About Us


New Year's Message from Paul

(This message was sent to the school community on December 31, 2021)  
Dear Harborlight Friends,
First, I hope you have had a good, and safe, holiday season.  
The Massachusetts DPH and DESE have updated testing and quarantine protocols to align with new CDC guidelines.  These will be part of our arsenal when we return to school on Monday.  The highlights:
  1. If your child has symptoms and meets the requirements for testing, it is now acceptable to obtain a PCR, rapid antigen, or self-administered test. To return to school your student will need a negative test and a significant improvement in symptoms. This includes no fever for 24 hours without fever reducing medications. 
  1. If your child tests positive, they will need to isolate for a minimum of 5 days after symptom onset or 5 days after the positive test. Students may return to school after 5 days once they have been without fever for 24 hours in the absence of fever reducing medications. Additionally, there should be a significant improvement in all other symptoms to return to school. 
  1. We will continue to test and stay all students (CH-MS) who are designated as in-school, close contacts. Students who are fully vaccinated or have had a covid infection in the last 90 days, are not considered close-contacts and are exempt from testing. 
  1. Any out of school exposure will now require a 5-day quarantine instead of 7. The student should obtain a negative test on day 5 and be without symptoms to return to school on day 6. The state now allows for this day 5 test to be a PCR, rapid antigen, or self-administered home test. 
  1. If your child becomes symptomatic after being identified as a close contact, they will need a negative PCR  and resolution of symptoms to return to school.  Please note that only a PCR is acceptable in this scenario. 
As always, if your child or anyone in your household is sick, even with mild illness, please keep them home until you can talk with Chris Wilson about the symptoms.  We are facing an upsurge in Omicron strain infections and a severe flu season, so this is doubly important.
This has turned out to be a marathon, not a sprint, but we are running it together, and the teamwork is making a difference.   Thank you!
Be safe, friends,
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Healthy IT and CH Classrooms

Our ability to maintain healthy classrooms, (especially the Infant-Toddler and Children's Houses) begins at home.  We rely upon parents/guardians to look for symptoms.  Early indicators may include: 
  • change in sleep patterns: restless sleep, lethargy when awake, or needing more sleep than usual 
  • change in appetite: refusing food or beverages, difficulty swallowing or digesting
  • mood changes: irritable, clingy, or difficult to soothe 
These characteristics are often associated with an onset of illness when not associated with a disruption in routine (such as changing from crib to bed, recent tooth eruption, overnight guests at home, etc.) 
Children exhibiting these symptoms often have difficulty making it through a full school day. If possible, giving a child a day to rest can prevent the onset of illness during the school day, which is disruptive to everyone, including the parent who has to arrange pick up.  

Information for Campus Visitors

Visiting Harborlight is absolutely the best way to truly discover the magic of a Montessori education. Here at Harborlight, we are pleased to offer visits to our beautiful campus during school hours. However, we require strict adherence to visitor protocol for the safety of our school community.

All visits will be permitted on campus by prior reservation and on a limited basis. All parents/guardians and guests who wish to visit our indoor spaces (campus visits, parent observations, etc.) are required to show their vaccination cards.  Unvaccinated adults will be permitted on campus with proof of a negative PCR or rapid antigen test within reasonable time limits prior to the visit date. All visitors over the age of 3 years old will wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, while they are indoors.

In addition, Harborlight requires all visitors and their household members be free of the symptom list prior to arrival on campus.

For questions about our visitation policy, please contact Rachel McAlpine, Director of Admission at rmcalpine@harborlight.net or 978-922-1008 ext. 19. 

Thank you for working in cooperation with our community.

General Information for our Harborlight Community

(This message was sent to the school community on Monday, September 13, 2021)

Greetings All, 
My name is Chris Wilson and I am the School Nurse/Health Care Consultant.  I just wanted to introduce myself to our new families and say welcome back to our returning families. Additionally, I wanted to reach out and give you all an update on Covid protocols and guidelines from the Department of Public Health. 
I know we were all hoping for an easier situation this year, but with the pandemic continuing to persist, it is important that we continue to follow the protocols to keep our community safe. Here at Harborlight, we will continue to mask, distance whenever possible, practice good hand hygiene, and utilize the outdoor classroom.
Illness and Symptoms:
If your child is sick, please keep them home until I can have a conversation with you. Even if the illness seems mild (runny nose, headache), it may be necessary to keep your student home for a day until the illness declares itself. A new onset runny nose in one child may be a cough and sore throat in another. 
The Department of Public Health has modified the symptom list with regards to required testing. If your student is sick and displays multiple symptoms or certain stand-alone symptoms, they will need a doctor’s note or a negative PCR test. Additionally, they will need significant improvement in symptoms prior to returning to school.  
COVID-19 symptoms list:
• Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
• New loss of taste or smell
• Muscle aches or body aches
• Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
• Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
• Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when in combination with other symptoms
• Headache when in combination with other symptoms
• Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
• Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms.
Test and Stay, Quarantine Guidelines: 
In an effort to keep classrooms open and the school operating, Harborlight has enrolled in the Department of Education’s Test and Stay program. In the event of a positive case in a classroom, I will be able to test the close contacts in the classroom and allow them to stay in school. The testing is done with BinaxNow rapid antigen test and will require 5 days of consecutive testing.  As of now, we can offer this program to our students in Grades 1-8, with the possibility of including Children’s House pending approval from the state. 
I will send out an additional email this week with a link to the online consent form required for participation in the program. 
For those students who test positive or are close contacts that cannot participate in the Test and Stay program, the link below will provide information with regards to quarantine. If there is an incident and you must quarantine, I will go over the details with you. 
Outside of School Guidance:
Finally, what we all do away from Harborlight has a big impact on keeping our classrooms open for in-person learning. I would like to remind everyone to keep your social bubbles small and avoid crowded indoor activities until the situation improves and vaccines become available to our younger students and siblings. 
I am a parent of two Harborlight students as well. I know how difficult some of this can be, but I am here to support you anytime. If you have a question, please text or email me and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Be Well, 
Our goal is to create and sustain an environment where on-campus learning can take place.  To do this, we need the active commitment of every member of the Harborlight community – teachers, staff, parents, and students.
This document provides guidance and expectations for the Harborlight Montessori community.  The guidance and protocols in this document have been adopted after compiling guidelines, recommendations and protocols from numerous sources including other educational institutions as well as international, federal, and state agencies.  
We accept that there is an assumed level of risk of contracting and/or the spread of COVID-19, however, we believe that following these guidelines mitigates that risk and will afford Harborlight the opportunity to operate and serve our community as safely and effectively as possible. 
We will continuously review these protocols and make adjustments as necessary.

(updated June 2021)

Daily Health Attestation


  • Fever of 100.0 or higher
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing (not physical activity induced)
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting)
  • Fatigue (fatigue alone should not exclude a student from school attendance)
  • Headache (headache alone should not exclude a student from school attendance)
  • New loss of smell/taste
  • New muscle aches

WITHIN THE LAST 14 DAYS: Have you or your child had close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual?

If your answer is yes to any of the above, please do not enter the campus.

Harborlight COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Health Policy

List of 3 items.

  • If a Student Becomes Symptomatic:

    If a student becomes symptomatic, regardless of vaccination status, Harborlight will immediately isolate the student from others and minimize exposure to staff. Whenever possible, children (age 2 and older) will cover noses and mouths with a mask or cloth face covering. Parents will be contacted to have the child picked up as soon as possible. 

  • If a Staff Becomes Symptomatic:

    If a staff member becomes symptomatic, regardless of vaccine status, they must cease all duties immediately and be removed from others until they can leave. Staff must regularly self-monitor during the day to screen for new symptoms. 

  • If a Child or Staff Contracts COVID-19:

    Sick students or employees who are COVID-19 positive or symptomatic and presumed to have COVID-19 must not return to Harborlight until they have met the criteria for discontinuing home isolation and have consulted with a health care provider. Together with the student’s family and health care professional, or with the staff member and their health care professional, Harborlight’s Health Care Consultant will 1. determine the date of symptom onset for the student/staff; 2. determine if the student/staff attended/worked at Harborlight while symptomatic or during the two days before symptoms began; 3. identify what days the student/staff attended/worked during that time; 4. determine who had close contact with the student/staff at Harborlight during those days (staff and other students). 

    Detailed information about Covid-19 isolation and quarantine guidelines may be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-isolation-and-quarantine-information

    If the individual tests positive for COVID-19 but is asymptomatic, isolation may be discontinued when at least 10 days have passed from the date of the positive test, as long as the individual remains asymptomatic. For example, if the individual was tested on August 1, isolation may be discontinued on or after August 11 if the individual still has no symptoms.

    If an unvaccinated student or staff has been exposed to COVID-19, regardless of whether the individual has symptoms or not, the student or staff must not be permitted to enter Harborlight and/or must be sent home. These exposed individuals must be directed to stay home according to the Massachusetts isolation and quarantine guidelines.

    Harborlight will consult the local board of health for guidance on quarantine for other students and staff and what additional precautions will be needed to ensure the school space is safe for continued services. 
    If a student’s household member or staff’s household member tests positive for COVID-19, they must notify Harborlight and follow the Massachusetts isolation and quarantine guidelines.

    Read More

Who to Contact

Health and wellness: Chris Wilson, Health Care Consultant

To report a student absent: School Office; 922-1008

General Harborlight: Paul Horovitz, Head of School

Infant & Toddler: Hiromi Sudachi, Director

Lower/Upper School: (CH-MS): Elisa Pitkin, Director

Facilities: Peter Dickman, Director

Admissions & Financial Aid: Rachel McAlpine, Director

Finance: Jed Dickman, Director

Communications: Nichole Schrafft, Director

Donations to Harborlight: Development Chairs

Public Health Resources

The situation regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) is ever-changing. Harborlight continues to monitor the following resources for up-to-date, accurate information in our decision-making.

Harborlight Responds to COVID-19

We know that it is not possible to create a completely risk-free environment; however, the processes and procedures are designed to mitigate risk.

Below you will find the list of policies and procedures that are being implemented to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. No single mitigation strategy substantially reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission; we believe a layered approach to be most effective.

To help support the health and safety of the Harborlight community, our Health & Safety Committee will regularly analyze the data collected on the health screening forms and attendance, collect and review daily classroom cleaning checklists, and keep abreast of new information.

We will oversee contact tracing to help minimize community transmission, review policies and procedures, and coordinate trainings and community health and safety initiatives. 

List of 14 items.

  • Air Quality & Ventilation

    The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems at the School are serviced regularly.  The rooftop units are designed with fresh air economizers, which have been set to provide maximum fresh air exchange.  All classrooms have a portable air purifier, which includes HEPA filtration and a UV germicidal component. All classrooms have multiple exterior windows that are frequently opened to allow for fresh air exchange.
  • Arrival & Dismissal

    Harborlight has a staggered arrival and dismissal for students.

    Early arrival for students enrolled in A-Block begins at 7:30AM. Elementary students are expected to arrive no later than 8:15AM. All Children's House and Infant & Toddler House students not enrolled for A-Block arrive at 8:30.

    Dismisals are staggered depending on the student's individual schedule.

    • Parents/guardians bring their children to the deck door for their assigned classroom. 
    • Parents/guardians will have conducted a daily screening at home (see Health Attestation)
    • A staff member invites your child into their classroom with their belongings.
    Main Building
    • Parents/guardians bring their children to the main entrance (lobby of the building) for attendance.
    • Parents/guardians will have conducted a daily screening at home (see Health Attestation). No paper is required.
    • Grade 1 and up walk independently to their classroom. Younger children are walked to their classroom by a staff member.
    AFTERNOON DISMISSAL: (11:30 half day, 12:30 half day with lunch, 3:00 Academic Day, 4:30 B block, 5:30 C Block)

    Parents pick up children from the Infant/Toddler playgrounds or at the classroom door on the deck from the playgrounds. When the parents knock on the door, the teacher brings the child out. 
    Main Building (Dismissal times 11:30; 12:30; 3:00)

    Students remain in their classrooms until called for pick up when the parent/guardian arrives.  Parents place the pickup card with the student's name clearly written on the dashboard of the car. 

    A faculty member brings the student to their car. 

    Main Building (Dismissal times 4:30; 5:30)

    Parents/guardians may pick up from the playgrounds. Whenever inside, students remain in their classrooms until called for pick up. Parents/guardians may wait in the main entrance/school lobby. A teacher will bring the student and their belongings to their parents/guardian.  

  • Campus Cleaning & Health Initiatives

    • Food safety measures include no shared snack and PPE measures for staff during food preparation.
    • Frequently touched surfaces in common areas are cleaned often.
    • Classroom materials are disinfected frequently with UVC germicidal light or wiped down with disinfect.
    • All bathrooms are disinfected.
    • Student belongings are stored in individual, closed locker.
    • Nap items are sent home weekly for laundering.
    Equipment and Supplies added for COVID-19 
    • Portable air purifiers with HEPA filters and UV germicidal lamps.
    • Seaside Disinfectant (hospital-grade)
    • UV germicidal lamps
    • Victory Electrostatic Sprayer
    • Ozone machine
    • Electric sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant
    • Hand sanitizing dispensers throughout campus
    • Touchless temperature checking stations
  • Athletics

    Our athletic programs are a part of the MAC (Montessori Athletic Conference). We have suspended practice and games until it is safe.
  • Creative Discovery Clubs & Classes

    Harborlight resumed clubs and classes in 2021. These are on a very limited basis and require safety protocols. For more information about Creative Discovery contact: Nichole Schrafft at nschrafft@harborlight.net. 
  • Daily Health Screening

    Families complete the pre-screening health assessment at home each day prior to dropping off at school.  Harborlight is no longer requiring a form to be submitted.

    If any of daily health requirements are not met, the student will not be allowed to enter the building.

    We ask families to report a student absent and describe all symptoms present when staying home. 

    Staff perform a mid-day screening. Students who present any of the symptoms during the day will be separated from the group and dismissed.

  • Extended Montessori (Before & Afterschool)

    Due to our small class sizes, Extended Montessori is available by prior reservation only.  

    Students in Extended Montessori will combine by cohort together in the morning from 7:30-8:30 and again in the afternoon at 3:00 until 5:30 or 4:30 until 5:30.
  • Face Covering/Mask

    Masks are required indoors for all students age 3 years and older and for all adults regardless of vaccination status.

    Masks must not be worn while students are eating/drinking, sleeping, and napping/resting. Physical distancing is practiced during these activities whenever possible.

    While students are engaged in active outdoor play or learning in the outdoor classroom masks and facial coverings are optional.

    Parents/guardians wear a face covering/mask when indoors and by preference when outdoors. 

    Families should provide their children with a sufficient supply of clean masks or face coverings for each day.  These personal masks/face coverings must be clearly marked with the child’s name and a mark to distinguish which side of the covering is to  be worn facing outward so they are worn properly at all times.

    Harborlight respects individual choices to keep masks on when not required. 
    Please choose the most appropriate facial covering for your children with health and prolonged use in mind. Some factors to consider are: 
    • fit (a facial covering with adjustable staps or flexibility to fit securely without touching)
    • layered or with a filter that protects airborne particles from being released
    • allows breathing and talking without restriction
    • one-time use coverings are disposed of at the end of day or when contaminated/compromised
    • reusable are laundered daily without altering the shape or level or protection
    • face shields are only used with an accompanying facial covering/mask
  • Finance & Tuition

    There will not be tuition refunds issued for closures and absences.

    As always, we will continue to work with individual families as their circumstances evolve. To that end, we urge families who have not done so to purchase tuition insurance. This is a very modest investment that could be of great help should a student  withdraw at some point during the year. 
  • Hand Hygiene

    Hand washing sinks with soap, water, and disposable paper towels are to be readily accessible to all students and staff. Hand washing instructions are posted at every hand washing sink and where they can easily be seen by students and staff.

    Required hand washing routines are built into the schedule for all students, faculty and staff. These times include, but are not limited to: 
    • upon arrival to school,
    • entering a classroom (from another classroom, recess, etc.)
    • before and after eating,
    • before putting on and taking off face coverings,
    • before dismissal
    • personal care (coughing, sneezing, nose blowing, toileting)
    • before and after using shared equipment such as computer, copier, white board, etc.
    • after contact with mask or facial covering
    • after removing gloves (staff)
    While hand sanitizer (approved product with at least 60% alcohol) may be used by children over 2 years of age with parental permission, handwashing is the preferred and safer method.

    Hand sanitizer stations are positioned in high traffic areas of our campus (indoors and outside).
  • Harborlight Instructional Plan

    Harborlight's Instructional Plan has been developed with the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and families in mind.  

    Implementation of our safety protocols, small class size, maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, and minimizing crossover between students and teachers supported Harborlight being in-person, full-time since June 29, 2020.

    However, our instructional plan is designed for a smooth transition to our Distance Learning Program if and when necessary.
  • Isolation

    Harborlight uses a designated room for any student with suspected symptoms of COVID-19.

    This is a separate space where a student can comfortably wait to be picked up from school.

    If a student is sent home from the isolation room- all siblings will need to be dismissed as well.

    Symptoms that require isolation:
    • Cough or difficulty breathing
    • Fever (temperature of 100.0 or above)
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Nausea/Vomiting/Diarrhea
    • Excessive fatigue or body aches
    If any student appears to have severe symptoms, Harborlight will call emergency services immediately. Severe symptoms include: extreme difficulty breathing (i.e. not being able to speak without gasping for air), bluish lips or face, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, severe persistent dizziness or lightheadedness, new confusion or inability to rouse someone, or new seizure or seizures that won’t stop.
  • Lunch & Snack

    Students bring their own individual snacks to school in their lunchboxes and a personal water bottle. Snacks can be packed in a separate cooler or lunch box or should be clearly labeled if packed in the same lunch box to avoid confusion. When students are staying for Extended Montessori, they will need additional snacks. Extra snacks (for when a student runs out or forgets) will be made available by Harborlight in pre-packaged or ready to serve individual portions. 
  • Outdoor Classrooms

    Harborlight has several outdoor classroom spaces that are utilized for learning, weather permitting, on a rotating schedule.  

About Harborlight

Harborlight Montessori is an independent, co-educational, day school for children from infant-toddler through grade 8 that is committed to innovative teaching and learning.