Mobile Toggle

April 28: HAS Principal's Message


Dear Harrison Avenue Families,

I typically spend my weekend thinking about what to include in this update.  The weekend was representative of the last 6 weeks.  Saturday was sunny, breezy, and the warmth of the sun was a much-needed reprieve.  Sunday was colder and rainy, and not a great day to be outside.  In the last weeks, there have been days much like those, some feeling hopeful while others still feel endless.  While we must contend with the reality of the rain, it is worthwhile to pay close attention to the sun.

Regardless of weather, “seeing” your children, the work they are doing, and the effort of their teachers have made this time away from school feel more steady. Take a look at our first graders who took advantage of learning about Earth Day by reusing materials from home! I appreciate all you are doing every day. 

Learning from Home continues, and the Family University K-5 page is evolving.  The links supplement our curriculum and can help keep your children engaged.  

Teachers continue to work in collaboration with the school and district leadership teams to plan instruction.  Teacher and student interactions are essential to learning and social-emotional development. These interactions are a combination of pre-recorded videos, video conferencing, simulations, and virtual field trips.  Teachers receive ongoing support with digital platforms to interact effectively with students.  We are monitoring students’ experiences to ensure that learning is maximized. 

Last week you received information regarding your child’s District Google account. The District supports the Learning From Home experience with the following:

  • Students in Grades 3-5 have access to email through their District Google accounts, to facilitate communication between teachers and students. The email account only allows communication to others within the District.  

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

  • Google Hangouts/Meet and Zoom are tools to support teacher/student interactions. Students access these platforms using secure District Google accounts.  Learn more about the District’s Video Conferencing Guideline here.

Art and Music (General Music, Orchestra, and Band) teachers post lessons once per week.  Physical Education teachers provide lessons on days classes are scheduled to meet. Assignments include long-term projects in Art, watching and creating practice videos in Music, and fitness activities, games, dances, and sports for Physical Education.  These lessons can be completed at the student’s pace. If your child is struggling with assignments, please contact the teacher.

I know that families are struggling with and contending with aspects of our new “normal.”  Many parents are trying to work while assisting your children with schoolwork.  All are striving to keep children engaged, connect them with friends, and remain in contact with teachers.  It is hard work, and not the work we thought we would be doing a few months ago.  Please know that when you reach out with a question, concern, compliment or suggestion, I am listening. I am listening to what is going well, as well as what’s been challenging.  Harrison has always been committed to continuous learning and improvement, and now is no different.  We’ll continue to work in partnership with you in the weeks ahead. 


Valerie Hymes
Principal, Harrison Avenue School

Ongoing items to note:

The Governor has directed schools to remain closed until May 15, 2020. 

The District provides free breakfast and lunch for eligible students. 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 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 (