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City of Hills Donates $20,000 to Hills Elementary

On Monday, February 25, the Hills City Council voted to contribute $20,000 to support projects at Hills Elementary School. This contribution is part of a tradition of city support for the school dating back back more than a decade.

Contributions in the following years were as follows:

  • 2003–04: $6,000
  • 2004–06: $6,000/year
  • 2006–07: $7,000
  • 2007–12: $8,000/year
  • 2012–13: $15,000
  • 2013–present: $20,000/year

In addition, on two separate occasions the city partially funded the school playground — in one instance giving $20,000 (in 2007–08 through the ICCSD Foundation) — and contributed people power for installation.

From the 2008-09 school year through 2011–12, the city’s annual donation paid for one quarter of the Family Resource Center (FRC) staff person’s salary. During the 2009–10 school year, the city contributed an additional $5,000 to make Hills Elementary one of the first schools in the District to begin installing Smartboards.

In 2013–14, the City of Hills continued to pay a quarter of the salary of the school’s FRC, now called the Student and Family Advocate (SFA), with the rest of the funds going to after-school programming (tutoring and enrichment). This also worked in conjunction with the Hills Care for Kids (HCFK) wrap-around program by providing additional paraeducators to help with programming.

Beginning in the 2014–15 school year, the city’s donation was directed to be used solely for extending programming and materials for students. Here are the types of programs and materials these dollars have supported: non-school day field trips (e.g., Bloomsbury Farms, Putnam Museum, Blank Park Zoo, Dubuque Riverboat Museum), after-school tutors, after-school enrichment (e.g., STEM programming, cooking, Children's Museum), and summer garden programs.

Here are the initiatives and projects the City of Hills has funded in the past two years:

  • Reserve for upgraded playground equipment
  • Alternative classroom seating
  • Summer Reading Program in the Hills Library: school library open with teacher librarian leading lessons for eight weeks of summer (three hours once per week)
  • Kindergarten Kick-Start (camp) - incoming kindergarten students attend two half days before school starts to learn about routines and the school
  • DreamBox (online math learning software) licenses so the entire student population has access
  • Three dozen Chromebooks
  • One dozen iPads
  • Classwide 95% intervention materials (reading support)
  • Recess equipment

The Iowa City Community School District wishes to thank the City of Hills for their ongoing commitment to students through their support of Hills Elementary.