The Gord Family, The Haverford School
Learn more about this family's experience at the all-boys, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade school.
Kat Gord and her husband, Steve, never thought they’d send their son to an all-boys school. They went to public school, and expected their children would, too. And for kindergarten, first, and second grade, their son, Charlie, did.
“You have all these preconceived notions about how you’re going to do things as a parent — and then you meet your kids,” Kat said.
The Gords liked their neighborhood public school, and thought Charlie’s teachers were terrific. But they felt he was getting a little bit lost in a large class, and became concerned that their bright, funny boy was attracting only negative attention. The Gords thought about moving, but they loved their area, so they began looking into independent schools.
The Haverford School, an all-boys school that runs from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, stood out right away.
“The fact is that boys’ and girls’ brains develop differently,” Kat said. “Haverford has done that research, and they were ready to teach Charlie as he was, instead of waiting for him to sit down, focus, listen, and be still.”
She recalled sitting at an admissions event, listening to Headmaster John Nagl talk about what it means to be a boy, and how boys behave.
“My husband and I just started poking each other, and said, ‘they’re talking about Charlie!’’’
Charlie, now a 10-year-old fifth grader, started at Haverford in third grade. Gord said the school has exceeded her family’s high expectations. The music curriculum is incredible, she said, and there’s a huge emphasis on critical thinking, even among the youngest students.
“One of my favorite things about the lower school at Haverford is how kind of ‘Renaissance Man’ the curriculum is,” Kat said. “They just really listen to the boys and they help them at a very young age understand what makes them tick as humans.”
“It’s not the Socratic method, but it’s as close as you can get to Socratic with little brains.”
The Gords have also been pleased by the school’s emphasis on tolerance and diversity, including diversity of opinion and perspective.
“Haverford embraces what it means to be a human in 2017,” Kat said. “That, to me, has been really affirming.”
The Gords’ daughter, now 8, is also at a single-sex school, and the family’s experience at Haverford played a big part in that decision.
Choosing Haverford was less about rejecting public school than “just getting to know our kids,” Gord said.
“I can’t believe how happy we are now and how right the decision feels.”
Preparing Boys for Life
Want to know more? Visit Haverford online, or join us on October 18 for our Middle and Upper School open house or October 25 for our Lower School open house.
Weekday morning Look & Learn events are also available throughout the fall and spring. Visit haverford.org/events to register.
The Haverford School’s Best for Boys speaker series invites the community to learn about topics and practices that help foster the social, emotional, and academic growth of young boys. Click here to register.
Saturday, October 14 and Saturday, March 17, 9 am
Lead photograph by Casey Kallen.