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College Counseling

Harley’s Approach to College Counseling is highly individualized and student-centered. Students have direct access to college counselors throughout their Upper School experience, but really, each student is part of a team including faculty, administration, and staff. It’s our job to support each student and we want nothing more than to send students on to the next step of their journey at a right fit school for them. The student centered and driven process is wrapped in care, expertise, and professionalism.

We host college reps during times students are available (no need to miss a class) so they can make connections and learn more about potential schools. We also arrange campus visits for classes as field trips, host an alumni college day (where recent Upper School graduates return to share advice and answer questions), and help connect students with our international alumni network. In fact, representatives from schools all over the world actively seek opportunities to come to Harley and meet with our students!

Our college counselors are accredited and are part of national/global conversations on admission trends. They also attend and present at conferences across the country.

Beginning with our Grade 11 parent night, we offer informational sessions for parents, including one devoted just to financial aid. Our partnership with families is critical, as the college admissions world changes very quickly and having an expert to guide students and families through the process is essential.

View the downloadable College Counseling Guide

Clubs

“Club Rush” is an afternoon every fall in the Upper School when students have the chance to sign up for clubs for the year, and each year it is very different because new clubs are created based on student initiative and enthusiasm.

A few of this year’s choices: Sports Media, Social Action Club, Journalism Club, Feminism Club, Student of Color & Allies (SOCA), Gay-Straight Alliance, Tri M (music honor society), E-Sports Club, Euchre, Key Club (service), Animation Club, Dungeons & Dragons, Sustainability Club, Jewish Cultural Club, Astronomy Club, Biomimicry, and Beyond Soup (social justice/service).

Athletics

​Each and every year, students at The Harley School participate in HAC Athletics, and their success continues to be impressive, both as students and athletes. Our athletic program is an integral part of Harley, teaching student-athletes invaluable lessons about teamwork, time management, persistence, and competition.  Our program allows them to develop physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally as they represent their school on and off the field. They grow, mature, and work hard to be the best teammate they can, while creating lifelong memories with teammates who often remain friends for life. 

Helping our athletes to reach their potential are some of HAC’s best assets: our coaches. More often than not, they are drawn from the ranks of our faculty and  have a deep understanding of the personalities and abilities of the student-athletes on their teams.  

We strive to find the right balance of academics, exercise, and personal growth for everyone.  By offering a variety of sports at many different levels, all student-athletes find a sport they can be successful in. It is with great pride and pleasure that my team and I work to enrich the athletic lives of all our HAC student-athletes. Go Wolves! 

To learn more check out our athletics page.

Student Leadership

Our Upper School is filled with formal and informal opportunities for students to take on leadership roles. Whether following passions or learning new skills, student-driven opportunities take many shapes.

– Independent study: one trimester, full year, and multi-year projects have included automating our solar chimneys, coding handmade musical instruments, or developing a class on financial literacy for underserved high school students.

– Serving on student council

– STEM: Climate curriculum program, biomimicry program, NASA Hunch program

Clubs

“Club Rush” is an afternoon every fall in the Upper School when students have the chance to sign up for clubs for the year, and each year it is very different because new clubs are created based on student initiative and enthusiasm.

A few of this year’s choices: Sports Media, Social Action Club, Journalism Club, Feminism Club, Student of Color & Allies (SOCA), Gay-Straight Alliance, Tri M (music honor society), E-Sports Club, Euchre, Key Club (service), Animation Club, Dungeons & Dragons, Sustainability Club, Jewish Cultural Club, Astronomy Club, Biomimicry, and Beyond Soup (social justice/service).

Hospice

Unlike this class, death is not an elective. Although it is one of two universal human experiences, our culture often ignores, denies, or misconstrues the true nature of death and dying. What happens when we bear witness to this natural process in the cycle of life and develop our ability to be fully present with others when they need us more than ever? It has the potential to change us deeply and fundamentally while shining a brilliant light on the path of our own lives.

With the support of their classmates, teacher, and comfort care home communities, senior students are offered the chance to care for others who truly need their purposeful, non-judgmental attention. In the home-like setting of a comfort care home, opportunities for learning extend beyond a traditional classroom rubric and conventional methods of evaluation. In this course, students will certainly find tangible “learning outcomes” by studying the medical/physical processes associated with dying and the basic nursing assistant skills of comfort care. The ultimate goal, however, will always be rooted in true relationships and connection, which occurs only through empathy and compassion.

Learn more about the Hospice Program at Harley HERE.

Capstone/Independent Studies

This program utilizes environmentally-focused approaches to education and hands-on learning in order to foster the next generation of leaders through a lens of sustainability and problem-solving.

Food & Farm: These year-long and trimester-long classes are held outside as much as possible, allowing students to become leaders in our various growing spaces. They cover environmental justice issues as well as hands-on work such as planning and overseeing planting, harvesting, and preparation of the gardens.

Past year-long focus projects have included: Creating a native plant shade garden in the Wild Wood area, redesigning our hydroponic system, overhauling Harley’s high tunnel, and improving the irrigation system for the MicroFarm.

Culinary Arts: These classes have a two-fold purpose: to give students practical skills in cooking and the science behind different techniques in the kitchen, learning about food justice, food sourcing, labor topics, and sustainability.

Past topics have included: Examining a plant-based diet, looking at the carbon footprint of different meals and food preparation methods, proposing a low carbon footprint menu to the dining hall, links between food labeling and environmental issues of food production.

Beekeeping: This one trimester class provides hands-on training in beekeeping, how to be a beekeeper, and safety and other techniques for working with bees. Once trained students help with all aspects of Harley beekeeping such as hive inspections, honey collection and extraction, and teaching students in Lower School about our hives.

Students pick a research topic addressing honeybee health and the larger environmental picture.

Social Justice

At Harley, our students learn how to evaluate social systems in order to identify complex problems in society through a lens of social justice. They take a hands-on approach to working for a fair, equitable society by researching, exploring and evaluating different perspectives, and offering solutions—both theoretical and practical.

Our faculty integrate social justice into our broader curriculum to assist students in gaining a foundational knowledge about what makes a democracy function. By gaining skills in ideating supportive pathways they become more exposed and experienced to how communities can undergo healing and restorative actions.

 

Capstone/Independent Studies

Students may create independent studies with supervising teachers throughout their Upper School experience or, during Grade 12, they can design Capstone projects—intensive collaborations with Harley faculty and off-campus mentors—involving rigorous academic study and culminating in public presentations. They are empowered to create their own curriculum, set goals, and work on time management skills in order to accomplish their objectives.

Independent Studies run the gamut from The Psychology of Sports to Furniture Design to The Neuroimaging of Alzheimer’s Disease. Capstones, meanwhile, are as diverse as the students who pursue them: Fictional Rochester, Autobiographical Art, Biomimicry Education, Organic Fuel, and Rochester Refugees. 

Indicative of Upper School curiosity and creativity, pursuits such as these distinguish our graduates in college. Through deep dives of this sort, Harley students master more than speaking, writing, and computing: they learn to communicate, advocate, collaborate, organize, listen, and empathize. 

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Nursery at Harley

Bringing joy in learning to our 3 & 4 year-olds

Joy In Learning

Our experienced early childhood educators understand how children develop, viewing each moment as  teachable and masterfully guiding their class with consideration for each student. The children are engaged in a highly intentional way. By creating classroom environments filled with lively discussion, collaboration, social interaction, and play, the wonder of learning is opened up to young children.

Our Key Values in Nursery

Curiosity

All Learning Starts with Questions

“Why is water wet?”, “What are shadows made of?”, “How do fish breathe underwater?”

Relentless curiosity is part of every child’s natural drive to understand the world. It makes perfect sense that those who are fresh in the world long to learn more about it. Whether using questions to learn about a topic of interest, test a boundary or explore the world, this is an integral part of a youngster’s life.

Our Responsive Classroom approach focuses on the essential relationship between academic success, cognitive growth, and social emotional learning. This empowers our faculty to create safe, joyful, and engaging learning communities where all students have a sense of belonging and feel significant. 

Balance

Where Community and Independence Meet

As a member of both a classroom and a larger school community, our Nursery students learn social confidence in a vibrant learning environment. They are encouraged to explore and forge their own understandings through inquiry-based experiences. Our teachers model and coach social interactions so that children can discover ways to negotiate their world as their own social skills develop. They are acutely aware of how to engage each child at their level, offering appropriate challenge. Students understand that they are known and valued as part of their classroom family. 

Opportunity

Door-opening Experiences Engage Young Learners
The way young children grow and mature can be seen through changes in their play and social skills. Our faculty, who are specifically trained in early childhood education, encourage learning through play in all areas. They follow an evidence-based approach to teaching that focuses on engaging academics, positive community, and developmental awareness. By creating a shared sense of purpose in the class, teachers and children are ready for positive and productive learning where risk-taking is encouraged and each individual voice matters. 

Creativity

Readiness for a Lifetime of Growth and Problem Solving

From pretend play to flexing their gross- and fine motor skills, our students engage in experiences that stimulate growing minds and trigger imagination. They begin learning Spanish, swim in our pool, explore outdoors, make and move to music, play on our natural playground, develop confidence as they build skills in physical education classes, help in our microfarm, and participate in creative arts. They are provided with a broad experience as they build their foundation for exploring the world around them.

Confidence

Children are activators of their own learning. They thrive when new opportunities and topics are provided and gain confidence from meaningful practice to move from exploration to mastery. Nursery maximizes discoveries with other children and guidance from trusted teachers. The social-emotional components of early childhood include:

  • sense of self-feeling good about themselves and what they can do.
  • social skills-getting along in life with others.
  • emotional skills-recognizing, expressing, and managing a wide range of feelings.

Being in a supportive community allows students to learn from each other. As Nursery students’ language, thinking, and planning capabilities increase, they are better able to wait for things they want, to negotiate solutions to everyday problems, and make decisions for themselves.

About Our Faculty

The average tenure of our Nursery faculty is 11 years. They are trained to create safe, joyful, and engaging classroom and school communities. Their emphasis is on helping students develop academic, social, and emotional skills in a learning environment that is developmentally responsive to their strengths and needs. Each Nursery classroom has two teachers.

Harley Highlights

  • Hands-on, experiential learning
  • Year-round program with our summer option
  • Extended day before and after care
  • Spanish, swimming, creative arts and music, gross-motor activities
  • Discovery and outdoor play
  • Small class sizes, allowing faculty to build deep connections with students
  • Experienced, vibrant educators who understand and are passionate about children as learners
  • Thoughtful, structured schedule

Healthy lunches and snacks are included (gluten-free, allergen-free and diet-sensitive options available)

Thinking of applying?

Explore our enrollment and application process.

Financial Assistance Opportunities

A Harley education is possible for your child.

The Harley School

1981 Clover Street
Rochester, NY 14618
(585) 442-1770

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