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The Hill Academy Newsletter- January 24th, 2021

January 24th, 2021 HILL Message (from Academic Director Rick Kunc): This week we were feeling disconnected. During our leadership team meeting, we were sharing how we did not feel as connected to coaches, staff and faculty as we usually do. That is a problem in a school that prides itself on a sense of community. We no longer “bump” into each other to have those conversations that knit a community together. It would have been easy to blame COVID-19 and the lockdown and assume things will get better when we are allowed to get back on campus. I’m proud that we didn’t. We brainstormed what we might do. “Let’s offer some online group staff workouts”, “let’s offer yoga online for staff to join”, “could we do a social of some kind?” Instead of being handcuffed by that what, we moved to the now what. We were intentional in finding solutions. Leadership is about being intentional. We need our student leaders to also be intentional. Being a leader means sometimes you lead from the side cheering peers on, sometimes you lead from behind where you are encouraging and pushing teammates forward, and sometimes you have to lead from the front. Now may be the time to lead from the front and to be intentional about reaching out to your teammates or classmates and pulling them along. In the secondary school, we are in the midst of culminating activities. They are high stress times. Try showing some leadership and be intentional about reaching out to make sure your teammates and classmates are ok. Turn on your cameras and mics and connect with someone. Have a goal, a purpose for reaching out and be intentional in how you do it. Our community will be better for it. And believe it or not, it will give you more energy to face your challenges.

Quote of the Week: If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time. Zig Ziglar - American Author and motivational speaker _____________________________________________________________________________

Other Notes and Important Information: Monday Morning Assembly: There is a Monday morning assembly tomorrow. Students will tune in by clicking the Zoom link below at 8:30 am: Monday Morning Assembly Meeting ID: 955 2106 5707 Semester 2 Student Timetables Secondary students will receive an email from guidance which will include student timetables and a list of the Google classroom Join Codes. Anyone who does not receive an email with their timetable included by Wednesday, January 27th can email *Note - emails will be sent to emails only. Secondary Schedule This Week A reminder that the Secondary School will be following the Non-Athletic Day schedule from Monday, January 25th- Thursday, January 28th. Friday, January 29th is a PD Day; there will be no scheduled classes or practices. Power School Parent Portal/Report Cards The Parent Portal will be closed from January 28, 2021 - February 11, 2021 while students complete their courses and teachers complete final report cards. Report cards will be available February 11, 2021. Ontario Literacy Test 2021 (OSSLT) The EQAO has not recently released any information on the 2021 Ontario Literacy test. Students who require the OSSLT in order to graduate this year are encouraged to email We will provide more information on this assessment as it becomes available. Community Involvement Students who plan to graduate in June 2021 will require a total of 20 community involvement hours. These hours can be accumulated through various activities. However, due to the continuing COVID-19 restrictions, we are not expecting students to complete these hours within the community as we would traditionally. If you would like to investigate how to meet the requirement of community involvement hours, please start your search at the Hill Guidance website here. Ministry of Education Announcement: As per the directives from the Ministry of Education, all students will engage in remote learning until February 10th. Students will return to campus for face to face instruction starting on February 11th, 2021. 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 Athletic Therapy during Remote Learning: Just a reminder to all students, this is an excellent time to be addressing any injury-related concerns. Jennifer, our Athletic Therapist, is still available for assessment and therapy programming and can be reached at Athlete COVID Survival Kit: January 29th, 2021 Grit Athletics and Coach Noble are running an online webinar for athletes (grade 9 and older). Listen, learn and gain an understanding from some of the best minds in sport on how to not only survive this difficult time but to continue to pursue your goals, best self, and embrace the adversity that lies in front of you. The event runs from 10 am- 2 pm on Friday, January 29th. To register click here.

HILL Athletics (From Athletic Director Brodie Merrill): One of the challenges facing our student-athletes is the uncertainty of upcoming competition. We are all wondering what competition will look like. We are anxiously awaiting to get the green light, just like that feeling of waiting for a shift, with our figurative foot tapping on the ground. Based on everything we have been through, we know it’s fools gold to try and predict anything. Will we be able to travel to the US? Will there be games in the second semester? All we can do is remain optimistic and have strong contingencies in place. Not dwell on what we can’t do, rather what we can do. Is this really any different from the typical life of an athlete? Sure we can have plans and goals, but the future in sport is always unpredictable. The unknown is what can make sports fun and exciting—anything can happen. We can only work towards being as well equipped and prepared as possible. What we are currently going through can be compared to a long term injury in sports. On our Monday morning assembly, we watched a 60 Minutes feature on Alex Smith’s amazing comeback to football from a traumatic leg injury and his intense, rigorous rehab program. He battled back to football after almost losing his leg and potentially his life. What stuck with me was Smith’s pure love of the game. What is he chasing? He’s had a long, successful career, he has made all the money he would ever need. Why not ride off into the sunset and enjoy his family and the millions of dollars he has in the bank? Then it became clear the moment he was able to touch a football again for the first time and seeing the look of joy and emotion on his face. When you love the game as much as Smith loves football, you don't waver in your pursuit to play and be your best. The pure enjoyment of playing and the experience of sports is so amazing, it can push and motivate you through some dark times. In First Nation culture, lacrosse is described as medicine. I think that is true for all sports. Sport injects so much joy into our lives and when we are down, it can be medicine for the soul. Another example is Drew Brees, who recently played his last NFL game. I would always reference his book “Coming Back Stronger” to any of our athletes that are experiencing a long term injury. The book describes how he tore his ACL his senior year of high school during a critical recruiting window, then last game heading into NFL free agency he suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder. Only one team offered Brees a contract after the injury, the New Orleans Saints. The message was, each of his injuries turned out to be a blessing in disguise. He gained greater perspective, exposed his love for the game, made him more resilient, and he always felt he came back a little stronger. Our daily challenge through this time is to continue to relentlessly strive to come back stronger!


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