Since the plan’s adoption by the Board of Trustees in September 2018…  

Hackley faculty and staff made tangible progress against key objectives, moving towards the positive programmatic changes that will shape the school for years to come, capturing a range of creative and thoughtful solutions in line with the school’s mission and the Portrait of a Graduate.

Redefine a Liberal Arts Education


Completed the first edition of Hackley’s K-12 competencies: Written, Spoken, and Creative Expression; Inquiry, Literacy, and Research; Quantitative and Digital Fluency; Critical Thinking; Team Work; Character and Responsible Citizenship; Understanding Perspectives; and Well-being. Further defined each competency with 4-6 skills that will enable us to bring Hackley’s Portrait of a Graduate to life and guide future curriculum design.

Created new Upper School multi-disciplinary and independent curricular options for students, including Independent Research in English and History; Food and Power: The Science and Politics of What We Eat; and Historical and Literary Analysis via Role-Playing Games.

Build for the Future


Led peer educators from beyond the Hilltop through professional development opportunities at workshops and conferences, including a presentation on service-learning by David Sykes and Emily Washington at the Private School Public Purpose conference in March 2019 and hosting the NYSAIS Roleplaying, Games, and Simulations in the Humanities Classroom conference in May 2019.

Engaged in conversations with local area universities about professional development and research opportunities that may lead to expanded learning opportunities for students, while providing professional development for our faculty.

Actively expanded Hackley’s reach to diversify the faculty with perspectives and backgrounds under-represented in our classrooms by hosting a webinar in April 2019 that was promoted to independent school educators nationally, titled At the Intersection of Policy and Practice: Hiring and Retaining Faculty of Color.

Promote the Hilltop as a Learning Hub


Expanded initial iGrant work by Emily Washington and began educating the Hackley faculty more broadly on the fundamentals of incorporating service-learning pedagogy into the curriculum, presenting to all three divisions, leading a day-long service-learning overview with the Modern Language Department, and established new relationships with community partners.

Supported service-learning opportunities for Modern Language students, including eighth grade Spanish students working with WestHab Housing Development to address technological needs of the Spanish-speaking resident seniors and AP Spanish students developing a children’s literacy program for visitors to Dayspring Community Center.

Generated preliminary plans for a Creative Residency program through combined efforts of Visual Arts, Performing Arts, and Computer Science department chairs, with specific programmatic enhancements to elevate the arts in the Hackley community and inspire greater creativity and engagement.

Added a third cohort of Hudson Scholars (rising 8th graders) and secured $100,000 matching grant from the E. E. Ford Foundation to support future growth of the program.

Created iPad app that served as “digital docent” for AP Art Thesis Show through collaboration across visual, performing, and digital arts.

Nurture a Culture of Wellness


Reworked the peer advisory system with leadership by Renee Pabst and Chris Arnold to update and strengthen the school’s approach to health and wellness and engage the 9th and 11th grades in more robust ways.

Launched the Healthy Breakfast service-learning project with 3rd graders, exploring benefits of a healthy breakfast, good nutrition choices, tips on reading product ingredient lists, and an exercise in understanding the factors (price, nutritional value, and number of servings per package) that impact selection decisions. Concluded program with a school-wide food drive, for which the Lower School focused on healthy breakfast foods.

Structured communication strategy enacted, including public presentations, web and print materials, and cascading messages linking to plan goals.

(Progress: Year 2)