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About Us

At Harford Day School, learning is a joyful process rooted in respectful relationships, strong traditions, and an innovative program that fosters confidence, imagination, curiosity, and engagement with the world.
Approved by the HDS Board of Trustees
January 25, 2022
At Harford Day School, We Value…
We believe that understanding and respecting one another are essential to our shared future.
We believe that hard work and personal responsibility are necessary to progress in every realm of our lives.  
We believe that speaking and acting with principle are the most powerful means through which we all may thrive. 
We believe that the connections among us provide wisdom and strength. 
We believe that our ongoing growth as individuals fulfills an obligation to ourselves and to each other.
Equity & Inclusion
At Harford Day School, we believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential components of academic excellence. Diversity of cultures and lived experiences strengthens and enriches our community. Through sharing our life experiences, we see others’ perspectives and are able to develop empathy and compassion for those around us.  We are committed to honoring the dignity and worth of one another and celebrating each person’s uniqueness.  

As educators, we have been given this extraordinary gift and responsibility to prepare our students for both the world as it is now and what it may become in the future. To do this effectively, we work closely with our students to help them develop the skills necessary to communicate and act across differences — an essential skill for thriving in modern society, and a promise aligned with our school’s mission. 
School Philosophy
Our students are expected to take an active role in their learning in order to achieve the hallmark of a Harford Day education, the mastery of fundamental skills and acquisition of core knowledge. By taking their academic responsibilities seriously, students of average to gifted ability can meet with success. Grouped in a variety of ways, and in various class sizes, our students are encouraged to be independent thinkers, to demonstrate intellectual curiosity, and to work at the edge of their comfort level in a supportive environment. Our students learn independently, collaboratively, and experientially, both on campus and on field trips. Developing healthy minds and healthy bodies is an important aspect of our program. Every effort is made to ensure each of our student’s participation in extra-curricular activities (sports teams, drama, chorus, etc.). Additionally, our students are expected to make contributions to and be good citizens of both the school and the larger community.

The Advantages of Preschool to Grade 8

We believe that the foundational years, age 3 through Grade 8, are essential to developing the skills needed for academic success in high school and beyond.  HDS graduates are consistently among the top selections at outstanding high schools in the Baltimore metro area.  Further, we believe that an age 3 to Grade 8 education offers our students a unique opportunity to develop and demonstrate leadership skills. At an age when many adolescents may simply be moving on to the next grade, our Middle School students are the leaders of our school, representing their peers on Student Council, organizing activities with their Lower School “buddies,” acting as captains on athletic teams, planning the popular Field Day for younger children, and much more.
What is a Private Independent School?
A Harford Day School education is a gift meant to enrich the mind, body, and spirit of every student; its benefits realized not only while in elementary and middle school, but into high school, college, and life.
Our Heritage
When Harford Day School opened its doors to 30 children in kindergarten through second grade in September of 1957, it marked the realization of a dream of a small group of families who wanted to provide an educational choice for Harford County families with young children.

Harford Day School’s Strategic Plan

Led by the Board of Trustees and a group comprising members of the administration, faculty, staff, and alumna, the school engaged in the formulation of a three-year strategic plan. Intrinsic to the plan are familiar aspects of the HDS legacy, coupled with forward-looking initiatives intended to sustain and advance the school’s work in service to its students and families.

Five pillars were identified to frame the strategic planning process:
Academics and Innovation; Equity and Inclusion; Facilities and Grounds; Faculty Excellence;  and Financial Health and Sustainability. Each of the five resulting committees were given the same tasks: provide an overview of the scope and importance of its pillar, complete a strategic assessment of the school through the lens of that pillar, and develop objectives to guide the Board of Trustees and administration when the plan is implemented. 

List of 5 items.

  • Academics & Innovation

    A focus on program development, technology and innovation is central to the future of HDS. Our students and families seek curricular and extracurricular opportunities, as well as pedagogical approaches, that challenge students and distinguish us from other schools. Moreover, the continuous exploration of how technology and innovation can facilitate an outstanding learning experience is requisite in today’s environment and necessary to the preparation of our graduates for high school. 


    • Prepare students to thrive in high school and beyond through curricula designed to provide subject-specific skills, intellectual challenge, and meaningful connections to the real world, as well as facility with analysis, communication, exploration, and synthesis.
    • Develop confident, resilient children and young adults through programs designed to support physical, mental, and social-emotional well-being.
    • Identify and implement additional technology to support and enhance the curricular, co-curricular, and operational functions of the school.
    • Develop avenues for communicating to the parent body the goals and philosophy underlying programmatic decisions.  
  • Equity & Inclusion

    A school community is strongest when it is reflective of individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and points of view, and when programs, policies, and practices ensure that the needs of all in our community are met. We strive to consciously create an environment of respect and inclusion and to support ethnic, racial, religious, and socio-economic diversity among all the constituencies of the school. Further, Equity and Inclusion (EI) work is an essential component of managing the long term viability of HDS as an educational institution. Increasingly, students must be able to learn and work with people whose backgrounds are different from their own; their ability to contribute to and thrive in global, diverse environments relies in part upon the preparation they receive at Harford Day School.    

    • Demonstrate consistent respect for human diversity, and for diversity of ideas, thoughts, and perspectives.
    • Ensure a culturally responsive curriculum that understands, accepts, and celebrates cultural diversity, and promotes respectful discourse.
    • Engage in ongoing review of our decision-making, policies, and practices to ensure they are inclusive.
    • Develop a plan for engaging all HDS constituents in EI education.
    • Further diversify our student body, faculty, administration, and board to reflect that of our school community and the changing demographics of our country.
  • Facilities & Grounds

    The facilities and grounds of a school infrastructure must be well-maintained for purposes of safety, longevity, and appeal to both current and prospective families. State of the art facilities designed in support of a school’s programming create a form-follows-function, seamless experience for all. To meet both short term and future needs, and to continue their ability to attract, enroll, and retain families, schools rely upon fully developed and suitably funded facilities and maintenance plans.   

    • Create an aesthetically appealing campus to attract, enroll, and retain mission-appropriate students, thus ensuring continuity and financial sustainability for the school.
    • Establish a multi-year, fully funded campus master plan to update and replace aging infrastructure and anticipate future needs.
    • Develop and implement a sustainable green initiative to contribute to the health of our students, employees, and the environment.
    • Implement risk mitigation strategies by identifying, assessing, and monitoring current security trends and threats.
  • Faculty Excellence

    Faculty are the foundation of stellar independent schools. As our parent community will attest, HDS is enormously fortunate to have dedicated faculty members who give their hearts, their talents, and their time in service to the growth and well-being of all our students. Thus, it is essential that we provide teachers with what they need to meet with success at all stages of their careers: support through coaching and mentoring; opportunities for professional development and growth; recognition for excellent work; incentives to remain at HDS. Further, as integral members of the school community and role models for our students, it is incumbent upon us to create a faculty body more deeply representative of diverse races, religions, ethnicities, experiences, and perspectives. Crucial to our continuing success is prioritizing our teachers and ensuring that they perceive themselves as valued, appreciated, and elemental to our future.


    • Recruit, hire, and retain dedicated, diverse, and motivated educators committed to continuous learning and improvement.
    • Recognize, reward, and compensate professional educators accordingly and competitively.
    • Provide differentiated support for faculty throughout all career stages.
    • Invest substantially in professional growth and development.
  • Financial Health & Sustainability

    Attending to its financial framework and sustainability will allow HDS to achieve its educational goals and strategic priorities. The school’s financial viability and enrollment stability are dependent on many factors, including the volatility of the economy and more recently, the pandemic. As an antidote to factors beyond its control, addressing matters ranging from revenue sources, endowment, and debt financing to affordability and school size will allow HDS to thrive. 

    • Support and fund strategic plan initiatives contained herein.
    • Develop the means to fund and implement a campus master plan.
    • Diversify revenue sources beyond tuition.
    • Develop a robust risk management plan.
    • Grow the school’s endowment to ensure long-term sustainability.
    • Manage debt.
    • Develop a robust risk management plan.
    • Determine the right size of the school and develop a long-term enrollment strategy informed by market realities and value-added initiatives.

Invitation from the Head of School
At Harford Day School your child will be taught by highly qualified teachers who are eager to get to know you and your family personally. Our faculty have a vested interest in the implementation of curricula and programs, and the talent to supplement with creativity, challenge and joy. We do not teach to a test, nor is our academic calendar constrained by Maryland state standardized testing requirements. Most importantly, your child will participate in a dynamic, comprehensive educational experience - one that is focused upon interactive learning and cultivates each student’s intellectual, social, physical, emotional, and creative qualities.

Driven by the mission upon which the School was founded, a Harford Day education provides a gift meant to enrich the mind, body, and spirit of students; its benefits are evident not only while in elementary and middle school, but for years to come.

The best way to learn about our programs is to visit and see Harford County’s preeminent Age 3 through Grade 8 academic environment for yourself. Plan your visit today to see how we Make Every Day Count!

Best wishes,
Susan Bond Kearney
Head of School
Learn more about our Faculty and Staff.

Harford Day is the only PK3 to Grade 8 independent school in Harford County accredited by AIMS (Association of Independent Maryland/DC Schools) and a member of NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools).
Non-discrimination Statement
Application to Harford Day School is open to all students without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin,
 sexual orientation, or disability. Harford Day School does not discriminate in the administration of its educational policies, financial policies, financial aid programs, and other administered extra-curricular or administrative programs.

The Harford Day Mission
At Harford Day School, learning is a joyful process rooted in respectful relationships, strong traditions, and an innovative program that fosters confidence, imagination, curiosity, and engagement with the world.