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 too late. Please see below and order online.
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
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.
Just a reminder that all attendances are to be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org. If it is related to Covid-19 symptoms please note this in the email and you will receive follow-up information regarding the course of action required.
We thank everyone for their cooperation in keeping our campus safe.
HILL Athletics (From Athletic Director Brodie Merrill): Recently reading the book Play On, The New Science of Sport Performance resonated with me this week watching our students back at school. The book examines the life of an athlete and strategies of optimal performance. The consistent theme is adaptability. The most successful athletes have the ability and the willingness to continuously adapt. Observing the students back in action, it was impressive to witness their ability to adapt on display. Whether it was picking up a shovel to clear the pond without a coach asking, or going through stick work drills in a blizzard, the students didn't let the circumstances or restrictions get in the way of their development. If we reflect on the history of our school, adaptability has become part of our identity. From operating out of a church basement, to a hockey arena, to practicing lacrosse on a makeshift baseball field; our school and our students have continually proved that you can be anywhere, in the best conditions, but the environment will largely be dictated by the people. The people at The Hill have always been willing to adapt! It was fun to see the students get lost in the activity, with a lot of smiles and sweaty faces, all within the backdrop of a sunny snow filled campus. They deserved it! As you can imagine, there are a lot of moving parts logistically as we transition back into using indoor facilities this week, while meeting the safety protocols. Please do your best to be on point and follow instructions—And as always, continue to be willing and ready to adapt! Coaches will be communicating directly with their players with their practice schedules, locations, and meeting times. Students are to check their team's Google Classroom.