Early Childhood Center

An Environment that Supports Learning

Hawken’s Early Childhood Center provides an environment that supports our nationally recognized early childhood programming. The interior of the facility resulted from collaboration with Creative Environments Design Collaborative, a nationally known education design firm, to accommodate Hawken’s unique developmental continuum, which is grounded in the belief that the aesthetic environment plays a significant role in a child’s development. The space enhances programming by inspiring exploration, supporting a range of social learning experiences, and encouraging development of motor skills.
Upgrades to the Early Childhood Center include new first grade and prekindergarten classrooms; renovation of existing classrooms; a Learning Enrichment Center; reconfigured office, conference room, and faculty workspace; and a central community space called known as the Nido, which is Italian for “nest.”
A community for our youngest students and their parents, the Nido is a physical reminder of the important partnership between the family and the school. The Nido provides space for one-on-one time between student and teacher, small group work for targeted learning, and larger grade level and community gatherings. Highlights of the Nido include:
  • an illuminated glass wall of bubbling water to promote peaceful reflection and quiet exchanges
  • a studio for free exploration of art media
  • a community kitchen for student activities as well as adult gatherings
  • a stage for dramatic play, musical performances and class presentations
  • green spaces for large motor activities and community assemblies

“It’s a real inspiration. I’ve seen many early childhood spaces, and this is the most beautiful and child-centered space I’ve ever seen.” 

-Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus, Harvard Medical School and founder of the Brazelton Touchpoints Center at Children’s Hospital Boston, speaking at the grand opening of the Early Childhood Center

A Nationally Recognized Program

Hawken’s early childhood team has researched and created The Hawken Developmental Continuum. Establishing Hawken as one of the most cutting edge early childhood programs in Ohio and beyond, the Continuum enables Hawken educators to deeply know their students by benchmarking their growth across five domains of development: social and emotional, approaches to learning, cognitive, language and literacy, and physical development.

The Hawken Developmental Continuum is designed for children from toddler through second grade and sets reasonable expectations for grade level performance across the domains based on state, national and international education standards. The Continuum also allows teachers to identify a child’s strengths and areas for improvement, which aids in planning curriculum that supports developmental growth and promotes student success.
An independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school, toddler through grade 12

Early Childhood, Lower, and Middle Schools, 5000 Clubside Rd, Lyndhurst, OH 44124
Birchwood School of Hawken, 4400 West 140th Street, Cleveland, OH 44135 

Upper School, PO Box 8002 (12465 County Line Rd), Gates Mills, OH 44040
Mastery School of Hawken, 11025 Magnolia Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106

Gries Center, 10823 Magnolia Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106

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