Dear Science Hill Students and Families,
We hope this letter finds you well and that you and your family are staying safe and healthy. We want you to know that we miss you and are looking forward to the day we can all be back together in school. Science Hill is certainly not the same with empty halls and classrooms. Grand Topper Hall does not seem nearly as grand when it is not full of ‘Toppers.
Much in our world is different than it was just four weeks ago, but some things do remain the same. Our teachers, counselors, support staff, and administrators are still very much interested in your success. Your experiences as ‘Toppers are still very much a priority to us. We haven’t stopped thinking about you and what this semester of your high school career looks like.
We couldn’t be more proud of our teachers and all the work they have done to provide you continuing learning opportunities. Our teachers converted our entire curriculum to online delivery in less than a week! We are also very proud of you. Your teachers report that we have many students engaged daily in classwork and learning. We know this is not an ideal situation, but we are very thankful for your willingness to continue to work and learn. This will certainly pay dividends in your future.
We know many of you have questions regarding grades, classwork, graduation, and many other issues. Your administrators want to address a few of those in this letter. The Johnson City School Board met on April 10 to adopt recent changes to our graduation and grading policy due to the COVID-19 public health emergency and recent state action. The revised policies stipulates that a student’s grade in grades 9-12 can be no lower than it was on March 20, 2020. For Science Hill, this means that your semester (final) grade can be no lower than it was when we left for spring break (your Q3 grade). The new policies also require that Johnson City Schools provide remote learning opportunities during the closure in order for students to improve their grade and continue learning. So while your grade cannot be lowered during the closure, it can certainly be improved. All the work you are doing now can be used to improve your final grade. If you were failing a class at the end of Q3, you need to work hard in order to earn a passing grade at the end of the term in May. You can also move a passing grade to a higher grade, such as a B to an A.
Despite your grade at the end of Q3, we want to encourage you to continue working in your classes. Your teachers are working hard to provide you with learning opportunities and meaningful feedback. If you are an underclassman, your work now will ensure that you are prepared for the next course in each sequence. For example, if you are currently in Algebra 1, your work now will help ensure you will be prepared for Geometry and Algebra 2. If you are currently in Biology, your work now will help prepare you for Chemistry and Biology 2. If you are a senior, the work you are doing now will help complete your preparation for your next steps. Finish strong and complete the journey you started 12 years ago. You should expect to receive more specific guidance pertaining to your individual classes from your teachers by Tuesday, April 14.
We also want you to know that we are working to find solutions for Prom and Graduation. Both of these events are important to you and us as well. No final decisions have been made at this time and any decisions will be communicated to you and your families when they do occur.
Mr. Barnett wants you to know he is doing well and looks forward to seeing each of you.
We miss you, we care about you, and we encourage you to continue working. If you need ANYTHING, please let your teacher, counselor, or administrator know. Go Toppers!
Dr. Josh Carter, Assistant Principal SHHS, and the SHHS Administrative Team