An Update from Principal Drummond

Dear Hill Community,
After a very busy summer it is amazing to see that we are now just one week away from the beginning to school! We look forward to seeing your families online and in-person during our different events next week. As a staff, we look forward to getting into a routine again with our Dillos who we have missed greatly for these last few months.

As always, I want to begin by posting our most recent Principal Check-In video from Thursday which covers this upcoming week and discusses some key points for the first week of school. This check-in was a bit shorter, and we really encourage all of our parents/guardians to check it out for some clarity about the information below.

One reminder I want to ensure I reinforce with everyone is the idea of grace and understanding as our staff utilizes a new schedule and new platforms that are untested in practice, though we are confident they will run smoothly in theory. Our staff will be ready and have worked hard to create amazing learning experiences for your students. We will still be learning constantly, utilizing your feedback, to see what needs to be fine tuned. Thank you for understanding this and helping us to get better. Lastly, please be supportive that our teachers at home, in many cases, are also working parents responsible to keep up with their students’ virtual learning as well with limited childcare options, similar to many of you. We are all in this together, and they will be juggling a lot as well. They are dedicated to your students as always. Thank you for also being mindful that they have similar responsibilities during this all virtual learning time at home.

We also shared that our Hill Master Schedule for Virtual Learning is posted and available for all of our families to view on our Hill Campus Community Page in BLEND all parents and guardians should have access to. It is also linked here. Please note that while these schedules are “final”, this is a living document that may need to be updated as it is put into actual practice. Overall, you can definitely use this to plan for your needs as we enter week one. Note: The first week of school will not have an Asynchronous Wednesday, meaning that your students will have synchronous learning each day for that four day week. Please plan on following the schedule for a typical M, T, Th, F for that week. We feel this will get our students and staff off to a more routine start that will benefit everyone. More information to come, including reminders leading up.

As Ipad distribution began today, here are the dates and information here for comprehensive technology distribution from the district coming up:

Ipad Distribution for Pre-K through 2nd Grade Students:  All families are encouraged to request a district-provided Ipad to utilize during virtual learning this fall, as it will be setup to support our platforms (any Ipad or laptop will still be able to access the learning still). Our teachers supported this initiative during their calls with you this week. You must request this technology prior to going for pickup! This Technology Request Flyer can support you. Once requested, you can take the given QR code or your student’s ID to Anderson High School (on the Cima Serena side) at these two remaining dates/times:
2:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 31
7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 1

Chromebook Distribution for Grades 3-5:  Families who need a Chromebook can now go to one of the Computer Curbside locations to pick up a device still. A large shipment of Chromebooks is expected next week. Any laptop or PC will be able to access the online curriculum for these grades. Like Ipads, you need to request online prior to pickup! Use this flyer for curbside support.

Note: Some parents did experience one or both sites running out of Chromebooks this past Friday. Please check prior to leaving to see what the status of each site is. Supplies do run out day to day.

Pick up: Monday- Friday 9:30-3:30 Crockett High School (5601 Menchaca Rd) or the Performing Arts Center (1500 Barbara Jordan Blvd.)

It felt so nice this week to finalize our class rosters and begin reaching out to all of your families. Please continue letting us know what you need at home to be successful as we begin virtual learning on September 8th. We again wanted to share this general calendar and updated schedule below for next week so everyone is clear on our different events:

Virtual Meet the Teacher Event (Tuesday, September 1st):  All of our grade level teachers will be hosting a virtual Meet the Teacher event during the times listed below on September 1st. Teachers will be saying hello to your available students, then transitioning to an adult-focused portion where you will get a better understanding of navigating the online platform, specifics on schedules, and other information you need to be successful supports at home.

Pre-K 9:00-10:00
Kinder 10:00-11:00
1st 11:00-12:00
2nd 12:00-1:00
3rd 1:00-2:00
4th 2:00-3:00
5th 3:00-4:00

Grade Level Belonging/Handout Pick-Up Days (Tuesday and Wednesday, 9/2-9/3):  We want to invite all of our families back to the Hill car line to drive through and pick up left behind belongings from the spring that our teachers bagged up. Teachers may want to hand out materials to support virtual learning at home as well. This will be communicated to families during the Meet the Teacher event. To support an efficient event, please tape a piece of paper in your passenger window with your student’s first and last name, along with who their teacher was from last year (if applicable). This will help us sort through the belongings from last year. And please bring back those library books! Ms. Pustka and Ms. Banda thank you in advance. The grade levels listed below are for your students’ current grade levels.

Wednesday, September 2nd

  • 9:00-10:30 3rd Grade
  • 11:00-12:30 5th Grade
  • 1:00-2:30 Kindergarten
  • 2:30-3:30 Pre-K

Thursday, September 3rd

  • 9:00-10:30 1st Grade
  • 11:00-12:30 4th Grade
  • 1:00-2:30 2nd Grade
  • 2:30-3:30 Outgoing 5th Grade (6th Graders)

*Please note: if you are unable to pickup items on these days, you can do so in the days following by calling ahead to school and requesting a pickup we can prepare.

Our Next Hill Principal Check-In (Thursday, September 3rd, at 4:00 pm):  Thank you for your questions you can post to help guide us on your needs and wonderings here.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 840 0774 6658
Passcode: dillos

As we are seeing regularly right now, Hill School has a lot of talent! Our wonderful 5th grade teacher, and fellow Hill parent, Rachel Briles created this really detailed walk-through on the Canvas App and how you can use this at home to support and monitor your students. BLEND functions as Canvas does and the app is compatible. We appreciate her wanting to share this from her personal experiences she hoped to pass on to all of you. Check out the links at the bottom once you click in to see some walk-through videos she created you can utilize as another tool. Great work, Ms. Briles!

We also want to ensure that all families have a guide that can support you throughout the year on our protocols and procedures we will use for our virtual learning but also our on-campus learning. We have meetings this week to review our proposed arrival plan with appropriate district safety personnel. We hope to be able to share a working draft with our families this upcoming Thursday with information on our virtual learning period with on-campus information to be added soon. More to come this week, but we did want everyone to know that aside from the district Reopening Plan, Hill will have a similar document for you to refer to as well.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and will leave you with a quote a parent shared that if we allow it, “this school year will surprise us in big, beautiful ways!” Yes we have some unknowns, but we have some amazing opportunities that will benefit our school for years to come as we all learn together. Thank you for being our positive partners in education, Hill community!

Principal Drummond