Our son was diagnosed with ADHD around 3, and had been through 2 other pre-K schools before we found a home at Harbor, just in time for Kindergarten--what a miracle! He is now in his last year (2nd grade), and has blossomed into a happy, well-adjusted, kind, and smart student, thanks to the dedicated, nurturing, and loving teachers and administrators. Their small classes (2 teachers: 12-14 students) enable the teachers to really focus on each child and his/her needs. They were there to work with us every step of the long and difficult road to finding what works best for our son with his ADHD, and it never felt contentious, but rather always collaborative, even in the toughest of times! We are so grateful that we found Harbor when we did, as our son wouldn't have become who he is today at any other school. It's the kind of school I wish I could have attended as a child, where the kids can learn in a safe and supportive environment, and as a result, develop a love of learning. We are now looking at schools for 3rd grade next year, and only wish they would expand through the rest of the elementary grades. Highly recommend to any parent who wants their kids to have a joyful, fulfilling early childhood education.
During our time at Harbor, there have been a few students on the autism spectrum, who did very well in the small classrooms. Our son and a couple of other students in his class have clear cases of ADHD, but they are all very happy and doing great. The teachers and administrators really pull out all of the stops and go well above and beyond to make every student's experience the best it can be.
The teachers love the students and take a personal interest in each student and family. The lead teachers have years (some, decades) of experience in early childhood education, and know how to figure out each student's strengths and weaknesses to help them reach their potentials.
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.