January 14, 2021

Dear Harbor Families,

Thank you all for working through the process of testing with us this week, to facilitate our return to in-person learning today. After we learned that all of our cohorts received negative results yesterday, one teacher described her excitement to return “like a reverse snow day”. It was truly wonderful to see the students back with each other in person.

When faced with challenges of the past year, I have often thought of the (admittedly dramatic) song from Frozen 2, The Next Right Thing. In the song, Anna sings, “Take a step, step again, it is all that I can do - the next right thing”. For almost a year now, we have all had to function this way to some extent - putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. 

In light of last week’s invasion of the capital and the continuing threat against our ideals as a nation, it is particularly important to “do the next right thing”. Students may have had different levels of exposure to the events, from hearing families talk about it, overhearing the news, or simply picking up on the tone of our voices - and they may have questions. Opening conversations by taking an inquiry stance and being honest in an age appropriate way are often good approaches with young children. This article from the Washington Post and this post from Common Sense Media may be helpful in talking with your children.

Throughout the next week, you may notice that there is police presence on campus as an additional precaution given the reports of further violent protests being planned in DC. This measure is in addition to our strict security system and emergency procedures already in place. We will continue to monitor the situation; our location away from DC, the campus being set back and not on a main road, and proximity to the fire department are factors that we consider when making decisions about safety and security.

Given the gravity of the ongoing landscape and what we have witnessed in recent weeks and months, it is an important time to remember that inherent to the mission of our school is a deep belief in the strength of our differences: The Harbor School embraces the uniqueness of each young child, and we teach our students to celebrate it in themselves and each other.

Our diversity, equity, and inclusion statement is carefully worded to expand on our mission and illustrate our deep commitment to compassion, critical thinking, and inclusion. These words provide guidance to our teaching and support us to do “the next right thing”.

We believe that our differences enrich us and make our community stronger.

The Harbor School is a place where we:

  • Know each child as a unique individual and nurture them to reach their full potential.

  • Cultivate children’s natural curiosity and empathy toward others.

  • Develop critical thinking and active listening skills for inquisitive dialogue in a developmentally appropriate, safe environment.

  • Promote a shared responsibility to maintain a welcoming, supportive, and equitable learning community.

  • Foster the awareness, understanding, and confidence to self-advocate and advocate for others for a fair and just community

Let’s all hold these commitments close as we navigate each coming day together.

Warm regards,

Leah Musico

Head of School

Harbor School