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Family Newsletter- 11.10.23

Harwood Families -

Check out the First 2023-2024 Edition of Harwood’s Common Ground here.

Student voice and participation has been a long standing priority at Harwood. After a visit from 15 Superintendents from Pennsylvania where they observed Harkness - a powerful example of student voice & leadership at Harwood - we received the following accolades:

  • Wow! All our high schools should be doing the Harkness Initiative...Harwood students should teach us all (including our US House of Representatives) how to listen and share our thoughts respectfully!!

  • The Harwood Harkness Initiative should be adopted across the state! These students are going to be far better prepared for college than other students who don't engage this way. These students were so articulate and thoughtful and we are better people for having the opportunity to engage with them.

  • Amazing- it is easy to see the rigor involved and I would anticipate that engagement is very high in classes that use this strategy.

We seek to create ongoing opportunities for our students so that we meet our mission to “provide an educational and creative environment in which every person is valued as an individual, challenged as a learner, inspired to contribute to a democratic society, and provided a unique and personalized learning experience.”

One powerful example of this is highlighted in this year’s first edition of the Common Ground as the students share their feelings about our Wednesday 7 Block Schedule and how they can get involved and contribute in a “democratic” way.

We invite you to experience this powerful student leadership and voice on December 7th when students will be facilitating a Harkness Community Dialogue at Harwood.

In partnership,

Meg, Laurie and Bethany


  • 11/09 - 11/11 - 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. - Fall play Performance

  • 11/12 - 4 - 5 p.m. NHS induction ceremony

  • 11/08 & 11/16 - 3:45 - 6:00 p.m. - Parent Conferences

  • 11/14 - College Fair (ELO2) - Library

  • 11/15 - Parent 6-8 p.m. Winter Sports Meeting

  • 11/16 - 6 p.m. (Auditorium) Bond Meeting

  • 11/20 - Staff Inservice - NO SCHOOL

  • 11/21 - 11/24 - Thanksgiving Break - NO SCHOOL

  • 11/30 - 1:25 -2:05 p.m. - Assembly

  • 11/30 - 7-9 p.m. High School Music Concert

  • 12/07 - 5:30 - 7:00 Socrates Cafe

  • 12/08 & 12/09 - Middle School Musical

  • 12/12 - 7-9 p.m. Middle School Music Concert

  • 12/14 - 1:25 -2:05 p.m. - Assembly

  • 12/22 - 12:30 p.m. dismissal *schedule linked

  • 12/25 - 1/1 - NO School - VACATION

Snow Day and Delay procedures

​Everyone has their snow tires on, right?! If (or more realistically, WHEN) we have a snow-related closure or delay this winter, here is some helpful information:

  • In the event of a snow day closure, the following school day will remain what it originally was going to be (snow day on a Tuesday? next day is a Wednesday 7-block schedule anyway). If there is a pattern of snow days (i.e. three gold day snow days in a row), we will re-evaluate.

  • The schedule for the following day will be communicated to students and families through email, SwiftReach, and Instagram.

If there is a two-hour delay, this doc shows what the schedule will be depending on what type of day it is (and don’t worry, this will be sent out again in the event of such a delay!)


Cultivating and maintaining a sense of belonging, pride and purpose:




Congratulations to boys soccer on winning the division 2 State Championship!!

Congratulations to girls soccer on a great season, finishing the season as State Finalists in division 2.

Good luck to girls Cross Country this weekend at New Englands in Belfast Maine.

Remember that the winter sports parents meeting is Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 6pm in the Harwood Auditorium. If you have not already done so please register your child for a winter sport by clicking here.

Wellness ELO Series (Coming Quarter 2): Please be on the lookout for additional information as we will begin offering wellness and mental health ELO series for all students 7-12. Topics and offerings will be forthcoming. Please discuss with your student, and encourage them to join a group! This year, our ELO series may be run by our school counselors (Jen D., Maggie, Erin, Randy), licensed mental health clinician (Christina), or director of student services/licensed clinical & school psychologist (Dr. Melody). We also hope to share additional offerings provided by any of our incredible staff.

Change in Detention Schedule: Detentions are now being held after school on TUESDAY and THURSDAY. If you have questions or concerns related to a detention, please reply directly to the email you receive, so that our student support team may assist you.

  • Detentions continue to be held from 3:40-4:40pm in Room 119.

    • Students can be picked up at 4:45pm by caregivers, or they may ride the late afternoon bus.

    • Please note, late afternoon buses have a specific stop route. Please connect with the bus barn (802) 244-6422 or review this link to bus routes to determine where your student should get off the bus.

  • If you are participating in an after-school co-curricular, please note that there are consequences if serving a detention - please refer to the student athlete handbook.

​The focus of the month of November is gratitude! Advisories will be engaging in a gratitude circle, creating a gratitude quilt and expressing gratitude and appreciation for each member of our advisory group.

The truth is; gratitude is good for you! If you’d like to know more check out this article: “Why Gratitude is Good” from the Greater Good Magazine. (

Scholarship & Grant TA Workshop Changed to 11/14

Meet with School Counselors during TA on November 14th to learn more about scholarships and grants!

Spring Semester Dual Enrollment Opens

Current Juniors and Seniors have the opportunity to take 2 free college courses before you graduate from high school through the Dual Enrollment program. This is a wonderful opportunity to get exposure to how college courses are run and to get some hands-on experience.

Vouchers are now open for Spring semester courses. If you are interested and would like to take a class next semester, please reach out to your school counselor to schedule a time to meet with us about this opportunity.

Want to learn more aboutHistorically Black College and Universities (HBCU)?

The Memphis Libraries wants to ensure that our local high school seniors and juniors have an outlet to view college campuses online. They have compiled a selection of Historically Black College and University (HBCU) campuses from around the nation to explore

Strengthening and sustaining a rigorous and robust academic program:



Central Vermont Career Center is hosting their annual open house on November 16th from 5:30-7:30! This is a great opportunity to see what our students are doing, participate in our auction, observe some fun demonstrations and really get to know what CVCC is about.

MAP Testing

Fall MAP testing has been completed for students in grades 7-10, and individual growth reports were shared with them in their math and English classes. This summary example was also shared with students.

MAP stands for Measure of Academic Progress. These tests are given twice a year, and the results are used internally to help us identify students who may benefit from additional support in specific skills, as well as identify possible gaps across groups of students that could be addressed through learning in classes. While we don’t want students to stress over these tests (the results do not affect their course scores, and are not reported externally at all), we do want them to take them seriously so that we can have an accurate picture of their skills as individuals, and where we are at as a school and district.

If you have any questions about your student’s progress, feel free to reach out to their math or English teacher, or Jess Deane (teaching and learning coordinator) at

Community Announcements:



​You are invited to participate in discussions on the future of Harwood Union High School. Built in the 1960s and renovated with areas of new construction in the 1990s, the school is experiencing deterioration and major component failures. Improvements are needed to adequately meet current and future educational needs.

The Harwood Unified Union School Board is considering three main categories of renovation/construction options partially based on the failed bond from November 2021. The School Board is seeking your input on how to proceed. The community will be receiving further information in the coming weeks with summaries of the three main categories.

Please note that the HUUSD School Board took a vote in May 2023 and unanimously decided to remove middle school consolidation plans from the current list of building needs so the options that will be discussed will involve renovations to Harwood as a middle/high school.

The school board expects to decide this spring on the components to be included in a new bond which will be tentatively scheduled for November 2024.

This is a major undertaking that will have an impact on school district programs and finances for years to come, so your input is crucial. Please participate!

Harwood Unified Union School District School Board

Harwood Union High School project public meeting schedule:

  • November 16: 6pm Harwood Union High School auditorium

  • November 28: 6pm. Brookside gym

  • December 5: 6pm Warren gym

  • December 14: 6pm Crossett Brook Middle School cafeteria

  • December 19: 6pm Moretown cafeteria

  • January 11: 6pm Waitsfield gym

  • January 16: 6pm Fayston gym

MakerSphere Stained Glass & Sewing Class Openings!

The MakerSphere Afterschool Art Program located out of Waterbury has some great classes to get

creative, and learn a new craft or skill. There are still a few seats available. Scholarships are also


Register at:

Food Drive

Harwood Union Food Drive

Harwood Rotary Interact and the Harwood Middle School Leadership Club are supporting the Valley Interfaith Council and the Duxbury Elf Shelf

with an all-school Food Drive. Both organizations are seeking staples as well as items to support families to have a Thanksgiving meal. The list below provides the needs for both groups.

Harwood Middle School is concentrating on meeting the needs of the Duxbury Elf shelf. Items can be dropped off in a box outside the Middle School office.

Items Needed:

canned vegetables, stuffing, instant potatoes, cranberry sauce, baking supplies, flour, salt, oil, vanilla, baking soda, Bisquick or jiffy mix, soups, canned meals, any non perishable food items are helpful and much appreciated. If families want to send a financial donation this is also very helpful for putting together Christmas boxes for our friends and neighbors in need. Checks can be made out to Duxbury Elf Shelf.

Harwood High School Interact is collecting donations for the Valley Interfaith Council.

Items needed:

Apple sauce, biscuit mix, brownie mix, canned fruit, canned vegetables, crackers, cranberry sauce, canned or bottled gravy, stuffing, peanut butter, and tuna

When: Thursday, November 9th - Friday, November 17th

Where: MS office and High School cafeteria hallway

We are hoping that this drive will be a big success and will brighten the holiday for lots of families!

The Elf Shelf is located at 4987 VT Rt 100, Duxbury, downstairs at the Green Mountain Community Alliance Church. Families or individuals in need can come to the food shelf on Thursdays from 7-10.

​Tree Sale

Harwood’s Annual Tree Sale is just around the corner!

The sale is the major fundraiser for the class of 2026. If you plan to purchase a tree or wreath this year, please consider supporting this event.


Friday 12/1, 5:30PM-6:30PM Friday 12/8, 4:00PM-7:00 PM

Saturday 12/2, 10:00AM-5:00PM Saturday 12/9, 10:00AM-5:00 PM

Sunday 12/3, 10:00AM-5:00 PM Sunday 12/10, 10:00AM-5:00 PM

Where: Lareau Farm - American Flatbread (Waitsfield)

**** Sale will run while supply lasts. We sold out last year in the first weekend!****

Families of sophomore students should be on the lookout for a letter inviting you to volunteer if you are able.

We want to share our sincere appreciation to George Schenk for over twenty years of supporting this event!!!

​Warren School is planning to partner with Hannah's and Kidpower to bring families of HUUSD a workshop about managing and supporting kids' use of online devices.

We would like some information from you so that we can shape a workshop that would meet your interests and needs. We would love your feedback!

Harwood was one of 50 schools nationwide to take part in a "teach-in" event. The Jump$tart Teen Teach-in offers high school students a way to demonstrate the financial knowledge they’ve gained and share it with their elementary school counterparts in a fun teaching and learning activity. The Harwood personal finance students visited 1st and 2nd grade classes at Brookside and Waitsfield and taught a lesson about financial decision making. The students had a great time and hope to make this an annual event! You can learn more about JumpStart and the Teach-In here:


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