Hilltop Happenings

Blue Valley Early Childhood

From the Principal

I hope each of you enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! As I mentioned in my last newsletter, it was just my family of four, but I still insisted on cooking a whole turkey! Leftovers are finally gone and turkey stock is in the freezer. I've turned my attention to holiday baking and planning our Christmas celebration. Good thing the weather has been nice to allow for lots of walking and running!

While we miss the grandparents and extended family, we will again follow public health advice and keep our winter celebrations small. Prime Rib for days! Thank you to those who have made similar sacrifices to keep our school community safe.

Huge thanks to those of you who took a moment to express your gratitude for our teaching staff. If that was on your to-do list but you didn't get to it... it's never too late! Click here for a staff list in case you don't have the names you need...

Outdoor Play

As the weather turns colder, we still enjoy the many benefits of outdoor play. Please ensure your child has appropriate outdoor clothing to participate in this important part of the day! Please see below -- from our handbook -- for our windchill guidelines.
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Every Child Should See Themselves in Books!

This week we were the recipients of a $2,000 grant from the Blue Valley Educational Foundation! Our grant will give us the opportunity to add books to our classroom libraries for our classrooms across the district. These are books that teachers check out for use by kids in the room.

In particular, we are adding titles from more diverse authors/illustrators and those that have characters or themes that are more representative of our community. Previously, there were not many quality children's picture books that represented the diverse cultures in our district, but as more are now available, this grant will enable us to make some new purchases. The title of our grant application reflects what we believe... "Every Child Should See Themselves in Books!"

Thanks for your support of the Blue Valley Educational Foundation!

Do you have a library card? SO many resources at our local libraries. Click the image to learn about Kanopy Kids!

Mark your Calendar for December 21 Restaurant Night!

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Repeated Information -- In case you missed it

Give us a Call!

If your child is ill, please be sure to keep him or her at home and let us know. The quickest way is to call Britta, our school nurse, as she will be following up with you if she isn't able to talk with you directly. You can call her line at 913-624-2913. If you wish to email and have her call you back, you can do so by clicking here.

COVID Communication for Families

The safety of Hilltop students and staff continues to be a top priority. In an effort to keep our school community informed when we have a positive case, families can expect the following:

  • Families will be contacted directly if through the contact tracing process conducted by the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) and the district's health professionals' team:

1. your child was identified as a low-risk exposure of a student or staff member who tested positive for COVID-19.

2. your child was identified as a high-risk exposure/close contact of a student or staff member who tested positive for COVID-19.

  • If your child’s proximity to or nature of the interaction with the positive individual did not indicate a low or high-risk exposure, then you will not be contacted.

NOTE: Positive cases by school are reflected on the BV COVID Dashboard. The dashboard is updated every Friday with information from the prior week (Wednesday to Wednesday).

Help for Families

Blue Valley partners with local agency, Community for Kids, to help alleviate food insecurity among our families. Community for Kids provides weekend backpacks with food items to help offer access to food when school is not in session.

If you find that your family is in need of this kind of help at this time, please make a confidential contact with DeLynn Jenkins, School Social Worker, by clicking here or calling 913-624-2900 and asking for DeLynn.

If you would like to offer your support for this organization, click the image to visit their website.

Late pickup and dropoff

Thanks to our families for doing such a great job dropping off and picking up within our timeframes! Due to our cohort practices, students picked up late will typically be held in the classrooms, where cleaning and preparation need to take place.

We understand that sometimes things happen beyond your control. If you know that you will be late picking up or dropping off, please call our front desk at 913-624-2900. Teachers may not see email or be able to pick up the phone when they are busy with instruction, but the office staff can get a message to them.

If you are dropping off late, please use the front entrance, remain in your car, and call 913-624-2900, and we will send a staff member out for your child. Thank you for not coming into our lobby area without calling first.

Helpful Hints for Arrival and Dismissal

I have been so pleased with how easily you have all adapted to our new arrival/dismissal procedures. Thank you for making this such a success! This is a much safer practice that allows us to minimize exposure between students from different parts of our school.

A few helpful hints that will make a smoother process for all:

  • We prefer for all families to use our driveways to avoid congestion around our entryways.
  • Thanks for keeping your car tag visible, even as you stand with your child.
  • We appreciate that you are leaving your masks on throughout the arrival/dismissal process.

I'm especially grateful that nearly everyone has respected our time window for arrival and dismissal. This ensures that staff can remain focused on their duties before, during, and after those windows, including careful cleaning of the classroom between sessions. If you know that you will be late, please call ahead, and then let us know when you arrive by calling 913-624-2900. We will free someone up to come out for/with your child.

Thanks for traveling carefully around our campus among the many other vehicles including BVRC patrons, BV district staff, school buses and another transport vehicles. I'll try to make you aware when I know that we'll have other times of increased traffic, such as advanced voting or student testing in the Conference Center.

Mask wearing

I can't tell you how impressed I am with how well our kids are demonstrating respect for their friends' and teachers' safety! A few tips to pass along as we have learned a bit this week...

  • we continue to experiment with clips or other ways to keep masks handy if they slip off -- stay tuned!
  • since they are being worn for longer durations, thanks for washing masks daily, or at least every other day.
  • thanks for all you are doing to support and promote mask wearing -- it makes a difference!

PTA Needs You!

Please consider volunteering to hold a position for the next school year!

We have many officer, chairman, and committee member positions to fill for the 2020-2021 school year. Even one hour makes a difference! Please click here for available positions and descriptions. Experience does not matter, returning and former board members will provide training.

Not a member yet?

Click here to become a member of the PTA

Did you sign up for PTA during online registration through ParentVue? Due to confidentiality practices, we are not permitted to share your information with the PTA board. Click Here to share your information and get on their email list. More events and opportunities come with your membership!!

Check out our Playgrounds!

While we keep our gates closed on school days, our playgrounds will be open on Wednesdays and weekends. Feel free to pay a visit!

Want to join the list???

Tracy Edwards from our special education office maintains an email distribution list for families who have a child with special needs. From time to time, she will pass along information as it comes to the district. This should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation for services and is completely optional.

If you would like to be added to Tracy's list, please send her a message at tedwards@bluevalleyk12.org .

Resources for you...

Click here for family resources that are in line with our early childhood social-emotional learning. New! There are some great resources at this site specific to COVID-19 safety practices.

Want an overview of the Pyramid Model we use? Click here!

About Us

Hilltop Learning Center is one of five early childhood sites in the Blue Valley School District.