Fall 2023 vol. 1
Dear Harrison Families,
As the year began, we welcomed many new students, teachers, support staff, and administrators and recently celebrated newly tenured faculty. The Board and I finalized a bond referendum to improve and expand our schools, improve safety, and accommodate our burgeoning town and school district. The newsletter provides essential updates and information.
More than 1200 students participated in 60 district summer courses, offering creative, engaging learning designed by Harrison teachers. To maintain the high quality of instruction, faculty engaged in 50 summer professional development, curriculum writing, and study groups to assess our programs and curriculum. Our maintenance, buildings, and grounds teams worked tirelessly throughout the summer to prepare our schools for the students' return.
Most importantly, the Board of Education and district leadership team completed an analysis of districts’ buildings, enrollment trends, and residential development. Working with our architects, we developed a plan to address critical safety, infrastructure, and space needs in all six district schools. The plan resulted in a bond referendum to be put before you on November 16. A detailed explanation of each school's plan and financing can be found on this dedicated webpage.
I look forward to sharing more information about our plans to ensure the success of your children at upcoming PTA meetings throughout October. Stay up to date on the many accomplishments of our students by visiting our website.
Superintendent of Schools
Record Number of Students Return for New School Year
On September 9, teachers and staff welcomed 3,756 students to the 2023-24 school year, the highest enrollment in recent history and 131 more students than 2022-23. Students from all six schools arrived excited and ready to start learning. The new year is off to a great start!
Bond Referendum Addresses Safety, Space, Infrastructure at All Six Schools
On November 16, Harrison residents vote on a bond referendum to improve safety, infrastructure and meet space demands due to unprecedented enrollment growth in all six of our schools. The bond referendum will improve safety, expand and update instructional spaces, address infrastructure to meet current and future needs of students in a fiscally responsible manner. Voting will take place at neighborhood elementary schools from 7 AM to 9 PM on Thursday, November 16th. Details about plans for each school, the bond financing plan, and voting information is available on the bond referendum webpage.
Opening Day 2023: Superintendent Welcomes & Celebrates District Employees
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Louis Wool, welcomed all of the district’s teachers, aides and assistants, clerical staff, school safety staff, buildings and grounds staff, nurses and health assistants, technology staff, and administrators to the new school year at Opening Day 2023. Dr. Wool recognized the efforts and commitment of every employee in the room, and reminded them, “no matter what title you hold, everyone plays an important role in bringing the district’s mission to life for our students in our schools.” Board of Education President, Kelly Kozak, addressed the group and reminded the board appreciates their role in “guiding, inspiring and empowering students.” She also congratulated Dr. Wool on reaching a milestone 21 years as superintendent and 25 years of dedicated service to Harrison’s students and community. Following the address, all employees participated in two days of professional development in preparation for the new school year.
Memorial at HHS Honors 9-11 Victims
The Young Americans for Freedom Club at Harrison High School created a memorial on the front lawn of the school in remembrance of 9-11. The club creates the memorial annually as an opportunity to pause and reflect in honor each of the 9-11 victims.
Reading Connects Elementary & High School Students
For the first time this year, the District introduced a program to generate excitement about summer reading. Reading with the Huskies connected Harrison High School students with students from all four elementary schools. The high school students volunteered to become Husky Readers, and they were trained how to lead book talks with elementary students. The training included how to increase student engagement, tap into student understanding of the books, and create a joyful reading culture. Reading with the Huskies launched in July over Zoom, where Husky Readers lead book talks with groups of elementary students. The discussions were engaging and spirited, and both the high school and elementary students learned from the experience. One parent offered feedback about the program saying, “I was so
impressed…my son came home from school with a good deal of excitement...a wonderful way to entice children to keep up with their summer reading.”
Welcome New Teachers & Administrators
The HCSD community is pleased to welcome new administrators and teachers to our school district. These talented and dedicated educators were selected through a rigorous hiring process based on their professional preparation and prior experience, their commitment to the District's core values, and their passion for teaching and learning. Get to know the newest members of Harrison's exceptional learning community: New Teacher & Administrator Profiles
Harrison Teachers Honored at Tenure Celebration
Family, friends and colleagues gathered at the district’s annual tenure celebration on September 28th in the Performing Arts Center at Harrison High School. Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Louis Wool welcomed the attendees and honorees, and called the celebration one of his favorite events of the year, because it recognizes professionals who are “dedicated to the craft of teaching and truly seeing the students in front of them.” He went on to describe the many meetings, evaluations and consideration that precede granting tenure in Harrison and recognized the recipients as professionals who embody the district’s core values in their classrooms. Each school principal honored tenure recipients, by discussing their commitment to students and dedication to their profession. Harrison High School: Christopher Grippo, Daniel Logue, Matthew Radoslovich, Anita Rodriguez-Gougherty, Rosemarie Angilletta; LMK Middle School: Lauren Cregier, Philip Gussman, Sara Hansen, Renee Kegley, Jenny Lona, Amy Price, Toby Ring, Toby Ring, Danielle Viverito; Harrison Avenue Elementary School: Elizabeth Argiro; Parsons Elementary School: Alexa Pie, Jaqueline Santore, Silje Jeffers, Kokoe Tanaka-Suwan; Purchase Elementary School: Kokoe Tanaka-Suwan; Preston Elementary School: Sharlene Ferrer, Angela Fultz, Paige Mangione, Dominque Payano.
Information and Announcements
Bus Transportation: To reduce traffic congestion during drop-off and dismissal, parents/guardians of eligible students are encouraged to use the bus transportation provided by the District. To learn more about bus transportation for eligible students, click here.
Free COVID Test Kits: The District has secured more free COVID test kits from Westchester County. Faculty, staff, and parents of students who are interested in receiving a free COVID rapid antigen test kit can pick them up in the main office of each school.
Flu Season Reminder: With the start of the flu season, we need parents’ help to prevent the spread of the flu in our schools. For more information on flu symptoms, the flu vaccine, and preventing the spread of the flu virus at home and at school, please click here. As always, if your child feels sick, please keep them home from school and contact your school nurse. We appreciate your partnership in keeping our school community safe and healthy.