As you walk through Hawken’s Middle School, you may notice that there are few hallways. Instead, the building is structured around identical clusters of classrooms called “pods,” one for each grade level. These pods were intentionally designed to provide opportunities for your child to connect and converse within his or her grade-level community.
While there are times when it is advantageous and appropriate to gather as an entire Middle School community, the pods provide students in each grade their own space. And because the entire grade can be seated in the pod common areas, students can gather to address logistics or to discuss a particular issue at hand. In this environment, your child and with his or her classmates will be called upon to become problem solvers and to take ownership in defining the culture and character of their community.
As one teacher put it, “Pods promote the idea in each grade level of having a space that’s just yours. Our sixth graders have a space where they can just be sixth graders and our eighth graders have a space where they can just be eighth graders. It gives them a nice freedom to just wear the skin that they’re wearing. And sixth graders and eighth graders are really different people.”