Sunday, December 19, 2021

Harwood Middle School blog update, December 19, 2021


We’re proud to congratulate our very own #SamsungSolve HUMS 7th grade team for being named our 2021-22 State Winner! It’s great to see their ideas celebrated as they work to develop a #STEM solution to an issue that impacts our local community. The students, along with teacher Angela Selvaggio, proposed an idea on how to better manage waste in popular recreation areas. In this next phase of the contest, the team will bring their project vision to life and create a 3-minute demonstration video to compete for a chance to win a prize amount of $50,000 in technology and become a National Finalist!

**What is Samsung Solve for Tomorrow?**

Each year Samsung hosts a $2 million national competition for public schools grades 6–12 in which students are asked to consider how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) can be used to create change in their communities. With the help of their teachers, students can apply to the contest and compete to win up to $100,000 in prizes for their school, plus the opportunity to work with Samsung employees to develop their prototypes.

View our our first edition of the Harwood Underground here:

7th and 8th coders experienced using VR (virtual reality)  goggles and designed their own unique virtual setting using the coding program Cospaces. Librarian Genevieve Knight instructed students on how to use the goggles and the coding program, and guided students through a 2 part lesson for HUMS’ Hour of Code event last Friday. Several teachers offered time to learn and use coding programs such as Block Jumper, Minecraft, Twine and Gamestar Mechanic during ELO blocks.

HUMS is a Caring, Connected and Curious School!



Health Office


Surveillance testing for students:  Sign-up here. 

Dates:  Each Monday that school is in session


  • 7:30-11 in front of the HS gym

  • 11-12 in Middle School Common area

Please remind your student that they are signed up and to come to testing even if they do not get a pass from their TA.

Information about other testing options (close contact test to stay, symptomatic response testing)

CDC, FDA Sign Off on Pfizer Boosters for 16- and 17-Year-Olds

"The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized booster doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for 16- and 17-year-olds today, clearing the way for millions of older teenagers to get a third dose of vaccine starting 6 months after their second dose."

Student Health Issues

If your student is experiencing a long-term illness, having surgery, or sustained an injury outside of school, let the health office know so that we can coordinate and communicate with faculty and staff, if necessary.  Supporting documentation (discharge paperwork, letter from provider) helps us determine accommodations to support students' learning.  Feel free to contact the health office if you have any questions or would like to discuss.  

Please note:  When students are going to miss school, it's important that they reach out to their teachers to let them know and to inquire about work they will be missing. HUMS teachers can be reached by using their email or you can email Mr. Pierson at to help you connect.  

Condom Availability Programs

Effective July 1, 2021, all secondary schools in Vermont shall make condoms available to all students in grades 7-12, free of charge.

Vermont Statute: Provision of Contraceptives

HUUSD students in grades 7-12 will be able to access condoms in designated locations in our high school and middle schools. These locations will be staffed by individuals qualified to provide information and answer any questions. Please see our school nurses or our school's health educator (Mr. Moody) for questions or concerns. Additionally, information will represent the needs of all students, inclusive of gender identity, sexuality, and ethnicity.

Curricular goals are guided by the National Health Education Standards and the National Sexuality Education Standards.  Specifically, units and lessons are guided by the 3R's Curriculum and the Center for Disease Control.

Please direct any questions to our Principals, Nurses and Health teachers.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Harwood Middle School Blog update, November 21, 2021


The Vermont Agency of Transportation sponsored a “Name the Plow” program allowing students from across the state to name their fleet of snowplow trucks. This past Wednesday, students had the opportunity to see the trucks in person and meet their drivers. We think our plow name is the best!

HUMS Snow tasters taking a mask break last week..

Harwood Middle School Families, 

As we head into theThanksgiving holiday we want to appreciate our families and students who  continue to create a school environment that holds safety as our top priority.   We understand that this endeavor takes the combined energy as well as effort from all members of our community.   As we move forward we ask that all members of our school help with the following:   

  • Curious - be curious by asking questions to school staff about what is happening at school, and perhaps why things are happening (both positives and challenges) 

  • Caring - assume the best intent by both students and staff.  View challenges as learning opportunities.  

  • Connectedness - reach out with concerns and support when needed.  Seek the helpers (Jen Dreimiler, Mara Urban, Mr. B and your TA teachers)  

Over the past few weeks we have heard reports from both families and students that some do not feel safe at school when using our bathrooms as they have experienced issues with other student vaping or they do not want to be involved with some inappropriate behaviors they encounter.   We are grateful to the students and families who have reached out to express their concern and seek support.  The school has taken the following steps to reduce some of the challenges presented to us:  

  • Staff are using student bathrooms and redirecting and encouraging students back to class if they are found socializing.

  • Student support staff and administrators are routinely supervising hallways, checking bathrooms and intervening when necessary. 

  • When concerning behavior is reported, staff immediately respond.  This usually includes:

    • a check in with the student

    • report to our student student specialist staff or administration

    • search of students bag (we will connect with parents if a search has been conducted) 

  • If students are in possession of illegal substances, discipline will be issued. Law enforcement may be called depending on the offense.

  • We are encouraging students to share their concerns with staff and in a future community dialogue 

    • In addition, we have begun considering and planning with student leaders what this dialogue will include.

  • Students and staff are working together to create a campaign to bring awareness of addiction resources to our students

We appreciate your feedback, patience and dedication to our school.  We hope you have an excellent Thanksgiving Holiday with your family and friends. 

Potts and Gordon's TA demonstrate an excellent after Thanksgiving 
Dinner activity for your family!  
Click below to view the  funvideo:  

Harwood Middle School has partnered with UP for Learning to bring Cultivating Pathways to Sustainability (CPS) to the 7th and 8th grades. There is a group of 11 students who have joined the team, building leadership skills in a youth-adult partnership to create change in our community. CPS uses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a foundation for identifying an area in our community that they would like to see change and then using an inquiry-based model create a project to make change happen. 

HUMS scientist sailors at work. 

How many pennies can an aluminum foil boat support before sinking?

Ask your 8th grader about this fun project!

Harwood Union Theatre presented Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery ‘The Mousetrap’ to the Harwood Community in early November.   We were proud and excited to see many of our middle school actors/actresses/lighting engineer (Tarin, Marley, Camille, Emma, Amelia) as a important part of the production.  



Winter Sports

Sign Ups

Sign Ups are Now OPEN for the 2021-22 Winter Sports Season! 

Please follow the correct link and sign your student-athlete up for Winter Sports today! 

Remember, the athletic department will need a physical dated within the last 2 years 

for your student-athlete to be eligible on Day 1. Do not wait to sign up!

Middle School Winter Sports Sign Ups

Updates from the Health Office

Please review the updates on COVID Testing Programs available in our district.  Reach out to the health office if you have any questions.  

The HUUSD Nurse team has been in contact with the Outbreak Prevention and Response Team at the Vermont Department of Health this week.  At this time, Harwood Union High School cases have NOT been investigated as outbreaks occurring within the school community.


We continue to see evidence that mitigation strategies including masking and distancing, are effective tools for reducing the risk of spread within the school setting. Thank you to all for your support in keeping our school community safe.

As we head into the holiday season, we wanted to make you aware of opportunities for support.


  • National Life and Sodexo are providing a free Thanksgiving meal to their neighbors in Washington County. They partnered with Just Basics, Hannaford, Central Vermont Medical Center, Hunger Mountain Coop, Cabot Cheese, the Vermont Foodbank, and Vermont Creamery to offer traditional turkey and vegetarian meals to-go.Since we’re still navigating the impact of Covid-19, they will once again provide a free pick-up or delivery of Thanksgiving meals to those who need one.  To reserve a free meal, call 802-229-7300 or email by Nov 17.

Calendar Reminders:

  • November 24th - November 26th - Thanksgiving Holiday -

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Harwood Middle School Blog Update, November 7, 2021


8th Grade Scientist examining the effects of heating gas.

Another 8th Grade Scientist measuring volume of different masses.  

Hello Harwood Middle School Community, 

During our recent inservice our middle school staff had the opportunity to reflect on how the school year was progressing academically as well as examine some of the recent behavioral challenges we have experienced.   From our conversations we have taken the following steps to assist with creating a positive and engaging school environment.  

1.  Improved Communication -   In the past HUMS published a bi-monthly family blog to connect families to the ways that students were being curious, connected and caring as learners.   Given our need to publish COVID information as a 7-12 school, we have not published a strictly middle school blog for the several months.   At this time we feel the re-introduction and use of a HUMS blog would help reconnect and revitalized this very essential link between home and school.  Please note that our 7th and 8th grade team will continue to publish their weekly newsletters for the most up to date classroom information and updates.    

2.  Focus on Climate: The middle school staff reviewed recent discipline/behavioral incidents concerns that we have experienced over the past few weeks.  We have initiated three measures that we expect will have a positive influence on reducing the number and severity of concerns that we have recently faced.  These are: 
  • Cell Phone Policy.    The school's recent uptick in discipline/behavioral challenges can be attributed(in large part) to the inappropriate use of cell phones during the school day, both in and out of the classroom.  Given this information, we have implemented a clearly articulated and reasonable cell phone policy for all HUMS students.  This past Wednesday each Teacher advisory took time to review and discuss the importance of following this expectation.  Listed here is the cell phone policy reminder:   

    • Please note:  there are times when home- student communication via text is necessary - in these cases we have asked students to specifcially ask an administrator/teacher for permission to utilize their phone during the school day.  
  • Teacher Advisory Circles.   This past Friday, HUMS held its first of a series of Teacher Advisory Circles to engage HUMS students in creating a school community where everyone feels heard and respected.  Our circle process (a guided teacher and student lead discussion) focused student perceptions of our community and ways needed to more our community  in a positive directtion - together.     
  • Upcoming Screening of  the film"Screenagers".   This coming Wednesday, our school community will view the film "Screenagers" An award-winning film that probes into the vulnerable corners of family life and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games and academics. The film offers solutions on how we can help our kids navigate the digital world.  Use this link to view the film brought to our community by Hanah's House.  " We will use the film to continue our dialogue about creating a positive and engaging learning community.  





Superintendent Search 

Did you know our district is embarking on a search for our new Superintendent?  Over the next 3 months, our HUUSD board will be working with search firm McPherson & Jacobson to recruit, interview, and select a leader who will assume the role of Superintendent on July 1, 2022. 


We need your input!  On Nov 8 and 9, Dr. John Gratto of McPherson & Jacobson will lead stakeholder conversations organized around 4 key questions:


  1. What makes our community a good place to live?

  2. What makes this a good school district - for students and staff?

  3. What are the issues that a new superintendent needs to know about as he or she comes into the district?

  4. What skills, qualities and characteristics will the new superintendent need to be successful?


Please join one of our community stakeholder meetings via Zoom on Monday November 8th (11/8 Zoom link) or Tuesday November 9th (11/9 Zoom Link)  from 7:00-8:30 PM.

There will also be an online survey open from November 1st - 10th where you can answer the 4 questions above.  This will be posted at and shared in our community bulletins. 

Dr. Gratto will synthesize findings from the survey and stakeholder meetings with teachers, staff, administrators, high school students & community members  into a report for the Board. The Board will use the input to finalize qualifications for the new superintendent at the 11/17/21 Board meeting.

Please join us to share your thoughts.  We will continue to update the Superintendent Search page throughout this process so all community members can monitor the work to date.

Caitlin Hollister


Resources from our Substance Abuse Coordinator

Talking with Teenagers about Marijuana

Actually, Weed is Addictive

Mara Urban

An important message to keep us all healthy

All students should stay home from school if they show the following symptoms of COVID: 

Runny nose




Sore throat

Muscle pain (muscle or body aches)

Loss of taste or smell

Fever (100.4F or greater)


Shortness of breath


Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

Please understand that we can not differentiate between COVID symptoms and other viral illnesses.  If these symptoms last longer for 24 hours, they will need a COVID PCR test to return to school.  One of our school nurses will contact you if your student is out sick to help determine the next steps.  Please review this document from the Vermont Department of Health.

Please reach out to our school nurses, Magge or Phil, at if you have any questions. 

Meg, Laurie and Duane

Wellness Center update

We are so pleased to announce the reopening of the Wellness Center for the 2021-2022 school year! Our space has moved a few doors down the hall from last year and is filled with lots of regulation tools for students, as well as a calm, welcoming environment to help students to get the most out of their school day. The Wellness Center is open to all students during certain times of the school day to take up to a 15 minute, tech-free, self-regulation break. The breaks need to be at an appropriate time and with teacher permission. Students also have the option of talking to a counselor while visiting the space.

Prioritizing student social, emotional and mental health has been reported by the US Department of Education as a top priority this 2021-2022 school year in addition to accelerating academic achievement. Taking time during the school day to care for yourself and learning how to manage stress is needed this year more than ever. Please encourage your Harwood student to check out the Wellness Center if they have not done so already. 

One other addition is that Jen will have designated time on Wednesdays for individual student follow-up appointments in the Wellness Center. Please reach out with questions to

Jen Dreimiller

Health Office Update

First, as we head into the holiday season, we wanted to make you aware of opportunities for support.


  • National Life and Sodexo are providing a free Thanksgiving meal to their neighbors in Washington County. They partnered with Just Basics, Hannaford, Central Vermont Medical Center, Hunger Mountain Coop, Cabot Cheese, the Vermont Foodbank, and Vermont Creamery to offer traditional turkey and vegetarian meals to-go.Since we’re still navigating the impact of Covid-19, they will once again provide a free pick-up or delivery of Thanksgiving meals to those who need one.  To reserve a free meal, call 802-229-7300 or email by Nov 17.

Gift Giving Holidays:

  • Giving Tree of Central Vermont is a gift giving program serving Central Vermont.  They provide students and siblings of 3-4 HUMHS families with support for holiday gifts and clothing.  Reach out to by 11/3 if interested. 

We will pass along other opportunities as we learn of them.

Other updates:

  • Please remind your student if they are signed up for COVID testing that it takes place in front of HS gym (9-11) and in the MS common room (11-12).  

  • We have seen an uptick of students with upper respiratory symptoms in school.  Please keep your student home if they are sick.  Whether they are vaccinated or not, if symptoms last longer than 24 hours, they will need a COVID test to return to school.  The district is following  the guidance from VDH here

  • If your student has an injury or illness, please let the health office know and send in supporting documents (discharge summary, MD note, activity restrictions, orders that can be done in the health office) so that we can support your student.  

Please email with any questions.


Winter Sports Registrations are OPEN!!

MS Winter Sports Signup Link


Winter Sports will begin on November 29th!! 

Register now!!

Chris Langevin

Family/Student conferences

Please note that family/student conferences will be held this month.   Check your 7th or 8th grade team newsletters for specific information on how to sign-up for time.   If you have questions please contact Duane Pierson at  

**Additional Middle School Opportunities: 

Upcoming Science/Environmental Opportunities for middle school students: 

Nov 13 - Teen Science Cafe (in-person), Intro to Virology, Microbiology and Drugs

Nov 14 - Bovine Bonanza

Nov 8 - TRY for the Environment, application to be a teen teacher are due

Nov 30 - Teen Science Cafe (virtual), Radio Frequency Engineering & How It Relates to Climate Change

Dec 14 - Teen Science Cafe (virtual), Digital Phenotyping; Leveraging Machine Learning, Statistics, and Creativity to Model Human Health

Learn more about these programs and register at:

The Winning TA 
from our recent HUMS Harvestfest Week
The week consisted of autumn themed activities, treats and 
competitions.  It is one of HUMS traditions that
always brings out the smiles.