September 17, 2020

Dear Harbor Families,

I don’t know about you - but for me, as we finish the eighth day of school today, it feels like we have been back for much longer! Routines have been established, we have remembered what it’s like to get up and out of the house in the morning, and life feels (almost) normal again.

This is a significant transition for all of us. For the kids who have been hungry for school routines and social connection - whether they can express it or not, - they are experiencing a new rhythm to their days which is fulfilling, but can also be exhausting. (My first grader has fallen asleep in the car on the way home from school more than once!)

For us as parents, the transition back to school in 2020 is intense as well - and like any significant moment in time, we are each experiencing it differently, through our own lens. For some of you, after being with your kids full time for so many months, it’s a challenge to suddenly not have the daily connection. For others, it’s a welcome independence for both parent and child. But for all of us, we need to know that our kids are safe, learning, and happy. That’s what we’ve always needed, but more than ever in these times.

Some kids are reporters and others not as much, so you may be getting a lot of stories at the end of the day, or short one-word answers and maybe a brief description of recess. So, I’m here to tell you - it’s going very well! The teachers have been diligent in implementing our health and safety procedures - establishing routines for transitions, facilitating outdoor learning, and teaching hand washing, mask wearing, and distancing. The students are not only following these new routines well, but they seem to be unfazed by it in ways that were hard to imagine a month ago. As we were making plans over the summer, we knew theoretically that young children generally adapt well - but now that it’s actually happening, seeing their comfort with the masks and distancing has been refreshing. They are, simply, kids in school, learning and having fun with each other.

We know that giving you a window into the daily experiences of your child is more important than it’s ever been. If you haven’t already, you will soon receive information about the parent version of the Seesaw app (the student version is what we use for distance learning). Teachers will be posting daily photos and videos of your children in school; you can receive notifications on your phone. It’s a great feeling to be able to sneak a peek into a classroom in live time during the day. After next week’s Back to School Nights, you will also begin to receive weekly newsletters to keep you informed about classroom learning and happenings.

It’s been so nice to see you all in the car line and at the Parent Meet-and-Greets this week. I look forward to continued opportunities to connect, both informally and formally, throughout the school year. As one measure, Andrea and I look forward to weekly parent coffees on Zoom on Thursday mornings!


Leah Musico
Head of School

Harbor School