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May 19: HAS Principal's Message


Dear Harrison Avenue Families,

In the last weeks, I have had the opportunity to communicate with many families.  Parents have offered insight about their children for next year’s placement.  You have also shared stories about navigating life at home, missing Harrison Avenue, and appreciating your child’s teacher, as well as stories we tell ourselves about returning to school when it is safe to do so. The stories have evolved, but have a common theme, the spirit of the HAS community is strong regardless of distance. 

At this time, there are typically end-of-year celebrations and culminating activities for students.  While their absence is significant, they do not encompass the totality of a child’s school experience.  The school year will end differently than it began, but we can still remember and hold onto the memories that we’ve made, especially those that matter to you and your family.

In collaboration with the superintendent, each school is working to reimagine how to honor our fifth graders as they leave elementary school. Options for live and virtual commencement are underway and plans for each are in process.  We soon will begin screening incoming kindergartners. We cannot conduct these screenings in-person. However, we will send parent questionnaires to gain insight into your child and send a separate questionnaire to preschools seeking further insights. 

A process is being developed to allow children to collect belongings left at school. The elementary principals and District administration will establish protocols and schedules to ensure the safety of children, parents, and staff. The process will occur in early June; a schedule will be shared as soon as it is finalized. Congregating among students, families,and teachers will be prohibited.  Refunds for field trips that could not be taken are being processed for reimbursement.

As we prepare for the end of school for the year, we also are planning for summer programs and the start of the 2020-2021 school year.  We will share information about summer programs and next year as soon as possible.   We continue to formulate live, in-person experiences for students as well as update the K-5 Family University on the Learning From Home page, which offers additional learning activities for your children. 

Monday, May 25 is Memorial Day, a school  holiday.  Therefore, live sessions will not occur and assignments will not be posted. Due to Memorial Day next week food distribution will take place on Tuesday, May 26th and Wednesday, May 27th.  Regular distribution will resume the following week. I hope you enjoy the long weekend. 

The learning continues, please take a look at one of our kindergartners sharing his poetry checklist!

Valerie Hymes
Principal, Harrison Avenue School 

Ongoing Items to Note;

  • The District is still providing 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 (