While each teacher has their strengths, one of the great things about Harbor teachers is that they truly enjoy the children and are able to interact personally with each one. With small classes, the teachers get a lot of one on one time with the children, proving individualized instruction.
The Harbor School uses Responsive Classroom curriculum to help develop these skills. As a part of this, in each class, the children participate in develop a set of class rules at the beginning of the year. The children are held to these standards and expected to make good choices. Further, all children at the school are referred to as "friends" in their everyday speak...
There are so many ways the school promotes these principles.
Our family could not be more pleased with The Harbor School in Bethesda. Similar to an earlier reviewer, we intended to only attend for pre-school, but then fell in love with the school and its focus on early childhood education. The school truly understands young children, how to teach them, and how to foster a love of learning that will last a lifetime. Our oldest child graduated from Harbor and is now doing very well at a competitive independent school in the area. We have always felt, and continue to feel that Harbor knows our children as unique individuals and challenges them to be the best they can be.
home work was a really poor. The child would come home with a piece of paper for home work. One that had been copied off a website. The website would change nightly. No structure . Regretted not taking the child to public school instead. Really poor.
Our child was a student for 1 year. It was a nightmare. Teachers that do not care, a Head of school who is buddy buddy with staff, facilities and resources are very poor in spite of what was advertised. The most scary part is the unwillingness to change or take advice. The teachers have a blank stare when communicating with the children like they are in another world. A truly poor school. Look carefully before you sign your young child up.
Truly MoCo's best kept secret! After a LONG road, our son has finally found the perfect school where he is happy, healthy, thriving & feels right at home! We started him at Franklin in Rockville at 2. His teachers were GREAT, but they have since left. His pre-K teacher was verbally abusive & downright combative (she has also since left). We then tried Goddard Gaithersburg, which was a good school but way too structured & teachers were sweet, but 3 yrs out of college & weren't equipped to deal w/our son's challenges. They tried to work w/us, but in the end, we didn't want to medicate our son for his (moderate) ADHD & they asked us to leave. What seemed like the end of the world at the time (it was late May!) as we put him in Kinder Care at Crabbs Branch (great daycare!) & scrambled to find a new permanent school turned out to be a blessing, since we later found Harbor! It's the school that any parent would want for their child: a 1:7 teacher/student ratio (max 14 in a class), amazing teachers, GREAT enrichment programs & administrators, VERY involved parents, & a small town feel. Everyone is SO NICE. We count our blessings everyday for Harbor & will be sad when our son graduates!
Harbor provides an incredibly nurturing environment that takes the discipline of early childhood education seriously. This is not a warehouse for little kids, occupying their time until they get to the older grades - this is a school that believes early childhood education not only is a building block, but central and critical to the child's overall development and future educational achievement. There is also an increasing body of work that suggests that you really don't know how a child will learn, and what sort of scholastic environment suits them until they are 7 or so. Since I ascribe to that line of thought, observing our child in the early years and making an educated choice about future schooling after the second grade makes sense. Finally - Harbor's reputation is stellar, so placement after 2nd has proven to be as painless as it can be. I can't say enough about this place.