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9/8 Update from the Superintendent of Schools

Opening of School

Update: September 8 2020

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.  Abraham Lincoln

Dear Harrison Families,

Long dormant, our schools sprung to life last Thursday. The energy, enthusiasm and intellect of our teachers filled classrooms in preparation for the return of our students. The new school year brings understandable uncertainty, but one thing is certain, we have prepared long and thoroughly for the return of your children. As Lincoln reminds us, and we bear in mind, our collective resolution is more important than any one thing. While these are daunting times, together we can forge a safe and successful school year for our students.

During the month of August I visited the kindergarten, sixth, and ninth grade orientations, the resiliency and joy visible in your children deepened my resolve for a successful school year. Another source that provides confidence for a fulfilling year is the unrelenting dedication of faculty and staff. Teachers have rigorously prepared to challenge students academically, support them emotionally, and engage them socially. Our aides, assistants, nurses, custodial, maintenance and clerical staff have worked all summer to prepare our schools to open safely. With your help, we will get this done, guided by our collective commitment to serving all of our children.

We developed a comprehensive safety plan and trained faculty and staff. Our work to improve teaching and learning began last spring. We reinvented our summer programs, which served more than 700 children, quadrupling student participation. Faculty participated in 75 professional development offerings designed to enhance their hybrid and virtual teaching, and they devoted 1,500 hours to rewriting and reimagining the curriculum. Three public presentations on our plans to reopen schools can be viewed  on the Reopening Webpage.

Each principal provided information on student schedules, teams, the use of technology, and the expectations for arrival and dismissal. Teachers also shared important information about accessing the instructional program. Please review these communications with your children, and plan appropriately for the opening of school. 

The most essential element to a smooth opening is your partnership in completing the daily health screening. You will receive an email every morning with a link to the screening for each of your children. We remind you that all employees and students are expected to wear masks at all times, including on the school bus.

Despite our preparation and planning for the reopening of school, there will be challenges. Please be mindful of all we are asking of our teachers, administrators and staff as they care for your children. They will do their very best, but your partnership and understanding has never been more important. I am proud of our tireless efforts throughout the summer to prepare for the return of your children. In these difficult times let us remember Lincoln’s counsel...your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.

We are inspired to welcome our students back to school.


Louis N. Wool, Ed.D.