HHS Transition

HHS Transition 8th to 9th Grade (Updated 2/23/24)
Posted on 01/08/2024

February 23, 2024

Dear 8th Grade Students, Parents & Guardians:

It is officially time to select your courses for your freshman year of high school!  The Genesis portal scheduling tab will open for you today, February 23rd at 4 pm.  You will then be able to see your recommended course placements and select your elective courses including choice of world language studies.  

The HHS Program of Studies for 2024-25 was shared with all current eighth graders earlier this month during presentations conducted on teams by the HMS school counselors.  The Program of Studies contains a great deal of important information, including course descriptions, prerequisites, and guidance for making appropriate selections by department.  Please review that site together as you decide on course requests.   Graduation requirements and suggested course sequences are also posted there along with a quick list under the “general information” section which lists electives available to 9th graders.  

Additionally, you can find slide presentations that provide an overview of the program of studies and course sequences for each department designed specifically for each class level at HHS - including the incoming Freshman graduating Class of 2028 here.  Finally, if interested, you may also view a presentation by one of the HHS counselors who has prepared a “4-Year Planning Guide” video that provides a nice overview of how to plan your individual course of study for incoming freshmen. Further instructions on how to make course selections in the parent portal can be found here

The deadline for choosing course requests is Monday, March 4thOn Tuesday, March 5th, HHS school counselors will visit HMS and meet with 8th grade students individually during their health/PE class period to review their individual course requests and answer any questions students may have.  Note that students planning to attend Somerset Vo-Tech or a private/ parochial high school should still select courses for HHS until their acceptance to other schools are finalized.  Do not hesitate to reach out to our school counseling office if you have any questions or need assistance with this process at any time. 


Dr. Joseph Trybulski Ms. Cynthia Povall

HMS Principal Director of School Counseling
To access a print copy of this message including directions for using the Genesis portal click here: HHS Scheduling for 8th to 9th grade 2024.pdf

Note Additional Information to Address Frequently Asked Questions


World Language recommendations for next year’s placements have been entered based on your current world language choice and progress for the past several years. If you wish to change to a new language, you will be able to choose Level 1 of a new world language in the same manner as choosing electives. Please note that we recommend that any student who would like to take American Sign Language (ASL) have a viable second choice of world language as ASL sections can fill quickly. 


It is important for those students who have availability to schedule electives to choose at least ten (10) elective course options indicating the priority for each in terms of preference.  If selecting semester electives, be sure to list additional choices for BOTH semesters.   Choices for electives as well as instrumental/choral music can be found under the “REQUEST” course tab.  A quick tutorial video on selecting electives can be viewed here


If you have been recommended for an honors course that you do not wish to take, please contact your HMS counselor to make the necessary course adjustment.  If you have questions regarding honors placement decisions, please direct those to the respective curriculum supervisors:

Literacy - Sheila Cooper, District Literacy Supervisor (ext. 3311)
Math - Kyle Dattola, District Math Supervisor (ext. 2010)
Science - Lisa Kiel, District Science Supervisor (ext. 2728)
Social Studies - Abraham Nole, District Social Studies Supervisor (ext. 3474)
World Language - Roberto Lugo, District World Language Supervisor (ext. 2014)


For assistance in all other areas, contact your child’s counselor at HMS:

Teams 8B, 8D and 8E - Aime Casagrande (ext. 2022)
Teams 8A and 8C - Sara Hunkeler (ext. 3278)



For children with individual education plans (IEP’s), contact your child’s case manager:

Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant - Carol Ann Giresi (ext. 2761)
School Social Worker - Katie Esposito (ext. 3320)
School Psychologist - Mikala Fuscoletti (Connery) (ext. 3343)

The Child Study Team (CST) case managers will be working with the school counselors to ensure that all course selections are in accordance with the student’s IEP.  

Hillsborough High School 8th Grade Academic Orientation:

 January 24, 2024 at 6:30 PM

Zoom Link:

Please click the link below to join the webinar:


Or One tap mobile :

    +13017158592,,82587129660# US (Washington DC)

    +13052241968,,82587129660# US

January 8, 2024

Dear Parents/Guardians of 8th Graders:

Over the next few months, some important activities will be taking place as the transition from middle school to high school begins to take shape. To help guide you through this transition, here is a brief timeline for your reference:


 January - HHS will present a PARENT ORIENTATION program at 6:30 pm on January 24, 2024, exclusively online via Zoom to review the HHS Program of Studies.  The link to view the livestream event will be shared at a future date and posted to the district website at www.htps.us on January 24. The HHS Director of School Counseling will conduct this presentation along with the district supervisors for each curriculum department. Please mark your calendar for this important orientation program. We will also record the event and post it on the district’s website.

February - Throughout early to mid-February, HMS counselors will meet with 8th-grade students via their social studies classes to review the HHS Program of Studies, course offerings, and course selection process with all students.  The updated 2024-2025 Program of Studies is currently available to view online here

The district supervisors for each of the curriculum departments at the High School including literacy, math, science, social studies, and world language will review data on all students in the 8th-grade class to determine eligibility for invitation to participate in the honors level program within their respective departments or for advancement to upper level courses for freshman year.  Notice of invitation for advanced or honors level courses will be communicated to students and parents along with the placement recommendations via Genesis in March.  Details on how each department determines course placement and honors eligibility is attached below. 

Late February - Notice will be sent out once the process of course placement recommendations has been completed for all subject areas and entered into the Genesis student information system.  At that point, the course recommendations will be viewable online via the Parent Portal.  We will share directions at that time for you to view the recommendations for core courses, discuss them with your child, and enter rank-ordered elective course requests in Genesis.  Understand that a student cannot request an honors course for which he or she has not been approved by meeting the placement criteria and receiving the HHS departmental recommendation for honors placement.
Early March- HHS counselors will travel to HMS on March 5th to have short meet & greet sessions with their assigned 8th-grade students to provide a general overview of the high school transition from 8th to 9th grade and answer students’ questions. If there are any outstanding questions or discrepancies in course requests and placements, the HHS counselors will note these and follow-up with students and parents as needed to complete the initial course assignments for 9th grade.

Somerset Co. Vo-Tech or Other High Schools - Students considering attendance at Somerset County Vocational-Technical High School (SCVTHS) or at a private/parochial high school outside of Hillsborough will proceed through this process for HHS until such time as a formal acceptance notice and request for transfer of records by the out-of-district high school is received.  The HMS School Counseling office can assist parents and students interested in attending other high schools, including SCVTHS.  For more information about the academic, career and technical programs available at Somerset County Vo-Tech (SCVTHS), visit their website at www.scvths.org, or speak with your child’s counselor here at HMS for guidance.  

Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s counselor at HMS for any questions or assistance throughout this transition:

The HMS and HHS School Counseling departments will be working very closely together to ensure a smooth transition for all 8th graders, and their parents, on this next and most exciting phase of education. 


Joseph Trybulski, Ed.D.,Principal


Hillsborough High School

Freshman Course Placement / Honors Program Selection

Each curriculum department for HHS will complete a review of all eighth-grade students for the purpose of making placement recommendations for freshman courses in their respective areas including invitation to the honors programs in each discipline.


For language arts/literacy, placement decisions are based on multiple measures including a student’s performance on summative reading and writing assessments in addition to teacher input.  English I Honors is offered to students who:Demonstrate independent and advanced work habits and initiative - reads more than just the required reading to gain more understandiDemonstrate critical and analytical thinking, reading, and writing skills


Please note that students will be placed in ninth grade mathematics courses based on their mathematics placement in grade eight, a teacher recommendation and their assessment scores.  Placement for ninth grade math courses will be done by the mathematics department and the process requires nothing additional from you or your child at this time.


The Science Honors courses require high levels of analytical thinking and discussion, as well as application of mathematical skills. For Honors placement consideration, 7th and 8th grade science marking period grades, science common assessments, math level, math test scores, and teacher evaluations will be considered. Please be aware that for your child to be eligible for Honors Science, he or she must currently be in Algebra 1 or Geometry.

Social Studies

World History Honors is offered to students who have demonstrated success in reading, writing, making inferences, and thinking critically and wish to take a rigorous social studies course in high school. The course requires a great deal of independent reading of primary and secondary sources, individual and group projects, and high levels of analytical thinking, writing, and discussion.  A placement for world history honors in 9th grade will be based on average Social Studies grades in marking periods one and two, historical thinking and writing skills as measured on a social studies writing task all students took, and performance on the writing tasks administered by the Literacy department. 9th graders who are accepted into World History Honors will also be given the option to enroll in AP Human Geography as an elective. 

World Language Level II or III

Students entering 9th grade may elect to begin or continue world language studies in any of the following languages: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin, or Spanish at the introductory level (Level I).  While there is no “honors” program for 9th grade world language, students who have successfully demonstrated advanced proficiency in their language studies may be recommended for Level II or Level III in 9th grade based on current grades in world language and performance on a skills assessment (oral & written language proficiency) that will be conducted in class in early-February, in addition to having teacher recommendation.