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NaugatuckHigh School

End of Year Letter from Principal Harris

Dear families,
I hope that as we enter June, this message finds you safe and healthy. I never imagined that when we left school in March, that I would be writing my end-of-year letter from home, but I cannot tell you how amazed I have been by the resilience, grit, and persistence displayed by our students over the spring months. When I think about how they have handled the changes to everyday life posed by this pandemic, I am filled with nothing but pride for our Greyhounds. For our seniors, especially, these next few days will be bittersweet; to the Class of 2020, please know that you will forever be held up as role models of what it means to be #NaugyStrong.
The end of our year also comes at a time of deep unrest resulting from the continued mistreatment of people of color across America. I know that the protests we've seen over the past week are a response to the damage that prejudice and racism have had on far too many lives. All of us at Naugatuck High School are deeply committed to supporting all of our students and families, especially students and families of color, and ensuring that each and every child leaves NHS having fulfilled our Vision of the Graduate. Part of that vision includes teaching our students to be responsible citizens who:
  • Participate positively with our community and engage in developing solutions to local problems and issues
  • Accept responsibility for personal decisions and actions
  • Act ethically and responsibly
  • Recognize and respect diversity
  • Demonstrate civic literacy
  • Demonstrate awareness of personal and social health and wellness 
  • Act with empathy and kindness
I believe that our schools play a vital role in reducing societal inequities, and remain committed to doing all I can to make NHS a catalyst in the pursuit of equity. Words only go so far; I know that it is our actions and the relationships we build with you that will create the change we want to see. While I will never fully understand what it is to be a person of color in America, please know that I stand with each and every one of you.
I have a few updates related to the end of the year:
  • Our virtual graduation ceremony will be live-streamed at 6 PM on June 11th; you can view the ceremony on either our Naugatuck Public Schools Facebook page, or on our NPS YouTube channel. Families, we hope during the ceremony that parents, guardians, siblings, or others who have shaped these graduates are the ones to confer the diploma when your student's name is read and that you are able to share photographs of your celebrations in the comments of the stream. The ceremony will be recorded and made available on the Naugatuck High School website for viewing, as well.
  • We would greatly appreciate your feedback once again on how you have experienced distance learning. To that end, we have worked with the other schools in the district to create end-of-year surveys: one for families, and one for students. Your feedback will help us reflect on what worked well, what didn't, and how we can do better if we have to transition to distance learning again at any point next year.
  • Grades will be finalized in PowerSchool by June 12th
  • Class schedules for the 20-21 school year will be mailed home during the week of June 15th; please note that these schedules are tentative and are subject to change over the summer. 
  • Any students who need to retrieve items from the building over the summer can contact the main office to set up an appointment to come in.
Students, thank you once again for continuing to pursue your excellence in the face of challenges that no student before you has ever had to face. Families, thank you for your continued support - more than ever before, we have relied on your collaboration at home to keep learning moving forward, and I am so grateful for our partnership.
Best wishes for a safe, healthy, and fun summer!
John Harris
Naugatuck High School