Dear Harbor Families,
As we embark on a year of an intensive self-study through our accrediting body, the Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools (AIMS), I can't help but compare this process to what we know about learning and growth for people of all ages.
Research demonstrates that students learn best when they regularly engage in the self-reflective process and set goals for their own learning. In our responsive classrooms, students discuss their "hopes and dreams" for the school year and revisit them throughout the school year with their teachers. Similarly, our faculty reflects regularly on a set of professional standards for excellence in teaching and writes specific professional goals for the school year, sharing and discussing learning opportunities with colleagues and administrators for purposeful professional growth.
The accreditation process is, at its core, an extension of our approach to learning in our classrooms and with our faculty. This year, following a comprehensive self-study guide, we'll be taking a close look at all aspects of our school - from teaching and learning to school climate and community, finance, admissions, governance, and more. In holding up a mirror to closely examine our work as an institution of learning, we are able to better understand our strengths and areas of growth, so we are able to set meaningful goals and plan for continued growth!
At tomorrow's professional day, teachers will be engaging in reflective conversations about Harbor in small groups focused on topics within our self-study, with an eye toward goal-setting and continuous improvement. We look forward to involving the parent community in the reflection process in various ways throughout the year. Our next parent coffee on November 2nd will focus on this topic, so please mark your calendars!
Head of School