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2/14/2021 Early Monday Message from Dr. Hart-Olivis

Good evening Hillandale Families,

This is Principal Hart-Olivis with an early message that applies to Monday as well as the rest of the week.

Tomorrow, Monday, February 15 is an asynchronous learning day.  Your child’s teacher may have asked your child to check in for a morning meeting and attendance for the day.  There will not be instruction directly with your child’s teacher tomorrow, Monday, February 15.

Registration for kindergarten begins in Durham Public Schools tomorrow, February 15.  We’re excited to begin enrollment season this year, as it gives us the opportunity to begin meeting families we haven’t met, and hopefully welcoming families into our school to showcase what we love about Hillandale.  If you have neighborhood friends or people you know are considering registering at Hillandale, please point them in the direction of the DPS Kindergarten Orientation Information Powerpoint for general information, and our school website, hillandale.dpsnc.net, for a growing body of information to show how we do it at Hillandale, including an upcoming presentation from staff, families, and even some of our student leaders.  Families can also access information from the Office of Student Assignment for New Student Enrollment.

Thank you to the 3-5 grade families who were able to join us last Wednesday for our first “All You Need is Love” virtual family night: All You Need is Love is THIS Wednesday at 6 pm for all our K-2 families.  Be sure to check SeeSaw for the Zoom link which will be shared Wednesday morning.  If you haven't picked up your materials from Hillandale, you may want to have a piece of paper on hand for our craft. The specialists can't wait to craft, make music, move and experiment with you!

Finally, if you were able to watch our DPS school board meeting last week, you may have heard more information about Senate Bill 37, which proposes to require in-person learning as an option for all North Carolina school districts.  I mentioned this in last week’s message, and will likely be sharing additional information over the upcoming days and weeks.  Senate Bill 37 is quickly moving within our government but has not yet become law.  Durham Public Schools will be continuing to work on a new plan which may incorporate features of Plan A, with minimal social distancing, but also the online option within Hilllandale, as opposed to Ignite! Online Academy, as was proposed under Plan B.  

Last month, after a great deal of discussion and some challenging conversations and planning within our district, the DPS School Board voted for students in Durham Public Schools to remain in Plan C, remote instruction, for the safety of students and staff, for the remainder of the year, particularly due to the rate of positive COVID tests in our county.  The Durham Public Schools Board of Education is not in favor of Senate Bill 37, but our district would have to comply with the law if this bill were to fully pass.  In its first reading vote, there was enough support in the Senate to override a veto (or rejection) of the bill.

As more information comes to us regarding the development of Senate Bill 37, we will share this information with you.  Should this bill become law, at the district level, please keep an eye out for another survey to determine your updated preferences for in-person or online learning.  Our district and our school will continue to advocate for online learning for families able to make it work.

I know the information over the past months has been potentially confusing, and with so many questions unanswered.  DPS is working to ensure transparent communication as the timeline rolls out, and at Hillandale we will continue to share enhanced information about our plans to support the district shifts.

Stay up to date about what’s happening at Hillandale on our school website, hillandale.dpsnc.net, and on Twitter and Instagram @HillandalePOWER.

I hope this message finds you celebrating with one of my favorite little sweetheart students.  As always, thank you for your support your partnership, and most of all for being part of The Hillandale Family.