About Harbor School

Underpinning everything we do, the Cornerstone Values of our school represent what we stand for and what we value. These values provide guidance for our actions and behaviors and help structure positive relationships between everyone at school. Cornerstone Values are used by teachers with students as they begin to develop emerging ideas about right and wrong, fairness, justice and how the world works.

They are: Accountability, Compassion, Integrity, Personal Best, Respect and Responsibility. Our cornerstone values help us celebrate all that is good about community and togetherness. By living these values daily, we are able to both honor and value the power of each individual as well as the diversity of our community. These values provide guidance and lessons to all members of our community – our families, faculty, students and staff. They influence our curriculum, govern our actions with each other, and remind us of that to which we aspire.

Accountability

Recognizing and taking responsibility for one’s actions and decisions, and being answerable to the consequences.

Compassion

Looking beyond our own needs and concerns and having empathy for the experiences and culture of others. 

Integrity

Honesty in our relationships with others and with ourselves. Integrity allows us to stand up for our beliefs and to speak and act truthfully. 

Personal Best

Pushing ourselves to our limit by embracing tasks and activities that may be in, or out of, our comfort zone. Our focus is on being the best that we can be in relation to ourselves, rather than in comparison to others. 

Respect

Considering someone’s feelings, needs, thoughts, ideas, wishes and preferences before acting. Our actions convey respect yet we also feel respect for others as well as feel respected by others.

Responsibility

Our duty to act for the benefit of our community but also for society at large, fulfilling our duty to maintain a balance between what is equitable and just for us and for the world in which we live.

At Harbor School, our cornerstone values are lived every day through class meetings, greetings and messages, team building activities, and intentional modeling. The climate of our classrooms validates students’ feelings and ensures that everyone feels safe and cared for. We are intentional about modeling, nurturing, defining, and praising accomplishments that stem from good effort as well as acts of kindness, citizenship, and caring.

“Inspiring young scholars to contribute their wisdom, compassion and personal best in the classroom, the community and the world.”Harbor School Mission Statement

Commitment Statement

The Harbor School promotes inclusion, racial equity and social justice. The School provides an environment that honors individuals regardless of their gender, race, religion, socioeconomic class, physical appearance, gender expression, family configuration and ethnicity.  The School supports the five areas by which we plan to execute our commitment.  

Curriculum: The highest standard of education teaches children to be global citizens; to understand the historical context of race and diversity issues in society and to foster a sense of curiosity for diverse people and cultures.

The School provides opportunities for students to interact with people of different races and ethnicities through a range of experiences such as school trips and classroom speakers.  

The School employs an equity lens in the development and implementation of curriculum.   

Productive Learning Environment:  Introducing and explicitly discussing multicultural and race issues in the classroom provides a productive space for children of all ages to develop meaningful cultural competency and to recognize and combat racism and discrimination.

The School provides a productive classroom space for all students to learn how to recognize and combat racism and discrimination, as well as engage in dialogue about race issues.  

Family and Community Engagement: Engaging families and the community creates opportunities for meaningful dialog on race and diversity issues.

The School provides opportunities for active engagement in a respectful dialogue about race and cultural differences for families and the community.  

Professional Development: Routine educational opportunities for faculty, staff and the Board of Trustees enhance the quality of multicultural education and provide opportunities to discuss bias, overgeneralization, and diversity rich curriculum in an ever-changing world.

The School prioritizes professional development opportunities which include diversity-rich content that supports teaching with an age appropriate race equity lens.  

Diverse School Community: Diverse students, teachers, board members, staff, and classroom presenters provide opportunities to build relationships with people from different races and cultures.  Students build awareness and social skills when they are given the opportunity to interact with people of different races and ethnicities through a range of experiences.

The School prioritizes building and maintaining a network of diverse students, teachers, staff, and classroom presenters.  

Goal:  Establish a Race Equity Committee comprised of parents, teachers, staff, the Head of School and at least one Board Member.  Establish a commitment to a set of measurable actions and establish a process to assess the effectiveness of this commitment.

HEART OF THE SOUND

Nestled in the “Heart of the Sound” with views of water or mountains at every corner, Vashon-Maury is truly an Island. It can only be reached by a breathtakingly beautiful ferry ride. There is something magical about being on an island. The pace is slower, the people are friendlier, the attitudes are relaxed and our patchwork of pastoral and natural settings make it a refreshing Northwest community.

With 45 miles of shoreline, Vashon-Maury Island boasts the majority of waterfront property in King County. The Island is approximately 13 miles long and eight miles at the widest point, with a year-round population of about 11,000. Whether you are looking for a quiet, romantic place to relax or activities for you and the entire family, Vashon has it all!

Visit the Vashon Chamber of Commerce for more information!

The Independent Choice

Class Size Matters

Small classes mean all students receive individual attention. No one falls through the cracks. Our student-to-teacher ratio varies by grade with the grades K-3 at 10:1 ratio, and our grades 4-8 at 14:1 on average. 

9-Year Journey

When students enter in Kindergarten they begin a 9-year journey. In that time the relationships they forge with their peer group and the teachers who take the journey with them is priceless. Our faculty and staff know children well beyond a single year, and their familiarity with each child’s learning process allows them to truly know each student and what works best for them.

Hands On Thematic Units

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.

Travel Study and Outdoor Education

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 Learning

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

Cornerstone Values Lived Every Day

Our Cornerstone Values help us celebrate all that is good about community and togetherness. By living these values daily, we are able to both honor and value the power of each individual as well as the diversity of our community. These values provide guidance and lessons to all members of our community – our families, faculty, students and staff. They influence our curriculum, govern our actions with each other, and remind us of that to which we aspire.

ACCOUNTABILITY is recognizing and taking responsibility for one’s actions and decisions, and being answerable to the consequences.

COMPASSION is looking beyond our own needs and concerns and having empathy for the experiences and culture of others.

INTEGRITY is honesty in our relationships with others and with ourselves. Integrity allows us to stand up for our beliefs and to speak and act truthfully.

PERSONAL BEST is pushing ourselves to our limit by embracing tasks and activities that may be in, or out of, our comfort zone. Our focus is on being the best that we can be in relation to ourselves, rather than in comparison to others.

RESPECT is considering someone’s feelings, needs, thoughts, ideas, wishes and preferences before acting. Our actions convey respect yet we also feel respect for others as well as feel respected by others. 

RESPONSIBILITY is our duty to act for the benefit of our community but also for society at large, fulfilling our duty to maintain a balance between what is equitable and just for us and for the world in which we live.

At Harbor School, our Cornerstone Values are lived every day through class meetings, greetings and messages, team building activities, and intentional modeling. The climate of our classrooms validates students’ feelings and ensures that everyone feels safe and cared for. We are intentional about modeling, nurturing, defining, and praising accomplishments that stem from good effort as well as acts of kindness, citizenship, and caring.

Open Houses

Harbor School holds several Open Houses each year to allow prospective families the opportunity to visit our campus, tour the classrooms, meet our teachers and staff, and get to know our current students and families. 

If you’d like to be notified about upcoming Open Houses, please email admissions@harborschool.org today.

If you are an interested family and would like to learn more about our unique school, we strongly encourage attending an Open House event. It is an opportunity for you to meet faculty, tour the classrooms, engage with current families and students, and ask questions about our programs. All Open House events will encompass our K-8 academic program including highlights on grades K-3 (at Carpe Diem Primary), Upper Elementary grades 4 & 5, and Middle School grades 6, 7 & 8.

If you are unable to attend one of our Open Houses events but still wish to learn more about our school, please schedule a campus tour with our Admissions Director, Niamh Prince.

How to Apply

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is admissions-how-to-apply-1024x323.jpg
We are now accepting applications for the 2021-22 school year

To request an admission packet, please email admissions@harborschool.org or download the forms below.

All applicants, please print and complete the following forms:Enrollment ApplicaitonRequest for School Records

For grades K-3 in our Carpe Diem program, please print and complete the following forms:Teacher Evaluation Form for Kindergarten ApplicantsTeacher Evaluation Form for Elementary Applicants

For grades 4 and 5 in Upper Elementary, please print and complete the following form:Teacher Evaluation Form for Elementary Applicants

For grades 6, 7 and 8 in Middle School, please print and complete the following forms:Teacher Evaluation Form for Middle School ApplicantsStudent Essay Form

After you have completed and submitted an enrollment application and the school has received all requested records, our Admissions Director will schedule your child’s visit day. Visit days are scheduled during the school week so prospective students can join in classes and activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

When are enrollment decisions made?

Acceptance Letters and enrollment contracts are mailed to applicants by early March. Enrollment contracts must be signed and returned promptly to confirm acceptance. If you are applying after March, please contact our Admissions Director to discuss available spaces for the grade your child would be entering.

Is there a wait pool?

From time to time, we receive more applications than available spaces, which means there are eligible students to whom we are not able to offer admission. These applicants meet our standards but due to space limitations are placed in our wait pool. There is no priority to our wait pool – the applicants are not ranked. Should an opening occur, we evaluate the wait pool candidates and select a child who best fits the needs of the class. An opening can occur any time after March and prior to the start of school. We do not carry over our wait pool from year to year.

Should we re-apply?

If you are not admitted from the wait pool but would still like to be considered for admission during the next academic year, we ask you to re-apply and begin the process again. As a courtesy, a wait pool candidate’s application fee is waived upon re-applying for admission.

Can I apply for the current school year?

If you are interested in applying now for our current school year, please contact our Admissions Director, Niamh Prince, at 206.567.5955 or admissions@harborschool.org to learn more about space availability.

Tuition

A HARBOR SCHOOL EDUCATION

Your child is seen and heard. Small class sizes ensure that your child is well known and understood by peers and teachers.

Your child is challenged. An inspiring team of teachers ensure that your child develops the capacity to ask questions, think critically, and advocate for themselves

Your child is confident. Careful attention to learning and travel outside the classroom, locally, nationally and internationally, ensures that your child has the confidence to tackle unfamiliar situations in the world around them and is curious about the way in which the world works

Your child is compassionate. A strong commitment to service learning and a clear set of Cornerstone Values ensures that your child  is aware of the needs of others in their immediate community and the wider world.

THE FOLLOWING TUITION IS FOR THE 2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR:

2021-22 School Year
Carpe Diem (Grades K-3) $11,850
Upper Elementary (Grades 4 & 5)     $13,120
Middle School (Grades 6-8)$17,150

TUITION PAYMENT PLANS

We offer several plans for payment of tuition: full payment due in June before the September school year start; three payments in June, September and December; or ten monthly payments June through March.

Please note that tuition includes textbooks and covers a portion of local field trips.

Questions about tuition and Financial Aid awards should be directed to our Admissions Director, Niamh Prince at nprince@harborschool.org. 

TRAVEL STUDY EXPENSES

Tuition does cover a portion of local field trips throughout the school year, but it does not include Travel Study for Voyagers Week or Spring Class Trip costs for the Upper Elementary and Middle School grades (4-8).

VOYAGERS WEEK – Students in Upper Elementary and Middle School are expected to participate in a multi-age Voyagers Week trip in early spring. These trips range in price from $500 to $2,300. Families can choose an option that both interests their child and works for them financially.

CLASS TRIPS – Class Trips may change from year to year, but all students in grades 4 through 8 participate in these annual class trips each May. For information and planning purposes, the estimated costs of the 2020/2021 Class Trips are as follows:

CLASS TRIP COST PER GRADE:

Upper Elementary: 4th & 5th Grade

Middle School: 6th Grade

Middle School: 7th Grade

Middle School: 8th Grade

$500 – $650

$850-$1,000

$1,500-$1,600*

$2,400-$2,700**

* this includes the cost of our 7th Grade Trip to Cispus in Fall 2021.
** this includes a two-week international travel trip.

Travel Study is an integral part of Harbor School’s Upper Elementary and Middle School curriculum. Each year the trip menu varies, as do the actual trip costs.

Financial Assistance

A HARBOR SCHOOL EDUCATION

Your child is seen and heard. Small class sizes ensure that your child is well known and understood by peers and teachers

Your child is challenged. An inspiring team of teachers ensure that your child develops the capacity to ask questions, think critically, and advocate for themselves

Your child is confident. Careful attention to learning and travel outside the classroom, locally, nationally and internationally, ensures that your child has the confidence to tackle unfamiliar situations in the world around them and is curious about the way in which the world works

Your child is compassionate. A strong commitment to service learning and a clear set of Cornerstone Values ensures that your child  is aware of the needs of others in their immediate community and the wider world.

AFFORDABILITY FOR ALL

Harbor School has been, since its earliest days, committed to keeping an independent school affordable. Over that time, we have provided tuition support in the form of Financial Aid to hundreds of families, ensuring that they were able to enroll their students at Harbor, regardless of their financial circumstances. With the right planning and information, families receive a broad range of needs based Financial Aid awards, and can make an independent education for their children more affordable. More than $140,000 was awarded in Financial Aid awards for 28 students in our current school year.

FINANCIAL AID AWARDS

To keep a Harbor School education affordable for all, the Board determined in 2018 to remove the cap on Financial Aid awards. 

From the 2018-19 school year, Financial Aid awards are made on a need-based sliding scale that balances a family’s need with the financial integrity of the school. We recognize that every family situation is different and that even a small Financial Aid award can make a critical difference.

The first step in realizing a Financial Aid award is to apply through School and Student Services (SSS). This step is part of our admissions and re-enrollment process. An enrollment application for your child must be received prior to financial assistance determination. 

Financial Aid awards are determined anonymously and on a rolling basis by the Finance Committee of the Board. Financial Aid Awards are developed from the recommendations made by SSS upon the completion of the application process. Families are informed of an award as soon as possible.

Families must reapply for Financial Aid awards through SSS and the school’s Finance Committee on an annual basis.

Apply for a Harbor School Financial Aid Award Here

Access the SSS Step by Step Family Guide here!

Off Island Students

OFF-ISLAND STUDENTS TAKE THE FERRY

Harbor School welcomes off-island families to our school community. Many West Seattle children and teens commute to Vashon Island every day.

How It Works

Students arrive at the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal and walk-on as a foot passenger on the 7:05AM sailing. They arrive at the Vashon Dock 15-20 minutes later. Students attending Harbor School are picked up in our bus and shuttled directly to campus (less than 5 minutes from the dock). At the end of the day, Harbor School students return to the Vashon Dock by catching the Seattle Metro bus at 3:15PM, directly in front of our campus. They arrive in time for the 3:25PM boat to West Seattle.

For more information about the Washington State Ferries and their route schedules, visit: Washington State Ferries.

What Does It Cost?

West Seattle families can expect to pay a daily fare of $2.95 per youth (age 6-18) for the ferry and $1.50 for the Metro bus in the afternoon. Daily fare is paid at Fauntleroy. No fare is due on the return ride from Vashon. If your child has an ORCA card, the daily fare may be purchased with your card.

Schedule a Tour

One of the best ways to get to know Harbor School and Carpe Diem is to request a personal tour of either, or both, campuses. If you are interested in a classroom tour, please contact our Admissions Director, Niamh Prince, at 206-567-5955 or by email at admissions@harborschool.org.

Campus tours are typically conducted during the school day so that prospective parents can observe the daily campus life. We recommend parents attend these tours without their children. At the conclusion of your tour, if you would like to schedule your child for a Visit Day, our Admissions Director can provide further details.

Harbor School Non-Discrimination Policy

Statement of Policy: It is the policy of the Harbor School to maintain a working environment free of all forms of unlawful discrimination. Harbor Schooldoes not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, religion andnational or ethnic origin, age, or disability in the administration of educational policies, employment practices or any other schooladministeredpolicies or practices.

Policy as to Students: Harbor School admits students of any race, color, gender, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, religion and national or ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School.Harbor School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, religion and national or ethnic origin in the administration of educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship or financial assistance programs and other school-administered programs.

Request Information

pw