Our social emotional curriculum is guided by our school pledge. We consciously recite it as a reminder to be respectful, considerate, and hard-working members of the Harbor community. Development of relationships, management of emotions, and understanding of others’ feelings (empathy) is woven into everything we do.
In keeping with the principles of the Responsive Classroom approach, we believe that social learning is just as important as academic learning and that children learn best when they feel known and understood by their teachers and peers. Each class, from Preschool 3s to 2nd Grade, starts their day with a Morning Meeting that sets the tone for the rest of the day. Children practice greeting each other respectfully, are given opportunities to share, and discuss what their day will entail. Classroom and specialist teachers use consistent language with students to model respectful and appropriate communication and to express expectations in a positive manner. The entire school community gathers every Tuesday morning for an All School Meeting where, led by Dr. Sun-Alperin, we recite The Harbor School pledge, we celebrate birthdays and accomplishments, and classes have the opportunity to share and interact.
As they enter the school each day, our students are reminded of our five anchors, which describe our core values as a school community: respect, independence, love, creativity, and caring. Using these anchors as our guiding principles, they provide a starting point for many discussions, lessons, and teachable moments throughout the year.
Mindfulness means something different to Preschoolers and primary students. Preschoolers are new to the practice and know how to take deep breaths and sit quietly for a minute or so. Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten students can sit for a bit longer and understand that mindfulness is a way of paying attention to themselves and what is going on around them. Having had more guidance and practice, 1st and 2nd Graders recognize mindfulness as a tool that they can utilize to be aware of their own emotions, to center and calm themselves, and to achieve focus.