October 5, 2023

Dear Harbor Families,

TLC. It’s fitting that the acronym means tender loving care - and that at Harbor it also has two other meanings. The first is the committee of teachers that meets regularly to discuss curriculum and assessment, ensuring that every day, students are challenged in learning at their level - the Teaching and Learning Committee. The term TLC is also heard often at Harbor in reference to an organization that we have partnered with for several years - The Treatment and Learning Centers. In both uses of the acronym, student learning and support are prioritized, and (tender loving) care for our students is central to our goals.

Our work with the Treatment and Learning Centers originated in 2019 when we contracted with them to provide ongoing professional development for our teachers, to build on strengths that our faculty already possessed. As an organization providing speech/language, occupational therapy, tutoring, and assessment support to families (including many Harbor families), TLC was well suited to provide additional strategies and support to our teachers. Over the years, teachers have worked with specialists in the field to increase their repertoire of interventions for student support and to develop learning support plans.

In the last school year, we were able to bring Ashley Howard on board as our Learning and Literacy Specialist. Under Ashley’s leadership, we continued our work with TLC to explore sensory-friendly classrooms and to bolster our collective expertise in sensory support and tools. This work led to the development of a space in our building for students to go with their teachers for various forms of sensory input, complete with a trampoline, which I might add is very well used this year.  (Psst… join us for the second Open Classrooms event in November to learn more about learning support at Harbor with Ashley, and to have a look at these new sensory tools!)

Here’s where  you come in! In addition to providing professional development for our faculty and staff, TLC has also provided screenings for families each fall for a number of years. These optional screenings in speech/language, occupational therapy, and hearing will take place later this month, and provide families and teachers with more information about children’s development in these areas. The screenings are scheduled during the day and conducted one on one with your child with a specialist from TLC - and take about 20-30 minutes. Based on information from these screenings, a further evaluation may be recommended.

It is a well known fact that early intervention is key to supporting children's growth during these important developmental ages. At Harbor, our specific mission is to understand and support each unique child through these developmental milestones, and TLC supports us in doing so. Following screenings, should a further evaluation and one on one support be recommended, TLC is able to provide this support at the school. 

Today in your child’s backpack, you will be receiving further information and a registration form for the screenings, which will take place at Harbor on October 23rd and 24th. If you have any concerns, or wonder about, your child’s development in speech/language, occupational therapy, or hearing, we encourage you to register for the screening. The results will be returned in time for parent teacher conferences in early November, to allow you and your child’s teacher to have this information for discussion about this school year. Should you have questions, please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher or to Ashley Howard, our Learning and Literacy Specialist.

Changing topics, I hope to see you all tomorrow morning for our first Parent Session and Open Classrooms - where we will focus on social/emotional learning at Harbor! After dropping off your child, please come around to enter at the front of the building to come up to the Sailing Room (formerly called room 29) for a short presentation by myself, JK teacher Allison Peppelman, and third grade teacher Jo Chang, followed by visits to the classrooms to see social emotional learning in action! 

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow!


Leah Musico
Head of School

Harbor School