Family Newsletter 12.22.22
Our Student led Assembly Crew spread the laughter and joy during their pie eating spirit challenge this Tuesday.
Harwood Families -
During Teacher Advisory and Staff meeting time the Harwood community has been reflecting and embracing joy by celebrating with “light” during the shortest days of the year.
This past week Advisory groups crafted lanterns in unique designs in preparation for an all school lantern parade. During our advisory block on Thursday the Harwood drumline led the entire student body into the library where each Advisory Group put their lantern on display. Following the parade students gathered according to grade to enjoy some hot cocoa served to them by our administrative team.
These may be the darkest days of the year but there was a lot of light in our school community!
Enjoy a restful and joyous break.
Laurie, Meg and Duane
12/23 - 1/01 - No School - Vacation
01/06 - Winter Ball Round Barn
01/11 - Art Show 5:30 - 7:30
Middle School First Ski program begins on 1/11, 11:30 - 3:00
Safe - seen, heard, respected & understood:
DESSA Middle School Update: Coming in January, our Harwood 7th and 8th graders will be participating in the Aperture DESSA research study, completing a self-report form and engaging in follow up interviews to support the creation of the self-assessment for our middle school aged youth across the nation. These ratings will allow Aperture Research group to select the items that best indicate positive outcomes for students. Their involvement will give students a voice and impact on a national assessment to support students and their well-being. It will also help educators and staff as they promote and support growth in their students’ social and emotional skills.
Restorative Practices : We wanted to take the opportunity to share about our restorative practices work via our student support team and our restorative practices coordinator. We continue to include the foundational ideas and approach in our student support conversations. We also continue to include restorative discussions, dialogues, and opportunities in our responses to challenging behaviors. Importantly, we are continuing to enhance and incorporate our restorative practices within our school community and classrooms on a daily basis.
To date, we have facilitated the following for our 7th-12th grade (HUMHS):
Restorative Circles - 44
Restorative Classroom Circles - 10
We continue to follow up in our classrooms and with our circle groups after an initial dialogue, to continue the work and support of positive movement forward.
A True Partnership: After School Detentions - Thank you to you all, our families and caregivers, for partnering with us in both holding students accountable, while also meeting and collaborating with us to develop and provide student learning opportunities, restorative conversations, and working together to best support students in growing and moving forward in positive ways. We will continue to monitor and refine our system and look forward to our continued partnership in the new year!
Absence/Tardy Form Reminders: Thank you to you all for filling out the absence/tardy forms as necessary. The daily attendance system is large and complex, and relies on your communication with us - to best ensure student safety and accountability. Thank you for taking the time to fill it out each day. Please continue to do so each day. If you ever have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the attendance team.
Prior to November break, 8 members of "Let's Talk About It: Students for Sexual Respect" planned and led two lessons on Consent and Boundaries in 7th Grade Health Classes. The lessons include information about consent using the FRIES acronym, discussion on comfort zones and Vermont's consent law. This is the second consecutive year, "Let's Talk About It" has facilitated these lessons. Members of "Let's Talk About It" are currently working to bring additional teaching and discussions on Consent and Boundaries to the High School Health classes.
Rigorous & Robust Academic Program:
9th Grade Mock Interviews
A right of passage for 9th grade students currently taking Personal and Future Exploration occurred on Wednesday, December 14th. Every student engaged in a mock interview with generous community members who shared their time to make this experience more meaningful. Students, under the guidance of teachers Tara Cariano and Heidi Turgeon-Baird, learned strategies for conducting a strong interview in preparation for this event. We wish to extend our sincere appreciation to the following guest interviewers: Lisa Reisner, Mike Leichliter, Beth Gilpin, Rosemarie White, Blake Hackerson, Ashley Woods, David Cohen, Ed McDonough, Pete Colgan, Doug Stoehr and Karen Winchell. We are truly fortunate to have a community that always steps up to enrich our students' experiences.
Positive school climate and culture:
On December 4th students and teachers going to Rwanda in February put together an incredible fundraiser at Zen Barn in Waterbury. They are excited to announce that the silent auction raised over $5,000. It was a fantastic turn out full of supportive parents and community members. A big shout out goes out to the Zen Barn for donating their space, The Harwood Assembly Band and Rwandan musician, Cha Cha for their entertainment. In addition, The Alchemist Foundation sponsored the event which allowed for all of the proceeds to go back to the students. They would like to thank all who donated to the silent auction as well.
Harwood Rotary Interact News and Fundraiser Alert! (Save those bottles and cans and donate for a good cause)
Harwood’s Rotary Interact Club has been hard at work helping to support our community! In November, the club sponsored a Thanksgiving food drive in the high school and collected 3 large boxes of much needed items to support families. Most recently, we helped deliver presents to children at Santa at the Park. It was a super fun event! Upcoming we have our annual bottle drive, and we’re looking for redeemable bottles and cans. This year’s bottle drive will support Planned Parenthood. Any contribution would be greatly appreciated, and we’d love it if families got involved and pitched in! Contact Ellen Berrings (email@example.com) with any questions.
Please drop off your bottles and cans at one of the locations below, or request a pickup for your donation.
Where: Rodney’s Transfer Station (on the road to the Waterbury Ice Rink)
When: Anytime between now and 2/18/23
Please designate that they are a donation for Harwood Rotary Interact
OR: Come to Hannon Home Center
When: Saturday, February 18th between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM
OR: Request a pickup with Ron Gulyas by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
When: Any time before 2/18/23
IF YOU SEE SOMEONE WITHOUT A SMILE, GIVE THEM ONE OF YOURS.
Dear Families and Caregivers,
Hello again from the HUUSD Social Emotional Learning Task Force.
This December we are focusing on the theme of Social Awareness. Understanding the emotions of others and connecting in an empathic way can have life-long impacts on who we are and how we interact with the world around us. Being able to understand the perspective of others is extremely important in our social interactions, and truly understanding each other as humans. Social Awareness includes:
There are many things that you can do to support your child in continuing to develop a strong sense of social awareness. In the car or over a shared meal, ask and share:
If you watch a movie or as you are reading a book together, you might ask - what do you think is going on for that person? How are they feeling? How would you feel if you were in that situation? How might you react differently (or similarly)?
A great way to help younger students develop social awareness is through the use of picture books. Here is a great link to picture books that have characters and situations that lend themselves to great conversation starters!
We hope that some of these may be helpful and assist you in supporting your child in developing their Social Awareness. For more in-depth information, check out this link. We appreciate all that you do to support this work!