A Letter from Principal Drummond

Dear Hill Community,
The support our families showed these last two weeks has been amazing. Last week we were still down by about 50% of our students on-campus from two weeks ago, allowing many of our staff to continue to work from home. As Dr. Elizalde stated this week, “Because of the improvements we are seeing on our campuses and in our community, and in consultation with Dr. Mark Escott of Austin Public Health, beginning Monday, Jan. 25, every family who selected on-campus learning will be invited to return to campus once again. The return to campus is not mandatory. Remote off-campus learning will continue to be offered for the rest of the school year.” Thank you for letting your teacher know your intentions for this upcoming week if they have changed from the previous week.

We want to remind all of our families that this Friday, January 29th, is the first of four Asynchronous Learning Days this semester. Asynchronous days limit the amount of time spent on campus. All students will learn in a remote off-campus setting. To further protect our students and staff, we will use this time to do additional deep cleanings of our campus. This day is also meant to allow staff the flexibility to work off campus and provide teachers with much needed planning and preparation time. Thank you for ensuring that your family has a plan for your student(s) to work from home or at a different remote off-campus setting on Friday. We will work on solutions for any family that does not have the needed technology or internet access for any reason. Teachers will have learning available virtually, including our essential areas team. All work will be asynchronous and can be done at any time on Friday or over the weekend.

On Thursday, we welcomed Karen Ranus, the executive director of the National Alliance of Mental Health Central Texas, to our Hill Principal Check-In as part of our parent education series. Thank you to our wonderful PTA executive board, counselors, and Sheila Wessels for supporting and creating this great opportunity.

For our 5th grade families, if you missed our Tuesday Principal Coffee with the Murchison Middle School team, it is linked here. The powerpoint to the presentation is linked here as well with excellent information for incoming 6th grade Mats. We will plan to hold our next Principal Check-In with Principal Drummond the first week in February.

Our annual celebration of International Reading Week is getting closer! It is an amazing time to see the incredible diversity we have at Hill School. Do you speak a language other than English? As part of the No Place for Hate Initiative, we would love to have you sign up to create a recording of yourself and/or your child reading a short book in another language. Videos will be provided to teachers to present to their classes during the week of February 22-26. Contact rcaytonbarden@gmail.com with questions! Submit your video here by February 8th.

Calling all incoming Pre-K families (with students who will turn 4 on or before September 1st)! Registration for our tuition-based Pre-K is now open for the 21-22 school year. To be eligible for the lottery applications must be submitted by January 31st. Spaces fill up fast, so don’t delay! Please visit the AISD Pre-K website here to see all information on the process. If you have additional questions, please email Christina McBride at christina.mcbride@austinisd.org. Tell your friends!

Thank you all for continuing to be as safe as possible while away from school with your families. Avoiding contacts outside of the home and wearing masks is still so important as we continue to work to flatten this spike. Have a wonderful week!

Principal Drummond