The Hill Academy Newsletter- February 21st, 2021

February 21st, 2021 HILL Message (from Academic Director Rick Kunc): It was a short week, but it was great to be back on campus. We had a snow day, opened our new portables, shovelled off the lake for some pond hockey, welcomed some new student-athletes and some new faculty/staff, had a visit from Peel Public Health and even started some winter outside training. Just our typical slow week at The Hill. I saw students leading from the front taking the initiative to help clean tables at lunch and in classrooms. I saw groups of students leading from the middle as they chatted away while walking back from the lake all wearing masks. And I saw students leading from the back, quietly asking for a break outside because their mask was bothering them. Many of our leaders are great because of the attitude they bring. They believe in their team, their colleagues, their peers. They know that we all face challenges, and the attitude we bring can mean the difference between success and failure. Peel Public Health recognized the unique challenges that we face as a school and they were very complementary of our policies and procedures that are in place to keep our staff and students safe while allowing them to participate in athletics and academics in a meaningful way. I had the opportunity to chat with some students on Thursday to get a sense of how being back at school was working for them. They were “excited”, “happy to see their friends”, “looking forward to actually playing”, “sick of wearing masks”, “already tired of training with a mask”, “don’t want to be told to stay away from each other”, “want to play actual lacrosse games again”, “don’t want to keep being told to spread out at tables” and they “just want it to go back to normal”. I was filled with joy when one student said, “but I want to stay back at school, so let's just suck it up”. We know it isn’t that easy for everyone. We will continue to pause, and make sure that we are listening to the challenges and frustrations that our students are facing as we are back on campus. We need students to continue to lead from the front, middle and back, taking a pause before the start of each day, and walking into the building with the attitude that they need to be successful.

Quote of the Week: Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure. -Norman Vincent Peale -- author best-selling book The Power of Positive Thinking ____________________________________________________________________________

Other Notes and Important Information: Parent Townhall Meeting On Tuesday, March 9th from 7:00–8:30 pm the Leadership Team from the Hill Academy will be hosting a Town Hall style meeting for our entire parent community. We will provide you with an overview of the Parent Survey and share some updated information in areas including Academics, Athletics, and Campus plan and operations. Rick Kunc, our Director of Academics will be moderating the meeting and we invite parents to engage in a few ways. First, we would like to invite you to send any questions that you may have in advance to the attached link. Please remember this is not the forum for questions about “my child” but rather broader questions and concerns that will impact large segments of our community. All questions are collected anonymously. Parent Questions In addition to this opportunity, we will be running a “backchannel” during the meeting that will allow parents to send questions to us in real-time. These will be collated by the moderator and we will address those questions after the presentations. We are looking forward to this opportunity as it has been difficult to fully engage our parent community during this pandemic and we hope that this will help you to feel better connected to the school. The link to the meeting and the backchannel conversation will be sent out closer to our meeting date. Monday Morning Assembly: There is a Monday morning assembly. Secondary students will tune in by clicking the Microsoft Teams link below at 8:30 am: Monday Morning Assembly Pink Shirt Day! 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. If you have purchased a Hill Academy Pink Shirt Day shirt, we will distribute them this week before the event. Everyone is welcome to wear pink on the 24th!! Carpool and Transportation Reminder Students who carpool together are reminded that it is Public Health’s recommendation that you wear masks in the vehicle and that you sit as far away as is possible in the vehicle. Students who take the bus are reminded that it is mandatory to wear masks at all-time on the bus. Failure to adhere to this policy could mean the removal of bus privileges. 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 Graduation Photos Grade 8, 12 & PG Grad Photos will be taken on Thursday, February 25, 2021. The schedule for these photos will be posted outside Mrs. Bush’s office on the main floor. Remember, girls are to wear a white collared shirt to go under their gown, and boys are to wear a shirt and tie. School Photos If you have not ordered your child’s school day photos and still want to, it isn’t