Eagle Hill School educates students identified with learning (dis)abilities by providing an intimate and encouraging community that honors the individual, values learning diversity, and fosters personal and social growth.
pi·o·neer noun / ‚pī- -´nir/ e
a person or group who goes beyond, exploring the unknown and creating as yet undreamt of opportunities and realities
Q & A with Dr. PJ McDonald, Headmaster Why Eagle Hill School? There are many exceptional independent schools—what makes EHS right for me?
When you say “very small classes,” what does that actually mean?
What makes EHS the right choice, the best choice, for many students is our absolute fidelity to the individual, our ability to customize the curriculum to meet both the needs and aspirations of each student, and, critically, our innovative and leading-edge philosophy of education. Collectively, those three factors form our resolute belief in learning diversity, the foundation of what makes EHS unique and successful.
The average class size at EHS is six students. In practice, that means many classes of fewer than six students for underclassmen and classes that grow to ten to twelve students for juniors and seniors as students prepare to transition to college. Our nine-term academic year allows us to offer an extraordinarily wide selection of courses for students, including short-term exploratory courses and full-year courses that target in-depth study in an area of interest.
Can you explain what the phrase “learning diversity” means?
Why did you choose Eagle Hill School—and stay for such a long time?
Learning diversity is our vernacular for an approach to education that recognizes the remarkable diversity of human minds and embraces the imperative to design curriculum and instruction accordingly. We often say that learning differently demands teaching differently. A commitment to learning diversity is a commitment to understanding and valuing the many and sometimes unique ways in which individuals learn.
It’s unusual, I know, for a head of school to remain at the same school for so long. The National Association of Independent Schools reports that the average stay for heads of school is about five years. When I arrived at EHS in 1993, I didn’t imagine that I would have the privilege and pleasure to lead this great school for such a long period of time. Now I can’t imagine being anywhere else. The reason is simple: every single day we compete against ourselves to become the perfect school, and it is in the pursuit of that perfection that I find my personal and professional fulfillment. Truly extraordinary things are happening each day in the classrooms, on the playing fields and stage, and in the residence halls.
What is the significance behind Eagle Hill School’s nickname, the Pioneers? Since its founding in 1967, Eagle Hill School has led the educational world in challenging and redefining the conventional wisdom regarding the education of students described as learning (dis)abled. It is this commitment to innovation that makes us pioneers. Pioneer Pride!
What is Eagle Hill School’s greatest strength? The heart and soul of the campus is the faculty, a professional and veteran faculty that boasts an average tenure of more than twelve years. We all know that it takes time to become an exceptional teacher, and that’s why we are so proud of the extraordinarily low rate of attrition for our faculty. Providing faculty and students with outstanding facilities is one way that we show our commitment to them and recognize them as the cornerstone of the school’s success.
Every school claims to provide individual attention for each student. How is Eagle Hill School different? At EHS, we are able to do more than provide individual attention as an add-on to standard instruction. In the context of very small classes, we can design instruction for each student based on his or her needs, talents, interests, and performance. It’s not simply that extra help is available; the instruction is developed and delivered with each student in mind.
Has your perspective about Eagle Hill School changed since your son started attending? For my first twenty-two years at EHS, I appreciated when parents told me over and over how EHS had fundamentally changed the trajectory of their children’s lives, and it felt great to be doing such good work. Then, in an interesting twist of fate, it became apparent that our eldest child needed and deserved an EHS education. For my wife, Kathryn, and me, I will tell you that there is nothing quite as extraordinary as actually feeling the profound difference that this faculty—and by extension this school—has made in our son’s life. I understand EHS on an entirely new and deeper level, and that has made me a different and perhaps better kind of headmaster.
What is the one thing that you love most about Eagle Hill School? That’s easy. We are a school that dares to be different so that our students don’t have to be.
Kathryn, Tucker, Griffin â€™18, Reagan, and Headmaster PJ McDonald
At Eagle Hill School, the educational objective is that of a traditional liberal
arts education: to prepare students for a lifetime of intellectual engagement as free individuals capable of true self-determination. What makes Eagle Hill School fundamentally different than other schools is that we genuinely understand that each student’s path to the future will be unique, that some of our students will imagine futures for themselves that have never been imagined before—and that we will have to learn alongside them how they will realize those futures. It is our understanding of and appreciation for the vastness of human diversity—sometimes elsewhere understood as disability—that is the indispensable idea on which our curriculum and instruction are built. While the objective is a very traditional one, the methodology at Eagle Hill School is revolutionary, something we call adhocracy. ad·hoc·ra·cy
noun /´ad-´häk-r -se/ e
For us, adhocracy is a purposeful alternative to the standardization of instruction (i.e., bureaucracy) that confounds many otherwise serious institutions.
At EHS, the course of study for each student is developed by that student, his or her family, academic advisor, and the teachers with whom he or she is working. For us, curriculum means more than a standard menu of options based on the arbitrary status of age or grade. The very courses in which a student studies are often created collaboratively by students and teachers, and a student’s individual goals provide the direction. Our flexible nine-term academic year provides nearly infinite possibilities for students to craft their educational experiences. At Eagle Hill School, we are pioneers, living always at the edge of the known universe. As grand as that sounds, still it fails to capture the sense of wonder and possibility with which we meet each day in the classroom. As teachers, we don’t explore anything as ordinary as the outer reaches of space or the inner dimensions of the atom. Going further, we explore the as-yet unrealized promises of human potential that each of our students brings to Hardwick. This, after all, is what it means to teach and learn—to believe steadfastly in and to work unreservedly toward the future.
Nine-Term Schedule In many schools, graduation requirements and course offerings can be the calcified remnants of past priorities and can even become obstacles to students’ intellectual development. At Eagle Hill School, course offerings represent core principles expressed in light of our evolving understanding of student talents, needs, and interests. Of course, it would be naïve to imagine that any one school’s graduation requirements exist in a vacuum. Our experience has often been that the casual recommendations of selective colleges can influence a student’s course of study in high school as much as any other factor. In recognition of that and to build the flexibility necessary for any two students to explore and choose very different paths, we developed our nine-term academic year. Each term is a month long, and any class may meet for any number of those nine terms. Given this flexibility, we can offer short-term exploratory courses that allow students to discover new passions before committing to yearlong, in-depth study. At the same time, we can offer classes that meet for extended periods of time and foster the kind of deep engagement with ideas that is necessary for the development of genuine expertise.
Sample Schedule APPROXIMATE TERM DATES
TERM 1 9/14 -10/8
TERM 2 10/9 -11/4
TERM 3 11/5 -12/7
TERM 4 12/8 - 1/15
TERM 5 1/18 - 2/12
TERM 6 2/22 - 3/17
TERM 7 3/18 - 4/13
TERM 8 4/14 - 5/20
TERM 9 5/21 - 6/10
COM. PREP 7:45-8:39 PERIOD 1 8:43-9:37
PERIOD 2 9:41-10:35 PERIOD 3 10:39-11:33
PERIOD 4 11:37-12:31
COLLEGE ORIENTATION INTERNSHIP
SPANISH 1 GRAPHIC ARTS
LUNCH 12:35-1:15 PERIOD 5 1:19-2:13 PERIOD 6 2:17-3:11 OFFICE HOURS 3:11-3:45
WEB PAGE DESIGN ESTABLISHING RELATIONSHIPS
WRITING WORKSHOP MODERN POETRY
THE MIDDLE EAST
Average Class Size
Arts & Humanities The study of the arts and humanities at Eagle Hill offers students the chance to study the great literary traditions of the world, to use the study of history and social science to understand the past as well as contemporary issues, to explore their own and other cultures through the visual and performing arts, and—most importantly—to understand themselves and their places in a rapidly changing world. In addition to traditional and innovative course offerings in the humanities, the Eagle Hill Reading Department provides expert instruction for students who struggle with decoding, comprehension, and interpretive skills. The Reading Department does not subscribe to one particular method, but rather identifies each student’s strengths and areas of need and then either chooses or develops a reading approach for that student. For example, a student working on decoding skills has available reading tutorials based upon the Orton Gillingham principles, the Wilson Reading System, the Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing program, and other multisensory strategies. When a student’s primary need is to strengthen reading comprehension, teachers draw upon programs such as Lindamood’s Visualization and Verbalization, Project Read, and other literature-based approaches. The Reading Department also offers a series of related courses that address vocabulary development, word attack skills, spelling, and reading fluency.
Quantitative Reasoning In mathematics, science, and computer applications, students at Eagle Hill School strive to cultivate the habits of mind and competencies important for data collection, organization, and interpretation. They develop the quantitative reasoning skills central to empirical study in a wide range of disciplines. Diverse course offerings in the natural sciences, the applied sciences, and mathematics provide for exceptional preparation for college-level study. Each of the departments in the quantitative domain also offers alternative coursework designed to allow students who struggle with quantitative skills to develop those skills in the direction and at the pace best for them.
Core Enrichment Core enrichment programming at Eagle Hill is offered by many of the academic departments and targets twenty-first-century skills and an orientation to lifelong learning. Courses in social justice, meditative practice, social skills, and health/fitness are among the most popular offerings. Each student’s purposeful and explicit examination of his or her profile as a learner is also a priority of the core enrichment program, and a sequence of courses beginning with the First Year Seminar and the Seminar on Learning classes and culminating with the College Orientation course guides students through the process of self-discovery in the context of the liberal arts.
EHS seniors are accepted into of the colleges and universities to which they apply.
Latest Curriculum Innovations Seminar on Learning The Seminar on Learning course provides students with a general overview of the history and development of the field of special education. More importantly, students develop a self-awareness pertaining to their own individual learning styles, identifying areas of academic strengths and areas in need of further development. Learning strategies, metacognitive techniques, and basic academic skills such as note taking and organizational strategies are introduced and explained, providing students with the opportunity to utilize these strategies in their current coursework in other subject areas. Students are exposed to a series of multimodal instructional and learning tools that they can apply across the curriculum. Students’ self-advocacy skills are identified and nurtured.
First Year Seminar The First Year Seminar introduces students new to Eagle Hill School to the life of the mind. With a special emphasis on reading and writing as essential tools for academic study, the course helps students to identify and begin to pursue their own intellectual goals.
World Expert In the World Expert course, students have the opportunity to conduct research at the American Antiquarian Society, one of the world’s preeminent research institutions. Over a period of three months, each student becomes the “world expert” on a special topic in early American history and completes a publication-quality original study.
Grit Lit: Stories of Resilience A number of innovative research studies have linked the study of literature to the development of empathy and other character traits in students. The Grit Lit course explores this connection between literature and resilience, often cited as the quintessential trait for college-readiness.
AWAKE! By helping EHS students discover and explore different aspects of their inner and outer worlds, the AWAKE! initiative fosters their engagement in vitally significant issues and supports them in giving form to their understanding through real-world activities. The AWAKE! initiative includes courses in social justice, mindfulness and meditation, global issues, and contemporary science. Through these courses, students wake up to the reality of social and political injustice in their own lives and in the larger world, and at the same time they learn what can be done to combat it. They wake up to the effects human society is having on the environment and also become aware of the changes we can make in our private lives and in public policy to reverse these effects. Through the practice of mindfulness, students wake up to the conditioned patterns, automatic reactions, and biases of their own minds and learn techniques to help them relax and strengthen their ability for sustained focus.
Outdoor Theater In Outdoor Theater, students learn the history of theater in a traditional outdoor setting. They explore the humble beginnings of theater starting with Neanderthal storytelling traditions and study ancient Greek and Roman, Medieval, and Shakespearean theater. The course is taught in the Alsop Amphitheater.
Sampling of Electives: Creative Writing Molecular Biology: PCR Technology From Rome to Rock Organization & Time Management Terrorism and Counterterrorism Conspiracy Theories: Facts & Fiction Entertainment Journalism Lies My TV Told Me Economic Forces in American History Foreign Languages Zoology Build Your Novel Scene by Scene Classic Film as Text Outdoor Adventure Playwrightâ€™s Workshop
Visual & Performing Arts Electives: Paper Clay Sculpture CNC Woodworking The History of Filmmaking Painting Hand Built Pottery Black & White Photography Studio Art & Portfolio Preparation EHS Chorale Graphic Arts Stage Combat One Act Competition Rock: Roots and Beginnings Jam Band Improvisation Set Building & Design Fundamentals of Music Theory Altered Books Technical Theatre Internship Basic Acting Techniques
As I’ve delved into industrial design, it has become abundantly obvious that I love this field. As I struggled with what avenue to pursue when applying to college, however, it wasn’t so clear. It became the source of increasing stress until my academic advisor, Miss Kaplan, stepped in to help. She was completely informed where I was seemingly clueless, patient when I was increasingly impatient, and steady as a rock when I could have hidden under one! My advisor also lent a helping hand when I took my artistic talents to new “heights” in my honors project where I built a ten-foot-high self-portrait made out of 9,840 gumballs. Not only did Miss Kaplan help with the actual construction, but she used the right mix of encouragement and persistence in helping me see the project to completion while staying on top of my studies. The strong academic background I received at EHS has helped me in my new passion for industrial arts, which demands a lot in the way of math skills and problem solving. They say hard work creates luck; I’m a hard worker, but I also was lucky to have found EHS.
Lex Zee ’12 is currently working on a Bachelor of Industrial Design degree at Syracuse University.
During my junior year, I had the honor of being chosen by a national panel of professionals to present a paper—which I’d written in my EHS English class—at a rhetoric conference at the University of Ghent in Belgium. I was seventeen. Being the youngest presenter was surreal, but the positive response from the audience was overwhelming. The conference moderator—a professor from the University of Notre Dame—even publicly offered to assist with my application if I had interest in attending his school. This amazing opportunity would have been inconceivable were it not for Eagle Hill. In public school, I floated by. I was fairly adept at reading and writing but consistently failed math and struggled in science. Thankfully, an educational consultant had the wisdom to find me a school that would simultaneously foster my strengths and develop my areas of weakness. EHS was an incredibly welcoming community. Socially, I felt comfortable in my own skin, and teachers were supportive and encouraging. I also appreciated the nine-term system, which allowed me to explore my interests in graphic arts and have time to study French all four years. And yes, I managed to actually get somewhere with math for a change, too!
Caroline Curtis ’14 currently attends Fairfield University.
Living in a residence hall with students from all
over the country and all over the world provides opportunities unavailable in any other context. In a setting that fosters community development and lifelong friendships with your fellow students, youâ€™ll engage in the give-and-take of boarding school lifeâ€” from heated discussions about politics and philosophy to marathon videogame tournaments. At the same time, living away from home can be challenging as wellâ€”and should be. Our student life program is one of the central components of our college preparatory program. The dormitories are not merely places to sleep but also places in which to learn. The student life program is designed to reinforce the academic, personal, and executive function skills taught during the class day by providing a similar measure of programmatic structure and consistency during the evening hours. Consistent with the overall philosophy, EHS strives to provide an appropriate balance between fostering independence and providing structure, support, and guidance for each individual student.
Student Life Faculty and Curriculum Even more than academic preparation, trending national research identifies resilience and persistence as the attributes most predictive of success in college. A student’s ability to manage life outside of the classroom is critical. Recognizing this, Eagle Hill is one of the only preparatory schools in the nation with full-time resident counselors whose primary responsibility is to promote the personal and social development of residents on their halls. The student life faculty is trained to deliver an intentional curriculum after the final school bell rings, a curriculum that challenges students to make the best choices possible in their academic and personal lives. Our resident counselors become “experts” about the students in their care. All of our resident counselors are certified life coaches, completing extensive training leading to certification through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). This allows us to provide a unified and consistent student life language and culture. At the heart of the resident counselor’s responsibilities is the emphasis on integrating important executive function skills into daily living expectations.
Dormitory Living Underclassmen enjoy living in one of three smaller dormitories, Prescott, Dana, and Enfield Halls, ensuring a smooth transition to boarding school life. Students in these dormitories live in double rooms with a roommate and share a common area. Upperclassmen live in Harmsworth Hall where they enjoy single rooms in a suite-style setting. Harmsworth Hall also features large common areas with kitchenettes. All dormitory rooms are equipped with private telephone lines, built-in voicemail, and wireless Internet access.
Leadership Eagle Hill has always placed great importance on fostering leadership skills in our students. Through our Student Leadership Initiative, students have the opportunity to be summer interns during our summer session, new student orientation leaders, and student government leaders. Peer tutors, peer mentors, team captains, admission tour guides, and dorm representatives are among the many other leadership positions available to our students. Eagle Hill prefects, the highest privilege earned by only a select group of students each year, earn greater independence during the academic day and evenings while also maintaining responsibilities as dining hall captains, dorm floor leaders, and Baglio Center reception personnel.
All of our resident counselors are certified life coaches.
The EHS director of weekend services designs the weekends for maximum enjoyment with “choice” being the key word. Students not attending off-campus trips have access to the campus, including the sports and fitness center, cultural center, student union, library, and dormitories. Below is a sampling of more than 300 weekend trips offered each year:
Tri-State Speedway Boston Bruins Hockey Broadway in Boston Eastern States Exposition Paintball Six Flags New England Movies King Richard’s Faire
Restaurants Skiing Shopping Snowtubing Boston Red Sox Skyventure Indoor Skydiving White-Water Rafting Mystic Seaport
Basketball Hall of Fame Baseball Hall of Fame College Sporting Events Snowshoeing Hiking Community Service NYC 9/11 Memorial Witch’s Woods Screampark
“Now you can go back to being just mom and dad,” a friend told us. After years of contention working with Max’s previous teachers and schools, all while trying to play tutor and homework czar, it was an absolute relief to see Max flourishing at EHS without our having to be so vigilant. From the moment we walked on EHS’s campus, we knew we had partners in the faculty, with a collective goal of fulfilling Max’s potential and aspirations. His previous schools had the best intentions, but they were simply not even in the same class as EHS regarding understanding and programing for learning diversity. During Max’s five years at EHS, there has been clear and significant growth, which we as parents have monitored through the school’s extensive website commentary program. With the help of his academic advisor, remarkable teachers, and resident counselors, Max has established positive routines and habits, internalized both the desire and ability to work and live independently, and maintained increasing levels of expectations, performance, responsibility, and self-confidence. It’s been so heartening to see him soar academically, athletically, and socially. We are proud beyond words and confident that our son has the skills and self-determination to succeed in college and beyond.
Juliet and Michael Mazurczak are mom and dad to senior Max Mazurczak.
When I volunteered at our Teachers Teaching Teachers conference, I overheard some of the public school teachers expressing admiration for our school. Several called EHS a “teacher’s Heaven.” They talked openly about their overloaded public school classrooms, their limited resources, and the stress of standardized tests. However, if you ask me, Eagle Hill is also a “learner’s Heaven” for teachers and students alike. At my previous schools, students could never question anything—the teachers were always right, and the administration reinforced this culture. But at EHS, the teachers ask for our thoughts and opinions; they want us to figure out how we work and think as engaged learners. Academic advisors encourage us to take responsibility for our own learning and explore new areas of study. Resident counselors help us explore who we are as individuals and guide us toward the ultimate goal of personal autonomy. Of course, there are professional boundaries and prescribed roles, but the reciprocal teacher/learner relationship at EHS allows us to mature independently while proving that we can meet or exceed expectations along the way.
Jahmeelah Nash-Fuller is a junior at Eagle Hill School.
Whether playing on the soccer team,
serving on Student Council, volunteering in the community, or commanding the stage in the Abby Theatre, Eagle Hill students are afforded virtually unlimited opportunities to get involved in the life of a vibrant campus. Each student comes to Eagle Hill School with his or her unique set of interests and talents, and EHS takes every opportunity to explore and nurture those gifts. What is unique about EHS is that the pervasive spirit of innovation that defines the school extends to every aspect of campus life. At any moment, you can be sure to find a group of students and faculty members developing an interesting new projectâ€”creating a student self-portrait from 9,840 gumballs, building a robot for competition, writing and producing an original play, or designing, constructing, and giving a concert using a new musical instrument. In addition to having fun, students are learning valuable lessons about communication, independent problem solving, perseverance, leadership, and the importance of community service. By addressing the needs of the whole personâ€”academic, personal, and socialâ€”Eagle Hill School graduates confident adults prepared for the challenges of college and awakened to the opportunities of life.
SPORTS Go Pioneers! The athletic program at Eagle Hill School forms the centerpiece of a comprehensive fitness and wellness curriculum that offers a stunning array of activities for students. More than 75% of the student body chooses to participate on at least one competitive sports team at the junior varsity or varsity level. Becoming a student-athlete promotes teamwork, character, self-discipline, fitness, and lifelong skills. Our mission is to teach students—throughout their lives—to rely on the skills and personal qualities that they have developed as student-athletes.
EXTRACURRICULAR SPORTS FALL
Rowing Cross Country Boys Soccer Girls Soccer
Rowing Golf Lacrosse Softball Tennis Ultimate Frisbee
Boys Basketball Girls Basketball Swimming Wrestling Squash
SPARK Every student at Eagle Hill is engaged in at least 75 minutes of physical activity each day, four days per week. For some students, this means taking advantage of our athletic program. For other students, our SPARK program—a program based on Dr. John Ratey’s groundbreaking study of exercise and the brain—provides the context for physical activity. Dr. Ratey, associate clinical professor at Harvard Medical School, partnered with EHS to research and design a program of physical exercise aimed at optimizing brain function. Utilizing the sports and fitness center, Eagle Hill is committed to building a culture of exercise and balanced nutrition.
SPARK OFFERINGS Weight Training Indoor Track Squash Swimming Rock Wall Floor Hockey Dodgeball Karate Badminton Soccer Football Ultimate Frisbee Squash
Basketball Pickleball Water Polo Kickball Wiffleball Tennis Lacrosse Disc Golf Yoga Fencing Dance Zumba
The Eagle Hill Pioneers are members of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council and the River Valley Athletic League. We also partner with the Positive Coaching Alliance.
The Arts The Cultural Center at Eagle Hill is a world-class venue providing our students with unparalleled access to professional experiences in the arts. In addition to classes, students participate in workshops, lectures, demonstrations, and personal coaching as part of our artist-in-residence program. Whether students plan to pursue a career in the arts or not, The Center provides nearly unlimited opportunities to explore the creative process, experience something new, and appreciate the work of student and professional artists.
Visual Arts The Arts Department encourages an evolution of personal creativity by encouraging students to explore all manner of media through distinctive projects and independent study. Under the instruction of an amazingly creative and caring faculty, our students find avenues of personal expressionâ€”in painting, drawing, sculpture, craft-making, woodworking, video production, computer graphicsâ€”to bring to life their own ideas, perceptions, and critical perspectives. The arts classrooms in our cultural center are fully equipped and include a traditional darkroom, screen printing equipment, a kiln, a state-of-the-art woodshop, and virtually anything else you can think of to create art! The EHS gallery program, spaces, curates exhibits that show how art is connected to studentsâ€™ lives. Exhibits address seasonal themes in countless engaging ways: at any given time spaces might highlight the work of students, faculty, resident artists, or regional and nationally recognized visiting artists. Each exhibit is paired with a participatory activity, such as a student workshop or artist talk.
Performing Arts Fiddler on the Roof, Little Shop of Horrors, Seussical, and The Man Who Came to Dinner are just some of the recent memorable productions of the Eagle Hill Players. The Abby Theatre, a 463-seat proscenium theater with a full fly-loft, is home to the performing arts program. Smaller and experimental theater performances are often staged in the versatile 80-seat Kresge Studio Theater. Both theaters are fully equipped with professional-grade sound and lighting sytems, and students study stagecraft as well as acting. Student productions, along with in-depth study of the dramatic arts in a wide range of classes, provide students with an understanding of and appreciation for another medium of creative expression. A student can find his or her creative niche in acting, set design, costuming, lighting, sound, or makeup artistry. Students also have the opportunity to lend their voices to the Eagle Hill chorale to participate in one of the many musical groups that emerge from our music classes. A host of music courses provides avenues for budding musicians to develop their talents under the guidance of the EHS faculty. Students also have the opportunity to schedule instruction with one of the many local voice and instrumental instructors who offer private lessons on campus.
Cultural Center Internships Arts Management Internship Interns help plan, publicize and market events, maintain the budget, manage the box office and front-of-the house, and liaise with visiting performers.
Technical Theater Internship Students design lighting and sound plans—as well as run the state-of-the-art theatrical lighting, sound, and rigging systems of the cultural center—for our own and visiting productions.
spaces Gallery Internship Interns gain experience in arts administration, exhibit planning, and the daily operation of the professional gallery. They learn professional practices including how to measure and plan the use of exhibition space; how to design and write exhibition brochures; how to promote exhibitions within the campus and local community; and how to install works of art. Students act as docents, introducing exhibits to visitors.
A Culture of Community Service Eagle Hill students are required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of community service during their time at EHS—though most do much, much more—by taking advantage of interesting and engaging opportunities for service both on and off-campus.
Clubs After a busy day in the classroom and on the athletic fields, students need time to unwind and pursue some of their other personal interests. Time is set aside each evening for various clubs to meet, giving students a chance to relax and meet with others who share similar interests.
Adopt-A-Grandparent Student Council Peer Mentoring Peer Tutoring Robotics Music Jam Chess Creative Writing Mock Trial
Student Athlete Leadership Team (SALT) Swim Club Zoo Keepers Jiu Jitsu Photography Club Fencing Puppy Club GSA
Singing had always been an interest of mine, but it wasn’t until I met EHS music teacher Dr. Cooke that I discovered my true passion: opera. The guidance and support from the EHS arts faculty took me from a nervous freshman unsure of my talents to a confident graduate fully prepared to continue music studies in college with an eye toward becoming a professional singer someday. While at a restaurant in Florence during a school trip in my senior year, I found myself giving a performance that was poignantly symbolic of my four years at EHS. Mr. Nastasi somehow convinced the restaurant’s owner and musicians to allow me to sing “Nessun Dorma” for them. Despite years of practice upon which to draw, I thought to myself, “What business does a Jewish kid from Pennsylvania have singing this famous Puccini aria, in Italian, in the birthplace of opera itself?” But as hundreds of patrons grew hushed and the waiters began stopping in their tracks to listen, my confidence soared—and I prepared to conquer the complex notes toward the end of the song.
Jason Berger ’10, a graduate of Boston University, is currently working on a master’s degree in music and voice at the University of Michigan.
Although I consider EHS a family, I admit that as a sophomore playing in the faculty vs. students softball game, it was pretty satisfying to pitch a one-two-three inning against the faculty. My school experience prior to EHS often left me frustrated, but one thing I could feel good about was the success I’d had playing softball. EHS helped me achieve equal success in academics and athletics. I was able to build upon my strengths while receiving excellent support in the areas in which I had difficulty, such as algebra. EHS also instilled in me self-advocacy and organizational skills I’ve relied upon both in college and in my professional career. I chose to forgo attending one of the high-level athletic colleges that recruited me in favor of a college that allowed me to pursue a career in early childhood education while still playing college softball. Teaching and learning became mutual enterprises for me at EHS, so when I pitched another inning in the faculty vs. students game during my senior year, I grooved one for the headmaster so he could manage a line drive. I owed him that much!
Chelsey Munsey ’10, a graduate of Curry College, currently works as a preschool teacher at Harvard Business School (and can still throw an underhand pitch over sixty miles per hour).
Eagle Hill School alums are competent, capable men and
women prepared for college and the challenges of the world beyond. They are well-rounded individuals, often with a newfound sense of self-esteem and balance. They are confident in themselves and in their learning abilities. They are men and women of integrity. They are budding leaders who are beginning to understand and appreciate their full potential. They are caring citizens who possess a sense of empathy well beyond their years. They are motivated students strong enough to confront any future challenges. They are Pioneers. They are Eagle Hill!
College Counseling 96%
of Eagle Hill graduates matriculate to a four-year college.
With virtually all Eagle Hill graduates matriculating to college, the primary function of the college counseling office is to facilitate the college search and application process. The department recommends colleges, levels of support, and necessary accommodations for each student during his or her junior year. The faculty works closely with seniors to help complete their applications and submit the necessary materials.
Recent College Decisions Adelphi University American International College Ball State University Bard College Belmont Abbey College Berklee College of Music Berkshire Community College Boston University Brandeis University Bryant University Bunker Hill Community College Catawba College Champlain College Clark University Colby-Sawyer College College of DuPage College of Marin College of Southern Nevada Columbia College Columbia College Chicago Cornell College Corning Community College Cuesta College Curry College Dean College DePauw University Dickinson College Drexel University Eastern Connecticut State University Eckerd College Elon University Embry-Riddle Aero University - AZ Emerson College Fairfield University Fairleigh Dickinson University Fitchburg State University Florida Southern College Georgian College Gordon College Green Mountain College
High Point University Hofstra University Iona College Johnson & Wales University - RI Johnson & Wales University- FL Landmark College Lasell College Lesley University Lewis & Clark College Linfield College Long Island University - Post Loyola University New Orleans Lynn University Marist College Marlboro College Marshall University Marymount Manhattan College Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts McDaniel College Mercyhurst University Merrimack College Michigan State University Minneapolis College of Art & Design Mitchell College Mount Holyoke College Mount Ida College Muhlenberg College Muskingum University New England College New England Institute of Technology Northern Arizona University Norwich University Notre Dame College of Ohio Oklahoma State University Otis College of Art and Design Pitzer College Pratt Institute Quinebaug Valley Community College Quinnipiac University Raritan Valley Community College Reed College Rochester Institute of Technology
Roger Williams University Sacred Heart University Saint Mary's College of CA Saint Michael's College Salve Regina University Santa Fe University of Art & Design Sarah Lawrence College Sierra Nevada College Southern New Hampshire University Southern Oregon University Springfield Technical Community College St. John's College St. Thomas Aquinas College Stonehill College Suffolk University Syracuse University The College of Wooster The George Washington University The New England Institute of Art The University of Tampa Trinity College University of Chicago University of Colorado at Boulder University of Connecticut University of Denver University of Hartford University of Massachusetts, Amherst University of Massachusetts, Boston University of Massachusetts, Lowell UNC School of the Arts University of Rhode Island University of VA College at Wise Vincennes University Wabash College Wentworth Institute of Technology Western State Colorado University Western Washington University Westfield State University Wheaton College - IL Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Eagle Hill School is a member of NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) and complies with its Statement of Principles of Good Practice.
As a proud alumnus of Eagle Hill School, I’ve been able to leave my alma mater a legacy that has taken unexpected forms, from being part of a construction crew that transformed my ninth-grade dorm room into a fancy new bathroom to being the first Student Council president to lead the weekly all-school assemblies. As a student with dyslexia, the idea of being challenged in and outside of the classroom on a daily basis was nothing new to me. Thankfully, EHS does a wonderful job balancing the ability to capitalize on students’ strengths while still giving proper attention in the areas where improvement is most needed. For example, I took part in an advanced Set Building and Design class at a local college, all while being constantly challenged to further develop my literacy skills in the EHS classroom. This support led to an unintended legacy—one of my former English teachers still uses a college application essay I wrote as an example for teaching his students each year. Considering where I’d come from as a struggling student in English before EHS, that might be the legacy of which I’m most proud.
Brooks Hausser ’09, a graduate of Syracuse University, is a full-time partner at an architectural fabrication company in New York.
In public school, I sat in the back of the classroom, distracted by students dropping pencils, fumbling in backpacks for homework assignments, and unwrapping cough drops. I couldn’t focus, and my grades were certainly lacking. Even worse, I didn’t have any confidence in my academic abilities. Eagle Hill changed that for me. I’ll forever remember the advice given to me by Eric Stone, dean of education. “Whether in high school or college, you need to think of yourself as the single most important person in the class, and that person deserves the opportunity to sit up front,” he said. Of course, Eagle Hill’s small class size means there is no such thing as the “back of the class,” and I found myself front and center every day. I was able to stay focused and interested; the lessons seemed personalized just for me, and I was motivated to become a serious and successful student. After Eagle Hill, I graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in marketing, was recruited by Forbes Magazine, and am currently a digital advertising account executive in New York City. Even today when I attend meetings and training sessions, you’ll know where to find me…front and center.
Jeff Mendelsohn ’03 has been a member of the Eagle Hill School Board of Trustees since 2007 and is a past president of Eagle Hill School’s alumni/ae association.
People sometimes ask whether it’s surreal to be teaching at the same high school from which I graduated. Isn’t it strange to refer to my former teachers by their first names, or to discuss grading policies with them? The reality is that since I’ve returned to EHS as a teacher, I’ve felt total acceptance. One source for my success at EHS was the relationship I had with my advisor, Dr. Riendeau. He was the first individual who made me feel capable in a school setting. I underwent a 180-degree turnaround from my previous school, where I’d grown so dismayed with my lack of academic progress that I preferred the consequences of truancy. At EHS, I filled every second of my day with activities. Dr. Riendeau still encourages me, only now our relationship has grown into one of mutual respect as professional educators. I feel continually inspired here at EHS to be all I can for my own students so that hopefully the impact I have on them will be as profound as the one that’s led me back to my home here on the hill.
Sara Kaplan ’02 joined the EHS faculty in 2009 and is president of Eagle Hill School’s alumni/ae association.
It was at Eagle Hill that I was able to embrace my hands-on learning style. This was most evident in the rich experience I gained building pieces in the woodshop under the guidance of teacher Jeff Myra. Instead of simply using templates, I designed pieces using mathematical equations, while also incorporating my passion for artistic expression. I also flourished in the humanities by taking part in theater productions, where employing kinesthetic learning to act out scenes made reading literature come alive even for people like me with language-based learning disabilities. The community of EHS is not just accepting, but welcoming of all kinds of learners. I no longer felt demeaned or excluded. I was appreciated and valued. Some friends of mine who remained in the schools I attended prior to EHS have had a hard time finding employment, whereas I have been able to build upon my strengths and enter a truly satisfying career where I’m actually happy to bring work home with me—home, where my living room contains two Craftsmen-style end tables and a sofa table I built as a student at EHS. I guess you could say I’ve literally taken what I’ve learned at Eagle Hill with me wherever I’ve gone in life!
Kathryn Ellis ’04, a graduate of George Washington University, runs the interior design department at an architecture firm in Maryland.
Eagle Hillâ€™s Summer Session blends the experience of a classic summer camp with our unique approach to educating diverse learners. From late June through early August, Eagle Hill runs a five-week session for students ages 10-16 who have been identified with specific learning (dis)abilities and/or Attention Deficit Disorder. The Eagle Hill summer session provides academic enrichment and skill development for students interested in addressing specific academic and personal growth needs or maintaining progress achieved over the preceding academic year. The course offerings are balanced with electives and sports activities to ensure a fun-filled summer while building confidence and paving the road for academic success in the fall.
Our New Student Orientation Program, running simultaneously with our traditional summer session, is also a great way for students entering the fall session for the first time in September to become acquainted with the campus, the faculty, and their peers. This head start ensures a smooth and successful transition.
Clubs Electives Woodworking Graphic Arts Model Rocketry Fun with Electronics Weight Training Art Digital Art Spanish From Couch to 5K Jewelry Making Junior Solar Sprint Tennis Mountain Biking Physics with Toys Improv
Snack Attack Basketball Swimming Dodgeball Flag Football Fishing Filmmaking Soccer Tennis Floor Hockey Chess Drama Ultimate Frisbee Pottery Running Adopt-A-Grandparent Art/Drawing Horseback Riding
Admission Process Eagle Hill School invites the following students to apply. Students who: •
have been identified with learning (dis)abilities and/or Attention Deficit Disorder
are of average to above-average cognitive ability
are entering grades 8 through 12 for the academic year or are between the ages of 10 and 16 for the summer session
are free of any primary emotional and/or behavioral concerns
Step 1 If you have not already done so, please complete the inquiry form under the Admission tab on our website. We will then e-mail you a username and temporary password so that you may log in to begin the online application process.
Step 2 Forward to the admission office by e-mail, fax, or mail a recently administered individual psycho-educational evaluation. The evaluation should include a cognitive assessment (WISC or WAIS-R) and academic achievement testing (e.g., WJ or WIAT). After reviewing the submitted evaluation, an admission officer will contact you to schedule a mutually agreeable time for a visit/interview.
Step 3 Complete and submit the online application and supporting documents. The application must be completed and submitted online and supporting documents either uploaded to the file or mailed directly to the school. Forms are available for download on the website within the online application. Families will be able to monitor the status of their child’s application online as they move through the admission process. Please be sure to include: •
completed application, including photo of the applicant and the nonrefundable application fee payable to Eagle Hill School
official transcript, educational assessments, pertinent school records, Individualized Educational Plans, clinical evaluations,
and/or standardized testing
mathematics and English teacher evaluations
student writing sample
While there is no admission deadline, parents are advised to begin the admission process as early as possible. Early decisions are made in November with two additional rounds of decisions in January and March. The admission office will notify the parents and applicants via mail of the admission decision. Once the school is at capacity, candidates who qualify for admission will be placed in a waiting pool. Admission to the summer program is decided on a rolling basis.
If questions should arise pertaining to the admission policies or procedures, please do not hesitate to call the Admission Office at 413-477-6000, x-1212 or x-1206, fax 413-477-6837, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Eagle Hill School, as an academic community, is committed to an admission process that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, or disability.
Eagle Hill School 413-477-6000
242 Old Petersham Road