Welcome Back to School!

Welcome Back to School

Dear Hillcrest Families,

I hope this email finds you well and that you were all able to enjoy some quality family time this summer, despite the smoke and fires in our area. I was extremely proud of our students, staff, and entire community last year for ensuring that quality learning continued with minimal disruptions or distractions. I have no doubt that we will be just as successful this year. The staff at Hillcrest have been busy getting their classrooms set up and ensuring we are well prepared to welcome students back to school. We can’t wait to see all our students’ smiling faces again next week!!!

Below is some important information about our school start-up.

1. Year End Slide Show 2020-2021 – Below is a link to the year-end slide show that was shared with students on the last day of school in June. I thought I sent this link by email in July, but I have been told it was not received. Hopefully you will enjoy the opportunity to look back on some of the highlights from last year as you get ready for a new school year to begin!

LINK: https://youtu.be/fJ1k7lSg_5s

2. SD83 Return to School Plan – I know that we were all hoping COVID 19 would be in our rear-view mirror by now, however, that is not the case. Below is a link to a summary of the steps SD83 has taken to ensure safety and wellbeing remain a priority this school year. Please review this information thoroughly as a family to ensure everyone if familiar with our plan.

LINK: https://hil.sd83.bc.ca/2021/08/31/its-almost-time-for-school/

3. Health Checks and Masks – Last year our community did an amazing job of ensuring students and staff stayed home if they were sick. This is one of the most important strategies in keeping our community safe and ensuring school can continue as normal as possible.  Parents will be required to complete a daily Health Check with their child again this year. The easiest way to complete the Health Check and get answers to your questions is by using the K-12 Health Check Website or K-12 Health Check App. Masks will also be required again this year for all staff, visitors, and students in grades 4 and 5. Masks are encouraged for students in grades K-3.

4. First Day of School – Grade 1 – 5 students will start school on Tuesday, September 7.  When the Welcoming Bell rings at 8:08am, returning students will line-up at the exterior door of last year’s classroom and new students will report to the office for an orientation. Students will spend the first day in their last year’s classrooms, so we can determine who has moved away and who has recently registered. Students will be dismissed at 11:16 am on Tuesday, September 7. 

Assuming we are able to finalize our class placements on Tuesday September 7, Grade 1-5 students will be able to go to their new classrooms on Wednesday, September 8. Parents will be notified who their child’s new teacher is by email on Tuesday evening. Students will report to the outside door of their new classroom at 8:08am on Wednesday September 8.

Kindergarten students will begin their Gradual Entry on Wednesday, September 8.  Information about Kindergarten Gradual Entry was sent home in June at our Kindergarten Gift Bag event. If you did not receive this info please click on the link below. A follow up email will also be sent by the end of the week to inform parents which group their child is in on the first day.

LINK: Welcome to Kindergarten Letter – Sept 2021

5. New Bell Schedule – In order to meet the ministry required minutes of instruction this year we have had to extend our school day by 2min. As a result, classes will begin at 8:12am this year and students will be dismissed at 2:16pm.

LINK: Bell Schedule 2021-2022

6. School Supplies – Families do not need to go out and purchase school supplies for their children. The school has purchased school supplies for each classroom, and families are charged a School Supply Fee to cover the cost of the supplies used over the course of the year. In preparation for the first day, students will need to have a backpack and a clean pair of indoor runners (with non-marking soles). A School Supply Fee Letter will be sent home as part of a newsletter during the first week.

7. Breakfast Program and Safe Arrival VolunteersWe are excited to share that the Breakfast Program will be operating again this year with a “Grab and Go” style breakfast. Please email kaylavann88@gmail.com if you can help. We are also looking for volunteers for our Safe Arrival Program. Please email cspottoc@sd83.bc.ca if you can help.

Finally, don’t forget to check out the SD83 Newsline Welcome Back to School email that should have arrived in your inbox today. Have a wonderful long weekend with your families and please don’t hesitate to call the school at (250) 832-7195 if you have any questions or concerns.


Gord Ritchie

Principal – Hillcrest Elenmentary School

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