A View from the Principal's Office 11/10/16

A View from the Principal’s Office


You will notice that this edition of A View from the Principal’s Office is coming directly through as an e-mail and not as an attachment.  A few of you have requested that I provide the information in this manner; my concern is that e-mails can change formatting.  Please forgive any formatting issues that might accompany this note.


I spoke with a member of our community at the semi-final football game and he shared that he enjoyed hearing what a typical day looks like in our school.  My focus in this note is to address a different reality for some of our students and community members.  As we move into the Thanksgiving holiday, a time to give thanks and consider possibilities; we see through some of our students’ eyes how difficult this time of year can be.  During my tenure as an administrator it has become painfully obvious that, for some of our students, this beginning of the holiday season does not evoke joyous images.  One of our school’s challenges is to support all students, to be relentlessly committed to each and every student.  I believe to do this we have to seek to understand the lives our students lead and in doing so, support their preparation for the school day, week, month, and year.  At this time of year this includes providing supports that many of us take for granted.  Schools no longer exist simply to educate – we are partners; allies in learning, supporters of the hungry, counselors for those who grieve or are anxious or frustrated with their circumstances.  We must continue in our mission to educate, fundamentally that is our calling; but it is true that the hungry child, anxious child, child of poor health, the grieving child, the child suffering from trauma – these children struggle to learn because learning is hard when life’s conditions demand so much from us.  It is easy for these children to be perceived as distractions, difficult, challenging, or worse.  School administrators are often faced with the task of supporting the needs of all students when some are disrupting the learning of others.  This can be frustrating for all who work in schools and for students; as we seek answers in partnership with these students it may appear that we are not being strict enough, or that we are not disciplining children as some would have us do.  At Hartford our goal, as noted above, is to support all students, to do so relentlessly, and to provide for each child that which they need to be successful.  We will not allow the needs of one student to minimize the learning of others; however we will not cast aside or give up on the student whose needs in the moment are not primarily educational.  We will continue to partner with the myriad of supports within our building as well as the many community resources the Upper Valley can bring to bear to bolster all children.  

As this holiday season approaches we are thankful for the opportunity granted each day that our students walk through our doors.  We take seriously our role as partners in education and so much more.  Please take a moment during these next few weeks to consider this partnership – schools and families – working together to build a stronger community of learners and in doing so building a stronger community.  As we prepare our Thanksgiving tables, remember that for some in our community, this is a time of need and that the focus on family, bounty, and celebration is simply not their reality.  If you and your family would like to support our neighbors please use the Thanksgiving season as a time to provide.  Hartford High School has a food shelf that our students can access – we will gladly accept donations to support our students’ families – all food should be brought to HHS the week of Nov. 14 – 18.  Our students have access to the shelf; we will make sure that everyone in our educational community knows that the shelf is there to support them over this Thanksgiving holiday.  Thank you in advance for your donations.


Upcoming events:

Wednesday, Nov. 16  Prospective Student evening 6:30 – 8:00 at HHS Auditorium

Saturday, Nov. 19     Saturday Symposia has been cancelled – the student presentations will be embedded into Wednesday’s Prospective Student evening

Wed., Nov. 23 - 27 Thanksgiving break


Nelson Fogg


Hartford High School