Annual Report

School Year 2019-20

Quick Stats For SY 2019-20

Schools Served

Teachers Trained

Children Reached

cents of every $ spent went toward direct delivery in schools


Dear Colleagues,

Like many other organizations and schools across the country, School Year 19-20 began in a seemingly normal fashion. Over the summer, we had great success with our first Summer Institute for Literacy Leadership (SILL) in partnership with Crafting Minds and The Grimes Reading Institute. The results of the initiative were published in a white paper and generated interest from other school districts in replicating the summer program in their region. We launched professional development trainings for our Northshore Leadership Series in partnership with several organizations and districts in that region and were looking forward to further engagement with those schools in the spring.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the country ground to a halt. Schools had to pivot on a dime to virtual classes. But thanks to our nimbleness as an organization as well our expertise and technology, it had little impact on our ability to continue delivering necessary training to our school partners.

In fact, the demand for our services increased, driving us to accelerate our online delivery model. Within a short period of time, we were holding weekly district-wide professional development over Zoom and providing classroom support and virtual training on assessment programs. In our Connecticut K-3 Literacy Initiative, we supported two hybrid model summer school programs where we assisted the administration with coordination and provided training and coaching for the summer school teachers and interventionists. We even launched a new Science of Reading series and provided coaching and training for teachers on how to deliver effective instruction to students virtually.

Due to our investment in creating new technology to transition key components of our work to an online format, we were well-positioned to make this switch quickly and efficiently. Spring 2020 was a learning experience for every school in the country as well as organizations like ours. While we look forward to being able to return to schools, we’re eager to launch more online tools we have in development so we can reach those schools where they are, whether that’s in person or online, and have a positive impact on their students.

That’s a core part of our plans for the upcoming school year. We’ve added new components to our web application, HILL Online. We’re ready to pilot Roadmap, our new online needs assessment application, as well as introduce more of our schools to Continuum, the online data meeting process which we piloted in school year 19-20. And we now have Expertise, an eLearning platform that allows people to access our professional development remotely. While there is still much uncertainty about the upcoming school year, we’re ready to continue supporting all of our schools with robust virtual delivery for as long as necessary.

As a nonprofit, our organization’s ability to continue operations is due in part to the generous donations of community members and foundations. We don’t take the challenge of teaching kids to read lightly: according the latest NAEP results, 65% of 4th graders fail to read at grade level each year and we know that we can help them even if they aren’t in a physical classroom. Your support can have a tangible, meaningful impact on the lives of children in HILL schools. Donations can be made via our website or by contacting the HILL office at 1-888-860-0190.


Best Wishes,


Darci Burns, Ph.D.
Executive Director



We interviewed some of the participants in our CK3LI project who benefited from the HILL’s virtual support between the time schools closed in March and June 30, 2020 and the positive response was overwhelming!

Our Impact 

Click the link below for client snapshots and testimonials of our work.

Key Partners

Black and Puerto Rican Caucus of the Connecticut General Assembly
Center on Teaching and Learning, University of Oregon
Center for Behavioral Education & Research, University of Connecticut
Commonwealth Learning Online Institute
Connecticut Commission on Women, Children, and Seniors
Connecticut State Department of Education
Crafting Minds
Educational Performance Systems, Inc
The Grimes Reading Institute
Keys to Literacy
Literacy How
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Professional Training Institute
Public Consulting Group
Rhode Island Department of Education
RMC Research Corporation
The Reading Institute

Our Supporters

For a complete list of HILL Supporters, please click the link below.

Our Schools

For a complete list of HILL Schools, please click the link below.

Interested? Give Us a Call or Email!

888.860.0190 | info@


from FY2018-19 financial audit



For more about the administrative side of the HILL, please see the links below.

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