Stepping into a new school can feel overwhelming at first. New families at Harbor Day may be curious about the meanings of specific terms and expressions. From the “Turkey Bowl” to the “Blue-Gold Track Meet,” Harbor Day has a slew of unique and meaningful terms. Whether you're a seasoned school veteran or a brand-new family eager to learn the ropes, here are some of Harbor Day’s special terms and why they matter.
The HDS Glossary of Terms:
Advisory - The Advisory Program was created in 2005. Students in grades 6-8 benefit from this program by working on community-building, having their advisor (teacher) support them, and getting time to complete their schoolwork.
Blue-Gold – The Blue-Gold phenomenon started with the inception of the Blue-Gold Track Meet. This intramural athletics competition became a tradition in 1967 as students in middle school were placed on a blue or gold team and began participating in various athletic events over the school year. Students feel great pride in their blue or gold team, and all siblings are on the same team. Students of HDS alumni keep the color of their alumni parent, continuing the tradition.
Blue Chairs – Beware of the Blue Chairs. Getting in trouble could send you to one of these blue-colored chairs placed outside the division director's and head of school’s offices.
Gradatim ad Summum – Harbor Day School’s motto, meaning “Step-by-Step to the Top,” reflects the importance of a solid primary education. The school's motto encourages students to grow personally, work together, and be creative while preparing for the future.
The Harbor Day School Families Program – A Harbor Day School Family is comprised of nine or ten students in kindergarten through eighth grade and one or more faculty members who meet approximately every 4-6 weeks. Students remain in the same family for the entire time they are at Harbor Day. As one child graduates or leaves school, a new child entering the school replaces him or her in the Family unit. The HDS Families program is a way to give students an opportunity to interact with students in all different grade levels. This program provides a sense of community where everyone works together and supports each other.
Pat on the Head – This academic recognition program celebrates students who have achieved certain grades at the end of each semester. A Pat on the Head means a student received all A’s and B's, and all 1's and 2's on their effort grades. A Pat on the Head with Distinction means a student received all A’s, one B, and all 1's and one 2 effort grades. In both cases, a letter from the head of school is sent home with the specific recognition. This acknowledgment begins in fourth grade.
Turkey Bowl – The Turkey Bowl started in 1967, the same year as the Blue-Gold competition began. Students are placed on a blue or gold team and compete in various sports events. Events over the years have included flag football, soccer, volleyball, handball, and basketball. Also unique to Harbor Day is that 4th grade plays Hit the Pin, and 5th grade plays Australian Long Base.
These terms aren’t just words, they create a unique school culture that everyone is a part of, aside from sitting in the blue chairs. Once our new families experience many of these school terms, they become a part of these shared experiences, traditions, and moments that make Harbor Day School so special. We welcome everyone to experience this vibrant school community as a commitment to creating cherished memories and looking forward to a bright future ahead. Stay tuned for part 2 later this school year!