The HUUSD Board met remotely via Zoom on Wednesday May 26.
Most of the meeting centered around the 7th and 8th grade merger. By an overwhelming majority, the Board affirmed its earlier decision to bring all of the district’s 7th and 8th graders together at Crossett Brook Middle School, contingent on the passage of a bond. The board will ask voters to approve the funds for an addition to Crossett Brook as part of the bond for Harwood Union High School that is expected to be presented this coming November. The permanent addition at CBMS will accommodate an additional 7th and 8th grade team.
Resolving the middle school plans allows the Board to move forward with bond planning for the Harwood campus. For many years, there has been a clear and defined need for significant repairs and upgrades at Harwood. While the building has been well maintained, most of it is over 50 years old, well past the expected life span of many of its components and systems. In addition to the repairs, there are proposed renovations to help move the building from the industrial era model of 50 years ago to one that is well-suited for a 21st century education.
Consolidating 7th and 8th graders at the CBMS campus will create much needed space at Harwood -- for enlarged and appropriately sized science labs, collaborative teaching spaces, gathering spaces for students and staff, a pre-vo-tech program and other innovations. Harwood Community Learning Center students will be able to return to the main building and the district’s Central Office can also be relocated to Harwood.
At CBMS, a small addition will allow each core team of students to have their own team space as well as provide office and work space for all of the building’s staff. All of the district’s 7th and 8th graders will have equal access to the campus’s many playing fields and recreational spaces, outdoor educational features, climbing gym, dedicated middle school library, maker space, and applied academics programs. The Board made this decision after researching options, collecting community feedback in a survey (results can be found at http://tinyurl.com/HUUSDCBMS), and deliberating at the Board table.
There are a number of reports and presentations available on these topics at the Board’s website, https://huusd.org/prek-12-bond-plan. The Board will continue to finalize plans for the bond in the coming months and work to share them thoroughly with the community prior to election day in November.
In other matters, the Board:
Voted to hear from the high school principals in executive session (at a future meeting) regarding a matter of employee discipline;
Reviewed a draft flag policy that is still in development;
Discussed a possible conflict of interest; and
Heard an update on contract negotiations.
As always, the Board welcomes community feedback. Emails sent to email@example.com go to every Board member. There is also time at every Board meeting for public comment. Alternately, reach out to one of your neighbors who is on the school board and share your thoughts in a personal email or phone call.
The Board will have its next regular meeting, remotely, on Wednesday June 9th at 6PM. Find links to agendas and meetings at huusd.org. Zoom link for meetings is here.