Lower School Handbook
Letter from Head of Lower School
Dear Lower School families,
On behalf of the Lower School faculty, I welcome you to the 2019–20 school year. It is our commitment to give our best to each child and instill a joy of learning across the curriculum in a safe, loving environment. It is through a close partnership with you that this goal will be realized.
This handbook is intended to provide you with a brief description of the procedures we’ve developed to facilitate the safe and orderly day-to-day conduct of the Lower School program. We hope you will take the time to become familiar with its contents.
Here’s to a wonderful year of working together for the sake of your child’s growth and learning.
Welcome to a new year at Harley,
Terry Fonda Smith
Head of Lower School
Table of Contents
Out of School Matters
Faculty and Staff
The Harley School Mission
We are a diverse, inclusive school. We provide a balanced education that prepares our students to meet the challenges of tomorrow and lead lives of great purpose.
1. We inspire academic excellence.
2. We foster joy in learning in both the arts and sciences.
3. We promote physical and mental fitness.
4. We show how to care for the world and other people.
5. We empower our students to become confident, life long learners.
Adopted by the Board of Trustees, May 2015.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Acceptance of differences. Respect for others. Self-respect. These are the pillars of a Harley education. The following principles are taught and practiced from Nursery to graduation.
I have the right to have the respect of others. I have the responsibility to respect others.
I have the right to feel safe.
I have the responsibility to help others feel safe.
I have the right to an atmosphere that promotes learning.
I have a responsibility to promote learning through my preparation and participation.
I have the right to have my property respected.
I have the responsibility to respect the property of others.
I have the right to expect the best of others.
I have a responsibility to be my personal best.
In “The Characteristics of a Harley Graduate,” a faculty-driven aspirational document that guides our decision-making and vision, we say we seek to cultivate, “A civic person … a pluralist (globally aware, tolerant, appreciative of difference); a respectful steward
of community and environment; and a compassionate individual who knows what it means to take care of another human being.”
A commitment to pluralism and empathy, then, is integral to the mission and purpose of the School. We see a pluralistic and empathetic outlook as a core “outcome” for our students.
Toward that end, we seek to be a diverse community in which diversity in all its forms is cherished and freely explored. We do so in academic contexts, choosing reading and project work that supports this goal; we do so in community contexts, cultivating mutual understanding and respect among our students and a sense of responsibility to the broader community; we do so in social contexts, developing the skills of empathy, appreciation, and collaborative problem-solving; we do so in admissions, financial aid, and hiring, as we invite underrepresented populations to join our community; and we do so in all of our everyday decision-making.
We further commit to regular self-assessment of our diversity mission and the effectiveness of our ongoing efforts to live up to these aspirations.
Commitment to Diversity
The Harley School believes diversity enriches all groups and communities and the individuals who are part of them. Diversity of race, ethnicity, geographical origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, familial or economic status, etc., forms the fabric of our society. The Harley School seeks out students, families, and employees who value and contribute to the diversity of our institution and community.
We are committed stewards of our planet and each other. In this way, we are advocates We are committed stewards of our planet and each other. In this way, we are advocates for a sustainable future. Learning through a lens of sustainability provides an essential framework for understanding our world.
We believe sustainability:
- relies on a balanced system.
- embraces the interdependence of the environment, the community, and the economy.
- builds on the past, is attentive to the present, and aims for a viable future.
Community Expectations for Students
The Harley School expects all students to work to their highest capabilities, to join as fully as possible in the opportunities of the School, and to become independent learners and responsible citizens of the community. Our program necessitates that students have strong motivation and abilities in order to succeed in a challenging academic atmosphere.
The Harley faculty aims to support all of our students in becoming progressively indepen- dent as learners. From Lower to Middle to Upper School, we prepare Harley graduates to be both intellectually self-reliant and collaborative as problem solvers.
We believe these habits of achievement are not inborn, but that they can be mastered with the proper education and support.
We are prepared to offer accommodations for students with specific learning differences who are able to compensate in ways that allow them to meet our grade-level or course requirements. We work in close partnership with our families toward these ends. However, Harley does not have the resources available to serve students with diagnosed learning dif- ferences who are unable to meet the demanding reading, writing, analytical, and behavioral requirements of our academic program. For this reason, Harley reserves the right to determine whether the needs of the student can be met in our educational program. For more detail regarding accommodations and modifications at each division level, contact the appropriate Division Head.
When student behavior is disrespectful or disruptive, Harley will take appropriate disci- plinary or educational steps and may require counseling or other agreed-upon therapeu- tic support.
When a student is unable to meet the School’s academic or behavioral expectations, the School reserves the right to separate from the student.
Supplemental Support Program (SSP)
We address the individual needs of learners in developmentally appropriate ways that vary by academic division. The Lower School support program offers more individualization and addresses the development of basic skills and emerging competencies in a variety of settings. Starting in Grade 5, the program supports students in meeting the demanding curricular requirements of the Middle and Upper Schools, but it does not provide reme- diation of significant deficiencies in basic skills.
“Become What Thou Art.”
To thee, O Harley
We our voices raise,
Long may the green and white
Before us blaze.
As the great oak
Must from the acorn start,
So be our endeavor,
Become what thou art!
Dear Alma Mater,
Thee we stand before,
Pledging our loyalty
Words by the Class of 1941
Music by Webbe
Middle School: The Oak Leaf
Upper School: The Oak Tree
The Eagle / Class of 2020
The Eagle is the bird living in the full light of the sun, representing the warmth of life. We strive to be bold, venturesome, and proud.
The Griffin / Class of 2021
The Griffin represents the light of dawn turning to gold. We grow in our own vision of ourselves: vigilant, kind, and helpful to others.
Two Unicorns / Class of 2022
Two Unicorns symbolize the virtue and strength of mind and body. We cooperate in work and in play. We cherish goodness in others.
The Horn / Class of 2023
The Horn symbolizes the strength to open a path for oneself. We protect those less strong, and we mature to appreciate beauty in all things.
The Crescent / Class of 2024
The Crescent represents a world of changing forms. It shows us as developing people in an orderly universe striving for peace
Deer on Slope / Class of 2025
Deer on Slope symbolizes swiftness and gentleness. It represents growth from awkward beauty into grace and longevity of commitment.
Visor and Swords / Class of 2026
Visor and Swords shows the penetrating power of the intellect with newfound assurance.
We combine ambition with courage and justice.
The Dragon / Class of 2027
The Dragon represents us as creatures of courage and vigilance. We grow in wisdom as we grow
Stag on Chevron / Class of 2028
Stag on Chevron symbolizes the cycles of renewal and growth.
We gain agility as we leave shyness and solitude for playfulness and joy.
The Unicorn / Class of 2029
The Unicorn shows us as creatures of dreams, magic, and imagination. We develop virtue and strength of mind and body.
Fleur-de-Lis / Class of 2030
Fleur-de-Lis is the symbol of illumination, the flower of light and life. We strive toward balance and discipline, purpose and dedication.
The Torch / Class of 2031
The Torch shows us as a light to our School, our friends, our families.
It represents the emblem of truth and illumination.
8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Lower School assemblies are held for Nursery through Grade 4 students almost every Wednesday in the Lower School Centrum. Parents and guests are welcome to attend. The assembly time is 12:10 pm.
Before-school care is provided every day that School is in session. It is held from 7:30 am to 7:55 am in the Extended Day room. Before-school care is free and no prior registration is necessary. All Lower School children arriving by bus before 7:55 am should report directly to this room upon arrival. The classrooms open for children at 7:55 am.
Extended Day is available on a fee basis from 3 pm to 6 pm for children in Nursery through Grade 4. This is not a drop-in service. Arrangements must be made in advance by contacting Sarah Murphy at (585) 442-1770 ext. 1151.
Our Vacation Camp is available on a fee basis, Monday to Friday during School holidays. There is camp on School breaks and national holidays as indicated on the School calendar. Hours are 7:30 am to 6 pm. Call Sarah Murphy (585) 442-1770 ext. 1151 to arrange for enrollment in advance.
The doors to the Lower School will be open from 7:30 am to 8:30 am for morning drop-off. These doors will then be locked until pick-up between 2:30 and 3:30 pm. All access to the building from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm must be through the main entrance.
Absences and Tardiness
Children are expected to be in school except in cases of illness. Please arrange to have your children here promptly by 8:00 am, when the school day begins. It is essential your children arrive by 8:00 am every day so that they can settle in and engage in all aspects of their school day. Attendance is taken at 8:10 am. If your child is late, they must be signed in by a parent or caregiver at Miss Roberts’ desk, then escorted to class. Chronic tardiness will be addressed.
Changes in Transportation
If your child will be going home by any other means than the prearranged way, a note must be sent stating the arrangements. We cannot honor the oral relay of the message by a child.
The Harley School has a community service requirement for all classes, from Nursery through Grade 12. The teachers and/or children choose a developmentally-appropriate endeavor to help children realize their role in making the world a better place and to give back to their local and global communities.
The Supplementary Support Program (SSP) offers extra help for students with learning needs or differences. Linda Epstein and Marilyn Fenster are the Lower School SSP teachers. Classroom teachers refer students to SSP teachers through the Division Head. Shelli Reetz is the counselor for Lower School. In addition, she holds morning coffees with Terry Smith for parents a few times per year to discuss behavioral and developmental questions. She is available to meet with parents who have specific questions or concerns.
Beginning in Grade 3, children are assigned homework on a regular basis. It is helpful and recommended that a child have a quiet place to work, undisturbed, with sufficient time allotted to do a good job. If a homework assignment seems too difficult for your child, please send the teacher a note. Students in Grade 4 use a Harley homework planner. This tool helps teach organizational skills necessary for successful homework completion.
Lost and Found
There is a Lower School lost and found area in the main hallway near Nursery Blue and also in the Field House. We encourage you to check both areas often to keep items from being lost permanently. All clothing and other articles of value should be labeled.
Parent Conferences and Progress Reports
The Lower School holds two regularly scheduled conferences—one in the fall and one in the spring. Thorough narrative progress reports are mailed to Lower School parents in January and June.
Daily outdoor play is an important part of our Lower School program. Since Rochester’s weather is unpredictable, please make certain your child has appropriate clothes at school for all contingencies.
We have several scheduled fire drills throughout the year. The students are taught to exit the building quietly using designated routes and to assemble by classroom by the Lower School playground. We also practice lockdown drills in the event of an intruder or criminal act. Students are taught to safely remain in their classrooms and await instructions.
School Drop-Off and Pickup
Nursery arrival and dismissal: Parents of nursery students may park in the designated spots in the Lower School loop and walk their child in and out of the building. Please be quick since there are more families than parking spaces. Parents will be mailed two Nursery parking passes to be displayed on the windshield of the car. (If you need an extra pass for a caregiver see Miss Roberts).
Nursery dismissal is between 2:45 pm and 3 pm.
Kindergarten through Grade 4 Arrival and Dismissal: Parents of Kindergarten through Grade 4 students who are dropping off may drive through the Lower School loop and let their child off at the curb. Please pull as far forward as possible. Parking is reserved for Nursery parents only.
Lower School students who will be picked up by parents will be dismissed at the Lower School loop. You will be mailed two cards with your child’s name printed in bold letters to be displayed in the windshield of your car. Your child will be delivered to your car as you progress around the loop. It is important to keep pickup moving in the two lanes marked. It is never acceptable to park along the curb in the loop. People who arrive before 3 pm or want to come into the building must park in the upper parking lot.
Dismissal begins at 3 pm
Please make certain all caregivers picking up your child know of this procedure and have a name card on the right front side of their car’s dashboard.
Care of Property
Children are expected to take good care of school books and other materials. Lost or damaged property must be paid for or replaced. Library books are due one week after your child attends literature class or book exchange.
Each class from Kindergarten through Grade 4 collaborates with specialist teachers to create an integrated presentation on a unit of study that is presented at assembly during the year.
Children are encouraged to wear clothing appropriate for play (indoor and outdoor). On gym days, students need to wear sneakers. During swimming units, one-piece suits labeled with their name are required.
Field studies are an integral aspect of the curriculum and enhance the educational experience. We request every parent plan to drive for at least one field study during the year. We recognize field studies which cost money may cause a financial burden. We have established a supporting fund to address this need. If you are unable to send in money, please advise Terry Smith or the classroom teacher and the fee will be covered by Harley. When we take children on field studies, we do not allow them to ride in the front seat of the car. Children must be belted and, when appropriate, in child safety seats. You will be notified if your child’s class is planning a trip. Written permission from a parent or guardian must be returned to the classroom teacher prior to the trip. Parents must also complete the driver acceptability form in order to be eligible to drive. Parents who drive on field studies should model appropriate behavior, legal driving, and should support the classroom rules.
Nurseries eat in their classrooms. Kindergarten through Grade 4 students eat family-style at assigned tables in the Dining Hall. Please be sure to communicate any food allergies to your child’s classroom teacher and Vicki Pasternak in the Dining Hall. Parents are allowed to eat lunch in the Dining Hall for their child’s birthday by calling Vicki Pasternak ahead of time at (585) 442-1770 ext. 1214.
All prescription medication, dosage instructions, and parent permission to administer must be left with the School nurse or submitted online. The nurse needs to be notified if a child is unable to participate in recess activities or physical education classes. A note from the doctor is required for extended non-participation or for any limitations on participation. If a child is well enough to attend school, it is expected that they are able to participate in all daily activities.
Teachers are busy with classes throughout the day and need to give full attention to students; please do not ask for classes to be interrupted so that you may speak to your child or their teacher. If it is an urgent matter, let Miss Roberts know, and she will help contact the teacher or leave a message on the teacher’s voicemail. Your call will be returned at the teacher’s earliest convenience.
The Harley School has very few building rules outside of our “Rights and Responsibilities,” delineated at the beginning of this booklet.
The few exceptions are:
No gum chewing in the Lower School.
No hats worn during lunch or in the theater.
No personal electronic devices used on campus during school hours.
In the event School is closed because of weather, radio and television stations will be notified and will make the announcement. In addition, the switchboard message will be updated with information about closings.
Our automated emergency notification system will also contact you through your preferred phone number.
Bus Arrival and Dismissal
Children taking a school bus to Harley will be dropped off in the Lower School loop, where they enter the main Lower School entrance. At the end of the day, students who ride the bus will be escorted to waiting buses in the upper lot.
When a party is planned, invitations may not be distributed at the School, nor may children be picked up from the School, unless the whole class is invited. Since it is deeply hurtful to be excluded, if you are inviting a majority of the class, please include everyone.
Children gain enormous benefits from being read to on a regular basis throughout their Lower School years. We encourage you to read to, or with, your child for at least 20 minutes each day.
Research indicates spending inordinate periods of time in front of a television, tablet, phone, or computer does not support the educational development of a child. The School encourages you to be selective in the programs your children watch and the games they are allowed to play, and to be mindful of time spent on those activities. If your children watch television, YouTube, or other shows/videos on the Internet, you should watch with them. All time on the Internet should be supervised.
Opening Day Assembly: The beginning of the school year is marked by the first procession into the Theater by the Senior Class. The Head of School gives the address, recognizes faculty and staff with 25 or more years of service, and welcomes new students and faculty.
New Parent Dinner: This event is sponsored by the Admissions Office and Parent Council to welcome new families into the Harley community. This dinner, held on campus, allows parents to meet Parent Council Coordinators, School administrators, Board members,
and other new parents.
Sundae Sunday: Our ice cream social is held annually to celebrate the start of the school year. The entire Harley community is invited to attend.
Halloween Parade: Harley’s Lower School dons their creative best as they parade throughout the School. They are joined by the Senior Class and various faculty members. The parade culminates in the Centrum with a special assembly for the students and teachers only. Parents may watch the parade in the Gallery or Theater.
Grandparents and Special Friends Day: Come share a fun morning on the selected date in November if you are a grandparent or special friend. This tradition for the entire School involves class visits and a special assembly. Invitations are sent based on information submitted by families.
Thanksgiving Assembly: The Thanksgiving Assembly is one of the times throughout the year when the entire School is brought together to celebrate. The Head of School addresses the students and faculty prior to the Thanksgiving recess.
Lower School Pageant: Each holiday season, the entire Harley community is delighted by the annual Pageant. This colorful, enchanting musical presentation takes place in the Theater and every child in the Lower School participates. Usually, Pageant is during the
second week of December. This is a not-to-be-missed event! Children are dismissed early after the Friday performance. This tradition began in 1934.
Holiday Banquet: The Holiday Banquet happens on the last day of school before December recess. The Senior Class prepares and serves a special meal for the rest of the School. They, along with the Upper School faculty, dress as elves and treat the whole School to a festive time complete with songs and stories.
Candlelight: The tradition of Candlelight began in 1926. This event happens in the evening on the last day of school prior to December recess. It is a formal event required for all Middle and Upper School students. This is one of two events during the year when Banner Bearers are chosen to represent their class in the procession and during the presentation of the banners. It is a beautiful celebration of the holiday season and it reflects the many cultural holidays observed by Harley’s diverse student body. Alumni of the School also return to participate in the procession.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day On of Service: Every MLK Day is a morning of service with projects open to all interested Lower School students and families. Our dining hall transforms into a bustling space of activity for the greater local and global good. Projects and related activities will be communicated to the Lower School in advance.
Cabin Fever Reliever: Kids and parents play and have fun in the Field House!
Preview Night: The Lower School faculty holds a preview night for parents to learn more about the following year’s curricular program.
Blast! is the School’s premier fundraising event. There are two evenings of fun you can attend to support us. The proceeds directly impact every student and also provide funding for Horizons at Harley, a six-week summer enrichment program for Rochester City School
Blast! Reception and Silent Auction
This reception and silent auction is a casual evening of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with a chance to bid on more than 200 auction items.
Blast! Gala and Live Auction
The gala and live auction is a spectacular evening, complete with high-end auction items, a cocktail hour sponsored by Constellation Brands, a plated dinner by Root Catering, followed by dancing.
Lower School Focus Week: The Lower School faculty choose a theme for all Lower School grades to study—with an emphasis on learning that is appropriate for the various grade levels. The projects last about one month. During the final week, students share what they
have learned during daily assemblies and activities. The week culminates with a special celebration for the entire Lower School.
Oak Tree Ceremony: Every May, before the Seniors leave for their internships, each member of the Senior Class gives an oak tree sapling to each member of the Kindergarten class at a ceremony in the Centrum. Since the oak tree is a symbol of the School, each kindergartener is entrusted with a young tree to nurture, which symbolically commemorates the child’s growth through the School.
May Day: When the trumpet sounds on a surprise day in May, all classes are canceled and the entire school goes outside for an afternoon full of activities and games to celebrate the arrival of spring. This long-standing tradition is eagerly anticipated by students and teachers alike.
EAT (Employee Appreciation Time): This day of appreciation for our faculty and staff is sponsored by Parent Council. The parents provide a sumptuous array of breakfast and lunch goodies for the faculty and staff to enjoy.
Nursery Bike Day: The Lower School bus loop is closed off for a day so that the “officers” in the 4-year-old Nursery can patrol the young bikers. Tickets are frequently given out for having too much fun!
Second Grade Overnight: Nothing in the Lower School compares to the Second Grade Overnight. From roasting marshmallows to tie-dyeing T-shirts, the children spend a fulfilled night here at the School. It is also the only night of the year that the famed Harley Ghost makes his presence known.
Grade 4 Moving-Up Ceremony: As Grade 4 prepares to leave the Lower School, the faculty holds a ceremony to commemorate our journey together. Parents are invited to attend.
Honors Assembly: Honors Assembly is an important way for Harley to celebrate the accomplishments of many students and, in particular, to recognize departing Seniors. The only Lower School award given is the Acorn Award, which recognizes a Grade 4 student who has been here for two years or more and best exemplifies the spirit of the School. It is awarded to a student who possesses qualities including leadership, cooperation, community spirit, intellectual curiosity, and perseverance. This student brings to Harley a commitment to doing their personal best and stands as an example to all. The assembly usually takes place on the last Thursday of the school year.
Commencement: The formal Harley Commencement is a beautiful and moving experience. This is the second event of the year when Banner Bearers are chosen. Speeches are given by a selected faculty member and members of the Senior Class. As a part of the ceremony, the longest-attending member(s) of the Senior Class presents their banner to a member of the incoming Grade 1.
Faculty and Staff
Lower School Faculty
Dr. Terry Smith, Head of Lower School
Ms. Kim Bednarcyk, Nursery Red
Mrs. Meredith Cavallaro, Primary 2
Mr. Tony Cinquino, Grade 2
Mrs. Shannon Costantino, Nursery Green
Mrs. Elizabeth Cullum, Nursery Yellow
Ms. Linda Epstein, SSP
Mrs. Marilyn Fenster, SSP
Ms. Beth Fox, Nursery Creative Arts/Kindergarten Music
Mrs. Sheila Grant, Kindergarten Teaching Assistant
Mrs. Amy Guiffrida, Literature and PBL
Mrs. Gail Hanss, Kindergarten
Mrs. Sarah Harradine, Nursery Blue
Mrs. Marlene Heuer, Nursery Yellow
Mx. Ell Hobbs, Art & Mindfulness
Ms. Laura Joslyn’83, Primary 1
Mrs. Christina Kerr, Grade 4
Mrs. Sarah Kuchera, Grs. 1–5 Music
Ms. Nancy Lindquist, Nursery Blue
Mrs. Elaine Mendola, School Librarian
Mr. Brian Michalski, Physical Education
Mrs. Debi Moore, Primary 1
Ms. Sarah Murphy, Director of Auxiliary Programs
Mrs. Jeanette Oettinger, Nursery Green
Mrs. Amanda Piazza, Nursery Red
Mrs. Lorie Rick, Physical Education
Mrs. Shelli Reetz, MSW School Counselor
Miss Tammy Roberts, Administrative Assistant/Registrar
Mrs. Elisa Sharman, Grade 2
Ms. Mary Spaulding, Grade 4
Mrs. Margaret Tolhurst, Grade 3
Mrs. Jeanne Weber, Technology
Mr. Bart White, World Language
Ms. Lindsay Worner ’02, Physical Education
Mrs. Jennifer Young, Primary 2
Mr. David Youngblut, Grade 3
Administrators and Other Staff
Mr. Larry Frye, Head of School
Dr. Terry Smith, Head of Lower School
Dr. Hassan Jones, Head of Middle School
Ms. Kim McDowell, Head of Upper School
Ms. Kirsten Reader ’90, Director of Admissions
Mr. Lars Kuelling, Academic Dean
Mr. Peter Mancuso, Athletic Director
Mr. Ken Motsenbocker, Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Beth Bailey, Director of Marketing and Communications
Ms. Whitney Brice, Director of Development
M T. Campbell, Upper School Counselor
Ms. Sisi Chen, Middle School School Counselor
Mrs. Debora Houghtalen, School Nurse
Ms. Vicki Pasternak, Dining Hall Supervisor
Ms. Amanda Patterson, Assistant Director of Admissions
Ms. Christine Rossi, MS, BSN, RN, School Nurse
Mrs. Cheryl Skiba, Admissions Office Assistant
Ms. Maria Sommerville, Executive Assistant to Head of School
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