“It’s Still Exciting.” Neighborhood Schools Kick Off 2018-19 School Year


Schools districtwide kicked off the school year early by opening their doors to families so they can meet teachers, connect with other parents and network with community partners. From offering food and activities to raffling off backpacks and school supplies, it’s clear that everyone was ready for what the 2018-19 school year has in store.

Below are snapshots from two Vision 2020 neighborhood schools as they settle into a new year.

Pleasant Hill Academy

Parents and students network with community partners at Pleasant Hill Academy’s back to school event.

Pleasant Hill Academy is entering the third year of its Vision 2020 program, Environmental Science. As one of the first schools to launch a Vision 2020 program in 2016-17, students, families and staff are just as engaged now as they were when Pleasant Hill Academy first piloted the program.

“It’s still exciting,” said community resource coordinator Tim Walker. “We still have the enthusiasm around our environmental science focus. It has really helped us bridge a gap in communication and engagement over the past few years. We are grateful to be right where we are.”

The school’s theme for the 2018-19 year is Family. Principal Shauna McDowell, teachers and staff are committed to promoting a tight-knit culture that celebrates students and community partners as members of one big Pleasant Hill Academy family.

Students get to reunite with other classmates and teachers, try new activities, enjoy snacks and fill their backpacks with school supplies to prepare for a new school year.

“We are very intentional about recruiting and bringing more partnerships into our school to help our students,” said Walker.

The theme of Family also relates to Pleasant Hill Academy’s environmental science focus. In their studies, students explore biology, geology, current environmental problems and more. They then inquire and think critically about how they can contribute positively to the solutions of those problems so that their family, community and, eventually, the world, can benefit.

Keep up with Pleasant Hill Academy throughout the year at pleasanthill.cps-k12.org.


Roll Hill School

A student at Roll Hill Academy gets familiar with a stylus tool.

Roll Hill School is entering the second year of its Vision 2020 program, which focuses on technology-based learning. Students learn programs such as Wix, Adobe and zSpace, and develop skills such as coding, graphics, and web design through various projects.

With a year under their belt, principal Vicki Graves-Hill is excited to pick up right where they left off.

“We had a really good first year,” said Graves-Hill. “Our community is glad we chose this focus, and students will be able to use what they learn here no matter what careers they pursue in life.”

A Roll Hill Academy student tries coding technology.

New this year, every student in grades K-6 will have access to a tablet or laptop, allowing them to work seamlessly in the virtual and real worlds across subjects. Kyle Reiser, community resource coordinator, is working on connecting students to the community by applying what they learn in the classroom to the neighborhood through different clubs or projects.

Roll Hill is also implementing many new partnerships so students can explore their interests in everything from the arts to sports. New partners include Activities Beyond the Classroom, Girls with Pearls, Melodic Connections, Leadership Scholars, Rosey Reader and more.

Keep up with Roll Hill School throughout the year at rollhill.cps-k12.org.


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