Service Learning is deeply integrated into Harbor School culture. By recognizing needs in the community, addressing those needs, and reflecting on their experiences, Harbor School students develop and enhance compassion, responsibility, and leadership.
We emphasize service to the school, to the community, to the region, and to the world.
- Harbor School Alumni
“…the most important feeling that we were all left with was one of having worked hard for our community. There was work that needed to be done and there was a community appreciative of our efforts. This left all of us with a sense of satisfaction that our work had contributed to the beauty, health, and forward movement of our community.”
Since 2002, Harbor School students have been visiting Vashon Community Care, a non-profit retirement home and care facility, to share activities with our island elders. Several times during the school year, our students make the walk to VCC to play board games, sing holiday songs, or trick-or-treat during Halloween building connections with our elders.
Visiting with Elders at Vashon Community Care
- Anita Desai
The Harbor School Travel Study program develops students who are compassionate, curious and strong. Harbor students learn how to be independent while simultaneously developing an even stronger sense of belonging. As they live and work with their teachers and peers, away from their homes and their daily routines, they deepen their understanding and awareness of other cultures, and nurture their own lifelong passion for learning. Their Travel Study experiences inspire them to dream as well as to think differently.
Inspiring students to contribute with compassion to their community and the world around them, is our mission. As such, we integrate service learning into many of our Travel Study experiences.
At the end of the year, class trips bring the cycle of learning to an exciting conclusion.
Each March, students embark on a further, week-long adventure of their choosing.
To begin the school year, all students in grades 4-8 embark on a stay at Camp Sealth on Vashon.
Outdoor Education at Jumping Mouse
The goal of our PE program is to foster enjoyment of physical activity and play in every student. The PE program provides opportunities for each student to experience success, to develop a range of developmentally appropriate fine and gross motor skills, to participate in a wide range of games, sports and activities and to reflect on their own personal fitness, setting goals and measuring progress along the way.
In addition, PE provides opportunities for character development, allowing students to develop and practice cooperative supportive behaviors in a challenging and physical context.
Students in grades 4-8 take part in a PE class three times a week with most classes engaging more than one grade level at once. For example, students in 6th grade have one class per week with Upper Elementary, one together with 7th grade and one on their own.
Students engage in a variety of play-based physical activities. Students participate in individual, small and whole group activities aimed at developing gross motor skills, physical fitness, and teamwork. PE class for Carpe Diem takes place at Harbor School. PE class is a fun filled experience that inspires students to run, jump, and laugh together.
We strive to have students outside and actively moving as often as possible though from time to time we may utilize an alternative indoor space for PE that allows students to engage in physical activity even when the weather is bad.
We choose to deeply immerse our students in every aspect of their learning through subject-integrated thematic units that foster stronger connections between concepts and lasting understanding.
Students venture outside the classroom and beyond our island throughout the year. Connecting academic lessons with life experiences cultivates lasting bonds and builds independent thinkers.
Service to our community and our environment is part of school life. Our students experience giving back to our island community as well as places far from home. Connecting to the environment, to one’s community, and supporting a cause that is near and dear to students, brings a level of compassion that is often missing from society at large.