We are only one month into the school year and the 2nd Graders' families, teachers, and I are preparing to identify the "next step" for each of them. At the end of last year (1st Grade), we had a wine-and-cheese event to introduce parents to the idea of graduating from The Harbor School. GULP! At the event, parents heard an admissions director speak about the process of applying to independent schools, as well as an MCPS principal, who addressed the transition into 3rd grade. The recurring theme was that Harbor's students are well prepared for their next step.
Over the next several weeks, I will meet with each of the families to narrow down the options for 3rd grade. After we identify 2-3 schools, families must tour, apply, schedule admissions testing, visit, and then...wait...for schools to make their acceptance decisions. This process, not entirely unlike that which one goes through for college, can seem daunting and overwhelming. The truth is that it is a lot. However, we are here to help families navigate the process with as little anxiety as possible. The 2nd Grade teachers, who also taught these students in 1st Grade, truly understand how their students think, what makes them tick, what challenges them and what supports would benefit them. We work as a team to find the best fit for each individual child. Over the past three years, we have sent our graduates to 20 different area independent schools, in addition to several MCPS elementary schools.
When children are ready to "graduate" from The Harbor School, whether they (or their parents) believe it or not, they are ready to TAKE FLIGHT from our little nest. They emerge more confident, more inquisitive, and more prepared to tackle the academic and social challenges before them.
Enough about graduation for now - it's only September, after all!