Family Newsletter 8.16.21
Dear Harwood Families, The Harwood staff is eager and excited to welcome back our students in just a few weeks. In preparation, our custodial staff have been hard at work deeply cleaning the building, ensuring our fields are ready for a new fall sports season, and preparing for the arrival of new carpeting and furniture. Our Counseling office has been continuing to finalize our schedule for the year and our administrative assistants have been working tirelessly to ensure that every detail is addressed for the start of the year including parking and locker assignments. To support students and families in preparing for the start of school please complete the Harwood Unified Union School District Returning Students registration on our website. This will be live as of August 19th. This electronic process has replaced our paper system and does require you to use your powerschool login information. Communication to families in need of login information will be forthcoming in another communication. For those who have previous login information but are in need of assistance please reach out to Harwood’s Administrative Assistant, Shannon Tremblay at 802-583-8184 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for completing these forms prior to school beginning on August 26th. Additionally, we wanted to connect and share the information below. More communication will be forthcoming with final details for the start of the 2021-2022 school year.
Safety protocols and COVID-19 continues to play a role at school, just as elsewhere in our lives. The state of Vermont recently released guidance (which can be found here) last week indicating that we will continue masking, while indoors, of all students and staff. The expectation that anyone experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms stay home from school continues. Please see here for Superintendent Nease’s most recent communication regarding HUUSD’s COVID-19 safety protocols.
● Vaccination clinic -The best way to keep students safe and healthy – and to ensure a smooth return to full, in person learning – is to make sure they are vaccinated if they are age 12 or older. The vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing the most serious effects of COVID-19, including against the Delta variant. The sooner your students get a first dose, the sooner they will be closer to full vaccine protection. A full list of clinics, clinic hours and registration information can be found at healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine
● Family conferences - There have been many lessons learned during COVID. One is the power of starting the school year with family/school conferences. These conferences will be with Teacher Advisors, students and their families to foster connections, clarify expectations for the year and answer any lingering questions as we begin this new school year. PLEASE be on the lookout for communication from your child’s TA’s on Monday August 23rd to schedule your conference.
● Children need healthy meals to learn. The HUUSD offers healthy meals every school day. In the coming school year, all children will receive free breakfast and free lunch regardless of household income eligibility. It is still very important for families to submit the Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals to track our community’s Free and Reduced Percentage. Filling out and returning the application may help your family, the school, and community at large, qualify for other financial assistance. P-EBT benefits to your household, grant funds for the school, and telecom reimbursements for the community are just a few examples of the benefits of having higher Free and Reduced percentages.
● Free-Reduced Meals Cover Letter
● Free-Reduced Meals Application
2021-2022 schedule clarity - In your/your student’s schedule, you will see ELO and Flex blocks, and may see our new “guided instruction” courses (such as guided strategies or guided writing). Here is the intention of each of these different offerings: ● ELO: ELO stands for Extended Learning Opportunities and is in all students’ schedules on Wednesdays. Attendance in-person on Wednesdays (as with all other school days) is mandatory. Booking for each ELO block can change from week to week, with teachers having the ability to pre-book while students can also book themselves. The main purpose of ELO is to provide students the time for both support and enrichment within their current courses. Depending on the needs of individual students and courses, each student’s schedule on Wednesday will likely be a combination of
full class instruction addressing class needs
small group instruction for support or extension initiated by teachers
individual work time
Middle School will have core class instruction onWednesdays. HUMS special teachers will offer ELOs on Wednesdays.
● Flex Block (High School Only) : Flex block is in all students’ schedules two days a week. It is a longer block of time than ELO, and will be scheduled quarterly (ex. students will have the same Flex block assignment for all of Quarter 1). The main purpose of Flex block is to provide students the time to practice a skill, pursue a passion, or complete a course that was NYC (not yet complete) from the previous semester or school year. Students will be surveyed for their choices and assigned to specific Flex blocks in the first two weeks of the school year.
● Guided Instruction (High School Only): Some students may find “guided instruction” courses within their schedules, with titles like guided strategies or guided integrative thinking. These courses run for a full semester, and are designed to provide additional support and practice in specific skill areas based on Harwood’s Learning Expectations. Students who would benefit from this additional level of support were identified through last year’s learning expectation, performance indicator, and course scores.
Attendance Reminders and Expectations: As we seek to ensure all students are safe, seen, heard, respected and understood we wanted to share both reminders and expectations for attendance this coming school year.
● Students are expected to:
○ arrive on time prepared for learning by 8:40am, and for each block after that.
○ arrive with a completed google form if late; always arrive to class with a tardy note (from office or other teachers)
○ sign into front office or middle school office (if late to school - this includes seniors with Uptime)
○ sign out at front office (if leaving early - this includes seniors with Uptime)
● ATTENDANCE reminders:
● If your student is coming in tardy for any reason, or absent for any period of time for any reason, parents/guardians MUST complete an Absence/Tardy Form.
○ Students may not complete a form for themselves.
○ All forms MUST be submitted via google form prior to or by the arrival time or they will be considered unexcused.
○ If you do not have internet access please reach out to Melody Frank, Director of Student Support Services at email@example.com or 802.583.8167 so she can support necessary communication.
● Repeated tardiness (more than 2 unexcused tardies) for Student drivers will result in their parking privileges being suspended.
● If your child is out more than 3 consecutive days for an illness, you will need to provide a doctor’s note for absences to be excused. Doctor’s notes can be faxed to the nursing department.
● Lockers Update: All students will be assigned a locker with a lock at the start of the year to keep their personal items in during the day.
2021-2022 School Year Calendar
● August 26th - 7th/9th grade FIRST DAY - to support our new Harwood students we will have a day for them to get to know the building and run their schedule without the rest of their peers in the building.
● August 27th - FIRST DAY for all Harwood students 7-12
● Please note that both the High School and Middle School will be emailing our blogs/newsletters twice a month to keep our school community connected with important updates, information and upcoming events and celebrations of learning.
NEW 2021-2022 bus routes
● 2021-2022 start and end times: Please note - Harwood doors will open at 8:30 each morning with the day officially starting at 8:40 and ending at 3:20.
We are excited to learn and grow with our whole community this coming school year. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
Meg McDonough - Co Principal of Harwood Union, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurie Greenberg - Co Principal of Harwood Union, email@example.com
Duane Pierson - Assistant Principal, Middle School Leader, firstname.lastname@example.org