From Principal Drummond

Dear Hill Community, 

This upcoming week we celebrate Austin ISD Pride Week. This is a time to highlight the district’s and Hill’s commitment to creating a safe, supportive and inclusive environment. On Monday, we encourage interested students and families to wear a solid colored shirt so we can show our support for all students as we create a tapestry of color. At our Monday assembly, we will review our No Place for Hate pledge which is posted in our front hallway each day. We will let each and every student know they are important and have allies on campus. As our puzzle piece activity up front shows, “We are each unique and beautiful but together we make a masterpiece.”

We have two other dress-up days this upcoming week as well! On Thursday, we have Austin FC dress-up day as we look forward to our annual Hill Hoopla fundraiser that will be at Q2 Stadium. Ticket sales open this Monday. More information for Hoopla can be found here. On Friday, we encourage all students to wear yellow and gold as we “Support the Golden Rule.” This day supports our No Place for Hate initiative and was planned by our Student Leadership Team.

Each year, our students in grades 3-5 complete a Student Climate Survey online. It helps us plan for the following year and understand the student experience at Hill School. It is very important information for us. Students will be completing this the weeks following spring break in class. If you would prefer your student not to participate, you can click here to opt-out for the upcoming student climate survey

As we will soon begin our final 9 weeks of school, we wanted to share directions on how to access your students’ report card. They are not posted yet but will be in the next couple of weeks for our 3rd 9 weeks.

Recently, we’ve received some questions about how the state “recapture” plan affects our students and AISD as a whole. The following states things well from our district communications team:

Under the state’s school funding formula, Austin ISD has to send more than $700 million to the state each year — more than three times the next highest district.

Why it matters:  Recapture was supposed to help low-income kids in areas without as much taxable property value. But guess what? 51% of our students are low income, and we need at least some of that money to help address issues right here at home. 

What’s more, the state doesn’t even need to use the money they collect from recapture on education. It’s a back-door property tax from the state, using school districts as the middle man. While we’re making cuts to balance our budget, the state is using your school taxes to balance its own.

Go deeper: The funding formula is complex, and if you’re anything like me, numbers can often make your head hurt. That’s why we’ve written an explainer on our website on how recapture works. That’s not all, we’ve also outlined some of the possible solutions we’re hoping the state will listen to.

The bottom line: Recapture is supposed to help educate poor students, but it’s hurting our families and staff in Austin.

We will end with a friendly traffic reminder to please look for and obey parking signs on Amy Circle if you utilize that area. We want to do our Dillo Best as adults and respect our neighbors. It also supports keeping our children safe as we avoid congestion there. Thank you for utilizing a different area to park and walk in the afternoons. Have an excellent rest of the week!

Principal Drummond