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Back to school at Harwood Union

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8/27/2009

By Lisa Loomis

The focus this year at Harwood Union will be student learning, according to Principal Duane Pierson.

Pierson, in an interview on August 24, explained that the school has accomplished a lot of work in the areas of school climate and community and said the emphasis was now shifting to how curriculum is delivered.

Those three areas, school climate, community and curriculum, were identified via a school and community-wide planning process two years ago. 

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"We've done a lot of work on those first two areas and also have a much improved cafeteria, great school spirit and great student assemblies. Now we're looking forward to focusing on how students learn and how we deliver the curriculum to our students," Pierson said.

"We want to assess how we are doing and make improvements based on that. We have an action plan developed by the teachers to help us do that and we'll be asking, 'What do we want a Harwood graduate to look like when they are done with school?'" he said.

Pierson said the process would help educators develop common assessments and use them to assess themselves against their own benchmarks.

Pierson said educators would also be working on Harwood's math scores, as judged against the NECAP standardized testing.

"This part is really about educational leadership. It's the heart of what school is supposed to be about and I think a lot of it is about being transparent with people. The school is like a ship floating around; it needs people on it who know the destination -- improving student learning -- so that the ship can get there. We'll be working on how teachers present and how students learn," he concluded.

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