Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the new location for The Harbor School?
The Har Shalom synagogue is located at 11510 Falls Road in Potomac, a short ten minute drive from our current location at St. George Greek Orthodox Church. The facility has convenient access to 495 and 270, and is just over two miles from the Potomac Village Center.
What are the features of the space? How does it compare to the current space at St. George?
The indoor educational space at Har Shalom will provide us with ample classroom space for classes and specials, office space, and a multipurpose room which will serve as our assembly space and PE room (as social distancing guidelines allow). Classroom size is similar, and large windows in each classroom provide plenty of natural light. Overall, the school space is approximately the same size as the two floors of the building we currently occupy. The outdoor space is abundant with open spaces, a wooded trail and meeting area, and a beautiful, recently updated 3,500 square foot playground designed specifically for young learners!
Of important note, the facility provides us with ample space to have all students in person five days a week when in-person learning is permitted.
Can we visit the new location?
Current families had the chance to tour the new facility in early March. At this time, in person tours are not available unfortunately. However, we will be offering virtual tours once we have moved in and as the new school year approaches. The Harbor School color palette, furniture, and wall displays will make the space look much like our building does now. We look forward to showing off our new home!
What is the timeline for the move?
Our lease commences on August 1. We will spend the month of August preparing the space for the students’ hopeful in-person arrival on September 8 (the day after Labor Day).
Will food and food service be affected?
Within the school building, we will not have restrictions on food; with the exception that we will remain a nut-free school. In common areas of the synagogue or for large community events when using shared facilities, kosher standards will be observed.
How will the morning and afternoon routines be affected?
We will continue to provide a drop off and pick up car line with faculty and staff greeters in the mornings and afternoons, with new protocols based on health recommendations.
Will we have space for large community gatherings?
There are several large spaces for community gatherings within the Har Shalom facility that we will have access to several times throughout the year, when larger gatherings are permitted. Back to School Night, the Thanksgiving/Grandparents’ Day performance, Harbor’s Got Talent, and the Spring Musical are just some of the community events that we will continue to celebrate as a community in our new space when it is safe to do so.
What measures are in place for security?
Har Shalom staffs their front desk during business hours every day, and every visitor is checked in and out of the building (when visitors are permitted). Security cameras and alarms allow for full surveillance of the building. Police security is also in place at times.
What other options did the Search Committee consider?
The Search Committee considered purchases, building conversions, and rental opportunities within a six mile radius of our current location, guided by criteria identified by our community survey). Throughout the process, we considered dozens of properties, though few fit our criteria fully. We are very pleased with the Har Shalom facility, both in terms of location (just within a 3 mile radius) and facility features that will support our dynamic program very well.