Eagle Hill School

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Eagle Hill School
Hardwick, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°21′46″N 72°12′1″W / 42.36278°N 72.20028°W / 42.36278; -72.20028Coordinates: 42°21′46″N 72°12′1″W / 42.36278°N 72.20028°W / 42.36278; -72.20028
Type Private Coeducational Boarding School for students with learning disabilities
Motto Discere diverse, diverse docere
Established 1967
Grades 8-12
Enrollment 205
Campus Rural
Mascot Pioneer

Eagle Hill School is a private co-educational college preparatory boarding school for students with learning disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorder in Hardwick, Massachusetts, established in 1967. Related, but independent schools of the same name were established in Greenwich and Southport, Connecticut, in 1975 and 1985, respectively.


In the early 1960s, Doctor James J.A. Cavanaugh, Director of the Department of Pediatrics at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Brighton, MA, began to devote his work to children with dyslexia or specific language disability. Eagle Hill School was conceived from his recognition of the impact of this disability on the growing child and the limited facilities available for remediation.

Joining Dr. Cavanaugh to launch the school were Educational Director Mr. Charles Drake of Brandeis University and Headmaster Mr. Howard Delano, formerly of Fryeburg Academy. Nineteen children were in residence when the school opened its doors on family owned property in Hardwick, MA in September 1967. All of them were housed in the Main House, which now contains the school's administrative offices. By the third year, a dedicated dormitory was constructed and one-hundred children were in residence. In 2009, the boarding enrollment for the school is expected to reach approximately 160 students.

Teacher Induction Training[edit]

Held every summer on the Eagle Hill campus the EHS Institute for Teacher Induction is an induction training program primarily designed for first, second or third year public school teachers or seasoned teachers who are new to an urban district. Funded mainly by private organizations [1] the institute was a line budget item in the 2008 Massachusetts state budget.[2]

Eagle Hill Greenwich[edit]

Eagle Hill School services children from Fairfield and Westchester counties as well as Manhattan in its day program, and children from the tri-state areas of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey in its five-day boarding program. The school is approved as a special education facility by the Connecticut State Department of Education, and is accredited through the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools. They are a school for children with learning disabilities. The school is divided into two parts; the Upper School, and the Lower School.[citation needed]

Eagle Hill Southport School[edit]

Eagle Hill Southport School (EHSS) is a co-educational day school in historic Southport village, Connecticut, enrolling children ages 6 to 15. It was founded in 1985 by a group of educators from the Eagle Hill-Greenwich School, including the founding headmaster, Len Tavormina. EHSS is located in the former Pequot School Building on the same site where Southport’s elementary school and community center have stood since 1855. The classic brick building was erected in 1918, replacing an older wooden structure. Closed as a school in 1972, the historic building was later acquired by the Southport Conservancy as a treasured landmark. The year 1985 saw its rebirth as a school when it was leased to EHSS under the direction of Headmaster Len Tavormina. EHSS holds a 99-year lease on the building.

Extensive renovations throughout the 1990s transformed the building’s interior into a model day school environment. Classrooms, tutorial rooms, offices, staff resource center, curriculum center, and spacious common room were all specially adapted to comfortably serve Eagle Hill’s unique educational offerings.

Tavormina retired in 2013, making way for EHSS’ second headmaster: Ben Powers, an educator with deep experience in language-based learning differences, like dyslexia, and ADHD and executive functioning differences. Under Powers’ leadership, EHSS has aligned its program with the huge shifts happening in the learning difference community, thanks to burgeoning brain-based research. Since his arrival, EHSS launched an updated middle school program for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders; focused on incorporating assistive technology into the program; integrated a speech and language pathologist into the program; and, instituted an executive function coaching model. In addition, all of the staff is trained and accredited in the Orton-Gillingham approach.[3]

The Cultural Center[edit]

In the fall of 2008, EHS opened a $15,000,000 Cultural Center complete with a new dining hall, classrooms, a black box theatre, and a 500-seat theatre. Professionals perform at the cultural center during the year. Eagle Hill School students use it as well.


  1. ^ "2007 Grants". The George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation. Retrieved January 6, 2017. 
  2. ^ "FY08 Budget Amendments". Archived from the original on August 9, 2008. Retrieved January 6, 2017. 
  3. ^ "History of EHSS". Retrieved 30 March 2016. 

External links[edit]