Harrison Junior School News

HJS Update

Posted on: March 19, 2021

Happy Friday!!!

It is a big week at Harrison Junior School.  There have been a ton of things going on, and the first week of the sprint to Spring Break has been completed.  One more week to go!  We wanted to share several items with our families as we go into the weekend to ensure that our students continue to grow towards our mission of Academic and Social Growth.


4th Quarter – Academic Growth

We are a full week into the 4th quarter and our students are off to a good start.  Students who show success in the classroom the first two weeks of the quarter statistically do better at the end of the quarter.  For our students face to face & virtual, it is incredibly important that we continue to work to finish the school year very strong!!!


Social Emotional Learning Programs/Bullying Concerns – Social Growth

There have been concerns expressed both online and directly to our building in regard to bullying at Harrison Junior School.  I wanted to share a few items that are both proactive & reactive steps that we take throughout the school year to help educate and support our students.

The foundation of our programs are found in our PBiS program.  This stands for “positive behavior intervention supports.”  You have seen elements of this as parents, as we focus on our core values of Trust, Respect, Ownership, and Leadership.  Throughout the school year, students are rewarded for living up to our core values.  In addition, students are reminded of these expectations at the opening of the school year, as well as when we returned from Christmas Break.  We urge our families to continue to build on our core values in your home lives as well.  Each of us working together builds a greater foundation for our students.

Specially, in regard to bullying concerns, it is important that we work to define bullying.  At Harrison Junior School & throughout Southwest Local Schools, bullying includes 3 specific things:

  1. A student would experience, physical, mental, or emotional harm.
  2. A mismatch between the students
  3. A repetitive behavior

Each of these items must be met for something to be considered bullying.  However, we certainly are aware that there are incidents that occur in schools that still need to be addressed.  Students, at any time, are welcome to come directly to the office to fill out a “My Side of the Story”.  If an issue is reported to a parent at home, this form is also available on our district website HERE

Typically, if there is a concern that takes place between students, students/families can also report it directly to Mr. Rouster at dan.rouster@southwestschools.org or to our guidance office (7th & 8th Mrs. DeRisi at Britney.derisi@southwestschools.org, 6th Grade Mrs. Lee at Nicole.lee@southwestschools.org).  Each incident is investigated, and discipline is issued if necessary, or the incident may end in a mediation between students.  

As we move into next school year, we are in the planning process to role out a full social-emotional curriculum to help further support our students.  In this planning, we will be speaking with groups of students and families to help us identify the greatest needs for our current and future students.  Be on the lookout for a survey coming in the next few weeks.  The results of this survey will be a major step in molding this program to support our school and community.


Summer School Programming – Academic Growth

Last night at the Board of Education meeting, information was presented in regard to our Summer School programming.  This information will be published following the April Board of Education Meeting when it has been officially approved.


4th Quarter After School Programming – Academic Growth

In addition to summer school programming, we will be looking to provide extra help after school for our students who failed courses during the first semester, or may need additional supports outside of the school day as a result of missing school due to COVID.  This will be a significant undertaking, and for many of our students who struggled during 1st Semester, they may be able to attend this program to assist them in avoiding a summer school requirement to continue to the next grade.


Fire/Tornado Drills – Student & Staff Safety

On Wednesday, March 24th at 9:50 A.M. there is a Statewide Tornado Drill.  This will include testing emergency sirens.  Harrison Junior School will be participating in this process, completing both a Fire Drill and Tornado Drill at this time.


AIR Testing Dates – Academic Growth

AIR Testing is still happening in the State of Ohio this year.  State testing will begin for ELA on April 6th with our SPED/504 students.  The majority of our students will take their ELA test on April 13th & April 15th.  This schedule is still being finalized, and we will publish the full testing schedule directly to students following Spring Break.


Yearbook Information – Social Growth

Is your student is interested in ordering a 2020-2021 HJS yearbook? If so, please click HERE to order.  The books are $40 and all orders can be placed online through the Balfour website. Orders are due by March 31st and are going quick, so make sure to get yours ordered! E-mail haley.tolleson@southwestschools.org with any questions. 


The New Harrison Junior School – Academic & Social Growth

Mark your calendar, the ribbon cutting of the New Harrison Junior School will take place on Sunday, August 1st.  For many of our students, we are planning to tour them prior to going home for the summer to allow them to plan for next year.  Having the opportunity to watch this building be built has been incredible and we want to continue to thank our community for the support.


Track Information – Social Growth

We have several running activities taking place right now that students can get involved with.  Our 7th and 8th Grade Track season is in full swing.  Students who are interested in joining track still can, please email dirk.dugan@southwestschools.org for more information!  All track parents need to watch the Sports Information video by clicking HERE.

Youth track for our 6th Graders has signups on March 23rd from 5:30 – 7:30 in the High School Commons, or online at harrisonathleticboosters.com.  

Finally, for our Cross Country runners (or students who may be interested in Cross Country) can also join Running Club.  If you are interested in Running Club, please email brooke.skelly@southwestschools.org


Thank You

Once again, we are grateful for our community for their support of our school and students.  Enjoy this last week as we approach Spring Break and let’s look to finish this school year strong.