Dear Harbor Families,
It has been such a pleasure to walk through the Harbor classrooms this week! As students get to know new classmates, classroom routines, and their teachers, smiles abound. In just three days, the teachers have already begun to set the foundation for a wonderful year ahead. Through establishing simple but carefully orchestrated routines for each day and developing classroom community agreements, teachers set the course of the school year as they develop the relationships to sustain a year of learning and growth for our young children. It is a sight to see!
And it will be your turn soon! It was such a pleasure to see so many of you at yesterday morning’s HSPA coffee and gathering, and more opportunities to get involved in the community - and to come into the building to see the action - are just around the corner. Among other opportunities, in the coming weeks we are planning Back to School Night, restaurant community nights, monthly bedtime stories, the annual Book Fair and PJ Party, and a favorite for kids and families alike, a holiday we've dubbed “Harborween”! Yup, we are jumping right into fall!
We are pleased to be able to invite families into the building for Parent Coffees and Open Classrooms - where you will be able to walk through the building and spend time in classrooms - on the first Friday of each month, beginning in October. And, as classroom units get underway, we welcome parent presenters about topics of study or family cultural traditions!
Please mark your calendars for all of these exciting events (or use the parent google calendar we've developed for you), and keep an eye on your weekly Harbor Highlights newsletter for more information and opportunities to get involved throughout the fall! After all, it is through the relationships and partnerships we develop with each other that we are able to best support our children.
Speaking of community, there is one community member who has been strikingly missing as we begin the school year together. If you are a returning family, your child is probably missing Calvin, our school dog, in these first few days. His absence is deeply felt in this new school year, after he has supported students, teachers, and families for the past ten years at Harbor. Calvin embodied our social emotional program in many ways, and we will all continue to live out his legacy in our daily interactions, care, and support.
Next Tuesday, the students will be coming together for our first all school morning meeting, a time to gather together as a community to share learning, celebrate milestones, and create shared experiences as a whole school. That morning, we will give students the opportunity to share memories of Calvin, and introduce a special memorial wall in the hallway where we can all share thoughts and memories. The death of a pet can provide the opportunity to help children understand the difficult concept of loss, and whether or not your family knew Calvin, you may wish to talk with your child next week as we process this loss together as a community.
We look forward to seeing you all very soon and to continue to build our community in support of our students, through the joys and the challenges, in the year ahead.
Head of School