Dear Harbor Families,
The month of February has a bit of a reputation for being a slow and weary time of year. The ongoing cold weather and shorter period of daylight - and with spring not quite around the corner - can certainly bring about a feeling of sluggishness.
At Harbor, not so much! Needless to say, there’s a lot going on at this time of the year, which propels learning forward and feeds that sense of vibrancy and excitement that happens when you walk through the doors of the school. Just to illustrate a few of these…
Classrooms are diving deeply into learning about the experiences of the past, while investigating our Spiral topic of “Long, Long Ago”. Topics range from exploring early transportation to researching the wonders of the ancient world, learning about technology of the past (kids are checking out flip phones and BlackBerry phones - in case you needed to be reminded of your age!) to the ever popular study of dinosaurs! It’s an exciting time of year for learning at Harbor, and the students can’t wait to show you their learning on Spiral Night in just three weeks (be sure mark your calendar for February 23rd if you haven't yet)!
You have already heard about our collaboration with KID Museum to further our commitment to maker-centered learning. Teachers enjoyed a half day workshop in early December at KID to explore the elements of design thinking in early childhood, and to consider ways to further integrate making into our daily learning experience and units (which is already a strength of our classroom learning). During the next professional development day on the 17th of this month, we’ll return to KID Museum to work with our partners there for further exploration and professional growth in maker-centered learning.
Yesterday, our Learning and Literacy Specialist Ashley Howard hosted a colleague from the Treatment and Learning Centers, Occupational Therapist Brigid Baker, to spend time in our building, and in each classroom, to observe our methods and tools for supporting students with sensory integration. Students and teachers are already using tools like therabands on chairs, flexible seating options, fidgets, and weighted stuffed animals, as well as daily routines such as movement breaks and sensory tables in early childhood classrooms. Over the coming months, under Ashley’s leadership and guidance, we will be working with Brigid to consider ways we can bolster our set of tools and techniques, through both purchasing new tools and providing further professional development.
The front office has been busy receiving boxes and boxes of books (thank you to Jenn Myers)! Using our “raise the paddle” funds from last year’s auction, we have purchased a large set of books to support our leveled reading groups in the classrooms, as well as books that support our DEI goals and our thematic units. The list of books was carefully developed by the faculty and staff in the fall, and we are excited to see them coming in now!
In case you haven’t heard :), CAMP HARBOR registration is underway and we look forward to welcoming many of our current, former, and future students to join us! (CAMP HARBOR is open to non-Harbor students as well, so please feel free to tell your friends and neighbors.) We have been busy planning for an exciting summer with our new Camp Director Ashley Howard, and the support of a camp consultant, Margaret Jackson, who has been instrumental in our visioning and planning for a wonderful summer of fun and engagement at Harbor.
I would be remiss if I didn’t make a shameless plug for our first annual Family Valentine’s Day Yoga Class, taught by yours truly. Bring your family and friends and enjoy an hour of connecting with each other with playful partner yoga poses. The link to register is here and your $10 registration goes straight to the school as an HSPA fundraiser! Our second and third graders are planning a Valentine’s Day sale for that afternoon as well, so stay tuned for more information on that. And a quick reminder... for classroom celebrations, your child will be invited to bring one Valentine for each student in the class; the teachers will share more about classroom plans.
Finally, we are excited to welcome you tomorrow to our February Open Classrooms event, where you will have the opportunity to visit the next grade level classroom to get a sense of the next year for your child. We hope you will join us tomorrow - and keep your eyes open for your family’s re-enrollment contract which will be shared next Friday!
As I said, there are just a few things happening around here! We look forward to seeing you tomorrow morning, and several times over the coming weeks.
Head of School