April 8, 2021

Dear Harbor Families,

As our Spiral curriculum demonstrates, learning is impactful and meaningful when it is integrated across subjects and authentic to students’ interests. When exploring The World Underground, students plunged (pun intended) into the topics with gusto, felt invested in and proud of their learning, and experienced meaningful application of reading, writing, and math skills - as well as dispositions such as collaboration, confidence, creativity, and critical thinking. As years of Harbor graduates tell us, the Spiral experience translates to long-lasting learning (and lasting memories too)!

Tomorrow, when the students head home at noon (thank you!), our Harbor teachers will continue a curriculum project rooted in these best practices. They have been working to create thematic unit maps across each grade level, which, similar to Spiral, will provide a template for teachers when facilitating inquiry-based, interdisciplinary learning around topics of interest. Throughout the process, discussions among teachers have revolved around three questions:

  1. How open-ended and conceptual are the unit topics? How well do they represent our mission and approach at The Harbor School?

  2. How well can academic subject areas and social/emotional learning be integrated into the unit?

  3. How can we best balance unit topics horizontally (throughout the school year in a certain grade) and vertically (between the grade levels)? 

Next year, in addition to discrete learning of clearly articulated subject areas and skills, this unit framework will guide meaningful and engaging learning throughout each grade level. We look forward to sharing the fruits of our labor with you as the 2021-22 school year approaches!


Leah Musico

Head of School

Harbor School