September 7, 2023

Dear Harbor Families,

It has been a pleasure and honor, this week, to walk through the halls and into the classrooms at Harbor as students and teachers settle into their new routines, establish relationships, and begin to build the learning communities that will sustain an exciting year of growth. There is no other time of year when this feeling of newness and anticipation is so palpable (along with some expected first day/week nervousness).  Year after year in September, that feeling never really fades - both as an educator and as a parent. I hope you and your family have enjoyed this transition, and that your children are coming home with smiles and happy reports on their first few days of school.

Many of you know that my daughter Emily graduated from Harbor last year, and started her first day at The Lab School on Tuesday (it went well!). For the first time, I have been in the role of “just” parent, since she has been coming to the school where I have worked since she was three. It’s been fun to experience that beginning-of-the-year feeling from this new perspective! As I mentioned at yesterday morning’s parent coffee, I spent time over the weekend plugging in the many school events on the calendar and ensuring I was on top of the many school communications. As I did so, had a greater empathy for all of you - with equally busy lives - digesting all of the information we send to you, as you plan your calendars and juggle the many school events on top of the day to day routines of family life with young children. 

Although the schedule may feel like a lot at times, I encourage you to engage with our Harbor community throughout the school year at the level that works for you! Whether you are able to offer your time to the Harbor School Parents Association (HSPA) executive committee, or come to the classroom to read once in a while, this engagement not only supports the school but helps to further relationships with the school community in support of your child. There are multiple volunteer opportunities, many of which still need volunteers; you can read about them here and contact Melanie Pellegrini, HSPA President, at hspa@theharborschool.org with any questions.

As you are planning your family calendar for the next few months (here is the yearly school calendar again!), please be sure to make note of these not-to-be-missed school events:

  • Back to School Night will take place on Thursday, September 21st, starting at 6:30PM (line up your babysitter now!). This is a special evening where you will have the opportunity to connect with other families in your child’s class, talk with the students’ specials teachers, and hear about the curriculum goals and learning routines in your child’s classroom.

  • Our first “open classrooms” event will be held on Friday, October 6th, after arrival. We’ll focus our attention that morning on our social/emotional program; you will hear about how we support students socially and emotionally and then see this in action in the classrooms.

  • Our 50th Anniversary Community Picnic at Smokey Glen will take place on Sunday, October 15th from 11 AM to 3 PM! A tradition that we are bringing back from the past, this event is sure to be a wonderful celebration of our community and long history, complete with sack races, mini golf, hayrides, and face painting, as well as a delicious BBQ lunch. Registration for this event will open next week, so keep your eyes open for that. 

Finally, thank you for your time and effort in reading through this newsletter! Harbor Highlights will be published each Thursday and will include all of the information, upcoming dates, reminders, and more, that you need to know to support your child and engage with our small school community.

It’s going to be a wonderful year!


Leah Musico
Head of School
The Harbor School

Harbor School