The reaction at Madeira School to the verdict against former headmistress Jean Harris was described as mixed by several students, there last night.

"It's not really indifference, but something like it," one sophomore said. "I'm not sure. There's just too much academic pressure here for people to be overly concerned."

Another sophomore resident student said many were saddened by the conviction. "We just hope her sentence won't be too long. . . . We're all pretty sad."

Several parents of Madeira students said the verdict does not reflect on the school. They were sympathetic with Harris, but said they thought that in the year since Dr. Herman Tarnower's slaying the school has returned to normal.

"Of course we're concerned," said Marcia Carter, mother of third-year student Cecilia Carter of Washington. It's just a general feeling of great sympathy for Mrs. Harris. It's a personal and private thing."

Parents said their children had been offered counseling support during the trial, for those who felt emotionally affected.

"Hardly any of them responded," said Agnes Dalley of Washington, whose daughter, Sarah, is a junior at Madeira. "We've talked about a lot of it, but I don't think you could say they were really following it.

"I think it was a personal problem. The school has gone very strong, full of spirit and loyalty. All the traditions have carried on. They're very strong, bright, attractive and able, and they've marched right on."