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April 28: PAR Principal's Message


Dear Parsons Families, 

Students and staff have spent these weeks while Learning From Home developing a meaningful and positive learning environment through a temporarily redefined school experience.  However, as a school community, our focus on identifying and building upon each student’s unique strengths has not changed.  Our belief is that the development of students’ social and emotional intelligence is of utmost importance to prepare children for success; it has not waivered.  Right now, we are viewing each of these pieces and integrating them through a different lens.

Our focus on student’s unique strengths revealed itself as I spent time examining the work of students and faculty during this past week.  Students and teachers engage with each other in a variety of ways. Kindergarten students practice counting on using different strategies. Students in all grades engaged in movement and physical activities designed by our physical education teachers. Fourth-grade teacher Mrs. Marraccini shared a special Earth Day message with everyone, and students across the school celebrated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. They participated in educational activities demonstrating how they protect the planet.

Learning From Home
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.

Family Resources
The District has created resources that can be found on the Parent Resources tab on the Learning from Home page.  The Family University K-5 offers suggestions for optimizing learning from home. 

I look forward to seeing even more of your childrens’ engaging work, thoughtful responses, and creative thinking throughout the coming week!


Mark Woodard

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 (