Author Archives: Taylor

So You Want to Volunteer for Field Day?

On your marks…get set…GO!

Field Day 2022 is on its way, and we need your help to make it extra special.

Mrs. Walker and Mr. Weymont REALLY need empty 2-liter bottles and cereal boxes, but the complete list of supplies required to give Hedgies a Field Day to remember is here.

And if you’d like to volunteer at field day, fill out our Google form here.

A few notes about Volunteer Training:

All volunteers must complete the volunteer application and participate in both orientation/training sessions.

Step 1: Complete the BCPS Volunteer Application – Complete and save a copy to your computer or device. You will need to send this along with your training certificates to Hillcrest’s volunteer coordinator.

Step 2: Complete the online Volunteer Orientation AND the Health & Safety – Mitigation 2021 training.

If you have completed training in the past but don’t remember your login information, please email for assistance in recovery.

Once you’ve completed both trainings you will be provided with two certificates. 

Step 3:  Send your certificates and application to Hillcrest’s volunteer coordinator, 

Step 4: Please note that approved volunteers will be asked to complete a Vaccination Verification form provided by the school administrator. Volunteers are subject to the same vaccination guidelines as school staff which MAY include weekly COVID-19 testing based on your vaccination status. Use this link Staff Vaccination Verification (


Any parent who is not vaccinated must provide a negative test within 72 hours prior to the volunteer opportunity. They MUST do this with the smartsheet link Staff Vaccination Verification ( A PCR OR Home test is acceptable.  If you have any questions, please reach out to admin!

If you have any questions about volunteering for Field Day, please let us know. Thank you in advance for wanting to be a part of this fun and special event!

Celebrate Earth Day with Hillcrest

This Earth Day, the Hillcrest PTA will collaborate with the Hillcrest Environmental Club to host an afternoon event that will give families a chance to get involved…and maybe get a little dirty!

From 4-6 pm on Friday, April 22, Hedgies and their families are welcome to join us near the Kindergarten playground for Earth-friendly service projects and crafts, as well as for a chance to walk through the Courtyard for a glimpse of what the Environmental and Courtyard committees have been working on.

Join us for:

  • A campus clean-up
  • A look inside the Courtyard
  • Decorative rock painting
  • Crafting caterpillar grass planters
  • Molding DIY seed bombs
  • Building a bug hotel

Plus, there will be plenty of opportunities to sign up for projects still to be done in the Courtyard.

We hope to see you there!

Hillcrest Is Daylighting on March 18

On Friday, March 18, Hillcrest will slow the pace to promote energy conservation. Engaging in low-tech learning and lighting the school with natural light as much as possible, students will be helping Hillcrest meet its conservation goals.

Initiatives like going low-tech and daylighting are easy ways to meet our green initiative of energy conservation this year.

Wondering how you can do more to conserve at home? Take a look at the energy audit below. The results might surprise you!

Read-a-Thon Results Are In

The results of the 2022 Hillcrest Read-a-thon are in, and Hedgies outdid themselves to log an outstanding 121,675 minutes!

Congratulations to all of our readers!! We had 477 total readers, which means fully two thirds of the school participated. And we raised a lot of money to benefit our school.

Everyone is a winner at Hillcrest, but we would like to call out a few Read-a-thon superstars:

  • Top Reader- Pre-K: Aliviah C in Ms. Brown’s class
  • Top Reader – K: Zeke in Ms. Washington’s class
  • Top Reader – 1st Grade: King J in Ms. Myers’ class
  • Top Reader – 2nd Grade:  Addy W in Ms. Wright’s class
  • Top Reader – 3rd Grade: Benny C in Ms. Smith’s class
  • Top Reader – 4th Grade: Jack E in Mrs. Quinn’s class
  • Top Reader – 5th Grade: Harlow S in Ms. Leonard’s class
  • Top Fundraiser: Vera P in Ms. Myers’ class
  • Top Class – Total Reading Minutes: Mrs. Wright’s 2nd Grade Class
  • Top Class – Participation: Mrs. Quinn’s 4th Grade Class

Thank you to everyone who helped make this event so successful…keep reading!

UPDATED! The Read-a-Thon Is Under Way!

Updated 2/11 As we roll into the final two days of the read-a-thon, we’ve already surpassed our goal by 10,000 minutes and it looks very likely that we’ll break 100,000 total minutes logged!

Updated 2/10 With three days left to go, we’ve already hit our goal of 87,000 minutes read! How far beyond can we go?!?!

Updated 2/9 Halfway through the second week of the read-a-thon, over 80,000 minutes have been logged!!!

Updated 2/8 Hedgies are reading ALL the books! With five days left to go we’ve logged over 70,000 minutes!! That’s amazing…not even 17,000 to go!

Updated 2/7 After a weekend evidently spent reading by the fire, by the window, and everywhere in between, Hedgies are well over halfway there! Just over 31,000 minutes to our goal of 87,000!!

Updated 2/4 As of Friday afternoon, the total minutes read was a whopping 41,524!!!

By the end of the school day on Thursday, February 3, Hedgies had logged an incredible 31,687 minutes read! Wow!!

If we’re going to hit our goal of 87,000 total minutes, we’re going to need to read a little more than 5,500 minutes day for the rest of the read-a-thon. Can we do it?!

Read, Hedgies, read!

Spread the Love!

The Hillcrest food drive to support Catonsville Emergency Assistance will run January 31st-February 11th.

Please help Hillcrest and the PTA show CEA some love by donating non-perishable items to refill the pantry shelves.

Collection bins will be in each grade hallway, and each grade has a specific list of items to gather:

  • Pre-K and Kindergarten: Oatmeal, Pancake Mix, Cereal and Snack Bars
  • First and Second: Tuna, Chicken, Beef Stew, Rice, Potatoes, Noodles
  • Third and Fourth: Cake mix, Brownie mix, Jello, pudding, syrup, bagged sugar
  • Fifth: Toilet Paper, Paper Towels

Thank you for helping make Hillcrest and our community such a wonderful place to live!

Read Hedgies, Read!

After last year’s massive success, the Hillcrest PTA has decided to hold a Read-a-thon again this year!

Our first Read-a-thon was incredibly effective at getting students excited about reading. Plus, it gave friends and family the opportunity to encourage their favorite Hedgies to read even more. We collectively logged tens of thousands of minutes, and we want to know if we can read even more!

This year, our Read-a-thon starts Monday, January 31, and runs through Sunday, February 13.

We encourage you to activate your reader’s account as soon as possible by clicking here and following the simple instructions. This is where you will be able to view and record students’ progress, as well as reach out to family and friends to let them know what we’re up to.

We’ve chosen Read-a-thon because it will not take much of your time, gives your child a reason to read and helps in the development of stronger reading skills. This is a fundraiser, of course, but the most important metric to us is how many Hedgies are reading.

We hope EVERYONE participates.

Words Matter

Do you ever worry that you are using the wrong term to describe someone? We know that language matters, but do we understand the history behind the labels we use? Join us for a conversation about language, identity and labels. Everyone is welcome!

This month’s Equity Committee discussion is a collaboration with the Catonsville Middle School Equity Committee, and will be facilitated by Dr. Monica Simonsen (she/her). Dr. Simonsen is a mom of two Hillcrest alum, a special educator (at Catonsville High School) and a community activist. During her 25+ year career in special education, workforce development and higher education, she has witnessed the evolution of terminology and vocabulary – and intent – as it pertains to people with disabilities. As a biracial mother of two children of different races, she thinks deeply about how labels apply to her own family. Dr. Simonsen is currently the Education Program Director at the University of Maryland Global Campus. 

The Identity-First vs. People-First Language discussion will be held Tuesday, February 1, at 7:30 pm.

These are a few of their favorite things UPDATED!

Didn’t see your teacher in the first list? Check out the addendum!

Our teachers have been working harder than ever this year to make things feel as “normal” as they possibly can.

If you’re inclined to show these superheroes some extra love as the days get shorter and the children get wilder, we’ve got you covered!

Take a look at this compilation of Hillcrest teachers’ favorite things.

And thank you, teachers, for all that you do!