DECONSTRUCTING OUR MISSION
May 13, 2021

Dear Harbor Families,

The Harbor School embraces the uniqueness of each young child and teaches students to celebrate this in themselves and in each other. Our holistic approach nurtures confident, kind, and capable learners.

Our mission is simple and clear - and captures the essence of Harbor. I like to think about the first sentence in two parts, which connect explicitly to the second:

  1. We embrace the uniqueness of each young child (CAPABLE). - This illustrates our commitment to understanding and supporting each student’s individual development academically, socially/emotionally, and physically.

  2. We teach students to celebrate uniqueness in themselves (CONFIDENT) and each other (KIND). - This affirms our goal of guiding students to understand themselves and appreciate that our differences enrich us and make our community stronger.

Our differences enrich us and make our community stronger. 

This statement is the first line in our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Philosophy statement, which continues to articulate how we support this goal.

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

This is a commitment we live by at Harbor. In recent years, we have explored topics of implicit bias with faculty and staff through readings, discussions, and workshops, we formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee in early 2019 representing all constituent groups, and adopted social justice standards from Teaching Tolerance. In addition to local conferences and workshops, over the last few years, the faculty, staff, and Board have read books to deepen our personal reflection, including Blind SpotWhistling VivaldiWaking Up White, and How to Be an Anti-Racist.

We are excited to share that we have engaged a DEI consultant, Jen Cort, who will work with our parent community, faculty and staff, and the Board, to facilitate continued self-inquiry and program development. Our DEI committee will work with the consultant to align strategic goals for this work, which has begun this spring and will continue through next year. While the faculty/staff and Board of Trustees have already begun working with her, we look forward to introducing the parent community to Jen in the new school year!

Warm regards,

Head of School
The Harbor School

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