Dear Harbor Families,
In undergrad, I majored in anthropology. (Andrea did too, actually, and when we met four years ago we were surprised about this similarity, and that we both had attended Johns Hopkins for grad school!) I’m not sure about Andrea’s family, but I think my parents were a little concerned about the opportunities an anthropology degree might afford their daughter in the mid-1990s. I don’t really blame them, which is why I minored in math, and then went on to pursue my Masters degree in education just after graduating. But I was really passionate about anthropology, and they supported me in that. And although it may not have opened job opportunities, I believe my coursework in cultural anthropology provided me with a framework of thinking that serves me every day in my career.
I was pulled to Harbor because of our mission - The Harbor School embraces the uniqueness of each young child and teaches students to celebrate this in themselves and each other. It speaks to the essence of the human experience - that we are all unique and offer something special to contribute to our community. This one simple statement describes our commitment at Harbor to help students formulate and understand their identities, and to gain confidence about who they are - while recognizing and appreciating what makes others unique. I really believe that our school culture is created and nurtured with this intention throughout each day.
As young children whose worlds are still relatively small, our kids’ identities center around the culture of their family, and beyond this, that of the communities in which they feel a sense of belonging. So when we talk about celebrating diversity or cultivating an inclusive environment, we are talking about something absolutely essential to early childhood development.
Throughout the past and with focused efforts in recent years, our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals have come into focus in support of this commitment. From ensuring that we have diverse resources in our library, to holding parenting sessions with our DEI consultant (scroll down for upcoming dates), to mapping out social justice standards in our curriculum, we keep these goals and our DEI philosophy at the forefront of our daily work.
Just today, our DEI committee met to plan a new Harbor event which we hope will further support these goals. On the morning of May 20th, we look forward to a new Harbor tradition - A Celebration of Culture! Our vision is to incorporate music and the arts with expressions of the many family cultures that enrich our school. We’ll share more details as the date approaches, but in the meantime, please think about aspects of your family culture which you may be willing to share with others during this special event.
And on this topic, I don’t want to forego the opportunity to remind you of two special events coming up soon - Harbor’s Got Talent which is happening next Thursday evening (talk about celebrating uniqueness, just wait until you see the diverse acts - and don't forget to sign up below before Monday!), and A Toast to Harbor, an adults-only gathering on April 28 to celebrate and support our school. We look forward to these community events and hope to see you there!
Head of School