Dear Harbor Families,
The word "planning" has new meaning these days. When we all crave some semblance of knowing what the future will hold, in these times of uncertainty, it's not possible to really plan. We have been busy, rather, with scenario planning. Through consideration of the possible scenarios for next year, we have spent time thinking creatively and out of the box, considering budget, marketing, and enrollment implications, and staying true to the mission and core principles of our program, we have come up with a "plan" that we believe will serve our children and families well.
This morning, Kameha Bell, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and I communicated details about the 2020-21 school year in a letter to the community. Because this information is timely and necessary for everyone to read and digest, I am including aspects of our letter in italics below.
Small group learning has never been more important than now.
An essential advantage of our small class sizes is the opportunity for all students to come back together in person once regulations permit us to do so. We will follow state and county guidelines for reopening and necessary safeguards - prioritizing the health and safety of our community. We do not expect to have rotating schedules for attendance as other schools are considering, due to the physical space available at our new location and our intentionally small class sizes. Additionally, our plans for virtual learning (described below) include an option for families who are not comfortable or able to send students in person for any reason.
While we plan to be in person next year, we are also planning for the potential need to hold school in a virtual capacity for some portion of the school year. We have used your input and feedback on our current distance learning model to create options that better accommodate our community’s needs. A central theme in your feedback is that families’ diverse schedules and situations make a one-size-fits-all model difficult to achieve. Accordingly, we are pleased to announce a new model for virtual learning, which provides families with choice around the learning format.
Families will be able to choose between a more synchronous or primarily asynchronous format for distance learning during times when we are unable to physically attend school. A tuition discount will be applied during those times.
Both models will deliver the full Harbor curriculum, albeit through somewhat different formats. We recognize that an individual family’s choice of models may depend on a variety of factors including the child’s learning style, at-home schedules and responsibilities, and cost. As you consider these variables, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the school for guidance.
An Important Request
Critical to Harbor’s ability to plan, including making commitments to our teachers, is knowing where we stand with enrollment. If we have not received your family’s contract yet, please send it in as soon as possible.
Additional details about next year will be available on our website soon. As always, the administrative team is available to support you with any questions that may come up. Please feel free to reach out to Leah or Andrea at any time. We are also offering an opportunity to ask questions and clarify understandings via a live video conference this coming Sunday, May 31st at 4:00 PM (the Zoom link is here, password: Harbor). Please join us to learn more about our programming for the next school year.
As we look ahead to the summer, we hope you will consider joining us for one or more weeks of our nine week virtual Harbor@Home Summer program, which also offers asynchronous (“Flex”) and synchronous (“Max”) models.
Thank you for your continued engagement in our Harbor community at a time when community matters more than ever! We are grateful to be a part of this “Safe Harbor” as we navigate the uncharted waters ahead.
Head of School