and clean air cradling Hillside
  • Hillside is a choice; each student here demonstrates the trust you place in us
I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and please know that I feel lucky to be a part of the Hillside Community. If you have things that you appreciate about Hillside or our staff, please let me know!

GiveBIG Two Days Away!


Good morning Hillside Community!

The sun is not exactly shining at Hillside right now, but the birds are singing merrily in the trees and new growth limns the plants throughout the forest. Hillside too is hoping to grow and refresh–and we would love your support to do it. You can schedule your GiveBIG donation today, tomorrow, or on Wednesday, the actual GiveBIG date.

May Bulletin

What’s Happening at Hillside

Spotlight On…

New Building/Redesign Update!Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 9.59.05 AM

We are so excited, and hope you will be too! We have thought and discussed and explored, and want to share our plans for updating Hillside’s current facilities and the design sketches from Living Shelter Design Architects for our new building!
While we originally thought of having the main office in the new building, we realized we want the heart of the school in the main building, and that with the generosity of our donors last year, we can start a conversion of the Firs classroom to a smaller classroom (the west side of the room) and an office (the east side of the room). This allows easy access to the office for students, teachers, parents, and prospective families.
The new building, which will be located in what is currently the gravel pit, will be a classroom and storage space. We are aiming to begin construction this summer.Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 9.59.21 AM

Open Houseunnamed-4

It is time for our final Open House of the year. This Thursday, celebrate a sweet start of spring with some…sweets! We plan to pair our delectable desserts with sweet conversation with the Hillside community. Please share the Open House invite with any families who are searching for the next academic step.


“Church & State” by Jason Odell Williams, a fast-paced dramedy starring Brynne!

It’s three days before Charles Whitmore’s Senate re-election and he’s decided to finally tell the public exactly what’s on his mind, no filter. What could possibly go wrong, particularly when faith, politics, gun control and ‘The Twitter’ mix it up?
Brynne recommends the show for 8th graders and up due to some profanity and heavy issues. The show runs through May 20th. Visit Burien Actors Theatre (https://www.burienactorstheatre.orgfor more information and tickets.

May 9th GiveBIG—For All

This is the final year of Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG event, so we hope that our Hillside community will give big to a variety of non-profits on (or before!) May 9th. Hillside will use our donations to support the new building and changes on campus (see above for more details) so that we can better achieve our vision of having a facility that supports our mission of helping students develop and share their gifts.


Microsoft-affiliated People

Please note that Hillside is now on the Microsoft Alumni Nonprofit Directory, which makes Hillside eligible for matching funds during the GiveBig campaign!

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 10.26.40 AMHillside History Feast

On Saturday, May 18, at 5:00, Hillside high school students will perform their History Feast characters in the Hillside Gym. This event, unique to Hillside, is a meeting of minds researched, created, and acted by those students.
We ask $15 per audience member to help cover the cost of our supplies. Additional donations are welcome.
Please reply ASAP, and send your check to Joel with your expected number of attendees since we have limited space. Priority is given to the families of performers.
The food supplied by parent supporters will reflect the time period, which is Modern World History.
This year’s characters may shock and surprise—and likely entertain—you with their views. Please join us for an unusual evening!
Note to Student Actors: Arrive at 10 am for set-up and rehearsal all day. Bring lunch, printed writings, and costumes!

Events CalendarScreen Shot 2018-05-01 at 10.40.14 AM

Tuesday, May 1
Fencing—3:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 3
Open House—6:30 p.m.
Friday, May 4
NO SCHOOL—Weather Make-Up Day
Saturday, May 5
History Feast Practice—2:00 p.m.
Monday, May 7
Games Club—3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 8
Fencing—3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, May 9
History Feast Practice—3:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 10

Friday, May 11
Electives Begin
Animation Club (Term I)—3:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 12
History Feast Practice –10:00 a.m.
History Feast—5:00 p.m.
Monday, May 14
Games Club—3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 15
Fencing—3:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 17
Fencing—3:00 p.m.
Friday, May 18
Animation Club (Term I)—3:00 p.m.
Monday, May 21Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 10.48.26 AM
Games Club—3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 22
Fencing—3:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 24
Fencing—3:00 p.m.
Friday, May 25
Animation Club (Term I)—3:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 26
Set Building—11:00 a.m.
Monday, May 28
No School—Memorial Day
Tuesday, May 29
Fencing—3:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 31
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

The Good Doctor

Have you ever sneezed on your boss?
Cheated your governess of wages?
Laughed at someone else’s pain?
Argued with your neighbors?
Been on the receiving end of completely ludicrous demands?

If so, you do not want to miss this show!

Thursday, April 5th and Friday, April 6th at 7:00 p.m. the Hillside 5th and 6th Grade Players present the delightful Neil Simon/Anton Checkov drama experience of The Marriage Proposal and The Good Doctor.

Join us for a hilarious exploration of the situations mentioned above, and more!

Tickets $10 at the door. See you there!

March-April Bulletin

What’s Happening at Hillside

Spotlight On…


Hillside Fellowship Meeting

You are invited to attend a Hillside Fellowship meeting on Saturday, April 7th from 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Hillside Fellowship was founded in 1969 on the belief that each of us is of inherent value, and that through participation in a supportive community based on love and forgiveness, we learn to risk being our authentic selves.  Such support enables us to develop and use our gifts for the greater good.
In this spirit, the Fellowship meets together periodically to discuss ideas that intrigue and inspire us, with the purpose of strengthening our understanding of ourselves and each other, and building a fun, supportive community.  With this support and understanding, we use our unique gifts to better the world.
Meetings follow a basic format: One person shares an idea, a piece of literature, art, or music that they find inspiring or intriguing.  (The person who shares changes from meeting to meeting.)  Each of us reflects on the presentation through drawing, poetry, prose, interpretive dance… whatever!  We then have the option to share and discuss our responses.  Afterwards we enjoy a potluck meal. People are welcome to attend the potluck or leave after the meeting.
Any and all (or no) faith backgrounds are welcome.  We hope to see you this April 7th.
Please note: There is no child care provided, so kids who can withstand a long-ish focus are welcome to attend with their parents.  Parents who bring young children will be responsible for watching them.
Feel free to contact Karen with any questions.

Live Theater Field Trips20180125_101950.jpg

Brynne masterminded not one, but two field trips to see live theater in our area. The 8th graders went to see “Two Trains Running” at Seattle Repertory Theater to compliment their in-class work with August Wilson. The 5th, 6th, and 7th graders had the opportunity to see Seattle Children’s Theater’s “The Little Prince,” including a private question and answer with Lamar Legend, who played the Aviator.

Live Theater at Hillside
The 5th and 6th graders are hard at work on this year’s Intermediate play, a set of short scenes adapted by Neil Simon from Anton Checkov’s short stories. Make sure to see the performance on April 5th or 6th at 7:00 p.m.

Poetry Out Loud
Congratulations to ninth grader Joshua Mashkowski for representing Hillside in the regional Poetry Out Loud competition on Saturday, February 2nd at Tacoma Public Library. He recited “The Destruction of Sennacherib” by Lord Byron and “Pieta” by Kevin Young. Hillside is proud of Joshua’s hard work and strong performance!

Script Writing for History Feast
All high schoolers should put the following on their schedules:
Monday, 3/12, 3:00-4:30:  High School History Class Script Writing Session!
Monday, 3/19, 3:00-4:30:  High School History Class Script Writing Session!
Monday, 3/26, 3:00-4:30:  High School History Class Script Writing Session!

Open House
March is said to come in like and lion and depart like a lamb (or vice-versa.) At Hillside, March comes in with an Open House and departs with an Open House as well! Our second March Open House is on Thursday, 3/29. Please pass this along to families looking for their next step in schools, and we hope to see you that evening as well!

Fencing Tournament
Saturday, 3/31:  All day trip to Portland, Oregon, for a Sabre Tournament at OFA (Oregon Fencing Alliance).  Kael would like to take fencers of all ages who are interested.  Contact him for details at


Events Calendar

Tuesday, March 13
Fencing —3:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 15
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Friday, March 16
PSAT 10—8:00 a.m.
Animation Club (Term I)—3:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 17
Set Painting—11:00 a.m.

Monday, March 19
History Feast Practice—3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 20
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 22
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Friday, March 23
Animation Club (Term I)—3:00 p.m.

Monday, March 26
History Feast Practice—3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 27
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 29
Open House—6:30 p.m.

Friday, March 30
No School—Weather Make-Up Day

Monday, April 2
Block IIIB Begins
History Feast Practice—3:00 p.m.
Intermediate Dress Rehearsal—3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 3

Wednesday, April 4
RS Financial Literacy—6:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 5
5th+6th Drama Performance—7:00 p.m.

Friday, April 6
Animation Club (Term I)—3:00 p.m.
5th+6th Drama Performance—7:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 7
Set strike—11:00 a.m.
Hillside Fellowship Meeting—4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Monday, April 9 – Friday, April 13
No School—Spring Break

Monday, April 16
Games Club—3:00 p.m.
History Feast Practice—3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 17
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 18
RS Financial Literacy—6:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 19

Friday, April 20
Weather Make-Up Day – No School

Monday, April 23
Games Club—3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 24
History Feast Practice—3:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 26
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Friday, April 27
Animation Club (Term I)—3:00 p.m.

Monday, April 30
Games Club—3:00 p.m.
History Feast Practice—3:00 p.m.

January-February Bulletin

What’s Happening at Hillside

Spotlight On…


Drama Club Showcase

Jean and his intrepid Drama Club is presenting a showcase on Friday, February 9th at 7:30 p.m. This show is rated PG-13; we welcome friends, family, and anyone else interested to join us for an evening of original theater!


Open Housegroundhog

Our next Open House is on Thursday, February 1st. We hope to get the chance to connect with you! Whether you can join us or not, please spread the word about Hillside to any families looking for their next academic step and encourage them to come to the Open House.



Our spring conferences will be on Friday, February 9th. Feedback from fall conferences was that more clarity in what teacher teaches which classes would be helpful, so to that end please look forward to each teacher’s classes being identified in the sign-up slots.
These conferences work best when students as well as parents can attend, allowing everyone to have a conversation to support their learning. An email with a reminder of students’ Point Teachers and the sign up link will be emailed to you in the next week.


20180108_141250World Cultures

Brynne, Karen, and the World Cultures class enjoying Ethiopian cuisine as part of their unit on Africa.


gamesGames Club Hiatus

Between Mid-Winter Break and Spring Break there will be no Games Club meetings. We will start back up after Spring Break on April 16th.


Events Calendar

Wednesday, January 17
Block IIB Begins
Drama Club—3:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 18
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Friday, January 19
Animation Club (Term I)—3:00 p.m.

Monday, January 22
Drama Club—3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, January 23
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 24
Drama Club—3:00 p.m.
RS Financial Literacy—6:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 25
Fencing—3:00 p.m.


Guest instructor Ben Garman teaching the power of nonverbal communication in a digital world.


Friday, January 26
Animation Club (Term I)—3:00 p.m.

Monday, January 29
Games Club—3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, January 30
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 31
Drama Club—3:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 1
Open House—6:30 p.m.

Friday, February 2
NO SCHOOL—Weather Make-Up Day

Monday, February 5
Games Club—3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 6
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 7
Drama Club—3:00 p.m.
RS Financial Literacy—6:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 8
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Friday, February 9
NO SCHOOL—Parent-Teacher Conferences
Drama Club Showcase—7:30 p.m.

Monday, February 12
Games Club—3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 13
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 14
Writer’s Club—3:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 15
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Friday, February 16
Animation Club (Term I)—3:00 p.m.

Monday, February 19-Friday, February 23
NO SCHOOL—Mid-Winter Break

Monday, February 26
Block IIIA Begins
No Games Club

Tuesday, February 27
Fencing—3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 28
Writer’s Club—3:00 p.m.
RS Financial Literacy—6:00 p.m.