October 10, 2019

Dear Harbor Families,

Whether your family is planning for a long weekend away, or have had to work out a plan for child care for tomorrow, we thank you for the time, so that we may dedicate a full day to professional learning and growth. In my years of education, professional development days have always provided a chance for reflection, collaboration, and invigoration about my profession. As a faculty, these days give us time to reflect on classroom learning, allow us to collaboratively plan, and afford us needed time to stay abreast of research-based best practices. A former Head and mentor of mine used to say, “You wouldn’t want your doctor to fall behind on learning about developments in medicine. Why wouldn’t you invest the time for your teachers to stay current on new research in education?” I couldn’t agree more.

In the morning, our teachers will work in differentiated learning experiences by grade. Our Preschool and JK teachers are exploring topics related to early childhood development, while our Kindergarten through Grade 2 teachers will be working with colleagues from KID Museum to further build the Invention Studio program, planning maker-centered learning and innovation experiences for students this fall.

Our afternoon will be spent all together as a faculty, learning more about the Zones of Regulation in a workshop facilitated by a specialist from The Treatment and Learning Centers (TLC). The Zones of Regulation are a tool to help students understand and name feelings, and apply strategies to self-regulate when they are experiencing natural feelings of frustration, anger, or other heightened emotions. Since aligning language used at school and home can be especially helpful when working with kids, I share with you some basics of what you might hear educators or child development specialists simply call “the Zones”:

  • Blue Zone: sad, tired, bored, moving slowly

  • Green Zone: happy, calm, focused, ready to learn

  • Yellow Zone: frustrated, worried, excited, loss of some control

  • Red Zone: mad, afraid, out of control

It’s important for kids to know that it’s normal and okay to feel all of these feelings, and more than that, they can learn strategies to help them move from one zone to another (often, of course, the goal is the green zone, where they are ready to learn).

We look forward to sharing more with you about our learning after tomorrow’s professional day, and hope that you all have a wonderful four day weekend!


Leah Musico

Head of School

The Harbor School

Harbor School