Dear Harbor Families,
The other day when we were sitting at our family dining table, I glanced over to the space where we keep the kids’ school supplies. Tucked behind the set of crayons, glue sticks, and scissors was a roll of soft cardboard with notes and drawings, lists of sight words, and number lines. It was the makeshift cover for our dining room table during distance learning, that we pulled out to set up most mornings from June to August 2020 and again in December (and a few other times when the kids’ classes had to quarantine). I’m not sure how it had come to settle into the background of that space. I think in some unconscious way, I had left it there in case we needed to pull it back out again.
This weekend, I am throwing it away. I might even make a little personal ceremony of it. Maybe it could even be kindling for an evening fire pit?
Those days of distance learning were manageable, because, well, they had to be. (I have to admit, I'm always surprised to hear about friends who are still in it with their kids.) We made it work, and despite how hard it was, we persevered as parents and as teachers. But, if I’m honest, I am really looking forward to disposing of that table cover - and if our dining room table never becomes a home learning hub again, I will be thrilled!
I know we all have questions about what next year will look like. Although much is still unknown since the vaccine is not yet approved for students of our age groups, still, there are a few “knowns” (finally). We predict that we won’t need to have long quarantines at home or move in and out of distance learning as we did this year. To that end, our FLEX and MAX programs will take a seat in Harbor history and we’ll plan our schedules around consistent in-person learning. (We can still use our new tools to assist us in case a student needs to be home for an extended duration of time for a medical reason.)
Another known is that we’ll have a hot lunch program next year - cue the cheering crowds who are tired of packing lunch each morning! We are pleased to share that we are working on a menu with Gregorio's Trattoria for student lunches, where families can opt into a program for one to five days a week. If you haven’t eaten at Gregorio’s, I recommend it! We had a taste test with some of our students (the Musico kids might have helped with that) a few weeks ago and the food was a hit with both children and adults!
Questions remain about the mixing of cohorts for before and after care (but my best guess is that we’ll be able to make something work), surveillance testing, and masking, especially outdoors. We are also thinking carefully, with support from our associations and peer schools, about decisions about mandating the vaccine when it becomes available.
I share your eagerness to know what September will look like, but have learned this year, if nothing else, that sometimes it’s best to take more time as conditions change. A quote I love that emerged from this year and is particularly meaningful for Harbor - “We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails.” We will keep you informed as progress is made throughout the summer!
I wish you all a wonderful summer. Whatever your plans, I hope they include rest and rejuvenation and time to connect with those you love.
We look forward to seeing many of you at Camp Harbor!
Head of School