April 20, 2020

Dear HDS Parents,

As I look through the calendar for the next four weeks, I am struck by the incongruity of all that is occurring. A beautiful spring is upon us, and we should be looking forward to field trips, the Middle School Musical, 8th grade speeches, hot lunches and Grandparent and Special Friends Day. Yet, we now face the reality of another four weeks of social distancing and remote learning. This does not get easier with time; in fact, it becomes more challenging with each passing day - to maintain a schedule, to balance workload, to maintain energy and enthusiasm for a new 'not' normal. 

Certainly, none of us -- students, parents, or teachers --signed up to teach and learn in this manner; we are fortunate, however, to continue providing and benefiting from an HDS education amidst the chaos. Our administrators, teachers, and staff are well aware of the toll this is taking on you and your children. We will continue to reach out to speak with you to find out how your family is faring. We also welcome your feedback on the HDS distance learning program and how we can work to improve the experience for your children. Please click on the linked survey here to share your thoughts.

School Counselor, Courtney Hart, is working to develop more (virtual) social opportunities for our students in the weeks ahead. We also want to provide additional support to our parent community. I have invited Dr. Shreya Hessler to lead a GoogleMeet discussion with parents on the topic: Coping with COVID, on Thursday, April 23rd, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Dr. Hessler will share tips and strategies to help manage anxiety during this unprecedented time. The meeting link is: https://meet.google.com/zfz-qmsd-ave?hs=122 The session will be recorded if you are unable to attend. 

I enjoy seeing your children as I stop in to visit virtual homerooms, advisories, and classes. Nothing is the same as seeing them in person, however. Thank you for sharing in our commitment to maintain continuity of learning and to finding daily opportunities for joy. Our partnership with you is essential during this uniquely challenging time.

Be well.

Susan
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