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HillsideIntermediate School

Back-to-school updates

Dear Hillside Families,

Welcome back!  I am excited for the 2020 - 2021 school year. I know it has been a summer like no other and still holds so many unanswered questions. I hope you were able to find some time to rest, relax, and enjoy some time with friends and family safely.  We are excited to begin another successful school year.  Indeed there is a lot to look forward to as we move closer to the first day of school.  I’m sure our new and continuing students are wondering who their teachers will be, which students will be in their classes, and what new experiences they will have.  Even during these uncertain times, it is still an exciting time for all of us!

The first day of school is Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020.   The first three days of school will be early dismissal days with no virtual learning in the afternoon.  The school day will run 8:10 am-11:55 am.  Beginning September 8th, students will attend school on an early dismissal schedule (8:10 am-11:55 am) and then return home for their virtual learning (1:25 pm-2:55 pm). Those students participating in distance learning will also follow this schedule. The structure of their day will be communicated by their teacher.  There will not be an in-person Open House this year. Instead, teachers are preparing a virtual tour for you to view. They are scheduled to be posted by September 10, 2020, for you to watch at your convenience. 

Bus Transportation, Parent Drop-Off and Pick-Up Procedures
When students arrive in the morning, they are escorted off their buses a few at a time, and, at the end of the school day, they are dismissed to board a few buses at a time.  Bus routes, bus stops, and pick up and drop off times will be published in the local newspaper and on the district website on the transportation page. Please encourage your child to know his/her bus route number(s) when they come to school on September 2nd. 

If you drive your child to school, please drop him/her off at the main entrance by the flagpole. Cars will pull up through the circle, students will exit the vehicle where staff members will be there to greet them as they enter the building.

Students who take a bus to a different location at dismissal (i.e., childcare provider, daycare center) must bring a detailed note to the school, or email the school, with all necessary information.  We will need the name, address, and phone number of the caregiver and the bus number/route that the student should ride.  This must be a consistent schedule.  The NPS Reopening Plan does not allow for students to ride a bus other than their district assigned bus(es) (no going to a friend’s house).

If you or an authorized adult will pick-up your child each day or on a one-time basis after school, please email the school requesting that your child be dismissed with the pick-ups.  Please provide the name, address and telephone number of the person picking up your child.  You will pull up to the side of the school by the patio where a staff member will be checking identification and then radioing to the staff to send your child. Students will be waiting on the patio under tents assigned to their cohorts.  We ask that parents do not exit their vehicles or come up to the patio to get students this year in order to take extra precautions and keep our students, staff, and families safe by not congregating. For the safety of our students, we ask for your patience during dismissal time.

School Supplies - The majority of school supplies (i.e. paper, pencils, books, agenda planners) are provided by the school.  Over the years, however, students have continued to choose to purchase and use some of their own supplies. Please see the Hillside Virtual Orientation (on ParentSquare)  for a detailed list of supplies that will be provided and those that should be brought back and forth to school daily. 

Academic Teams - Team Concept - The intermediate program utilizes a team-teaching approach to ensure that teachers know each of their students and that students build a strong, trusting relationship with each of their teachers.  Team teachers meet regularly to discuss the academic and social progress of each student and work to keep parents informed through ParentSquare, notes, telephone calls, e-mails or meetings. Each student will have one Humanities teacher (a combination of language arts and social studies) and one STEM (math and science) teacher. This year students will remain in their homeroom and the other teacher on their team will rotate into their classroom. Powerschool is now open and students can log on to find out their teachers. 

Attendance - Families are reminded to do a quick health screener of their child each day before school. This is located on the NPS website under the COVID Screening for Parents to check students at home link.  
 If a child is absent, parents will contact the school to notify them. School staff will log all absences and parent-supplied lessons so that the nurse is aware of the illness-related absence using the questions below.
  • State the name and grade of your child
  • Does the child have a fever?
  • What symptoms do they have?
  • Does the parent have any other concerns they want to report?
  • Will the child be going to the doctor’s office?
The nurse might still follow up with a phone call if more information is needed, provide the best number for the nurse to call. Information about absences will be recorded in an area in Powerschool that is HIPAA compliant. The nurse will use this information to determine if a follow-up call needs to be made. 

The faculty and staff at Hillside Intermediate School look forward to offering your child a place where they can feel the love and joy that comes from a rigorous curriculum that focuses on educating the whole child.  We recognize this can not be done without support from home.  We look forward to a successful educational partnership with you.

In partnership,

Giovanna Testani, Principal