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Family Newsletter 4.14.23

Harwood Families -

Cindy Pierce will be visiting Harwood Middle/High School in June, providing both a parent/caregiver evening presentation and two student presentations for 7th & 8th graders, and 9th-12th graders. This will be a presentation culminating a variety of events and offerings

throughout the month of May, focused on mental health and wellness. Cindy Pierce is an author, educational speaker, sexuality educator, comic storyteller, innkeeper and mom of three young adults. Combining years of research with her storytelling skills, she engages audiences with her message about making healthy choices and navigating cultural pressures, both online and off. It has become increasingly challenging for young people to feel at ease, worthy and relevant as they attempt to find balance in their busy lives. Cindy is the author of three books, including: Sexploitation: Helping Kids Develop Healthy Sexuality in a Porn-Driven World. She and her husband, Bruce Lingelbach are the parents of three young adults and run Pierce’s Inn in Etna, NH. You can learn more about Cindy’s work at

A year ago the data from the district Climate Survey reflected the following focus areas for Harwood.

Much work has been initiated and done throughout this year to address these areas of growth including the:

1. creation and implementation of of an internal Behavioral/Incident Response Guide (HU BIRG)

2. creation of the Student voice collective with student representation across Harwood

3. reinvigorated Harwood’s expectations and values

4. revitalization of the Harwood Change Process to increase student voice and participation

5. increased use of data collection strategies and action planning specifically as it pertains to our children’s sense of belonging and well being

6. development of a Restorative Practices program

7. development of a School-Based Mental Health Program

8. development of Series ELOs (Extended Learning Opportunities) and a Wellness Series Menu

The impact of these actions is reflected in our Belonging survey results given to students earlier this Spring.

*Student Responses: 7th-12th grade (324/569) = 57%

Thank you for your collective effort to continue to support ALL our students in feeling safe - seen, heard, respected and understood!

In other exciting news - the next edition of the Common Ground has been published - including a wonderful article about last weekend's production of Sound of Music!



Safe - seen, heard, respected & understood:



Student Support Services

YEWS! Leading the Way!! Our incredible student group - the YEWS are leading the way with putting together an incredible Mental Health Awareness month. In partnership with the Student Support Collective, Student Voice Collective, the YEWS are putting together a full slate of activities, offerings, and community presenters. Please check out the next newsletter for details about events in school, and after school, including for parents/caregivers.

ELO Series:

The new ELO series are anticipated to begin next week, April 17th. A full description of the opportunities will be shared in the next newsletter. Please reach out to Dr. Melody Frank, Director of Student Services if you have questions about the various offerings that may be coming up (

Health Office Updates

Hello from the Heath Office!

Hello Spring, *sniff sniff. We are seeing many complaints about seasonal allergies from both staff and students alike. Our mild winter may be contributing to a more intense allergy season. Steps you can take to lessen the impact can be found here.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. National data shows that Vermonters in all age groups - youth (12-17), young adults (18-25), and adults (26+) - drink alcohol at higher rates compared to the country overall. People who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at 21.

For more information on this important topic, please follow this link.

Student Led Conferences are underway!

Dates and times: Thursday, April 13th and Wednesday April 19th from 3:30-7:00

Purpose: For your student to reflect on progress toward the goal(s) set in November, bright spots and challenges for the year and an opportunity to look forward toward opportunities for next year and beyond.

Seniors will be conducting an Exit Conference. This conference provides an opportunity for seniors to look back over their four years here and share what stands out as well as offer ideas for how we could continue to improve students’ experience through Harwood.

Process: Your student’s TA sent an email invitation with a method to sign up for a 30 minute slot (in person or virtually). If you have not received this invitation please reach out to the TA teacher.

Questions? Contact Ellen Berrings (

Rigorous & Robust Academic Program:




​Harwood is eager to continue to strengthen our communication and partnership with families and guardians.

With that in mind, we are hoping for some feedback from you about conferences and other information/learning you would like from Harwood as we all work together to support your child throughout High School years.

Please complete this Family/Guardian Conference survey to provide us this feedback.

We look forward to reviewing your thoughts as we plan for next year.

Several Harwood 7th and 8th graders to the Vermont History Day competition at UVM. We had nineteen students (!) compete in this event for which they chose a historical topic related to the contest theme Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas. Students chose a variety of topics that interested them and we are so proud of them. We wanted to share the competitors' and prize winners' names with you so you can congratulate them when you see them!

Prize winners:

1st Place Junior Individual Website - Will Clark (Frontiers in History: The Manhattan Project)

1st Place Junior Individual Performance - Jane Schaefer (Sister Kenny Live and In Person)

3rd Place Junior Individual Performance - Eireann McDonough (Taylor Swift in History)

2nd Place Junior Individual Documentary - Tarin Askew (Stonewall Riots)

3rd Place Junior Individual Documentary - Jocelyn Brauer (Harvey Milk: Expanding Frontiers in Politics)

Freedom and Unity Award - Emily Hill (exhibit titled Athenian Democracy)

Women's History Award - Maisy Gendimenico (exhibit titled The Radium Girls)


Lily Adair with an exhibit titled Pablo Picasso and the Great Cubism

Emma Aither with an exhibit titled The Life of Amelia Earhart

Joc Bellanca with an exhibit titled Anne Frank

Nora Cosgrove with an exhibit titled Frontiers in History: Pearl Harbor

Caroline Cox with an exhibit titled The Story of Irena Sendler, Savior of the Holocaust

Harmony Devoe with a documentary titled The Boom: How a Generation Crossed a Frontier

Ben Goldhammer with an exhibit titled Kate Warne: The First Female Detective

Claire Nagurney with an exhibit titled The AAGPBL: Frontier Women in Baseball

Cali Neville with an exhibit titled William Dorsey Swann: The Queen of Drag

Cora Potts with an exhibit titled The Rwandan Genocide

Sydney Schaller with an exhibit titled Marsha P. Johnson and the Stonewall Riots: A Frontier in Queer History

Rowan Sexton with an exhibit titled Surrealism Art: Breakthroughs in Art History

We are so proud of these young scholars. If you see them, don't hesitate to congratulate them or ask them about their projects! They're the experts, after all. :)

ELO Series

ELO Series are here for Quarter 4!

An ELO series is a set of ELO sessions with the same group of students engaging in learning/work/activities around the same topic over time. Participating in an ELO series is optional - students can choose to participate, or can continue with the other ELO options available. ELO Series are starting up for Quarter 4 next week, with a few more starting when we get back from April break!

Mary Holden Wellness Garden Development with Paul Kramer and Chris Urban

Junior Jumpstart (college personal essay writing) with Kate Stauss and Ellen Parent

SAT Math Prep with Jason Reichert and Darcy Buret

I Heart Shakespeare with Jonah Ibson

Probability and the Game of Pig with Tom Strasser

Body Image Resilience with Korie Born

Students who are interested can check out this document for more details, can reach out to the teacher to sign up ahead of time, or can sign themselves up in Adaptive Scheduler next week!

Quarter 3 comes to an end!

​It’s here! The end of Quarter 3!

Quarter 3 officially ended on Friday 3/31, and JumpRope reports were emailed home last Friday 4/7.

With one quarter remaining in the 2022-2023 school year, it is an important time to review progress in classes with your student(s). Here is a guide to Understanding JumpRope to help with interpreting scores. If you have questions that are specific to a certain course, please reach out to the teacher. If you have general questions about JumpRope, you can reach out to Jess Deane (

Coming in May… STATE TESTING

​VTCAP (Vermont Common Assessment Program) testing is coming up right after April vacation! 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. 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.

If you are interested in more information about the VTCAP tests, check out this press release, and this practice test site.

Positive school climate and culture:



We are excited to announce and welcome the following new staff to Harwood for the 23-24’ school year.

​Our new Assistant PrincipalBethany Turnbaugh:

I am so honored to be joining the HUUSD as the Assistant Principal at Harwood Union. I grew up in the Mad River Valley and feel a deep love and connection to this community. To have the opportunity to serve the HUUSD as an Educational Leader is a very exciting and meaningful way to give back and have a positive impact on our students and families as they prepare to move into the world and become productive, kind, thoughtful citizens.

I received my BA from Framingham State University in Psychology with a minor in education and later, my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northern Vermont University at Johnson. Currently I am enrolled at Castleton to complete my course work in the Educational Leadership program. My work is grounded in Trauma Informed Restorative Practices and influenced by Non-violent Communication. I have had the opportunity to work with a wide range of ages and abilities from birth all the way through age 70. I bring with me a deep understanding for mental health and well-being. This therapeutic lens allows me the opportunity to step back from a specific behavior or incident and identify developing skills or unmet needs and learn towards more restorative practices as we work to pull students in and form relationships and connections when they have historically been pushed out in punitive measures.

I live in the Mad River Valley with my two children. We love to ski, hike, kayak and play outside. I have a deep appreciation for the natural world and bring this love to the work that I do, the way that I parent and the way that I find joy.

Our new Athletic Director, Ian Fraunfelder:

I was born and raised in Southwestern New Hampshire and currently reside there with my wife and two young children. I attended Colby-Sawyer College and graduated with a degree in Exercise and Sports Sciences with a specialization in Sport Management. After graduating I spent time as a ski instructor, coaching indoor and outdoor track, field hockey and ice hockey. In 2009 I was hired as the Activities Director for Bellows Falls Union High School in Westminster, Vermont. During my time at Bellows Falls I also spent three years as the Recreation Director for the Town of Swanzey, New Hampshire. My family and I are very excited to move up and join the Harwood community this summer and put roots down.

​Another new English teacher - Kristina Patterson:

I have been teaching high school English since 2015, learning more about the power of story to shape individuals and communities each year. Originally from New Hampshire, I earned my undergraduate degree in Literary Studies and Geography at Middlebury College, and recently returned to Vermont last summer. I continued my studies at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, and later at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire while I was in the classroom. My teaching is based in fostering dialogue and respect, and empowering students to think critically and creatively, and to communicate purposefully. When not teaching, I find tremendous joy in being outside with my husband and two daughters.

On April 12th, a Middle Career Fair was held at Crossett Brook Middle School for all Harwood and Crossett middle school students. The goal was to introduce students to potential career paths and postsecondary options. The career fair helped students identify interests that may warrant further exploration, especially as they enter high school. Over forty businesses throughout Vermont came to engage students in conversations about their careers and spark interest in their respective fields. Ask your middle school student about one take from attending the career fair.

Harwood Rotary Interact News

​The Mad River Rotary is sponsoring a Rise Against Hunger meal packaging event! Harwood Rotary Interact is supporting this event through outreach and with volunteers from our club. The goal is to gather 70 volunteers aged 4 and above to package 14,000 rice-based meals that will be delivered to schools and orphanages in developing countries. The event is a high-energy, fun way to make a difference in the lives of families where this might be the only meal they’ll have.

When? Saturday, May 20th from 10:00 AM - Noon

Where? Harwood Union cafeteria

Families are encouraged to get involved by visiting and completing the sign up form.

For more information contact: Pete Colgan at 781-771-5568 or

Student Government News!!!

​On Friday, April 14th Harwood Student Government hosted a Blood Drive. This was the first drive since 2020 and the students, staff and community came through in an amazing way. The group surpassed the goal of 45 appointments with a total of 60! 72% of the donors were first time donors. According to our contact, Kathleen Luce, people who begin donating early in life, become lifelong donors. The excitement among the students was infectious and students learned the importance of the blood supply through daily “Blood Drive Fun Facts” through our announcements.

Upcoming Field Trips

University of Vermont Campus Visit - May 3rd, 2023 from 8:45am - 2:00pm

Curious about what life is like on a college campus? Interested in seeing first hand what the University of Vermont has to offer you in terms of academics, extracurriculars and job preparation? Come along on a field trip to explore what our state's top research university is all about. With 11,000 undergraduate students it will provide an idea about what a medium sized college campus will be like. The visit will encompass an information session, tour with current students and lunch in the dining hall. Permission forms are available in the school counseling office. Return them by Friday, April 21th if you'd like to take part.

Advanced Welding Institute Campus Visit - May 10th, 2023 from 9:00am - 12:00pm

Interested in exploring what a career in welding could look like? Wondering what the difference between structural and pipe welding might be? Join us on a field trip to the Advanced Welding Institute to experience an accelerated welding program, hands on training and an educational environment like no other. Instructors here work one on one with each student to train and prepare them for rewarding career opportunities in welding. Permission forms are available in the school counseling office. Return them by Monday, May 8th if you'd like to attend.

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.

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.


The senior class will be going to Six Flags on Wednesday, June 7th. All seniors are invited to attend, including Early College students. Permission slips have been emailed to everyone in the class and they are due by April 21st.

​Spread the word and share with your students and their guardians/families.

It’s never too early to learn about ways to pay for future education and training!

Join VSAC Aspirations School Specialist, Ellen Bagnato, at Harwood on Thursday, May 4 at 6:00 pm to learn about how to save, plan and pay for education and training after high school.

There are many pathways to success after high school and they don’t have to involve too much debt.

Middle school- 11th grade students and families are encouraged to attend!

​Curious about the field of Bioengineering? Join the next teen science cafe!

When: Saturday April 15

Time: 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Topic: Joining Neurology, Muscles and Machines to Enhance Health and Mobility (Learn more here)

Biomedical engineering offers a pathway for combining a desire to help others with an interest in engineering and technology. In this café you’ll learn about the field of biomedical engineering, with a focus on emerging engineering solutions for neurological problems. Participants will explore three hands-on activities focusing on new treatments that expand patients’ ability to interact with their environment after neurological injury or limb loss.

This cafe is being led by Nic Fiorentino, a biomechanist with a mechanical engineering background in solid mechanics and dynamics. His areas of expertise include biomechanics, orthopedics, and imaging. His long-term research goals are to improve the overall health and well-being of those who have suffered an injury and to reduce the burden from all disabling musculoskeletal conditions. He leads the Musculoskeletal Imaging and Orthopaedic Biomechanics (MIOB) research laboratory at UVM.

Make sure to register ahead of time so we know how much pizza to order.

Click here to register

On Wednesday, April 6th, Harwood Community Learning Center (HCLC) students attended the Personalized Learning Summit at UVM's Davis Center to share their independent projects with fellow students from similar VT-based high school programs. HCLC is a flexible pathway that allows students to personalize their core academics, develop community-based projects focused on their interests, and explore opportunities for their life after high school. It is open to all juniors and seniors."

A group of Harwood sophomores and juniors visited the Central Vermont College Fair where they had the opportunity to meet admissions representatives from over 70 colleges & universities and tour the Norwich University campus.

​Click HERE for the 2023-2024 School Calendar.


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