A Letter from Principal Drummond – October 18

Dear Hill Community,
We hope your weekend is off to a great start. This upcoming week, we look forward to welcoming back some of our 3rd and 4th grade students in week 3 of our phase-in plan. For families coming back to campus for the first time, I have again included the information from prior letters below to support the transition.

As always, we want to share the recording of our Hill Principal Check-In from this past Thursday. Obviously one of the main talking points during the update was the confirmed positive COVID-19 case we had on campus. As stated in the letter that went out Thursday to our entire community, we will always ensure that contact tracing and notifications happen in line with our Austin ISD safety protocols if we have confirmed or presumed positive cases on campus. Our custodial team is trained to sanitize the affected areas appropriately. For more information, please reference the Austin ISD COVID-19 Dashboard and the District Open for Learning Plan to see statistics and protocols. We take this situation very seriously and will continue to ensure Hill School provides the safest possible learning environment for all of our Dillos.

The other big discussion point was our post phase-in planning. Currently we are meeting with our grade level teams to discuss how our blended learning model is working for our students and staff. We would also like to get the family perspective to see how the current learning model is working. We encourage all of our families to complete this Hill Phase-In Parent/Guardian Feedback Surveyto get your feedback. We do anticipate that there could be changes at different grade levels in our learning model to best support everyone. Models may look different based on safety, student groups/learning needs, campus staffing needs, teacher feedback, logistics, and other variables that may affect our decisions. Please know that if your student(s) grade level does move to a different plan (for instance having some teachers instruct only virtually or only face to face) and it affects your student(s), that will be clearly communicated. With any change, we will work to mitigate students moving from their teachers but this could happen in certain circumstances. Again, we will work with your individual family in these situations with early messaging. Further communication will come when it is ready. We are still evaluating our practices and utilizing feedback to make the best possible decisions.

On a few other notes, we wanted to alert 5th grade families that Ms. Cotten is currently teaching virtually so if your students return, they will be in-person with Mr. Wilder and Ms. Salome. There was a great question Thursday about older students walking home from 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. This is of course okay, assuming the plan has been communicated to teachers for returning students. If parents are walking with them, they can wait for dismissal by the ramps for their students. For our 4th graders, this can be by the stairs on Cima Serena as well. Thanks for prepping your Dillos for dismissal.

For parents who paid for Hill after school childcare registration fees in the fall, please let Lucy Chu know (if you haven’t already) if you are interested in care this fall. Soon, we will be opening up registration (details to come) to fill any remaining spots with the hope to begin on November 2nd. More information to come!

Enjoy this beautiful fall weather while it lasts! Have a wonderful day.

Principal Drummond

(Click on dates for previous Principal letters from October 4 and October 11)