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Family Newsletter- 2.10.23

Save the Date!! Thursday, February 16th, 2023

Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians of current 8th-grade students should plan to save the date for a Rising 9th grade Family Transition Night. This evening will include tours of the high school from current HUHS students, a presentation from the school counseling team regarding the program of studies, graduation requirements, and 9th-grade course selection, and other general information about your child’s transition to high school. More details to follow at the end of January including time of event. If you have questions now about your child’s transition, please contact your child’s current school counselor.

Jen Dreimiller @ HUMS -

Jen Hempey @ CBMS - Students with Last Names starting A-L -

Emily Scharff @ CBMS - Students with Last Names starting M-Z -


  • 02/10 - 3:30 - 6 p.m. Student Recital Series

  • 02/16 - Rising 9th grade Family Transition Night

  • 02/20 - 03/10 - Rwanda travel study

  • 02/22 - 7-9 p.m Band Night grades 5-12

  • 02/27 - 03/07 - No School - February Vacation

  • 03/16 - 7-9 p.m. Choral Night grades 5-12

  • 03/24 - No School

  • 04/13 & 4/19 - Family/TA Conferences


Safe - seen, heard, respected & understood:



Hello again from the HUUSD Social Emotional Learning Task Force.

social awareness, this month we are learning about the action of interacting.

As caregivers, we know that relationships are everywhere. Relationships

are cornerstones in our home, in our schools and workplaces and in our community. Children have many different relationships in their lives. Whether it's being a lab partner in science, a member of a team, club, cast or band, a friendship group, or a member of a family, developing healthy relationship skills is critical. Having healthy relationships is not always easy and takes skill and practice (even for adults!).

Relationship skills is the ability to establish new relationships, to maintain positive relationships and friendships, to avoid social isolation, to resolve conflicts, to accept differences, to be a contributing member of the classroom and community in which one lives, works, learns, and plays, and to work productively and collaboratively with others. Children are learning to:

  • Be able to make and keep friends

  • Work with others toward a common goal

  • Resolve differences quickly

  • Cooperate as a group leader or a member of the group

  • Exhibit helpfulness

Here are a couple ideas about how to help your child at home:

For younger students:

  • Cook with your child: Ask your child to help make their favorite dish by following your directions, one at a time. Make sure to say “please” and “thank you” and acknowledge all of their efforts. This will not only help them learn about the art of listening, but teach them about the importance of being polite to others, especially while working on group projects.

  • Read stories together and talk about the relationships and interactions between the characters.

For all students:

  • Build a strong protective circle of adults and youth to whom your child can turn for advice or support by talking to them very directly about the people you value who treat others with kindness, respect, and caring attention.

  • Complete the Who’s Great At This challenge: Who’s Great at This?

  • Talk about and share your own “Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship”. What’s most important to you? What do you value in a relationship?

  • Simply ask- “who is a friend you value and why?”

  • Quote(s) to talk about:

    • “The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them. -Ralph G. Nichols

    • “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” — Anais Nin

    • “A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.” — Maya Angelou

    • “Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” – Stephen Covey

We hope that some of these may be helpful and assist your children in growing in their Relationship Skills. We appreciate partnering with you in this important work!



Characteristics of Healthy Relationships

  • Trust. Each person in a good relationship should know they can rely on each other. They know they can count on this person to come through for them and be supportive. They feel their secrets are safe with this person and that they can believe what the other person says to them. They believe the other person will not do anything intentional to hurt them.

  • Respect. In healthy relationships, people talk to each other in ways that don’t put down, insult, or belittle. They value each other’s time and opinions. They protect each other’s privacy and personal space.

  • Honesty. Each person should always be truthful and open. They can express what they want, or discuss their hopes, without fearing how the other person will respond. They don’t feel like the other person is hiding things from them.

  • Growth. In a healthy relationship, people want each other to enjoy their favorite activities, learn new things, and spend time with family and friends alike. In life, our hopes, fears, goals, and interests will constantly change, and people who are in good relationships will understand, and even embrace, those changes.

  • Empathy. Each person should be willing to understand and validate the other person’s perspective.

  • Balance of Power. In a healthy relationship, both people feel like they are on equal footing. They can make their own decisions without fear of retaliation or judgment. They feel physically safe. They respect each other’s opinions and independence. No one pressures the other person to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable. And they put equal effort into their relationship.

  • Compromise. Conflict is bound to arise in every relationship. People should be able to compromise and negotiate to a mutually agreeable solution when there are disagreements.

  • Communication. In a healthy relationship, each person can share their feelings, even when they don’t agree, in a way that makes the other person feel safe, heard, and not judged.

Rigorous & Robust Academic Program:



Did you know….

  • 100% of high-demand, high-wage jobs require some form of post high school education and training (Advance Vermont).

  • 73% of the Harwood senior class of 2022 planned some kind of education or training after graduation (VSAC Senior Survey)

Congratulations to our 2023 HUMS Math Counts Team! They will be competing Saturday, February 11th at Northern Vermont University, Lyndon Campus.

Good luck representing Harwood Middle School: Tarin Askew, William Clark, Jane Schaefer, Lev Ibson, Rowan Sexton, Caroline Cox, Cora Potts, Dahlia Jordan, Emily Hill, Harmony Devoe, Lena Tautfest and Sydney Schaller!! And our team alternates Trinity Mazzilli and Warren Rayburn!!

​We’re excited to formally announce Brian Boye’s acceptance of the Music position at Harwood starting in July of 2023.

As a trumpeter, composer, arranger and band leader, multi-instrumentalist Brian Boyes has worked in Vermont for over 20 years. As a member of a variety of award wining ensembles including the national touring jazz-funk act, viperHouse, he has been recognized for his soulful and intense approach to his trumpet.

Most recently, Brian Boyes has been celebrated and recognized for his work as the composer and conductor of the 18-piece post-rock, big band, The Saturn People’s Sound Collective. As a recipient of a Vermont Community Foundation Arts Endowment grant and a Goddard College Concerts commission, Boyes and the Saturn Collective have sent shockwaves throughout the VT musical community leaving an indelible imprint amongst Vermont’s tastemakers and diverse music lovers alike. Says Seven Days of the group’s 2013 headlining Discover Jazz Festival performance, “Mind blowing radness . . . The Saturn People’s set at The FlynnSpace on Tuesday was simply transcendent, not merely a local highlight, but a festival topper, period.”

Brian Boyes is no stranger when it comes to working with large ensemble; including The Big Bang Bhangra Brass Band and Movement of the People: The Fela Kuti Project - both projects exploring the intersection of global music and jazz improvisation.

As an educator Brian Boyes has twice received special recognition from the Vermont Arts Alliance for his unique and creative approach to music education at Cabot School and is a three-time recipient of Cabot School’s Teacher of the Year award. In 2014, Brian was awarded a Rowland Foundation Fellowship to develop and implement a significant project of educational transformation in Vermont.

Brian is the founder and creative director of SoundCheck - a band of select VT high school musicians writing and performing original music to fight for social justice. SoundCheck students work with music educators, prominent singer-songwriters and anti-racist educators to develop original material that tackles racism, injustice and hate. The band regularly performs and facilitates workshops at New England high schools using art and music as a catalyst to spark dialogue, action and awareness.

Brian holds two degrees from Goddard College; BA Music Performance & Composition (with a minor in Ethnomusicology); MA Education (Infusing Performing Arts into Project Based Learning).

Positive school climate and culture:



Harwood Union High School Driver’s Education Program

Harwood Union High School will continue to provide Driver’s Education opportunities to our students eligible with a valid permit through private driving schools during the 2023-2024 school year. Jerry Cassel and Paul Dudley will each be providing 2 different courses - for a total of 4 - summer, fall, winter and spring.

Please note -

  • Registration priority will be given according to age with 12th, 11th, then 10th and finally 9th grade.

  • Students will not receive Harwood credit for Driver’s Education courses.

  • Harwood Union High School will be billed directly for the cost of each student's course.

Registration information will be forthcoming in the next month.

​Learn How to Save Energy and Money at 2023 LEAP Energy Fair

Is it time to weatherize your drafty house? Are you interested in energy efficient heat pumps, electric vehicles, or solar power for your home or business? Find the information you need at the 2023 LEAP Energy Fair, Saturday, April 15 from 9 AM to 3 PM at Crossett Brook Middle School.

The LEAP Energy Fair is the largest in Vermont, and it’s completely free. Tour 75 exhibits and talk to experts about heat pumps, weatherization, solar power, energy audits, electric vehicles, efficient wood heat, and much more. Attend breakout sessions on topics of special interest.

This family-friendly event includes a free show by Marko the Magician, free ice cream, free electronics recycling, children’s activities, and local food and refreshments while you learn how to shrink energy bills and save money.

This free community event is hosted by the volunteers of Waterbury LEAP. For more information contact Alayna at 603-748-9564, or visit


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