Mr. J. Stephen Norwood, Principal
Hillandale Elementary School
900 West Blue Ridge Road
East Flat Rock, NC 28726
Dear Mr. Norwood,
Thank you so much for your letter of January 23, 1997 and for the breath of fresh air your approach to the Terrific Kids program has been for us here in Black Mountain.
We plan to share it with the local school, the local Kiwanis Club, our contacts at Western and UNCA, and with Kiwanis International. Your summary of the issues and solutions are very useful and will be a helpful alternative for everyone to consider. As I mentioned, Kiwanis International has its Board meeting later this week in Indianapolis where the future of the TK program will be discussed.
Enclosed for your information are some background materials including our parent group's original write-up about concerns with the TK program, the Black Mountain Kiwanis Club's TK Task Force Report (which you've already received), and our parent group's response to the report.
We will keep you posted about developments. Thank you for your invitation to visit Hillandale. We will take you up on that invitation to visit a TK program next year or even sooner if possible. From our conversation with you and the materials you sent, Hillandale sounds like a great place to be a kid!
(NOTE: See on the attached sheet Principal Norwood's description
of how the program works.
In our telephone conversation, Principal Norwood explained that there is an assembly for each class level early in the year during which every child receives the TK award and has the two good qualities the teachers wrote about him/her read publicly. At first glance, it appears to me that this way of doing it eliminates the problems about timing (some getting early, some late) and the rejection/sibling issues (since everyone gets it) and reinforces an expectation of "terrific-ness" in everyone.
The TK program becomes a celebration of children and a contributor toward creating an atmosphere (and hopefully a self- fulfilling prophesy) at the school that we are all terrific. M. Gilmour 1/28/97)