Dear HDS Families,

As we prepare to officially close out the 2019-20 school year, I want to share some important announcements with you. 

First, I want to assure you that I have every intention of opening school in the fall of 2020, barring any State of Maryland executive order which prevents us from doing so. The Reopening Task Team will be working diligently to ensure safeguards are in place so that we are ready to open for learning on September 8, 2020.

Summer Planning: 

That said, we do not feel that the campus will be ready to safely host an in person summer camp in mid-June or July, and we surveyed families to determine whether there would be interest in online offerings as an alternative. 48 parents responded to our survey expressing mixed interest in online offerings for children 3-5 and more interest in academic and other offerings for older children. We will determine feasibility based on registration levels.  
A significant amount of time in the summer is spent configuring schedules, class groupings, homerooms/advisories, and math placements. In many ways, this summer will be no different, as grade level teachers and division heads apply their knowledge of your children as students to collaborate in putting together well-balanced class rolls. One way in which there will be a difference in class groupings this summer is with regard to math placements. The great majority of our students remain in the same placement in math as they had the previous year, progressing onto the next, natural course in the sequence. This year, in light of our unusual fourth quarter of the school year, all students will do so. Should the teacher determine that a change is called for, parents will be consulted.    

Staffing Updates:

As the school year winds down, we say farewell to faculty who are moving on to other pursuits. Mrs. Stephanie Temple joined the HDS faculty this year teaching Spanish to Early Childhood and Lower School students.  We thank Mrs. Temple for her year of service to HDS.  Mr. Jay Jacuzzi has played many roles during his tenure at HDS -- PA President and parent volunteer extraordinaire, school librarian, tech director of MS Drama, lower school language arts, math, and history teacher, 4th grade homeroom teacher, co-editor of Young Voices -- to name a few.  We wish the Jacuzzi-Lewis family all the best in the future.

We will be making some internal shifts of current faculty positions.  For the 2020-2021 school year, Mrs. Kate Bradshaw will become a member of the Intermediate team to teach 4th Grade homeroom and sections of 4th Grade Language Arts, Math, History, and 5th Grade English.  Ms. Jennifer Dippel will assume the role of 3rd Grade homeroom teacher and teach sections of 3rd Grade Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies.  We are also pleased to announce that Mrs. Molly Levis will serve as the Early Childhood Division Head.  With her vast experience and expertise in the development of young children, we are confident our Early Childhood program will continue to grow and thrive under her leadership.

Other staffing changes and shifts may occur during the summer months depending on enrollment and will be communicated to families once staffing patterns have been finalized.  

Finally, I would like to say a fond farewell and congratulations to the graduates of the Class of 2020. This class will always be my 'first' class at HDS. They welcomed me warmly and, as their year was cut unexpectedly short, they demonstrated their own strength and resilience, through their continued commitment to learning, to their teachers, and to each other. They will always have the unique honor of being graduates of the Class of 2020, a badge of honor of sorts -- displaying grace, humor, hope, and optimism during challenging times. 

I wish you all a healthy, joyful, safe summer.


P.S. When you have a moment, I encourage you to check out our school counselor Courtney Hart's most recent blog post on our website -- definitely worth a read! 
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