Quod felix faustumque sit
("May it bring you happiness and good fortune")
|986 Forest Road
New Haven, Connecticut, 06515
|Type||private day school|
|Head of school||Barbara M. Riley|
|Gender||coed (since 1972)|
|Average class size||12|
|Student to teacher ratio||5:1|
|Campus size||108 acres (44 ha)|
|School color(s)||Maroon and Grey|
|Song||The Hopkins Fightsong|
|Mascot||The Hilltopper and The Stag|
|Publication||Daystar (literary magazine)|
|Newspaper||The Razor; The Hilltopper|
Founded in 1660, Hopkins School is the third-oldest independent secondary school in the United States, younger than the Collegiate School and Roxbury Latin School. Hopkins was founded "for the breeding up of hopeful youths" with funds from Edward Hopkins' estate to fulfill John Davenport's wishes to bring a grammar school to New Haven. First established on the town's green, the school moved to its current campus on a hill overlooking New Haven in 1926. Hopkins has been coeducational since merging with Day Prospect Hill in 1972.
Hopkins is divided into three separate schools. The Junior school consists of the 7th and 8th grades. The high school is divided into the Middle (9th and 10th grade) and Upper (11th and 12th grade) schools. Most new students enter Hopkins in either the 7th or 9th grade. Tuition is set at $32,500 for the 2010–11 school year. Approximately 18% of the students receive some degree of financial aid.
In April 2010, Forbes Magazine named Hopkins the nineteenth best college preparatory school in the United States of America. On January 8, 2014, Head of School Barbara Masters Riley announced her plans to retire at the end of the 2015-2016 academic year.
John Davenport, a founder of the New Haven Colony, was an early proponent of education in the colony. Grammar schools of the time generally prepared young men for college, but the Puritan colony was too far from England for its citizens to attend the existing English schools. Parents of the time were generally more concerned with spending their money on essentials such as food, and viewed formal education as an extravagance most could not afford. Davenport enlisted the help of a friend, Edward Hopkins, governor of the Connecticut Colony, to found a traditional grammar school that would teach Latin, Greek, and Hebrew grammar.
Hopkins died in 1657 and bequeathed money to found a school dedicated to "the breeding up of hopeful youths for the public service of the country in future times." Colonial officials wanted Hopkins's bequest to remain in Connecticut and appointed three men, Davenport and two others, as executors of Hopkins's will. They created the Hopkins Fund, from which Hopkins Grammar School was established in 1660. The school's first home was a small building on the New Haven Green.
The exact date of Hopkins School's founding is a matter of definition. The historical record of the executors' report implies the trust was created on May 4, 1660, but since the Julian calendar was in use then, the date corresponds to May 14 on modern calendars. The papers which created the fund were presented and accepted on May 30, and many use this date as the official date of the school's founding. Finally, on June 4 (June 14 on modern calendars) Davenport transferred control of the bequest to the colony, on the condition that the colony accept responsibility for the support of the school.
The Fallow Years
"The Fallow Years" is a term coined by Thomas B. Davis in his history, Chronicles of Hopkins Grammar School, to describe the period from 1696 to 1853. During this time the school had difficulty finding qualified schoolmasters, and the Hopkins Fund often fell short in paying them. This forced the school to take up collections to meet its payroll. Consequently, there was great turnover in schoolmasters, some staying for no more than a year. Also contributing to the problem was the establishment of the Collegiate School in New Haven in 1701, which drew many local academics away from Hopkins, and which later became Yale University.
Public opinion of Hopkins and academia in general weakened the school. During this time parents wanted children who could read and write English and understand basic arithmetics, but Hopkins continued to focus on subjects that parents deemed irrelevant, such as Latin. Parents were also displeased with schoolmasters who paid little attention to struggling students, instead focusing only on the scholars. On January 12, 1713, the committee which managed the Hopkins Fund began releasing £12–£15 annually to run elementary English schools in East Haven and West Haven. New Haven stopped donating money to the Fund in 1719, which made hiring schoolmasters nearly impossible. Though the trustees of the Hopkins Fund constituted an independent body, the town was known to control them with financial pressures. Richard Mansfield served as schoolmaster from 1742 to 1747, and was the last headmaster until 1839 to serve for more than three years.
Although Hopkins School was still somewhat unpopular with the locals, the school moved to a new larger brick building on the Green, due to the growth of New Haven. Hopkins School was somewhat rare among American schools in that it remained open during the American Revolutionary War. Former schoolmaster John Hotchkiss was killed by the British in July 1779 during their invasion of New Haven, and former schoolmaster Noah Williston was captured. Although the school remained open, records seem to indicate that it was frequently closed between September 1780 and October 1781, "for vacation". Shortly after the Revolution, Hopkins hired Jared Mansfield for two terms (1786 - 1790 and 1790 - 1795) to the unique position "Master of the Grammar School" to try to stabilize the school for the future. Between Mansfield's two terms, Abraham Bishop held a six-month term as headmaster during which he proposed radical reform, including making Hopkins coeducational, most of which never came to fruition. After the end of Mansfield's second term, the school returned to the pattern of short tenures for schoolmasters.
Hopkins moved buildings again in 1803 to an even larger facility near the Green that took up nearly an entire block. Teachers were offered two-year contracts to teach at Hopkins, but rarely kept them. Hopkins boys grew "unruly and malicious", some roaming New Haven streets at night. In 1838 the school moved once again, as the trustees believed that moving the school away from the town center would allow its students to focus more on their studies. Throughout August and September that year, they rushed through the necessary transactions to buy the new plot of land, currently the site of the Yale Law School. Following this move the trustees released an announcement to New Haven's three newspapers summarizing their hope that this new location would provide sufficient space for the boys to learn and be separate enough that they could do so in peace.
Hawley Olmstead became headmaster in 1839 and ended the line of short-termed schoolmasters as he held the position for ten years. Although Olmstead thought much like Hopkins' early masters, namely that the school existed to prepare boys for college, he also modernized the curriculum in several ways. Most notably, English was finally added to the curriculum, and he began keeping accurate school rolls which solidified his final legacy, increasing the size of Hopkins' student body. By the time Olmstead resigned due to poor health on July 28, 1849, school attendance had risen to 63 students.
As soon as Olmstead left, the school began to deteriorate once again, with attendance dropping to 45 students in 1850 and to 20 by 1853. The recently founded debate society disbanded, with seven young members forming the secret society known as "The Club". Though this club grew no larger and tried to remain quiet, parents grew so annoyed with this supposedly "rough-housing" club that it was forced to disband in 1851. After the debate society and "The Club" were gone, many students sought out new ways to express their literary interests, including founding the school newspaper, The Critic. Olmstead was seen by the trustees as a major failure and a cause of the school's rapid decline, and was quickly replaced by James Whiton, who had just recently graduated from Yale. He further revised the curriculum by adding more English classes, and school attendance saw a rapid increase once again. Whiton taught for ten years and is regarded as the last of the "Fallow Years" headmasters.
Headmaster George Lovell convinced the Board of Trustees to buy land north of New Haven for a new campus atop a hill in 1925. Graduate Henry Murphy had laid out plans for the new campus in 1922, and designed the original Baldwin Hall building in 1925. The school opened at the new premises, the present campus, in 1926. Baldwin Hall was initially the only building, but the campus expanded greatly over the next century.
Hopkins had begun to refer to itself without "Grammar School" in the casual name by 1935, though it is still included on certain formal occasions and school stationery to this day. Two local women's schools — the Day School (founded in 1907) and the Prospect Hill School (founded in 1930) — merged in 1960. The combined institution became the Day Prospect Hill School (DPH), a united women's education school, which in turn merged with Hopkins School in 1972.
Baldwin Hall is the original building of the present campus. It has four floors, including the basement. It houses a computer lab, the language lab, and the Calarco Library. The library is a two floor, 14,000-square-foot (1,300 m2) space with group study rooms, an art gallery, and a faculty reading room.
Hopkins House houses the administrative offices, teachers' offices, the teachers' lounge, and the Technology Department's offices in the basement. This building was named for Edward Hopkins, one of Hopkins' founders.
Malone Science Center is at the center of campus and houses the science classrooms and labs. Donated by John C. Malone, it is named for Malone's father. It was opened for students in 1999 and has three floors of classrooms.
Lovell houses the main school auditorium, drama and video production classrooms, two multipurpose classrooms, the Razor 's office, and teachers' offices. This building is named after longtime headmaster George Lovell, who led the school in the first half of the 20th century.
Heath Commons is a two-story building that houses the school cafeteria and a student lounge. Heath Commons was designed by the S/L/A/M collaborative. It was completed in 2003 and won a Connecticut Design Award in 2005. Heath also houses the kitchens and dining hall, cafe, multipurpose rooms, and advisors' offices.
The Walter Camp Athletic Center is named after alumnus Walter Camp, who is credited with inventing American football and later was Yale's football coach. The Athletic Center has two floors of gyms, a pool, a trainers' office, and coaches' office. The first floor is largely made up of three standard-sized basketball courts and the Bud Erich Pool. The second floor includes smaller weight rooms and training areas, including the wrestling room. The old Reigeluth Gym was converted and renamed the Kneisel Squash Center in 2010. This is home to six state-of-the-art courts along with locker rooms.
Thompson Hall was opened on 30 November 2009 on the former site of the upper playing fields. The three-story building has two floors of classrooms, as well as large studio art studios, pottery, photography, wood shop, and orchestral spaces. New fields opened in 2007 which replaced those that Thompson Hall now stands on.
Applicants to Hopkins undergo a series of standardized tests, and upon matriculation, testing is done to place students at the appropriate level of instruction in mathematics and languages. Hopkins' academics are broken into departments including English, mathematics, science, history, arts, modern language, classics, and computer science. Each of the three class levels — Lower, Middle, and Upper — has a different level of choice in classes.
The Arts Department is made up of student organizations and academic classes in studio and performance art. A number of student groups feature performing arts: a cappella groups such as the Harmonaires, Triple Trio, and Spirens; theater groups such as the Hopkins Drama Association; and a variety of choral and instrumental performance groups. A gallery room in Baldwin holds shows of student and teacher art.
The English department is the only department in which Hopkins requires a student have at least one class in every semester. Upper-class students have two required semester classes: a college-prep writing course and a Shakespeare-centered course. The history department core is the Atlantic Communities series that focus on Europe, the Americas, and West Africa between 1450 and modern times. In addition, elective courses go into detail on subjects such as political science, regional studies, philosophy and ethics. Advanced Placement courses are offered in United States History, European History, and Human Geography. The language department is divided into two subdepartments: the Classics, which teaches Ancient Greek and Latin; and Modern Languages, which teaches all other languages (French, Spanish, Chinese, and Italian are currently offered).
The mathematics department offers study from pre-algebra to Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, Differential Equations and Chaos Theory. The science department has three main tracks — Biology, Chemistry, and Physics — along which students can take entry-level courses and then more advanced AP and Honors courses. There are numerous one-off courses in subjects such as Introduction to Psychology, Human Reproduction, or Environmental Studies. The computer science department offers basic computing courses in HTML and Java.
School ends every Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on other days. This extra time is generally used to schedule "away" sports meets, to allow for travel time. Hopkins adopted a modified block scheduling system in 2005, giving each class 55 minutes rather than 40 minutes. Each student has two weekly class schedules ("maroon week" and "grey week", named for the school's colors) which alternate throughout the school year.
Hopkins' one-room Latin grammar school history is still reflected in its graduation requirements. Every student is required to take an English course every semester, and Junior Schoolers are required to take Latin along with whichever other language they may take, if any. In addition to classical education, Hopkins requires three years of math courses and three years of a language, the completion of Atlantic Communities I, Atlantic Communities II, and Atlantic Communities III (history courses which total two and a half years), and two years of science coursework. However, this only makes up a fraction of a student's total graduation credit requirement, while the rest is fulfilled by elective and advanced courses in any of the various departments.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2007)|
Students have varying levels of power and responsibility at Hopkins, based on their grade and leadership positions. Lower classmen are 7th and 8th graders who study primarily in Thompson Hall, separated from the rest of the school. They have their own separate athletic teams and student organizations. Lower classmen have few privileges, though they can vote for certain Student Council posts and participate in the Junior School sports teams and student organizations of their choosing.
Middle classmen are the two younger grades of standard American high school, 9th and 10th grade. In addition to lower-class privileges, Middle classmen can begin designing their own schedules, choosing a few elective courses as opposed to the nearly completely pre-designed schedules of the Junior School. Middle classmen may also participate in general school teams and organizations.
Upperclassmen are the older two grades of American high school, 11th and 12th grade. Upperclassmen have nearly complete control over their own schedules as they begin to fulfill their graduation requirements in departments and move on to study topics of their own interest. Upperclassmen can also apply for parking spaces and the ability to leave campus periodically. Juniors can run for Student Council president at the end of their junior year. Any Senior can create a "Senior Project", a self-designed path of study replacing several courses he would otherwise be taking in the second semester. Starting with the 2006–07 school year, seniors are excused from all second term spring exams, replacing them with a required four-day long community service project. For the 2006–07 school year, that project is building houses for Habitat for Humanity.
The Student Council (or STUCO) is the student government of Hopkins. It is modeled after the United States government. Each middle and upper school class elects four representatives and a class president at the end of the previous year. 8th-graders elect two of their 9th-grade representatives and their president at the end of 8th grade, then the final two representatives once the generally large group of students has joined Hopkins in the 9th grade. In the 2004-05 school year, the Junior class added their own section to the student council. Each class also elects representatives from individual advisor groups to comprise the Class Council, which deals with class activities and fundraisers.
The highest position in the Student Council is Student Council President, a student elected at the end of his junior year to run the Council during his senior year. The president organizes school-wide fundraisers, delivers a speech at most assemblies, and holds some ceremonial graduation duties. Each class functions like a state with a legislature of advisor group representatives with the class president as a Governor. Class representatives act as a Congress that deals with school-wide issues with the STUCO President fulfilling the Presidential role.
Junior school students select from their own separate lists of activities during advisor meetings, and their activities' sessions are separate from the general school. The main school activities program begins with the Activities Fair, usually held in early September, where every activity puts on a display and signs up members for that school year. These various clubs and organizations then meet each Wednesday during the last period of the day, which is set aside as an activities period as opposed to an academic one.
In addition to traditional school organizations such as the student newspaper and yearbook, Hopkins focuses strongly on community service especially within the New Haven community itself. The student government runs school-wide events such as a fundraiser for the Connecticut Food Bank, but the bulk of Hopkins' community service happens through clubs. Hopkins' umbrella community service organization is called Maroon Key. The diversity clubs (including a racial equality club, a Gay-Straight Alliance, and a gender equality group) as well as specific service clubs such as Habitat for Humanity organize a variety of fundraisers and events throughout the year. While not a graduation requirement, community service is an essential aspect of Hopkins life.
Hopkins hosts Breakthrough New Haven (an affiliate of the Breakthrough Collaborative), a program that includes both academic enrichment for middle school students and teacher training for high school and college students. Breakthrough operates an after-school program during the school year and an intensive six-week academic summer program. Hopkins School opens all parts of the campus not being used by regular summer school programs to Breakthrough. Breakthrough students are seventh and eighth graders from New Haven public and parochial schools.
Hopkins' athletics function under a trimester system, with students taking an athletic for each of the fall, winter, and spring seasons. Students may choose to participate in a team sport if they make the team, an intramural sport, or an independent sport where the student participates in a school-approved athletic activity such as martial arts lessons. Seniors may also take one season off and not take any athletic for that season. Sports offered at Hopkins vary depending on the season and include cross country, soccer, water polo, crew, football, field hockey, volleyball, basketball, fencing, track (both outdoor and indoor), swimming/diving, wrestling, squash, golf, lacrosse, tennis, baseball, and softball. Hopkins is a member of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council and the Fairchester Athletic Association. Hopkins competes with many other private and boarding schools throughout New England and the northeast.
- History on Hopkins School's website by Thom Peters. Retrieved March 30, 2006.
- Tuition information authored for the Hopkins School website, 2006. Retrieved July 16, 2006.
- Chronicles of Hopkins Grammar School: 1660–1935. Thomas B Davis. Quinnipiack Press, New Haven, CT. 1938
- Barbara Riley Presents the 2004 Hopkins Medal to John C. Malone '59 on Hopkins School website on November 21, 2004 by Barbara Riley. Retrieved March 30, 2006.
- "From Hopkins' Baldwin Hall to China's Memorial Hall" for Views on the Hill Spring/Summer '06 by Thom Peters.
- John C. Malone '59 for the Hopkins School website on November 22, 2004. Retrieved March 30, 2006.
- S/L/A/M Homepage authored by the S/L/A/M Collaborative. Retrieved March 19, 2006.
- 2005 Connecticut Design Award candidates for AIACT, 2005. Retrieved March 19, 2006.
- Hopkins Course Guide, published annually by Hopkins School.
- Hopkins Breakthrough information on the Hopkins website, written by Michael Van Leesten in September 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2010.
- Homepage of NEPSAC. Retrieved March 19, 2006.