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Family Newsletter 9.1.23

Harwood Families -

The first day of school brings a special mix of excitement and nerves as students and staff greet each other - some for the first time and some after two months apart. The excitement of connecting and seeing how much everyone has grown always brings smiles.

To ensure all felt welcome and ready for the day, Harwood’s school counselors greeted students when they arrived and distributed schedules.

Afterwards the entire school community - grades 7-12 - gathered in the auditorium for our annual first day assembly. Student and Staff Plaid spread Harwood spirit along with our Staff band who opened with some jamming and dancing.

The learning then commenced and expectations for learning were reviewed.

The 2023-2024 school year is off to a great start and we’re looking forward to all the fun ahead.



  • 9/04 - NO School/Labor Day

  • 9/05 & 9/06 - 3:30 - 5:00 - Fall play auditions

  • 9/06 - 6 -7 p.m. Rwanda Study Informational meeting (Harwood library)

  • 9/08 - 10:30 - 1:15 p.m.- Middle School Regatta

  • 9/12 & 09/13 - Middle School musical auditions

  • 9/14 - Photo day *details to come

  • 9/22 - 9-10:30 a.m. College Fair

  • 9/28 - 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Open House


Cultivating and maintaining a sense of belonging, pride and purpose



​If you haven’t yet registered your student - please take a few minutes to do so now by clicking here.


Come out and support our student athletes please find our most current schedules here and next week’s games here:

For athletes currently playing a Fall sport: If you are interested in using this season toward your PE credit requirement, you must enroll in the following PE: Athletics Fall Classroom and submit your first assignment no later than Friday, September 8, 2023. Please note that no extensions will be given.

Here is the information for the PE:Athletics Fall Classroom

Link -

Code - fydkj74

If you have any questions please contact Katie Pike ( as soon as possible.

​Dear Parents/Guardians,

In School Year 2023-2024, all students will receive free breakfast and lunch at school. Even though there is no charge for breakfast and lunch, we are asking you to fill out this application for free and reduced-price school meals.

If many families fill out and return this form, we will get more funding.

Please see the attached letter and application for more information.

Best wishes,

Meg Libby, HUUSD Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent

2023-24 Free Reduced Letter.pdf

2023-24 Free Reduced Letter.pdf2023-24 Free Reduced Application.pdf

Attendance: Being on time and prepared for school and class matters! Over the first couple weeks of school (and beyond), our team is available to help you navigate the building, learn the bells, and know your schedule so you can be where you need to be, on time, and ready to go!

  • Reminder: Student attendance is taken at the beginning of class, after the second bell.

***If your student is going to be absent, tardy, and/or dismissed early from any school day, remember to fill out our Attendance Form, also found on the front page of our Harwood Website.

​This summer the school district received updated guidance from the Vermont Agency on Education pursuant to fire drills (school evacuations) and intruder drills based on a recent change in state law. In light of ongoing national concerns related to maintaining safe schools, the school district would like to share our plans with families so that conversations about the importance of safety is discussed both in school and in the home.

Throughout the school year, our schools practice drills for fire and other related security issues. It is important for students and staff to be familiar with the process, procedures and routines. With each drill, we learn ways to refine and improve our safety plans.

We will talk with your child about the various exercises, the reasons why we conduct them and the best ways to remain safe. Please help us in conveying to your child the importance of these drills so we are prepared in the event of a real emergency.

The safety and security of our students and staff is of the utmost importance. We will continue to partner with law enforcement and other emergency responders as we continually revisit our procedures and routines to refine our safety plans. Thank you for taking the time to talk with your child about this issue. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Bethany (

Health Office Updates

The Vermont Department of Health recommends that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 stay home when they are sick. If you test positive for COVID-19, you should begin the process of isolation. Please see Vermont Department of Health guidance on what to do if you test positive. Isolate at home away from other people for at least 5 days. Day 0 is the day your symptoms started OR the date of your test if you have no symptoms. Get medical care immediately if you have trouble breathing or chest pain.

You can return to school on Day 6 if your COVID-19 symptoms have improved, and you have been fever free for 24 hours without using medication to reduce your fever.

Please see the Vermont Department of Health Close Contact guidance on protocols if you have been exposed to COVID-19. The school district has a limited number of COVID antigen tests available. Please contact your school nurse if you are in need of a test kit.

As of August 25, 2023, the Vermont Department of Health recommends that if you do not have symptoms but have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, it is recommended to test five (5) full days after the COVID-19 exposure.

  • If you use an at-home antigen test and the result is negative, test again 48 hours later.

  • If you have a negative PCR or LAMP test, no follow-up test is needed.

Vaccinations for COVID-19 are available at local pharmacies and your primary care provider’s office. The Vermont Department of Health supports COVID-19 vaccines as the safer way to build protection from serious illness.

The last day to make schedule changes is Friday, September 8th!

School counselors help all students:

  • Apply academic achievement strategies

  • Manage emotions and apply interpersonal skills

  • Plan for postsecondary options (higher education, military, work force)

We’re more than just schedule changes! Reach out to us for any issue or concern you have related to a student you work with. We’re here to help problem solve, support and advocate for what students need.

Strengthening and sustaining a rigorous and robust academic program



Extended Learning Opportunities

ELO stands for Extended Learning Opportunities and is in all students’ schedules in both the middle and high school. The first day of teacher- and student- booked ELO is this Friday 9/8. Students will view and book their ELOs through a program called Adaptive Scheduler.

In the high school, students will book their ELOs in TA. More details on high school ELO can be found here and will be shared with students through TA.

In the middle school, students will book their ELOs with the support of their team teachers.

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, each student’s ELO blocks over the course of a week could include

  • small group instruction for support or extension in a specific course or skill

  • individual work time

  • clubs, school-wide assemblies, and other activities that support social/emotional wellbeing and community


All students and families will receive JumpRope login information in the next two weeks so that you can track students’ progress in their courses throughout the year. It is important to note that, as courses ramp up at the beginning of the school year, a course will not appear on your dashboard in JumpRope until the first score has been entered by a teacher.

Throughout the year, we will email JumpRope progress reports home that show more detailed information about student progress on our Learning Expectations (the transferable skills that students are practicing in their courses). These progress reports will be emailed home at the midpoint and end of each quarter, and will also prompt conferencing between students and their TA teacher.

If you are looking at JumpRope and have course-specific questions, please email the teacher. If you have general JumpRope questions, reach out to Jessica Deane, teaching and learning coordinator, at

Harwood Union High School Driver’s Education Program

Harwood Union High School will continue to provide Driver’s Education opportunities to our students eligible with a valid permit through private driving schools during the 2023-2024 school year. Jerry Cassel and Paul Dudley will each be providing 2 different courses - for a total of 4 - summer, fall, winter and spring.

Program details:

As dictated by the Department of Motor Vehicles, Jerry Cassels or Paul Dudley will provide the following in order for students to complete a “Vermont Driver Safety Certification”:

- 30 hours of classroom instruction

- 6 hours of supervised driving

- 6 hours of in-car observation time

All instruction, driving and observation time will be completed outside of school hours. Please see below for additional details:

- Parent night will be held in advance of course starting

- Instruction will be in person

- In person instruction will take place at Harwood Union High school

- Courses will run for 6-8 weeks depending on the session

- 4 sessions will be provided - summer, fall, winter & spring

Fall Course: (Dudley’s Driving Academy)

October 27th - December 22nd

Winter Course: (Mad River Valley Driving)

January 17th - February 21st

Spring Course: (Mad River Valley Driving)

April 10th - May 26th

Please note -

- Registration priority will be given according to age with 12th, 11th, then 10th and finally 9th grade.

- Students will not receive Harwood credit for Driver’s Education courses.

- Harwood Union High School will be billed directly for the cost of each student's course.

For more information or to register students, families should call or email Jerry Cassels or Paul Dudley depending on the session. Please see contact information below:

Jerry Cassels - Mad River Valley Driving

Website -


Paul Dudley - Dudley’s Driving Academy


*details regarding each course will be communicated to families and students upon request to the instructor.

Harwood Celebrates Students Awarded with Academic Honors from

College Board National Recognition Program

We’re celebrating our own Michael Casey, Crow FitzPatrick, and Natalia Roscioli, three of 72,000 students from across the country who earned academic honors from College Board’s National Recognition Programs! They each received an award from the National Rural and Small Town Award (NRSTA). The National Recognition Programs honor the strong academic achievements of underrepresented students. They’re an easy way for students to showcase their hard work in high school. The programs not only benefit students. They also benefit colleges looking to recruit diverse, talented students.

Eligible students must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. They’re the top 10% of PSAT/NMSQT® or PSAT™ 10 assessment takers in each state for each program or have earned a score of 3 or higher on two or more AP® Exams. They either attend school in a rural area or small town, or identify as African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, or Indigenous/Native. They’re invited to apply during their sophomore or junior year. Students who are awarded recognition will be notified at the beginning of the next school year.

Congratulations Michael, Crow, and Natalia!

Community Announcements:

The HUUSD and the Flynn are thrilled to bring Playing Fields to Crossett Brook Middle School.

12-foot tall, luminous horses will light up the fields and joust, dance, and play with the audience to bring a whimsical and surprising back-to-school celebration to the school district and surrounding community. Bring your friends, family, and neighbors to come play with us on Thursday, September 14.

Doors open: 6:00pm

Show starts: 6:30pm


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