Letter from Mr. Drummond

Dear Hill Community,

In case you missed it, I have included Superintendent Segura’s message regarding the violence in Israel and Palestine. Please know we are here to support our students and our community as always. Reach out if you need anything.

The Hill Elementary Carnival is Saturday, October 28th! Click here for all the information you need, including how to purchase tickets. Please consider volunteering your time if you are able as well. It takes our entire community to make this a special day for our kids!

For the last few years, our staff has created an Ofrenda to remember loved ones and pets who we have lost for Dia de los Muertos. This year, we invite anyone interested to take part in our first Hill Community Ofrenda that will be up front. You can click here for more information on how to participate with a photo

We wanted to share the upcoming No Place for Hate Activity that our counselors will be completing during their next lessons. As part of our learning, our students also take the No Place for Hate Pledge. We are proud to support this initiative and know it will have a positive impact on our campus.

Hill is holding a UIL meeting for parents on Zoom this Monday (10/16) at 3:30 pm to give information on our UIL programming this year. You can use this link to access the meeting. We will review a general timeline, discuss available events, and give a picture of what our meet day will look like in late January. We will plan to record the meeting as well for those who cannot attend. Please click here for the parent letter with a section to return by early November if your student is interested in participating. These will go out soon in Wednesday folders as well. Lastly, our wonderful PTA volunteers have created a new site you can access at https://uildillos.com/ with this and more information we can utilize this year.

We again want to invite our Hill Community to the Anderson High School Library this Tuesday, October 17th from 6:00-7:30 pm for  Community Mental Health and Safety Conversations presented by Austin ISD. You can see other available Zoom options this week as well.

This Thursday is our General PTA Meeting at 7:45 am in the Hill Library. We will also be sharing a Principal Check-In with an accountability presentation and update on STAAR and TEA A-F ratings (which have not been updated yet for the current school year). We hope to see you there.

Become a Hill Mentor: Hill mentors work one-on-one with Hill students during the school day, typically during lunch. Mentoring provides children with the caring and consistent presence of an adult friend, which research has shown to be a major protective factor in building resilience among at-risk youth. Mentoring also offers benefits for the mentor, including opportunities for personal growth, a deeper connection to the community, and a profound and caring relationship with a young person. Our adult mentors make an incredible difference in our students’ lives. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors are all welcome to participate! If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a mentor, please follow this link. The time commitment is once a week for 30 minutes. 

The Texas Historical Commission Archaeology Fair is this Sunday. You can click here for the flier.  

We are a school community and want to be the best neighbors possible! Thank you all who park and walk up to school on Tallwood for not moving and adjusting neighbors trash cans on trash days (Thursdays). We know it makes parking a bit more restricted but when items are moved, neighbors are not getting their trash picked up which is not okay. Thank you for your support and understanding to help these folks who are very understanding of us during those two busy times each day!

Have a beautiful weekend!

Principal Drummond

Dear Austin ISD Community, 

We would like to acknowledge the pain the Austin ISD community is feeling due to the terrorism and heinous violence in Israel and Palestine. 

We know that students and staff will need time and space to process these events, both inside and outside the classroom. We want to reassure you that The Office of Teaching, Learning, and Leading provided resources to Austin ISD counselors and educators with guidance for talking with students and helping them discuss these painful events. Below are some helpful things to keep in mind from the Anti-defamation League as you approach these conversations:

Before talking with children or teens, make sure you feel prepared to discuss the incident and/or topic.

Treat all young people’s questions with respect and seriousness.

Answer questions as clearly and honestly as you can and use simple language in terms they can understand.

Young people often struggle to understand why these incidents take place and what motivates people who perpetrate these crimes.

Be alert for signs of distress in children.

Ask young people what they are hearing from friends, classmates and through social media.

It is always very useful to highlight for children the people who helped the victims and their families during these incidents as well as those who supported them afterwards.

Our counselors and Licensed Mental Health Professionals are always available to support our students. You may also contact one of our many community partners that provide grief services. 

We are also aware of the nationwide concerns that are spreading on social media. We are working in close collaboration with law enforcement at multiple levels to monitor and respond to any credible information. 

Our district is proud to be the largest No Place for Hate district in the nation. We engage in intentional work to create inclusive environments where students and staff feel safe and welcome, no matter their beliefs, cultures, or identity. Discrimination, prejudice and hatred have no place in our schools or communities.

Matias Segura, MBA, PE
Interim Superintendent
Austin ISD