Dear Lower School families,
We are excited to be welcoming your son(s) back to school in just a few weeks! While it is hard to believe that summer is coming to an end so soon, we are looking forward to the school year ahead and all it has in store for your son(s). 
As I embark on my fifth year as the Head of Lower School, I am heading into this school year as I have the last nearly 20 years as an educator, with a feeling of joy and optimism mixed with a tinge of anticipation for the school year ahead. The past two school years have been met with unanticipated and unique challenges, to which the faculty and students have navigated with grace and perseverance that has made our community proud. Despite disruptions to learning, the boys have grown academically, a true testament to the dedication and ingenuity of the faculty, the hard work of the boys, and the support of our parent community.  As we step into the 2022-23 school year, our focus will continue to be on helping the boys to develop their academic and non-academic skills that enable them to build the strong foundation that carry forward and on which their future success lies. Over the past five years, the Lower School has revamped the literacy, social studies/design thinking, and math curricula, and while these will continuously be reviewed and revised, as we step into the new school year we will be doing so with a renewed focus on the development of character, relationships, interpersonal skills, and community. 
Over the summer months, the Lower School faculty joined the rest of the faculty and staff in the reading of Season of Life by Jeffrey Marx. At its core, this is a book about the importance of relationships in the life and development of a boy. Much like their academic skills, the social and emotional skills that create a foundation for developing meaningful relationships develop throughout the time a boy is in their elementary school years. In June, the Lower School faculty reflected on the many ways in which we currently foster the development of social and emotional skills as a means by which we support the boys in their friendships, problem solving/conflict resolution, character development, and the like. From time spent in Morning Meeting each day, to our focus on Core Virtues that are woven through the Lower School curriculum and programming, to seizing on teachable moments in the classroom, and more, there has been an ongoing focus on skills that are critical to the boys’ long term success both in and out of the classroom.  
That being said, over the past two years it is undeniable that the pandemic impacted children’s development of self-regulation, self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, decision making, and relationship skills. These skills not only support the boys’ ability to relate to each other and navigate the ebbs and flows of relationships, but also develop a strong sense of character, and help to build a stronger community. Understanding the importance of the development of these skills in supporting the boys’ long term success in our mission to ‘prepare boys for life’, a group of 18 Lower School faculty members engaged in a summer course facilitated by the CASEL Foundation that focused on leading the implementation of social and emotional learning in a school.  This team of teachers will work with the Lower School faculty, members of the other two school divisions, and members of the broader Haverford community as we continue to refine our approach to social and emotional learning in our classrooms and community. In addition to the work of the Lower School SEL team, we will also be piloting the Second Step program, an explicit social and emotional curriculum from kindergarten through fifth grade in the upcoming school year. The Second Step program is an evidence based curriculum that aligns with the CASEL framework to develop social and emotional competence. Our pre-kindergarten students will continue to use the Kimochi’s program, which has been a standard part of the PK curriculum for the past five years.  As with every aspect of a students’ development, the most optimal outcome occurs when there is alignment and partnership between school and home. While you will hear more about this program, the topics and skills being covered and how families and caregivers can support social and emotional skill development outside of school, at the Lower School Back to School night and throughout the year, I also invite you to check out information on the Second Step family website.
There is a lot of information packed into this letter, and I apologize for its length. I encourage you to read this letter in its entirety as it includes updates to the Lower School program, changes in the Lower School Parent and Student Handbook, an invitation and details regarding our Lower School Welcome Back event, introductions to new Lower School faculty members, as well as what to expect over the next several weeks and during the first few days/weeks of school. 
Lower School Schedule
The Lower School will continue to operate on a five day, Monday to Friday schedule for the 2022-23 school year. Similar to last year, students should wear their PE shirts to school on days when they will have PE (no athletic shorts or pants per the Dress Code Policy). 
The Lower School dismissal schedule will remain the same as it has in years past, which can be found in the Family Handbook, as well as on General Day to Day Lower School Operations document listed at the bottom of this email.
Aftercare/Enrichment Options
The Haverford School is thrilled to provide an exciting option for after-school programs for Lower School students: Enrichment and After-Care.
Powered by ESF Camps & Experiences, the aftercare services are optional and provide students with engaging activities and/or homework time once the school day ends. Aftercare offers extended care during the school year, while our seasonal Enrichment programs are designed as weekly sessions with awesome learning opportunities. Registration for the Enrichment and AfterCare programs will close on Oct. 15. Please check out offerings at  All questions regarding Enrichment and/or Aftercare should be directed to: Suzanne Stachowicz, Enrichment Program Coordinator.
Active Image School Pictures
Active Image will be on campus to take individual school photos on Sept. 16.  All orders for school pictures must be completed online using the Active Image link that will be emailed to you. If you do not want Active Image to send you a link for ordering pictures please email Teresa Touey by Monday, Aug. 22; however, this will mean that you will not be able to order school photos this year.
Lower School Student and Family Handbook
The Lower School Student and Family Handbook has been updated for the 2022-23 school year. The handbook is designed to provide families with information about the Lower School operations, answer many of the common questions from parents and outline some of the more prominent Lower School policies. It is expected that families review the handbook with their son(s) prior to the start of the school year.
Lower School Dress Code
The following is the dress code for the Lower School. Please place your sons’ name in all articles of clothing so that we can return them should they be misplaced. 
  • School Shirt
    White, yellow, maroon, or gold, collared, knit polo, either long or short sleeves, rugby shirts or oxford button-down. Except for rugby shirts, shirts must be tucked in.
  • School Pants
    Khaki, gray, or navy are acceptable pant colors. Shorts of these colors are permitted during the warm-weather months from Sept. through Oct. 15, and again after Spring Break. Cargo pants and athletic shorts are not permitted.
  • School Shoes 
    Sneakers – velcro, or laces tied with a double-knot. Flashing/light-up, rolling, and backless (crocs, clogs) shoes are not permitted. 
  • Physical Education Classes
    On PE days, kindergarten through fifth grade boys should wear a Haverford School PE shirt (available for purchase in the School Store) with their uniform short/pants (Even on PE days, boys are NOT permitted to wear athletic short/pants). Only sneakers are allowed on the gym floor. 

    The required uniform and gym shirt is available for purchase on campus at The Fords Store – located next to Middle School carpool pick-up area, or online by visiting The Fords Store Online.
  • Hair 
    Should be neatly groomed, natural in color (no hair dye, color streaks or the like) and out of the eyes of the student. 
  • Jewelry 
    Jewelry, aside from that with medical or religious significance, is not allowed to be worn in any form. 
  • Smartwatches/Fitness watches
    Any watch that has a camera capable of pictures, audio/video, or the ability to make phone calls, send text messages, play games, or have web access features are not allowed. Students wearing these devices will be asked to place them in airplane mode during the entirety of the school day (including dismissal). If students are caught violating this policy the device will be confiscated and they will be disciplined in accordance with our school discipline policy. Confiscated watches may only be picked up by parents in the school office.
  • Out-of-Uniform
    Boys may be sent to the nurse’s office for a change of clothes, or the main office to wait for their parents to drop-off their school uniform.

Lower School Attendance
Students who are feeling well and do not meet the exclusion criteria for being on campus, are expected to be present in person at school.  In the event of illness, a student should remain home until they meet the criteria outlined in the Wellness Policy published by our Health Office to return to school.  The Wellness Policy is currently being updated by our Health Office and will be available to parents prior to the start of the school year.  A full description of the Lower School Attendance policy is located in the Family and Student Handbook.   
Staying Connected
If you have changed email accounts since enrolling your son in The Haverford School, please update your MyBackpack account to reflect your current email address. We will use the contact in My Backpack to communicate with you, as well as to create parent accounts for various communication/instructional tools. 
Social media is certainly one of the more easily accessible options for staying connected to the Haverford community, so if you are not yet following The Haverford School on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you may want to consider it. You can also look forward to updates via the Lower School newsletter, which will land in your email twice a month. To follow along with the happenings at Haverford, you can also follow the School’s Smugmug account at Additionally, please feel free to follow my Twitter account (@pamgreenblatt), as I will be posting pictures of life in the Lower School on a regular basis. 
Class Lists
Speaking of MyBackpack, thanks to the hard work of our Lower School faculty and administration, you can now log in and view the class assignment for your son. The faculty and administration worked to build healthy, heterogeneous classrooms through thoughtful consideration of your son’s personality, learning profile, and friendships. Written parent input provided to me was also taken into consideration, as your insights proved to be informative and helpful in the discussions around class placement.
While we do our best to be mindful of parent input regarding friendships and peer conflicts, it is not possible for every request to be satisfied. Our goal each year is to rearrange and regroup the boys so that they will have the opportunity to connect with boys in their entire grade level at some point before they leave the Lower School. Each boy is different, and having the opportunity for them to build new relationships and learn from each other enriches their Lower School experience. We understand that the excitement of seeing who is in your son’s class can also be accompanied by disappointment when they are separated from other friends. As we head into the 2022-23 school year, we anticipate that students will have the opportunity to play and learn with classmates outside of their homeroom/travel group during the week.  Requests for changes to class placement will not be granted unless there is an extremely extenuating circumstance.  
It is important to note that our fifth grade students have both an Advisory Group and Travel Group.  Each morning, the fifth grade boys should report to their Advisory Group for homeroom.  Boys assigned to Dr. Luongo’s Advisory will report to Mr. Brown’s classroom for Advisory/Homeroom.  All other students will report directly to their homeroom/advisory teachers’ classroom.  Outside of homeroom and advisory periods, the boys will remain in their assigned Travel Groups for all academic and specialist classes.  The boys will be given their Travel Group assignment during homeroom on the first day of school. 
Meal Plan Sale Extended
The Meal Plan sale has been extended until Wednesday, Aug. 31! If you wish to sign up for the meal plan, please complete and submit this meal plan form with your payment to The Haverford School. Meal plans are only available for students entering grades 1-12.
If you wish to pay with a credit card, please stop into the Business Office in person. If you have any questions please reach out to Kim Sprangers at
Fords Store - Back to School Sale
The Fords Store is having a 15% off everything sale from Aug. 31-Sept. 7. The sale will be available in store and online. Use the promo code: Sep15 when you visit to save online.
Email Lona at for any questions
Opening week store hours:
Aug. 31 to Sept. 6 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sept. 7 (regular hours) 9-11 a.m. and from 2:30-5p.m.
Lower School Welcome Back Event
We are excited to welcome all of our students, new and returning, back to campus on Sept. 6 for the Lower School Welcome Back Event. Families should plan to meet their sons’ teacher in front of Centennial Hall at the start time indicated below. While the boys spend some time meeting with their homeroom/advisory teacher and getting to know their classmates, parents will be invited to attend a brief overview/reintroduction to the general operation of the Lower School in Centennial Hall.
Once the boys have completed their classroom meet and greet, parents will reunite with their son(s) on the Quad where we will host an ice cream social (non-dairy options will be available).
If you have sons in different grade levels that span the time blocks listed below, please feel free to attend either of the parent overview sessions.  If you are unable to attend a parent overview session on the day of the Welcome Back Event, we will share the information in an upcoming communication.  Please look for additional information from your sons’ homeroom/advisory teacher in advance of the event.
Lower School Welcome Back Event times:
  • Pre kindergarten through second grade: 12:30-2 p.m.
  • Third through fifth grade: 1:30-3 p.m.
Opening Day
The school year begins on Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 8:20 a.m. for all Lower School students. If you are driving your son to school, please pull through the Lower School car line in front of the Lower School building prior to 8:20 a.m.  Lower School boys can be dropped off beginning at 7:30 a.m.  All students must enter the Lower School through the front entrance.   As in previous years, parents should remain in their car during car line. It is preferred that your son is seated on the passenger side of the car for his safety and that of school personnel. If your son must exit the car from the driver's side, please allow one of the school members greeting students to escort your son around the car.
Lower School Parents Night
Lower School Back to School Night is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m.  Additional details related to the format and schedule for the evening will be sent to families closer to the event.
Final Thoughts
I know this letter has a lot of information, and I thank you for reading it. Below, you will find links to information about:
Please read it as we have modified certain aspects of how things are run. 
The Lower School faculty and I look forward to sharing an exciting year with your son(s) and you. I hope that you are able to enjoy the remaining time with your family before Labor Day!
Dr. Pam Greenblatt
Head of Lower School
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