August 31, 2017
Dear Westmont Hilltop Elementary School Parents:
It is with great disappointment that we inform you that we are delaying the start of the new elementary building until September 11, 2017. (Students in grades 7-12 will start school as scheduled on September 5th.) We know that this puts an additional burden on parents who have to make other arrangements for the care of their children, but we feel as though this is in the best interest of students and their safety.
It is very important to recognize that the teachers and staff have been working exceedingly hard to get their rooms ready for students. The district’s maintenance staff has literally moved tons of desks and instructional materials, and the teachers have been preparing their rooms with those items where it was possible.
There are still a few rooms as of today that are not ready for teachers to prepare. In addition, we learned today that the provisional plan to use the gymnasium as a temporary cafeteria is not feasible, as it will take five days for the newly poured floor to cure.
We had considered several other options to feed students, including walking them over to the West Hills Fire Department facility where our cafeteria staff could feed them. The WHFD staff graciously and enthusiastically began logistical planning with us.
In the end, though, the administrative team felt as though the safety risks were too great to follow through with that contingency plan. We were concerned about moving roughly 720 students efficiently and safely to an off-site location, and we were also concerned about the prospect of food allergens that could adversely affect students.
Delaying the opening also will increase the possibility that other spaces and rooms will be available when students arrive. As of right now, the cafeteria, library, Art, STEM, and a few other locations are not ready for occupancy. Our hope is that some of these spaces will also be ready for students on the 11th.
This delayed elementary start will also affect kindergarten orientation and the Labor Day open house. Kindergarten orientation has been rescheduled for Monday, September 11th, and the open house is TBD.
We are very sorry the inconveniences this may cause, and we do appreciate your flexibility and understanding.
Timothy P. Williams, Ed. D.