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Family Newsletter 9.29.23

Harwood Families -

It was wonderful to see so many families and students during our Open House last night. A HUGE thank you to our assembly crew for sharing a snapshot with our larger community of how we gather at Harwood to have fun, learn and celebrate.

Hopefully dinner was enjoyed by all! We are so grateful for the incredible work of our Kitchen Staff who bring healthy and delicious meals to our students each day. Last night many students both prepared and served a meal that allowed families and guardians to experience what students eat every day.

Another thank you to our Student Council members who welcomed everyone as they entered Harwood.

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

Please see our Conference & Family/Guardian Engagement Schedule for 2023-2024.

With gratitude,

Meg, Laurie and Bethany




Cultivating and maintaining a sense of belonging, pride and purpose:




​Greeting Harwood Community. For the fall sports we have almost hit the

midway point of the season. If you plan to come and support the student athletes please check our calendar here.

It’s also time to start thinking about the winter season. To register for the winter sports season please click here. The winter parents meeting will be held on November 16th at 6pm at Harwood Union High School. Scheduled will be released soon.

Save the date, this year's Club Fair will be held on Oct 11th during the school day.

For a current list of clubs please click here. Come check out the existing clubs and come see what's new this year.

Meet the Student Support Team!

Our team works to provide a proactive, restorative, comprehensive student centered approach, to meet the social, emotional, physical health, and behavioral needs of all students. To learn more about what we do and who we are click here.


​With a recent increase in illnesses, including COVID-19, across the state, we wanted to remind our school community of current guidelines.

Whether it’s COVID-19, flu, RSV or another contagious illness, everyday measures can protect you from getting sick or spreading germs:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or tissue.

  • Avoid contact with others if you or they are sick.

  • Consider wearing a mask, especially if you or people you are with are at higher risk of serious illness or if you have recently been around someone with symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Stay home when you are sick. If you feel well enough to be at school, no matter what is causing your illness, consider wearing a mask to protect others.

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 the 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 your test date 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. You can also order one set of 4 free at-home tests from

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. It is important to stay current on all of your vaccines, including Flu and COVID-19.

School Safety

​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 are 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.

Semester 1 Drill Schedule:

  • September Fire Drill and Secure the building

  • October Fire Drill and Bus Evacuation

  • November Secure the Perimeter

  • December Fire Drill

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 Turnbaugh at .

Safety Poster

​The theme for October is Community and Belonging!

During this month we will be holding circle dialogues focused on this theme. To kick off the month our circle will dig into what it means to have a sense of belonging at Harwood with the goal of developing ideas to insure that ALL members of our school community feel seen, heard and valued. We are using the 5 Pillars of Belonging as a guide for this first conversation.

In addition to circles we will be holding a Club Fair to allow students to explore all of the rich options we have at Harwood. Students will be able to review the list of clubs in advisory in order to prepare for the fair.

Finally, TAs will be engaged in the Harvest Fest activities during the week of October 16th!

Financial Aid Support Through VSAC

The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, VSAC, offers families resources and support with locating sources of funding for postsecondary opportunities. Check out their website to find upcoming events for families to create an FSA ID and assistance with filing the FAFSA (when it becomes available in December)

The first College and Training Fair of the year was a huge success! Students in grades 10 - 12 had the opportunity to speak to over 50 representatives from organizations seeking to help students find their path forward after high school

The Task Force for Anti-Racism is a district-wide initiative made up of faculty and staff from schools across the district who are committed to creating inclusive learning environments. The TFAR Instagram was created in the spring of 2023, by Harwood senior Janelle Hoskins, with the intention of highlighting anti-bias work that HUUSD teachers and schools are promoting. Check out their instagram page!

Strengthening and sustaining a rigorous and robust academic program:




Progress Reports

​Monday, September 25th marked the half-way point of Quarter 1 in our school year and a good time to start monitoring academic progress. Progress reports were emailed to students and families from Jennifer Shaub through JumpRope. These progress reports will be sent at the midpoint and end of every quarter, with the intention of helping students, families, and TAs monitor progress. This guide also includes a few graphics that give more information. Make sure to look at both sections of the report, and keep in mind that for high schoolers:

  • In order for a course to count toward graduation, the course score must fall in the Proficient range or above (2.6 or greater). These are seen in the first section of the progress report.

  • In order for Learning Expectations to be on track for graduation, the scores must fall in the Proficient range or above (2.6 or greater). These are seen in the section section of the progress report.

Course scores and Learning Expectation scores will change as assessments are added throughout the semester or year (depending on the course) and scores are not final until that time. Feel free to reach out to Jess Deane (Teaching and Learning Coordinator) at with general questions, or email teachers for course-specific details.

A note from Jane Regan and Phil Stetson

One of the guiding questions of the first unit of 9th grade Global Studies/Social Studies is: "Where am I in time and place?" The project asks students to choose a time period, do research from a list of sources, take notes using the "Cornell note-aker" format, and then - mixing facts

with a little bit of imagination - write about and depict what this place looked like and was like, during that period. Students depicted, the Laurentide Ice Sheet, the "years of the Moose'' as the Abenaki call a period pre-BCE, the "year without a summer" (1816), the aftermath of the 1931 eugenics

laws and a dozen other moments in the history of "here." (The project is based on a book called "Here".) Families and parents are invited to come check it out for themselves!

Jane Regan

Phil Stetson

​Harwood is one of six schools across the state chosen to participate in the innovative VT MakerSchools Program!

Generator, Burlington's premiere makerspace, has just launched the VT MakerSchools Program, thanks to the US Department of Education’s grant as part of former Senator Patrick Leahy’s congressionally-directed spending request in the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2022.

During this three year initiative, Generator will support the buildout of makerspaces in 6 rural Vermont secondary schools, provide makerspace professional development to Vermont educators, and establish a dedicated classroom at Generator to serve as a model learning space for both efforts.

Harwood has already begun to build a scaled maker space, with funds won by middle school students through participation in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow national STEM contest. The new middle school class, The Entrepreneur Project, is designed around the use of the new maker space and equipment.

Actual student direct quote, "This is exactly what I wanted. A class in middle school that's not like every other class," 8th grader

Community Announcements:



​Join facilitators from Hannah’s House and the Mad River Valley Libraries for a three-part discussion of the book Unconditional: A Guide to Loving and Supporting Your LGBTQ Child by Telaina Erikson. We will meet at Hannah’s House in Waitsfield from 5:30-7:00 on three Thursdays: October 12, October 26, and November 9. Copies of the book will be provided to all who register. This program is free, but spaces are limited so please register online at any of the MRV Libraries’ Websites.

Vermonter's Gap Year Information Night

Date: Thursday, October 19

Where: Online! Register here

When: 7-8pm

Studies show that taking intentional time away from formal learning to focus on personal growth can lead to better outcomes in higher education and even better life satisfaction. Join Vermont-based gap year expert Julia Rogers, founder of EnRoute Consulting, for an exciting presentation that will cover the benefits and opportunities surrounding the gap year option. You'll learn tips and tricks for planning a gap year on any budget and where to go for onward planning resources.


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