Exploring Harwood Union’s Emergency Readiness to Ease Uncertainty Amongst the Pandemic

Piper Lowe, Reporter

The 2020/2021 school year has been a strange and uncertain one. So far Harwood Union High School, like many schools, has taken various precautions and has adapted its teaching model in regards to Covid-19 and looking out for student and staff health safety. But with winter already here, and the new year underway, some wonder if this new hybrid model of schooling will further adapt and adjust with the uncertainty of the pandemic building as we look toward the future.

Winter has brought on significant uncertainty and concern for many, with the predictions of the virus stacked against us during these colder months. During a virtually conducted interview with Laurie Greenberg, (a co-principal at Harwood Union) she was asked about Harwood Union staff and faculty stress and concerns going into the winter and new year.

She responded by stating that Harwood Union’s focus has not changed since the start of the pandemic, that they are constantly working to preserve the safety and wellness of the entire school community, and though there are a variety of emotions during this time, Harwood Union’s continued attention will remain on maintaining a positive atmosphere.

When asked if Harwood Union is aware of any impending changes to the current hybrid school model, Greenberg said, “We are continuing to evaluate everyone’s physical safety and wellness on an ongoing basis. At this time we plan to maintain the current hybrid model unless directed by the Governor that we are returning to Step 1 or we are faced with positive COVID cases in our school community.”

As the current health crisis remains mostly unpredictable, many would assume Harwood Union, as well as the entire Harwood Unified Union School District, has thought out various options and plans for continued student learning in the event the school is forced to shut down or is required to change their current hybrid model. Greenberg gave us a little insight into Harwood Union’s emergency preparedness.

“Given our population at Harwood and the physical size of our building we are maximizing our onsite learning capacity,” She said. “We are continuing to identify how we can support students on days they are remote and will increase our support where and if possible.”

At this time schools appear to be generally at the mercy of the governor’s plans for an emergency reaction; however, Harwood Union may be in a different position than most schools across the country. At the moment they are working toward getting back to the original system, as Greenberg had mentioned, given the school’s population and physical size, they are fortunate to have some of these nationwide constraints not necessarily lifted, but loosened as long as Harwood can remain in an advancing position against the global health crisis.

Greenberg made a final statement during our interview, saying “We are grateful to be at Harwood and for the amazing community.” She feels everyone involved in the Harwood Union community is doing their best at maintaining a supportive and creative environment and will continue to make strides toward maintaining a happy and healthy atmosphere.