HS – Philosophy

2011_hs_historynightHarmony High School seeks to inspire a love of learning in its students that will help them to become lifelong learners. It is our mission to help students prepare themselves for whatever college, job, or opportunity they wish to pursue after graduation.  We work towards this goal in a holistic fashion, challenging the students physically, socially, intellectually and creatively.

We offer “core” courses in the five traditional academic areas: Mathematics, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and a foreign language. We also offer a variety of classes focused on visual and cultural arts, music, and technology.  We both tailor our curriculum for the needs of each individual student and also work to ensure that each student develops breadth in the core academic areas.

2011_hs_trip2_smallIn addition, if a student shows a special interest or talent for a particular subject, he or she is encouraged to take on more advanced work, either through university course work, or by independent study. Students are afforded many opportunities to demonstrate their ability to work independently; once they have done so, they have even greater freedom to design their own work and seek out additional mentors in the community.

Class sizes rarely exceed 15 students. This allows teachers greater freedom to teach challenging material while assuring that if a student needs individual attention, he or she can get it. It also allows teachers to set individual standards for students rather than following a grade-level norm or exterior guidelines.

Students have the same teachers over the course of their high school career. These teachers also serve as the students’ counselors. This long-term and multifaceted relationship inspires a sense of community both in and out of the classroom, and it is the core ethos of the High School.

Students participate in all aspects of governance in the High School, and we believe that our school community thrives when we strive toward consensus. We also believe that students need to develop skills such as listening; facilitating discussion; analyzing issues; problem solving and compromising; and making and reflecting on community decisions. Every Fall, students have the opportunity to run for Student Advisory, a group that meets to deal with issues affecting the community. In the spring, students have the opportunity to run for Student Selection Committee, a group of students and teachers that interviews prospective students and makes recommendations about admittance.

We often say that Harmony High School is a 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year experience, and we seek to capitalize on this integration of the students’ lives outside and inside the walls of the school building. Learning comes naturally to people throughout their lives, and we strive to help our students discover the intrinsic rewards of curiosity, persistence, and commitment to the endeavors they seek to accomplish.