Hamden Hall Country Day School
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (November 2013)|
|Hamden Hall Country Day School|
|1108 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, Connecticut, U.S.
|Type||Independent Day School|
|Motto||"To challenge students to develop a strong sense of personal integrity and social responsibility while preparing them for demanding programs at the collegiate level"|
|Head of school||Robert J. Izzo|
|Board President||Joyce Lujic|
|Gender||coed (since 1927)|
|Campus||12 + 30 acres (120,000 m2)|
|Color(s)||Green and White|
|Tuition||$29,990 (USD) (Upper School)|
Hamden Hall Country Day School is a coeducational private day school in Hamden, Connecticut, educating students in preschool through grade 12. Hamden Hall was founded in 1912 as a country day school for boys by Dr. John P. Cushing, its first headmaster. It was the nation’s fourth country day school. The school has been coeducational since 1927 and expanded to include classes through grade 12 in 1934. Now split into three separate divisions, Hamden Hall enrolls the majority of its nearly 600 students in the upper and middle schools (Grades 7–12) and the remainder in the lower school (preschool through grade 6).
Tuition (2011–2012 school year) ranges from $14,000 in preschool to $29,990 in grades 9–12. Hamden Hall awards need-based financial aid to approximately 30 percent of its student body.
The school year, from early September to early June, is divided into two semesters, with Thanksgiving, winter, and spring recesses and observances of several national and religious holidays.
Most classes are held five days a week, and extra-help sessions are incorporated into the schedule.
The Lower School (Grades Preschool through 6)
This curriculum emphasizes reading and writing, comprehension, and critical thinking as well as the mastery of problem-solving and computational skills in mathematics. Understanding other cultures from a global perspective is the focus of the social studies program, which utilizes regular field trips, guest lecturers, and group projects to reinforce classroom instruction. Specialists teach music, fine arts, computer activities, and physical education. The World Language Program begins in preschool with instruction in Mandarin Chinese and continues through grade 1. Spanish is taught in grades 2 through 4, followed by Latin in grades 5 and 6. An extended-day program provides after-school enrichment for students.
The Middle School (Grades 7 through 8)
The middle school program is specially structured for students making the transition from childhood to adolescence. The curriculum builds on the skills acquired in early grades, combined with new challenges and techniques designed to maximize learning. English classes emphasize classical authors while providing students with opportunities to produce their own creative and expository essays. Beginning in grade 7, students work regularly with faculty advisors. The dean of the middle school is Brian Christman.
The Upper School (Grades 9 through 12)
Students in the upper school carry 4 to 6 courses each semester, with the vast majority of students carrying 5 or 5.5 courses.
The upper school divides these required credits into four types of classes, based on academic proficiency required to succeed in the class: Skills (the lowest level), General, Honors, and Advanced Placement. Typically, math and science courses are offered in Skills, General, Honors, and AP levels. Multi-Variable Calculus, Linear Algebra, Organic Chemistry and Advanced Latin are offered at a level beyond the AP curriculum.
Popular college destinations of Hamden Hall graduates (based on the list of matriculation for the classes of 2007-2009) include Bates College, Boston College, Brown University, Emory University, Princeton University, Yale University, and University of Connecticut.
The upper school also has a strong music program;, a concert band, and a jazz ensemble. Vocal groups include male and female ensembles, dubbed "Studs and Tails" and "Magic," respectively, and a large collective of singers called the Chamber Singers. There are voice and instrumental classes that count as electives.
The instrumental ensembles as well as all vocal groups perform at regularly-scheduled school concerts alongside middle school performers.
- 85 full and part-time teachers
- Three quarters of the faculty hold advanced degrees
- Student / faculty ratio: 5 to 1
- Average class size: 13
Hamden Hall's main campus is located on 12 acres (49,000 m2) in Hamden, Connecticut, overlooking Lake Whitney. The current campus consists of 8 major buildings.
Only one original building still remains from its 1912 founding; originally classrooms, it now consists of the faculty lounge and administrative offices. The building was renovated in 1964.
The Dolven Admissions Center contains administrative and college counseling offices and a large art studio. In front of Dolven, a colorful display of the flags of 35 nations represents the nationalities and ethnic backgrounds of the school’s diverse student body.
The three-story Joseph & Esther Schiavone Science Center houses classrooms, state-of-the-art facilities for science and the arts, middle and upper school computer labs, and the dining room.
The Taylor Fine Arts Center features a fully equipped theater, music studios, and practice rooms.
The Taylor Gymnasium includes basketball, wrestling, and weight-training facilities.
Classrooms for the primary grades (pre-kindergarten - grade 3) are located in the Ethyle R. Alpert Building, while the upper elementary (grades 4-6), middle school (Grades 7-8), and upper school (grades 9-12) are housed in Whitson Hall.
The Ellen & Charles Swain Library, with separate library facilities for the lower and middle/upper schools, houses a collection of more than 25,000 volumes, 60 periodicals, and extensive reference resources. Swain is linked electronically to computer networks via the internet.
There is also an athletic field and an additional 30-acre sports facility 1.5 miles away, and students use squash, golf and swimming facilities at Yale University and other local colleges, allowing a diverse selection of athletics to be offered.
Athletics are a major part of Hamden Hall's student culture; all students are required to participate in the athletic program.
lower school students are involved in intramural teams and/or general physical education activities. Generally, the younger the students, the more "fun" and less competitive the activities are. Moving closer to the final year of the lower school, some students who excel athletically will not participate in middle school interscholastic teams.
In the middle school, all students participate in either interscholastic or non-competitive athletic teams or activities, with the majority choosing the former. Athletics in the middle school are managed on a trimester system with all students participating in athletics all three terms.
In the upper school, the trimester system is again used. Upper school students must participate in only two trimesters per year of school, with mandatory participation in the fall trimester. All freshmen must participate in at least one team sport, the idea behind this being that participating in team sports in the first year of school will help build class unity for the remaining years.
In the middle and upper schools, interscholastic varsity teams are formed in football, soccer, wrestling, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, and tennis for boys; and field hockey, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, hockey, tennis, softball, and volleyball for girls. Cross-country, golf, and swimming squads are coeducational. Non-competitive athletics include weightlifting, yoga, Pilates, and Outdoors Club. Some students participate in independent athletics for credit, which have ranged from martial arts to dancing.
Most Hamden Hall athletic teams compete under the umbrella of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council, with some competing in specific leagues such as the Fairchester League. Hamden Hall may be most remembered for its boys' basketball team, winning 8 Fairchester League titles and producing such players as former star Yale University guard Casey Hughes. Yale girls' basketball starter, Maddy Gobrecht, also hails from Hamden Hall.
Many other Hamden Hall teams are extremely competitive as well. The varsity baseball team has won several Fairchester League titles, including back to back New England championships, and produced many highly regarded prospects, such as pitcher Josh Zeid who pitches for the Houston Astros, outfielder Casey Frawley in the Cleveland Indians minor league system, and pitcher Tyler Mizenko, recently drafted by the San Francisco Giants. The girls' soccer team has won back to back New England championships. Deb Gruen, former (Yale University) swimmer, won a bronze medal in swimming at the Paralympic Games.
Hamden Hall maintains two off-campus athletic facilities: a small, soccer-sized field directly adjacent to the main campus, and a 30-acre (120,000 m2) athletic complex 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from campus. The latter contains some of the most highly regarded playing surfaces in the state, with fields and facilities for football, baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, tennis, and cross country. The Hadelman Family Multipurpose Stadium, featuring a synthetic field, was dedicated in 2012. Also at this complex exists the Beckerman Athletic Center, dedicated in 2010. It is a US$12.5 million, 65,000-square-foot (6,000 m2) state-of-the art athletic building featuring 3 collegiate-length basketball courts (one wood, two composite), a 6 lane by 25-yard swimming pool, a large fitness center, conference rooms, and more. It has seatingfor up to 800 spectators.
Notable alumni include:
- Doctor Benjamin Spock, author of the child-rearing guide "Baby and Child Care"
- Richard Wall Lyman, educator and president of Stanford University from 1970–1980
- Jill Medvedow, director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
- Jay Lender, writer and director of the animated TV series SpongeBob SquarePants
- Bun Lai, chef and owner of Miya's Sushi and a national leader in the sustainability movement
- Dylan Bruno, actor of the hit CBS series Numb3rs and movie Saving Private Ryan
- Chris Bruno, actor of the hit USA Network series The Dead Zone and the movie The World's Fastest Indian
- Ross Douthat, New York Times columnist and author
- Josh Zeid, major league baseball player
- Gary Greenberg, lead co-writer of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Emmy-nominated in 2013 for best late night/variety series and best writing for late-night variety series
- David Wade[disambiguation needed], Chief of Staff to Secretary of State John F. Kerry
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