Welcome to the new school year

Superintendent Blake Gardner
Our school year starts on Monday, Aug. 23. On behalf of the Hill City School District, I would like to welcome everyone to the 2021-22 school year.  Last week, I wrote about the four core pillars that make our school great: students, educators, parents and school board/community.  I am very excited to engage each of those stakeholders this year and I expect another phenomenal year.
This is my 16th year working in the Hill City School District and third year serving as your superintendent. Last year was a learning experience for all of us, but in a unique way it brought us together as a school and community. We showed solidarity and unity in the face of adversity. We focused on controlling the things that we could control. Not only did we survive the school year, we thrived. I hope we can demonstrate the same unity this year by remembering that we are all on the same team with the same goal: The best education for our kids.
There are a few hot topics with public education as we start the school year.  First is the American Rescue Plan (ARP)/Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief (ESSER).  Our district received $760,000 and a minimum of 20 percent must go to address learning loss in our students. I have posted the plan on our school website.  
Next is medical marijuana for students in public education. A process has been developed at the state level that requires a diagnosis of de-habilitative disease, a South Dakota Department of Health card, and then a provider that will administer a smokeless form of marijuana. Finally is the topic of critical race theory. Our belief is simply that we continue to have a traditional curriculum and we teach topics from a variety of perspectives.
As our students enjoy their last few days before we start the school year I want to reiterate how much I appreciate your support of our school. I absolutely love this school and community. There is nowhere else I would rather be. My door is always open if you have questions or concerns, or if you would like me to meet with your group or organization to talk about the school I would be honored.
Make today your masterpiece!

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