Harbor Day School
- CORONA DEL MAR, CA
Harbor Day School Reviews
Rating 4.56 out of 5 9 reviews
its amazing! the community is great and the teachers are very advanced, kind, welcoming, and professional at the same time. no complaints for this school
Harbor Day School is just the right mix of curriculum, excellent teachers, great families, and great character education....until we sent our children to the Harbor Day School. The head of school Angi Evans, as well as the division heads, are personable, nurturing, polished, and well versed in all of the latest educational trends. They set an incredible vision, and the team of teachers delivers. Our kids have gotten a great balance of academics, arts (visual and performing), athletics(very inclusive and also competitive in a good way), and character. I love that good citizenship and kindness are rewarded. The awards and praise are deserved, not just randomly handed out (as in other schools we've attended)-so recognition is truly meaningful to the kids. My kids are challenged for sure. But they are engaged. They aren't just going through the motions. They are learning, and on their way to being lifelong learners. Highly recommend Harbor Day School for sure.
Our child recently completed 9 years at Harbor Day. HDS did an excellent job of preparing our child for high school. When researching high schools to attend in the area we met with several private and public school counselor/admin teams and were encouraged to find out that the HDS curriculum was both highly respected and competitive for entering high school. The administration, teachers, and staff are highly involved with the students and school and provide a nurturing environment for learning in both the lower and the upper school. We have had a great experience at Harbor Day.
My son is rapidly approaching the end of his 3rd grade year at Harbor Day School. The education he receives is unparalleled from academics to art and music, languages, debate, robotics, wood shop and more. HDS allows him to thrive and be creative. The small class sizes enable him to learn at a pace that is conducive to his learning style and does not hold him back in areas where he excels. The teachers are beyond dedicated and go out of their way to make each child's experience at the school a unique one. The sense of community is beyond anything I could have imagined with multiple opportunities to get involved in the school. I would highly recommend Harbor Day to anyone looking for an exceptional academic curriculum as well as a multi-faceted and well-rounded education for their child.
HDS academics are undoubtedly its strongest selling point.
Overall, the Harbor Day administration does a pretty good job. One thing I saw more of than I liked was the more generous donors getting exemptions from the rules, but I suspect that's the same at most schools like HDS. The administration is great about meeting with families and making sure they're accessible, though, so it's not a problem.
Harbor Day is a very small school in the middle of a safe SoCal suburb. It has the frequent drills that you would expect of any school, and for the years that I went there, there were only false alarms that were handled very professionally. But with only 400 students and nothing except a cemetery and a few apartments nearby, it's hard to imagine HDS being anything but safe.
I went to this school for nine years, so of course I'm a little attached to it, but I'll also admit that it is filled primarily with very smart and very wealthy kids. That said, there are plenty of kids who aren't very smart but are allowed to struggle along because they are wealthy. Personally, I wouldn't recommend that route. But if you aren't intimidated by multi-millionaires, and you want a quality education, Harbor Day is the place for you. Its English program (composed of both an English and a literature class in 6-8th grade) is unparalleled, both by other private schools in the area and most of the high schools. The same goes for math and science. The language program includes a choice between French, Spanish, and Latin, all of which are excellent, but I would be remiss in not mentioning how truly outstanding the Latin program is with its exciting projects and overnight field trips to the state and local competitions. HDS' weak point, if you could even call it that, is probably its history department. There's absolutely nothing wrong with Harbor Day history, but everything else is exemplary, while its history is fairly average. In the lower grades, music and art are an excellent addition to the curriculum, but the music program is pretty minimal. It includes some intensely rehearsed shows throughout the year, but no instrumental instruction. Art, however, is a standout at HDS. The program benefits from Harbor Day's resources, and the materials students get to use are those that most public school students wouldn't get to see until college. Overall, Harbor Day prepared me better for high school and college better than anywhere else could have.