February 14th, 2021 HILL Message (from Academic Director Rick Kunc): We are all excited about Tuesday. Getting back on campus, seeing friends, teammates, coaches, and teachers. This is what we all want. So, we need to be our best. We need to wear our masks and wear them properly. We need to wear them on the bus, in the hallways, in class, outside, all the time. We need to socially distance and wash our hands. We must be our best at this because anything else can lead to an outbreak and have us home again. I often reflect on “what” and “now what”. We rarely control the “what”. In this case, we are living through a pandemic and there are rules we must follow. We can control the “now what”. In this case, follow the rules and do everything we can in our power to prevent COVID-19 from spreading at The Hill. If we all take the hard road, take no shortcuts and do what we need to do, we are more likely to enjoy a face to face school and athletic environment to finish the school year. Quote of the Week: There are no shortcuts to any place worth going to. -Beverly Sills – American Opera singer ____________________________________________________________________________
Other Notes and Important Information: Pink Shirt Day and Contest! February 24th, 2021 is Pink Shirt Day! In an effort to promote anti-bullying in positive school, work and home spaces, the organizers of pink shirt day encourage everyone to wear pink on this day to show commitment to the teaching of “empathy, compassion, and kindness”. Visit the website for Pink Shirt Day here.
The winners of the Pink Shirt Day contest are Zachary Stride and Tyler Tyczka! The designs are both so good, we have created a t-shirt that combines their designs. T-shirts will sell for $20.00 - profits from each t-shirt will be donated to the Pink Shirt day organization. Orders must be placed by end of day Thursday, February 18, 2021. Please visit our school store to get yours by clicking HERE. Tuesday Morning Assembly: There is a Tuesday morning assembly. Secondary students will tune in by clicking the Microsoft Teams link below at 8:30 am: Tuesday Morning Assembly Ministry of Education Announcement: Last Wednesday, the Ontario Government announced that students, faculty, and staff will be returning to campus on February 16th for in-person learning. Please note that Tuesday, February 16th is a non-athletic day for the secondary students. Non-athletic days will remain as remote learning days for secondary students. Secondary students will return for in-person programming on Wednesday, February 17th. We look forward to welcoming students back to campus! March Break: Revised Spring Calendar: Last Thursday, the Ontario Ministry of Education announced a March Break postponement for publicly funded schools. Since then, we have received a memo from the Ministry urging us to also postpone our planned break to April 12th, as advised by the Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health officials in order to support the collective fight against COVID-19. Graduation Requirements 2020-2021: The Ministry of Education has changed two of the requirements for students who are planning to graduate in 2020-2021. Graduating students for the 2020-2021 school year:
are not required to complete the literacy graduation requirement
must complete a minimum of 20 hours of community involvement (reduced from 40 hours)
Ontario Literacy Test 2021 (OSSLT): The EQAO has not recently released any information on the 2021 Ontario Literacy test. We will provide more information on this assessment as it becomes available. Mental Health Resources: There are a lot of valuable resources available to families who are navigating this unusual time together. One such resource is the CMH page on COVID-19 Mental Health response found here. Our staff is also available and we encourage students or families to reach out to us. We are also building onto our Wellness Resources on the Guidance website here
COVID-19 and Return to Campus Updates: As we get set to return to campus we have a few reminders and updates in regards to Covid-19 prevention. These include: Masks:
As part of the Ministry of Education’s Covid-19 enhanced protocols for schools, students will now be required to wear their masks while outdoors on campus.
Please ensure that as they arrive on campus they are wearing their masks.
We are offering Under Armour gloves and balaclavas as a great option to provide warmth while participating in outdoor activities on campus. Orders will be taken until the end of day Thursday, February 18, and delivered to students the following week. Please visit our school store online to place your order!
We would also like to remind our students that masks are mandatory while traveling on our buses Screening:
The Kinduct Covid-19 screen must be completed every morning prior to coming on to campus.
All children with at least one symptom of COVID-19, even mild symptoms, must stay home, self-isolate, and are recommended to get tested. Household members, including siblings, also must self-isolate while the symptomatic child is awaiting test results. This will catch COVID-19 infections even sooner and help keep our school open for all children.
If your child is staying home with a symptom, you need to notify attendance and you will receive follow-up information regarding the course of action that is required.
We thank everyone for their cooperation in keeping our campus safe.
HILL Athletics (From Athletic Director Brodie Merrill): We all share in the excitement of returning to campus. We have missed the daily interactions and accidental collisions that play a big part in the experience at The Hill. We know COVID-19 continues to cast uncertainty and we need to continue to respect the situation at hand. That said, let’s enjoy and be present in the simple moments of normalcy that will come with being back at school. In our weekly Hill coaching meeting, we welcomed a guest speaker John Lovell. John has a unique background, being a Head Coach in the OHL for many years, then transitioning to coaching in National Lacrosse League for the Toronto Rock. Not many can say they have coached multiple sports at the levels he has. I’ve been fortunate to have John as a coach at various levels of my playing career. As a youth player, playing alongside his son Jamie in minor hockey, then years later in junior hockey, and finally as a veteran player for the Rock. I was lucky to carry that relationship through the stages of my career. Speaking with John is always grounding and reinforces the truisms that exist in sports (and life). He shared some of his coaching sayings and philosophies with The Hill coaching staff, which can be applicable to our current Hill students. Three P’s: Passion/Prepare/Progress Passion: Are you emotionally engaged in what you are doing? Tap into the purpose and pride for what you do and how you do it. Prepare: Show up ready, your preparation will show. Progress: Regardless of where you are, or what you have done, keep striving to move forward, gain ground, and improve. Three F’s: Firm/Fair/Fun Firm: Know your boundaries, standards, stick to your principles. Fair: Striving for fairness can be a guide for making decisions, or resolving conflict. Fun: Sport is a platform for joy. It can be intense and demanding, but there should also be space for a lot of smiles and laughs along the way. Sport/coaching/playing should be a balance of all of these things. Are we bringing pieces of these elements to every practice and competition? "Give the very best of yourself.” is JL’s approach to coaching. Regardless of whether he is coaching his granddaughter’s hockey team or the Guelph Storm, he believes there is an obligation to give the best of what he had to offer. If you are going to commit to something, why not try your best? It’s interesting to see where that mindset can take you. It will always serve you well. "Chop wood and carry water.” In all his years of coaching, this was his way of defining his overall coaching philosophy. It’s an analogy for working hard and being a great teammate. Not much talent is required to chop wood and carry water. The greats that he has coached over the years were not afraid to or were above chopping wood and carrying water! So if you hear that term from a coach or a teacher, you will know exactly what it means! A reminder that we will be doing outdoor activities. Please make sure you are dressed warm and have plenty of mask options throughout the day!