Coronavirus Update April 9
Update from the Superintendent of Schools
Update: APRIL 9, 2020
"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears." - Nelson Mandela
Dear Harrison Learning Community,
Your children are always in my thoughts. However, the difficulties of parenting in these unprecedented times remain at the forefront of my thinking. What follows is new critical information, a reflection on the challenges faced by parents, and as always, a celebration of our teachers, administrators, support staff, and your inspiring children.
There is much daunting news and deep concern about what has been lost. If the world were not upside down, everyone would be enjoying a well-earned spring break. Families would celebrate Passover and Easter together instead of virtually. But now is the time for hope; we cannot act from fear. We will rise to this moment and create culminating experiences for your children as unique as this historic time.
New York remains quarantined and schools are closed until April 29, the New York State Regents exams are canceled, SUNY Purchase has canceled all graduations. We will create an alternative to honor and celebrate our graduates.
Homeschooling presents new challenges for parents and students alike. It has inspired an even deeper respect for teaching and teachers. We should be ever mindful our children are always watching. Over these many weeks, I have encouraged parents to show patience and resilience for children and there families; that’s no easy task. I also have listened and learned many things from parents’ concerns about workload, time management, the well being of children and their own well being. One thing's for certain, everyone wants to be back in school.
I discovered some humorous observations on homeschooling from the perspective of parents. I found these Tweets funny, far too real, and a reminder that our generosity of spirit has never been more consequential...
Time: Not everyone knows this but a homeschool day is actually 40 times as long as a regular day.
Patience: So help me god, move your foot away from your brother’s cereal bowl or I will find a school in this country that is open and drive us there today.
Being a Role Model: Today there was a lot of yelling & crying, things were thrown around…but I calmed down and apologized to the kids and they seemed ok about it.
Creating Activities: If you see my children picking weeds and crying in the garden, they're on a field trip.
Anyone Can Teach: Homeschooling day 12: Fed the math homework to the dog myself.
There is no greater joy than when our children are happy, loved and safe. In these confounding moments, our kindness and good humour are vital. We are learning as much from children as they are from us – who is really homeschooling whom?
Our Amazing Teachers and Students: As we complete our fourth week of Learning From Home, our students remain at the center of our inspiration. The innovation and dedication of our teachers, who are working harder than ever, continue to astound me. They make Learning From Home personal, engaging and instructionally significant. Here are some exciting examples of students and teachers demonstrating brilliance - fearless and ever hopeful.
Congratulations to Sara McSweeney and the team of Nellie and Bailey Fisher for advancing to the New York State Science and Engineering Fair Finals. They will compete virtually in the International Science and Engineering competition.
High school student Ellie Eiff expresses appreciation for those serving on the front lines. I encourage you to take a look.
Athletic Director, Mr. Galano reaches out to students using his wry sense of humor.
Enjoy the talent and originality of the IB Student Art Exhibition.
Parsons teacher Ms. Jacobson engaged her class in a discussion of their favorite books.
A Purchase School student practices violin with his teacher, Dr.Tanaka-Suwan.
Together we will make the conclusion of the school year extraordinary and unique. For our students, your children, we will be cautious, not fearful, and live with hope.
Louis N. Wool, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools