How does Hillside Elementary School celebrate success? The answer is #20! During their pre-planning week, the theme at Hillside was #20. Teachers were surprised with short videos expressing words of encouragement and congratulations from various “celebrities” in the community. The videos were played every hour on the :20 to surprise and motivate teachers and keep energy levels up! That’s right, #20! Everyone from the Co-PTA Presidents to the NELC Area Superintendent Cliff Jones to FCS Superintendent Dr. Jeff Rose surprised the Hillside staff with words of congratulations.The halls at Hillside were buzzing with enthusiasm and excitement. Teachers were thrilled to have received these video messages from so many district leaders (Click here to see Dr Rose’s video: https://youtu.be/FYHEx1yDRk0)
So what exactly is #20 and why does it define success at Hillside? It means that Hillsides’ learners demonstrated significant increases in Georgia Milestones performance with their highest achievements showing 20% increases in two content areas. It means that Hillside beat the national average of teacher turnover (18-20%) by only losing two teachers to out of state moves. Through the ’16-’17 school year, Hillside set out to support the staff and students by focusing on building relationships, creating a strong school culture and supporting and encouraging student achievement. They met success on so many levels and the theme of #20 was established to honor the high performance of the school.
To add to the excitement and buzz surrounding #20, Hillside was honored to receive a visit from Dr. Jeff Rose today who walked the halls and chatted with students and faculty. Dr. Rose joined Ms. Farr’s 3rd grade class where students shared their definition of what a successful student looks like! Dr Rose also visited Ms. Stephen’s Autism class and was able to chat with her about the work that Hillside has done to build and strengthen relationships. Hillside was very ready to welcome their Huskies back and having Dr. Rose at school really empowered teachers and emphasized the achievements of the school. Dr Otway, Hillside’s Principal said, “Starting the school year is always filled with emotions that include excitement and nervousness about the year ahead. Having Dr. Rose visit and have genuine conversations with staff and students helps support our positive learning environment in ways many cannot imagine.”
All of the Hillside Huskies are looking forward to a great year.