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Good Day Toppers, Bruins and Honeybears,

As fall temperatures take hold of our weather, we begin to focus on what the second quarter and second semesters might bring to our school year.  Grade School and High School Building Leadership Teams (BLTs) are working to develop plans that would allow for the eventual transition to extending instruction into the afternoon.  The Hilltop Return to School Plan 2.0 will make small adjustments to our general practices, but more importantly focus on how we can extend our student’s school day.  Currently we have in-person instruction until 11:30AM.  The BLTs are devising a way to extend our school day and also consider how we may return students to a full day of instruction.

The update of the Hilltop Return to School Plan does not mean a transition to extended days will be immediate.  The plan allows for the district to be prepared when time for the transition is appropriate.  District leadership will work with teachers to determine what will benefit students and instruction most, while maintaining a safe environment.  The district administration will have recommended a plan to the Board in the upcoming weeks.

As for now, we are getting more and more familiar with our new instructional practices and nearing a confidence level that will allow us to move forward.  There are still many variables to consider including the increasing COVID-19 positivity rates, the upcoming flu season and the availability of substitute teachers.  Regardless, we will work to move forward as we all know the best place for our students is in the classroom!

In other news, the high school construction project is now substantially completed.  What this means is that all that is left to do are small jobs and punch lists.  This will continue through the end of the 1st semester.  The Board is planning an open house once the final interior design projects are completed!  It has been a long 16 months, but the product is well worth the wait!

Enjoy our first real taste of fall this weekend!

Fred Lamkey, Mount Pulaski Superintendent