January 19, 2023

Dear Harbor Families,

"I hope you know that this will go down in your permanent record!"

If you are around my age, you probably recognize the reference as a line in a Violent Femmes song “Kiss Off”. The idea that the “permanent record” is a somewhat outdated and obsolete threat, but still, hearing the word report card might cause a slightly worrisome reaction in some. Yes, there are folders in the office with copies of the student’s report cards, but they don’t make it all the way to college applications as the line suggests! Instead, we view the report card as just another form of communication between school and home. (By the way, I just listened to the song while writing this; it stands the test of time!)

The January report card is one aspect of a system of parent/teacher communication throughout the year, which provides a mid-year comprehensive account of a student’s development. When you receive your child’s report, you will notice detailed “indicators” which describe aspects of our curriculum in each area, and your child’s development along the continuum of meeting those goals. Consistent with research-based practices in early childhood, we don’t use letter grades, but codes that describe progress - not yet developed, progressing with support, meets expectations, and exceeds expectations (for older students). Some indicators may be marked as NA, which does not meet not applicable, but instead not (yet) assessed. This portion of the report will provide you with an overall view of your child’s progress according to our curriculum goals.

Perhaps the most important - and helpful - aspect of the report card is the lengthy descriptive comments that teachers provide. These narratives are personal and individualized, and describe your child’s progress and learning goals in detail and in each area of their development. Most parents find the comments to be extremely helpful in presenting a full picture of their child as a student, and the length and level of detail is wonderful (just ask your friends with kids in the public school).

This personalized and thorough approach to report cards is a true reflection of the Harbor program. You will notice a balance of the academic, social/emotional, and physical development represented in the report. The level of detailed information describing each unique child and the focus on strengths and learning goals demonstrate each teacher’s understanding of, and commitment to, your child’s development. The reports, and specifically the comments, take teachers hours to prepare, so be sure to thank them when you see them! 

Tomorrow, you will receive an email with login information for Gradelink, along with a corresponding information about how to log in to receive your child’s report. Enjoy reading about your child, and spend some time talking about its contents with your child, or read the comments together! Take the time to savor the information, read it more than once, and save it to your own files. After all, this will go down in your permanent record! :)


Leah Musico
Head of School

Harbor School