Coronavirus Update April 2
Update from the Superintendent of Schools
Update: APRIL 2, 2020
Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.
Albus Dumbledore (J.K. Rowling)
Dear Harrison Learning Community,
My sincerest hope is that your family is well, showing patience, sharing love, and building the resilience that we all will need to reopen our schools and regain our personal connections. We so deeply miss those connections that enriched us every day.
So many in our community have been working in these darkest of times to turn on the light, and they have made an incredible difference in the lives of so many. They are not wizards, but representatives of every part of our learning community. I write today to share stories of greatness, of celebration, a look to our future, and information on the latest developments.
As I have shared...the health and welfare of your children and of your neighbors are inextricably linked…..in caring for your family, you are caring for your community…. Adhering to strict social distancing is an act of great citizenship; your choice may save a life. I urge you to act using common sense and to care for yourself and others. Maintaining physical distance is critically important; however, equally important is staying emotionally connected to friends and family. Making an effort to reach out to those who are isolated with a phone call, an email, a letter, or a card is a supreme act of kindness for those facing this crisis alone. Never has citizenship and commitment to one another been more important, and an invaluable life lesson for our children.
Our Amazing Teachers and Students
As we complete our third week of Learning From Home, I remain heartened and humbled by the resilience and innovation of our students and teachers. Equally inspiring is the dedication of our staff and the collective commitment our community has for your children.
Teachers approach their work passionately, purposefully and professionally to make Learning From Home personal, engaging and instructionally significant. Our students show their brilliance and persistence at every turn. I could not be more proud of every one of them. I am excited to share some examples of how students and teachers have turned on the light.
School Counselors continue to work remotely with students on course selection for next year and college advising and selection. I’ve shared a picture of Mrs. Heyen meeting with senior Tamara Roman.
Harrison Avenue celebrated character day with a virtual parade. Students posted videos explaining their choices.
Senior Michael Jubak, past Metro award winner and director of the spring production, has maintained rehearsals for the play virtually. I look forward to their production of You Can’t Take It with You before the end of the school year!
The LMK Student Council held a virtual meeting with their advisor Mr. Goodstein, where they discussed pressing issues of the day and planned for returning to school.
Mr. Amico is working hard to keep the family together, and assigned a drawing assignment for siblings from Parsons Elementary School.
Our Varsity Football Team and Coach Ciraco are keeping enthusiasm high with virtual team chats to focus on the coming fall season – Go Huskies!
Teachers throughout the district have been collaborating on lesson plans to make learning personal and engaging. Take a look at teachers from the Purchase Elementary School working together virtually.
Heroes Among Us
We are proud of the contributions being made by members of our school community. Medical personnel and first responders are stretched to their limits and are struggling to take care of their families while valiantly working to save the lives of others. Thanks to the commitment of our nurses, teaching assistants, teacher aides, school aides, custodians, and school safety personnel, working side-by-side with our administrators, the District is able to provide child care for medical personnel and first responders. They do so with joy, as is evident in this happy smile! Parents appreciate the selfless work from members of our District. One mom shared that knowing her son is safe and happy allows her to focus on her job as a nurse at a local hospital.
School Resource Officers Help to Keep Students Safe and Supported
Our students have come to know our SROs as important members of their school communities, and they are an integral part of our support team. During the past several weeks, our SROs have reached out to students and visited with families to maintain important connections to our students.
Feedback from Parents and Families
Principals collect feedback from parents, students, and teachers and make adjustments to ensure Learning from Home supports the academic and emotional well-being of your children. Many have shared their profound appreciation for the teachers' efforts. I’d like to share a compelling and eloquent email I received from a parent about the power of our collective community…
Parents and students alike are seeing that we are more than just a school district, we are a community that cares deeply about intellectual advancement but most importantly about building true relationships... by having teachers and staff that go above and beyond. The parents see it, and the students see it and feel it.
Just a few short weeks ago, children attended school and enjoyed time with friends, never knowing a pandemic would change their young lives forever. The Board and I are proud of all our faculty and staff have accomplished in unprecedented times. However, I already am preparing for our bright future; it is my mission to find new ways to make our students’ school experiences personal, powerful and memorable.
The Board and I could not ask for better partners to turn on the light. I speak for the entire District when I say we love your children. Better days are ahead.
Louis N. Wool Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Important Reminders and Information
Religious Holidays: Students are not expected to participate in school during days of religious observance.
Spring Break: As a result of Governor Cuomo's latest executive order, all school districts are required to cancel spring break and continue virtual instruction. Spring break, scheduled for April 6-10, is canceled. The District’s online instruction, Learning From Home, will continue without interruption.
Social Distancing: Medical experts and scientists agree that social distancing is the most effective way to curb the spread of the Coronavirus. Experts recommend we all behave “as if” we have the virus and limit contact with others. We have closed playgrounds and encourage you to limit your children’s exposure to the nuclear family. Playdates, pick up games, and other group activities should be strictly prohibited.
Food Assistance: The District is providing free breakfast and lunch for eligible students. Meal distribution takes place twice a week: Monday and Wednesday between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Monday pickup includes breakfast and lunch for two days. Wednesday pickup provides breakfast and lunch for three days. If you are currently eligible but have not yet applied, please complete the request form. If your circumstances have changed and you are in need of Food Assistance please contact your principal. All inquiries are confidential.
Technology Support: If your child needs a device, if there is a problem with your equipment, or if your family does not have internet access, the District will provide a device and/or a mobile hotspot to deliver internet access. If you require the support please complete this form. If you have questions contact Brian Seligman (914-630- 3389) or (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Childcare and Support for Medical Professionals and First Responders: The District is providing academic support, supervision, and childcare for children (ages 3-12) of medical professionals and first responders from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday. The Harrison Children Center provides childcare to preschool children and the Town of Harrison is supporting Pre-K and after school services. If you or someone you know requires this service please complete this survey immediately.