Dear Harbor Families,
We pride ourselves at Harbor in teaching kids social emotional concepts and skills such as growth mindset, emotional regulation, perseverance, and the ability to be flexible when a situation changes. We have all had lots of opportunities to practice these skills over the past few years of the pandemic, and as students at Harbor, the process of social/emotional development happens throughout each day in large and small ways.
Yesterday morning, when the air quality reports made it clear that we would need to stay indoors for a few days, I had a moment where I was taken back to March 2020 and thought to myself, irrationally, is this going to last for a couple of years? As I researched and processed the news, connected with colleagues both in and outside of Harbor, and came to the clear decision that we needed to keep kids indoors, I knew that it would be hard news for kids in several grade levels who had outdoor class parties scheduled this week and for our third graders who had a full day outdoor education at Calleva scheduled for today. And our first graders were preparing to board the bus to the local park yesterday morning, and needed to adapt very quickly!
As we shared the news of the changes with first and third graders yesterday, of course there was a moment of disappointment. But then, plans were rearranged and the day went on, which included lively relay race games, complete with sack races and three legged relays, in our multipurpose room for our first graders. When I spoke to the third graders to explain that their long-awaited end of Harbor experience with Calleva would be rescheduled (luckily they could reschedule us!), we held a discussion about our emotions. The kids expressed their feelings of disappointment, commented on how we have learned how to adapt over these past years, and reminded each other to think of those whose safety or homes have been affected by the wildfires in Canada. It was remarkable to witness the ability of us all to pivot to a new plan with understanding and empathy.
Yesterday, as I rounded out the day scooping ice cream with my colleagues for our Community Night - which was so much fun! - I couldn’t help, again, to reflect on the years of the pandemic, when we couldn’t come together as we did last night. It has been such a pleasure to have a year where the community could be together again (whether indoors or outdoors) to develop and build on our relationships with each other in support of our students.
Whatever form they take, we hope you and your children enjoy the end of year celebrations, with gratitude for a wonderful year of growth for our kids and connection as a community. I wish you all a very happy summer and look forward to seeing many of you at Camp Harbor!
Head of School
The Harbor School