Dear Harbor Families,
Whether you knew and loved our school dog Calvin for several years, or are new this year and met him during the admissions process last year, this letter will likely bring mixed emotions of excitement, and nostalgia for our friend.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since we lost Calvin on the last day of the school year. It was just like him to know exactly what the kids needed, and to hold out until after graduation and the end of year party. What a painful loss it was for all of us, and in the days that followed there was an outpouring of emotions from current and alumni families who had been deeply impacted by his presence for the ten years he was with the community at Harbor every day. I have tears in my eyes thinking about that time of loss. Calvin’s presence is still felt in our halls, and the memorial wall outside of the business office is a place where we remember him with photos, drawings, and messages.
Throughout the year, we have been thinking about and planning for a new dog to warm our classrooms and hearts, and today we are happy to introduce Archer to you all. Archer is a beautiful golden retriever with a similar disposition to Calvin’s, and trained as a therapy dog. And, just this week, he received his Certificate of Canine Good Citizenship, which promptly went into his “employee file” along with his vaccination records. Good boy!
We look forward to welcoming Archer into our classrooms throughout the year next year, probably once or twice a week, as he joins students during art class with Lori Hurwitz, who has had Archer for two years (he is four years old).
The students will be able to meet Archer for the first time next Friday, June 2nd, when he will spend the day with us as a preview for next year. Along with the teachers, Lori, Andrea, and I will facilitate a slow and thoughtful introduction in each classroom, knowing that this will be a new experience for our students who didn’t know Calvin, and for those who did, it may bring back memories and feelings of sadness for a friend we lost.
We want to be sure that next Friday is a positive experience for everyone. Please reach out to your teacher, and to me directly, if you anticipate that your child may have reservations about meeting Archer, or if there is anything we should know about how to best facilitate an introduction. Our goal is to ensure that every child feels comfortable, and if someone isn’t quite ready to meet Archer, we’ll adapt to each child as they are ready. We have checked the health forms for allergies, but please reach out if your child is allergic to furry pets, and we’ll work with you to accommodate their needs.
The teachers shared this news with the kids today in class, so feel free to talk about it at home with them, and again, reach out with any questions you may have!
Head of School
The Harbor School