Harbor’s Uniqueness
February 5, 2016

If you missed the Celebrate Harbor! event last night, here are some of the highlights of my remarks about our wonderful school! Harbor truly has a unique approach to education. First, and most obvious, is our commitment to early childhood.
Let's imagine early childhood as a growing tree. Three branches of development are occurring simultaneously - physical, cognitive, and social emotional.

During this period of development, children's brains grow from 70% to 90% of adult capacity. This is, of course, accompanied by a surge in cognitive abilities. It is still impressive to me, as I am visiting classrooms, to see the inquiry, problem-solving, and cooperative work that goes on each day. You know how annoying it was when your toddler asked you "why, why, why" all the time? Well, it is those same inquisitive minds that fuel some of our most fascinating discussions - through which children are learning!

It is a cliché, but most certainly true, that our children's minds are like sponges. Presented in interesting and thought-provoking ways, there is no limit to their learning.

One of Harbor's greatest strengths is our ability to give personalized attention - academically and socially.
Children are challenged to reach their own potential - and in any classroom, there is a wide range.
Not only is there a range in reading and math ability, but also in social skill growth. All children are learning to navigate friendships and solve conflicts.

Like I said, young children develop physically, cognitively and socio-emotionally simultaneously...at the SAME TIME and all the time. The branches of our early childhood tree intertwine, touch each other, splitting into thinner branches.
One branch breaks into gross motor vs. fine motor skills, another branch divides into different levels of friendship,
another breaks into understanding what is a big deal vs. a little, and yet another splits into different mathematical concepts.

Here at Harbor we teach the whole child - being a good friend is just as important as learning to read. Working cooperatively is just as important as solving math problems. A perfect example of the type of innovative and creative learning we do at Harbor is the 1st grade's CITY project. As part of their study of geography and maps, they are studying city planning and designing and creating their very own city. These children are living our educational philosophy through child-driven ideas, teamwork, problem-solving, and hands-on, interactive learning.

As it is so important to teach to the whole child (and complicated - since we focus on so much more than just the academics) we are mindful of the makeup of each class. We really do try our best to balance abilities, personalities, and interests. It is part science and part art. On Friday, we will be mailing out re-enrollment contracts to welcome your children back next year. I encourage you to help us out by sending them back as soon as possible - this helps us determine class make-up as we offer spots to new applicants. We do have applicants at every grade level! This also helps us finalize staffing decisions. So, please do send those contracts back by the deadline so we can guarantee your child a spot in the class!

Harbor School