Principal's Message

Welcome back to Hilton Head Island Elementary School! Your child will be reentering an authorized IB school just around the corner on August 19th! I know that you appreciate the fact that Hilton Head Island Elementary is a fabulous school for young learners. Your child will continue to be held to high expectations in an inquiry-based learning environment. We have an amazing team of enthusiastic and highly qualified teachers.

For your information, all parents are invited and encouraged to come to our parent informational Back to School Night on August 29th from 5:00-7:00 pm. You will have an opportunity to learn about the Primary Years Programme (PYP), pick up great information regarding various community resources and offerings, as well as meeting your child’s teacher (s). We will have “two shifts” to accommodate your schedules and parents with multiple children (Shift A 6:00-6:30) and Shift B (6:30-7:00). We highly encourage you to not bring your child(ren) to this event as you will be receiving very specific information about your child’s school year.


Annual registration is required per district for ALL BCSD students. This needs to be completed before the first day of school. You should have received an email with your Snapcode which is required to complete the online process.


I wanted to take this opportunity to share some updates to our school this year. First of all, HHIE will have a new roof by August. The facilities department at BCSD has been working hard to ensure that this needed update will be completed by the start of school. In addition, starting in early fall, all classrooms will be provided new and updated interactive whiteboards. In grades 3-5, all classrooms will move to a co-teaching model. This model has already been very successful in the dual-language classroom settings, and we think this will be a great thing for all of our students. This model will allow teachers to focus on specific content areas, benefit from a close collegial partnership, and help better prepare students for middle school. This all will be done under the Primary Years Programme umbrella where teachers and students make transdisciplinary connections to all of the content areas. We will continue to offer a variety of related arts offerings and wonderful enrichment opportunities.


Research confirms the critical importance of social-emotional skills and their connection to academic progress. A student who can demonstrate self-control and listen well, who can frame a thoughtful question and pose it respectfully, and who can examine a situation from a number of perspectives will be a stronger learner (Kriete, R. & Davis, C., 2016). To help students with these and other skills, all classrooms will be implementing a Morning Meeting to start each day. This time will set the tone for respectful and engaged learning in a climate of trust. Because of this, we are asking for YOUR help. We truly need all students to be at school on time (see below). We recognize that it may be hard for some, however, having your child arrive late sets a negative tone for the day and interrupts the learning of others. We are very excited to start this new tradition.


Belew you will find some basic information. Important items and changes are in BOLD.

ARRIVAL: Classes begin promptly at 7:45 a.m.  so we are asking that all students arrive at school by 7:40 a.m..  Note: this is a change from last year. Students may be dropped off no earlier than 7:15 a.m.. First, Third, and Fourth graders are asked to enter the building at the Yellow Entrance located on Wilborn Road. Second and Fifth graders enter the building at the Red Entrance located on School Road.  If your car is parallel to the sidewalk, it is safe to let your child out of the car. We have teachers waiting to greet them at the door. 


A word of caution…please allow for traffic, especially the first two weeks of school. We strongly recommend that if your child a bus rider, he/she should begin on the first day of school so that bus routes can be adjusted accordingly.


CAR DISMISSAL: The school day ends at 2:45 p.m. All students will be dismissed from the grade level appropriate entrances. A hang tag will be provided for your child. If you wish to request a second hang tag, please email (after August 12th) and she will handle your request. Please stay in the car line and your child will be brought to your car. Keep in mind that you are accustomed to dismissal at a smaller school with a larger number of assistants. Our system is different, but it is efficient if the protocol is followed. Please do not park your car and walk to the dismissal area to retrieve your child on foot. This is not a safe option and is not allowed.  If you have two or more children in our school, the oldest child will be asked to dismiss with your younger child. A word of caution – the car lines will be slow moving for the first 10 days or so – as we are getting accustomed to the new cars, new students and new hangtags! Safety comes FIRST!


BUS DISMISSAL: If your child is a bus rider, it is typical for the first couple of weeks to run late as our students are getting accustomed to the dismissal system.  If you have any questions regarding bus transportation, please call the transportation office at 843-342-4378 or 4379 as we do not have the ability to speak to the drivers during their routes. HHIE ensures that we have staff in the building and answering main phone line until “all buses are clear” to ensure the safety of all students. New this year, all buses will have an online tracker system to help with monitoring transportation.


MISSING SCHOOL: Thank you for scheduling any appointments outside of the school day. No one other than a parent or guardian may sign out a student for early dismissal unless they are listed on the student’s emergency card.  Identification will be requested upon any sign out, so please bring this into the office.  Please note, early dismissals may not take place between 2:00 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. Please reach out if your child is expected to be absent for any extended period of time.


TRANSPORTATION: Bus route information will be posted on District/School webpage, The Island Packet, as well as printed and posted outside of school entrances as soon as it becomes available. If a child takes the bus he or she will never be marked tardy. If a transportation change is necessary, it must be made in writing and sent to your child's teacher in the morning. Should a true emergency arise which would require a transportation change during the school day, fax the change with your signature before 1:30 p.m @ (843) 342-4299.  E-mailing your child’s teacher with a transportation change is not a safe or allowable option as teachers may not check emails until after the school day.


LUNCH: You may send your child to school with a packed lunch or purchase school lunches. Your child will have a lunch account and it is highly recommended that you apply money to the lunch account by going to If your lunch account accrues a balance, your child may receive an alternative lunch until it is paid and automated phone calls from the cafeteria regarding the balance will be sent. If you have questions regarding, please call Denise Friday, Social Worker, for assistance.


2019-20 Student Meal Prices:

Lunch ($1.75) and Breakfast ($1.00)

Reduced Lunch ($.40) and Reduced Breakfast ($ .30)

Milk ($ .75)

RECESS: Your child will enjoy recess each day, weather permitting. In addition, your child’s teacher will ensure that all children get “brain breaks” and have the opportunity for some light movement opportunities throughout the day. HHIE is dedicated to healthy bodies, healthy minds!


SAFETY: Safety is our number one priority. All students and staff members wear an ID badge which will be provided to them. Drills are conducted on a regular basis including: fire, tornado, earthquake, active shooter and lock down. Some are announced and some are not. In addition, we closely monitor both entrances and require ID/clearance for any pick-ups or volunteers working with children. We have a Community Based Resource Officer that we work closely with. School doors remained locked at all times and video cameras are monitored by office personnel and administration. We educate students in a developmental appropriate way on what to do if they notice something that may be dangerous. We communicate with district and town personnel to ensure that practices are current and appropriate.  Please note, we ask that all parents refrain from using their cell phone during car line for the safety of everyone. Seat belts for all students is a MUST. In addition, during the hours of 7:15-7:45 a.m. and 2:45-3:00 p.m., we ask that NO parent take a left on School Road into the Red parking lot in order to avoid potential accidents. Please adjust your travel route accordingly.


COMMUNICATION: HHIE prides itself with its communication-we actually won state recognitions for it! The school sends home Quarterly Newsletters. On a very regular basis, posts are made on Facebook, Instagram, and now Twitter! Email and phone messenger blasts are sent home with very important information including items regarding safety. The school web page will have updated information regarding school happenings and events. The student agenda book will help you understand our school rules and policies, a way for your child to track homework, and a way for you and your child’s teacher to communicate with one another. Your child will receive this agenda book and we are asking that you sign it each and every day. A take-home folder will also be provided. In order to continue to foster communication from school to home we ask that you keep all phone numbers, email addresses and emergency contacts up-to-date. Any changes can be made in writing Ms. Sherol Pheffier, Data Specialist via email at: 


If at any time, you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to e-mail your child’s teacher or call the school to speak to your child’s teacher. Teachers have a “planning period” during the day and may return phone calls after school, before school or during their planning period. All classroom phones go directly to voice mail during the instructional day. Thank you for arranging and scheduling appointments directly with your child’s teacher.


Be on the lookout for a bus full of excited teachers. On Monday, August 12th from approximately 1:00-3:00 pm, new teachers to HHIE will be taking a tour of our beautiful island. Our teachers will be handing out free gifts to all children at designated sites that will be posted on HHIE’s Facebook page by August 1st. Be on the lookout for that information and consider “waving us on!”


In closing, it is our pleasure and privilege to serve your family in the very important capacity of educating your young child. We are grateful to have a dedicated and seasoned staff, trained to teach young learners using an inquiry based, concept driven IB framework. We have been an authorized IB school since 2001; our school was the third elementary school in our country to achieve this status. It is an honor to have this program, as well as the MYP and IB Diploma Programme, on Hilton Head Island and we look forward to sharing it with you!


Dr. Sarah L. Owen                 



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