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Coronavirus Update May 21

Update from the Superintendent of Schools

Update: May 21 2020

My mother said to me, 'If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.'
Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.
  Pablo Picasso

Dear Harrison Learning Community,

It is often said that parents are a child’s first and most important teacher. Picasso’s mother inured him the greatest gift a parent can give a child, believing in him. Believing in our children is the very foundation of their self-worth. Its presence causes a child to dream big, its absence leaves them to wonder why they are not enough. Great parents, like great teachers, lift children and reveal what they have yet to see in themselves.

I have information to share tonight, but I begin with two messages. The first is simple. We see your children as capable, amazing, and perfect. Our aspiration is to help them uncover their truest selves. The second is we are a district that believes profoundly in the uniqueness of children; we do not measure them by comparison or test scores alone, nor should you.  Picasso’s mother unleashed the soul of an artist who would change the very nature of art; there is a wondrous child in your midst, believing in your children is more powerful than we could ever imagine.

The pandemic has taken much from our children and tested our will and patience. The school year is winding down, this has been a kind of schooling never experienced by anyone. We should be mindful of the changes and losses students have endured. We must celebrate their successes.

We finally have a day off. We salute our veterans on Monday, Memorial Day and honor them for their service, which provides the very freedom we enjoy. Our school calendar is still unsettled, guidance is forthcoming from the governor’s office. I hope to make a final decision next week. Your building principals will not send an email on Tuesday so they too can take a break this weekend.

We are planning a comprehensive virtual and exciting summer school for students K-12. The Governor announced today that all summer programs must occur in a virtual setting. The news was expected, but disappointing. The summer programs will offer opportunities for students to strengthen learning gaps, and prepare for transitions from elementary, middle and high school. A comprehensive overview of programs will be provided in June.

Commencement and graduation ceremony plannings continue. It is still unclear whether we will be able to have an on-site graduation for the class of 2020. Next week I will meet again with senior class officers to finalize plans for an on-site or virtual graduation.

Planning for the reopening of school in September has been my primary focus over the last several weeks. We are examining a variety of models to ensure the safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff. While the task is difficult, we base all decisions on providing a safe, meaningful, coherent, and emotionally fulfilling experience for your children. While the future is unknown, we are researching a multitude of options to prepare for whatever circumstances emerge.

I believe in the commitment of our Board of Education, our community, and our teachers, and mostly I believe in the extraordinary capacities of our students. So in these difficult times, I choose to believe that… 'If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.' Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso. Pablo Picasso

Sincerely, 

Louis N. Wool, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools


Our Amazing Students and Teachers

Harrison High School Math Department says hello to students.

Carroll F. Johnson Scholastic Achievement Honorees: Matt Cooper and Josephine Robb were selected to represent Harrison High School as outstanding scholars and for contributions to their high school by the Lower Hudson Council School Superintendents. 

Students in Grades 6-12 share “Design Technology at Home” projects.

LMK Middle School teachers engage students using flipgrid technology. 

Parsons School teacher Mrs. Driggers is staying connected and engaged with students, and fourth graders share reflections in a Gratitude Journal.

Harrison Avenue School music teachers Clancy Tager, Zoe and Charlie Bennett treated students to a virtual concert in place of the missed Spring concert.

Join 3rd grade students at Preston School as they celebrate character week. 

A second grade student from Purchase School is pleased to share her art project made from recycled materials.