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Parents, trustees, students and faculty commit to the idea of an independent education . . . a school is born. Harbor Day School continues to celebrate tradition and excellence.

List of 44 items.

  • 1952

    • A nucleus of committed parents joins to establish St. James Parish Day School, opening with 51 students and headed by a parish priest.
    • The Parent Council and Hot Dog Day begin.
  • 1953

    • The first school benefit dinner dance is held.
  • 1964

    • Eric Pepper is chosen as the Headmaster of the newly-named Harbor Episcopal School, with an enrollment of approximately 125 students and located on the corner of Marguerite and Fifth Avenues in Corona del Mar.
    • The Board of Trustees, with 12 members, is established.
  • 1967

    • John F. Marder, Jr. is chosen as Headmaster.
    • Intramural athletics become a tradition with the establishment of the Blue/Gold annual sports competition.
    • The first Turkey Bowl game is played.
    • Another newly-established tradition is Pat-on-the-Head, a recognition of scholastic achievement.
    • Three world languages are offered: Spanish, French, and Latin for Sixth through Eighth grades.
  • 1968

    • Harbor Day School is incorporated as a non-profit institution under California charter, thus becoming an independent school.
    • The school receives accreditation by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) as Orange County's first independent school.
    • The first Blue/Gold Track Meet is played and the first Moving Up Day is held to culminate the school year.
    • A full-time library program begins.
  • 1969

    • Through eminent domain the State Highway Division forces closure of the campus at the Marguerite at Fifth Avenue site, which provides a creative opportunity for enthusiastic parents and trustees to establish a "Master Plan”— a $1,250,000 building and school expansion project.
  • 1972

    • Groundbreaking on the new six-acre campus on Pacific View Drive begins.
  • 1973

    • Parents, students and faculty gather to dedicate the completed Phase I of the Master Plan.
    • Harbor Day School opens in the fall at 3443 Pacific View Drive.
    • Outdoor education begins with a ski trip to Squaw Valley.
    • Kindergarten, First, and Second Grades add a second section to their enrollment.
    • The school library becomes the hub of the school, with 2,800 volumes.
  • 1974

    • Harbor Day School makes national independent school history by becoming the first school to report 100% parental giving to the Annual Fund.
    • The first Grandparents’ Day is held.
  • 1975

    • Phase II construction results in additional classrooms.
  • 1978

    • The school reaches its enrollment goal of two sections of 22 students each in all grades.
    • Music is added to the curriculum for all students.
    • The all-school commitment to community service is formalized through the donations of food, clothing, and Christmas gifts to a church in Mexico.
  • 1979

    • The Moiso Family Activities Center is completed and functions as both a gymnasium and a performance facility.
  • 1980

    • The first three phases of the master plan are completed, and the Moiso Family Activities Center is dedicated.
    • The Endowment Fund is established.
    • The first Thanksgiving program (grades Kindergarten through Third) is presented for the parents on Turkey Bowl Day.
  • 1981

    • The first full-length musical, HMS Pinafore, is performed by Seventh and Eighth Grade students.
    • The literary journal, Harbor Lights, is first published.
    • International Day begins with students in Kindergarten through Fourth Grade.
  • 1983

    • An office wing and conference room are added.
    • The $1 million endowment goal is reached.
  • 1986

    • The School joins the Newport-Mesa Junior High Athletic League formalizing the interscholastic athletic competition with other elementary schools for grades Seven and Eight.
  • 1990

    • The mortgage is retired.
    • The $5 million endowment goal is reached.
    • Support of the Share Our Selves Holiday Adopt a Family Program becomes an annual event for all grade levels.
  • 1991

    • The Upper School Classroom Wing, dedicated to the Robert T. Best Family, is completed.
  • 1993

    • John F. Marder, Jr. retires after a 26-year tenure as Headmaster.
    • Dr. Sidney I. DuPont is chosen as the school's third Headmaster.
    • The first Student Council is created, and State Fair becomes a Fourth Grade tradition.
  • 1994

    • The computer technology program is upgraded, and a school-wide network is installed. It includes close to 100 Macintosh computers for students, in addition to personal computers for each faculty member.
  • 1995

    • Gold Rush Day begins in Third Grade.
  • 1996

    • The Board of Trustees unanimously agrees to construct an 8,000- square-foot facility to house specialty subjects in music, art, science, and woodshop.
    • Construction begins June 1996, and The Linden Family Arts and Science Center is completed in October.
  • 1997

    • The HDS “families” program is created at the request of Student Council members, giving students an opportunity to relate to children of other grade levels.
    • The Spanish program is expanded to all grade levels.
    • Trick or Treat for Unicef is adopted as an annual event to support children in need around the world.
  • 1998

    • Enrollment increases to 48 students in grades Six through Eight splitting the academic groups into three sections.
  • 1999

    • The Blass Gymnasium is dedicated.
  • 2000

    • The Moiso Family Activities Center is remodeled into a multi-purpose performing arts facility with retractable seating.
    • The math department initiates a celebration of Pi Day on March 14 (3.14 . . .).
  • 2001

    • The remodeled Moiso Family Activities Center is dedicated.
    • The Harbor Day School art department wins the California Art Education Exemplary Program Award.
    • The interscholastic physical education program expands to include grade Six.
  • 2005

    • The Advisory Program is created to provide students in grades Six through Eight a framework of support for the healthy and positive development of the children.
  • 2006

    • Dr. Sidney I. DuPont retires after a 13-year tenure as Headmaster. Douglas E. Phelps is chosen as the new Head of School.
    • Douglas E. Phelps appoints Department Chairs for math, science, social studies, language arts, and world language.
    • Harbor Day School adopts Mbahe Primary School in Tanzania, East Africa. A long-term commitment is made to support the educational needs of the school.
  • 2007

    • The Steelberg Families’ Kindergarten playground area is expanded and remodeled, and the Steelberg Families’ greenhouse is built to be used as a science classroom.
    • A community service requirement for graduation is initiated for Eighth Grade students.
    • The first annual Back-to-School Picnic is hosted by Parent Council.
  • 2008

    • Harbor Day School Robotics program is established.
  • 2010

    • Harbor Day School creates an Alumni Association to stay better connected to the 1700 alums and to provide a way for them to be better connected with each other.
  • 2011

    • A one-to-one iPad program begins in Eighth Grade.
  • 2012

    • Dr. Daniel R. Greenwood is chosen as the fifth Head of School.
    • Harbor Day School celebrates its 60th Anniversary.
  • 2013

    • Maker and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) curriculum is adopted.
  • 2014

    • The AppJam+ program begins with UCI undergraduates mentoring upper school students on how to make a mobile app. Harbor Day receives first place in the AppJam+ competition.
    • Harbor Day School leases the reservoir lot across the street from the campus as a parking lot and carpool queuing area.
  • 2015

    • The Irvine Athletic field is renovated and rededicated.
    • Outdoor learning spaces are created around campus.
    • Harbor Day hosts its first annual Maker Faire.
    • The school adds the study of Mandarin Chinese to its fifth through eighth grade world language program.
  • 2016

    • The Board of Trustees unanimously names Mrs. Angi Knapp Evans (‘75) the sixth Head of School.
  • 2018

    • In the Fall of 2018, students in grades 6-8 began piloting the RULER program, an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning developed by the Yale Center of Emotional Intelligence.
  • 2019

    • The RULER program is implemented in all grade levels.
    • November 2019 The Harbor Day School Board of Trustees unanimously voted to move forward with the first phase of the Harbor Day School master plan for a new campus
  • 2020

    • Demolition began in June 2020 on the Blass Gymnasium, Linden Arts & Science Building, and Best Classroom Buildings.
    • The campus project “Topping Off” ceremony occurred on December 17 as the entire HDS community came together virtually to watch as the last beam of steel was raised and placed in the new infrastructure.
  • 2021

    • The main school building of approximately 66,000 square feet is complete in December 2021.
    • December 16, 2021 Harbor Day hosts a Ribbon-Cutting event for the entire community to join in this historic occasion.
  • 2022

    • Students, Faculty, and Staff begin the new year in the brand-new school building in January 2022.
  • 2023

    • On November 12, 2023, the Harbor Day School community came together for a Grand Opening event, marking the completion of Phase II of the campus building project. Over 1,200 School community members came together to celebrate this momentous occasion. 

    • On December 13, 2023 the entire student body, faculty, and staff recreated the historic 1972 "HDS" photo on the freshly finished field.
    • The original St. James Parish in the 1950's.

    • Blue-Gold Track Meet, a tradition since 1967.

    • Students bring shovels to break ground on the new campus in 1971.

    • Students take an "HDS" photo for the groundbreaking in 1972.

    • library

      The Harbor Day School library in 1973.

    • hot dog day

      Mr. Marder celebrates one of his favorites, Hot Dog Day!

    • Field dedication

      The Irvine Athletic Field dedication.

    • first-ever grandparents' day

      Mrs. Donna Devine leads a group during Grandparents' Day in 1981.

    • musical

      The first musical was "HMS Pinafore" performed in 1981.

    • Literary Magazine

      Harbor Lights literary magazine 1981 entry.

    • Gold rush

      The first Third Grade Gold Rush in 1996.

    • Arts and Science

      Linden Arts and Science Building Construction in 1996.

    • Gym

      The Blass Gym construction in progress in 1999.

    • iPad

      One-to-One iPad program begins in 2011.

    • App Jam

      The 2013 App Jam Winners "Team Swag."

    • Maker Faire

      The 2015 Maker Faire Event.

    • On June 25, 2020, Construction begins on the new campus project.

    • December 17, 2020 "Topping Off" Ceremony.

    • Ribbon-Cutting Event on December 16, 2021.

    • The Grand Opening Event celebrating the completion of the campus building project.

    • HDS photo on the new field!

Harbor Day School

3443 Pacific View Drive
Corona del Mar, CA 92625 Phone<title><script type="mce-text/javascript"> (function(a,e,c,f,g,h,b,d){var k={ak:"984895077",cl:"EfBCCP-Fv3UQ5ZzR1QM"};a[c]=a[c]||function(){(a[c].q=a[c].q||[]).push(arguments)};a[g]||(a[g]=k.ak);b=e.createElement(h);b.async=1;b.src="//www.gstatic.com/wcm/loader.js";d=e.getElementsByTagName(h)[0];d.parentNode.insertBefore(b,d);a[f]=function(b,d,e){a[c](2,b,k,d,null,new Date,e)};a[f]()})(window,document,"_googWcmImpl","_googWcmGet","_googWcmAk","script"); </script><head><body>1-949-640-1410<html></html></body></head><br><br><br>
Harbor Day School is a co-educational private independent K-8 school established in 1952.
Harbor Day School does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, or other programs administered by the School.