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Coronavirus Update March 19

Update from the Superintendent of Schools:
Learning from Home & More

Update: March 19, 2020


Dear Harrison Learning Community,

As we complete our first week of Learning From Home, I am astounded by the creativity and innovation of our entire school community. Students, faculty, administrators, and staff have approached this new paradigm for learning with excitement, energy and a commitment to finding a rhythm and routine, our new normal, at least for now.  As the week unfolded, teachers and students learned together, listening to one another, adjusting pace and workload and modeling the District’s core value of adaptability.

Teachers have given individual help sessions, while students have organized study groups and offered tech support. One email shared the story of a high school student who created an online game show for his friends. His mom shared how happy she was to hear laughter in her home after too much silence. Our faculty are spending endless hours communicating, planning, and innovating. The connection between teacher and student is stronger than ever. One new dynamic is you get to study in your pajamas…

“I’ve enjoyed watching my son navigate this new world, while also feeling so normal sitting in his jammies seeing his teachers in their homes, it makes him feel so much more at ease. Your lessons and your messages are so thoughtful and personalized. I really appreciate you all and hope you know just how much you are helping to ease his anxiety in a time that feels uneasy.”

Principals, teachers, and I appreciate every note, message, and email from parents and students.

Ongoing Communication

Families are overloaded with information, so we are committed to streamlining outreach.  Except under extraordinary circumstances, you will receive only two communications per week. While schools are closed, I will send a districtwide update every Thursday. Your child’s principal will communicate school-based information on Tuesday. Our Learn From Home and Coronavirus web pages are updated frequently. Please log on regularly for new information. Two recently added resources at Learning From Home are free SAT tutoring and updates on NY State, AP, IB, SAT, ACT, PSAT testing

Childcare and Supervision for Medical Professionals in First Responders

During this extraordinary crisis, the District is committed to serving our community. We will offer academic support, supervision, and childcare for children of medical professionals and first responders. If you or someone you know requires this service please complete the survey immediately

Social Distancing

The time for strict adherence to social distancing has arrived. As I said in my communication on March 4, in caring for your family you care for your community. Please do not allow your family members to mix with others in the near term. Many individuals carrying the virus are asymptomatic, and failure to adhere to social distancing places others at risk. I realize this is a difficult time for families, especially children. Please set strict guidelines and model social distancing for your children. As I remind myself every day, the children are always watching.

Rites of Passage and Rituals

School is many things. It is most certainly learning, but it is far more: it’s about growing up, discovering yourself, about a shared, powerful and unique common experience that comes but once in a lifetime.

I have been thinking incessantly about the events that mark a student’s school experience: sports, plays, concerts, field trips, competitions, club activities, graduations, and even prom. 

I promise you we will find a way to make certain that these indelible memories are not lost to our students. Very soon I will be reaching out to students, faculty, parents, and staff and together, we will rise up - as we always do - and make the memories of our students, your children, unique and wonderful.

No one could have imagined the changes in our community, our lives, and our world, in just the past seven days. We are monitoring the impacts of these changes on students, teachers, staff, and families. I am proud that in a very brief period our school district transformed and readied itself for a new way of teaching, supporting and nurturing students. With your support, our children will persevere and thrive. Our collective imaginations and creativity are boundless. 

In caring for our families, we care for our community.

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

Louis N. Wool Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Click here for information about the District’s Coronavirus Response