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About Us

What Is a Private Independent School?

Harford Day School is a private, independent school and member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
NAIS defines private independent schools this way:
Independent schools are nonprofit, private schools that are independent in philosophy: each is driven by a unique mission. They are also independent in the way they are managed and financed: each is governed by an independent board of trustees and each is primarily supported through tuition payments and charitable contributions. They are accountable to their communities and are accredited by state-approved accrediting bodies. (Source: https://www.nais.org/about/about-nais/)
What makes an independent school independent?
Independent schools are independent in three primary ways:
Each independent school has its own unique mission and philosophy. Some schools focus on academic excellence, while others emphasize character development or social responsibility.
Independent schools are governed by a board of trustees that is independent of any other organization. This means that the school is not subject to the control of any religious or secular authority.
Independent schools are funded primarily through tuition payments and charitable contributions. This means that they are not dependent on government funding, which allows them to maintain their independence and flexibility.
Why choose a private independent school?
Private independent schools are commonly selected for:
Safety & Security

Safety & Security

Private, independent schools are generally smaller, close knit communities in which faculty and staff recognize their community members, when someone is in crisis, and/or if a person does not belong on campus minimizing potential problems. Independent schools are also less bureaucratic and may adopt enhanced safety measures more efficiently.
Academic Excellence

Academic Excellence

Independent schools have highly qualified and committed faculty members with the expertise and independence to implement innovative methods and a dynamic curriculum. Independent schools also have high academic standards and only admit students who are appropriate to the school’s mission.
Equity & Inclusion

Equity & Inclusion

Independent schools are committed to serving a broad diversity of students, developing equitable programs, and fostering inclusive communities.
Character Development

Character Development

Independent schools focus on developing the whole child, not just their academic skills. They offer a variety of activities designed to develop character and leadership skills for lifelong success.
Personal Attention

Personal Attention

Independent schools typically have smaller class sizes with faculty committed to helping each student reach their fullest potential.


Independent schools often have a strong sense of community. Students, faculty, and staff work together to create a supportive and collaborative environment.
We are delighted you are exploring Harford Day School. We encourage you to schedule a campus visit to see our passionate faculty and happy students in action. We are happy to connect you with faculty, parents, and alumni to further support your school search.

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.