Hillcrest Elementary

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Principal's Message

August 13, 2018



Dear Parents/Guardians:

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year!  Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to be a part of your child’s education!  I am honored to serve as the new principal at Hillcrest Elementary! I am grateful to Dr. Libby for his many years of service to Hillcrest Elementary and wish him the best as he enjoys his well-deserved retirement.  This is my 10th year as principal and I am looking forward to getting to know each one of your children so that together with your support, as well as the support of our teachers and staff, we will provide a premier education in a 21st century learning environment to develop tomorrow's responsible leaders.


Not only are we focused on ensuring that students learn academic and leadership skills, but we are also cognizant of the importance of developing the whole child and fostering universal moral and ethical values, as well as a respect for diversity with an emphasis on kindness that will enable them to be life-long learners and productive members of a global society.  As we work with our highly capable team of educators to support all of our students with their unique gifts, we utilize various signature practices including, but not limited to AVID strategies, Code to the Future, Thinking Maps and Write From the Beginning and Beyond.  In addition, we understand that building strong relationships with our students and families is foundational to students’ academic success, and we actively strive to do so.  Furthermore, as a Leader in Me school, we incorporate the following 7 Habits throughout our day: (please reinforce at home)


  •       Habit 1: Be Proactive (You’re in Charge)
  •       Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind (Have a Plan)
  •       Habit 3: Put First Things First (Work First, Then Play)
  •       Habit 4: Think Win-Win (Everyone Can Win)
  •       Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood(Listen Before You Talk)
  •       Habit 6: Synergize (Together Is Better)
  •       Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw (Balance Feels Best)


These seven habits support our school-wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) that include proactive strategies to create a positive school environment by establishing the behavioral supports and social culture needed for all students in our school to achieve social, emotional and academic success. Feel free to refer to our school website to learn more about our school-wide behavior matrix.


You will be pleased to know that even more new and innovative programs are coming to Hillcrest Elementary!  This year, we launch our Mandarin Dual Language program in Kindergarten and our Makerspace lab is currently being built and should be completed by the end of September!


Lastly, I want to share some important information and a few reminders to ensure the first week of school is a smooth one.  Beginning Monday, August 20th, your child’s teacher/assignment will be posted in front on the bulletin board. Note that the 2018-19 school year begins on Thursday, August 23rd, at 8:20 a.m. and dismissal will be at 2:35 p.m. for all students in all grade levels.  Early Dismissal Wednesdays (1:35 p.m. dismissal) begins August 29th.  The school campus will open each day at 7:55 a.m. For your child’s safety, please do not drop off your child earlier than 7:55 a.m. as there is no supervision on campus prior to 7:55 a.m. If your child requires medication at school, please see our school nurse for the form.


First Week Drop-Off (8/23 to 8/24): Parents may walk their child to class on the first two days only.  

Drop-off beginning 8/27:  Starting on Monday, August 27th, only students will be allowed on the school campus.  If parents need to be on campus during school hours, they will need to sign-in at the office first and wear a visitor’s badge.  Parents should enter the campus through the front gates. Should you be interested in volunteering, kindly stop by the front office to complete the necessary forms.

Beyond the First Two Days: Please take your student directly to the front gate. No kindergarten parents will be allowed on campus after August 27th. 

Dismissal:  Kindergarten will be picked up at the designated Kindergarten Gate. Students in grades 1-6 will be dismissed from class and exit using the ramp (not stairs) and wait to be picked up.  Parents are NOT allowed to drive through the Pepper Street parking lot or park their cars in this lot after school.  The Orange Street parking lot is strictly for teachers/staff and is not a valet lane in the mornings.  During rainy days, parents are to pick up students from the classroom.  Should you have a need to pick up your student early, please be sure to come to the front office and have your identification available so that we may release your child.

Woodcraft Rangers:  We offer an after school program that is available from school dismissal to 6:00 p.m. daily.  You can obtain additional information by contacting (213) 249-9293.

Uniform Policy:  Tops: navy blue, light blue or white.  Pants/Shorts/Skirts: dark blue or khaki (jeans are allowed only on FREE DRESS DAYS). No pants are to hang below the waist.  If you need assistance or additional information regarding uniforms, please contact the office for assistance.


If you are the parent of an incoming Kindergarten student, I would like to offer a special welcome to you. Please take note of the following information as your child begins his/her school career:

  •       Kindergarten Meet & Greet: Please join us for a brief orientation for kindergarteners and their families on August 22 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. in our Hillcrest MPR/Cafeteria. You will meet the Kindergarten teachers: Ms. Lee and Ms. Liang, and receive important information about Hillcrest Elementary and the Garvey School District.  We will not offer Transitional Kindergarten at Hillcrest Elementary this year. Should you have a student who will be a Transitional Kindergartener, please contact Anna Rincon, (626) 307-3427.


Also, we have a new bilingual school office manager, Lisette Montero (fluent in Spanish), who is excited to meet and support you and your child!  We continue to have a multi-lingual front office staff that is ready to help whether in English, Spanish or Mandarin/Cantonese and are happy to locate support in any other language as needed.  We also have our new evening custodian, Mr. Kat, who is fluent in Cambodian. We encourage you to volunteer and get involved in the school community through our Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC), School Site Council (SSC), or one of the many groups aimed at improving our school.  You are invited to attend our first Coffee with the Principal on Friday, September 7th at 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. in the MPR/Cafeteria.


Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, concerns, and/or ideas you would like to discuss. Your feedback and support are essential and welcomed!  I look forward to the great year ahead and to meeting each and every one of you! Go Huskies!



Rosa Guerra, Ed.D.

Proud Hillcrest Elementary Principal


PS: Please look for a special message on our school website on 8/22/18 after 12:00 p.m.