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April 7: HAS Principal's Message


Dear Harrison Avenue Families,

I hope this finds you and your family well.  We are all continuing to settle into a new normal.  Although it looks and feels very different, we are still a school community.  The signs that this is true are there-we just have to look a bit more closely.  Where can we look?

We can look for the connections that students are still making safely.  This past week, a group of HAS students got together in the driveway of someone’s house, greater than 6 feet apart.  They got to see each other from a safe distance, reminding us that we are still here! We can look at our teachers. Last week, teachers and staff made a video for students to remind them of the importance of handwashing:  Handy Washing-Baby Shark. More importantly, the teachers wanted to make sure that students saw their faces. So many of you have reached out to ask how I am, how the staff is doing, and what you can do to help.  These are signs that times continue to be hard, but we will be ok. Not as soon as we’d like, but we’ll get there.

As a result of Governor Cuomo's latest executive order, all public school districts are closed through April 29, 2020.  The superintendent will provide more information in his Thursday update.

The governor’s previous executive order required all school districts 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. However, students are not expected to participate in school during days of religious observance. 

Many of you will be celebrating Easter and Passover this week and I wish all of you a happy holiday season.  I hope that despite the current conditions you are able to connect with friends and family even if it is through virtual means.  We recognize the importance of these religious holidays and thus all students who observe religious holidays are not expected to complete school work during these days. 

I also would like to remind families that art, music, physical education, and library instruction is still occurring in the online environment, and that student participation in these classes is expected. Students can communicate with any of their teachers via Seesaw and Google Classroom, just as they do with their classroom teacher.  

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.  This is hard to do. The idea of “staying apart so that we can be together again” is something that can help as we navigate a very difficult time. 

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.

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 (

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.

Although I’d like to see everyone sooner than later, I want to see everyone safely, and in good health.  Until then let’s try to stay in good spirits.


Valerie Hymes
Principal, Harrison Avenue School


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