Monday, June 8, 2009

Hillcrest Elementary School

Hillcrest Elementary School

40 Eastwood Street
Hamilton ON, L8H 6R7

Phone Number: (905)549-3076

Pulse Facilitator: Carni Grewal


Hillcrest Elementary School, one of our Board's newest buildings, is located in the east end of Hamilton. The newness and size of the facility make Hillcrest stand out in an area of relatively low cost housing. It is estimated that over 25% of our population could be characterized as low income, single-parent families. Various initiatives often occur to help support families in our community with basic food and clothing needs. In addition, our staff and parent volunteers manage a daily nutrition program available to all of our students. The cost of such a program exceeds $15 000 annually which we receive through fundraising endeavors and personal donations. Our students enjoy after school Literacy Improvement programs, inter-scholastic and extra curricular activities and various club activities supervised by the teaching staff. Our school serves close to 500 students. We support 4 self-contained Special Education classes and provide accommodated and modified programming for many “high risk” students in our Primary/Junior and Middle School Learning Centres. Our Learning Resource teachers and Educational Assistants along with our classroom teachers provide programs for students that are firmly based on Ontario Curriculum expectations and have a strong basis on integration. Through divisional and full-staff meetings we have established consistent communication and decision-making processes designed to support and deliver the best possible programs for our students. Our staff is committed to implementing strategies such as DRA, EQAO, The Literacy Improvement Project that support current school and Board literacy initiatives.

Hillcrest enjoys a healthy relationship with its School Council. This partnership allows many student-centered initiatives that support both fundraising and curriculum needs.

Changing the world one girl at a time
KayLee St. Pierre
Classroom Teacher: Mrs. Marchis

“ I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same…compassion is the greatest form of love a human can offer.” Rachel Scott

Last year at Hillcrest we introduced the Go Girls program. We had a lot of great discussions and did a lot of fun girl things. This year, we have more of a purpose! In Go Girls, we use a lot of peer positive role models. Rachel Scott is the main role model we are focusing on this year. Rachel was just seventeen when she was shot in the Columbine School shooting on April 20 1999. Since Rachel’s death, we are left with one challenge. Go out of your way to speak and act with kindness, and maybe we can start a chain reaction.

At Hillcrest we want to carry on her legacy, and want to show kindness to ourselves and others. Go Girls is going to build a chain, and whenever we see people speaking or acting with kindness we add a link to the chain. In the beginning of March, all of the Go Girls groups in the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) will join together and link their chains. Our goal is to make the chain long enough to wrap around the Educational Center.

As a grade eight student myself, this program has helped a lot with my self-esteem, my relationship with my mom, and my fellow students. When I graduate I will really miss this program.

All the girls in the Go Girls group firmly believe that “We can change the world!!”

Hillcrest International Travel Fair

Marissa McNally & Maemaegawauhnse Richardson

Classroom Teacher: Mr. Alagappan


Principal Buttle attends the travel fair

Since 2006, Miss Serra’s Grade 2 class and Ms. Coulson-Hallas’ class have teamed up to demonstrate the many different communities around the world at Hillcrest’s annual travel fair. Many staff and students have shown up to experience this cultural event.

The Hillcrest Travel Fair is all about displaying and showing all of the different types of cultures that we have in Canada, and around the world. The students demonstrate these communities by making various types of displays with different foods and clothing from all over the world. The students also had a chance to show off their media skills by making several types of brochures, posters, and persuasive letters.

Each student chose one country to do their presentation on. They had to research and got to learn about their country and other countries in the world. Ms. Coulson-Hallas’ class focused on learning how to keep Canada’s environment clean.

Past and future participants are excited about the annual fair as well. Current grade 2 student, Johnathan Fryer said, “I am looking forward to choosing a country, doing a presentation, and bringing in food.” Former travel participant, Neil Fink, stated, “We would taste food from all over the world. One of our classmates brought in Pakistani food that was like a panzarotti with peas and chicken. It was so good. I think it was called a samosa.” The older students who visited the fair had a lot to say as well. DJ Clyke, a Grade 7 student stated, “There were tons of people. The food was very different, and it is always scary to try new food. It was good.”

These students have had the opportunity to learn many valuable skills from this experience and they will be able to take these skills with them for the rest of their lives. Many students will be able to participate and learn from the fairs to come.

You-Me Rocks

Class 63, Miss Pergentile’s class


Class 63’s You-Me rocks

The grade six classes at Hillcrest have a connection. In visual arts, students were asked to paint a rock using colours that represent their personality. Each rock was distinctive but also had a symbol of connectivity. A gold line was painted on each rock as a metaphor for a thread of light passing through each element. The circle shows continuity – no beginning or ending either in concept or design. The goal of the project was to show a likeness between people and cultures, at the same time, showing the unique nature of each. Students were asked to reflect on their rock when they were complete and saw the project as a whole. Here are some of their responses:

“When I was painting my rock I did 4 or 5 layers because I could not choose what to do. Then I decided to use red and green because I love Christmas. The gold represents classes working together like a team and like a family.”

Nicole, Grade 6

“The blue is active when I feel like I want to play. Gold is paradise for when I feel great. Black is sleepy for when I am tired and I want to go to sleep. White is happiness for when I feel happy. Green is daylight for when I am playing outside.”

Ricky, Grade 6

“Red is anger, yellow is happiness, pink is love, green in courage, blue is sadness and black is stress. The gold is keeping me together!”

Josh, Grade 6

Poet's Corner

The Wolf
Michael Swayze
Classroom Teacher: Mrs. Ellison

White as snow
Lightning fast
Soft fur
Smells fear
Blue eyes
Deadly like a black panther
Howls in the dead night
Red stained teeth
Silently strikes
The wild wolf

Who Am I?
Brittany Chippett and Maham Shahid
Classroom Teacher: Mrs. Ellison

My petals are smooth
As butter,
And soft like
A baby’s bottom.

I do not like to brag,
My beauty says it all.
Exotic, wild
Are my middle names.

Baby cheek pink defines
My colour
Do not be mistaken.
I might bite.

I am attracted to bees,
Cake mouth watering
Bee’s, buzzing, bizarre
Flies, flying, fast.

Who Am I?

Pay It Forward
Room 219
Classroom Teacher: Mrs Poad class, grades 6-8

Students pictured left to right: Jennifer Luangxay, Kayla Wood, Shawn Hammer, Amy Atkins, and Enis Haziri.

Room 219 Paying It Forward

Kayla Wood

In our class we learned about something called “Pay it Forward “and we have been practicing. “Pay it Forward “is about doing something nice for someone for no reason. You just do something kind to be nice. Maybe the person that you are nice to will do something nice for someone else. Then that person will do something nice for someone else and it keeps on going. If we all do it we can make the world a better place. Sometimes it is just a smile or if a family member is sick, I make them chicken soup.

Amy Atkins

“Pay it Forward” is all about helping other people. Today I held the door open for people who had lots of things in their hands. Sometimes, it means helping someone when they are hurt or making them laugh if they feel sad.

Kanisha Kuhun

This is all about an act of kindness. It can even save your life. When I was little (about 5 years old) a car almost hit me and my friend Stephanie was eleven years old. We were walking across the road. The car was coming so she pushed me onto the sidewalk. The car hit her leg and broke it, but she was ok. I will always remember that she did such a good thing to help me so I always try to be nice to other people now. It will make the world a better place if we even help one person a day to feel good.

Nadia Bailey

In “Pay It Forward”; we try to help people to make another person feel good. If someone was hurt or sad, I would try to make them feel better. If someone has to wear the same clothes all the time, I would give them some clothes. I would try to make them happy.

Paul Malleau

“Pay it Forward” is all about being nice to people. Sometimes we pay people back for what they do but now we “Pay it Forward “so even if they are not nice to us, we are nice to them. We are Paying it Forward to the Sleeping Children Around the World because we have had a Penny Drive and raised over $800 to send to the children who do not have a nice place to sleep . Last year, we raised over $1000. Maybe the kids in Africa will pay it forward to other kids too.

Enis Haziri

The best way I can “ Pay it Forward” is to help other people who have groceries to carry . I can hold the door open for them. I can try to make the world a better place by smiling more and being nice to everyone.

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