Harrison Highlander Families,
As the principal at J.E. Harrison Middle School, it is with great pleasure and excitement that I welcome you to the 2019-20 school year! I hope this correspondence finds you enjoying the last couple of summer days before the beginning of school. Our staff has been extremely productive this summer dedicating many hours to enhancing instructional practices by including more technology to enhance student engagement, creating personalized learning opportunities, and developing activities that incorporate STEAM and project-based learning into daily lessons. The district is continuing to integrate the various components of the Google Platform into our daily routines and instructional practices for the upcoming school year.
Our staff will continue to foster an environment that puts student safety and achievement at the forefront of all decision-making. Staff looks forward to another productive year at J.E. Harrison Middle School. For those who may not have met me yet, I have been in education for over twenty years, and I am excited to continue collaborating with the staff to create a positive learning environment where all students have the opportunity to grow both academically and socially. I look forward to continuing my work with Mr. Scott Ross and Mr. Jonathan Peebles, Assistant Principals, who have been integral members of the HMS and BWSD teams for several years serving as both teachers and administrators. Their expertise and dedication to education and the children of the Baldwin-Whitehall School District is second to none. They will continue to strengthen the focus of our administrative team at HMS.
This year we will continue to focus heavily on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and data and progress monitoring to continue to analyze student growth and achievement. The data will be generated from individual grades, standardized and common assessments, and the Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System (PVAAS). All public schools are required to participate in the assessment evaluation system since it displays how well their students performed academically compared to other schools across the state. We recognize each student is unique and monitoring each student’s academic progress will help provide meaningful instruction, support, and feedback.
J.E. Harrison Middle School counselors, teachers and administrators have continued to work on the Master Schedule over the summer to ensure the completion of students’ schedules. Attendance will continue to be monitored during the 2019-20 school year. Students and parents are strongly encouraged to visit the Baldwin-Whitehall School District website to review District Policy 204 and 204.1 to become familiar with the attendance and truancy guidelines along with many other district policies.
The main goal of all HMS staff this upcoming school year is to best serve the academic and social needs of our middle school students. We aim for our students to thrive and connect with school and community. Please know that our entire staff will be part of a team that expects to communicate and collaborate with HMS families to make the middle school years positive and memorable for all of the children. Families are encouraged to access the district website at www.bwschools.net and select Harrison Middle School in the School –drop down menu. The school site includes valuable information including: highlights, daily announcements, school calendar, and student recognitions. Teachers communicate by using Skyward and/or Google Classroom on a weekly basis updating parents/families of upcoming classroom activities, assignments and events, as well as current grades. Parents may access Skyward by clicking on the Parent – drop down menu and selecting Skyward Family Access. Families will have updated access to Skyward on Sunday, August 25, 2019. We will continue to email the HMS Happenings on a monthly basis which highlights all of achievements of students and staff and provides important information to families.
Again, I am thrilled about the opportunity to serve as Principal at Harrison Middle School and to work with the talented students and excellent faculty of this district to develop lifelong learners and responsible citizens of all of our children. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the expectations and information in the Student Handbook and Technology Handbook (located on the district’s website). It is our responsibility to teach students how to properly and appropriately utilize the technology. HMS has earned the recognition of being a Common Sense Media School for our implementation of its curriculum. Chromebook distribution for incoming 6th graders and new students will take place during the school day in the library on Wednesday, September 4, 2019. The Chromebooks are not to replace or substitute instruction but to enhance learning, opportunities and access to information when necessary and appropriate.
Looking forward to beginning a new school year with you on Tuesday, September 3, 2019!
Mrs. Jill Fleming-Salopek