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April 21: HAS Principal's Message


Dear Harrison Avenue Families,

I’d like to begin this week’s update by thanking our parent community and our students.  This week, more than ever, I have received outreach from so many of you. Some of you had questions about your child’s work or other matters, some were just checking in, and all asked how I am, how things are at HAS and shared that you miss our school.  I understand. Harrison Avenue is an extension of the home, and we all miss our home. Hearing from you and your children continue to keep me connected to your daily lives.

We are all limited with the ways we can spend our time in and out of our homes.  To support families with options, the District and school leadership teams have created a wealth of resources that can be found on the Parent Resources on the Learning From Home page.  The Family University K-5 page offers suggestions for optimizing learning from home. There are also educational activities that are fun for the family to do together.  Resources will continue to be added throughout the time we are learning from home. 

Now that the school closure has been extended, teacher-student interactions are more important than ever. These interactions will be a combination of pre-recorded videos, video conferencing, simulations, and virtual field trips.  Teachers will continue to receive support with digital platforms that allow them to interact with students remotely. We are monitoring students’ experiences to ensure that their learning is maximized. 

To that end, in the coming days the District will continue to enhance the Learning From Home experience with the following:

  • Students in Grades 3-5 will gain access to email through their District approved Google accounts, enabling students and teachers to communicate more freely to ask questions and provide feedback.  This email account only allows communication to others within the District. Teachers will instruct students on how to utilize this email.

  • Students in Grades K-2 will be assigned District approved Google accounts enabling them to access District approved programs in a secure environment.  Parent permission for account creation, your child’s username, and password will be sent to you via email by HCSD Director of Technology, Brian Seligman.

  • Google Hangouts/Meet and Zoom will be utilized as tools to support teacher and student interactions.  All students will be able to access these tools using their secure District provided Google accounts. Families can learn more about the District’s Video Conferencing Guidelines.

Teachers will continue to receive support with digital platforms that allow them to interact with students remotely.  We are monitoring students’ experience to ensure that the learning is maximized. 

With each passing day and an updated Governor’s Executive Order extending the closure of schools until May 15th, we are sensitive and aware that whether a student is in Kindergarten, or a 5th grader wondering about graduation, the loss of school traditions and celebrations can be difficult.  Please know that the elementary and District leadership teams are working to examine all possibilities and plan for multiple scenarios. As Dr. Wool stated in his recent message to the community, “We are determined to conclude this school year by filling it with memories both positive and unique.” Any alternative plans will be shared with families when finalized.

Many extracurricular activities are continuing remotely.  If your children participated in a school club, they should have received notification about going participation.  If you have questions about clubs, please contact Ms. Spagnola, me, or the teacher/advisor.

Please enjoy this photo.  It is a good reminder of how much we all love and miss Harrison Avenue School!


Valerie Hymes
Principal, Harrison Avenue School

Some items to note:

The District provides free breakfast and lunch for eligible students. If you are currently eligible but have not yet applied, please complete the request formIf your circumstances have changed and you are in need of food assistance contact your principal. All inquiries are confidential.


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 technology support please complete this form. If you have questions contact Brian Seligman (914-630-3389) or (