Newsletter, Fees & Permission Forms

Welcome to the 2020-21 school year! We have had a wonderful start and it has been an absolute pleasure seeing the smiling faces of our students again as they settle into our new school routines. There has been a great deal of additional learning and planning that went into our start up this year. Thank you everyone (Staff, Parents and Students) for your patience, understanding and support.

Below is a link to the paper newsletter that was sent home on Friday September 25, 2020. I apologize in advance for it’s length, however, there is always lots of information to share at the beginning of the year.

At the end of this newsletter there are two important documents regarding our start-up Permission Forms and School Fees. Please try to have these items completed by Wednesday September 30, 2020.

Have a fantastic weekend and please feel free to contact the school at (250) 832-7195 at any time if you have a question or concern.


Gord Ritchie

Terry Fox Run

Hillcrest Elementary is proud to take part in this year’s 40th Anniversary of Terry Fox’s – Marathon of Hope. Our Terry Fox Run will occur during the week of Oct 5-9th. Each class will choose a day to perform their run at school. Please help show your support by donating to:

Students can even get involved by creating their own fundraising page under our school name!

Students can also bring money donations to be placed in the donation can in each classroom. As in previous years, our school goal will be to “Fill the Jar” in front of the office with the classroom donations. Thank you for supporting our school in the fight against cancer and continuing Terry’s legacy. This will be the 27th year Hillcrest has participated in the Terry Fox Run!

Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day will be on Wednesday, September 30th.  Orange Shirt Day grew out of Phyllis’ story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at a residential school, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually.

The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. 

Orange Shirt Day is also an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.

Re-opening info for StrongStart Program

We are looking forward to welcoming our North Okanagan-Shuswap StrongStart families back to our programs starting on Thursday, October 1st. StrongStart is a free early learning program for preschool children, 0 to 5 years old, and their parent or caregiver. There will be COVID-19 guidelines in place at all programs to ensure the safety of our families, StrongStart educators, and school community. 


  • Registration for all SD83 StrongStart programs will open on Thursday, September 17th, 2020 and will be ongoing 
  • If your child was previously registered in a StrongStart program in our district, please call the school to indicate that you and your child are interested in attending the StrongStart program again this school year 
  • If your child is new to StrongStart, please phone the school to request a time to come in and complete the registration process 
  • Interested families will need to choose one program to attend as we will not be supporting participation at multiple programs due to COVID-19 

Click here for complete information

Week at a Glance – Sept 14, 2020

Week at a Glance:

It was wonderful to see most of our students back at school this week! Hopefully your children came home feeling as good about the first two days as we did.

I would like to thank our fantastic staff for the extra thought and work required this year to ensure our start-up was successful. I would also like to thank all of our parents for your continued support and your patience and understanding around our email issues this week.

Please note, there will be no staggered drop-off this week as we begin our regular drop-off schedule from 7:50-8:08 am. Parents should watch for a paper newsletter coming home soon. The newsletter will contain information on school fees, online consent forms and other important start-up items. If you think you may have missed something, don’t forget to check our website for the most recent information.

Gord Ritchie – Principal

Breakfast Program

As of Monday Sept 14 our Breakfast Program will be up and running in the mornings! The door opens at 7:50am and any student that is hungry is welcome to attend.

This year, all days will be “grab and go” style and will be served out of the Multipurpose room door. We ask that students attending keep their “eagle wings” 2m distance while in line and while eating. Students will not be allowed in the building this year. We also ask that students use the garbage and recycling bins provided, as well as the dishes bins put out should there be dishes that day.

A huge thank you to Kayla Vannieuwenhuizen and her team dedicated volunteers! We look forward to another great year of the program. We still have a a few spots to fill on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday if you are thinking of joining. Please contact Kayla (Breakfast Program Coordinator) at if you can help out. Thank you!

Update on Email Issues

As many of you are probably aware, we have been experiencing issues over the past few weeks with some of our emails not being delivered. We recently discovered that schools across the Province have been having similar problems and that it has to do with the large volume of emails being sent out recently by the provincial student management system (MyEd BC).

Certain email providers (ie. Hotmail) have been holding or blocking emails from MyED BC while they ensure the emails are coming from a safe sender. MyEd BC has been reaching out to email providers in hopes of finding a solution. In the mean time, please check your junk/spam folder and visit our website regularly for the most recent information.

Missing Emails

Dear Hillcrest Families,

Class placement emails were sent home by email on Wednesday Sept 9 between approximately 5:30 and 6:30pm. Shortly after we fielded dozens of emails indicating that families did not receive this information. Eventually, we were able to respond to everyone who indicated they may not have received this or other important emails sent out over the past couple of weeks. With the help of our Tech department we will be looking into this issue today and hopefully have a resolution soon.

Over the past two weeks parents should have received the following communications from the school.

Aug 26, 2020 – Welcome Back Email

Aug 28, 2020 – Hillcrest Parent Survey – Start-up 2020

Sept 2, 2020 – Kindergarten Gradual Entry Email (K parents only)

Sept 4, 2020 – Information for the First Week of School Email

Sept 9, 2020 – Class Placement Information (custom Email)

To help us identify possible errors in our system, we are asking families who did not receive one or more of the communications above to please fill out the survey below.


If you did not receive information regarding your child’s class placement, please see Mr. Ritchie who will be outside the main entrance.

Thank you again for your patience and understand and for your help in identifying some of our email issues.


Gord Ritchie – Principal

Class Placement Information

All families should have received an email like the example below indicating your child’s class placement information and the procedures for the first day of school.

Dear Hillcrest Families,

This email is to provide further instruction with respect to our drop-off procedures and to inform you of your child’s class placement for the school year. Please read it carefully. Also, please assure your child that there will be lots of adults outside to help students find their new classroom in the morning!

1. Health Check

As per our Hillcrest Return to School Safety Plan, parents must compete the Health Check (See attached) with their child each day before school Drop-off.  Parents should not bring their child to school if they answered “yes” to any of the questions on the Heath Check.

2. Staggered Drop-Off

We understand that some students may be anxious and that more parents than usual may want to escort their child to the classroom door on the first day of school. As a result, we will have staggered drop-off times for Sept 10 and Sept 11 so that we can ensure social distancing (2m) can be maintained between the adults dropping off. Below are the Drop-off times for the first two days only.

  • 8:00-8:10 – Divisions 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11
  • 8:15-8:25 – Divisions 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 12

After the first week, parents are encouraged not to remain on school property when dropping off their child. Students arriving after the drop-off times listed above should report to the office through the front entrance.

Students in Kindergarten (Divisions 13 and 14) will follow the gradual entry schedule for their group that was emailed out last week.

3. Classroom Entry

Upon arrival, students are to maintain a distance from others that minimizes physical contact and line up outside their classroom door until called in by their teacher. We will continue to use the expression “Eagle Wings” to remind students that they should maintain appropriate distancing.

Parents who are dropping off their child should always maintain physical distancing (2m) and leave the school grounds as soon as possible after drop-off. Parents should not enter the building without an appointment and mask. 

4. Class Placement Information

Below is the specific class placement information for your child. To help find your classroom, teachers names will be posted on their exterior doors. Attached, you will also find a map showing the teachers names and division numbers. Don’t forget to ask for help from a staff member if you need it!

Your child has been placed in…

Division: ________

Teacher: _______________

Room: ____________

Thank you for your continued support as we navigate this unique start-up to our school year. We are so excited to be welcoming our students back to school tomorrow!


Gord Ritchie

Principal – Hillcrest Elementary School