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Family Newsletter 3.31.23



  • 03/31 - End of Quarter 3

  • 04/4 - Central VT College Fair field trip

  • 04/11 - College Process Overview, @HUHS Library - 6pm

  • 04/12 - Middle School Career Fair @ Crossett Brook Middle School

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

  • 04/14 - Vermont Tech Try a Major Day field trip

  • 04/16 - 4-6 p.m. - Rwandan Media showcase @ Zen Barn

  • 04/19 - 04/27 - France Trip

  • 04/20 - 5:30 - 6:30 - Rising 7th grade transition Evening

  • 04/24 - 04/28 - April Vacation - No school

  • 05/03 - UVM Tour Field Trip

  • 05/04 - VSAC Managing College Costs - 6pm

  • 05/06 - SATs at HUHS

  • 05/07 - NHS Free babysitting *details to come

  • 05/18 - Socrates Cafe

  • 05/20 - Jr. & Sr. Prom

  • 05/23 - 6pm - 8pm - Music Department Senior Showcase

  • 06/08 - 8th grade Spirit of Ethen Allen


Safe - seen, heard, respected & understood:



Student Support Services

Middle School DESSA Research Update: Our middle school students were able to participate in a research study to support the creation of a Social Emotional Learning self-report for middle school youth. We had a total of 87 students participate, making Harwood one of the largest sites involved in this study. Way to go HUMHS! The Aperture Organization plans on being able to complete the research process in time for fall 2023, so our middle school students at Harwood and around the nation can have important data to drive supports and interventions to enhance the social emotional wellbeing of our youth!

NEW!! Student Voice Collective: As of February, we have created a 7th-12th grade Student-led leadership group. This group is made up of students from Harwood middle and high school, representatives of all the clubs throughout the school. This group will be integral in enhancing the coordination and collaboration between groups to bring forth opportunities, events, and gather student input into everything Harwood.

ELO Series and Offerings: Please be on the lookout next newsletter for a description of our upcoming Quarter 4 ELO offerings from school counseling, teachers, and other student support services team members. We will then continue to include a link that will be regularly updated for you to reference should you wonder about social emotional or academic-focused ELO opportunities for your students, 7th-12th grade.

Important Reminder of Student Support Services Available: If at any time, you or your student has concerns or questions, or your student is struggling related to situations they have experienced at school, please contact their school counselor, health office, or a student support team member. We are here to help!

Health Office Updates

Hello Harwood families! We are two first-year medical students at UVM reaching out on behalf of the American Heart Association and the UVM College of Medicine to ask for your opinions on the implementation of a sugary beverage excise tax in the state of Vermont. This survey will take less than 5 minutes to fill out and will influence policy decisions in the Vermont state legislature. Any feedback or questions you have can be directed to or Thank you for your participation! - Avery and Ru

Survey Link:

TA update

Student-Led Spring Reflection Conferences are here!!!

When? April 13th and April 19th from 3:30-7:00

How? In person or virtually

How do I sign up? Your student’s TA teacher will be contacting you to schedule a 30 minute meeting that works for you and your student

What is the purpose? To reflect on:

  • The goals set in November

  • Bright spots and challenges from the year

  • Current aspirations for the future (high school and beyond)

AND: To maintain our connection and partnership with parents/caregivers!

This is an important opportunity for us to continue to build a partnership with you and to hear from your students how the school year has been for them. We hope to see all of our families!

Harwood Student Government Sponsored Blood Drive

Harwood Student Government is hosting a blood drive!

After a two and a half year break, Harwood’s Student Government is partnering with the American Red Cross to support a blood drive at Harwood!!! We are excited to return to this partnership and aim to exceed our goal of 30 units!

When: April 14th from 10:00AM - 3:30 PM

Where: Harwood Union HS Auditorium Lobby

Want to sign up? Use this link:

*****ALL presenting donors will receive a Snoopy t-shirt as a thank you. *****

Harwood Union Rotary Interact Update

We want to thank community members for donating your returnable bottles and cans to the Harwood Rotary Interact Club bottle drive!! We were able to raise $2,467, $400 more than we raised last year. Special thanks to the matching funds from the Waterbury and Mad River Valley Rotary which dramatically improved our donation to Planned Parenthood. We couldn’t have done this without all your help!


Harwood Interact Club

Rigorous & Robust Academic Program:



Coming in May… STATE TESTING

This year, Vermont will be implementing the Vermont Comprehensive Assessment Program (VTCAP) for the first time, provided by Cognia, in replacement of the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) and Vermont Science Assessment (VTSA) of previous years. As in the past, students in grades 3-9 will be assessed in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math, and students in grades 5, 8 and 11 will be assessed in Science. The schedule for testing in our school is as follows:

Please note these dates on your calendar now. The testing window for these assessments is more narrow than in the past; it is therefore even more important than ever that students being assessed are at school on these identified dates. Look for more information on these assessments as the testing date gets closer.

Positive school climate and culture:



Upcoming Field Trips

Central Vermont College Fair - April 4

  • On Tuesday, April 4, 2023 the Central Vermont College Fair will take place at Norwich University. Over 70 different colleges will be in attendance. Harwood students interested in attending will depart from Harwood via bus at 8:45 AM and return to school by 12:30 PM. This is a wonderful opportunity to explore a wide array of college options and interact with admissions representatives from various schools. There will also be an opportunity to take a campus tour of Norwich University.

Try a Major Day - April 14

  • Try a Major Day is for high school sophomores and juniors and gives students a chance to experience, first-hand, programs leading to careers and pathways in many exciting fields. Students participate and interact with faculty and current students in a major that they would like to “try out” for the day. If you have an interest in exploring Vermont State University or any of these majors, sign up today. Space will be limited to 25 students.

College Process Overview Presentation - April 11th at 6pm

Curious about the college application process? Wondering where to begin? Join the School Counselors for this evening event to provide you an overview of the college search and application process as well as an introduction to tools and resources to assist you along the way. We will also be joined by the UVM, Middlebury, Vermont State University and UNH admission offices who will share their insight and expertise.

VSAC Managing College Costs - May 4th at 6pm

You are invited to join VSAC Aspirations School Specialist, Ellen Bagnato, for a free Managing College Costs presentation in the HUHS Library. At this presentation, we will provide an overview of how families pay for college costs and the different types of financial aid, as well as the application process and timelines. We will also share with you several websites that can help you research the true cost of colleges and get ready to file financial aid forms.

SATs at Harwood - Saturday May 6

We’re hosting the SATs on Saturday May 6th. The registration deadline is April 7 and the late registration deadline is April 25. Students can register for the SATs on the College Board website.

Wondering how to prepare for the SATs? Sign up for SAT Prep ELO options or utilize the great online resources available at Khan Academy.

Have questions about the SATs? Contact your student’s school counselor.

Liam Hale Adventure Scholarship Now Accepting Applications

The Liam Kenneth Hale Adventure Scholarship is intended to provide a Harwood High School student with the opportunity to learn the skills, virtues, and passion Liam gained during the many joyous days he spent at Sugarbush. Each year students completing their 10th grade year are eligible to apply. Applications are Due April 19th.

Click here to view the application.

We are excited to introduce two of our new staff members for the 2023-2024 school year

Meredith Vaughn - Middle School English

Meredith was born and raised in Roxbury, Vermont. She earned her BA in Education with a concentration in English from State University of New York at New Paltz. Meredith moved to sunny San Diego after college, but she eventually ventured back to Vermont to be closer to family and begin a teaching career in her home state. She started teaching high school in 2008, and in 2014, Meredith got a MA degree in English from Southern New Hampshire University. She has taught in the classroom for twelve years, both at the high school and middle school level.

Meredith believes in the power of stories: the stories we tell others and ourselves, the stories we write, and of course, the stories we read. She aims to create a safe and open environment, with the hope that students discover their voices, express themselves with confidence, and embrace their community.

For the past seven years, she's lived in Jeffersonville. She loves spending time with her husband, Chris, her five-year-old son, Silas, and her playful dog, Gusty. She enjoys yoga, writing, traveling, and spending time outside. She is happy to be returning back to Central Vermont, and especially excited to be joining Harwood Middle School, a school she knows promotes compassion, curiosity, and a love for community.

Larry Gravelle - High School English

Hello Highlanders!

My name is Larry Gravelle and I'm excited to be joining the high school English department next year. I live in Moretown with my wife Beth (who teaches at HCLC) and our seven-year-old, Jack. I'm currently teaching at Essex High School, but before moving to Vermont almost two years ago, I taught at Steamboat Springs High School in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for 16 years. After commuting to Essex for a couple years, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach in a smaller setting in the community in which Beth and I chose to move. When not in school, I enjoy being out in nature, skiing, fly-fishing, hiking, and growing orchids. I look forward to getting to know everyone at Harwood Union and wearing black and yellow plaid.

​On Monday, March 20, She's the First, a club at Harwood, held our first in-person event since the start of the Covid period. About fifty members of the community joined us in the Harwood Library for trivia games featuring women in popular culture, a delicious bake sale, and the main event: the fabulous raffle. Prizes included skis, day passes to Mad River Glen and Sugarbush, gift certificates to local restaurants, and clothing, crafts and local art. Added bonus: Shea Wheeler took home a mountain of jelly beans by guessing the correct number of jelly beans in the jar - 1564!

Altogether we raised $1275 for this important cause, which helps every girl determine her own future. We deeply appreciate the businesses who supported us and the twenty-five She's the Firsters who solicited prizes, sold tickets, and made this event a great time for all involved. Special thanks to co-presidents, Mae Murphy and Hazel Lillis, who held it all together.

Harwood's chapter of She's the First has been raising money for - and awareness about - young women in underdeveloped countries who are the first girls in their families to graduate from high school for seven years. Our funds will go to support young women in Ethiopia and Uganda.

​We have had a busy week with Harkness work at Harwood. Kathy Cadwell penned the following article to highlight the efforts of Harwood faculty and student leaders to work with teachers and students from other schools.

Harwood Harkness Teachers and Students Share Their Work Throughout Vermont.pdf

Juniors attend the VSAC College and Career Pathways Event

On March 16th, twenty-one juniors attended the VSAC Career and College Pathways event at St Michael’s College. Students were able to select three workshops led by local experts designed to connect students with resources and to feel more prepared as they begin to plan for life after high school. In addition, students were able to opt to tour the campus and all students experienced lunch in the dining hall.

Workshop options were:

• Paying for Education After High School

• Scholarships: Free Money!

• The College Search: Finding the Right Fit

• Career Search: Finding the Right Fit

• Navigating the Admissions Process

• Writing the Admissions Essay

• Non-Degree Pathways to a Great Career: Short-Term Training & Apprenticeships

• Money After High School

This event was supported by the VSAC Aspirations Partnership. The Aspirations work at Harwood is focusing on creating experiences and opportunities that support ALL Harwood students to graduate with a plan. One of our goals this year is to expose every junior to at least one post-high school opportunity through events like this, as well as tours and events at Norwich University, the Welding Institute, University of Vermont, The VTC Campus of Vermont State College and Community College of Vermont.

Dear HUUSD Families and Caregivers,

Lately, we’ve been thinking about the idea of Personal Responsibility. Is this a trait that people have or is it a skill that can be developed and improved? As we think about defining personal responsibility as a skill, we see that students demonstrate the skill of personal responsibility by taking ownership of their lives and acknowledging their power to choose what they think (including their attitudes and mindsets), say and do, and their accountability for the consequences of their choices.

Take a minute to think about the things your children are responsible for: their chromebook, their tool kits, their schedule and time management, chores around the home. Some are individual and some are collective, all are important. Starting small and building helps students be careful and reliable, building skills that will help with future successes.

The first step in helping students develop a sense of personal responsibility is to help them understand the why - why is this important? Next, we teach the how. When we can connect our choices to the outcomes (consequences), students gain greater understanding of how they can further their skills. For example, a child decides to play outside a little longer than usual, when they have the responsibility to let the dog out. The outcome is that perhaps the dog has made a mess inside. On the other side, a child makes the decision to stay home on Sunday and study instead of hanging out with friends, completes assignments on time and/or scores well on a summative assessment.

Having personal responsibility is not a skill that all children naturally develop. It needs to be cultivated and practiced. When we want our children to become better with their math facts, we provide opportunities to practice. When we want our children to become better at playing their instrument or sport, we provide them with opportunities to practice. The same is true for developing personal responsibility. Practice with personal responsibility will help them achieve the greatness they are all capable of. Practice doesn’t make perfection though, it makes growth. Mistakes will happen, they are kids after all. These become learning opportunities for us all, coaching toward perseverance and being responsible for themselves and their community.

“I long to accomplish some great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” – Helen Keller

Book resources:

Conversation Starters:

  • Someone slipped on the water you spilled and didn’t clean up. What should you do?

  • What can you do to take personal responsibility for your chores?What should you do if you stain a sweater that you borrowed from a friend?

  • You forgot to shut the gate. The dog gets out. What should you do?

More information:

All the best,



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