top of page
  • Writer's pictureWebmaster

Family Newsletter - 5.5.23

Harwood Families -

Last month we announced Cindy Pierce’s visit to Harwood Middle/High School.

Due to Advanced Placement testing and the VT CAP testing we have had to postpone her visit to this fall.

We are excited to host her for a community event on September 11th and for student assemblies on September 12th.

May is mental health awareness month and the Youth Enriching Wellness (YEWs) club is planning activities throughout the month of May to honor the need for all of us to become more aware and manage our own mental health.

Students should be on the lookout for extra wellness ELO offerings including activities such as rest and relaxation, woods walking, how to handle stress, alpaca visit, a guest speaker from NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) calm jar production, custom made trail mix, and more.

*Keep an eye out for our new mural collaboration between students and a local artist that is in the works in Harwood’s lobby that will honor mental health.

In addition, here are few recent resources and articles about student mental health that could be prompts to start dialogue at home:

Please remember: You can always reach out to trusted adults in the building if you are struggling. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!



  • 05/06 - SATs at HUHS

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

  • 05/11 - Career Fair - 11:30 - 1:30

  • 05/18 - Socrates Cafe

  • 05/20 - Jr. & Sr. Prom

  • 05/22 - 05/26 - SPIRIT WEEK!! (schedule here)

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

  • 06/02 - Step up Day for incoming 7th and 9th

  • 06/06 - Art Show - 6pm

  • 06/07 - Senior Field Trip

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

  • 06/08 - Senior Awards Night - 6pm

  • 06/10 - Graduation - 10am


Safe - seen, heard, respected & understood:



Student Support Services

DESSA Update

High School: In our continued effort to prioritize intentional response and intervention to our students' social emotional needs, we are administering for end of year data. DESSA is a tool that assesses 8 social and emotional skills; and helps our educators plan instruction, identify students’ strengths and areas of needs, and inform our continued work to provide programmatic interventions to support social emotional growth.

  • 3 TA meetings are dedicated to DESSA Self-Report (for students): the first to provide continued understanding for what the DESSA is and why it is important (May 11th); time to complete the self-report (May 16th), and a chance for students to process, and develop understanding (May 31st)

Middle School - Our middle school has completed its incredible participation in the research work with DESSA folks, to support its development for younger students. The folks from DESSA (Aperture Education) have informed us that a timeline for having a self-report available for the middle school population remains Fall 2023! Thank you to the middle school staff, students, and caregivers for supporting this research!

Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)

Our school is participating in the bi-annual YRBS.

Please see the link below with important information about the survey. If you would like to request that your student opt out, please complete the form (included in the linked document below) and return to Dr. Melody Frank, Director of Student Services

Parent Information/Opt Out Letter - YRBS

ELO 4th Quarter Offerings: Please check out this document - ELO Quarter 4 Offerings Document, and feel free to contact the folks leading the various groups with any questions. We encourage you to ask your student about what they may be involved in or may want to look into further.

Health Office Updates

Hello From the Health Office!

Hopefully the warmer weather has inspired you to get outside! We are seeing sunburns, scrapes, and random rashes. We’d like to share these tips from the American Academy of Dermatology for preventing poisonous plant rashes.

Rigorous & Robust Academic Program:



A group of Harwood 11th and 12th grade students visited UVM today for a presentation from the admissions office, a tour of campus, and lunch in the cafeteria

This year 19 students from Harwood competed in the annual University of Vermont Math Exam Competition. Two students performed exceptionally well. Adam Porterfield placed in the top 10% of all students who competed and will receive a certificate of merit. Astrid Kahn placed in 7th place overall. This is a challenging two hour exam created by UVM’s Math and Statistics department. The questions consist of a range of topics in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, set theory, probability, counting techniques, and general reasoning.

Astrid will be honored at a ceremony at the University of Vermont during their Math Day celebration on May 17th. We are all incredibly proud of all of our students who participated.

Ava Poutre was the winner of Washington County in the 42nd Annual Congressional Art Competition. This is a statewide high school art competition that is held every year. On May 5th, Ava and other high school participants throughout the state were honored for their art. Ava submitted a self-portrait acrylic painting.

In progress… STATE TESTING

VTCAP (Vermont Common Assessment Program) testing started this week in math, and will continue for the next two weeks for some students. Students in grades 3-9 are being assessed in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math, and students in grades 5, 8 and 11 in Science. The schedule for testing in our school is as follows:

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. Thank you for your support!

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:



Have a senior going to college in the fall? There are still many scholarships available that have upcoming deadlines. All scholarships and applications are listed in Naviance.

  • Macbook Award - interested in a new MacBook? (due 5/10)

  • Floria Ames Scholarship for $2,000 (due 5/15)

  • Alchemist Opportunity Fund for up to $6,000 over four years (due 5/12)

  • Harwood Booster Club for $500 (due 5/12)

Do you have a senior who is entering the workforce? Considering having them apply for the Alchemist Foundations’ Ready AF Award! This is a $500 cash award to help students get their start. More information about the application can be found in Naviance.

​Dear Families and Caregivers,

Take a minute to many decisions do you think you make every day? Hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands? The answer varies, but it is a lot. A LOT. And guess what, there are many decisions for your kids to make too. Making decisions or choices provides children with autonomy, ownership and a sense of control.

As caregivers, our hope is that they are making the best, most informed decisions possible. And the thing is, humans make mistakes, kids and adults alike, and when we do, the hope is that we can learn from it. Making decisions is a skill that should be practiced.

Here are a few things to consider:

Developmentally Appropriate - For our youngest children, limit the number of choices they have to make. Would you like to wear the red socks or the blue socks? Young children can become overwhelmed if there are too many choices to choose from. As children become more skilled in decision making, you can offer more choices.

Preview - Preview the possible outcomes of each choice ahead of time. For example, a middle school student is deciding whether or not hang out with friends on a Friday night. You might preview the choice by saying, “staying and hanging out with friends would be a lot of fun, and you have soccer in the morning and need to get up extra early to be ready. If you choose to come home now, you will be ready for tomorrow and have enough time to spend with friends after soccer practice.”

Reflecting - After a choice has been made and your child followed through, you might consider asking, how did that choice work for you? Would you make a different choice the next time?

Responsible decision making involves learning how to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse settings. So how do we help kids learn these important skills? Here are a few resources:

Making Tough Choices (Decisions) with Kid President


Conversation Starters:

  • Are you good at making decisions? Why or why not?

  • Tell me about a good decision you made.

  • Tell me about a bad decision you made.

  • Do you like to make choices? Why or why not?

  • Tell me one of your long-term goals.

  • Tell me one of your short-term goals.

  • Have you ever made a decision then changed your mind? If yes, explain the situation.

  • Have you ever asked the opinion of someone else before making a decision? If yes, explain the situation.

  • Do you think people make bad decisions because of peer pressure? Why or why not?

  • Tell me about a setback you had in your life.

  • Take Home Skill: Making Amends for Kids

  • Every Parent’s Guide to Decision Fatigue

Try playing a Game of Would you rather on your way home from the bus stop, school, or practice. You will get a feel for decisions your child makes and the thought process that goes into those decisions.

Remember the choices we make each day can make all the difference.

Thanks for all you do,

The SELTF (Justina, Shannon, Skye, Tara, Chelsea, Mandy)


bottom of page