• Highlander2020-21

Harwood Community Newsletter, August 21, 2020

August 21, 2020

Harwood Middle/High School Families -

As we continue to collectively navigate this challenging time - we want to acknowledge that none of us wish for this to be our reality - the reality for our children/students nor for ourselves both personally and professionally. This time is impacting us all uniquely and thus we are each chartering it differently. As we move forward we want to encourage our entire community to take care of each other and assume best intentions.

To that end we are doing our best to thoughtfully operationalize a start to the 2020-2021 school year that prioritizes the safety of our children. We are working to balance the urgency felt by all to know the details of the plans with the needed time to ensure attention to the many layers of details.

As we prepare for September 8th and beyond we are simultaneously looking forward to a time when we can be back in school full time smiling and laughing with students in the hallways.

Thank you all for your continued patience and partnership,

Laurie - Co Principal of Harwood Union lgreenber@huusd.org

Meg - Co Principal of Harwood Union, mmcdonough@huusd.org

Duane- Assistant Principal, dpierson@huusd.org

DEFINITIONS: In order to provide clarity of terms being used during the planning and creation of the schedule please see the definitions below:

  • Synchronous - teacher supported learning time when students are engaging with their teachers and peers

  • Asynchronous - independent student work time such as homework and practice

  • On-site learning: occurs when students are physically in a classroom where they engage in learning with social distancing and other health and safety measures in place.

  • Off-site learning: occurs when the student and teacher are separated by distance and either meet online at an agreed-upon time (synchronous) or the student receives instructions for learning and completes assignments at a time that works for them (asynchronous).

  • Blocks - a period of time allocated to a course.

Additions to Harwood’s Middle/High School FAQ below - please visit our website for the comprehensive FAQ.


  • What are the details of this year’s bus schedule?

  • Details regarding bus routes will be released from the district today. Additionally routes will be posted on the HUUSD district website

  • When can we expect to receive our child/rens schedule?

  • Individual schedules with the summer mailing will be mailed home late next week. Families are asked to review schedules with their child/ren and complete the commitment form included in the mailing, in order to partner with us in ensuring readiness for the first day of school.

  • How many courses will students take each marking period this year?

  • Students will take 4 courses. Each course will meet for a block on synchronous onsite and online learning days.

  • How will students be broken into cohorts?

  • Students will be divided alphabetically

  • Cohort A-K - Tuesday

  • Cohort L-Z - Thursday

  • Will students or staff be transitioning throughout the day?

  • Students will transition between their classes on days they are onsite. We have limited transitions by having students go directly to their advisory block upon arriving at school and by remaining in class for lunch and in their final class for dismissal.

Will students be in the same Pod at the Middle and High School?

  • Students will not be grouped by pods at the Middle and High school due to scheduling constraints.

  • What is the 100% remote option for HUUSD?

  • We are in the midst of creating a remote option at this time. More details will be forthcoming.

  • Is HUUSD participating in Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative?

  • Harwood High School will continue its collaboration with VTVLC this year as it has for many years. This partnership is a reciprocal relationship - we receive seats for our students based on the number of teachers we have participating. Thus, this is not a full remote option for HUUSD.

  • What scheduling changes will be considered when families are trying to work together to meet each other's family needs?

  • We recognize the many challenges associated with a hybrid model and the scheduling conflicts it creates for families. We also understand that collaborating with other families can be a big resource in supporting your student. Unfortunately, due to the constraints of a master schedule for a 7-12 school we are unable to create students schedules that involve multiple families.

  • If I have a child with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 plan - what will my child’s schedule look like?

  • Families that chose the hybrid model will have both onsite and online learning.

  • As is always the case their individual plan will dictate the supports received both online and onsite.

  • Who do I reach out to if I have a question about my child’s schedule?

  • Your child’s school counselor is indicated on their initial 20-21 schedule. Contact information is listed below:

  • Jen Driemiller jdreimiller@huusd.org

  • Tara Cariano tcariano@huusd.org

  • Erin Dezell edezell@huusd.org

  • Sally McCarthy smccarthy@huusd.org

  • What supports are in place for students transitioning to 7th and 9th grade?

  • Welcome videos introducing students to their teachers and the Harwood community will be shared in the next two weeks with families and students.

  • Additionally, connections between students/families and Teacher advisors will be happening via zoom or phone the week prior to school beginning.

  • During the first few weeks of school student’s schedules will be focused on supporting this transition by providing more time to foster relationships and establish routines, norms and expectations.

  • What will a typical classroom look like at Harwood this year?

  • Desks or tables will be set up 6 feet apart and facing one direction.

  • Classrooms with windows will remain open when possible to provide additional air flow.

  • Everyone present will be required to wear a mask.

  • What will instruction typically look like at Harwood this year?

  • Teachers will instruct primarily from the front of the classroom.

  • Collaborative work will be done online.

  • What is the current plan for using outdoor space for teaching?

  • Teachers may access designated learning areas for their students during the school day. Safety protocols will need to be followed during their time in these spaces.

How are students' social emotional needs going to be addressed?

  • All TA teachers will schedule meetings with their TA students and families on September 2,3,4

  • The intention is to establish relationships and connections; identify needs and answer questions.

  • There will be daily TA meetings to create a sense of connection and community.

  • What are the expectations for student participation during onsite and online learning?

  • Students are expected to attend all of their onsite and online classes. Attendance will be taken during all synchronous learning (teacher supported learning time when students are engaging with their teachers and peers.)

  • As usual students will be expected to complete independent work in the form of homework and practice outside of their synchronous class time.

  • Daily morning attendance will be taken during TA. Students are expected to be in TA every morning.


  • Middle School families - Please be on the lookout for letters home from your teachers with more details regarding the start of the school year.

  • Over the last 6 weeks there have been extensive Racial Equity discussions and work by Harwood community members. The following resource is offered as a resource to support our continued learning as individuals. In the coming weeks this Racial Equity group will continue to share additional resources.

  • This TED Talk by Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, explains the importance of pushing outside of the traditional curriculum and into alternative perspectives of our history and worldview as our Global Studies team seeks to do.

  • The Harwood Unified Union School District is seeking donations of cloth facial coverings for both students and staff. We are prepared to provide masks for every student and teacher at this time.

That said, we would like to offer an opportunity to the community to increase our supply and provide a variety of masks for our students. Masks should be multiple layers of cotton fabric with loops for ears. We cannot