Dear Hillcrest Families,
It is my joy and pleasure to be your child’s principal at Hillcrest. This will be my fifth year at this amazing school, and my 15th year as a principal. I am a proud Mohawk woman with my mother’s side coming from the Six Nations Territory just outside of Brantford, Ontario. I am thrilled to be the principal at our culturally diverse school and enjoy getting to know the wonderful students when I visit the classrooms and chat with the students during the recess breaks. I am a mom to three adult daughters and have been married to my wonderful husband, Rob, for 37 years as of April 2021.
Every decision I make puts kids first, and this year the stakes are high to provide the optimal environment for our students. In my many years as an educator, I never thought I would be leading students and staff through a worldwide pandemic. This means that things will look and feel different in the school, and our programs might have adapted due to the efforts to provide the optimal environment for our students and staff safety. One of the many safety measures we have in place is limited student movement in the hallways to prevent crossover of cohorts/learning groups. Teachers that provide prep for classroom teachers, along with our learning support teachers will be providing the bulk of their support in the classroom. Individual or small group sessions may be held in the learning support or counselor rooms with safety top of mind. Our students will be washing and/or sanitizing their hands many times throughout their day, as well as be reminded to keep their distance from others. Teachers are encouraged to take the learning outside. When students can situate their learning with their sense of place, the learning can be deep and meaningful, We are fortunate to have an amazing forested area on our school grounds for this purpose.
It is an ever changing environment in our province and education system and we will adapt to what is required in order to keep our students and staff safe. This will be a unique but memorable year for all of us. We are going to do our very best to keep each and every student and staff member safe at school. Please do your part to keep COVID-19 out of our community so it doesn’t have a chance to get into our school. It is up to all of us to do our part.
Watch for Friday afternoon updates from me and check the school website for information as well. Our school is not able to accept visitors into the school at this time, so please contact the office or your child’s teacher, should you wish to discuss your child and their progress. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or our Vice Principal, Amanda Johnson. We look forward to a great year!
Cammy Coughlin, PhD