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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

Meg - Co Principal of Harwood Union,

Duane- Assistant Principal,

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?

  • 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 accept any donations of masks designed to tie behind the head. CDC Guidance on Making Cloth Face Coverings Johns Hopkins Suggestions for Sizing of Kids Cloth Face Coverings Vermont Department of Health Guidance For more information you can contact Mandy Couturier at Masks can be dropped at Moretown School in person or in a drop box. Drop off can also be arranged at TBPS through email. Construction Update

  • Crossett Hill Rd. will be closed August 18 through October 13, 2020

  • Moretown Village is experiencing considerable wait time and changes in traffic patterns over the next two to three months. It is not uncommon to experience 15 to 20 minute delays on RTE 100B either coming to or leaving Harwood


  • Attention Middle School Families. The 7th and 8th grade teams will be sending out welcome letters to families on Monday, 24, 2020 to provide details about the start of school for our excellent 7th and 8th grade students. Thank you for your patience as we prepare a great school year for our students.

  • We are eager to connect with every family before the first day of school. Next week please be on the lookout for communication that prompts you to schedule a meeting with your child’s advisory teacher during the week of August 31st.

  • School Board Meeting Information

  • For those who were unable to join Meg, Laurie and Duane on 8/20 we recorded the HU Community Forums on Youtube.

  • Notice to Harwood Middle/High School Community

It has come to our attention that our Harwood Middle/High School summer newsletters may not have been received by our middle and high school families due to technical errors. We are working to resolve these issues as soon as possible. In the mean time please note that our summer newsletters are available on the front page of our website Please contact Duane Pierson, Assistant Principal at with questions or concerns.

  • Please take the time to check your chromebook and make sure it is in working.

If it is not please complete the following online Tech request form here. Tech Support will be in touch regarding next steps once received.

Greetings families of Harwood’s class of 2024!

Our 9th grade team of educators cannot wait to meet and get to know your kids.

As the start to school draws closer you likely have many questions about what this year is going to look like. To that end, we will be sending you a letter within the next week that outlines some important logistical information about the start of school. Additionally, your child’s teacher-advisor, their “coach” throughout their four years at Harwood, will be reaching out to set up a meeting with your family. Before September 8th, you can also expect a video introduction from the 9th grade team to help you get to know us as educators and people. We’re looking forward to all of us working together to support and develop the potential of every 9th grade student, and we are eagerly anticipating getting back to school.

Over the first few weeks of our return to school, we will be building relationships, developing routines, practicing great flexibility, and committing ourselves to learning. Having not taught students face-to-face in months, we are fired up for the experience. These past several months we have reflected on online-learning, developed new skills, and we are excited to help students learn in dynamic and flexible ways. We are dedicated to helping every incoming 9th grader have a positive transition into high school, beginning a journey they will each navigate in their own, unique way.

We are working hard to get ready for this unique school year. Thank you so much for your patience as we finalize our plans.

More to come,

Harwood’s 9th grade

Athletic Update

I wanted to take a moment during your regularly scheduled Community Bulletin to give a quick sports update. YES! Sports are going to be happening this year, albeit not the way you are used to. This Fall, we are going to be starting sports on September 8th for High School and September 15th for Middle School.

To be prepared for the beginning of the year, please remember via the Governor's Directive that all student-athletes will need to have masks for their sports. They noted that Cross-Country will not need to wear them for the duration of their races, but noted they should have them around their necks -- in case they are within 6-feet of another runner.

We also are going to need you to sign-up for sports and send us your child's latest physical (within the last 2 years). You can have the physicals faxed to me at 802-882-1198 and you can sign-up for sports at the following links:

We know there are likely many more questions that parents have in regards to the return of athletics, and I can assure you we are working on a comprehensive plan to make this Fall Season the safest it can be for your student and their teammates.

The Athletic Department will be hosting a Pre-Season Fall Sports Meeting, via Zoom, as we get closer to the start of school. Be on the lookout for the login information and date/time of the meeting.

More updates will be coming via our Facebook Page, Instagram, Twitter, and of course this community bulletin. In the meantime, please sign-up, send in your physicals, and we will see you in a few weeks!



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