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Coronavirus Update March 17

Update from the Superintendent of Schools:
Learning from Home - Day One

Update: March 17, 2020

Dear Harrison Learning Community:

We completed our first day of Learning From Home, with enthusiastic reviews from students, teachers, and parents. I was moved by the commitment of administrators and faculty and by each of you for making our first day successful, engaging and enriching. Many parents worked with their children to organize the day and to support the dynamic teaching by our faculty.

The meticulous planning of our innovative and dedicated educators over the past several weeks enabled us to quickly engage our students online. The analytics reveal that kids connected with teachers and principals throughout the day and well into the evening. Teachers used video lectures, interactive full class instruction, posted lessons that can be reviewed and revisited, and recorded “read alouds” for elementary students. 

While analytics reveal student participation, feedback from parents throughout the day answered our most profound question: Would students feel personally connected to their teachers and classmates? One second-grade parent thanked her son’s teacher after he watched a video of her reading to the class…

“He needed to see your face. This isn’t easy and the normalcy of having you be part of his day is important.” 

Students engaged in art, physical education, music, and worked with guidance counselors and received academic support. One high school student observed that it seemed she had more work than “I usually have at school."  The innovation and dedication of our faculty are inspiring, maybe even too inspiring at times. Our teachers are remaining connected to your children academically, socially and emotionally.

We distributed devices and mobile hotspots to ensure every student is connected to our school community. Our PTAs volunteered to assist us in distributing meals to students.

Over the last several days, you have received regular updates from me. It was my decision to communicate with you directly during the crisis as we transitioned to online learning. I will continue to send districtwide updates on Thursday each week that schools are closed. 

Beginning next week, as we normalize our online community, Principals will send an email each Tuesday to keep you up-to-date on school-related information. Teachers will remain in daily contact with your children via online learning platforms. Please check Learning From Home regularly as updates are made daily.

Perhaps there is a silver lining to the difficulties we’re experiencing. We have an unprecedented opportunity to spend time with our families, to listen, to share, to laugh, to still our impatience, to use this forced slowing down to revel in those we care most about.

We miss your kids and long to see our schools teeming with their energy and joy. We will make the best of these times, and look forward to a bright future not far away.

Once again, I thank you for your support and patience.

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

Click here for information about the District’s Coronavirus Response