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9/14/2020 Monday Message from Principal Hart Olivis

Good evening Hillandale Families!

This is Principal Hart-Olivis with this week’s Monday Message.

Many of our students have wrapped up their baseline assessments in iReady, and we have great information to help guide our next instructional steps in a way that gives each student access to what they need to learn.  Thank you to families for both patience and support as we have drawn this assessment time to a close for the beginning of year probes.

Parents, remember during this virtual learning time that our incredible teachers are continuing to work hard to provide real instruction to our students.  If you find that your child is struggling with the virtual classroom or needs assistance with something, as always, reach out to your child’s teacher through email or by phone.  We need to hear from you as we hone the work we are doing during this virtual time.  Our teachers are ready to work with you to help problem solve, whether your child needs assignments in a different style, or encounters some other issue that stands in the way of their learning.  As we partner with you, we want to remind you of a few important ways you can help from home.


  • Students are to participate in the virtual classroom without parent participation.  We appreciate assistance from an adult, if available, for students to log on, but parents do not need to facilitate the learning, unlike with homeschool.  Please allow your child the independence to learn and problem solve with their teacher.  Our students are very smart, and up to the challenge, and productive struggle is what makes learning happen.
  • If you worry that your child will struggle with learning during live instruction, remember to coach your child to raise a hand and ask for help, just like in the classroom.  Also like in the classroom, every student can’t be called every time they raise their hand, but our teachers notice, and they can follow up with students when the time is right.  During independent, asynchronous activities, it’s OK to reach out to the teacher for guidance via email or office hours, which are available so teachers can support students.
  • Just like in the school building, remember that student work is required.  Similar to how we need our students to focus and do their best when they are in their seats in our classrooms, we need focus in virtual school.  Attending a Zoom class marks them present, but the student’s mastery of what the teacher is teaching is how we determine next steps.  
  • During live instruction, just like in the school building, our teachers cannot address parent concerns immediately.  Our goal is always to support student and parent concerns when they arise.  Please contact the teacher to schedule a time to hold conversations that do not interrupt instruction.
  • All of our students are entitled to privacy.  Parents may not take pictures or videos during live lessons.
  • Members of your household and caregivers also deserve privacy.  Remember, wherever your child’s device is located may become a window to an entire class to see your home during live instruction.  If there are private things you would prefer not to be seen or heard, please be sure the camera for Zoom and microphone are set to protect this need.
  • Also, as we are spending much more time in cyberspace, our students are learning new ways to reach out to others virtually.  Please keep an eye out for any activity which may not be school related and make sure it’s what you would deem appropriate for your child.  On a similar note, remind students that the various types of social media are intended for people who are of age, and is never a place to air dirty laundry or make unkind comments about others.  

Fourth and Fifth Graders, are you interested in applying to be considered to be a Hillandale Student Leader?  Our applications are available at this link, and on the Hillandale website, under “Hillandale Student Leaders Fall 2020 Application.”  We hope to see our budding leaders hop in to assist us with the plans we are making to continually improve our school.

Stay up to date about important details about Hillandale online on our school website, and on Twitter and Instagram @HillandalePOWER

As always, thank you for your support, your partnership, and most of all, for being part of The Hillandale Family.