This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted November 06, 2014
- a parent
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!
Our family has been at The Harbor School for 6 years now and could not be more pleased. We initially were interested in per-K only, but feel in love with the school and are sending all of our children there through 2nd grade now. Harbor kids kids, and deeply understands early childhood. It is a safe and secure place for children to develop a love of learning and figure out how they learn best. The extraordinarily low faculty to child ratio, 5:1, can't be beat, and ensures every child is getting excellent attention and support. We highly recommend Harbor!
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.
I am sorry about the experience posted by the Sept. 22 review. Our experience with Harbor School, however, has been truly wonderful. The school has embraced and loved our special needs son and has done such incredible work with him that he no longer needs one-on-one assistance at the school. The director is a brilliant and amazing leader, and has successfully promoted inclusion and communication to ensure all of our children's successes at the school. We cannot say enough positive things about the school (for all of our kids), and only wish it continued through high school.
I also am very sorry for the feelings from the parents posting of 9/22. Our daughter has only been at Harbor for a month and I cannot say enough about the INCREDIBLE way that leadership, faculty and students EMBRACE, not tolerate (as with many other school), children with special needs: it is very much part of the fabric and culture of the school and, honestly, it will produce imply better kids, complete with empathy, tolerance, compassion, and understanding - things that seem to be in somewhat short supply out there these days. An experience to illustrate the amazing culture and the effect is has on the kids: 6yo special girl child as a breakdown in class and needs to leave the classroom - comes back 5 minutes later and apologizes to her classmates - unsolicited by teachers or anyone, the rest of the class gives her a standing ovation and then runs over to hug her! I feel this is one of those paradigm-shifting stories that needs no further explanation and illustrates the power of what Dr Wise and her staff are doing with the inclusive model at Harbor. If the school is a good fit for your child, there is no better place to be regardless of your child's situation.
This school espouses inclusiveness, diversity and child-focused learning, and yet is unwilling and ill-equipped to accommodate children who need any extra special needs. Spent many hours exploring the school and being led to believe that our child's needs were not an issue, only to be declined later. We were welcomed with open arms at another fabulous school and are ultimately pleased that things worked out as they have, but don't lead people on (it's a waste of everyone's time)!
The Harbor School is caring, supportive and joyful place for children. We have been thrilled with excellent teachers, supportive environment, and caring parent community. The new head of school is creating a wonderful place for early childhood education.