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Family Newsletter- 5.7.21

Harwood Families -

It is a joy to have the hallways filled with laughter and the energy of your students again!

The resilience, flexibility, patience and adaptability of our community - experienced throughout this year - was again our reality as we have pivoted back to 4 days all together.

We are excited to announce that the traditions that come with the end of a school year will be happening this year!

  • May 22nd 8-10 p.m. - Prom at Mad River Barn

  • June 1st - 8th grade End of Year trip

  • June 7th - Highlander Transition Day for our rising 7th and 9th graders

  • June 7th - 11th - Spirit week

  • June 12th 10 a.m. - Graduation under the tent at Harwood

Communication regarding the details of these events will be shared with the appropriate parties as we move forward. All activities will follow the guidance outlined by the Vermont Forward Plan.

Thank you for your continued partnership,

Meg, Duane and Laurie



What does Block 4 look like at Harwood right now - i.e. what is ELO and Flex Block?

  • Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) is a time for students to receive support from their teachers. It is a time for additional support, extension support, clarifying questions, additional work time and generally speaking an ideal time to ensure understanding before the next class block.

  • Flex Block is a time for students to partake in a 6 week experience that allows them to pursue an interest with a staff member they might not otherwise and/or to extend their learning or complete coursework if necessary.

As we support students in a smooth transition back to more days on site we want to ensure we’re maximizing this time for academic support and continuing to strengthen relationships and foster a community where all feel safe - seen, heard, respected and understood.

How is it marked if a student is dismissed early from school?

  • This an unexcused absence. It follows the same expectations as our attendance policy.

What steps need to be taken by families and students for an early dismissal?

  • Families need to complete the absence doc.

  • Students need to sign out with the front desk



  • Calendar Updates:

  • 05/22 - Prom

  • 05/25 & 5/27 - Parent/TA conferences

  • 06/07 - 06/11 - Spirit week

  • 06/04 - All Summatives for S2/Q4 need to be complete

  • 06/11 - Last day of school

  • 06/12 - Harwood Graduation *details forthcoming

Parent/TA conferences

It has become Harwood tradition over the last several years to hold Spring, student-led conferences. This has been an opportunity for students to explore and share their personal and academic growth over the course of the year. This year, we intend to continue this tradition with a bit of a different focus. Recognizing the resilience shown this year due to the many challenges faced, our focus in conferences will be on reflection. Dave Melnick, LICSW, in his 2020 Resource Document (COVID-19 ~ End Well, Prepare Well, Begin Well: Reestablishing the School as Community) states: “During collective crises, it is even more important to make meaning of the events that have occurred. Meaning making is a process of reflecting about, learning from, integrating knowledge, and improving oneself following significant events.” In TA we will be considering a series of guiding questions to support students to reflect on the year considering how they have grown in response to the challenges faced this year. When we meet with you in May, your student will share their perspective on this growth and how it may serve them in the future. Students are also being challenged to create a representation of this growth in a manner they choose (s/a video, visual art, audio, music, video, etc.).

What: Student Led Reflection Conference

Who: Student, Parent/Guardian, Teacher Advisor

When: May 25th and May 27th from 3:00 - 6:00 PM

How: Through Zoom meetings

Sign Up: Please be on the lookout for a message from your child’s Teacher Advisor who will be sending out a google sign up during the week of May 3rd.

It is our hope that this collective conversation will be one of the steps in moving forward into a post-pandemic world.

You are the most important partner for your student in supporting their success, so it is essential that you be part of this process. We are also on board to support their reflection as they look forward into the future. Please feel free to contact us with questions you have about the process.

Thank you for the ongoing support of your student’s growth and learning. (not for grade 12)We look forward to continuing our partnership through the conferences and beyond. (Grade 12) It is hard to believe this will be our last “official” meeting with you and your student. It has been an honor to be on this four year journey with you.

SBAC update

Please note that Harwood Union will be participating in the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBAC) this spring. The SBAC is designed for students in grades 3-8 and 11, and measures achievement in English Language Arts, Science and Mathematics. Our schedule for testing students will begin on May 3 and end May 21. Assessment results will not be utile for accountable measures this school year. There is no opt out option for families

Z-Pass Update with busses

All Harwood bus riders will be required to swipe their Harwood Transit Cards when boarding, riding or departing a school bus. In the event a student loses their ID or it is damaged, they will receive an additional ZPass ID free of charge during our pilot time period. If a student loses their ID, they will not be denied transportation; however they will need to obtain a replacement ID from the main office in a timely manner. Daily bus students will be required to use their Transit Card each time they enter or exit a bus. At this time we are only utilizing this system for daily school bus transportation.



Updates from our Health Office:

  • Please contact the school nurses with your questions and to report any positive COVID test result. Phone: 802-583-8151

How many people can be at a gathering or event?

Vermont has limits on social gatherings and events based on whether you are fully vaccinated or not. You are fully vaccinated 14 days after your final shot. Since children under age 16 cannot get vaccinated at this time, they are considered unvaccinated.

As of May 1, the following limits apply to both social gatherings at a private residence and events at a venue. If you don’t know if someone is fully vaccinated, then assume everyone is unvaccinated and follow that guidance. Find out when the limits will change again.

For indoor gatherings:

There can be one unvaccinated person per 100 square feet up to 150 unvaccinated people (whichever is less), plus any number of fully vaccinated people. 100 square feet is about the area covered by a big sports utility vehicle (SUV).

  • If only fully vaccinated people are at the gathering, no one needs to wear a mask or stay 6 feet apart.

  • If anyone at the gathering is unvaccinated, at higher risk of severe COVID-19, or lives with someone who is at higher risk, then everyone needs to wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart.

For outdoor gatherings:

There can be 300 unvaccinated people, plus any number of fully vaccinated people.

  • When you’re outdoors, masks are only required when you’re in a crowd or with multiple other households where you can’t maintain a 6-foot distance. Follow this guidance whether you are vaccinated or not.

If you are a visitor traveling to Vermont and staying at a lodging establishment, short-term rental, or with friends and family, must follow these gathering restrictions. Staying with another household is considered a social gathering and you must follow the rules listed above.

Check the current mask requirements.


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