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The Hill Academy Newsletter- February 28th, 2021

February 28th, 2021 HILL Message (from Academic Director Rick Kunc): This week was a special one at The Hill for a number of reasons. Our grade 8 students and our secondary school graduating students were having their grad photos taken. We were settling back into an athletic schedule where our student-athletes were getting opportunities to participate again. And in our Senior School classes, our students were given opportunities to connect their learning to “real life” issues and master some core competencies. The highlight for me was attending the Junior School Passion Project fair. These student-driven and created projects included topics such as tourism in Africa, birds, wakeboards, skis, hunting, fishing, women’s hockey, shoes, and so many other topics. As teachers, students and administrators asked students to explain their projects you could hear how proud they were of their work. Students said, “I loved coming to school on Wednesday”, “This was cool”, “I got to work on something that I love doing” and “School is usually boring, but this made it great”. Passion projects are so much fun for students because they break the regular routines that we fall into in schools. They allow for an independent adventure in learning. INDEPENDENCE is such an important aspect of the Hill ideals. These projects allowed students to work individually on something that interested them. It allowed them to demonstrate some independence in directing their work and explore how they might investigate a topic of interest. And we believe that this also helped them to understand the success that can be achieved through passion and engagement.

Quote of the Week: “Because of our routines, we forget that life is an ongoing adventure.” -Maya Angelou – American Poet and Civil Rights Activist ____________________________________________________________________________ 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 Diversity Alliance T-Shirt Fundraising The newly formed Diversity Alliance at the Hill is a group of people who have come together in order to educate and work towards creating a more inclusive environment at the Hill. The Diversity Alliance will be undertaking numerous fundraising events and activities throughout the rest of the school year, and beyond. They will be starting their first fundraising event shortly, but first, they will need help from the people at The Hill. Coach Andrew Abes has created some designs the Diversity Alliance would like to put on a shirt. Please click the following link and vote on which design you would like to see on a t-shirt: https://linkto.run/p/GF5FG735. If you would like to submit your own t-shirt design themed around diversity and inclusivity (you can check out Coach Abes designs in the link above as examples) please do so! You can email your t-shirt idea to andrew.collins@thehillacademy.com by no later than Friday, March 5th. There is only one week to submit a design because the Diversity Alliance would like to start raising money for people in need as soon as they can. Similar to the Pink T-Shirt Day design competition, there are some rules:

  • must have The Hill Academy somewhere in the design

  • must not portray any specific individual/logo/name

  • should portray the artists' version of "diversity” and “inclusivity”

Next week the final designs will be chosen, and shirts will be sold shortly after that! 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. Guidance at The Hill Academy A reminder to visit the Guidance website HERE. In the next few weeks, the Guidance team will be providing reports for students to track their graduation progress. Individual meetings will be held with students to review graduation progress and post-secondary goals. Feel free to contact guidance@thehillacademy.com with any questions or concerns. Pink Shirt Day Success The students of The Hill Academy raised $309.00 for Pinkshirtday.ca! We will make our donation to this charitable organization in hopes of raising awareness of anti-bullying in schools and in workplaces! 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 times on the bus. Failure to adhere to this policy could mean the removal of bus privileges. 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 Absences Just a reminder that all attendances are to be reported to attendance@thehillacademy.com. Please make sure to note the reason for your absence. Daily Covid-19 Screening The Kinduct Covid-19 screen must be completed every morning prior to coming on to campus. All students 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): The Hill is a busy, active place these days (even more so than usual). Seems like every time you turn a corner on campus, you’ll see a small group doing interval sprints, or see an outdoor road hockey game in action--starting your day at The Hill is like jumping on a moving train. With restrictions on sports and facilities, in a given day we could have up to 20 sports periods going on throughout the day across four locations. As you can imagine, this requires a bigger commitment in terms of logistics, but the reward of having our students back out playing the game they love is well worth it. Coaches are enjoying the opportunity to work with smaller groups and a little more one-on-one time and the players are appreciating the extra “reps.” Would like to acknowledge our teachers and coaches for stepping up, maintaining a positive perspective, and focusing less on what we cannot do and more on what we can do in order to support our student-athletes. There are many things that fall outside the scope of their job description and you continuously see them adapt, roll with the punches, and maintain a high standard. I know we all see how motivated and committed our student-athletes are and we want to continue to give them our very best. We would like to congratulate Coach Kyle Kallay and his wife Jennifer on the birth of their baby boy, Jackson Joseph Kallay. Welcome to The Hill family Jackson! 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.