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Harrison strives to meet students, parents, community needs

I am honored to serve as the superintendent in Harrison School District Two. Our district announced our new strategic plan, The Journey Forward, in May 2021. The plan focuses on classroom, culture, and community, and strives to create an environment that values all students, staff, and families. Students lost instructional time during the pandemic, and we are addressing this with a sense of urgency while also considering the social-emotional needs of our students and staff. 

This year we have opened Aspire Online Academy to continue a virtual learning option for families who desire it. This new school provides a unique opportunity for online learning combined with optional in-person support sessions, field trips, and extracurricular experiences. We have launched FREE before- and after-school care at each elementary school with three different partner agencies in response to family needs. Before- and after-school care allows all our elementary school students access to safe and supportive childcare while family members are at work or school. Also new this year is our adult education program, offering basic education courses, English language classes, and the opportunity to earn a certificate in a chosen discipline.
Harrison School District is committed to equitable opportunities for all students through academic and extracurricular programming. As a district, we support students and their families to ensure all students can fully engage in their educational experience. You will find school supplies, laptops, hotspots, transportation, tutoring, clubs, sports, breakfast, lunch, snacks, and preschool are provided at no cost to our families. We are also so proud of our continued partnership with Pikes Peak Community College, which offers D2 graduates a tuition-free associate degree or certification in a trade. 

Our students are like their peers across the nation who may be returning to school with emotional and academic challenges. We are intentional in supporting students and have formed solid community partnerships to meet these needs. Whether the need is for food, rental assistance, mentoring, or counseling, we are committed to helping our community. We will also monitor each student’s progress and adjust to complete any unfinished learning from the past year while still providing the necessary new skills and learning for this academic year. Our commitment to mindfulness and positivity, and restorative justice give our students and staff a new mindset to help process all that has happened during the pandemic and support us as we move forward. 

The last 18 months have been challenging at best, yet our community has shown strength and resilience. Harrison School District Two has created many new community partnerships and strengthened long-standing community relationships to support the unique needs of our students, families, and staff. As a community, we are all here to open the doors for our students, help them reach their full potential, and send them out to share their voice and their gifts with the world.

Dr. Wendy Birhanzel